Whatever your politics, it’s hard to disagree with the fact that President Obama is one of the coolest presidents the United States has ever had. Case in point: the President was recently asked to guest edit an issue of Wired magazine, in which he offered up a list of sci-fi films and TV shows that he considers essential viewing. While his personal list may not be incredibly esoteric or deep cut enough for Film Twitter, it’s certainly a worthy lineup of some of the best sci-fi cinema the medium has ever offered.
The President’s list, as revealed by Wired, is as follows:
2001: A Space Odyssey
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope
Star Trek (1966-69)
Cosmos: A Personal Voyage
The President also offered up some brief thoughts on each entry, noting that Blade Runner is essential because “it asks what it means to be human,” while stressing that 2001 “captures the grandeur and scale of the unknown.” President Obama also praised the optimism of Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters while revealing that he sparked to The Martian because “it shows humans as problem solvers.” And regarding the original Star Trek series, Obama shows he knows his stuff by acknowledging the series wasn’t about technology but about “values and relationships”, praising its use of science-fiction “to promote a humanistic ethic.” As for The Matrix? Well, the President echoes the public’s feelings towards the Wachowskis’ masterful action film, noting it “asks basic questions about our reality—and looks very cool.”
What about you, folks? What would you consider the most essential pieces of science-fiction film and TV of all time? Sound off in the comments below.