And that's when I knew I was a geek

I'm watching through the extras of the new Star Wars DVD boxed set. While most of them are, well, a bit worshipping, I've found two things of interest:

First, the old TV spots and movie trailers from 1970's... Wow. And I thought they give away the plot these days!

Second, this small quote from Peter Jackson, hidden in the end credits of a featurette:

Star Wars was the first time really that I'd had a concept that film-makers, i.e. George Lucas were shy, retiring types of people. Um, the types of kids that didn't have girlfriends and weren't picked for the sports team. And this was like me. You know, I was living thousands of miles away but I could recognize so much of myself in what I was reading about this guy who made Star Wars, George Lucas. I mean, the media were full of how shy and quiet he was. And yet, it gave all of us who felt we were very similar - it gave us a lot of hope that we could persevere and achieve the sort of things he had achieved.

Yup. I felt the same way when I saw the trilogy for the first time: The realization that you don't have to be like everyone else, that you can do what pleases you, even if that means being different. (Later on, I learned about the responsibilities and problems that come if you do follow your own path, but that's another story.)

Here's my own Star Wars secret, and my first geek experience: Kids tend to hide porn under their mattresses. I hid Star Wars magazines. I remember one article in a Finnish glossy magazine (Seura, I think?), which had an abbreviated version of the entire story, with glorious pictures. I couldn't see the film, because my parents wouldn't let me (I was too young), but I remember fantasizing about it at night. The colourful pictures swept my imagination away, and I was completely immersed in this fantasy world. I think I even invented a game about it on the second grade, and managed to talk my classmates into playing it (how, I still have no idea).

What's your first geek experience?


I did not see Star Wars in the theater, either. At some point - I think quite a lot later than it first came out, but I am not sure - my cousin who had seen it told me the story, in elaborate narration and with acted out fight scenes, and I was immediately hooked. I have to say that for someone in junior comprehensive school his narrating skills were quite remarkable. We also composed poems, or sagas, or whatever, about the characters and the storyline. (Yes, really. I wish I had some of those left. Not that I'd probably show them in public, ever.)

The same cousin is responsible for introducing me to the Lord of the Rings. I read his copy the book several times before I got a copy of my own. My parents bought me one for Christmas, and thinking it was a new one for me prevented me borrowing it from the said cousin, so that the present would not be spoiled for me. To this date, I have not had the heart to tell them I could have recited both the beginning and the ending word to word when they did this. (Heck, I probably still could, if I thought a little.)

--Janka, 18-Oct-2004

Well, I've been "different from others" ever since I started going to school in Canada with my still-stuttering English. I guess the first typically geeky thing I did was writing batch programs for MS-DOS 3.x. I had a 286 back when most people didn't even have a computer and if they did, it was probably an XT or a Commodore. :)

--MichaelGoetze, 18-Oct-2004

My first geek thing? I had some kind of Star Invaders curtains in my room with space ships shooting lasers and spacemen blasting with handguns. I simply wouldn't allow my mom to buy any other kind. BTW, were your fantasies about Princess Leia in glorious golden slave costume or Star Wars in general? Just wondering ;-)

--Burana, 18-Oct-2004

I saw the first Star Wars when it was hot in Finland, must have been around nine or ten at the time. Pretty geeky. But I think my geekiest period was when I was a true C64 dude. Then again, I liked Superman and E.T. too. Case closed.

--pni, 19-Oct-2004

Umm... giving a presentation on computers and programming at school around 1985 - I was a fifth grader back then and had received a book on Basic programming together with the Sinclair Spectrum. I guess I wrote the first programs around that time, even though the book was written in German...

No, wait a minute. Lured the two cute (japanese!) boys from my class (in second grade) to visit my place by telling them I've got 2 (two) electronic games (something like Snoopy Tennis and Donkey Kong).

Also, reading Desmond Morris' Naked Ape at the age of 8 and explaining the biological significance of women painting their lips and body hair to mother and a prospect-for-father - I'd say this could be considered rather geeky from the viewpoint of being true-to-the-core biologist...

--yoe, 19-Oct-2004

Burana writes - "BTW, were your fantasies about Princess Leia in glorious golden slave costume or Star Wars in general?"

Snicker... I still have flashbacks to her and that hair every time I see a sticky bun.

--Foster, 19-Oct-2004

I fear my fantasies were about rayguns, explosions and shiny spaceships. I didn't realize people had fantasies over Leia in the slave costume until I saw that particular episode of Friends, years later.

Is that sad or what?

--JanneJalkanen, 19-Oct-2004

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