With quarantine still in effect, it has been hard to write movie reviews lately, especially since movie theaters have been shut down and there have not been many movies to talk about. Yet, one movie that has come to mind as of late is the 1999 science-fiction spoof ‘Galaxy Quest’, which I vaguely remember from my childhood other than seeing ads for it, and watching it with my family in a motel when I was but a child. Recently, I decided to give it a much-needed re-watch for the experience, being that my mother-in-law had the film in her collection. I have to say that ‘Galaxy Quest’ holds up as a comedy as well as a love letter to the science-fiction genre, conventions, and more importantly ‘Star Trek’ (which it spoofs for the most part).
For those who do not know, ‘Galaxy Quest’ stars Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, and the late Alan Rickman, along with Tony Shalhoub, Sam Rockwell, and Daryl Mitchell, as they play the crew of the NSEA Protector … Well …. that is not entirely true. They actually play actors who star in a ‘Star Trek’ style television series called ‘Galaxy Quest’, which has its legions of fans (including one played by Justin Long in his feature debut) who show up to sci-fi conventions hoping to get their memorabilia signed. The show itself has been around for eighteen years, yet the cast has grown weary. The only member of the show who seems to enjoy the endless fame is Jason Nesmith (Allen), who has become quite cocky in the years passed, causing his co-stars to despise him (mirroring William Shatner’s real-life behavior at ‘Star Trek’ conventions), especially Gwen DeMarco (Weaver), who plays a communications person prone to repeating the computer’s statements, and Shakespearean actor Alexander Dane, who is tired of repeating his catchphrase to his fans, yet never takes off his alien headpiece.
One day at a convention, however, Nesmith gets a visit from aliens called Thermians, led by Mathesar (Enrico Colantoni), who believe that the show is a documentary about space travel and that Nesmith and his co-stars are real heroes, as their ship is under attack by an evil general named Roth’h’ar Sarris (Robin Sachs). At first, Nesmith believes they are fans of the show, but quickly realizes that they really are aliens in need of help, as he and his co-stars cluelessly try to use what they know from the show to save the Thermians and stop Sarris from striking again.
It is easy to see why ‘Galaxy Quest’ is a cult favorite among science-fiction geeks (especially fans of ‘Star Trek’), as it does not just serve as a parody of the genre and its tropes, yet it does so with love and respect for the medium. It is clear to see that ‘Galaxy Quest’ was made by fans for fans. While most movies of the 90’s tend to age poorly due to being dated, ‘Galaxy Quest’ still has a sense of charm and wit that keeps its fans returning. Spoofs may come and go, but this one lives on in infinite space.