NASA captured an image on Mars that resembles the symbol for Star Trek‘s Starfleet. Obviously, Captain Kirk couldn’t resist the opportunity to throw shade at That Other Space Franchise. Here’s William Shatner‘s very professional response to the discovery by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and the rather clever reply from Star Wars:
A point to William Shatner for the “Rebel Scum” joke. But Star Wars takes the win for both the reminder that they are “far far away” and the Han Solo GIF telling Kirk not to get cocky.
Star Wars and Star Trek have been engaged in a mostly lighthearted battle for decades. Sure, sometimes the feud can spill over into real life fighting between fans. Two years ago, one Star Trek fan in Oklahoma got arrested after a Spock/Yoda fight with a Star Wars fan got physical. Most of the time, though, it’s just loving trash talk. Many fans are fond of both franchises (or at least some entries in both).
Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek debuted on TV in 1966, a decade before George Lucas brought the Star Wars galaxy to the big screen in 1977. Both franchises have ebbed and flowed over the years, but they are still going strong with both movie and TV projects as we approach 2020.
Meanwhile, Mars saw all of this coming a long time ago, in a galaxy not far away because we share it with them. According to CNN, the Star Trek-looking shapes NASA found were created by wind, lava, and dunes. There were crescent-shaped dunes at one point in Mars’ history. A lava eruption moved the dunes around but didn’t cover them and, as the lava cooled, the dunes pointed up like islands. The wind could still move the dunes, though, and their footprints are called “dune casts.”
Star Trek fans have been having some fun with the Starfleet logo resemblance:
And Wiliam Shatner couldn’t help but engage with more fans on the topic of Star Trek vs. Star Wars on Mars:
Poor lonely Mars is sending us dune messages and all we can do is fight about it. Oh well. Keep up with everything airing on TV or streaming services this summer with our handy guide.