Skip to main content

Attention screenwriters: "Star Wars" hasn't been nerdy for at least 20 years.

In honor of the new Star Wars movie coming out - which I'm not likely to see for another six months at least - I figured today I would share a pointless story about something that made me irrationally angry.  What else is a blog good for?

So, the other day I checked out some episodes of Under the Dome out of morbid curiosity.  That was... a mistake.  Don't watch that show.  (Alternately: drink a lot and watch the show.)

Anyway, there was a line in one episode that really got under my skin.  A dorky kid, ostensibly a nerd, is trying to fix a broken generator, and a girl he's sorta kinda crushing on asks him if he can fix it.  Through arbitrary, forced dialogue that in no way sounds natural, he ends up saying something about the Death Star and how it was almost operational in Return of the Jedi. To this, the girl says, "I love nerds."

Sigh.  Shitty dialogue like this is actually the least of Under the Dome's problems, but this particular line happens to strike a nerve with me.  It's one of my biggest pet peeves.

Liking Star Wars is one of those things that writers use as lazy shorthand for a personality type, but it is effectively meaningless in terms of actual character.  I can understand that maybe - maybe - once upon a time it was "weird" to enjoy a science fiction movie on the face of it, but considering that Star Wars is a) one of the highest grossing movies of all time, b) a uniquely cross-cultural media phenomenon, and c) ubiquitously promoted through all media platforms known to man, you'd have to be either shallow or a complete idiot to think that it is, in any conceivable way, "nerdy."

Some asshole likes Star Wars?  Who cares?  I bet he also likes sandwiches, sports, and oral sex.  What a fucking dweeb, right?

You know what movies from 1977 are way nerdier than Star Wars?  Sorcerer, Aguirre, Wizards, Suspiria, and even Smokey and the Bandit.  Any of those would characterize your dork way faster and way more accurately than Star Wars.

If you absolutely must use Star Wars as a vehicle to demonstrate nerdiness, then do it the right way and have your character reference some obscure droid in the background of the Clone Wars cartoon by its exact model designation.  And no, not one of the big ones that people know.  I mean some stupid cleaning bot that accidentally ran over Anakin's foot or something as a crappy sight gag, but which somehow has a full biography on Wookieepedia.

Star Wars is not nerdy.  I don't think it was ever nerdy, frankly, but it's especially not nerdy now. You might as well use Google:

"How'd you find that out?"

"I Googled it."

"Oh, you Googled it?  Well, let me know when you want to put your computer away and stop being a virgin."

I'm not the type that rages against "nerd-face" or whatever other bullshit thing people have found a reason to be upset about.  I just have a problem with disingenuousness.  If you can't be bothered to find something honestly nerdy about your stupid character, then just make him an average asshole like everybody else.  Average is fine.

All the Other Nonsense That Got Pushed Off the Main Page (Post Archive)