Oh boy isn’t this one hell of a wild ride. Coming from a guy that loves all things nerdy, one of which being the franchise Star Trek… To see something like Galaxy Quest is truly something spectacular to behold. Parodies are a funny thing. You can have shit spewing garbage that is the Scary Movie franchise which culminates into a lot of low brow comedy of people who have no love or care for the works that they are spoofing… Of you have the correct way to make a parody. A good parody is a movie that pokes fun at the source material, but does so in a way that glorifies it. Movies like Galaxy Quest is a cheeky and fun way to look at shows like Star Trek and poke fun at the characters (IE William Shatner) that are created from working with the franchise as well as the tropes that made the franchise famous to begin with.
Galaxy Quest is the story of a group of washed up actors who became famous for starring on a television show that is the same name as the movie. Each one is a parody of traditional Star Trek characters. Not able to find much work outside of Galaxy Quest, the group is subjected to showing up to convention after convention to pander to the fervent fanbase. Most of which are tired of the show, with the exception of the man who played Commander Peter Quincy Taggert, Jason Nesmeth (Tim Allen) who enjoys the notoriety the role has given him, but if unaware of how much of an egotist he has become.
One day Jason unwittingly is abducted by aliens known as Thermians who believe him to be the real Commander Taggert. He and his ‘crew’ of actors are then brought to a life size recreation of the shows original ship down to the very last bolt and thus find themselves having to act as the characters on the show in order to save the Thermians from an evil general Sarris (Robin Sachs) and his plans to wipe out their entire species in search for the mysterious Omega 13 Device.
This movie is a such a living breathing parody of Star Trek that some have jokingly called it one of the greatest Star Trek movies ever made. Coming out in a time that Star Trek: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and more information on the relationships between the old cast mates, it is the perfect moment to parody the crap out of the series that has given copious amounts of material to spoof.
A lot of the relationship that Allen’s character has with the rest of the cast is the relationship that William Shatner shared with the rest of his cast, to the point that George Takei even went on record to say that the movie got it down to the letter. In particular the love hate relationship that Shatner and Nimoy shared that was torn apart by Shatner’s egotism, but still a friendship beyond that.
More than any other parody of Star Trek has one shown the amount of dedication and love to the franchise as Galaxy Quest.
Well Written and Acted Movie
With a cast that includes Tony Shaloub, Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, and Alan Rickman you know that you are going to have a well acted movie. This is one of the best casts I have seen in some time and even includes a very young Justin Long. Each of them adds their own unique take on the various characters they are portraying and gives a very strong identity to the film.
To add-on to the cast of actors and actresses in this movie, you also have a very well written movie. It is clear that the writers were fans of the original Star Trek in some degree and were able to take the fandom it created, the actors in them, and the setting and turn it into a self referential masterpiece. It is something that everyone can see a little of themselves in and thanks to the cast and the writing, it all comes to life in front of you.
Fear not if you are not a Star Trek fan and will not get all the references… They will make them apparent to you and in a painful fashion as well as very numerous. Even after I praised the film for its writing, I have to critique it on this one area. The movie is terribly referential to Star Trek down to the point that you sit there and groan after every time they make a blatant reference to it.
There are several scenes where they straight forward call the ‘historical documents’ episodes in front of the Thermians and even go by their real names, breaking character. The Thermians are meant to be very naive but even some creatures can’t be that naive to see that something is going on. After so many jokes thrown towards the relationship between William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy or any of the other copious characters you eventually just want them to be quiet and get on with the movie.
I think what a lot of this boils down to is the fact that Galaxy Quest is kind of goofy. It isn’t a major con to the series in the slightest, but it does make it somewhat groan worthy after several watches.
Galaxy Quest is the perfect representation of what a parody should be and how to create them. You can tell that the people working on this project did have a love and enjoyment of the original Star Trek and the lives of the actors after the show had ceased. It is well casted, well acted, and it is a must watch if you are a fan of Star Trek. Even if you are not a fan you can get behind, what is by all accounts a great movie.
Final Score 4.5/5
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