Lately, the TV ads are dominated by trailers of another Star Wars series. Or movie. Which might be in theaters. Or streaming. Or at Redbox. Whatever, I cannot keep track.

This will result in friends excitedly asking me, “Have you seen the new Star Wars yet?”

Full disclosure: I’m a sci-fi fanboy and always have been. I grew up on The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits. Friends know I can recite the dialog from every original Star Trek episode. So naturally, they assume anything in the sci-fi universe would appeal.

Sorry, I simply don’t get Star Wars. And this goes way back to the original. So step into my time machine and let’s take a trip back to 1977.

Back in the seventies, there wasn’t much out there if you were a dateless sci-fi geek like me and my circle of friends. You had the nightly Star Trek re-runs and that was about it. Sure, we had Saturday night “Chiller Theater” which ran cheesy 1950s B-movies featuring monsters with often visible zippers in their costumes, but those were more for laughs than anything else. Occasionally you’d see a classic like Forbidden Planet (first crush: Anne Francis) but that didn’t happen often.

Then one day my good friend Dan called.

“You’ve gotta see Star Wars!” I could hear his excitement over the phone. He liked this movie so much he wanted to see it again. I spotted the ad in the local paper about a tale, “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.” Okay, I’ll bite. Besides, Dan was as much a Star Trek geek as I was (though I’d been to a convention in New York City and he hadn’t) so off we went to the theater. I was desperate for some new sci-fi, since the talk of a Trek movie or the return of the series never seemed to go anywhere. As it turned out, that first Trek movie was a disaster anyway.

Since Dan invited me to the movie he treated. We’re sitting there through the coming attractions with our popcorn and soda. The trailers end, the lights go down. The screen goes black. And then…

The big music fanfare! Da-DAH!!!!!!

Dan is on the edge of his seat. “Here we go!”

It was all downhill from there.

I will admit, this series got off on the wrong foot with me right from the start and never recovered. When you’re confused during the opening credits, well...

-The words “Episode IV” rolled across the screen. I immediately turned to Dan. “Are we in the right theater?” Dan assured me this was the movie we came to see, even though episodes one, two and three did not exist. To me, this was like picking up a book and starting it in the middle. (Perhaps I should send my next novel to an editor starting with chapter ten and see if she thinks it’s a classic, then asks me to write three prequels.)

-The Princess ain’t Rapunzel. She doesn’t really seem like a traditional princess with the long flowing locks calling for a brave knight to rescue her from the castle tower. She looked as though someone at her salon screwed up big time and decided to go the bun route to cover up a hack job. “What’s with the hair? She looks like she’s wearing two cheese Danish for earmuffs.” Okay, I liked her spunk, so I figured maybe this would get better. (Side note: as far as sci-fi heroines go, no one beats Ripley in the Alien series. Princess Leia never risked her life to save a cat.)

-It didn’t take long for me to decide the gold mechanical guy was really annoying. (As far as irritating people go, Central Park mimes at least have the decency to shut up while trying to escape from an imaginary box.) “What exactly is that thing?” I asked.

“A droid. Short for android.”

“Please tell me they kill it off by the end of the movie.”

-Third world meets high-tech. I’ll admit, the special effects were impressive, especially light speed, but remember this is 1977 and we’d only had color TV in our house for a few years. It seemed as though the people in that planet’s I-T department had their priorities screwed up. “They have cars that float, a bunch of androids and yet they live in an adobe hut?”

-The character in the black helmet with the breathing problem puzzled me. “Who’s this guy?”

“That’s Darth Vader. He’s the villain.”

Wow, real clever dressing the villain in black. “So, what’s the deal, he’s a really evil guy who smokes three packs a day?”

-I was shocked to see a renowned actor like Sir Alec Guinness in a sci-fi movie, because back then you rarely saw a big name in the genre. Though we did have Charlton Heston screaming at damn dirty apes or yelling about Soylent Green being made of people. (Remember that the next time you eat kale.)

-Chewbacca, who to me looked like a bad Halloween costume crossed with footie pajamas. “So he’s, what? A big dog who can fly a spaceship? And how the heck does the pilot understand him?” Subtitles would have helped.

-The bar scene. Words failed me. Big eye roll. To make matters worse, this resulted in a bad disco song. And you couldn’t dance to it. It actually hit number one on the music charts, resulting in the release of another Star Wars tune, "What Can You Get a Wookiee for Christmas When He Already Owns a Comb?"

-The Force. Wait a minute, let me write that correctly. The Force. Apparently, there is some unseen power that flows through the universe, which has a good side and a dark side. And you can choose! I was convinced the band in the bar had chosen the dark side. This resulted in an ad from a local racetrack that read, “Place your bets, and may the horse be with you.”

-Finally, a battle between good versus evil! But again, I was confused. The lightsaber as the Jedi weapon of choice made no sense. “Let me get this straight … these two guys are masters of mind control who can kill someone with a thought and they’re basically fighting with swords? Captain Kirk would have pulled out his phaser and vaporized them in a second.”

-I took a quick look at my watch, hoping the end was near. Alas, here comes the dreaded Death Star to vaporize a nice planet populated by people who hold hands and sing Kumbaya every night. But the attack run told me the rebels really needed help in the strategy department. “So, if I’m understanding this correctly… instead of just swooping straight down and firing at the target they fly through this tunnel where all the guns are?”

-And, of course, Darth Vader gets away. Setting up a sequel. “They’re gonna make another one of these?”

-Finally, as we left the theater. “I’m glad you paid for that.”

Decades later the argument of “Is Star Trek better than Star Wars” rages on. To me, it’s no contest. Nothing beats Kirk, Spock and McCoy. Yes, I’ve been to many Trek conventions, and as a TV reporter got to meet a bunch of stars from the original series. But no, I do not own a pair of Spock ears. There’s also a tangential argument among Trekkers discussing Kirk versus Picard. Personally, I like the guy who fires phasers first and asks questions later, instead of a captain who talks the aliens to death.

Now I know a vast majority of you Star Wars fans do not agree with me and your fingers are twitching, primed with a nasty emailed reply. But as Master Yoda would say in his backward language, “Away put your angry comments. Opinion, it is but one.”

Needless to say, I’m hoping for another Trek movie with the original cast. Hey, if William Shatner can fly into space at the age of 90, he can still play Captain Kirk.

Randy Tatano is the author of more than 20 novels, writing political thrillers under the pen name Nick Harlow, and romantic comedies as Nic Tatano. He spent 30 years working in television news as a local affiliate reporter and network field producer.