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Obama Maintains Geek Cred While Talking Star Trek, Despite Not Knowing How Many Original Series Eps There Are

I love our geek President so, so much. Glimmers of his love for Star Trek have popped up throughout his administration. This time, WIRED Magazine asks President Obama about why he thinks Star Trek has endured, and he answers in the video above.

He is joined by WIRED editor in chief Scott Dadich and MIT Media Lab director Joi Ito. This being WIRED, Dadich referred to Star Trek as a “utopian future inspired by technology.” When he subsequently asked Obama how the show helped shape his vision of an optimistic future, Obama replied, “It wasn’t actually about technology. It was about values and human relationships. And that’s why it didn’t matter that the special effects were kind of cheesy and bad.”

The main point that Obama made, however, was that Star Trek teaches us how to embrace our common humanity. That the things that make us different are the very things that will allow us to be able to come together and solve problems. He also alludes to the fact that the characters on Star Trek represent facets of each of us saying, “We’ve all got a little bit of Spock and a little bit of Kirk and a little bit of Scotty… maybe some Klingon in us, right?” He cites 2015’s The Martian as a film that demonstrates the same thing (albeit with much less diversity).

One thing that people have latched onto in sharing this video is the fact that he talks about there being only “like 20 episodes, right? And they were just looped over and over again.” Of course it’s all in good fun, but I’ve seen several people “correct” him and need to mention that “actually, there are 79 episodes of Original Trek.” As if we need to prove Obama’s “geek cred.”

This is a man who compared a belt his wife was wearing to dilithium crystals. This is a man who collects Spider-Man and Conan comics. This is a man who posed like this in front of a Superman statue because he just couldn’t help himself. If that’s not being a geek, I don’t know what is!

Also, YOU try being President of the United States and see if you can remember how many episodes of Star Trek there are while also trying to deal with the situation in Syria. I have a feeling that once his term as President is over, he’s going to spend a good chunk of his newly-received free time to geek out like the rest of us.

(via Nerdist, featured image via screengrab)

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Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former TMS assistant editor from 2015-18. Now, she's back as a contributing writer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.