Updated 3:08 pm EST
President Barack Obama is no Jedi knight, and no Vulcan — by his own accounts today.
And he’s certainly not both.
It would seem that to cross “Star Wars” and “Star Trek” in one reference, as the commander-in-chief did today at the White House, is best not done. At the same time, one expert tells us, Obama may have been on to something.
There was Obama this morning, apparently mixing up his Spocks and Solos after meeting with congressional leaders in an apparently-futile meeting to dodge the budget cuts of sequestration.
“I know that this has been some of the conventional wisdom that’s been floating around Washington,” the president said, “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.”
Instantly Twitter lit up in high snark that the president had confused two of the most famous tactics of science fiction — the Jedi mind trick and the Vulcan mind meld — sparking “geek outrage”
Yet something triggered in my mind, stored in the files of years of sci-fi fandom, that perhaps the president wasn’t actually incorrect. Maybe Twitter was wrong. And somehow, I think LucasFilm was expecting my call.
Here’s the verdict, according to those who should know: Obama was actually — probably inadvertently — right.
There is such a thing in Star Wars books and spinoffs as a Jedi battle meld, according to Pablo Hidalgo, who goes by the informal title of “Star Wars guru” at LucasFilm. In such a battle meld, those fluent in the Force link their minds toward a common purpose at a time of great conflict.
And though Hidalgo — chuckling throughout the entire interview — suspects it was probably a mixup of of Star Wars and Star Trek, he can’t be 100 percent sure. While there’s no evidence the president of the United States reads or has read Star Wars books, or is conversant in extended Star Wars lore, Hidalgo said, “he may have tipped off deeper knowledge than anyone may have suspected.”
Twitter is still on the case:
— TechCrunch (@TechCrunch) March 1, 2013
Even Spock weighs in:
Only a Vulcan mind meld will help with this congress. LLAP
— Leonard Nimoy (@TheRealNimoy) March 1, 2013
And finally the White House, with some more mixing of Wars and Trek:
— The White House (@whitehouse) March 1, 2013