Today, millions of online voices will cry out, “May the 4th be with you!” to celebrate Star Wars Day. When it comes to space, two franchises arguably rule the sci-fi universe—Star Wars and Star Trek. One struggles fiercely for independence in a galaxy far, far away while the other explores strange new worlds, seeking out new life and new civilizations. We wanted to see what things are unique about the way their fandoms communicate, so we took a broad look at the writing styles and accuracy of their Reddit fan communities by analyzing nearly 2,000 comments.
We found some interesting data. (No, not the android named Data, although he proved to be a popular Star Trek character.) For instance, we discovered that Star Trek fans talk about Star Wars 3.8 times more often than Star Wars fans discuss Star Trek. Is it because Star Wars is the bigger titan of sci-fi pop culture? Our research showed that Star Wars certainly has the larger fan community with 456,728 Reddit members, versus 97,846 members talking about all things Trek.
Have a look at our infographic for more insights and to learn which characters, episodes and series from each franchise were the most popular.
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We visited Reddit to gather the top 200 upvoted posts from both the Star Wars and Star Trek subreddits between April 18, 2015, and April 18, 2016. To get a broad range, we selected the top five upvoted comments with 20 words or more from each thread.
Using Bloggr, we identified the errors in the comments, which were then verified and tallied by a team of live proofreaders. For the purposes of this study we counted only black-and-white mistakes, such as misspellings, wrong and missing punctuation, misused or missing words, and subject-verb disagreement. We ignored stylistic variations, such as intentional misspellings, acronyms, common slang, and foreign or invented language.