It’s common knowledge that our Commander-in-Chief is a giant nerd that loves science fiction. But it’s the themes of “common humanity” and hard work that really bring together the stories President Barack Obama geeks out over. Obama just admitted — if that’s the right word — that he loves Star Trek, Star Wars, and used to be an avid collector of Spider-Man comics during a sit down with Wired’s editor-in-chief Scott Dadich and Director of the MIT Media Lab Joi Ito.
“I was a sucker for Star Trek when I was a kid,” Obama told Dadich. “What made the show, I think, lasting, was it wasn’t actually about technology. It was about values and human relationships, which is why it didn’t matter that the special effects were kind of cheesy and bad. Because it was really talking about a notion of a common humanity, and a confidence in our ability to solve problems.”
As we get closer to the end of Obama’s second term, it’s interesting to think about how Star Trek’s lessons molded him as a person and a politician. Perhaps his takeaways from the galactic franchise have influenced the policies he’s enacted or speeches he’s made. And if anything, Obama being a fellow Star Trek just drives home the point that he’s pretty much the most approachable president in recent history. He’s just like one of us — except he had the nuclear codes and ran the country and everything.
Obama also stressed the importance of being able to reach across barriers, include diverse points of view, and “revel in our mistakes.”
“If we ever lose that spirit, then we’re going to lose what’s essential about America and what I think is essential about being human,” he said.
That all feels very presidential to us, and very much on point with what members of Star Trek cast and crew past have said during this election season. After all, Obama says, “we’re all complicated.” We all embody Spock and Kirk, and, sometimes, “maybe some Klingon.”
Live long and prosper, Obama.