From: Office Space
Who said it?: Michael Bolton
The story behind the quote: Office Space is a cult classic movie from Mike Judge, the creator of Beavis and Butt-head. The story generally focuses of a group of frustrated office workers who work for Initech, a software company, with their manager, Bill Lumberg. One of them gets accidentally hypnotized to enter a state of complete relaxation. So much so that he openly displays his lack of motivation while in the office. Oddly enough, this gets him promoted to a managerial position while his friends, despite trying their best to keep their jobs, are set to be downsized. This is a very rough summary and I know I’m not doing justice to this film describing it. Suffice to say, it deserves its cult classic status. There are a lot of scenes in this movie that are hilarious and memorable.
In one particular scene, one of the disgruntled office workers, the tragically named Michael Bolton, is talking with his friends Peter Gibbons (they guy who eventually get promoted) and Samir Nagheenanajar (a guy with a name no one can pronounce) while printing a document. The printer delivers a PC Load Letter error, at which Michael exclaims that he has no idea what the error is supposed to mean.
Geek wisdom: A lot of times, people can speak and use words that are hard to understand, like the error message given by the printer. This can be either accidental or intentional. If you’ve ever read a EULA, licensing agreement or a legal document, you know how frustrating this can be. Life is already complicated as it is. Let’s not add to it.
From: Star Wars
Who said it?: Darth Vader
The story behind the quote: Ahh, Star Wars. One of the most impressive movies of all time. Released in 1977, the film boasted special effects that was previously unseen before. More than that, however, it was the imaginative universe which included worlds, aliens and technology that could only be found in a galaxy far, far away. This film also introduced the Force. As described by Obi-Wan, the Force “…surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.” While the Force can be used for good and helping people, there is a dark side to it which can be used for evil.
In one of the first scenes of the film, the Empire has just completed the construction of the Death Star, a massive space station capable of destroying a planet in a single blast. Darth Vader comments that, while the station is powerful, it pales in comparison to the power of the Force. One of the lieutenants scoff at this claim saying that it is a very antiquated concept. Vader, however, will have none of it and proceeds to choke the lieutenant using the Force while stating the quote above.
Geek wisdom: Let’s talk about faith. Faith does not have to be about religion. You can have faith in your family and friends that they’ll be there for you, faith in your general community that, deep down, they’re all good people or even faith in yourself.
Having faith is important: we all need something to believe in. It may be in God (or Gods), in other people,with yourself or even an intangible Force that is all around us. We all need to have faith in something to keep us going in order to push through the tough times in life.
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 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.
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.