This is one of those movie lines that is useful in everyday life, at least if you're a geek like me. I recently discovered that I am not the only one who gets self-consciously emotional when this line is heard. I was out with a friend who is also a noder, and in the middle of a trilogy trivia duel, he mentioned that "You know, I have to admit, I don't know anyone else who does, but I get the chills when..." which is as far as he got before I finished "...the first transport is away." He stopped, grinned, and we high-fived.

It denotes the first successful step, taken against heavy odds. Use it yourself! I have found it fits perfectly:

  • When departing on a car trip after much preparation
  • When reporting to a team that their first product (report, story, what have you) has been published or accepted
  • At every shuttle launch
  • Whenever something successful happens to the ISS
  • After the first shot/drink/beer of the evening, when everyone concerned really needed it.

The first away. The first transport is away.

This is really funny. I used to run a monthly billing process for an ISP. We used to put together huge files of credit card transactions, one for each type, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover. One error and the file could bounce on you. When the first file went through and was accepted for processing we used to always say "the first transport is away," and high five. I used to think this was an isolated behavior. I guess I was wrong.

The line started because the gravity of getting the files through was huge. We would have all of the checks for our monthly bills written and ready to put in the mail the next day based on the files going through. One time the clearing house had an issue and it took a long time before the first transport was away. That was a long night.

Glad to see we aren't the only ones that use the line.

For those interested the line originates from Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back when the Rebel Alliance is abandoning their base on the ice planet Hoth.

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