#618 – Nerdy Youngsters


As I wrote about yesterday, this week our church is hosting its annual VBS. I love hanging out with all of the little kids, but my favorite part is seeing all of our students serving. A large number of our high school and junior high students serve at VBS. I love seeing our youth making a difference in the lives of children.

Here are some nerdy youngsters who also made a difference.

Anakin Skywalker


In theory, the story of a young Anakin Skywalker growing up, learning the ways of the Force, turning to the dark side and becoming Darth Vader is really interesting. In practice, though, things got off on the wrong foot with Jake Lloyd in Episode 1. To be fair to Jake, there were a lot of problems with The Phantom Menace, least of which was his performance. That being said, though, young Anakin Skywalker definitely made a difference. Not only did he win the podrace that allowed Qui-Gon to leave Tatooine, but he also destroyed the Trade Federation control ship and saved Naboo. Young Anakin had a promising future but eventually turned to the dark side, killed all the Jedi and led the galaxy into a decades-long civil war. But at least he wasn’t Jar Jar Binks.

Wesley Crusher


I didn’t like Wesley Crusher but my disdain was based on petty envy. I wanted to be Wesley Crusher. I wanted to be out amongst the stars with the crew of the Enterprise. Wesley was a boy genius but, in the first few seasons, he was a little annoying. As his character developed, though, he got far more interesting, especially when he left Starfleet to hang out with the Traveler and a bunch of Native Americans (that was a weird episode). Wesley made a difference on the Enterprise time and time again, often saving the entire ship with his intellect and insight. One of my favorite “Wesley Saves the Day” episodes was “The Game”, when he saved the Enterprise with a young Ashley Judd.

Donkey Kong, Jr.


Donkey Kong must have gotten himself quite the PR team after he kidnapped Mario’s girlfriend. Donkey Kong went from violent antagonist to sympathetic father figure from one game to the next. My cousins had the cabinet for Donkey Kong, Jr. and I would spend hours in their garage trying to rescue Donkey Kong from Mario’s cold cage. Donkey Kong, Jr. made a difference in his father’s life, rescuing him from the nefarious big-game hunter, Mario. Apparently Donkey Kong, Jr. didn’t make enough of a difference, though, because Senior’s nephew, Diddy Kong, replaced him in Donkey Kong Country.

These nerdy youngsters are great but I’ll take our students over any of them. Wesley may have saved the Enterprise but our students are helping to save children for Jesus. There are young people all around us making a difference. We should encourage them to keep making a difference and also be encouraged to join them in making a difference.

What other nerdy youngster made a difference?


7 comments on “#618 – Nerdy Youngsters”

  1. Paul Atreides (although maybe he wasn’t really nerdy)… Robin saves Superman in Alan Moore’s “The Man Who Has Everything”… and, maybe my favorite, all those “GalaxyQuest” fans who save the day (“I *knew* it was real!”)

    What about girl nerds who make a difference? Ashoka Tano (although, again, maybe not a nerd herself)… I am sure there are more but they are not springing to mind (a fault of the genre, or at least my reading/viewing in it…)

    1. Man, you really called out my nerd cred. I had to Google Paul Atreides, Ahsoka Tano and I’ve never seen Galaxy Quest.

      As far as females go, I almost put Amelia Pond on the list. But, like you, I’m having a hard time thinking of young girls in nerdclinations who made a difference.

      1. Wasn’t my intention to cast aspersions on your geekery, Scott! Amy Pond is a good choice – if making paper dolls of the raggedy doctor isn’t nerdy, what is? (Even if she was motivated by childhood wonder and some nascent romantic feelings?) It is interesting that neither of us can readily think of many geek girls who make a difference, although I am sure they are out there (there’s Agatha Heterodyne, http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20081205, but I haven’t read much of her). Maybe it is a guy thing to project oneself into such situations as the savior figure? The male ego manifesting itself yet again? Dunno. Thanks for a fun post! (And if you haven’t read DUNE, you really should – one of the real landmarks of the genre.)

        If’n you’re interested, I addressed the issue of “Wesley hate” (which I never really shared) in http://thescifichristian.com/2012/10/the-great-tng25-theology-trek-where-no-one-has-gone-before/.

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