In the midst of this insane election, it can be easy to forget that we have a sitting president. To remind us, President Obama has taken some time to work with WIRED on a series of articles for their November issue, which is dedicated to the frontiers of space and technology. The timing of this issue lines up with Obama’s recently announced plans to get man to Mars by 2030, and with his plans to work with the private sector to develop technology for living in space long-term.
Obama’s love of space started at a young age. POTUS told WIRED that his favorite show as a kid was Star Trek, and for a pretty good reason:
What made the show lasting was it wasn’t actually about technology. It was about values and relationships. Which is why it didn’t matter that the special effects were kind of cheesy and bad, right? They’d land on a planet and there are all these papier-mâché boulders. [laughs] But it didn’t matter because it was really talking about a notion of a common humanity and a confidence in our ability to solve problems.
In a separate WIRED article, Obama also discussed his favorite sci-fi movies and shows, and their ability to “expand your mind to new horizons.” He recommends The Matrix because “it asks basic questions about our reality – and looks very cool.” He also likes The Martian because “it shows humans as problem solvers,” Star Wars because “it uses science-fiction to promote a humanist ethic,” and 2001: A Space Odyssey because “it captures the grandeur and scale of the unknown.”
Check out the full list of Obama’s recommendations below, find his explanations here via WIRED, and savor every moment you have left with America’s most powerful nerd.
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Blade Runner (1982)
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
Star Wars: Episode IV—A New Hope (1977)
Star Trek (1966-69)
The Martian (2015)
The Matrix (1999)
Cosmos: A Personal Voyage (1980)