May the fourth be with you! Here at 20|20 we are committed to giving consumers a voice while of course geeking out to research.
So, to mark Star Wars Day, we wanted to know whether Americans are celebrating the day like we are. Drawing from our nationwide panel, we asked 300 Americans, representative of age and gender, whether they knew the meaning of the day, along with the age-old question: Star Wars or Star Trek?
The results are in and the majority of Americans (62%) associate May 4th with “Star Wars Day.” Interestingly 15% of respondents associated May 4th to “Cinco de Mayo” (in Spanish translates to May 5th) and about 15% were unsure.
Next, we asked respondents about their familiarity with both Star Wars and Star Trek films. The most watched Star Wars films among respondents are Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi (67%), followed by Episode V The Empire Strikes Back (63%), and Episode I The Phantom Menace (56%).
The most watched Star Trek films are Star Trek: The Motion Picture (44%), followed by Star Trek (42%), and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (40%).
And finally when it comes to the head-to-head matchup, Star Wars tops Star Trek. The majority of respondents (61%) prefer Star Wars, 24% prefer Star Trek, and 15% don’t prefer either franchise. Men lead the support for Star Wars with 71% of men who prefer the franchise and half of women (51%) who do. Interestingly, Star Wars fandom crosses generational lines. Millennial men and Gen X men are equally Star Wars aficionados, with 82% and 81% who prefer Star Wars, respectively.
At the end of our study, we asked an open-ended questions to get to the root of why people preferred Star Wars or Star Trek. Both franchises stirred themes of nostalgia:
“I grew up on Star Wars. Star Trek was a TV show that was much harder to keep up with whereas Star Wars was just 3 movies. I loved the concept of the Force and Jedi Knights and Han Solo was my favorite movie character ever. My wedding cake was the Millennium Falcon.” -Male 25-34
“The Empire Strikes Back was the first movie I saw in the theater (I was 5). Huge impression. I enjoy Star Trek, but I’ve always found the space opera of Star Wars more compelling…” -Male 35-44
“It’s something that I watch with my dad. He loves Star Wars.” – Female 35-44
I grew up watching Star Wars. Although both are very unrealistic (at least today), Star Wars seems more likely. Star Wars is a beautiful tragedy, especially in Return of the Jedi (I cried when Darth Vader was about to die and said to Luke, “You were right, there was still some good left in me.” I’m tearing up right now just thinking about it.) The concept and story is just plain awesome. -Male 18-24
And from our Trekkies:
“Spock was my favorite character on the Star Trek series. He displayed logical reasoning and discipline. In dire situations, he did not let his emotions cloud his judgments.” -Female 25-34
“Star Trek has been a big part of my life ever since I was a kid. The series and movie help me through life.” -Male 35-44
May the fourth be with you and your own research endeavors!