@lovethynerd
Love Thy Nerd
Love Nerds + Engage Culture + Build Community

Today in Nerd History | May 16

Buckle up your flight suits and prepare to jump to lightspeed because today we’re celebrating three iconic cinematic adventures that took to the skies and beyond. On May 16, we recognize the high-flying debut of “Top Gun” in 1986, the epic galactic saga of “Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones” in 2002, and the daring space missions of “Star Trek Into Darkness” in 2013. Let’s explore some “Nerdy Facts” about these beloved films that continue to thrill audiences across generations.

Inclusion on this list does not imply that the entry is family friendly, only that is was a nerd culture milestone. Parents should, of course, use discernment.
© Paramount Pictures

© Paramount Pictures

1986: Top Gun (Theaters)

“Top Gun” soared into theaters, offering audiences a blend of high-octane action and romance set against the backdrop of elite Navy fighter pilot training, with Tom Cruise as the unforgettable Maverick.

 

Nerdy Facts:

  • Military Recruitment Boost: The film was so influential that the U.S. Navy set up recruitment booths outside theaters, and enlistment reportedly jumped by 500% in the months following the film’s release.
  • Iconic Soundtrack: The film’s soundtrack became a defining feature, featuring hits like “Danger Zone” by Kenny Loggins and the Oscar-winning “Take My Breath Away” by Berlin, both of which became synonymous with the film’s fast-paced action and romance.
  • Real Navy Training: Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer attended real Navy pilot training to prepare for their roles, and many of the aerial scenes were filmed with assistance from real Navy pilots, adding authenticity to the flight sequences.
© Lucasfilm

© Lucasfilm

2002: Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (Theaters)

“Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones” continued the saga of Anakin Skywalker and the fall of the Jedi, delving into the origins of the Clone Wars while offering new planets and iconic characters.

 

Nerdy Facts:

  • Digital Pioneers: This was the first Star Wars film to be shot entirely on digital cameras, paving the way for digital filmmaking in Hollywood and setting a new standard for high-definition production.
  • Yoda in Action: For the first time, fans saw Yoda engage in lightsaber combat, with his epic duel against Count Dooku becoming one of the most memorable scenes in the prequel trilogy.
  • Cloning History: The cloning facility on Kamino was inspired by real-world genetics labs and offered a fascinating glimpse into the cloning process that would ultimately give rise to the Stormtroopers.
© Paramount

© Paramount

2013: Star Trek Into Darkness (Theaters)

“Star Trek Into Darkness,” the second film in J.J. Abrams’ rebooted “Star Trek” series, took the crew of the Enterprise into dark territory with a story that explored themes of vengeance, betrayal, and sacrifice.

 

Nerdy Facts:

  • Khan Returns: Benedict Cumberbatch portrayed the enigmatic villain Khan Noonien Singh, a reimagined version of the character made famous by Ricardo Montalbán in the original “Star Trek” series and “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.”
  • Lens Flare Galore: Known for his love of lens flares, director J.J. Abrams pushed the visual style to the limit in “Star Trek Into Darkness,” prompting jokes and memes among fans and even leading Abrams to acknowledge and dial back his signature style in future films.
  • Real-World Inspiration: The futuristic cityscapes of “Star Trek Into Darkness” were inspired by contemporary metropolises like Tokyo, Dubai, and London, adding a sense of realism to the film’s vision of the future.

May 16 is a day to celebrate the thrill of high-flying action, epic space battles, and the enduring appeal of stories that take us beyond the horizon. From the cockpit of Maverick’s F-14 to the Jedi temples of Coruscant and the corridors of the USS Enterprise, these films have captured our imaginations and brought us along for unforgettable adventures. Happy Nerd History Day to all who continue to seek new frontiers in their cinematic journeys!

CHECK OUT THE PODCAST





DIR OF CONTENT & RESOURCES
Station Manager of LTN Radio and co-host of the "Nerd History Podcast" & the "Two Words Podcast". Matt is a third-generation radio station manager who has done pretty much every job in the radio industry. Matt is the father of two boys and a little girl. It's probably the best thing about him.

Reader Comments

Related Content

Today in Nerd History | June 18

A daily re-cap of this date in the history of movies, TV shows, video games, comics, wrestling and more!

Today in Nerd History | June 17

A daily re-cap of this date in the history of movies, TV shows, video games, comics, wrestling and more!

Today in Nerd History | June 16

A daily re-cap of this date in the history of movies, TV shows, video games, comics, wrestling and more!

Today in Nerd History | June 15

A daily re-cap of this date in the history of movies, TV shows, video games, comics, wrestling and more!

Today in Nerd History | June 14

A daily re-cap of this date in the history of movies, TV shows, video games, comics, wrestling and more!

Today in Nerd History | June 13

A daily re-cap of this date in the history of movies, TV shows, video games, comics, wrestling and more!

Today in Nerd History | June 12

A daily re-cap of this date in the history of movies, TV shows, video games, comics, wrestling and more!

Today in Nerd History | June 11

A daily re-cap of this date in the history of movies, TV shows, video games, comics, wrestling and more!