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President Obama’s List of Essential Science Fiction Is Hella Lame

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People may disagree on Barack Obama’s accomplishments or the legacy he will leave when he exits the Oval Office, but there’s one way he has truly earned the nickname “Obummer”—and that’s in his list of what he considers essential scifi viewing.

It’s not that Obama’s list of seven scifi films and TV series—which he revealed as part of that special Wired issue he guest-edited—is wrong. Far from it! It’s just so… boring. Here’s the list in its entirety:

  • 2001: A Space Odyssey
  • Blade Runner
  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind
  • Star Wars: A New Hope
  • Star Trek (The Original Series)
  • The Martian
  • The Matrix
  • Cosmos: A Personal Voyage

Come on. This is like picking a list of best movies ever and naming Citizen Kane, The Godfather, and Casablanca. It’s like announcing his favorite ice cream flavor is vanilla (and not even French vanilla). Literally the most exciting pick in here is The Matrix, and that’s because despite being very, very popular and stylistically influential, it’s basically a dumb action flick. (Although the idea of Obama watching the lobby scene in the presidential theater delights me to no end.)


It’s even more disappointing, because I know this isn’t his real list. It’s his “safe” list, the list that no one could argue with. But look at this man:


This is a fanboy. The leader of the free world, yes, but also a fanboy, who’s freaking out because he’s hanging out with Uhura. I have zero doubt the man knows more science fiction than he’s letting on. He’s absolutely got more movies and TV series he considers essential. Hell, he probably prefers Empire Strikes Back over A New Hope, too. And that’s fine!

Come on, Obama. What are you hiding? Alien? The Prisoner? Terry Gilliam’s Brazil? Forbidden Planet? The new Battlestar Galactica series? What are you hiding, and why are you hiding it? Is it something genuinely shameful, like you’re actually a big fan of Enterprise, or the 1998 Lost in Space movie? Do you have a big Jupiter Rising poster in the Oval Office? Is that the problem?

Look, if there’s ever been a good time for you to throw a few scifi skeletons out of your closet, this is it. The nerdy people have a right to know!