Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Do I Qualify as a Star Wars Nerd?

Okay. So I admit it. In the last month I have seen all six episodes of the Star Wars epic and read one Star Wars novel. Does that make me a Star Wars Nerd?

Notice that there is a need to capitalize "Star Wars Nerd" because such a title actually does refer to a certain class of people. I've known some of them. They usually have posters of Darth Vader on their wall, life-size replicas of lightsabers somewhere in their room, and even figurines of prominent Star Wars characters on their shelves.


Darth Vader's confrontation techniques at work.

One guy I used to work with was actually proud enough of his addiction to Star Wars that he had several figurines on his desk at work. As the supportive co-workers that we were, we used to get to work early and put all of the figurines in crazy positions before he got there. We had Obi-Wan Kenobi doing a Michael Jackson moon-walk, Princess Leia doing some serious kissing with a stormtrooper, and Han Solo doing certain kinds of aerobic exercises that would challenge most Pilates experts. In his desk drawer, this guy also had several Star Wars magazines, complete with full-length articles going into incredible detail on people, places and events that will never exist, yet treating these items as though they were part of the daily news of which all human beings should be aware. The common consensus in our office was that my friend was a hopeless Star Wars Nerd. Indeed, he was a Nerd Supreme.

But what about me? This has become a very important question for me, as of late. Those people who know of my recent viewing of the movies have begun to wonder. People are talking. Phone calls have been made. Investigations have been launched.

All of this has caused me to ask the question, "Why does the part of me that likes Star Wars, like Star Wars?" I frame the question this way because there are several parts of me that do not like Star Wars.

For one thing, I think the acting is deplorable--especially in the first three episodes. Any movie where the dialogue in the most dramatic, romantic scene includes the statement, "Oh Anakin. Hold me. Like you did on Naboo!" cannot expect to win any Oscars. Any director or producers who think that a useless creation like Jar Jar Binx should have been permitted to even be spoken allowed in a writers' meeting, don't deserve any filming awards. And, in general, it is hard to take a movie seriously that has no problem resting the entire weight of a saga on the dialogue and actions of several puppets. It can leave you waiting for Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy to show up for a lightsaber duel.

On second thought, that would be kind of fun to watch. My money is on Miss Piggy. All the way.

However, I have decided that I like Star Wars for the central themes involved. Sure, I like the great graphics and exceptional coreographed fight scenes (especially in the first three episodes). But ultimately, I like the story-line itself. Don't be fooled. The story is not about Luke Skywalker. It's not about Obi-Wan Kenobi. And it's not even about liberal democracy's fight against tyranny.

It is about Anakin Skywalker. It is about redemption.

It is about the rise of a man who had great promise (kind of like like the creation of humanity). It is about the corruption and fall of that Jedi (kind of like the eating of forbidden fruit and the love of the creation that surpassed the love of the Creator, committed by our parents). It is about the consequences of that Jedi's fall for himself and the rest of the galaxy (kind of like the groaning of the creation around us in the form of disasters and the food-chain). And it is about how that man is eventually redeemed from his fall by an unlikely agent--a person descended from his own line (kind of like Christ's descension from Adam).

That's why I like Star Wars.

And I like the lightsaber fights.

13 comments:

Stephen E. Buerger said...

i don't think i have to tell you what family instantly came to mind when you engaged in your description of what a true Star Wars Nerd is. posters, countless amounts of figurines, a library of Star Wars literature, the card game, and life-sized cutouts of Han Solo and Boba Fett.

all i have to say is…"i love the Moores."………and Thrawn.

Kelly said...

However, the answer is yes John, you are a Star Wars Nerd. That's okay, we love you just the way you are, and it takes all kinds to make up the Body of Christ.

Greg said...

Yes, you are a Star Wars nerd. Do you realize how far you have to walk in the nerd forrest to get to the Star Wars nerds? You have to walk past the Harry Potter nerds and past the Lord of the Rings nerds. You are not quite as deep as the Trekies or the Dungeons and Dragons dudes (those guys are really deep). But, you are pretty far in nonetheless. Just thought you should know.

John Buerger said...

Greg and Kelly,

I want to thank you both for encouraging me by calling me a Star Wars nerd...especially on a post designed to argue for my non-Star Wars nerd status.
As a reward, you both will receive Darth Vader helmets for Christmas.

Jeremy Stine said...

Miss Piggy over Kermit? Are you crazy? Kermit would dance circles around Miss Piggy. You my have forgotten that Kermit has those "Happy Feet".
And to those of you who love star wars as a type of the great redemptive story. . . obviously, you've never seen (or played) with the lightsaber I have mounted on my living room wall.

stephen e. buerger said...

a quick observation:

according the the discourse of your "friend" greg, in order to find Star Wars Nerds you must pass our other dear friends in the nerd forest who are devoted to The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. if i'm not mistaken, would you not pledge yourself as an unwavering proponent and/or member of both of these factions? what would that do to your citizenship of the nerd forest as described by greg?

disclaimer: the views and opinions of greg are not necessarily endorsed by stephen e. buerger.

John Buerger said...

Jeremy,

I admit that I had not considered Kermit's Happy Feet. That would aid him well in a protracted lightsaber duel, no doubt. But Miss Piggy's well known anger and bursts of rage would certainly grant her overwhelming support from the Dark Side of the Force. You would be wise not to underestimate it, my friend.

John Buerger said...

Stephen,

It is true that I do indeed support Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. In fact, I am much more a supporter of both of those series than any part of Star Wars. The story-telling is better; the characters are more real; the plots much more complex; and the redemptive quality of their narratives is much higher than Star Wars. I think it is because both LOTR and Harry Potter are written by authors who have faiths rooted in the Christian tradition (Tolkien was Catholic and Rowling is either Scottish-Anglican or Presbyterian) while George Lucas is essentially Buddhist.
However, I disagree with my friend Greg's comment basically on the evidence itself. I have known people who are much bigger Star Wars fans than they are LOTR or HP fans and will defend their view to the death. In my view, such people are artistically misguided. They would not see Star Wars as being at the "center of the forest." Rather, they think that being a Star Wars nerd is much more rational.
All in all, what must happen in order for us to answer the question as to my Star Wars nerdiness, is that we must define what makes a Star Wars nerd a Star Wars nerd. I am open to suggestions.

Jeremy Stine said...

Not exclusive, but I would say anyone over 13 who owns and regularly interacts with Star Wars figurines. . . . uh. . . excuse me, ACTION FIGURES!

John Buerger said...

Jeremy,

I like your definition of a Star Wars Nerd. I think I was thinking along those same lines when I wrote this blog. I don't think we can call everyone who has watched all six episodes Star Wars Nerds or else we would have to indict almost every American. But anyone who has action figures, posters, Darth Vader underwear, or Yoda on their bed-sheets should probably qualify.

John Sandquist said...

Well, by Stine's last definition, I am a complete Star Wars Nerd. The 12 inch Han Solo is just so amazingly realistic though!

John Buerger said...

Big John,

Does he really look like Harrison Ford? I mean, if we gave your action figure a hat and a whip, could he be mistaken for Indiana Jones?

john sandquist said...

Buerger, yes. I am fairly certain that if you gave him a miniature hat and whip, he could be mistaken for Indiana Jones.