The Force is Strong With This One: Meet Teacher and ‘Star Wars’ Fan Brian Dennert


PpscqOYMeet high school history teacher and major Star Wars fan Brian Dennert, whose school ID photos have become something of a legend online. Denner’s latest proves that just because you’re a grown man you can’t be a beautiful young “Princess” for a day, and just because you’re a teacher you don’t have to say goodbye to your inner child. After I stopped laughing (approvingly) at Dennert dressed as Princess Leia, I knew I had to find him and talk with him:

I love your ID! Is this the first Star Wars one you’ve done?

I did one before.

How do the students respond?

They enjoy it. I know school can be tough. I want to make their day better. Many of them shared it with their friends. I have impressive young people in my classes.

What about the administration and other teachers?

They are supportive of me. I have an inspiring principal. Not sure if she has seen this picture yet. The other teachers also shared it. Our yearbook director, Adam Lev, supports creativity. He should get a raise.

What do you teach?

Mostly AP World History. 10th graders.

So obviously you’re a Star Wars fan, and a big one at that. How, and when, did you get into the saga?

As a kid. The first movie I remember seeing in a theater is Empire Strikes Back. At least that’s what I remember. It was a long, long time ago. (I see what you did there, Brian – Matt)

What’s your favorite movie and character? Got any other fans in the family?

My current favorite character is Obi-Wan Kenobi. He is a good example of being a good Father figure. As a kid I liked Luke Skywalker. I guess it reflects where I am in life. Yes, my wife and kids are really into Star Wars.

Are you into any other sci-fi or fantasy stuff?

I played an obsessive amount of Dungeons & Dragons as a kid. I credit it with helping me move from being in special education in elementary school to some GATE classes. My passion for reading came from game playing. If we can get kids reading what they like it is amazing for how they do in school.

What’s next year’s ID going to look like?

I was thinking Lobot. Not sure if that will be as popular with casual fans.