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: 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: 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.