I recently finished reading the fantastic book The Martian by Andy Weir. The novel tells the story of an astronaut who is stranded on Mars, who struggles to survive while others, both back on Earth and in space attempt to rescue him. Though unfortunately the book is still science fiction, Weir took an amazing effort to tell his tale from the most scientifically accurate way possible. There are no warp drives or food replicators in this yarn. All the equipment and technology he describes is within the grasp of humanity. Possibly in fifty years, this book might not be science fiction anymore. I highly recommend it as a good read.

The Martian will also be movie come October. Ridley Scott is directing, while Matt Damon plays the unfortunate astronaut stranded on the red planet. Once I saw that the movie was coming out, I really wanted to see who they got to play all the characters from the book. Weir did a fantastic job in portraying a realistic and modern version of NASA and the JPL. Gone are the days of white men in short-sleeved white shirts with brush cuts. In the book, one of the main characters is of Indian descent. A female character named Mindy Park, who has a Master’s in mechanical engineering is given one of the most important tasks throughout the novel. Now her ethnicity is never stated in the novel but come on, how many people do you know with the last name Park who wasn’t Korean? Lastly, the character Bruce Ng is the director of the JPL. Tell me that ain’t a Chinese-American.

As I looked through the cast of the movie on IMDB, I was immediately disappointed. The Indian character is played by an English-African actor. I suppose in Hollywood, as long as the skin is dark, they think that will placate the dumb masses. The role of Mindy Park was given to a Caucasian actress by the name of Mackenzie Davis. Ms. Davis does not look Asian… because she is not Asian. I have nothing against her, a gig is a gig and plus she grew up in Vancouver too. I do have a problem, however, with Ridley Scott and people who cast the role of Mindy Park. They had a chance to accurately portray what NASA looks like in the modern world. A world where a female Korean-American could easily have a graduate degree in orbital mechanics and work at NASA. Ridley Scott dropped the ball though, much like he did with Prometheus. He had a chance to do something right and he screwed it up. And the character Bruce Ng? He’s not even listed in the cast as a character. I suppose they decided they couldn’t make the public believe a Caucasian actor could pull off a “Bruce Ng”, so they just eliminated the character completely.

I do want to see the movie but I’ll probably download it illegally though. Go buy the book though!

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