Study Guide

Ares 3 Crew (Commander Lewis, Martinez, Johansen, Beck, Vogel) in The Martian

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Ares 3 Crew (Commander Lewis, Martinez, Johansen, Beck, Vogel)

It doesn't matter if you're a rapper, a pirate, or an astronaut—everyone needs a good crew. While countless people step up to the plate to help Mark over the course of The Martian, no one puts as much on the lines as his five crewmates. With that in mind, we owe it to those dudes to get to know them a little better.

Meet The Crew

Allow us to introduce you to the posse:

  • Martinez: Mark and Martinez are best bros, evidenced by the fact that Mark asks him "check in on his parents" if he dies, even though "it won't be easy talking to a couple about their dead son" (16.4-5). We don't really know much more about him than that, besides that Beck's sister think he's smoking hot.
  • Beck: Falling in love with astronauts must run in Beck's family, because that dude eventually falls head over heels for the lovely Ms. Johanssen. It's adorable. Amusingly, they have Mark to thank for their happy relationship, as he's the one who pushes Beck "to tell Johanssen how [he feels]" because otherwise he'd "regret it forever" (16.184)
  • Johanssen: Although Mark is not above pointing out what how attractive Johanssen is, it's clear that he looks at her almost like a sister. He even tells her to "remind [him] to give [her] a wedgie next time" they hang out (16.64). Gross.
  • Vogel: Finally, we have the estimable Mr. Vogel. We really don't have too much to say about this guy, except that his minor German-to-English verbal mistakes ("I have the computer problem") are adorable. (16.228).

And that's it, right?

The Boss Lady

Actually, we're leaving out the most important crewmember of them all—Commander Lewis. Besides her overwhelming (and slightly disturbing) obsession with disco, Lewis is defined by the immense guilt she feels over having "left him behind [...] in a barren, unreachable, godforsaken wasteland" (12.222). Although Mark tells her how much he respects her and her decision, she can't shake these overwhelming feelings of shame.

To be honest, though, this seriousness is exactly what makes her such a good leader. Commander Lewis would've given anything to be in Mark's place, and to sacrifice herself so her crew could live. We even learn that, on the day that Mark supposedly died, the crew "reluctantly obeyed Lewis's order" to "leave [her] behind" because she wanted to search more for Mark (12.111-113). Commander Lewis isn't just guilty that she left Mark for dead; she's guilty that she wasn't the one to make that sacrifice.

Now The Whole Team's Here

Ultimately, Commander Lewis realizes that the best way to make things right is by saving Mark. The rest of the crew wholeheartedly agrees. Although they're five different people with five very different personalities, they've all had their lives touched by Mark Watney in ways both big and small. It's only fair that they repay him for that—with interest.

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