The second man to walk on the moon, Buzz Aldrin (left), is planning a special screening of 'The Martian' starring Matt Damon (right). The second man to walk on the moon, Buzz Aldrin (left), is planning a special screening of 'The Martian' starring Matt Damon (right). The second man to walk on the moon, Buzz Aldrin (left), is planning a special screening of 'The Martian' starring Matt Damon (right). (Photo: Courtesy NASA/20th Century Fox)

Exclusive: Buzz Aldrin says 'The Martian' is 'superior' to 'Star Wars' and 'Star Trek'

Legendary astronaut says plot of new Matt Damon movie is based on science not fantasy.

The blockbuster movie "The Martian" starring Matt Damon is getting a lot of buzz, and we mean that quite literally.

Legendary astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second human to walk on the moon, revealed to From The Grapevine that he's extremely excited to see the new film. "I'm arranging to see a preview of it, hopefully, just before it comes out," he said.

The movie is about an astronaut who gets stranded on Mars for four years and is forced to improvise ways to survive until a rescue crew can arrive on the Red Planet. The film has been described as both “MacGyver on Mars” and “Castaway” meets “Apollo 13.”

For Aldrin, the topic is personal. He has spent the past year talking in front of audiences from London to Washington, D.C., about the need for humans to colonize Mars. Shortly after the film debuts Oct. 2, Aldrin will be delivering the keynote address at an international conference of space experts being held in Israel Oct. 12-16. The topic of his speech? Living on Mars.

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin (left) and author Andy Weir are both fans of Mars, aka the Red Planet.Astronaut Buzz Aldrin (left) and "The Martian" author Andy Weir are both fans of the Red Planet. (Photo: Courtesy Andy Weir)

The movie is based on the New York Times bestselling book "The Martian" written by first-time author Andy Weir, a self-proclaimed space geek. "I've met and talked extensively with Andy," Aldrin told us. For his part, Weir has a life-size cutout of Buzz Aldrin in his space ­suit on the wall of his California home.

Aldrin feels that Weir got much of the science right in the book. "I think that it has more reality to it than almost any other rendition of the future. In my mind, it is superior in reality and appeal than "Star Trek" or "Star Wars," which are imaginative fantasy, not based on reality, as we can project our technology into the future."

And the fact that many nations are called upon to help with the thrilling rescue of astronaut Mark Watney also appealed to Aldrin. "International cooperation is highly desired and, in my mind, almost essential for early human visits to Mars," he added.

While Aldrin sees reality in the movie's plot, he's hoping it doesn't turn off the American public from the future dream of visiting Mars. "I hope that the trials and tribulations of a stranded astronaut are not assumed to be typical of the activities they anticipate," he said, "It does point out the necessities, in a extreme way, of the ingenuity of the human race to be able to deal with such extreme situations that point out the habitability, the limitations and the opportunities that do exist."

The film, written by "World War Z" screenwriter Drew Goddard, is already garnering strong reviews from early showings to critics. "It's the best thing that either Matt Damon and director Ridley Scott have done in years," wrote the New York Post. The film already has a 97% positive rating on the film review site Rotten Tomatoes. So it seems Buzz is not alone in showing his early support.


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Related Topics: Movies, Science, Space, Star Wars