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.