A couple weeks back for Nerdsday, I outlined my pantheon of geek goddesses. As usual life gets in the way of regular blogging, and while I went with the semi-sexist “ladies first” I always planned this as a two parter. So here they are – my nominations in no particular order – the geek gods.
If there was a Zeus of Geek Gods – Patrick Stewart would be it. As Capt. Jean Luc Picard on Star Trek TNG, and later Professor X of the X-men movies, he is beyond any doubt one of the all-time greats. He’s an amazing actor (I’ve never seen him perform badly in a role) and awesome to his fans. I mean really, who makes a cotton candy moustache, besides Sir Patrick?
But he’s a god not just because of his movie and television roles. He’s also a vocal activist against domestic violence and violence against women. And that’s a big reason he’s my Zeus.
If Stewart is Zeus, George Takei is the geek god of comedy, known first for his role as Sulu on Star Trek. With nearly 5 million followers on facebook, 350,000 on pinterest, and more than 790,000 on twitter, it could be said “Uncle George” is among the funniest geek gods online.
He’s well known for his activism in equality (not just LGBT but racial and economic), and almost as well known for his puns. Some may call them bad puns, but I love puns so nearly all of them give me a chuckle.
To every hero, there’s a villain. And some lucky folks get to play iconic roles on both sides of the morality scale. Sir Ian McKellan is sublime as the X-men’s Magneto, and phenomenal at bringing J.R.R. Tolkien’s Gandalf the wizard to life.
One of my favorite McKellan memes is the one where he’s wearing a red t-shirt proclaiming “I’m Magneto & Gandalf. Get Over It.”
Only Ford could’ve pulled off answering “I know” so smugly to Carrie Fisher’s Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy. And defeat Nazis so deftly as Indiana Jones, holding his own with Sean Connery.
Nathan Fillion. Oh my goodness. How I didn’t know about Capt. Tightpants before Castle is a mystery for the ages. I’m a late adapter, what can I say. I fell in love with Castle as a tv show, and Fillion for his personality. And then I found Firefly. And Dr. Horrible and Capt. Hammer. Occasionally you’ll find him masquerading as Capt. Canada. Even Entertainment Weekly featured him on an issue with the title Geek God.
Fillion is like many other geek gods – proud of his geekiness, and loves interacting with his fans. His twitter feed is one of the few I follow, and honestly, he’s my free pass. (Full disclosure. His squee face is about the cutest thing ever.)
You can’t mention Fillion and his fandom interactions without bringing up Wil Wheaton. He’s an old-school geek god, and I have to admit as a geek myself I’ve been crushing on him since he was Wesley Crusher to Stewart’s Picard. Now known as Sheldon’s nemesis on TBBT, he’s becoming even more known for his missives to fans, whether its parenting advice or equality, Wheaton is a geek’s geek.
And I admit, I had this exact poster on my closet door when I was a teenager. Who kids on the block?
Ah, the gents of The Big Bang Theory – making science cool and funny at the same time. Jim Parsons, Johnny Galeki, Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar have proven you don’t need more than a brain and great comedic timing to win the hearts and minds of millions.
Now in syndication, TBBT has turned the sit com world on its ear. Granted, without the writers the show wouldn’t be nearly half as funny or smart, but these guys are a perfect team.
Speaking of genius writers – Joss Whedon. I mentioned several of his iconic geek goddesses last time. This is the man behind Buffy, Firefly, Dr. Horrible, Dollhouse & more. He’s further lent his talent to bringing the Avengers to the big screen. Without a doubt, he’s the geek god of writing & directing.
Whedon’s compatriot behind the camera – J.J. Abrams. The man behind Lost, the Star Trek reboot, and so many other greats was tapped to finish the Star Wars’ final three chapters. Love him or hate him, he’s a polarizing geek hero.
Speaking of heroes – Ironman & Sherlock Holmes. Robert Downey, Jr. Hollywood’s one-time bad boy is now solid box office gold. His smug charm shows he was born to be Tony Stark. And he’s humble enough that he held out on Avengers 2 to make sure his co-stars made the same bank he did. That’s why he’s a geek god. Not just his roles, but his realization that he’s not the only one who makes it happen.
Over the years he starred in other fandom favorites, Hercules, Xena, Brisco County, and like many other geek gods – voice over work. There’s nothing quite like hearing Ash when watching Cars 2 with your kids.
You can’t mention Star Wars, voice over acting, and Han Solo without including Mark Hamill as a geek god. Fresh-faced Luke had all the girls swooning back in the day. Now he’s heard as the Joker and more on several animated series. Like other geek gods, he has a self-deprecating sense of humor, as evidence by his part in Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back.
And that leads us to Kevin Smith. The penultimate comic book fanboy. While some would consider that an insult, Smith revels in it. Comics and graphic novels have played large parts in his movies, from Clerks to Chasing Amy, Dogma to Strike Back. Anyone who can have this much fun and make a living at it, while entertaining the rest of us has to have a little geek god in him.