Though geek is borderline mainstream these days, there are those who remain mired in the idea that it is somehow socially unacceptable, something to be derided. Liking "geeky" things gives others the opportunity to sneer and look down their noses, and feel briefly superior. You know: like racists do.
And all that would be fine, if all obsessions were considered equally shameful; liking football, collecting art, being a connoisseur of wine, being into music that tastemakers have deemed "cool"... Once you start picking away at the notion that some interests are "cooler" or less shameful than others, the more absurd and tragic it becomes for those who can't just like something simply because they like it.
You don't see organised armies of cosplayers fighting en masse in the streets, or being wasted and vomiting in the gutter, or throwing coins at refugee children.
Without meaning to, the stuff I enjoy the most has never been part of that socially acceptable mainstream. My favourite band, Marillion, are probably the most universally derided of all time. I liked Doctor Who during the years where it wasn't okay to like Doctor Who. My favourite place on earth is Disney World. I used to do role-playing. I've got a Back to the Future licence plate on the wall in my downstairs toilet, and an old Astro Wars electronic game on top of my fridge.
And yet, somehow, while I've always been a proud geek, and happily liked what I like, I've never quite crossed over into full geekdom.
Y'know... I've no tattoos of Harry Potter, and I don't have a room for all the merchandise I own. If I've ever bought an action figure, there's no question for me of leaving it in the packaging. I can't watch a lot of old Doctor Who, because it's so bad. And - heck - until I took the kids to the official BBC 50th anniversary festival, I'd never even been to a Doctor Who convention.
The only other similarly geeky things I've been to were a few MCM Expos when my daughters were younger - and that was because they wanted to go.
I don't know if having kids so young meant I had to develop responsibility, which meant that earning money and being a father was more important than dressing up as an orc.
Or maybe I was stung by the ostracism which comes from association with geekery.
Either way, I've never quite let myself fully embrace being a geek in the way that some people do.
But... flying in the face of a lifetime of tentative geekery, I bought tickets to Star Wars Celebration Europe 2016, which was held this past weekend in London.
Now, this wasn't my first Celebration. I'd been in Orlando while one was being held many years ago, and - on a whim - picked up tickets at a local comic store. Unfortunately, the atmosphere of the event was soured for me due to certain "domestic" issues, and I ended up leaving after just over an hour.
Consequently, it was important for me to go back to a Celebration, and carve out some better memories.
As Celebration approached, I was excited about seeing some of the panels. Well, excited may be an overstatement. I was looking forward to experiencing the buzz that is talked about by the attendees of Comicon and Celebraton. Unfortunately, when I learned that getting wristbands to attend those panels meant camping out overnight, or getting up absurdly early, there was no way I was prepared to do so.
Not least because by Friday - the day Celebration kicked off - I was spent. The last couple of months have been stressful - my mum's not been well, and though she's on the road to recovery, it has meant a fair bit of running back and forth to the hospital, or looking after her since she's been out.
Unfortunately, all of that crashed head-on with the busiest time of the year for me, work-wise, and dealing with the usual responsibilities of parenthood. And last week was the busiest, hardest, week of work I've had this year thus far, with deadlines and 16-hour working days. I've been such a hermit the past few months, that most of my friends assume I've died. Consequently, by the time I did get to the ExCel Centre in London, where Celebration was happening, all I really wanted to do was sleep.
I mention this not for sympathy, but because it goes some way to explaining why I had such a wretched time on the Friday.
Actually, saying it was wretched might be pushing it. But I was exhausted. Profoundly so.
And dealing with crowds, dealing with queues, dealing with that level of noise and disorder, was the antithesis of what I needed.
Nevertheless, the first thing we did upon arrival was get into one of those queues to see costumes and models used in the production of Rogue One, the upcoming standalone Star Wars movie.
It was a good, if not exactly over-stocked display - the sort of thing I wish there had been more of at Celebration. Unfortunately, in the context of the rest of the show, it was hard not to see it as a way to build hype for a new movie, rather than something that existed purely for its entertainment value in and of itself.
I'd have been just as interested to see a similar display from any one of the earlier Star Wars films, but... they've already been released, I guess, and they're not the new thing that the company is looking to sell.
On the Friday at least, Celebration seemed to me to be nothing more than an enormous market, which sold Star Wars merchandise almost exclusively.
Without wristbands to get into the panels, without wanting to queue for the few talks which didn't require wristbands, all it felt like was a way to try and sell me stuff. Books, toys, t-shirts, jackets, prop replicas, and exclusive merch, which was hidden away in a special store, that never had less than a 90 minute wait to get in. Unless you'd shelled out £300 for a VIP "Jedi Master" ticket, of course.
There was a Star Wars VR presentation, but there was no getting into that unless - yes - you'd been there bright and early, and nabbed a ticket.
Somewhat inevitably, after traipsing around for four hours - with nothing but an overpriced and tasteless chicken burrito as fuel - I threw in the towel. We got back to our hotel, and I crashed, passing out fully clothed at 9pm, and sleeping for 12 hours - almost twice what I usually manage.
Fortunately, Saturday was a new day - as it frequently is - though my knees remained sore from the 11km we'd somehow walked the day before. Part of me just wanted to go home.
That wasn't really possible, alas. We were meeting my daughter in town that evening to see a gig by the comedian Reggie Watts... and before that at 3pm, I was having my photo taken with Luke Skywalker.
Yes. That's right. As an early birthday present, I decided I wanted my photo taken with Mark Hamill. Which is as weird to me as it probably is to you.
I've never been interested in autographs, never even really wanted my photo taken with celebrities. I've met more than my fair share through my work, and they're just people. Which is a cliche to state, I know, but I can't express it enough. I can list on one finger the amount of times I've been starstruck.
When I visited those MCM Expos with my daughters, I always felt a bit sad when I saw the geek icons sat at tables - Peri from Doctor Who, or Counsellor Troi from Star Trek: The Next Generation, or Dave "Darth Vader" Prowse, or Rusty "An Ewok" Goffe - signing autographs for fans to whom those few moments of contact was akin to a touching God's beard.
That's probably wrong of me - both parties in that equation are getting some degree of fulfilment from it (in the case of one party it's also financial fulfilment), and it would be a mistake to speculate on what that might be.
Mark Hamill, though... He's different isn't he? At least, he is to me. He's Luke Skywalker. When I was little, he was my hero. Far more than Han Solo was back then. If my friends and I ever played Star Wars, I always wanted to be Luke. Which was fine, because the rest of them always argued over who was going to be Han.
Having more energy, I saw Celebration differently on that Saturday. I saw beyond the sell, sell, sell.
I saw Celebration living up to its name; people celebrating something they love. Something which matters to them. It was a coming together of like minds and hearts, and with the world in the state it's in, that's a wonderful thing to behold.
Despite the enormous queues for everything - whether it was to get into panels, or to buy merchandise, or to spend five seconds in the presence of Admiral Piett, or for coffee and food, or to get a picture with somebody cosplaying as Chewbacca - everyone I saw just seemed happy to be there.
The skill which went into the fan-builds - the full-size TIE Fighter, the enormous AT-AT - was a sight to behold. As was the level of work and imagination which people had put into their costumes (beyond Darth Maul, there was a noticeable lack of prequel cosplay, commendably...).
There were little kids, and old men, and couples, and black people, and white people, and people in wheelchairs, and guys dressed as Rey, and girls dressed as Han Solo, and they were all there in the name of one thing. Not once did I hear anybody complain, or moan, or make a derisive comment - despite the noise and the heat and the crowds, and the sheer diversity on display.
There was a huge section of Celebration given over to the many Star Wars fan clubs - many of which run charitable events while in costume. There was the R2 Builders Club, a display of customised Scout Trooper helmets, a large area given over to painters and tattooists. The creativity which is inspired by Star Wars is mind-blowing. And it brought all these people together.
At one point, chaos erupted in the hall when a group of fans ran through Celebration, dressed as an obscure character known as Willrow Hood, or "Ice Cream Guy" (for he was seen, briefly, in The Empire Strikes Back, running through shot carrying an ice cream maker - in a single shot). Apparently, this was a traditional Celebration event known as The Running of the Hoods. Which was brilliant, and bonkers, and made all the better because it concluded with them serving ice cream to other guests.
While in the scrum for Mark Hamill photos, I got talking to a guy who's part of an Irish Star Wars club. It was clear how much all of it meant to him. How Star Wars is literally his life. He talked to me about how he has fibromyalgia, and suffers from stress and anxiety, and how Star Wars is how he socialises. For him it's about friendship. It gets him out of the house. It gives him reason.
Nevertheless, I remain slightly torn when it comes to Star Wars Celebration. The box office take of any Star Wars movie is, in most respects, irrelevant.
The Force Awakens may have taken over $1 billion dollars, but that pales into insignificance next to the $6 billion in merchandise sold in its wake. Star Wars Celebration is, on one hand, a slightly vulgar tribute to how much you can exploit a willing fanbase.
Yet while Star Wars is an enormously lucrative capitalist enterprise... when you hear its filmmakers talk - now that George Lucas is out of the equation, the people working on it at a creative level are evidently all fans - it's clear that there is a love behind-the-scenes.
Disney and LucasFilm might exist to make money, but Star Wars exists because there is a passion to make Star Wars movies as good as they can be. Because there's an audience there that is ready to love them. It's truly beautiful, and to hell with anyone who is cynical about how much joy it gives people.
And so I got my photo with Mark Hamill. He was a trooper, and is clearly loving every minute of being back in the spotlight.
Any weirdness that I might've felt about paying money to have a picture taken with some guy simply evaporated once it was happening.
He gave everyone a moment of his time, gamely comparing a brother and sister to Luke and Leia, or clambering onto the back of the guy in front, or - kindly - throwing Jedi shapes with me.
I keep looking at the picture. I can't quite wrap my head around it, and I don't know what it means to me. I know it means something, I know that meeting him - for the whole 30 seconds it lasted - is somehow important and significant for me. I know that despite always stating that I wouldn't ever be one of those people who got photos with celebrities, that it might've been a lie I told myself. I was always one of those people. Of course I was.
Maybe I wanted to be better, and cooler, like the snides told me I had to be. Maybe I told myself that I was above fan worship. And maybe now, for the first time in my life, I get it. And it's simple, and probably doesn't need overanalysing, like I do everything else.
Perhaps it's just as profound and as straightforward as this: I got my photo taken with Luke Skywalker, and it made me happy.