Every year, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology puts out a student-made fan film to let prospective students know when the university’s admissions decisions will be made. And this year, they went all out and found an honest-to-god superhero to be their star — Riri Williams herself.
Okay, okay, I'm kidding, we all know Riri's fictional. The 15-year-old MIT student from Chicago was first introduced as a character in Invincible Iron Man (who was able to build her own Iron Man suit in her dorm from scratch, by the way), and has since taken over Tony Stark's official superhero duties as a new hero named Ironheart. But dang if MIT's fan-film doesn't make me feel like maybe she's an actual student who's existed in the real world this whole time.
This isn’t the first time one of MIT’s admissions videos has borrowed a character from pop culture; last year, they featured a computer-generated version of BB-8 from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. But Riri, who herself is an MIT student, meant something extra-special to the current student body.
"Although Riri Williams is a fictional MIT black woman, she’s played by a real MIT black woman, directed by a real MIT black woman, and 'lives' in a real MIT black woman’s dorm room, something I thought was pretty awesome,"wrote MIT Junior Selam G., who worked on the fan film. "It shows that all of Riri’s characteristics can be found, collectively, among all of the black women at MIT, and I’m glad that there’s now an additional story among all the fictional stories where people can witness this identity."
“People were excited about Riri because she opened up the spectrum of imagination —for people in and outside of the demographic of black women,” she also wrote. “It makes you think, I can imagine a black, female, mechanical engineer — because I’ve seen one. It allows people of that demographic to imagine themselves that way, too.”
Selam goes into deeper detail about how the fan film was made in her blog entry, which features this adorable behind-the-scenes video. Honestly, can they just cast Ayomide as Riri in the movies already? She’s perfect.
Also, MIT even created a fictional blogger profile for Riri, which is the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen on a college admissions website... probably ever.
Students will find out whether they’ve been accepted into the MIT class of 2021 on March 14, 2017, which is Pi Day. God, MIT, you literally have a comic book character as the lead in your admissions announcement and that’s still not the nerdiest thing in it.
Does this make you want to see what Marvel Studios would do with a cinematic version of Riri? Tell us what you think in the comments!
Yo, did you see Thor's new do?