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President Obama's 'Star Wars' Confusion Inspires Twitter Nerdout

During a news conference Friday, the president conflated terms from the sci-fi franchises, immediately creating a buzz among reporters and geeks.

Star Wars Barack Obama Star Trek Split - H 2013
Mark Wilson/Getty Images; Getty Images

Though the economy is on the verge of going the way of Alderaan, it was President Barack Obama's mix-up of classic Star Wars and Star Trek terms that stole headlines Friday morning.

Addressing reporters about the so-called budget sequestration that would gut government spending at midnight, Obama said that he could not force Congress to pass a bill to prevent the cuts' implementation. He is a president, he said, not a dictator, and can't use a "Jedi mind meld" to force Republicans' hands.

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Obama, in an effort to turn government mechanics into a digestible pop culture reference, actually combined the term, "Jedi mind trick," from Star Wars, and the "Vulcan mind meld," which comes from Star Trek. Predictably, Twitter exploded with laughter and snark (see below).

Obama is actually a vocal and longtime Trek fan and hosted original series star Nichelle Nichols at the White House in early 2012; the pair gave the famed Vulcan salute in a photo released by the administration. Earlier this year, the White House officially declined a petition asking it to build a Death Star, a staple of the Star Wars mythology.

Of course, Obama isn't the only one to be mixing the two worlds; J.J. Abrams, who directed the 2009 Star Trek reboot and this summer's sequel, will helm the first of the new Star Wars trilogy.