Who Would Win? Star Trek vs. The Empire

Enterprise vs Star Destroyer

Last week, I came across this image on Google Plus, and a lengthy (200+, multiple days) discussion ensued.   Who would win?  The USS Enterprise, or an Imperial Star Destroyer?

Well, in the sake of universal peace among two very disparate yet similar geek tribes (or possibly a flame war for the ages), I will endeavor to investigate and delineate the factors involved.

First, some basic rules:

1) This is the Enterprise-A (or possibly, the refitted original).  Since both series were popular during the early 1980s, we’ll use those time periods for discussion (Battle of Yavin; c.2285 AD).  (The Enterprise-D is a bit faster, a bit more powerful, but not by much, as you’ll see below.)

2)  This is Captain Kirk and crew versus an anonymous ISD crew.  (Darth is over on the Executor.)  There is no Borg, Q, Jedi, Death Star, cloaking device, and/or any deus ex machina creations.  (Yes, one wonders what midi chlorians would do in a Borg environment.)  All that exists is what’s on the ships normally.

3)  Main reference sources shall be Memory Alpha and Wookipedia.  Both are fan-based wikis with notable canonical citations.

4)  This is not a simulator.  Yes, we know that Spock would find a weakness, Kirk would make a last minute ballsy move, and that the Imperial troops would be too ineffective to win.  Until more Star Destroyers instantly appear via hyperspace, disable the Enterrpise, and laugh at their puny technology.

Let’s begin!


spaceship comparisonThe ISD is in the upper right corner.   The Enterprise is below Babylon 5 (which DS9 stole), and to the right of the Cylon yo-yo.

The Enterprise-A is similar in size to the original Enterprise.  According to show blueprints, the USS Enterprise is 947 x 417 feet (a little shorter than the USS Enterprise carrier), which translates into 289 x 127 meters.

An ISD is 1600 meters in length.  The Tantive IV corvette is 150 meters in length, to give a visual comparison.  (The Enterprise is too big to fit inside the ISD.)

So the ISD is seven times longer, and at least ten times the volume.


In the Star Trek universe, Warp Ten is the limit (although there are instances of ships traveling much faster).  All ships remain in physical space, traveling in a warp bubble.  At Warp 9.6, it would have taken the USS Voyager (see also: Lost In Space, Battlestar Galactica) 75 years and 70,000 light years to return home.  The Voyager was twice as fast as the Enterprise (9.975 : 9).

Meanwhile, over the Star Wars universe, ships travel by hyperspace.  Even with gravity wells which must be avoided, a trip from Coruscant to Alderan would travel 5000 light years in 16 hours (625 ly/hr).  If the USS Voyager used hyperspace, it would have taken them 64 hours to return home.  So a normal hyperspace engine is about 10,000 times as fast as the fastest Federation ship (20K x faster than the Enterprise-A).

An ISD, however, has a huge power plant, using more power in one hyperspace jump than some planets used in its history.  Peak: ~7,73 × 1024 W (7.73 sextillion watts).  It has a Class 2 hyperdrive, making it four times slower than the Millennium Falcon, which has an illegal 0.5 class hyperdrive.

Of course, that’s superfast speed.  In a battle, most movements are in sublight speed.  The Enterprise is more maneuverable, being able to do short warp jumps.  The use of hyperspace allowed the Star Wars universe to forego warp technology, so the Federation has that edge.  But is it enough?


Okay… let’s get one thing clear: the Empire does fire lasers. But they have bigger guns avaialable.  They use blaster technology.  To quote Wookiepedia:

A blaster was a ranged weapon that fired bursts of particle beam energy called blaster bolts from a replaceable power pack. The most commonly used weapon in the galaxy, blasters’ intense beams consisted of compacted high-energy particles and intense light that could kill or paralyze their target, depending on the setting. Blasters ranged from compact pistols, all the way up to large, heavy rifles and starship-mounted blaster cannons.

The ISD had six heavy turbolaser turrets.

Mounted in three turrets on each side of the dorsal hull, the twin-barreled turbolasers served as heavy anti-capital ship weapons, being too slow to reliably target fast starfighters. They could punch through both deflector shields and armor on spaceships with the heaviest defensive layers.

So, what’s a phaser?

Phasers are the most common and standard directed energy weapon in the arsenal of Starfleet and several other powers. Most phasers are classified as particle weapons and fire nadion particle beams.

(A nadion is an artificial particle which disrupts nuclear forces, liberating particles.  A disintegrator, if you will.)

The Enterprise had phaser banks, at least twelve.

So each ship can sling big bolts of energy at each other.  The Enterprise has more precise targeting, but the ISD has more power.  How much more power?  Enough to reduce a planet to slag in one day.

The ISD also has something the Enterprise does not: an ion cannon.  What’s that?

ion cannon

It’s what blasts those ISDs orbiting Hoth as the Rebel ships evacuate.

What’s it do?

An ion cannon was a weapon which fired highly ionized particles or highly ionized plasma.


They were often used on capital ships, such as Star Destroyers, to facilitate the capture of enemy vessels or disabling them to allow safe close-range fire. They also helped to drop shields prior to destroying enemy vessels.

And… since that ion cannon was effective from ground to a ship in orbit, an ISD can engage the Enterprise from a greater distance.  Capital ships seem to engage each other at greater distances in Star Wars.  I am not a good judge of scale, so this is open to discussion.  Some Star Trek references are here.

The ISD also has six TIE squadrons.

The standard wing included four TIE Fighter squadrons (one squadron often referred to be a reconnaissance squadron of TIE/rc starfighters), one squadron of TIE Interceptors, one squadron of TIE Bombers (lower priority ships had to make do with TIE/gt starfighter-bombers). Often one or two flights in a fighter squadron were TIE/fc starfighters.

Since the armament is lasers, they are gnats to the Enterprise’s shields.  Except for the TIE bombers:

An Imperial Star Destroyer generally carried a squadron of 12 bombers.[5] The TIE bomber was capable of carrying one of the following payloads, for a total of 15 metric tons:[12] sixteen concussion missiles, twelve proton torpedoes, eight proton rockets, six space mines, four proton bombs, sixty-four thermal detonators, or thousands of propaganda pamphlets. Its fixed armament was two wing-mounted laser cannons.

Proton bombs?  Like the proton torpedo which blew up the Death Star, it’s a similar device.  But particle shielding (keep reading) would negate any damage.

But TIE fighters aren’t shielded, so phasers or a wide blast from the deflector dish could defeat them.  Or use the tractor beam to immobilize them, or to catch them while a phaser blasts them.

What about that deflector dish?

Well, both ships have similar tech.

In Star Trek, the navigational deflector is that big dish below the primary hull.  It’s a low-level energy shield used to deflect particles big and small as the ship travels at any speed.  In Star Wars, it’s called a particle shield, and it’s used to deflect matter.

Which brings us to…


The Enterprise has deflector shields.

Deflector shields operated by creating a layer, or layers, of energetic distortion containing a high concentration of gravitons around the object to be protected. On starships, the shield contained six sections, forward, starboard, port, aft, dorsal, and ventral. (Star Trek Nemesis) Shield energies could be emitted from a localized antenna or “dish”, such as a ship’s navigational deflector, or from a network of “grid” emitters laid out on the object’s surface, such as a starship’s hull. Since at least the 23rd century, deflector shields were essential equipment on starships.


Continuous or extremely powerful energy discharges could progressively dissipate the integrity of a shield to the point of failure.

In Star Wars, ray shields serve a similar purpose.  An ISD had two shield domes.  For some reason, while they produced shielding for the ship, they were still vulnerable to kamikaze attacks.  Since photon torpedoes can be shielded to allow them access to the interior of a sun, it is possible that such a device could be fired at the shield dome.  Torpedoes could also be “tuned” to match the frequency modulation of an enemy’s shield, allowing it to penetrate the shields.  (It is unclear if Star Wars shields worked in a similar way to Star Trek shields.)

If shields are up on the Enterprise or the ISD, then transporters do not work.  Transporter range at this time is about 10,000 kilometers.  I believe the antimatter component of a photon torpedo prevents it from being beamed into an ISD.  Of course, with shields down, any weapons fire would be deadly.


The Imperial Star Destroyer is more heavily powered and shielded than the Enterprise, and possesses an ion cannon which can disable the Enterprise.

The Enterprise, being on a mostly scientific mission, does not possess small ships with weaponry.

An Imperial Star Destroyer, with higher energy output, can attack the Enterprise from a distance.

The hyperspace capabilities of the ISD and certain TIE fighters allows for quick reinforcements to arrive.  The Enterprise is more maneuverable via warp technology, but considerably slower than most ships in the Star Wars universe.

So, yes, Kirk and crew would probably find a way to survive one attack from an ISD.  But what about Slave-1?  Read Star Wars vs Star Trek in Five Minutes to find out!





  1. Jason says

    Why does the Empire, the villains from Star Wars have to fight the heroes form Star Trek?

  2. Zach says

    Also, the headline says Star Trek vs the Empire, not Starfleet. If we’re including all of Star Trek, as that suggests, the Empire stands no chance. Q, the entire Klingon Empire, etc., would decimate the Empire, much less a single Star Destroyer. Additionally, even if we assume it’s the Enterprise-A, the match-up of size/weapons makes little sense. Starfleet is all about using science and reason first, and only resorting to combat when needed. Trek is full of battles that are won by a technical innovation.

  3. says

    Of course the Enterprise would win that fight, because they’re the good guys. With the rational logical metrics used here, it would be impossible for the Death Star to be destroyed by a single X-wing fighter, or for the Enterprise to defeat the Doomsday Machine or the Borg.

    A better match-up would be Enterprise vs Millennium Falcon, or Star Destroyer vs Borg Cube, or Storm Trooper vs Red Shirt (would they both be killed, or be equally unable to shoot their opponent?)

  4. Dan says

    Man, I just read that 5 minute match up and I realized something…

    Star Trek was basically structured numbers first, to explain the science. Star Wars was structured feat first, so the numbers have to balance that out.

    It’s like when you try to explain Superman’s powers and abilities; you have to either invent crazy ass reasons why things happen (his heat vision is essentially the solar waste of what his body absorbs), or you say things aren’t possible (he can’t punch someone into outer space because blah blah physics).

    Star Wars always wins because the technology is filled with things that logistically shouldn’t be possible.

  5. CJ says

    While I agree, an Imperial Star Destroyer vs. the Enterprise A would definitely go to the ISD, it’s worth noting the havoc the Enterprise could create with teleportation technology, which an ISD doesn’t have access to or defenses against. For example, in DS9, someone attaches a teleporter to the barrel of a gun, allowing them to snipe individual people through walls and shields; similarly, they created cloaked self-replicating mines set to swarm detonate. Of course, that’s post-Dominion War tech, when Starfleet had been forced to militarize a little more than they had in the past. Interestingly, pre-Dominion War, the Empire would probably absolutely crush Starfleet, while post-Dominion War, I don’t think the Empire stands a chance.

  6. abc says

    considering that the crew of the enterprise has held their own with the likes of the legion of super heroes, the x-men, and even zombies, my money would be on kirk & co. kicking the crap out of the empire.

  7. Zach says

    Exactly. The Enterprise (and Starfleet in general) is filled with gifted scientists and engineers from 150 different member worlds and colonies. On the flip side, the Empire seems to be composed mostly of humans who simply follow orders.

  8. Trebor says

    The Big E wins hands-down for one simple reason — it can fight while it is in warp, while the ISD relies on weapons that operate at light speed or below. Thus the Enterprise can maneuver in and out of the ISD’s light cone, making all of its attack runs without warning. The ISD is literally a sitting duck unless they have a Sith Lord on hand.

    The ISD has only one chance, which is the first strike they get because the Federation always wants to be friendly.

  9. Nick Jones says

    I’m neither a dedicated Star Wars nor Star Trek fan, so there might be some aspect of the technology on either side that I am unaware of. With that caveat, I have to say that the ships in Trek seem to have sensors which can analyze just about anything with extreme acuity, as well as highly precise weapon targeting systems. This stands in contrast to their Wars opponents, whose instruments appear to be rather primitive in comparison, and whose weapons constantly miss their targets (as I recall, the first scene in the original movie has a Star Destroyer missing half of the shots it is taking at a ship moving in a straight line ahead of it). Due to that inequality, I would assume that the Enterprise would be able to quickly identify and pick off the weapons on the Star Destroyer, while taking relatively little damage itself. The Enterprise could then destroy the Imperial ship at its leisure or the captain could give a speech appealing to the better natures of the enemy troops inside or whatever it is Federation people are inclined to do.

    Now what would be really interesting would be a free-for-all battle using every ship in the spaceship comparison image above. My money would be on the Vorlons.

  10. R. Maheras says

    Haha! This is great!

    It’s like the old Silver Age debate, “Who’d win a fight between the Thing and the Hulk?” The Hulk is stronger, but the Thing is smarter, yadda, yadda, yadda.

    If the ISD and Enterprise were real, the Enterprise would get walloped because the Empire’s ship would no doubt attack first, well out of range of the Enterprise’s armaments. That’s the way it is when one has air/naval superiority — the side whose ships have the longest effective range wins — especially if they detect the enemy first.

    That’s the way it’s been ever since warships first started launching projectiles at each other.

  11. says

    Even with beaming tech., it would take dozens of ST ships to be within 10K Km of an ISD to effectively transport enough soldiers to wage a conventional war inside the ISD. Thousands of Storm Troopers would respond with intimate knowledge of their own ship. This is also considering that the Federation’s ships could get close enough without being engaged by the weapons of the Empire. Advantage SW.
    In addition, the Empire’s tech. would know long before the Federations ships could even detect their objective that an attack force was on the way. Again, Advantage SW.
    And…. Because ST is a peaceful force that explores the galaxy, when they would initially make contact to be friendly they would be attacked and destroyed as the Empire is only interested in conquering.

    “Hello alien vessel. This is JLP of the USS Enterprise. We come in peace to seek out new world and new civilizations. We seek friendship and sharing of technologies.”

    “Greeting JLP of the USS Enterprise. I am DV. You are within the boundaries of the Galactic Empire. Prepare to be boarded and surrender your vessel or you will be destroyed!”

    ” But I said we want to be friends”

    “Go fuck yourself!” KA -http://www.stardestroyer.net/Empire/Essays/FiveMinutes.html BAMMMMM!

  12. someimperialofficer says

    it can withstand several direct hits from the high-power turbolasers and various weaponry, as weapons and armor in star wars are upgraded side by side, as people will do this to try to have better protection/firepower.

  13. Therra says

    I feel like if you put all of star fleet against all the empire the empire may win because of the whole force thing and the empire even had some hidden force users like Galen Marek, Mara Jade, etc

  14. Burchtrek says

    You are incorrect about the speed of federation star ships versus those of the Star Wars universe. Hyperspace allows the Empire vessels to generally go the speed of light; the Millennium Falcon is the fastest ship because it goes .5 beyond the speed of light. The Enterprise can go many, many, MANY times the speed of light at warp and can do short warp jumps.

    If a small Rebel fighter can crash into the bridge of a Super Star Destroyer and destroy the entire command center, a photon torpedo or two would easily do the same. Star Trek vessels operate in subspace while at warp, which Star Wars vessels cannot because they cannot go much faster than light; their sensors would not be able to detect a ship at warp. The Enterprise could warp in, fire photon torpedoes, devastate the Star Destroyer’s command center and warp away. The Star Destroyer would never know what hit it. The Enterprise could cripple or destroy an entire Star Destroyer fleet this way and never get so much as a dent.

  15. Jake says

    Let’s compare power. I read that slave 1 contain more power than enterprise d. Slave one contains 190 megatons of power in a torpedo and a photon torpedo has 64 megatons. A Star Wars fighter can take 1-3 shots before exploding. The main guns on an average fighter has 64000 gw. The enterprise has 3.6 gw. That means a single fighter can take many shots by the enterprise when 12 other fighters are destroying the ship. The entire enterprise can not even take fighters. And you trek fans say the enterprise can TAKE AN ISD. ISD contains tie fighters. With this i believe ONE ISD can take several federation ships. What ever with that. The only reason that ship in the last Star Wars movie was destroyed by that guy flying into it is their deflectors were down. The federation has no chance. Even the Borg can not do anything.

  16. Torsten Adair says

    Star Wars ships can go halfway across the galaxy in a day.
    Voyager took seven years, and that was while being powered with Deus Ex Machina. Otherwise, it would have taken 75 years to return, at Warp 9.975 . (Enterprise D can run at warp 9.6, but not for long.)

    According to the Star Wars wiki article on hyperdrives:
    “In numbers, the hyperdrive allowed travelers to traverse a galaxy spanning over 120,000 light years in only a few hours or days, the exact travel time depending on a number of factors including destination, point of origin, route, and class of hyperdrive. ” (Milky Way: 120K LY across)

    In both techs (warp, hyperspace), gravity wells must be noted. So the obstacles are the same.

    As for actual battle, the Star Destroyer has a longer reach than a Federation starship. It can stay outside the range of a starship’s phasers or torpedos while still firing massive amounts of energy at a starship’s shields. (How massive? The entire energy output of a planet’s lifetime.)

  17. alexbramos says

    This is ridicules, really. Every one is trying to compare two different ways the tech is used. First off, I have been a star trek and star wars fan since I was a kid. I watched every episode of ST, and I watched every movie that starwars came out with. The tech is differrent. Phasers can operate in warp space. so can photon torpedoes. Everyone forgets that in star trek, we are watching space battles in slow motion, because there actual speed would go to fast for us to see. federation ships can travel up to the speed of light with their impulse engines. Their are reference to ships traveling sublight, etc. The Tech tree alone branches off in different directions. the ISD fusion reactors to enterprise’s antimatter engines. Photon torpedoes are quote: “Photon torpedoes were warp-capable tactical matter/antimatter weapons commonly deployed aboard starships and starbases by various organizations.” the name photon is just a name. Where photon bombs for the empire are really photon not anti-matter. Then let’s talk about the starship sensors, remember we’re talking about ships built for exploration, meaning that a starship sensors would read an ISD, with no problems. another quote: ” the sensors of the USS Enterprise were able to scan out to one parsec (3.26 light years) and give a near instantaneous result. TOS” When I finally tracked the the specs for the ISD their sensors are no match. An I checked left and right as a nuetral observer. The shields of the old TOS constitution class survived serveral hits from the doomsday machine.
    Really, IF, and I say IF they we’re to meet, a federation starship will see the ISD before the ISD new a ship was there. I think it is ridicules to campare to different worlds with different tech and assume one can beat the other. The metals used in construction of the ships alone would be completely different, armor on a star destroyer wasn’t built to take hits from phasers, therefore the metal made for an ISD is to take damage from turbo lasers, where as metals for the federation ships we’re built for Warp stress,etc. It’s impossible to know who would win, because gene roddenberry made star trek in the early 60’s, and george lucas made his later in the seventies when we had more tech, and better science, then we had in the sixties.
    I love all my sci/fi, and I don’t like to compare it since based on the tech, the ship closest to the ISD is believe it or not , the Andromeda Ascendent. Kinda funny if you ask me, babylon 5, battlestar galactica, farscape. That chart is awesome comparing the different ships, but I couldn’t find one federation ship, the Enterprise J. So SW vs ST. No way.

  18. Daniel the startrek kid says

    But you are forgettingthat startreks sheilds are centurys more advanced than star wars’s weapons, the weapons from star wars wouldnt make a dent in the deflectors, let alone the battle sheilds, and the sheilds in starwars don’t realy do enything and the federation has the promethius,
    multi-phasic sheilding borg tactical info, trans-phasic torpedos and section 31, + if they boarded a trek ship, they would be contained within security sheilds and killed, plus startrek can attack at warp, unlike star wars ships
    so startrek would whollop

  19. says

    Nomads plasma blast was not only 5.797 megatons . But ,
    Traveling at warp 15. The impact would make it the equivalent of 86.940 megaton blast. The enterprise took 4
    Such blast before her shields collapse .What makes think slave 1 puny little sublight tarpedoes could do damage to . Kirks shields ? It would take more then 124 of Slave 1 tarpedoes to duplicate a fraction of the total energy of nomads plasma blast .I love Star wars , but technology wise they have no chance.

  20. deks says

    I don’t think that Star Wars in terms of technology has any chance against Federation Trek based technology (from Kirk’s era onward).

    Shields, weapons, technology, etc in Trek simply put easily shame everything in Wars.
    The technical manuals aren’t canon for either Trek or Wars, and from what I understand, Wars TM writer intentionally REWROTE his power figures after seeing the numbers in Trek TM in order to make it seem intentionally more powerful.

    Also… in case of Trek technology weapon ranges: phasers have a maximum effective range of 300 000 km (seen on TV series in TNG).
    Furtemore, Warp drive was significantly faster in season 1 of TNG compared to what we saw by the time Voyager aired (the writers apparently intentionally dumbed things down as each season progressed… realistically though, the Enterprise D was initially supposed to have been exploring other galaxies per Gene Roddenberry, but the idea was shot down as being ‘too extreme for viewers’ – made by same people who fail to realize that the more automated/advanced society is, technical advancements increase exponentially.
    In Season 1 (‘Where no man has gone before’) it was stated that the Enterprise – D would take just over 300 years to cross through 2 700 000 ly’s – that’s roughly 9000 Ly’s per 1 year (or about 9 times faster than what Voyager was slated to be capable of) at Warp 9.2 (which was the maximum the Enterprise-D was capable of at the time).
    By the time of Voyager, the Warp speeds were reduced to such low levels where it was embarrassing to imagine how such blatant disregard for science alone could occur by the writers.
    Oh right, Voyager DID test a working Slipstream drive (version 2) of its own creation that crossed through 10 000 Ly’s in 1 minute (with difficulties of course, but there’s no reason to think SF would be unable to deal with those issues in about 1 or 2 years time from Voyager’s return – and I would imagine that crossing the entire galaxy in 7 minutes is far faster than Hyperspace).

    Anyway… Photon torpedoes are anti-matter warheads – they are also capable of sustaining warp velocities if fired at Warp speed, but there was an instance in which a Klingon/Human hybrid was placed into a torpedo casing which was stripped for the most part, launched from a starbase (a stationary object), achieved and sustained high Warp speed in the direction of the Enterprise-D for a long amount of time.

    The Empire (despite what people would like to think) probably does NOT extend throughout the entire galaxy (in terms of territory that is, and their fleets are comparably questionable in size).
    Also StarFleet ships crews were seen as being capable of producing ‘planet busting’ torpedoes (the size of mere 2 meters – vs the Death Star that is what… the size of a moon?), as well as weapons capable of affecting an entire star system (granted this one came from the Borg, but SF was not foreign to such concepts/capabilities – merely chose not to implement them given how they behave).

    A fleet of Romulan and Cardassian ships was able to vaporize 30% of a planet’s crust in just a single volley.
    I would say the Enterprise D would be more than capable of doing the same and better if it used ALL its weapons at the same time (considering each Cardassian/Romulan ship fired single beam and torpedo at a time, while the Enterprise-D was shown to be able to fire multiple phaser banks as well as swarms of torpedoes in a single volley).

    Also, Phasers are capable of doing widespread damage to the planet from orbit while using a SINGLE beam (there is an episode where they used phasers in an attempt to clear up global issues in the entire atmosphere – and it was mentioned that a miscalculation could easily destroy every living thing on the surface).

    It was also stated in the TOS that Kirk’s original Enterprise was capable of wiping out all life on a planet in about a single day – probably less if we are talking about destructive effects spread via thermal processes that can be incurred through phasers).

    Also, it WAS stated that lasers are incapable of penetrating the Enterprise-D navigational shields.
    Since laser technology seems to be the underlying BASIS of the weapons in Wars, I don’t think they would be very effective against Trek based shields.

    Comparing ships capabilities on size alone is not an indication of a species technical prowess.
    The available evidence suggests that Trek has a clear cut advantage.
    And even with Hyperspace being the Empire’s advantage, they would require accurate mapping of the Milky Way galaxy… plus what kind of evidence do we have the Wars galaxy is anywhere near the size of the Milky Way?
    The Wars galaxy could be by orders of magnitude smaller compared to our own.

    Plus, transporters have a minimum range of 45000 km… though those distances are on a planetary scale the size of Earth… and we have been shown that transporters can easily transport people virtually anywhere on planets that are vastly larger.
    45000 km was the transporter’s maximum range for NX-01 (pre-Kirk era)… by the Kirk’s era (about 100 years later) its likely the technology would mature to such a levels where multiple orders of magnitude would be achieved (problem is… the writers know jack about science and its progression, lets alone Human behaviour – but regardless of that, from the available data, the Federation seems to dwarf the empire in technological ability as well as multiple other areas – but its not Communist – whoever spouts this nonsense apparently operates from the scope of the knowledge that besides Capitalism, you can only also have Communism, Socialism and Fascism (and that nothing else is possible).

    Actually, the UFP of the 24th century was based around Resource Based Economy as envisioned by Jacque Fresco – but was unable to flesh it out entirely because the station thought it was ‘too out there’ for the audience.

    Also… Wars seem to use fusion reactors as main energy generators… trek Federation ships on the other hand use matter/anti-matter reactions (and fusion generators as secondary backup) which generates far more amount of energy.

    On the flip side… even though Federation Trek technology seems a lot more advanced by comparison (exponential rise in technology and science brought on by elimination of money and full fledged automation that released people to pursue higher things and be critical thinkers, problem solver who are also generalists – the propensity for advancement is enormous under such a social system that FAR outstrips anything that competitive capitalism can produce which forces artificially induced scarcity).

  21. matt says

    F ed. verses Empire; what a joke Even the much vaunted death star and it’s shields could not withstand a Contitution class 9. Phasers which if you have read the definition is: Phased Hetrodyning Amplified State Energy Ray (se D.C. Fontana.) which whips everthing it touches into a Phased Hetrodyning high energy state commonly called a “Particle Plasma” . The Contitution class 9 starship Mounts 9 Phaser banks on the sauser and 8 on the engineering hull 12 of these are phaser 3(anti fighter /anti missile)
    weapons capable of disintegrating 40 fighters at a time. Phaser1 & 2 are anti ship and anti planetary weapons (and those weapon ranges are different). If the Matter/anti-mater Photon torpedoes weren’t nasty enough the So called Planet-killer mk4 Missiles carried on the Contitution class 9 starship are actually Anti-Star weapons.
    if any of the above disables any shield a hail of transporter bombs will ensue: chemical, nuclear or anti-matter captain’s choice. To say nothing of a hail of Photon torpedoes of which one will completely destroy the So called Death Star. Laser weapons might be a concern for the Contitution class 9 starship in an hour or so of continuous fire and later marks of the class ( would gigle) and only an idiot would approach a station the size of the DS with shields down (Kirk and JLP are the only two i can think of in fleet) or sit there and take a pummelling and the tactical computers would slam those shields up the instant the sensors detected an Imperial energy spike if the weapons officer didn’t when the targeting lock was detected. Maybe the DS superlaser could breach those shields or a contineous barrage of ion cannons blasts but I don’t see any class 9 starship holding still for that, unless protecting a planet. Class 9 starships can take direct hits from 6-8; D-7’s Photon torpedoes and takes most normal ion storms with little effort. Yes the Imperials could escape by hyperspace theoreticly if i didn’t ake them 10 minutes to plot a course and spin up the drive.
    You what a evenly matched battle try the Starforce’s Argo or SDF-1! vs the empire’s star destroyer.

  22. Trung Tran says

    The relative technology scales are so far apart that really the Star Trek Universe has no chance. Star Trek Universe is based on present Earth timeline and basically sometime in the 22nd Century First Contact is made and we have Star Trek as we know it in the 23rd Century. Even though other civilizations had been thriving for many thousands of years prior, the Star Trek Universe is isolated to the Alpha and sometimes the Beta Quadrant. When we meet Star Wars in episode 4 we learn that the Republic was at its height thousands of years beforehand and had spanned the entire Galaxy! That’s just that many more worlds and that much more money you can use to build massive weapons of destruction.

    ISDs don’t maneuver like the Enterprise but it doesn’t have to. 5 times the size, independent firing cannons, and gobs and gobs of power means that the enterprise will come upon a non-stop waterfall of Blaster fire. It won’t take long before the Centrally controlled tacticals of the Enterprise are rendered inoperative. The hypothetical future enterprise D of the “All Good Things” episode has the best chance against an ISD with a large main-cannon. But even it would run out of shields and eventually weapons power after the constant hailstorm of blaster fire.

    With Respect to Kirk and Picard, neither of them would die because both of them would be smart enough not to fight a straight fight.

  23. Ben says

    Seriously? The ISD would swat the Enterprise out of the sky like a gnat. The author of this piece, and the vast majority of the commenters, are operating under some major fallacies. I’m not particularly interested in going into detail, since it has been done before (and better), but check out stardestroyer.net if you want a reasoned, logical approach to this VS debate.

  24. Alan says

    Obviously we have to assume the good guys win, so the real question becomes “how”. I think we can reasonably give the win to the enterprise crew — but only if they sacrifice the Enterprise.

    In emergency scenarios, the cargo transporters can be reconfigured to quantum resolution to allow for lifeform level beaming. This is how they evacuated the ship in a single transport in Wrath of Khan.

    We’ve also established that the Star Trek scanning instrumentation is far more advanced. They will recognize the shield generators for what they are.

    Because this is a 1 on 1 kind of deal, I’m reluctantly going to assume that the star destroyer isn’t travelling with its sector group. It would almost be easier in that scenario, because a smaller ship requires significantly less effort to capture.

    Against odds like these, ethics are pretty much out the door. Extraordinary brütality is the order of the day.

    Star trek IV has shown us that Spock is capable of extremely rapid calculations. As the science officer, I’m going to assume that he’s similarly capable with scripting programs for the ship’s computer, as well. But it will be Kirk that has the idea, and McCoy who tries to talk them out of it.

    Basically, Spock would need to write a program that kills all non-essential functions, including life support, redirecting power to shields, engines, and transporters, and performs the following functions.

    The Enterprise, taking advantage of its superior agility for evasion, takes a full emergency speed charge at the shield generator. Meanwhile, the computer, using the full teleport capacity of all of the teleporters on the ship, cargo or otherwise, starts teleporting crew from the bridge of the Star Destroyer into space. Once the bridge and adjacent areas have been cleared out, the Enterprise crew is transported to the bridge of the Star Destroyer. Crew which will not fit on the bridge are placed in the antechamber leading to the bridge. The program running on the enterprise continues mass teleporting Imperial crew into space, right up until it collides with the shield generator, at which point the program detonates the warp core.

    This generates confusion among remaining crew, sending them to the wrong part of the ship to assess damage and take care of repairs.

    With control of the Bridge and Antechamber, the crew of the Enterprise activates the security blast doors (surely the Empire would protect the bridge against potential mutineers), and vents the atmosphere from the rest of the ship, and dumps all of the tie fighters and life pods into space, preventing people from hiding out in a pressurized area and mounting some kind of takeover. Command functions are then locked to the bridge.

    Security teams clear out any remaining pockets of resistance (limited to Tie pilots wearing life support suits, and possibly droids).

    Now they’re stuck on a ship with no shields, but Hyperspace will get them back to well fortified friendly space in a fraction of the time, with a massive amount of ship technology to dissect and incorporate into their own designs.

  25. Ryan says

    The title stated Star Trek vs the Empire. Not just the federation. With this in mind it is a simple Star trek victory. Even taking away pretty much omnipotent beings like Q it would be a star trek win. A head to head battle with only Federation ships would be interesting but unnecessary.

    Borg cubes would simply warp close to ISDs and transport 10,000 drones to the imperial ships. If their shields could stop transporters the Borg would quickly adapt. The Borg assimilating one ISD would win the whole war. Game over.

    Star Trek has time travel technology. That tech could be easily exploited to ensure a Star Trek win. Game over.

    I wonder what a genesis device would do to Coruscant. Or the death star for that matter.

    It would be interesting to use the transporter to send the emperor to the holodeck, disable the safety protocols, and send ever increasing hordes of Klingon warriors at him and see how long he lasts.

    Shapeshifters. Cloaking devices. Telepaths. Sexy green seductresses. The list goes on in Star Treks favor.

    Ship vs ship gets too technical, with inflated numbers and non canon events and such. I dont think any of the numbers can be trusted, except that the Empire ships are bigger in size.

  26. Venturaguy says

    Of course the Enterprise would win: it has half a dozen main characters, while a Star Destroyer is staffed by extras. :-)

  27. Tim says

    Basic Analysis, I like it, but everyone completely forgot that Star Trek figured out how to transport a torpedo across the galaxy and can rotate its shield frequency through shields, sooo… right into the star destroyer bridge. They also forgot to mention a star destroyer was destroy in the “Return of the Jedi” when a X-Wing fighter (which holds only one man) hit its bridge, (Big Hint) the enterprise has 30-40 plus decks, they need to calculate size right. They need to do a better analysis on both universes, not one. If Star Trek didn’t have Transportation, Star wars might have taken the cake. But easy win choice is Star Trek, sorry Star Wars.

  28. Tim says

    Also those small fighters with no shields (holding 1 or 2 people) would not affect the Star Ship, Plus Star Wars shield DO NOT surround the entire ship like in Star Trek . Star Trek shield are far more superior, fly close or nearly in the sun, regenerating shielding, shield rotation, 3-4 layers of shielding.

  29. Rick says

    With regards to what you’ve said about the weaponry on the ships, according to Star Trek, starships also have the ability to devastate a planet from orbit using phasers and photon torpedoes. Additionally, the laser weaponry on the ISD would be next to useless since lasers are “not a threat” (Star Trek: Next Gen) to the shields of a starship.

    Proton torpedoes vs photon torpedoes. The proton torpedoes have very limited power (see the detonations in A New Hope when they hit the Surface of the Death Star) while photon torpedoes can destroy an in shielded vessel in one shot, being anti-matter based. According to Memory Alpha, the proton Torpedo contains 1.5 kg of anti deuterium, which works out To be a blast of just under 65 megatons. Additionally, the proton torpedo has a range of much less than 100 km (about 60 miles) while the photon torpedo has a range of 750,000 kilometres, which, put in perspective, is about twice the distance from Earth or the Moon. Just based on that, the Enterprise could stay out of range of the ISD and pound it into Bantha poodoo.

    Targeting. Star Wars targeting is very inaccurate with limited shots actually hitting their target (opening scene of Star Wars: A New Hope) even at close range while the phasers are able to “lock on” and repeatedly strike their target. The photon torpedoes would also require very good targeting and tracking technology in order to be able to hit at the 750,000 km range.

    In short, despite the difference in size and available energy, the ISD is in for a world of hurt vs the Enterprise.

  30. Bob says

    This is stupid, Atlantis from Star Gate would Destroy Star Wars alone. but everyone is forgetting the Dominion, the Undine, etc. the only advantage for Star Wars are the death grasp

  31. Julie says

    I don’t know why Star Trek and Star Wars are compared to much. Aside from having “star” in the name they have very little in common. One is an intelligent, thought provoking saga with lots of neat story arcs that usually make sense. It’s full of lessons and intrigue and creative and new ideas, usually teaches good morals, has lots of great and interesting characters, lots of fascinating technology (much of which has inspired people to make some of it for real) Generally has pretty good acting and writing for the most part. Alot more of it is good then bad.

    And the other is Star Wars.

  32. Julie says

    Even people that like Star Wars (the franchise) seem to endlessly complain about everything made after 1983.

    The trek movies seem to alternate back and forth between amazing and eh… and we feel about the new trek movies the way most old star wars fans saw the prequals. Horrendous and embarrassing.

    The only way JJ Abrams can make up for what he has done is to reset the timeline at the end of the third movie so none of it happened… I think that’s something everyone could live with. But I think Trek died a horrible death in 2009. It only exists on Star Trek Online anymore.

    Star Wars has more potential for the future… we’ll see.. hopefully JJ doesn’t make that worse too.

  33. Idiosyncratic says

    I’m not even sure why these two fundamentally different Universes are being compared seriously. Star Trek has better ‘tech’, which only qualifies as tech because its in the future and it sounds science-y. Let’s be honest here, there is teleportation, faster than light combat, scanners capable of analytics up to thousands of miles away, And I think someone even mentioned time travel. Star Trek basically has anti-matter

  34. Idiosyncratic says

    To finish my previous comment, Trek has anti-matter-ex-machina, warp-ex-macina, beam-me-up-scotty-ex-machina, and at-least-7-main-characters-ex-machina to ensure that Kirk & Krew Inc. survive any encounter no matter what. Star Wars, in my opinion, doesn’t have the convenient ‘tech’ that solves everyone’s problems for them. It’s like comparing a machine gun to a sword. They are not even in the same class. Sure Star Trek is cool. But it doesn’t belong in the Star Wars Universe.

  35. dood says

    Star Trek has transporters. I don’t care if you have big guns or powerful shields or speedy engines, if one side can teleport directly to the enemy bridge there’s not much that the Empire can do.

  36. Cobaltclass says

    The ability to transport through shields depends on how well the object is shielded. Star Trek has beamed through tiny fissures in shields before. One torpedo on the bridge and there goes the ISD.

    Star Wars seems somewhat primitive in their tech in comparison. I’m not sure they’d have complete shield coverage. Plus, one good asteroid being tractored into the ship would take out the shields as can be seen in the hoth asteroid belt scene. Now instead of beaming people onto the ship to fight you just emergency beam everyone from the ISD into nothingness. Lock, beam, no reconstruction anywhere… just purge the buffer and beam again until you’re left with a mostly intact ISD.

  37. StarTrek1701 says

    It is obvious that our author does not know his tech. But which Enterprise are we talking about? More has been written about the OS ship, so let’s go with that for now.
    He mentions an ISD’s ion cannon. All the cannon does is disrupt and power-down systems so an attack or escape is more effective. It is much more of a defensive weapon rather than an offensive one. Besides, the Enterprise’s deflectors would dissipate such energy; sort of like swatting a fly. No affect.
    True, the Enterprise uses Warp technology and the ISD uses hyperspace. I think when “push comes to shove”, there is probably very little difference between the two. The streaming of the stars when all of the ships go into FTL speeds is one such example. What is important is that under warp, the navigational deflectors would have to be formidable to allow the 1701 to glide through all of that FTL galactic dust and debris without any damage; and, as we know, lasers would not have sufficient energy to penetrate. Plus, 1701 has two more levels of shielding referred to as “screens” and “shields”; and there is no way the 1701 would get close to such a large ship without their defenses at full power.
    As to the phasers and photon torpedoes, does anybody remember Scotty’s threat to destroy the “inhabited” surface of Eminar 7. True, it is not the same as destroying an entire planet, but ISD cannot do that anyway. But, when you consider that the 1701 is less than 1/10 the size of an ISD…
    As to the ISD’s fighters, while we have no visual representation of the 1701, we do have an example of the 1701-D’s targeting system when a small swarm of fighter craft approached the D and she picked them off very neatly and efficiently.
    Then, there are the transporters. Remember when Kirk was obsessed with destroying the cloud monster (it would suck the red blood cells from people), and he syphoned off a small amount of anti-matter from the engines and beamed it down to the planet. The resulting explosion blasted away more than half of the planet’s atmosphere.
    On a humorous note, there are always the Tribbles. I’m sure McCoy or Uhura would have one or two around somewhere; starving but alive somewhere.
    Considering all of the above, I would put Star Wars’ technological level at about mid-21st century compared to 1701’s mid- to late 22nd century. The big difference is that the Empire went for size to intimidate its victims. Star Trek wants to be warm & fuzzy along with being one big, happy, family.

  38. NJM1564 says

    People have mentioned beaming things and crew onto the Star Destroyer what about simply beaming the bridge crew off the star destroyer. I can’t image much of the crew could pilot that thing.

  39. jimmy says

    Warp in, two shots take out the SSDs deflector dome. One spread of torpedo takes out the engines. Loop under SSD. One torpedo takes out the landing bay preventing them from launching fighters. Enterprise warps away. All inside of a minute. What happened off camera is a cotangent of Federation Marines beamed aboard, hacked the nearest computer terminal (An R2 unit older than Vader could hack the brand new Death Star after all) Downloads the history of the Empire. Less than ten minutes. Enterprise warps in, beams them out, along with a few enemy casualties for McCoy to examine, and then warps to the nearest star. Enterprise sling shots around said star, goes back in time, and simply prevents the Empire from ever existing. Star Trek, and the Enterprise in particular, have time travel under their belts. That alone seals the deal.

  40. NoContest says

    One ship vs one ship, it’s cool to see the technical breakdown. And for as much as one side wants to dismiss this or that, the other wants to as well. Star Wars fans bring up the fact that Jango Fett’s Slave I has mines that shred an entire asteroid field, whereas Riker states that it would take the Enterprise D’s entire torpedo payload to destroy a single hollow asteroid. Star Trek fans bring up time travel, but would it allow the entirety of Starfleet to travel back far enough to defeat the Empire/Republic? TIE Fighter lasers are immediately discounted because Riker states that a ship could shoot lasers at the Entierprise D all day with no effect, but there are different power outputs between one and the other.

    Transporter tech can’t go through shields, by the way. Star Destroyers have shields.

    Ship vs ship is fun. Empire vs Federation is no content. Reason? Scale. Simply put. The United Federation of Planets consists of “more than 150 member planets and thousands of colonies”. The Galactic Empire maintains control over *millions* of worlds. The Federation navy during the time of Voyager had likely between 10,000 and 30,000 ships that varied from science vessels, escort ships, and battlecruisers. The Empire fielded upwards of 26,000 Star Destroyers alone, not to mention the various dreadnoughts, frigates, and various support vessels. Even if the most powerful Federation ships can go toe to toe with a Star Destroyer, they are completely outnumbered.

    Not only that, but the Empire has the enormous advantage of mobility. Hyperlight allows for travel across the entire galaxy in days, or in some instances hours. It takes Voyager 7 years to travel a comparable distance. The Empire would be able to reroute their navy numerous times and run circles around Starfleet.

    To put it in perspective, I’ll concede that perhaps a single transphasic torpedo from Voyager could destroy a Star Destroyer…but the Empire has several times more Star Destroyers than Starfleet has transphasic torpedoes.

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