Dean Parisot’s 1999 film “Galaxy Quest” adapts a story by David Howard parodying science fiction and pop culture, focusing on the cast of a short-lived television series whose regular routine of attending pop culture conventions and doing promotions is interrupted when aliens, who believe the television show was a documentary, visit them and want their help resolving an intergalactic war.
The film largely draws upon the legacy of “Star Trek,” with several of the characters resembling the original “Trek” cast. For example, Tim Allen’s character Jason Nesmith closely resembles William Shatner and his portrayal of Captain Kirk. Sigourney Weaver portrays Gwen DeMarco, who was the communications officer on the fictional series, and resembles Nichelle Nichols. Alan Rickman’s Alexander Dane, an actor who detests his alien character Dr. Lazarus, recalls Leonard Nimoy’s initial efforts to move past “Star Trek” in his first memoir, “I Am Not Spock.” Tony Shalhoub’s Fred Kwan recalls the easygoing nature and likeability of George Takei, while Sam Rockwell’s Guy Fleegman was a redshirt on the show who relies on that legacy for a sense of identity. Finally, Daryl Mitchell plays Tommy Webber, who was a child actor on the series, and resembles Wil Wheaton’s character of Wesley Crusher on “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” Enrico Colantoni, a great character actor, plays Mathesar, the leader of the alien Thermians and sets the tone for all the Thermians while Robin Sachs makes Roth’h’ar Sarris a thoroughly impressive villain who could easily have appeared in one of the 1990s “Star Trek” series (and Sachs did appear in “Babylon 5” and “Star Trek: Voyager”). Rounding out the case is Justin Long, playing a fanboy who stands in for all Trekkers. “Galaxy Quest” should be considered an unofficial “Star Trek” film as it pays loving homage to the franchise and its legacy.
Bonus features on this Blu-ray Steelbook edition include Galactopedia (an interactive guide by Michael and Denise Okuda, who designed the aesthetic of 1990s era “Star Trek” computer displays); Historical Documents: The Story of “Galaxy Quest” (a mini-documentary about the making and legacy of “Galaxy Quest”); Never Give Up, Never Surrender: The Intrepid Crew of the NSEA Protector (cast interviews); By Grabthar’s Hammer, What Amazing Effects (examining creature effects, production design, in-camera effects, CGI, and more); Alien School: Creating the Thermian Race (examining how Enrico Colatoni came up with the Thermians’ way of speaking and how the actors collaborated to develop the movements and quirks of the aliens); Actors in Space (about what it’s like for actors to parody actors); Sigourney Weaver Raps (a rap video Sigourney Weaver and some of the other cast made as a birthday present for her agent while filming); Deleted Scenes; and a Thermian Audio Track. One of the best things about the bonus features is how the interviews use the original 1999 interview footage and juxtapose it with more recent interviews, showing the legacy of this film 20 years later.