Film Firsts | When Was Your First Geek Discovery?

Do you remember your first “geek discovery”? Not something you found or bought, but when you looked at yourself and said, “Yeah. I think I’m a geek.”

There is truly no time like childhood and that wonderful feeling of first-time experiences. In one way or another, we gravitate toward certain hobbies or activities that pique our interest. And as we grow, we eventually become fixated on specific shows or games or characters through various media.

In 2020, there are endless avenues for people to have their own geek discovery. Anything from collectibles or conventions can help celebrate the vast number of fandoms in the world. Ah, the innocence of youth and the joy of geek discovery. And whether everyone wants to admit it, we all have something.

For this week’s #FilmFirstsFriday, I asked our wonderful team of geckaphiles at MoviesMatrix about the spark to their inner geek flames. Here are their films. Maybe they’re yours too…


Q: Which film first established your first geek discovery?

Flash Gordon (1980)

Flash Gordon was a geek discovery for many people.
Source: Starling Films, Dino De Laurentiis Company

Todd: I was a bitter 9-year-old kid who missed out on the original theatrical showing of Star Wars. Lucky for me a few years later, I stumbled upon the campy, colorful, and insanely fun Flash Gordon!

Flash Gordon sold me on the comic-y, science-fiction vibe, which set off a chain of events that led me to my everlasting love for Star Wars and other space-based films. Sci-fi has unlimited possibilities, which is why I love it. The very concept of exploring all these new worlds has made me love the genre even more over time.

To this day, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is my favorite comic book movie of all-time. I owe much of my admiration for this newer space adventure to the one and only: Flash Gordon.

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)

Star Wars was a geek discovery for everyone else.
Source: 20th Century Fox/Lucasfilm

Sonny: This may come as a surprise since this film wasn’t received well and didn’t live up to many expectations. However, the way The Phantom Menace portrayed the Jedi completely blew me away as a child. They were stylish and made lightsabers seem like the coolest weapons ever created.

I remember after the movie finished, I demanded like a spoiled brat that my parents get me one so I could run around the house deflecting fake blaster shots.

During the closing stages when Darth Maul shows up and reveals his saber was double-ended, I geeked out so much! I was in awe during the final duel (“Duel of the Fates“) as they back-flipped and force pushed each other all over the place. It was something the original trilogy never did. I didn’t realize the cool things that Jedi were capable of doing until The Phantom Menace. After that, I was completely hooked on learning everything Star Wars.

Dune (1984)

Source:  Dino De Laurentiis Company, Estudios Churubusco Azteca S.A.

Shawn: When I was a kid, I knew I loved science fiction from the first book in the genre I read, “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury. To add to my collection, I read Frank Herbert’s “Dune” and couldn’t put it down. I was swept up in Arrakis, as it filled my imagination with life with the Fremen.

Then, I saw the movie in 1985 at the dollar movie-house. Barely into double-digit age, I couldn’t have been more impressed with a book I read becoming a movie I’m watching. This was my geek discovery because I couldn’t stop discussing it! I even kept my “Dune Terminology” that I was given at the theater for years until it was torn to shreds. Although David Lynch didn’t love his version, I loved it and gladly welcomed myself into the geckaphile fold.

Independence Day (1996)

Independence Day is a great source of self geek discovery
Source: 20th Century Fox/Centropolis Entertainment

Lo: Probably a highly unconventional choice but hear me out…

Predating when I personally saw Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope by a full year, this rollicking sci-fi adventure not only opened up my eyes to science fiction, but every single aspect of cinema itself.

When this film came out, it was huge. It was a summer blockbuster in every sense of the word. With lines spilling out of theaters, it was the movie event of the year. After the film released on VHS, I watched it over-and-over. I was lucky enough to see HBO’s behind-the-scenes specials on the film which pulled me into the vast world of filmmaking. I was in sheer awe of the groundbreaking special effects, especially the incredible miniature work!

Heck, I even had Bill Pullman’s iconic President Whitmore speech memorized. Between acting out the scenes and knowing each specific shot, I began to realize that… Uh oh. I have officially become a geek.

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