The Martian is out, and I’m looking forward to seeing it tomorrow with my nephews here in Florida. So far the reviews seem uniformly excellent, with the exception of a few claiming that the “geek factor” was too toned down (I’m OK with that, especially if it expands the appeal).
As a human spaceflight advocate and Mars enthusiast, my bigger concern is the lasting effect of this movie in stirring public support for Humans-to-Mars, hoping that it will be a positive catalyst. I had those hopes over a decade ago with Mission to Mars and Red Planet.
I certainly expect this to be better than both of those, but I’m curious what The Martian movie will have to say about why we should go there and why we should stay. Will the movie leave viewers with a message other than “Bring him home”? After all, in many ways the story is similar to that of Red Planet, which left us with the less than inspiring line, “F*** this planet!”
I’ll find out tomorrow. In the meantime, at least it is inspiring some pro-space commentary.