SuperSpaceChick and The Nerdy Girlie are hosting a weekly link-up of sorts, 5 Fandom Friday. It’s a weekly list of 5 things about various aspects of geekery, fandom, and our own blogging personality. If you want to follow other bloggers venture into 5 Fandom Friday, be sure to follow the hashtag #Fandom5, and follow SuperSpaceChick and The Nerdy Girlie on Twitter.
To kick off 5 Fandom Friday, we’re talking about the 5 fandoms that were my gateway into geekery. So let’s kick it off with a gif from one of my current favorite fandoms. Dean?
1. Star Wars
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, my mother sat my younger brother and I down in front of the television. She popped Star Wars: Episode IV, A New Hope into the VCR, saying it was important that we saw the Star Wars movies. It was one of my first real tastes of sci-fi, and it’s also worth noting that Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford were my first real Hollywood crushes that were not either JTT or a member of Hanson. While I certainly knew, even in my kid brain, that the movies were dated, I was completely captivated. For some reason, I had it in my head that girls couldn’t be Jedi (not sure where I got that), even though I secretly really wanted to be a member of the Jedi, or at least a kick-ass rebel like Princess Leia (when I was a teacher, I had to try really hard to not freak out when I had a student in my study hall named Leia). For a while, my screen name was even jedigirl88. The obsession was strong with this one.
2. Star Trek
My parents’ love for Star Wars is nothing compared to their love of Star Trek. The only thing that is keeping them from full-on stereotypical Trekkie nerddom is a firm grasp of Klingon and a trip or two to a Star Trek convention. Just like my mother made sure my brother and I watched Star Wars, she also made sure we watched every Star Trek movie, as well as episodes of the original Star Trek series. Say what you will about Star Trek VI: A Voyage Home, but “colorful metaphors” and “nuclear wessles” are still a very large part of my family’s vocabulary to this very day.
3. The Lord of the Rings
I had the very rare opportunity to go to a tiny school that was FILLED with LOTR freaks. Once the movies came out, it became tradition that the sophomore class would actually go on school field trips to see the movie, and read whatever book was being released in English class. When the first movie came out, however, our school was small enough that we all (my school only had 7th-10th graders at the time) went to see the movie in theaters. A couple of weeks before our field trip, I got the bright idea that I wanted to read Fellowship before I saw the first movie.
As it would turn out, those books are pretty darn big and pretty dense. So that didn’t happen. However, I was completely captivated by the movie, and I went on to read every single book and see every single movie (extended versions, too), several times over.
There was a time in my life that closed captioning taught me to say “under the armpit” in Elvish. I would say it as often as I could. Tolkein’s books and the corresponding movies brought me into a world I’d never experienced before–one where I could get completely swept away in a book, and then see everything come to life.
It also introduced me to the righteous indignation that “I read the book first” folk can have when movie makers do something bizarre with their beloved books. Case in point, Legolas stair-surfing:
4. The Scarlet Pimpernel
This movie, you guys. I know there are other versions made, even a black-and-white version that is deemed a classic, but this version (with a pre-knighthood Sir Ian McKellan and Jane Seymour) completely changed my life. I’m not even sure how or why my parents got their hands on a copy of this movie. I’m not sure how it came about that they wanted us to watch the movie (I can’t imagine my little brother and I asking to watch this–especially when none of our friends knew who Sir Percival Blankeny was). However, this was one of my favorite movies as a kid, and it got me hooked on stories of vigilante justice, disguises, and, of course, dashing, well-dress swashbuckling heroes who I now realize have a startling resemblance to Tom Hiddleston. We also had the book The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy (there are several books in the Pimpernel series, but I’ve only read the one), and I’ve read it more times than I can count. This? This movie and book right here? This is what started my love for British movies and British TV.
I love literature, and I attribute that largely to my upbringing. My parents put a big emphasis on reading, and they were always quick to take me on trips to the library to stock up on books. While we really didn’t have cable growing up, we did get PBS. So I watched a TON of Wishbone as a kid. This was the show that introduced me to good literature. It showed me the awesome worlds I could discover in a book, and how exciting it could be to get totally lost in the world of fiction. This more than anything else was the “gateway fandom” (there was a Wishbone fandom, right?) that led me into the world of geekery and literary nerddom.
What are your gateway fandoms? Let me know in the comments, and be sure to check out the other #Fandom5 posts! I’ll be back next week with another 5 Fandom Friday!