Why scifi is awesome: The Martian

. 2 min read

I must admit I chose the movies for this scifi week quite randomly - whatever first came to mind - so it was not intentional that not one or two but freaking three movies starring Matt Damon have made their ways to this list. I am so sorry for this - not because I suspect you don't like Matt Damon, but because I don't, and that could somehow distort my analysis and the way I describe the movies. So if I sound biased, please excuse me. I'll try my best to give him credit (when it's due).

The Martian (2015) is about an astronaut that is left alone on Mars after his crew thinks he's dead. It's only later, when the spaceship is already halfway home, when they and the rest of NASA find out that he is alive. The crew decides to go back and get him - he just has to stay alive until they do, which turns out to be easier said than done.

So why is The Martian featured in this Why scifi is awesome week?

Because of the attitude the man adopts when he realizes he's alone on Mars. He could have easily given up - the task of mere survival seemed impossible to begin with - but he doesn't; he decides to fight for his life even though the chances are slim and even though he doesn't know how long he can last and even though he doesn't yet know that the crew is coming back for him. And even when he does find out they're coming to save him, there's no guarantee that he can hang on until then.

It's all in the fighter mentality. As he says in the movie, instead of accepting his fate, he decides to "science the shit out of this." An attitude like this makes you forgive they cast Damon for the role and just enjoy the exhilarating transformation from a hopeless man in a hopeless situation into a man who takes his destiny into his own hands.

Even though it's pure fiction, the movie also gives perspective nicely. Nothing, absolutely nothing you face in your life is as difficult as what the guy goes through in The Martian. So next time you feel like the circumstances are preventing you from doing something, think about this movie. Which would you rather take - the current situation you're whining about, or being left alone on Mars?

Suddenly working through your problems doesn't sound that difficult after all.