Revenge of the Nerds

28-Mar-07 9:05 AM by
Filed under Star Wars; 1 comment.

There's a new trailer for Heart of an Empire, a documentary about the Fighting 501st, an international club whose only membership requirement is that you have a Star Wars film-quality Imperial costume, from stormtrooper to Darth Vader. As far as I can tell, these costumes are not sold anywhere, nor are instructions for their manufacture provided by the group; you need to be both a hardcore Star Wars fan AND a talented costumer. The movie looks like a lot of fun, showing the group's diverse aspects. I was especially touched to see stormtroopers participating in one of my favorite charity events.

But I was surprised and angered by what this documentary reveals of the public's perception to such dedicated fans: televised newscasters openly mocking the 501st as single, lonely geeks and nerds. I thought such juvenile behavior was the province of schoolyard bullies. Of course these stormtroopers are single, if such vapid, condescending ignorami are the only available bounties. But we can do better, as exemplified in this recent Vegas Popular article (which is actually meant to delineate why Star Trek is better than Star Wars, but I see little distinction between the two fan groups):

The devotion of Trekkers is an easy target for derision, but I would argue that you'll find a much higher average IQ level among Star Trek fans… And if they take the series' philosophy to heart, they're probably treating each other with kindness and tolerance and making the world a better place.

If you're going to be dedicated, might as well indulge: Heart of the Empire isn't the only Star Wars documentary. There's 5/25/77, which celebrates the release of A New Hope, the 30th anniversary of which looms. There's also The Force Among Us, which recently released a trailer (if a ten-minute video can be called such) featuring a montage of interviews with assorted Warsies. All these films seem to be this universe's take on the Trekkies documentary.

And not a documentary, but no less cool: Star Wars USB drives. Represent!

One Response to “Revenge of the Nerds”

  1. Ken Gagne adds:

    There's a review of Heart of the Empire at Ain't It Cool News.