The alumni cast of a space opera television series have to play their roles as the real thing when an alien race needs their help. However, they also have to defend both Earth and the alien race from a reptilian warlord.
The sci-fi television series "Galaxy Quest", which took place aboard the intergalactic spaceship NSEA Protector, starred Jason Nesmith as suave Commander Peter Quincy Taggart, Gwen DeMarco as sexy communications person Lt. Tawny Madison (a role which consisted solely of repeating what the computer stated, much to Gwen's chagrin), Shakespearean trained Sir Alexander Dane as alien Dr. Lazarus, Fred Kwan as engineer Tech Sergeant Chen, and Tommy Webber as child pilot Laredo. Eighteen years after the series last aired, it lives on in the hearts of its rabid fans. However, it lives on in infamy for its stars, who have not been able to find meaningful acting work since. Their current lives revolve around cashing in on however those roles will afford, which usually entails attending fan conventions or worse, such as electronic store openings. Only Jason seems to relish his lot in life, until he finds out that his co-stars detest him because of his superior attitude as "the Commander", and ...Written by
Patrick Stewart: "I had originally not wanted to see Galaxy Quest (1999) because I heard that it was making fun of Star Trek, and then Jonathan Frakes rang me up and said "You must not miss this movie! See it on a Saturday night in a full theatre." And I did, and of course I found it was brilliant. Brilliant. No one laughed louder or longer in the cinema than I did, but the idea that the ship was saved and all of our heroes in that movie were saved simply by the fact that there were fans who did understand the scientific principles on which the ship worked was absolutely wonderful. And it was both funny and also touching in that it paid tribute to the dedication of these fans."
Tim Russ: "I've had flashbacks of Galaxy Quest (1999) at the many conventions I've gone to since the movie came out. I thought it was an absolute laugh-a-minute."
William Shatner: "I thought it was very funny, and I thought the audience that they portrayed was totally real, but the actors that they were pretending to be were totally unrecognisable. Certainly I don't know what Tim Allen was doing. He seemed to be the head of a group of actors, and for the life of me I was trying to understand who he was imitating. The only one I recognized was the girl playing Nichelle Nichols."
Wil Wheaton: "I loved Galaxy Quest (1999). I thought it was brilliant satire, not only of Trek, but of fandom in general. The only thing I wish they had done was cast me in it, and have me play a freaky fanboy who keeps screaming at the actor who played 'the kid' about how awful it was that there was a kid on the spaceship. Alas."
George Takei: "I think it's a chillingly realistic documentary. [laughs] The details in it, I recognized every one of them. It is a powerful piece of documentary filmmaking. And I do believe that when we get kidnapped by aliens, it's going to be the genuine, true Star Trek fans who will save the day. ... I was rolling in the aisles. And [star] Tim Allen had that Shatner-esque swagger down pat. And I roared when the shirt came off, and [co-star] Sigourney [Weaver] rolls her eyes and says, 'There goes that shirt again.' ... How often did we hear that on the set? [Laughs]" See more »
As the characters bow on stage at the movie's ending, Gwen DeMarco's feet are side-by-side in the front shot, but when the camera angle changes to a rear view, she has her right foot crossed behind her left. See more »
Comedies are usually pretty tricky for me. Either I'm laughing my head off and nobody else gets it, or everybody else is laughing and I'm looking for the nearest exit. But Galaxy Quest had everyone in the theater laughing, including my companion--who hates science fiction. It cut across ages and backgrounds with a very simple premise--you are what you believe yourself to be.
As a fifteen year veteran of science fiction conventions, I've seen the phenomenon from both sides of the stage. I've met the get-a-lifers, the just-for-fun guys, and the not-so-rare I'm-only-in-it-for-the profit gang. I've met actors who loved the whole shebang, actors who loathed it, and actors who didn't have a clue what was going on. Fandom is a very big place, with room for all sorts.
And Galaxy Quest got it right--the conventions, the costumes, the geeks, the groupies, even the mocking "mundanes" who attend cons looking for kicks. It took notice of all the science fiction cliches, acknowledged them, and then twisted them to its own comedic purposes.
Galaxy Quest captured not only the silliness of fandom, but the inspiration of it. In the end, the demoralized and cynical actors found strength and meaning in the same characters which stereotyped them. The geeks saved the day. The good guys won. The bad guys provided entertainment to masses of fans. Things blew up. And isn't that what science fiction is all about?
The entire cast was excellent, especially Tim Allen and Alan Rickman doing their best Shatner and Nimoy impersonations. Special credit must go to the four actors who played the naive aliens. Their wide-eyed innocence reminded me of the quality that drew me, and draws children of all ages into the world of science fiction.
This movie didn't rely on vulgarities or overt violence. It didn't need to resort to meanness or cruel jokes, either. While it poked fun at science fiction and its fans, it never resorted to the kind of mockery you see in other films.
Galaxy Quest is a solid, funny movie. Go see it. Take the kids. Go see it twice.
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