I’m on a quest to know:
Where have the well-rounded nerds gone? Come to think of it, has there ever been a well-rounded nerd? Or, does “nerd” typically denote an obsessive fan of a single show/book/series that obeys strict genre boundaries? Is nerd a mentality or a matter of physical appearance? Can one just be nerd-chic? Why is everything cool supposedly nerd?
Searching for the answer … Am I a nerd?
I like “Star Wars”. I mean that in the way a girl says she “likes” chocolate when she secretly knows every chocolatier by name and has a chocolate fountain hidden in the other room. I grew up watching the original trilogy on VHS before it was remastered. I never gave a thought to why it was inexplicably out of order at the time.
I had a crush on Luke Skywalker before deciding that he was a whiny Goody-Two-Shoes and falling for Han Solo instead. He was funny, independent and morally ambiguous. I played with my cousin’s plastic Millennium Falcon model and dreamed of captaining my own spaceship.
When the prequel trilogy came out, everything suddenly made more sense. Of course there had to be a back-story. Of course there had to be an evil menace that I was secretly enthralled with. And then, much to my childish delight, there just had to be a silly character like Jar Jar Binks to detract from the actual point of the movies.
Looking back, I think “Dude, wtf?” every time I see that stupid CG creature. I just cringe and pray for George Lucas’ soul because only God knows where he sold it to beget that monstrosity. The goofy character is a blatant marketing ploy to attract children. I should know; I was eight.
Growing up after that, I’ve done my research on Star Wars and gotten smart about it. I’ve come to see the parallels between the Empire and Nazis (how many people were executed on Alderaan?), and I respect the The Force because it’s very oriented in eastern philosophy. I have an uncanny ability to detect vague Star Wars references. I can differentiate between all six film scores. I consider myself to be on the Dark Side; I joined because of they have better lightsaber designs.
I have very, very strong opinions on the ending of “Return of the Jedi” that you probably won’t like if you find Ewoks cute. I could write a thesis proving that 1983 was the year in which George Lucas sold his soul to create Ewoks. Maybe I would think differently if I’d seen the Ewok-themed mini series and Ewok-themed television movies… oh, wait, has anyone? And, on the same note, don’t even try to argue Jar Jar Binks to me if you expect to live.
That being said… am I a nerd?
P.S. Han shot first.