The 8 movies and TV shows President Obama thinks will 'expand your mind'

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President Obama loves sci-fi — not necessarily for the tech, but for what it can tell us about humanity.

In an interview with Wired, Obama talked about his favorite show growing up: "Star Trek."

"What made the show lasting was it wasn't actually about technology," he said. "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. 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."

Obama put together a list of his eight favorite sci-fi movies and series that "will expand your mind."

See photos of President Obama and his family throughout his presidency:

32 PHOTOS
31 photos of the Obama family over the past 8 years
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31 photos of the Obama family over the past 8 years

January 20, 2009

At the president's inauguration. 

Photo: Pete Souza/Courtesy of The White House

January 20, 2019

Backstage at the inauguration.

Photo: Pete Souza/Courtesy of The White House

February 22, 2009

Dancing at the Governor's Ball.

Photo: Pete Souza/Courtesy of The White House

April 5, 2009

Signing the guestbook at Prague Castle in the Czech Republic.

Photo: Pete Souza/Courtesy of The White House

August 8, 2010

Celebrating the president's 49th birthday.

Photo: Pete Souza/White House

August 8, 2010

At the president's 49th birthday barbecue.

Photo: Pete Souza/Courtesy of The White House

August 14, 2010

Swimming with Sasha in Florida.

Photo: Pete Souza/The White House

December 27, 2010

Eating shave ice in Hawaii. 

Photo: Pete Souza/The White House

January 19, 2011

The president and First Lady entering a state dinner with Chinese president Hu Jintao.

Photo: Pete Souza/The White House

March 2, 2011

Preparing to greet recipients of the National Medal of Arts and the National Humanities Medal. 

Photo: Pete Souza/The White House

June 11, 2011

Celebrating Sasha's birthday at Camp David.

Photo: Pete Souza/Courtesy of The White House

July 4, 2011

Watching fireworks from the roof of the White House.

Photo: Pete Souza/The White House

January 1, 2012

A New Year's Day swim in Hawaii.

Photo: Pete Souza/The White House

July 16, 2012

Caught on the kiss cam at an Olympic baseball game.

Photo: Pete Souza/The White House

September 6, 2012

Backstage at the Democratic National Convention.

Photo: Pete Souza/The White House

January 17, 2013

Singing 'Happy Birthday' to the First Lady.

Photo: Pete Souza/The White House

January 20, 2013

A family portrait on the president's second Inauguration Day.

Photo: Pete Souza/The White House

January 21, 2013

Riding in the inaugural parade.

Photo: Pete Souza/The White House

June 16, 2013

Backstage at Sasha's dance recital. 

Photo: Pete Souza/The White House

February 11, 2014

At a state dinner for President François Hollande of France.

Photo: Pete Souza/The White House

June 16, 2016

On the South Lawn, returning to the White House after a trip to California. 

Photo: Pete Souza/The White House

June 16, 2016

On the South Lawn, returning to the White House after a trip to California. 

Photo: Pete Souza/The White House

September 14, 2014

Viewing a portrait of Abraham Lincoln at the National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Photo: Pete Souza/The White House

December 3, 2014

Under the mistletoe at a dinner for combatant commanders and military leadership.

Photo: Pete Souza/The White House

February 23, 2015

With Malia in the Oval Office.

Photo: Pete Souza/The White House

March 7, 2015

Listening to the remarks of Representative John Lewis in Selma, at the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday.

Photo: Pete Souza/The White House

April 5, 2015 

A family portrait on Easter Sunday in the Rose Garden.

Photo: Pete Souza/The White House

July 17, 2015

With Malia at the Whitney Museum, in New York.

Photo: Pete Souza/The White House

August 22, 2015

Malia biking in Martha's Vineyard.

Photo: Pete Souza/AP

April 7, 2015

Exiting Air Force One in Chicago.

Photo: Pete Souza/AP

May 18, 2015

Malia in her yard. 

Photo: Pete Souza/AP

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Here they are:

No. 8 — 'Cosmos: A Personal Voyage' (1980)

PBS

Reason: "It fed my lifelong fascination with space."


No. 7 — 'The Matrix' (1999)

Warner Bros.

Reason: "It asks basic questions about our reality—and looks very cool"


No. 6 — 'The Martian' (2015)

20th Century Fox

Reason: "It shows humans [are] problem solvers."


No. 5 — 'Star Trek' (1966-69)

WatchMojo.com/Youtube

Reason: "It uses science fiction to promote a humanist ethnic."


No. 4 — 'Star Wars: Episode IV—A New Hope' (1977)

Lucasfilm

Reason: "It was fun and revolutionized special effects."


No. 3 — 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind' (1977)

"Close Encounters of the Third Kind"/Columbia Pictures Corporation

Reason: "It is fundamentally optimistic."


No. 2 — 'Blade Runner' (1982)

Warner Bros.

Reason: "It asks what it means to be human."


No. 1 — '2001: A Space Odyssey' (1968)

YouTube screenshot

Reason: "It captures the grandeur and scale of the unknown."


See Also:

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