President Obama Reviews Star Trek + more Saturday Tidbits

Since his election last year, there has been a lot of talk about how President Obama is fan of Star Trek and even many mainstream media comparisons to him and Trek’s Mr. Spock. And now the Trekkie-in-chief has gone on the record to talk about the new Star Trek movie in a new interview with Newsweek. We have his review below plus Friday box office and more Saturday tidbits.


President Obama reviews Star Trek
President Obama’s comments on the new Star Trek movie come from a Newsweek interview titled ‘A Highly Logical Approach‘, which was conducted last Wednesday. The bit about Trek is at the end, here the excerpt:

And the last movie you saw?
Now, movies I’ve been doing OK [with] because it turns out we got this nice theater on the ground floor of my house … So Star Trek, we saw this weekend, which I thought was good. Everybody was saying I was Spock, so I figured I should check it out and—[the president makes the Vulcan salute with his hand].

Very good.
Yes, absolutely.

Did you watch that when you were growing up?
I used to love Star Trek. You know, Star Trek was ahead of its time. There was a whole—the special effects weren’t real good, but the storylines were always evocative, you know, there was a little commentary and a little pop philosophy for a 10-year-old to absorb.

A lot of U.N. stuff.
Yes, exactly, right.

New York Times illustration of Obama as Spock

This marks the first time a US President has given a review of a Star Trek film, while it is in theaters. The only other recount of a Presidential screening of Star Trek film at the White House comes from Ronald Reagan’s diary, where he wrote on June 23rd 1984 "After dinner we ran "Star Trek III." It wasn’t too good."

NASA beams Star Trek to ISS
Speaking of special screenings of Star Trek, yesterday NASA sent out a press release announcing that Paramount Pictures transferred "Star Trek" to NASA’s Mission Control in Houston, which then uplinked the film to the space station on Thursday, May 14 so that Trekkie astronaut Michael Barratt can watch it on his a laptop computer inside the Unity module. Of Trek Barratt is quoted saying:

I remember watching the original ‘Star Trek’ series and, like many of my NASA coworkers, was inspired by the idea of people from all nations coming together to explore space. Star Trek’ blended adventure, discovery, intelligence and story telling that assumes a positive future for humanity. The International Space Station is a real step in that direction, with many nations sharing in an adventure the world can be proud of.

Astronaut Michael Barratt got Star Trek beamed up to ISS

Box Office Watch: Star Trek On Track for $40M weekend
On Friday Star Trek is estimated to have brought in $11.85 in domestic sales, coming in 2nd place behind Angels & Demons at $16.5M. Trek’s Friday is a 56% drop from last Friday, but that is actually pretty good. Box Office Mojo summarizes the performance thusly:

While Star Trek’s 56 percent Friday-to-Friday drop was steep, it was actually a smaller dip than Iron Man, which was off 58 percent to $14.9 million on its second Friday. If Star Trek plays out like Iron Man and comparable titles, its second weekend will land close to $40 million.

Star Trek has a total of $116.5M domestically. This makes the film the highest grossing Trek film (before inflation).

Kirk’s Daddy is a God
Although his time in the film is short, Chris Hemsworth has got high praise for playing George Kirk in the new Star Trek. And now it looks like he is headed to the big time with Deadline Hollywood is reporting that Chris has landed the title role in Kenneth Branagh’s "Thor" Marvel comic adaptation.

Chris Hemsworth trading in the Kelvin for a hammer

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It’s nice to know the President “gets it” and is an old Star Trek fan.

A comment by JFK that From Russia With Love was one of his favorite novels helped to jumpstart the James Bond franchise; maybe President Obama’s comments will likewise help the Trek franchise.

As for Hemsworth as Thor, good casting if it comes to pass. He has the deep voice and the presence and though he may be a little young now Marvel is probably thinking long term.

It’s good to hear that the President liked the new film. The full interview is interesting as well. I don’t always agree with him politically, in fact I usually don’t, but he seems to be a good man who honestly thinks he’s doing what’s best for the country and I definitely appreciate that.

It’s also good to hear that the film is doing well in theaters and that it’s becoming popular again. This is indeed very good news.

Have we broken the $109M record yet?

I’ll answer myself, actually – yes, we have. Box Office Mojo says we have $116M.

LL&P, Mr. President. Keep up the good work.

Thor. Good choice.

So Kirk is the son of Thor? I can dig it.

Sorry, Ronnie. I always liked STIII. (Because of III, I never gave the even-odd theory much weight.)

Just saw it again for only the third time tonight, but man what a third time it was! There’s just something about that opening scene with the Kelvin that gives the rest of the movie an enduring power!

Well, nice to see he’s doing something important with his time like playing basketball and watching movies instead of actually finding a way to stabilize the over 9% unemployment rate without causing interest rates to skyrocket because we can’t afford the level of defficit spending his administration has approved…

…oh wait, nvm.

Why is this even news????

Of course Reagan didn’t like Star Trek III – the Genesis Device (something he would have been dumb enough to believe in, as he did with missile defense) ended up being a bust!

GOOD for Obama.

Let’s give him a TV series while he’s still in office.

Good luck to the world’s astronauts. Be safe.


God forbid the President be a normal human being and take 2 hours to watch a movie. Cripes!


I am all for that.

Bush and Co used their executive powers for so much shit during their time, why not have Obama sign an executive order to haev a new ST show on TV? :)

Wow. Kirk’s dad is Thor. Whodathunkit?

Obama is the Presidential Geek. He reads Amazing Spider-Man and is a Trekkie. Very cool.

Hemsworth as Thor sounds just fine to me, but he’s also been announced as being in a remake of Red Dawn? WTF? (not WTF to casting Hemsworth, just WTF to remaking Red Dawn) …


Same here. STIII rocks.


And why is this news? Because it’s the freakin President commenting on a Star Trek movie! We’ve had articles about every other little thing having to do with the movie, so why not this? Jeez.

pop philosophy for a 10 year old? I don’t think so. It’s a lot more thought-provoking than that. But I’m glad he liked it.

Not sure what to think about the President’s comment of “the special effects weren’t very good”… come on… for 1966 they were state of the art… methinks this is a little “retro” memory that was written as part of his morning briefing.

And, I tend to agree with Reagan in his assessment of III… :)


And a lot of “U.N. stuff”??????


And no, Obama is NOT like Spock…not even close.

*BIG SIGH* The shameless political pandering at TrekMovie continues…good grief…you guys have no shame.

Man if this was Bush or any Republican talking about this film you people would have nothing to say about it.

Admit it you partisan hacks!

Actually, any Presidential Publicity is good publicity for this film.

And quite frankly, I have to agree with old Ron. STIII wasn’t exactly the best film since “Maltese Falcon”.

22: Perhaps part of the point is that Bush or any Republication wouldn’t be talking about this film? They’d be far too busy ‘accomplishing’ their mission.


Agree on the opening Kelvin scene. It really sets the tone for the rest of the film. Saw it for the second time this evening, this time in IMAX. I enjoyed it just as much the second time around, and also got a kick out of my friends’ reactions to it. All three thought it kicks a– and they’re not big Trek fans. The IMAX theater had monitors in the lobby showing trailers and such. At one point they showed the Onion News parody clip about Trek fans not liking the film due it being popular, Klingon is sub-titled, etc. A lot of people standing in line got a big laugh out of it.

… and actually, when TOS portrayed a lot of “UN” stuff, it was usually to point out the needless bureaucracy and ineffectiveness of such an organization. I’m not sure they ever came to a decision as to whether or not to admit Coridan… :)

I always felt that III was underated. It was dramatic, and the destruction of the Enterprise was heartbeaking. Sometimes, these many years later, when I look up at the sky and see a jet flying and making a contrail, I think of that scene:

“My God Bones, what have I done?”

“What you always do, what you had to do, turned death into a fighting chance to live.”

Also, I never ended up buying into the odd number thing, either. I am not a fan of ST:V, but I’ll take it over no Trek ( I would also like to see Paramount pony up for a “Special Edition” with new effects). Also, as I have said here many times before, I loved Insurrection. I think it’s a high quality film, much better than that Nemesis trash that followed it.

I finally got to see Trek at a real IMAX theater (in San Francisco) this morning. The huge screen was from floor to ceiling and wall to wall. It was glorious. Not like the Imax mini-me screens that some of the AMC theaters are claiming is real IMAX.

Any rumors as to when the DVD will be available – I assuming around xmas.

Of course, if it were Bush, he would spell it Star Track.

We are in complete agreement on that. :)

And I liked very much what Barratt said!

By the way, any mention of the President of the United States is not necessarily political. Show some respect.

Maybe in the sequel instead of using Lincoln, they can use a Obama. I think he could throw it down with Kah’Less and Genghis Khan!

The fact that people on a Star Trek fan site are complaining about the President of the United States of America giving ST09 two thumbs up is sickening. Why waste your time?

Hell yeah. I applaud JJ for nailing that scene on the head.
“Tough little ship.”

So, the original actor for Captain Pike played Jesus Christ, and now the actor who plays the father of James T. Kirk plays a god.

“What does God need with a starship?”


Yeah,..there’s one of my pet peeves again. I agree the President didn’t think the special effects at the time were poor. He’s heard people say that now for about 20 yrs. I never thought so back then….I uh…still don’t. As for him watching the movie….I don’t suppose he’d share a negative review of it if he felt that way.

And Kirk’s Dad playing Thor I can see that. In fact he looks very much the way John Buscema used to draw him. Somebody do a mash up of that. Here’s a cover to maybe go by.

34, the President believes that ST2009 is good. He didn’t give it two thumbs down at all.

There’s a pitcher for the Tampa Bay Ray’s that throws the “Vulcan”. He holds the ball before he throws it between his middle finger and ring finger.
He can throw that pitch for strikes too. He was on ESPN 2’s First Take on Friday. Cool guy ….. Joe Nelson ……. Trekkie alert …… go see the Ray’s.

Obama is so cool. No wonder he likes Star Trek.

Well I don’t think the movie will get the kind of bounce from a Presidential product placement like back in the JFK days. But if Oprah said it……..

I imagine George Kirk ith quite thor after ramming his thip into the Narada…

Now if we could get that good old star trek stimulus money out of obama then that would be cool.

I take my billions in 10s and 20s please – cash!

*avoids pointless political gushbashing*

I’m concerned by this 58% drop. I want to break TMP’s $225M inflation-adjusted domestic take!

By gum, gentlemen, get out and SEE THIS MOVIE AGAIN! Yarrrrgh!

Alright, I admit it… that “yarrrrgh” was a Howard Dean scream. I have now mockingly participated in the political gushbashing. I apologize.

I think Obama watching (and liking) Trek is nice geek news and I’m not American.

As for the whole Kelvin scene, everyone in it was excellent. We are mostly raving about the new crew but the support cast elevated the whole film. Definitely had some grit in my eye at that point of the film. ;-)

Sorry guys,but Im not a fan of write ups of what The president likes or dislikes. Its getting kind of old to be honest with you. Its all over the main stream press and now I have to see it on my fav trek site. Sorry,but its how I feel.

Diversity is the Biggest and Best thing to take Home From Trek. That is what has inspired Me and something I’ll always appreciate.

Well, I agree with Mr. Pascale here at TrekMovie. There is no need for this to become political. I’m no fan of President Obama’s policies, as I said in my previous post, but there is no need to get political about either him or President Reagan. There are plenty of forums around the internet for that.

45, perhaps but whenever anyone has talked about Star Trek they have posted an article about it here at TrekMovie. Therefore, it is only natural that a high profile person, like the President, commenting on the new film would get mentioned here.

11″ “…oh wait, nvm. Why is this even news????”

More importantly, why the attitude??? (why not lose it, it isn’t pretty)

Heaven forbid

a) the President can’t enjoy a film after a workday
b) we escape politics in here when we talk about TREK

gotta love it how there’s always somebody like 11 to take a nice post about Star Trek being embraced by our president and make it all hateful. Honestly grow up, or at least quit posting here.

Great news, Chris swinging the hammer with Kenneth on Thor.
For me that is a must see movie ;))

In other news, I will meet the guy who created Obamas “O” next week and ask him about Trek.