At the GeekDad Blog we’re around cool geeky kids all the time — our own. At least we aspire that they will be geeky. As good parents we (typically) let them evolve their own interests and personalities. Still, it never hurts to expose them to some positive role models. In this case, I’m talking about cool kids in geeky flicks!
After hours and hours of viewing in the dusty GeekDad film archives, I assembled what I consider the definitive list. One thing to note: somehow I ended up with a more-or-less equal number of girls and boys. I wasn’t trying to be PC, there are just a lot of cool kids of both sexes in science fiction and fantasy movies.
10. The Goonies Kids: They are more of an amorphous, chattering, puzzle-solving, PB&J-eating colony organism than a bunch of separate kids, so I’ll rate them together. They get insane points for urban exploration, teamwork, and for defeating the over-privileged squares out to destroy their idyllic community.
9. Lex Murphy from Jurassic Park: Remember the tween girl who doubled as a l33t Unix she-HaX0r? Good thing she’s there — undoing the shenanigans of that fat guy who got eaten is more than Samuel L. can handle. Also, escaping from velociraptors is worth tonna points.
8. Newt from Aliens: Newt has enough wits to be the only survivor of a whole colony, eluding the most cunning xenomorphs in the galaxy. Earmuffs, Newt — Hudson is talking about Arcturians again. Of course the haters who wrote Alien III had to kill her off — they couldn’t handle her cool.
7. Mitch from Real Genius: Perhaps the truest warts-and-all depiction of a nerd. Of course, they had to make him a super-genius. But there was a truth there: his insecurity and naivete, balanced by his wits, made him more than a caricature. In true Hollywood fashion, he somehow manages to find a girl.
6. Jack from Pitch Black: Tough, smart and resourceful, Jack packs Newt’s (#8) survival skills. Like many of the kids on this list, she becomes expert in outwitting alien predators. She beats out the others because she has the good fashion sense to emulate Vin Diesel’s style.
5. The Feral Kid from The Road Warrior: He’s not geeky in the classic sense, but the apocalypse eats the pocket protector set for lunch. Geeks must evolve to survive. In this case, evolution means an atrophied speech center and a steel boomerang. Ironically, his howls make him seem like Patrick Stewart next to the socially awkward Max.
4: John Connor from Terminator II: He grows up knowing he’s the human race’s savior, but can still humble enough to enjoy a juice box with the pals. Rocks a mean palmtop for that all-important hacker cred, and can make friends with heartless cyborgs.
3: Acid Burn and Crash Override from Hackers: The movie doesn’t depict realistic hacking escapades, but what it does do is demonstrate a wonderful geeky spirit. These kids totally evoke that spirit… curious, adventurous, intelligent. Yes, geeky kids can be mega hot… if only in Hollywood.
2: David Lightman from WarGames: The prototypical hacker in the original Hollywood hacker movie. Wardialing Sunnyvale for the scoop on a new game company he heard about, instead he logs into a sentient supercomputer and nearly starts World War III. All this while spitting game with Ally Sheedy and fixing his bad grades on the school’s database.
1: Leia in Star Wars: A New Hope: At 19, technically she’s not a kid, but c’mon, we’ll fit her in. Not only did she not break under torture, but her eyeshadow and hair stayed perfect and there was always a wisecrack on her lips. Her brother got the Force, she got the style.
Did I miss anyone? Drop a comment if you have something to say… but they gotta be at least ten magnitudes cooler than Anakin in Episode I.