In 1940, Ronald Reagan starred in Murder in the Air, a scifi flick about a death ray. Apparently the role really stayed with Reagan, because he tried to build essentially the same weapon during his Presidency. Officially called the Strategic Defense Initiative but lampooned as "the Star Wars project," Reagan proposed shooting down impending Soviet missiles using orbiting death rays. It was one of the most unrealistic, unpopular, and expensive projects of his Presidency. But did it have scifi cred? Oh yes.