President Obama Recommends His Must-Watch Movies And TV Shows

WIRED landed a huge exclusive with POTUS Barack Obama for several articles in their November special issue dedicated to the frontiers of science and technology. The timing couldn’t be better; Obama just announced plans for getting us to Mars in the 2030s and working with the private sector to develop technology for living in deep space long term.

And he has a personal reason for supporting a Mars mission (besides that it’s totally awesome). President Obama tells WIRED that his favorite TV show as a child was Star Trek, and he has a good reason to love it (besides that it’s totally awesome).

“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.”

He really nailed what’s so enduring about Star Trek. In a separate article, he also recommended a great collection of hard sci-fi movies and shows to check out if you want to “expand your mind to new horizons.” Here’s a summary, courtesy of WIRED:

  • 2001: A Space Odyssey because “it captures the grandeur and scale of the unknown.”
  • Blade Runner because “it asks what it means to be human.”
  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind because “it is fundamentally optimistic.”
  • Star Wars because “it was fun and revolutionized special effects.”
  • Star Trek (original series) because “it uses science fiction to promote a humanist ethic.”
  • The Martian because “it shows humans as problem solvers.”
  • The Matrix because “it asks basic questions about our reality — and looks very cool”
  • Cosmos because “it fed my lifelong fascination with space.”

Nailing what we love about Star Trek and giving great viewing recommendations? Thanks, Obama!

You can check out the full articles on President Obama’s Star Trek fandom, recommended movies, essay on why “Now Is the Greatest Time to Be Alive,” and more in WIRED‘s November “Frontiers” Issue on tablets Oct. 18 and newsstands on Oct. 25.

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