Now these are franchises that have been around 50 and 40 years respectively, so let's all agree up front that both have had low points. You don't crank things out for that long without some of it being dog shit. So while Trek may have things it's fans would rather forget, Star Trek the Motion Picture for example, Star Wars of course has this.
I'm reminded of a Star Trek: TNG episode called Measure of a Man. In it, Data, an android, faced a trial to determine whether or not he was a person with rights or merely property of Starfleet. At the end of this you couldn't help ask yourself "What does it mean to be a person?" It made you think. Does anyone walk away from Empire Strikes Back asking deep philosophical questions?
But it's not as though Star Trek isn't capable of some balls to the wall action as well. Certainly one could look to Kirk and his hard fighting hard fuckin ways. But I think the most bad ass thing in the Trek universe is the Borg.
Yes Boba Fett. The epitome of style over substance. This supposed Chuck Norris of the Star Wars galaxy is nothing but an interesting character design that Lucas never got around to adding character to. This so called expert bounty hunter who, as Spoony pointed out, had to be reminded not to disintegrate the person he is supposed to bring in. Doesn't really seem like the kind of thing you should need to point out to an expert.
So when it comes to the substance of the two franchises, one makes you ask deep questions, the other has monks fighting with laser swords. When it comes to pulling out the bad ass, one has an unstoppable swarm of mind raping cyborgs, the other has an incompetent bounty hunter who was ultimately taken out by a blind man.
So in my eyes, it's truly no contest as to which is the superior franchise. But it also doesn't surprise me that Star Wars is the more popular of the two. It's a simple case of it being more lowest common denominator.
Now my final thought. This new Star Trek, the J.J. Abrams Star Trek, sickens me. It is a betrayal of what Trek was. Again Trek was the thinking man's sci fi. That new movie was nothing but crap blowing up in space. It was turning Trek into Wars. It was 90 minutes of Abrams raping Gene Roddenberry's corpse. If all Abrams wanted to do was a dumbed down Michael Bay style movie he should have made another Star Wars movie or a sequel to Battlefield Earth or some shit and let the grown ups have Star Trek. Fuck this new Star Trek. And fuck J.J. Abrams.