Today, I saw some posts on Facebook that saddened me. They were posts about the Star Wars VII trailer, and how certain friends were not “excited enough” about it. One such post read:
Friend who will remain anonymous for their safety – “That trailer is everywhere. Why are people going so crazy about this. It’s just a movie.”
-2 million geek points
May no longer be a friend
I read this and stared at my screen for a minute. I was totally blown back by the feeling of elitism that flowed from my geek friends. I remember feeling that from bullies who didn’t like geeks. Now geeks are handing that to each other? What gives? I thought carefully about my reply, which I share with you now:
I totally understand both sides. My wife is crazy excited, but I was introduced to Star Wars as an adult, in the form of The Phantom Menace. For me, it’s totally just another movie. I get my geek points elsewhere. That’s the best part of being a geek – your passions are your own, and mainstream is great, for the people who fit that mold.
It’s a strange phenomenon when a “geeky,” “nerdy,” or “dorky” topic goes mainstream. It becomes retroactively cool, which means the geeks and such who had passion for that topic become valued experts, and respected members of that fandom, instead of sidelined goobers. Part of being a geek is the passion, and the ability to chase your passion wherever it goes.
If you collect coins, cool. If you watched The Empire Strikes Back 40 times in one month because your cable provider showed it every day, and multiple times on Saturdays, then cool. But not collecting coins doesn’t remove geek cred, and neither should lacking any other passion for a topic. Whether it’s Doctor Who, Power Rangers, Batman, or Star Trek, a lack of passion is generally a symptom of a strong passion somewhere else. We can’t possibly all like the same things, nor should we. Being a geek is about loving the things we love, whether or not it’s popular with other people.
If you don’t care about the Star Wars VII trailer, that’s okay. You can still be happy for your friends, and they can be happy for you when the new Shoe-box-Monster-action-film(trademark nonexistent) comes out. The Force may not flow through you “like a river,” but you are still a Geek, end of story.