Nerds erupt: Obama mixes ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Star Wars’ in ‘Jedi mind meld’ metaphor

By David Ferguson
Friday, March 1, 2013 13:27 EDT
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Obama and Nichelle Nichols via WH Flickr
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President Barack Obama may have earned himself the enmity of science fiction fans everywhere on Friday when he conflated “Star Trek” and “Star Wars” while discussing the government’s failure to avert the sequester. According to the Wall Street Journal‘s Market Watch blog, the president was answering a question about why he didn’t just lock Congress into a room and refuse to let them out until the mess was solved.

“I am not a dictator, I’m the president,” said Obama. “I know that this has been some of the conventional wisdom that’s been floating around Washington that somehow, even though most people agree that I’m being reasonable, that most people agree I’m presenting a fair deal, the fact that they don’t take it means that I should somehow, you know, do a Jedi mind meld with these folks and convince them to do what’s right.”

Twitter and other social media have erupted with fans of both franchises rushing to correct Obama that there is no “Jedi mind meld,” but rather the “Vulcan mind meld,” which originated in the original “Star Trek” series.

Vulcans, a telepathic species according to the “Star Trek” mythos, are able to blend their minds with those of other beings, hence the name “mind meld.” The technique first appeared in Episode 9 of Season One of “Star Trek.”

Some, arguably even nerdier people like Garance Franke-Ruta of the Atlantic, however, have pointed out that there is a “Force Meld” in the “Star Wars” universe.

Wookiepedia, the online “Star Wars” encyclopedia said, “Force Meld, otherwise known as Jedi meld or Battle meld, was a technique where a number of Force users joined their minds together through the Force, drawing strength from each other.” The Force Meld appeared in several “Star Wars” offshoot novelizations including Outbound Flight, Star by Star and Books I and II of the Enemy Lines series, Rebel Dream and Rebel Stand.

[image via White House Flickr photostream]

David Ferguson
David Ferguson
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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