Do you know that meme that shows an image of Star Trek‘s Captain Picard with a quote from Star Wars (“Use the Force, Luke”) attributed to Dumbledore from the Harry Potter series? It’s a pretty popular meme meant to not only incite a geek frenzy, but also to set off facepalms across the universe.
On Friday, President Obama, who’s known for his love of Star Trek and other geeky franchises, inadvertently triggered a collective facepalm and inspired a meme of his own after he combined Star Wars and Star Trek references during a press conference at The White House.
Speaking to the press, the President stated that he couldnâ€™t use a â€œJedi Mind Meldâ€ to make Republicans in Congress go along with his budget proposal to avert a sequester.
â€œ…the fact that [Republicans] donâ€™t take it means that I should somehow do a Jedi mind meld with these folks and convince them to do whatâ€™s right.”
The President took the Jedi Mind Trick from Star Wars and mashed it up with the Vulcan Mind Meld from Star Trek, and while the geek community does love a good mash-up, it can’t be an inadvertent one and above all, it can’t mix Star Wars with Star Trek… EVER. That’s just the law. (Just watch Fanboys, you’ll see.)
The fallout from the Geek community was huge, with tons of people taking to Twitter to comment that the President’s comment was an #epicgeekfail. But George Takei, who played Sulu on the original Star Trek, says that Obama got it right. The actor appeared on The Ed Show to explain.
â€œJedis are the guardians of peace and justice. And mind meld is the Vulcan way of having the force of pure, clean communication between one mind and the another,â€ Takei said on â€œThe Ed Showâ€ on Friday. â€œWell, thatâ€™s what the president is trying to doâ€“bring those two forces together.â€
You can watch Takei’s appearance on The Ed Show here below.
Leonard Nimoy, who played the popular Vulcan science officer on Star Trek, also took to Twitter to comment on the situation.
Only a Vulcan mind meld will help with this congress. LLAP
After the facepalm heard across the world was set off, The White House was quick with the damage control, posting a Star Wars/Star Trek mash-up meme of its own to the official Twitter account, stating “We must bring balance to the Force. #Sequester #JediMindMeld” – as you can see, they’ve wisely made good use of the currently treading “JediMindMeld” hashtag, as well as set up a website to include the newly coined phrase – wh.gov/JediMindMeld, which explains the President’s budget plan (which is the deal that the majority of Republicans in Congress were unwilling to take, instead letting the sequester come, which will see cuts to airport security, teacher positions, and much more – see this list of 57 Terrible Consequences of the Sequester).
Anyone familiar with Obama knows he’s the ultimate geek figurehead, professing his love of Star Trek from day one — giving the Vulcan salute, including one in a photo taken with Trek‘s Nichelle Nichols; he’s been photographed in front of a Superman statue, teamed up with Spider-Man, and fenced with lightsabers. He’s not a poser; this man loves this stuff. Therefore, this mash-up of epicfail proportions was probably just a simple flub. Interestingly enough, the hit to the President’s geek cred was probably worth it in the end, as it allowed the current situation with the budget plan to be brought to the attention of a lot of people, some of whom might never have even noticed what is currently happening with the government or what a sequester even is. At the very least, maybe the “Jedi Mind Meld” comment can unite Star Wars and Star Trek fans in peace and/or disgust (can’t we all just get along?).
If you’d like more information on the situation with the budget plan and sequester, watch this video with political analysts on The Ed Show and check out this article (with video) with 6 Questions (and Answers) About the Sequester. You can also watch the video here below of Stephen Colbert explaining what budget sequestration is on his show, The Colbert Report.
Video: George Takei on The Ed Show
Video: Stephen Colbert Explains The Budget Sequestration