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William Shatner says "Star Trek" is better than "Star Wars" (video)

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(Read caption) William Shatner discusses "Star Trek" versus "Star Wars."

William Shatner believes without "Star Trek," there would not have been any "Star Wars."

In a video released online by the actor last week, Shatner said while "Star Trek" dealt with human relationships, "Star Wars was special effects....was [Lucasfilm visual effects company Industrial Light & Magic] at its best."

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"Star Trek," the television series created by Gene Roddenberry, was originally broadcast on NBC beginning in 1966.

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A short-lived animated series, four other live-action television programs, and nine feature films make up the "Star Trek" library.

"Star Wars," created by George Lucas, first came to movie theaters in 1977. The "Star Wars" movies became known as a franchise and broke new ground with their merchandising tie-ins, a business model that has been replicated on every blockbuster film since. Only the Harry Potter and James Bond films have been more lucrative as a series.

While the acting style and dialogue of "Star Trek" bordered on the erudite, "Star Wars" appealed to broader tastes with its archetypal good guys and bad guys. It also drew from traditions of knighthood and chivalry, and contained spiritual themes with its mysterious Force. Yet another classic movie metaphor was employed with the space dogfights, modeled after World War II films.

Perhaps the clearest legacy of "Star Trek" to "Star Wars" were the diverse and fascinatingly formed aliens, limited only by the imagination of the makeup department, and, later, CGI animators.

But, in Shatner's mind, "Star Wars" was 'derivative' of "Star Trek," and therefore the better of the two.