“Star Trek” and “Star Wars” main difference may be in their respective approaches to technology. “Star Trek” has mostly endeavored to explain how their fantastical technology works, giving ships and machines a tactile quality; a Trekkie can imagine how to operate an L-CARS computer panel or adjust the Enterprise’s shields. There is a practical element to Trek tech. On “Star Wars,” a ship works because it works. While there may be extensive technical manuals and expanded universe lore that explains the way a Star Destroyer works, it’s more important as a setting. A deep-cut Starwoid might be able to tell all about the qualities of kyber crystals, but none of that is as important as the dramatic impact of seeing a space wizard wield a laser sword.
When it came to the real-world inspirations for “Star Wars,” Lucas was blunt, saying that he preferred a dramatic, historical, or literary approach. Technology was incidental. He even admitted to not paying a lot of attention in school. Lucas said:
“I’m not much of a math and science guy. I spent most of my time in school daydreaming and managed to turn it into a living. When I was making ‘Star Wars,’ I wasn’t restrained by any kind of science. I simply said, ‘I’m going to create a world that’s fun and interesting, makes sense, and seems to have a reality to it.’ And a lot of it came from our literary history, our social history, like robots and whatnot. Part of it’s based on mythological motifs, the politics are based on history. There’s a lot of cultural reality to it that isn’t necessarily scientific but is more social.”
The way the characters relate matters more than how their landspeeders function.