Star Trek vs. Star Wars: An Epic Concert Battle at Mesa Arts Center

Written by Wynter Holden Category: Music Issue: March 2016

Courtesy CineConcertsIf news headlines are any indication, Hillary vs. Donald is the biggest prizefight in the nation’s eye right now. But for the geeky pop culture set there’s a more important, epic, life-altering battle that’s been ongoing for decades. Movie sagas have been made, fan bases divided and friendships lost. The question still remains: Which franchise is better, Star Wars or Star Trek?

Fans on both sides of the sci-fi divide will get the chance to relive their favorite moments from each series with two upcoming symphonic tours at Mesa Arts Center. On Monday, April 4, CineConcerts’ Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage lands at MAC’s Ikeda Theater with tunes from Deep Space Nine, Voyager, several of the earlier Trek films, and the original 1960s series starring William Shatner. The 100-city tour wraps up shortly before the release of Star Trek Beyond in July.

Why is the series still commanding audiences after 50 years? “Star Trek breaks every boundary of judgment or expectation. It inspires, challenges and rethinks,” says event co-founder and producer Brady Beaubien. “Star Trek is who we want to be: inspired, fiercely loyal, and sometimes reckless.” Basically, like Captain Kirk.

The 50th Anniversary Tour is set up much like Phoenix Symphony’s pop culture series, which brought the musical scores of Star Wars and Harry Potter (among other famous franchises) to the stage last year. Clips from the films and television shows will be beamed onto a 40-foot projection screen while music conductor Justin Freer, known for his work on the Lord of the Rings trilogy, captains the Czech National Symphony Orchestra on the stage below.

Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage launches at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $35, with a pre-show Mexican dinner buffet available for an extra $25. Sadly you can’t use bars of Star Trek’s fictional Ferengi currency, latinum, to pay for it.

For those who’d rather visit a galaxy far, far away, Phoenix Symphony is bringing its popular “Star Wars: The Music” show to Mesa Arts Center for Star Wars Day on Wednesday, May 4. Look – or rather, listen – for recognizable music from John Williams’ acclaimed scores, from the iconic Imperial March to newer tunes from Episode VII - The Force Awakens. Tickets start at $45 through

If you go:
Mesa Arts Center
1 E. Main St., Mesa