Merriam-Webster defines “nerd” as “an unstylish, unattractive, or socially inept person.” The six Star Wars movies, starring such stylish, attractive, and socially proficient people as Natalie Portman, Harrison Ford and Ewan McGregor, have grossed nearly $4.4 billion at the box office, a number that will likely increase by another $2 billion when The Force Awakens comes out next month (so soon!). To insult Star Wars fans for being “nerds” is to misuse the term — there’s nothing nerdy about one of the most commercially successful franchises ever. (This works the other way around: You can’t call yourself “SUCH a nerd” for owning the original trilogy on DVD.)
And yet, the outdated stereotype remains. Take a recent segment on Fox News’ Your World with Neil Cavuto. The host invited a Star Wars fan, Mike Gunzelman, and a hater, Carley Shimkus, to discuss literally everyone buying tickets for Force Awakens two months before it’s even released (guilty). Makes sense: anticipation is high, and in these spoiler-heavy times, you don’t want a key plot point to be ruined for you by the Homers of the world.
But Shimkus is having none of your excitement. “People [who] go online and buy tickets two months in advance,” she said, “will ruin the experience for people like you and me who are normal movie watchers.” Shimkus later added, “There’s like 16 million of them, and they’re all out of order,” while Cavuto (who complains about the movie receiving too much attention while devoting an entire segment to it) helpfully chimed in, “So, Darth Vader is dead, right?” The subtext of the conversation is: “nerds” are weird, and Fox is no longer involved with Star Wars distribution, so let’s piss on everyone’s parade. Cavuto essentially admits as much, saying, “But again, I’m not really into this whole thing, especially when I found out Fox has nothing to do with it.”
Cavuto and Shimkus, outed for the true Star Trek fans they are.