Justin Lin’s childhood made him equate ‘Star Wars’ with privilege

Most people assume if you're working on sci-fi you love Star Wars but that's not always the case and sometimes there's a very specific reason why. Check out what Star Trek Beyond director Justin Lin had to say on the subject.

Star Trek vs. Star Wars is an old rivalry that I've never really felt was all that serious. Obviously there's a lot of crossover love for both and they're also very different franchises. To each their own. But Lin just laid down some hard truths about the divide between the two franchises I'd never considered before.

Speaking to Collider he said:

I have a weird relationship with Star Wars because again, we were kind of this working class family and all my friends were Star Wars fans. They had the figures, they had the Falcon, they had all that stuff. And I remember I'd just watch, I'd go to their house and like 'oh man, that's awesome.' I didn't even see Star Wars until it was on VHS. I've seen Empire Strikes Back once. That's why I'm Team Star Trek because it was on TV, and it was free, and it was for all of us. And so to me, Star Wars, I equate it with a sense of privilege. [laughs]

He laughed about it but I'm sure this was the situation for lots of people back in the day (and continuing, of course) and an awkward place to be as a kid. I only saw Star Wars once it aired on TV also, but I was watching Star Trek as long as I can remember because it was always available. Being able to pay to see a film is certainly a privilege so of course there'd be a segment of fans who were bigger fans of TV franchises rather than films.

It's actually something that's nagged at me ever since I noticed regular broadcast networks requiring a cable log-in for access to their shows online (or more recently, CBS's All-Access subscription service for the new Star Trek: Discovery series). It's normally free, so why cut off those who can't afford cable?

Anyway, there's a lot more to unpack here and I'm sure someone else could do it better than me but it's interesting to hear someone like Lin, who is in a more privileged position now thanks to his career success, talk about these issues. In fact, he's curious to see what his son will make of his foray into his beloved franchise.

Of course now I have a 7-year-old and he's in love with Star Wars. And when we went to the premiere of Force Awakens, part of me, I just love watching him watch Star Wars and that's so cool. But that being said I hope this actually, he's seven now so this will be the first film that I've made that he's going to get to watch. So I can't wait to see, I hope I can hook him.