Today: Watch unconventional debate between Booker, Malinowski, Kim, Koning –

Tom Malinowski

Rep. Tom Malinowski, giving the Vulcan salute, stands in his D.C. office in front of a drawing of Voyager Capt. Kathryn Janeway.

Set phasers on stun and jump into hyperspace as we battle over which space saga is better: Star Trek or Star Wars.

Rather than with stormtroopers or starship crews, this fight will involve New Jersey members of Congress and a leading pollster, battling it out in a virtual debate happening today.

Star Trek will be represented by U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, who got off the presidential campaign trail to geek out at San Diego’s Comic-Con in July 2019, and Rep. Tom Malinowski, D-7th Dist. who has a picture of Voyager Capt. Kathryn Janeway on the wall of his D.C. congressional office.

On the Star Wars side will be Rep. Andy Kim, D-3rd Dist., who built a Lego model of the Millennium Falcon with his sons, and Ashley Koning, director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, who joined her family in dressing up as Star Wars characters for Halloween.

Our panelists will face questions on foreign affairs, transportation, politics and leadership as they argue over the merits of the two out-of-this-world franchises.

We know what you’re thinking — why have this debate now? Well, it’s happening less than a week before New Jersey’s gubernatorial election between Gov. Phil Murphy and former Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli, not to mention other local races all around the state. That’s exactly why this unconventional debate is happening. We hope it’ll give you a much needed reprieve from the election season, as well as from all the other issues New Jerseyans have been facing during the ongoing COVID pandemic.

How to watch? Just tune in to the Facebook Live, on our Facebook Page, tonight at 5 p.m.

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Jonathan D. Salant may be reached at Follow him at @JDSalant.

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