'Teen Titans Go!' Space Special Pits 'Star Trek' Against 'Star Wars'

Teen Titans Go! aired its newest half-hour special on Friday, taking aim at both Star Trek and Star Wars for a space-themed adventure.

The episode begins with a galactic crime alert informing the Titans that Darkseid is up to no good. Robin convinces the other Titans that they're going to have an epic space adventure. Titans Tower sprouts some warp nacelles and the Titans take off into space.

It quickly becomes apparent that Robin and his teammates have different ideas about what a space adventure entails. As seen in the clip above, the other Titans are expecting a fast-paced, action-packed adventure with light swords and space wizards in the style of Star Wars. Robin, on the other hand, had a bad experience in a galaxy “not so far away” and prefers his space adventures thought-provoking and orderly, like classic Star Trek. He orders the other Titans to put on their onesies and take things seriously, carefully not explaining why Beast Boy is wearing red.

From there, the episode is full of references and Easter eggs. There’s an extended bit where Robin lives another life and learns to play the trombone, paying homage to the classic Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “The Inner Light.” There are also references to the mirror universe and Tribbles.

All the while, the other Titans troll Robin about how boring his version of a space adventure is and how they just want to fly the ship into an asteroid field. In the end, the Titans have to work together to stop Darkseid’s evil plans, and they realize that there is room for both kinds of space adventures in the universe.

Star Trek and Star Wars are both franchises with long cinematic histories. Teen Titans Go! made its own cinematic debut earlier this year in Teen Titans Go! To the Movies. Like the space special, the film was full of Easter eggs and fun references. The movie earned more than $50 million worldwide and was critically praised.

The film’s post-credits scene teased the return fo the characters from the original, more action-oriented Teen Titans animated series. Warner Bros. later confirmed that a sequel movie titled Teen Titans Go! Vs. Teen Titans featuring both versions of the characters is in the works. If it is anything like the space special, it will probably push the message that there is room for both versions of the characters and both kinds of cartoons in the world.

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Teen Titans Go! airs Fridays on Cartoon Network.