From: Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure
Who said it?: Bill S. Preston, Esq.
The story behind the quote: This quote comes from the excellent movie Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (see what I did there?). In the future, Earth enjoys living in a utopian society based on the ideas of The Two Great Ones named William “Bill” S. Preston, Esq. (played by Alex Winter) and “Ted” Theodore Logan (Keanu Reeves, before he knew “kung-fu”) who, together, form Wild Stallyns. However, this future is endangered as the duo, in the present (well, 1989 in the film), are failing history class. If Ted fails, he will be sent to a military academy, breaking them up. In a mission to prevent this, Rufus (played by the late George Carlin) goes back in time to help them.
In order to pass the class, Bill and Ted convince historical figures throughout time to come with them to the present (still 1989 in the movie). However, at one point, they get sidetracked and visit the future. When they arrive, the residents gather around for a chance to see The Two Great Ones in person. Unsure of what to say, Bill manages to give the line before Ted closes it out by saying “Party on, dudes!”
Geek wisdom: No truer words could have been spoken. The idea to be good to everyone is something that we should all do. If we did, there would probably be no wars or hate, no famine or no pain. The world would actually be a utopian society. Sometimes, even the most simple of minds can produce the most thoughtful of wisdom.
From: Star Wars
Who said it?: Yoda
The story behind the quote: Probably one of the most popular quotes in the entire history of geekdom. In the Empire Strikes Back, Luke travels to the planet Dagobah to find the last living Jedi, Yoda, to train him in using the Force. During one of the training sessions, R2-D2 alerts Luke that his X-Wing (basically his spaceship) is sinking into the swamp. Luke laments that the ship is stuck too deep in the bog. The aged Jedi Master tells him to use the Force to raise the ship but Luke says its impossible since its too big.
Yoda rebukes this and says that its only impossible since he thinks its impossible. The young apprentice says that he’ll try but this only makes Yoda more adamant, saying that either he does it or he doesn’t. When Luke fails and claims that it was too heavy, Yoda then shows the young Skywalker that it is possible by doing it himself.
Geek wisdom: This is pretty self-explanatory. When most people say that they’ll try something, they’re almost always thinking that they’ll do it to show that its impossible. In their mind, they’ve already failed. Because of this, they don’t really give their best effort to accomplish the task.
I’ll be the first to admit that I do have a pessimistic attitude when it comes to a lot of things, but I always make sure to do my best in the things I plan to do. This is because of the advice I got from a puppet that lives on a planet a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Thanks, Yoda!
From: Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Genre: Video Games
Who said it?: Dracula
The story behind the quote: The quote actually comes at the start of the game. Symphony of the Night opens with a dramatized version of the ending of an older Castlevania game: Rondo of Blood. Richter Belmont has practically completed his quest and all that remains is to defeat Dracula. He finally reaches Dracula’s throne room at the top of the castle and confronts him, proclaiming he will kill the vampire.
Dracula states that he’s alive because he was summoned by man and his followers liken him to be the savior of humankind. Richter rebuffs him by telling him that people do not need a demon such as himself. The vampire expresses him disgust with the human race because they are not honest with themselves, delivering the quote, before doing battle with the vampire hunter.
Geek wisdom: What Dracula says is kind of true if you think about it. We just can’t help being dishonest for various reasons; to build themselves up, to avoid getting into trouble, or to please others. We also want to withhold knowledge from others so that we’ll know more than them. What’s worse, there are even people who lie to themselves since they don’t want to realize the sometimes ugly truth about their lives.
In this manner, mankind is just a “pile of secrets.” While we can’t be honest with others all the time (due to social conventions), we should at least be honest to ourselves and admit our failings.
Who said it?: Batman
The story behind the quote: The quote comes from Frank Miller’s All-Star Batman and Robin, a sort of reimaging of Robin’s origin. In the very first issue of the comic series, Dick Grayson’s family is murdered by a hit man while performing their circus act. Orphaned, Dick is supposed to be placed in the custody of the police. However, Batman steals Dick from them (Batman suspects that the cops are corrupt) and speeds him away in the Batmobile.
The police start to chase after Batman (he is kidnapping someone, after all) and the Dark Knight starts ramming the squad cars that come after him and they eventually escape. However, Dick is afraid of everything that’s happening and he asks Batman what right he has to be doing this. Batman is apparently offended by this and questions Dick’s mental capacity before uttering that famous line.
This quote, along with the All Star Batman and Robin series, has been heavily criticised by both critics and fans alike. While there were a few who liked the new direction Frank Miller was going for, most people didn’t appreciate the fact that the characterization of Batman was too different from previous incarnations. Here, Batman is more sadistic and appears to get some form of pleasure in inflicting pain and he cares less for injuring innocent bystanders. This line has been recorded in infamy because of the idea that Batman would even refer to himself in this way.
Geek wisdom: You have to be proud of who you are and what you’ve become. You can be a badass dark knight or just an ordinary joe. It doesn’t matter and it shouldn’t matter: you are who you are. In fact, all of the events that you’ve experienced in life created and molded you into the unique individual that you are, and that by itself makes you special.
It is difficult to accept sometimes, especially if you’re in the dumps and you feel life doesn’t feel worth living. However, if you don’t respect yourself, no one will respect you. The goddamn Batman knows this, and you should, too.
From: Odin Sphere
Genre: Video Games
Who said it?: Demon King Odin
The story behind the quote: Odin Sphere was a under-appreciated game released during the end of the Playstation 2’s life cycle. It combines side-scrolling gameplay with RPG elements with beautiful hand-drawn sprites. Not only that, the story was pretty deep, with a huge number of interesting characters with a couple of twists along the way.
Anyway, the quote comes during the epilogue of the Black Sword act. Demon King Odin finds out that his daughter, Gwendolyn, has been kidnapped by Inferno King Onyx of the fiery kingdom of Volkenon. Onyx informs Odin that the girl has not been harmed and, in fact, was a gift from the main antagonists of the game, the self-proclaimed Three Wise Men. Odin then rebuffs this, informing the Inferno King that a wise man does not need to call himself wise and they are just a group of thugs.
*By the way, if you can get this game, do it! It’s a great game!
Geek wisdom: Let your actions speak for themselves. If you’re good at doing something, just do it and people will recognize you for it. There are a lot of people out there who tell a good game, but when it all comes down to it, they just come off as being okay. There are also a lot of people who can back up their big talk with actual skills, but they mostly come off as arrogant.
Look at some of the greats: Michael Jordan, Stephen Spielberg to name a couple. They never claimed to be the greatest at what they do. However, a good majority of people think that they are. Somehow, not bragging about your skills actually elevates others perception of you. If you are wise, display it. Don’t advertise it.
From: Star Trek
Who said it?: James Kirk and Spock
The story behind the quote: The quote was actually mentioned twice in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. The first time is relatively early in the film. Spock is actually in command of the Enterprise when it receives a distress call from another starship. Kirk, now an admiral decides to take command due to the emergency. Spock then derides his friend, saying that Kirk shouldn’t have taken the promotion since this has taken him from what he actually loves: being the commander of a starship. However, he will still follow Kirk since he is not only his commanding officer, but, more importantly, his friend.
The 2nd time this is mentioned is the more remembered. Spock had to enter the warp core of the ship to repair the engines so that they could escape destruction. Because of this, he has been exposed to a fatal dose of radiation and is dying. Kirk rushes to his aid but is unable to help his friend. Spock asks his friend not to grieve and starts the phrase only to be completed by Kirk.
It is important to note that this is possibly not the true origin of this quote. Greek philosophers have been noted to mention something along these lines. However, most people, especially movie buffs, remember the quote coming from this film due to the emotional weight it carries.
Geek wisdom: Sometimes, self-sacrifice is important in the scheme of things. A lot of heroes know this and this is why we remember them. Its through their sacrifice that we get to live our lives. Think of the soldiers who fight for our freedoms. They are fighting for you so that you don’t have to.
We can still do little things, such as volunteering for tasks that no one likes to do (taking out the trash, for example). Or, if your friends wants to go rock climbing and you don’t want to, go along with them still. We don’t have to give up our lives to follow Spock’s example.
Who said it?: Batman
The story behind the quote: In the 1966 film, Batman (portrayed by Adam West) comes across a bomb that’s about to explode. He grabs the bomb and races to find an area where he can toss it without harming any innocents. He runs around with the bomb, trying to find an area that not populated.
Unfortunately, it seems that the fates are against him. Everywhere he goes, there always seems to be people that would be in danger. In the restaurant, even though Batman already warns all the patrons to get out, two fat ladies apparently don’t care and continue to eat. While running around the pier, it actually seems that there are people are following him as the same marching band, woman with a baby carriage, and couple of nuns seem to get in his way all the time! Even when he finally thinks he’s found a safe place to throw the bomb, he sees a family of ducks below him. By this point, Batman is completely frustrated and finally states the quote.
Geek wisdom: Sometimes, shit happens. There’s no denying it. There are going to be days when nothing seems to go right and it feels like everyone’s against you. Even if you plan something to the most minute detail, all of it can still go tumbling down like a house of cards.
Here’s the thing: there’s nothing you can do about it. Once it happens, it happens. The only thing you can do it push on and make the best of it.
From: Street Fighter
Genre: Video games
Who said it?: Narration for Ryu’s ending
The story behind the quote: Street Fighter II has a varied cast of fighters you can select. One of these characters is Ryu, a no-nonsense karate expert who travels the world testing his fighting ability. While the other people in the game have different motives for joining the tournament (Guile and Chun-Li wants revenge on M. Bison, the final boss in the game, E. Honda wants to prove the superiority of Sumo to the world), Ryu’s only motive is to test himself against the best fighters in the world.
In Ryu’s ending, a ceremony is being held to congratulate the winners of the tournament. However, Ryu, who has bested all of them, is nowhere to be seen. As the audience wonders where he is, the scene switches over to Ryu walking into the sunset. The narration states that he doesn’t care about the adulation of the crown, the glory of winning, or the prize money. All he was there to do was fight, improve his skills, and “the fight is all.”
Geek wisdom: People nowadays are focused on either the material gain for accomplishing a task or the accolades they’ll get for doing something. A lot of them don’t really enjoy what they’re doing. These are usually the same people that complain about their jobs and they just can’t wait to get paid since that’s the only thing that’ s keeping them there. However, there is a small percentage of people that actually enjoy what they do.
Finding a job that you actually enjoy doing can be difficult. But for those that do, they never really cared for the amount of their salary or the glory of success. Those things are just bonuses to them. Sometimes, its just the act of doing a good job that makes it worthwhile.
Who said it?: Uncle Ben
The story behind the quote: Although the quote is usually attributed to Peter Parker/Spider-man’s Uncle Ben, this is actually wasn’t true in the first appearance of the web-head in Amazing Fantasy #15. In the original version of the story by Stan Lee, this was the moral lesson that Peter Parker took away since he let a mugger get away and this same mugger killed his Uncle Ben. If he only stopped the man earlier, his uncle wouldn’t have died. Also, the original quote was actually “With great power, there also must also come… great responsibility.”
Later versions of Spidey’s origin revised the story. The story now is Uncle Ben would usually tell a young Peter Parker this lesson while he was alive and Peter Parker would remember this. These revisions also shorten the quote to the current version, which comes off as more poetic.
Geek wisdom: A lot of people think that, once they have some form of power, they can usually laud it over people and abuse it. History has a lot of people showing them becoming corrupted because of great power: Napoleon and Hitler are just a couple to name a few. Even in a small scale, we do see powerful people beat down on the weaker ones. Bullies, abusive spouses, and corrupt politicians are just a few examples of the kinds of people we see every day that use their power the wrong way.
“With great power comes great responsibility” has a simple meaning; if you have the ability to do something, make sure that you do it for the good of others. Highly admired people like Ghandi and Ninoy Aquino have done things that follow the spirit of this message. If you can stop something bad from happening, do it. You don’t have to be a superhero to follow those words of geek wisdom. It’s possible to do small actions that have a big impact in the world.
From: Back to the Future
Who said it?: Doc Brown
The story behind the quote: After repairing the timeline (somewhat) and coming back from 1955, Marty McFly (played by Michael J. Fox) is about to go to the lake with his girlfriend, Jennifer Parker (played by Claudia Wells in the first film, then portrayed by Elizabeth Shue in the succeeding films… long story). Before they can leave, however, Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) comes racing back in the Delorean time machine.
The Doc tells Marty that he has to come with him to the future since there’s going to be a problem with his and Jennifer’s children. After they all board the Delorean, Marty comments that they won’t have enough road to reach the required 88 mph to travel through time. Doc smiles and states “Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads” before converting the vehicle into a flying car and speeding off into the year 2015.
Geek wisdom: It’s difficult to take risks or be different from the pack. There’s always the chance of failure and ridicule from others for doing your own thing. However, a lot of the things we take for granted were due to these risk-takers and different individuals. If it weren’t for creative people like the Wright brothers, Steve Jobs, and other like them, a lot of our modern conveniences wouldn’t be invented. These people did not have any clear trail to follow. They blazed their own.
When we are children, we are taught to be creative and not to be afraid of making mistakes. Even as adults, we’re told to “think outside the box.” Easy in theory, but extremely hard to do in real life. We all have our comfort zones we like to be in and that’s fine. But it is nice to take a step off the safe path once in a while. Its when we get off the road we usually see something different.