Mur and the Totally Trick Question

Yesterday I was listening to a podcast interview of Mur Lafferty. Mur is a writer, an editor, and a big name podcaster. And, of course, a recent Campbell Award winner as best new writer. The questions were interesting overall, but it seemed that the interviewer was not, let’s say, the most positive-minded person in the world. Eventually he tossed her this one: “If you could wipe either Star Wars or Star Trek off the face of the timeline (make it as if they never happened), which would you chose?”

My first reaction was: Aaaarrrhhhggghhhh!!!!!!

What kind of question is that? What kind of a person even thinks to ask that kind of question? I hope that if I’m ever in that situation, I would calmly say “just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.” The right answer, after all is: “Neither.” I mean, there are many perfectly good answers to the question “What TV show or movie would you make disappear?” but Star Wars and Star Trek are not any of them.

Mur answered nicely, though, and chose Star Trek because she didn’t have the heart to be able to pull the plug on Star Wars. Treating this question straight-up, I have to say this is an understandable, but bad answer. Especially coming from a person who thinks in SF, which is proof that the heart is a powerful thing. You see this was a trick question, right? I mean, I’m sure that if she actually thought about it a little more, Mur would realize that if Star Trek were removed from this modern-day timeline, it’s likely Star Wars would just not exist. Two for one, see?

That would be very bad.

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Posted in Other Writers, Science Fiction.


  1. I’ve heard SF authors bash Star Trek and Star Wars, but to eliminate them both? Granted, the “science” in Star Trek is pretty far-fetched, and the Star Wars prequels were kind of a mess, but there is a huge amount of value in both series. I’m with you, Ron.

    And I say this as I put a hold on a new Star Wars novel from the library.

  2. As far as media is concerned, Trek led to Wars, and the two led to everything else. Heck, this question could be considered a complete inside job to tear down science fiction as a whole!

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