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King of the Nerds: season 2, episode 5 - Trek Wars

King of the Nerds
King of the Nerds

Thursday's episode resumes with poor Katie now on Team Midas, under the tyrannical and manic rule of Zack that saw him eliminating the only person on the team (and "secret weapon" chemist) Nicole. This episode's Nerd War is a debate over "Star Trek" vs. "Star Wars." Jack shamefully admits he's seen NEITHER and deserves to be eliminated for that admission alone. Rock-paper-scissors sees Zack face off vs. Kayla and Zack, using his magical roshambo powers, wins the toss. Team Midas defends "Star Wars" Titans of Rigel defends "Star Trek." This is going to get messy.

  • Topic 1: The Empire in Star Wars is a more dangerous adversary than the Borg in Star Trek. It's pretty clear the Borg is far worse than the Empire, but there's some wiggle room here.
  • Topic 2: Star Trek's U.S.S. Enterprise would beat the Millennium Falcon in a dogfight. This is just absurd. The U.S.S. Enterprise is a massive ship in comparison to the tiny Millennium Falcon.
  • Topic 3: The Star Wars universe is better than the Star Trek universe. This is definitely open to debate.

And our judges:

  • Gordon Stables: The head of the USC Debate and Forensics Program
  • Kumail Nanjiani: Comedian and host of uber-nerdy podcast, "The Indoor Kids"
  • Billy Dee Williams: Lando Calrissian from Star Wars

And here's how they argued it out:

  • Topic 1: Kayla vs. Katie, using the argument of size vs. nimbleness. Katie, being her usual charming self, manages to (if perhaps a little too quickly) make such a spirit argument that she wins a point. Win to Team Midas, but although I'm pro-Katie I agree that Kayla's argument was more solid.
  • Topic 2: Chris vs. Zack. Zack curiously argues pro Empire without invoking the Sith. Chris argues that the Borg has unlimited adaptability, which Billy Dee Williams agrees with. Point to Chris. Titans of Rigel wins.
  • Topic 3: Brian vs. Jack. This was a slaughter. Brian, the eloquent hobbit, against Jack, who doesn't know Star Trek OR Star Wars. Jack goes with numbers, building on Star Wars' objective value as a socially popular and merchandising juggernaut. Brian argues that the nature of Star Trek has a greater cultural impact. When challenged on this point, Jack admits he has seen neither, which is tantamount to throwing the game. Win to Titans of Rigel.

Titans of Rigel gets to have dinner with the original cast of Revenge of the Nerds. Why this is a big deal is beyond me (other than the cast of the show knows them).

Titans of Rigel votes Jack into the Nerd-Off. Team Midas votes in Katie. The Nerd-Off is a King of the Nerds spelling bee. Given that Jack has never seen Star Trek or "Star Wars," the odds seem against him. Each is given the definitions to words prevalent in the nerd universe. The first one to buzz in must know the word and then spell it. Every correct answer earns 1 point, every incorrect answer earns the opponent 1 point. Whoever reaches 5 points wins. However, they must select someone who for every incorrect answer they give will get a shock. Katie picks Brian to get fried, Jack picks Chris.

  • Q: In Final Fantasy, this is a flightless bird that can be ridden like a horse. A: Chocobo (Jack).
  • Q: In physics, this is the production of electricity by applying mechanical stress to certain crystals. A: piezo electricity. (Katie gets it wrong)
  • Q: In Star Wars, this is a microscopic life form that lives within cells and allows humans to detect the Force. A: Midi-chlorian (Katie)
  • Q: In A Game fo Thrones, this woman is known as "The Mother of Dragons." A: Daenerys Targaryen (Katie)
  • Q: In biology, this is the formation and differentiation of blood vessels. A: angiogenesis (Jack)
  • Q: In Star Trek, every seven years a vulcan undergoes a time of mating that inspires a bloodlust. A: Pon Farr (Katie)
  • Q: In Harry Potter, this is a language used by a wizard who can talk to snakes. A: Parseltongue (Jack)
  • Q: In the 14th through 16 century, this was a period of revival in the culture of art and literature. A: Renaissance (Jack gets it wrong, point to Katie)
  • Q: In "Star Wars" this is the jungle home world of the Wookiees. A: Kashyyyk (Jack).

Jack wins. So mad that Katie has been knocked out through what can only be described as a spiral she could never escape. Weirdly, Katie gets exploded on the way out, which has nothing to do with Star Wars or Star Trek.

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