Captured by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, the said image shows a strange chevron on the Martian surface that looks similar to Star Trek’s Starfleet insignia. When the image went viral, Trekkies wasted no time in touting the image as evidence that the universe prefers the Star Trek franchise over the Star Wars saga.
Shatner, who is best known for his role as Captain James T. Kirk in the Star Trek franchise, shared the image on Twitter with the proud caption: Hey @starwars! Will you hurry up your Rebel Scums? We beat you!”
Star Wars’ official Twitter account replied to Shatner’s tweet, cleverly claiming that the Star Wars franchise is “far far away” from Mars. The tweet also came with a GIF of Harrison Ford’s Han Solo, throwing shade at Shatner’s seemingly cocky behavior.
We’re ‘far far away’ from that tiny red planet. pic.twitter.com/pdZlJehflS
— Star Wars (@starwars) June 13, 2019
Mark Hamill, who plays Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars films, also shared the image on the microblogging. But instead of acknowledging the chevron’s likeness to the Starfleet symbol, the actor wrote that it looks like a boomerang to him.
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) June 15, 2019
Hamill made a follow-up tweet saying that the mark on the Martian surface looks more like a crescent roll — something that Shatner doesn’t agree with.
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) June 15, 2019
The online feud between the two actors went on and got a little personal. But at the end of it all, Shatner assured both fandoms that he and Hamill “love each other” in their own special way. After all, the Star Trek vs. Star Wars debate is not something that necessarily requires a winner, as many Trekkies are Star Wars fans as well, and lots of Star Wars fans also love Star Trek.
You had your own talk show? A well kept secret indeed. Get back to me when you have own #GalaxysEdge at the Disney theme parks.
This back & forth is so tiresome Bill, you really should follow your own advice & #GetALife. pic.twitter.com/eB9OltFIAh
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) June 16, 2019
🙄He was joking. Unfortunately bantering in fandoms can have its risks but I assure you that we love each other in our own special way. https://t.co/tsL35IBpEo
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) June 17, 2019
Meanwhile, for those who are not familiar, Star Trek-looking shapes on the Martian surface were formed by wind, lava, and dunes. According to CNN, there were crescent-shaped dunes at one point in Mars’ history. A lava eruption moved these dunes around but didn’t cover them. As the lava cooled, the dunes pointed up like islands. But since they were still dunes, the wind could still move them. When these dunes migrated, they left footprints called dune casts.