Whether you like his politics or not, President Barack Obama is a unique president. OK, let’s get the obvious one out the way, he’s black. However, another unique feature that he has that not many presidents have had, is that he’s the first “millennial” president. He uses social media, he listens to current pop music, and he’s a loud and proud nerd.
The president was guest editor for Wired Magazine and he unveiled what he believes are the essential movies and TV shows to “expand your mind to new horizons.” Here are President Obama’s favorite science fiction films and television shows:
2001: A Space Odyssey
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope
Star Trek: The Original Series
Cosmos: A Personal Voyage
In the upcoming November issue of Wired Magazine, the president offers his thoughts on each entry. He notes that Blade Runner is essential because “it asks what it means to be human.” President Obama liked the optimism of Close Encounters. The president enjoyed The Martian because is showed human being as problem solvers as Matt Damon’s character needed to do some serious problem solving to stay alive on the harsh terrain of Mars. Obama praised the original Star Trek series because he believes the show wasn’t about aliens or technology, but “values and relationships” and uses the guise of science fiction to promote a humanistic ethic. Obama loves The Matrix because it was an awesome action film while also because it “asks basic questions about our reality—and looks very cool.”
Is he right? What would you list as essential sci-fi? Personally, I think that Alien and The Empire Strikes Back should be somewhere on that list as well as both show us that the universe can sometimes be a cold, unforgiving place (and the bad guys can sometimes win). What do you think?