The Seven People You Meet In Space

  1. The Selfless Hero

He is a Good Guy(TM). He’s not out here to do anything but his job. But when the asteroids come raining down, he will sacrifice himself for you. He may know more about what is going on. He may even need to return as a ghostly apparition to get you through. He may evacuate a ship of several hundred personnel and lose his own life in the process. He may be someone’s dad. But he’s not going to hold it over you: He’s just here to do his job and if that means saving lives, then cool.

2. The Foolhardy One

Don’t trust this cowboy. He wants to go exploring Martian caves at night. He goes in the direction of strange sounds. For the sake of “science”, he will never report back to base. Somehow, he is in charge of the science, and yet has a shockingly cavalier attitude to documenting anything he is doing. He will get you all killed. He is white.

3. The Woman

She is soooo cool. Even when she is being rescued, she is a badass. She is having a baby though. Maybe not at the beginning but just wait for it; it’s the hope of humanity. Or maybe she’s doing all this for her father/boyfriend/dead husband. Either way, she will make you think: NASA should really work with Levi’s because her ass looks great.

4. The Rebel One

He is so young and cocky! It’s a miracle he even made it through space school! Like that time he defied authority and put everyone’s life in danger. But through sheer ingenuity, plucky grit, and the benefit of the doubt given via white male privilege, he became your captain. He is good at shooting weapons and winning drinking games against larger men. He is the son someone never had.

5. The Wise Old Man

He hates all of the above but he will guide them. He pretty much doesn’t want to do this or be here. Outer space is a waste of time; it’s your inner space you should be focussing on. It’s not his problem that only he understands what Don Quixote’s relationship to Sancho Panza tells us about how to interact with new civilisations. He didn’t go to fancy space school; he’s just a guy with a lot of dead friends. Can he smoke up here? Because he already is.

6. The Ethnic One

Just the one, thank you. You can have the woman one or the ethnic one. Your pick. This is outer space; we don’t have room for political correctness.

7. The Death One

He is a threat to the existence of mankind. He abhors humanity on a granular level: every single cell that sustains human kindness is a target to be destroyed. He is destruction and evil embodied. For a damaged soul out to wreak havoc and pain, his furrowed brow of death is pretty cute.

When I was 11, I lost a pair of black and white Adidas runners somewhere between Minneapolis and Chicago. My life's goal is to get them back. Those exact ones.

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