So have you seen the video clip currently making the rounds called the Star Wars Kid? It’s been on the net since around April 19th and has been one of the hottest downloads on the net since then. The clip features a less-than-impressive demonstration of light sabre skills by a slightly pudgy high school geek horsing around in what appears to be his school’s A/V Lab. His “light sabre” consists of what appears to be a portion of a microphone stand or perhaps a broomstick and he provides his own sound effects during his energetic performance.
It’s clear that the video clip was never meant to be spread far and wide on the Internet and probably only was because the poor guy who made it forgot to remove the tape before leaving the lab. It’s the kind of humiliation that every kid secretly fears and the sort of stuff that early John Hughes films are made of. The clip has become so popular that a guy at Raven Software named Bryan Dube added music and sabre effects to a new version of the clip calling it Star Wars Kid Remix.
The clips are damned funny, but also rather poignant in their own way. Why? Because I can relate to that kid. I think part of the reason the clip is so popular is probably because of a lot of the people who have seen it can relate to it. I can’t speak for all geeks, obviously, but this one can remember doing a lot of stupid crap in his youth just like what this kid is doing in this clip. Hell, had I had a video camera to play with I’d probably have my own pathetic attempt at a light sabre battle.
The clips have been linked to by all manner of websites and message boards and some of the comments about this kid have gotten a bit nasty. This has prompted the two webloggers, Andy Baio and Jish Mukerji, (who not only host the above clips, but managed to track the Star Wars Kid down) to start up a donation drive to buy the SWK a new iPod. So far they’ve raised over $2,288, enough for a 30GB iPod and quite a bit more. It’s their way of saying thanks to the SWK for being a trooper about this whole ordeal. I’m a little late in the game in mentioning this as I only just became aware of it through an article at Wired News, but they plan to continue accepting donations until some time this week. So if you wanted to toss in a couple of bucks there may still be time to do so.
Personally, I think that’s pretty damn cool of them. These clips are the sort of thing that could really crush one’s self-image if you were to get too much negative feedback on it. Based on the small interview the guys did with SWK he doesn’t seem to be too damaged by the experience, but it’s still cool that so many people are letting him know they can relate to him. If you’ve got a little of the geek in you then you can probably relate to those clips as well.