Galaxy Quest: Wikis


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Galaxy Quest

Original movie poster
Directed by Dean Parisot
Produced by Mark Johnson
Charles Newirth
Written by Screenplay:
David Howard
Robert Gordon
David Howard
Starring Tim Allen
Sigourney Weaver
Alan Rickman
Tony Shalhoub
Sam Rockwell
Daryl Mitchell
Enrico Colantoni
Music by David Newman
Cinematography Jerzy Zielinski
Editing by Don Zimmerman
Distributed by DreamWorks
Release date(s) December 25, 1999
Running time 102 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $45,000,000
Gross revenue $308,843,206

Galaxy Quest is a 1999 science fiction comedy film written by David Howard and Robert Gordon and directed by Dean Parisot. It stars Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver and Alan Rickman, and features Tony Shalhoub, Sam Rockwell, Daryl Mitchell, Missi Pyle and Justin Long in his feature-film debut. The original music score was composed by David Newman.

The movie, a parody inspired by the television series Star Trek, is about the washed-up stars of a fictional 1978–1982 TV series called Galaxy Quest. On the show, the actors played the crew of a spaceship, the NSEA Protector and embarked on "intergalactic adventures", but then they are recruited by aliens who believe that their fictional adventures were real. Portions of the movie were filmed in Goblin Valley State Park, Utah, USA.

Galaxy Quest won the 2000 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation.



The story focuses on the cast of Galaxy Quest, a space drama that was once a popular television series. Jason Nesmith (Allen) played the crew's commander, Gwen DeMarco (Weaver) was the show's sex symbol, Sir Alexander Dane (Rickman) played the ship's alien science officer, Fred Kwan (Shalhoub) was the engineer, Tommy Webber (Mitchell) was the child pilot, and Guy Fleegman (Rockwell) played a redshirt who was killed in his only episode.

Seventeen years after the show was canceled, at a convention full of costumed Galaxy Quest fans, Jason is approached by a group of people claiming to be aliens called "Thermians" led by "Mathesar" (Colantoni), and lets them take him to what he assumes will be an amateur filming session. But the Thermians really are aliens, octopoidal creatures using "appearance generators" to make themselves appear human. Being so naïve as to have no concept of fiction, they have mistaken broadcasts of Galaxy Quest as "historical documents", built a full-size working version of the NSEA Protector, the show's spaceship, and invented real versions of the other technologies portrayed in the show.

The Thermians transport Jason aboard their spaceship to negotiate with Sarris (Sachs), a reptilian humanoid warlord engaged in a genocidal war against their people. Sarris demands the "Omega 13”, a device mentioned, but not used, in Galaxy Quest's final episode. Still believing the situation is fictional, Jason orders the Thermians to attack Sarris and then insists on returning home. When the Thermians encase him in a gelatinous "pod" and send him to Earth through space, he finally realizes the ordeal was real. Jason tells his co-stars about it, and they reluctantly return with him to help the Thermians. Since the Thermians abhor all forms of untruth, the actors are obliged to assume their television roles in order to survive.

With the actors onboard, Sarris chases the Protector into a space minefield, which damages the beryllium sphere that powers the ship's reactor. The actors acquire a new sphere from a nearby planet after battling various alien creatures. Meanwhile, Sarris takes control of the ship. Interrogated by Sarris about the Omega 13, Jason is forced to admit the truth to Mathesar, who is crushed after learning that Jason and his crew are frauds. Sarris's men activate the ship's self-destruct sequence, but Jason and Alexander kill their guards by employing a gambit from one of the show's episodes.

Not knowing how the ship works, Jason contacts an avid Galaxy Quest fan named Brandon (Long) in his suburban home on Earth, using a communicator that he accidentally gave him at a convention. Using his extensive knowledge of the show's details, Brandon helps Jason and Gwen abort the self-destruct sequence. Brandon and his friends suspect that Omega 13 may act as a time machine by restoring the Universe to whatever state it was in 13 seconds before the device was activated.

Taking back control of the Protector, the actors and Thermians destroy Sarris' ship and return to Earth. When Sarris sneaks aboard the ship and starts killing the crew, Jason activates the Omega 13, is sent back in time thirteen seconds, and thwarts Sarris's attack. As the Thermians take control of the Protector, the actors leave in a shuttle craft, land on Earth with Brandon's help, crash into a Galaxy Quest convention, and emerge from the wreck to enthusiastic applause from the audience, who assume the crash is part of the show. When Sarris attacks again, Jason kills him with a blaster pistol and is welcomed by even greater applause. Sometime later, Galaxy Quest is revived, starring the original cast, along with Laliari (Pyle), a female Thermian who chose to stay as Fred's lover, and with Guy promoted to a role as the ship's chief of security.


The cast of Galaxy Quest. Left to right: Sam Rockwell, Alan Rickman, Tim Allen, Daryl Mitchell, Sigourney Weaver, Tony Shalhoub.
  • Tim Allen as Jason Nesmith / Commander / Captain Peter Quincy Taggart (both titles are used): The Kirk-like captain of the Protector during the original television run, Nesmith remains the putative leader of the Galaxy Quest crew members as they travel to conventions and strip mall dedications. Initially loving the devoted fans, he overhears a conversation among them calling him a mockery, and re-evaluates his position. As Taggart, and later during his genuine adventures, Nesmith is prone to losing his shirt at the slightest pretext, and is said to have had romantic relations with minor female characters who appeared throughout his television career.
  • Sigourney Weaver as Gwen DeMarco / Lieutenant Tawny Madison: The Computer Officer of the Protector, who performs communication duties similar to Uhura. Her job consists largely of repeating what the computer says (much to everyone else's annoyance) and talking with the ship's computer, which (inexplicably) does not take commands from anyone but her. Her shirt gets torn up by the end of the film. Weaver later compared her role as Tawny to her role as Ripley in the Alien series, describing Tawny as "a stereotypical dumb blonde" who fulfills a useless function in contrast to Ripley's dynamic centrality. It is sometimes implied that Gwen and Jason are romantically interested in each other, though they won't bring themselves to admit this.
  • Alan Rickman as Sir Alexander Dane / Dr. Lazarus of Tev'Meck: The equivalent of Spock (along with some elements of Jean-Luc Picard), Lazarus is a member of an alien species renowned for vast and prudent intellect; he is deeply intelligent and has psionic abilities. Additionally, he has a non-standard weapon and a pretentious catchphrase: "By Grabthar's hammer, by the suns of Warvan, you shall be avenged!". A Royal Shakespearean trained actor, Alexander resents both his catchphrase and being typecast. He is never seen without his prosthesis, even when he is at home; the only scene in which it is removed is during his distraction of Sarris' people, when it is partially torn off. He is the last of the actors to embrace his television role, which all of them must do in order to satisfy the Thermians, and only does so when Quellek, a Thermian who idolizes Dr. Lazarus, dies in Alexander's arms, moving him to recite his catchphrase and avenge Quellek's murder.
  • Tony Shalhoub as Fred Kwan / Tech Sergeant Chen: Chen is in charge of the engine room, and is the operator of the "digital conveyor" (a version of the Star Trek transporter). As Fred, the character panics only once, and that when he is forced to assume the role of Tech Sergeant Chen by the need to save Jason's life; in all other situations, including those threatening himself, he is startlingly calm and blasé. In a deleted scene, he bluffs his way through a question about a technical problem with the ship by stringing along the engineers, getting them to answer the question themselves. He is in love with Laliari.
  • Daryl Mitchell as Tommy Webber / Lieutenant Laredo: A parody of "Boy Wonder"-type characters, similar to Pavel Chekov or Wesley Crusher, who has aged considerably since his role. His role as Laredo is essentially that of a pilot, when he flies the real 'Protector' out of the spaceport he scrapes it against a wall and it takes him most of the film (and re-watching the old Galaxy Quest episodes) to learn to do it properly.
  • Corbin Bleu played Tommy at age 9 during the film's introduction, a "recording" of an original episode.
  • Sam Rockwell as Guy Fleegman / Crewman Number 6 / Security Chief "Roc" Ingersoll: Guy begins the story as a "Questerian" (Trekkie) who had a small role as a redshirt in one episode of the series. He spends most of the movie fretting about his imminent demise which he believes is inevitable for minor characters such as he once was, showing a difficulty to separate reality from fiction when in perceived danger (similar to the "redshirts" on the original Star Trek). Ironically, he suffers the least damage of any of the actors throughout the flight on the Protector - when Sarris attacks the crew, Guy is seen screaming amidst the carnage unharmed. When the television series is revived, Guy appears as a more prominent character named "Security Chief 'Roc' Ingersol".
  • Enrico Colantoni as Mathesar: Leader of the Thermians. Mathesar is, like all his people, an upright octopoid who appears as a white-skinned, gray-clad, black-haired human, speaks in stiff tones of voice, and lacks any concept of fiction.
  • Robin Sachs as General Roth'h'ar Sarris: The villain of the film. Sarris is a reptilian humanoid who seeks to steal the Omega 13 device from the Thermians. He is said to have already destroyed their home planet and most of their race, being bent on their destruction.
  • Justin Long as Brandon: A devoted Galaxy Quest fan, who is initially brushed aside by Jason Nesmith. His encyclopedic knowledge of the show allows him to provide vital assistance to Nesmith and the crew during the film's climax.
  • Missi Pyle as Laliari: The Thermian crew member who falls in love with Fred. Although mostly shown in her human form, she exposes her tentacles when embracing Fred after he successfully implements a clever and impressive plan. Having received the permission of her people, she travels to Earth with Fred and joins him as a cast member of the revived television series given the Earthly name "Jane Doe".
  • Jed Rees as Teb: Teb is Mathesar's second-in-command. He is one of the Thermians sent to recruit Captain Taggart and is among the crew members who were suffocating in the air lock.
  • Patrick Breen as Quellek: A Thermian who idolizes the Dr. Lazarus character, he assists Alexander but is initially brushed off by him, especially when he tries to repeat Lazarus' catchphrase. He is later killed by one of Sarris' men, and admits to Alexander he considered "Dr. Lazarus" a father figure, motivating Alexander to avenge him.
  • Rainn Wilson as Lahnk: The Thermian requisition officer and a member of the four Thermians sent to recruit Captain Taggart.


The film garnered a 70 out of 100 (signifying generally favorable reviews) on Metacritic from 28 reviews.[1] On Rotten Tomatoes, it received an 89% "freshness" rating and a 7.1/10 average reviewer rating out of 110 reviews.[2] The New York Times's Lawrence Van Gelder called it "an amiable comedy that simultaneously manages to spoof these popular futuristic space adventures and replicate the very elements that have made them so durable".[3] Roger Ebert praised the ability of the film to spoof the "illogic of the TV show".[4]

The Village Voice offered a lukewarm review, noting that "the many eight-to-11-year-olds in the audience seemed completely enthralled".[5]


Box Office

The film was a box office success. Even though it earned only $10,012,630 in its opening weekend, its total domestic tally stands at $101,583,916 and it grossed $308,843,206 worldwide.

Reaction quotes from Star Trek actors

  • I had originally not wanted to see Galaxy Quest 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. — Sir Patrick Stewart[6][7]
  • I've had flashbacks of Galaxy Quest at the many conventions I've gone to since the movie came out. I thought it was an absolute laugh-a-minute. — Tim Russ[8]
  • 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 unrecognizable. 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. — William Shatner[9]
  • Yes, I have seen Galaxy Quest and no, it's not really like that. — Casey Biggs[10] (About the film's portrayal of the fandom.)
  • I loved Galaxy Quest. 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. — Wil Wheaton[11]
  • 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.] - George Takei[12]

Relation to Star Trek

Galaxy Quest is an acknowledged homage to Star Trek; therefore a variety of elements in the former correspond to those of the latter. The television program within the film, Galaxy Quest, is set around the starship NSEA Protector, an instrument of the National Space Exploration Administration: thinly veiled replicas of the USS Enterprise and Starfleet (or the United Federation of Planets) respectively.

The theme of imitative aliens was explored in a few Star Trek episodes, including "A Piece of the Action" and "Patterns of Force'.

This homage even extended to the original marketing of the movie, including a promotional website[13] intentionally designed to look like a poorly constructed fan website, with "screen captures" and poor HTML coding.

References to Star Trek

The NSEA Protector
  • The NTE part of the Protector’s registration number (NTE-3120 as opposed to the Enterprise’s NCC-1701), ostensibly alludes to some sort of similar space federation, but in reality stands for "Not The Enterprise", according to visual effects co-supervisor Bill George in a 2000 interview with Cinefex magazine.[14]
  • The constant pseudo-gymnastic "rolling" of Taggart corresponds to the rolling of Kirk, in many aired episodes of 'Star Trek'
  • Usually, as in the case of Star Trek, when there is an explosion, the camera would tilt to one side and the actors would fall to the other, creating the visual effect of the set rolling and the actors reacting (an effect often called the Irwin Allen rock-and-roll by film buffs). The Protector's bridge set was built on hydraulic rams (or 'gimbals'), so when an explosion supposedly occurred, the set would actually (and very suddenly) rock to one side, vibrate wildly, and throw the actors out of their seats. According to interviews on the DVD release of the film, the effect was so real that it actually frightened (and injured) several of the main cast.[15]
  • The name "Thermians" was probably not a reference to Vulcans. In the screenplay the alien planet was originally called "Theramin", instead of "Thermia" (an homage to early scifi film use of the theremin to make eerie noises, as in Forbidden Planet.)
  • When consuming the food that was synthesized for the crew's personas, Tim Allen's character refers to his meal as being like "corn-fed, Iowa beef." This is a possible allusion to Star Trek as James T. Kirk was raised in Riverside, Iowa.
  • The original Star Trek, like Galaxy Quest, did not have a main character who was security chief. The first security chief came in the revamp Star Trek: The Next Generation, as Tasha Yar.
  • The final episode cliffhanger is very similar to the Season 3 episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, "The Best of Both Worlds" where the final line was "Mr. Worf, fire" and Taggert's was "Mr. Chen, activate the Omega Thirteen..." finishing with a 'To Be Continued'
  • Towards the end of the movie, after Mathesar takes command, he says "On Teb, on!" and repeatedly makes an arm gesture. The arm motion is similar to the distinctive gesture used in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Voyager by characters to "Engage!" a navigational course.
  • The Protector's engine is powered by a "beryllium sphere". Beryllium is the fourth element on the periodic table, just after lithium. Dilithium crystals are used in starship engines in the Star Trek universe.
  • The Omega 13 is a device that is feared to be capable of destroying the galaxy. In Star Trek, the Omega particle is a particle capable of ending all warp travel through space.
  • The time between the original Galaxy Quest show and The New Adventures was 17 years--the same length of time between the original Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation.

In other media

  • In December 1999 E!, the US entertainment channel featured a mockumentary entitled "Galaxy Quest - 20th Anniversary The Journey Continues" concerning the making of the Galaxy Quest television show
  • Galaxy Quest was novelised by science fiction writer Terry Bisson and this novel stays very close to the plot of the movie.
  • In 2008, IDW Publishing released a comicbook sequel to the movie entitled Galaxy Quest: Global Warning.
  • A Deluxe Edition DVD was released May 12, 2009.
  • In 'Apogee of Fear', the first science-fiction movie made in space, NASA astronaut Michael Fincke refers to the need to 'fashion weapons out of a rudimentary lathe'. Both Michael Fincke and fellow NASA Astronaut Greg Chamitoff deliver the line 'Never give up... never surrender.'
  • In the Blu-Ray Director commentary of the 2009 Star Trek film, J. J. Abrams stated that Galaxy Quest was "The best Star Trek movie ever made".

DVD extras

  • There is a feature on the DVD simulating the Omega 13, by reversing the opening sequence to the main menu. If the Omega 13 feature is selected before watching the movie however, it comes up with an "Access Denied" error. Only by watching the movie in its entirety (or skipping to the end credits and letting them play) will the Omega 13 feature activate.
  • A Thermian Audio Track selection is available, which dubs over all the spoken English with the language of the Thermians.

See also


External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Galaxy Quest is a 1999 film: a parody of Star Trek and the cult following and conventions it has spawned. The movie is about the washed-up stars of a fictional 1978–1982 TV series called Galaxy Quest and an alien race (the Thermians) who, having no concept of fiction, believe it to be a "historical document." The Thermians have modeled every aspect of their society on the show, including building a fully functional replica of the show's ship, the NSEA Protector. The actors subsequently join the crew of the real Protector, with the Thermians under the impression that the actors really are their characters, to try and stop General Sarris, a villain who threatens to destroy the Thermians.

Directed by Dean Parisot. Screenplay by David Howard and Robert Gordon.
"Never give up, never surrender!" Taglines



Gwen DeMarco: You've got to admit, they really do love him.
Tommy Webber: Yeah, almost as much as he loves himself.

Guy Fleegman: Hey, guys. Th-there's a red thingy moving toward the green thingy.
Jason Nesmith: What?
Guy Fleegman: Red thingy. Moving toward the green thingy. I think we're the green thingy.

[Tommy is trying to steer the ship through a minefield.]
Sir Alexander Dane: Could you possibly try not to hit every single one?

[The actors are flying a shuttle to an alien planet.]
Guy Fleegman: [whimpering] I changed my mind. I wanna go back.
Sir Alexander Dane: After all the fuss you made about getting left behind?
Guy Fleegman: Yeah, but that's when I thought I was the crewman that stays on the ship and something is up there and it kills me. But now I'm thinking I'm the guy that gets killed by some monster five minutes after we land on the planet.
Jason Nesmith: You're not going to die on the planet, Guy.
Guy Fleegman: I'm not? Then what's my last name?
Jason Nesmith: It's, uh, uh — I don't know.
Guy Fleegman: Nobody knows. You know why? Because my character isn't important enough for a last name, because I'm gonna die five minutes in.
Gwen DeMarco: Guy, you have a last name.
Guy Fleegman: Do I? Do I? For all you know, I'm "Crewman Number Six"! [puts his head on Gwen's shoulder and cries] Mommy! Mommy!

[The shuttle has landed and the hatch is being opened by Fred.]
Guy Fleegman: Hey! Don't open that! It's an alien planet! Is there air? You don't know! [begins holding his breath]
Fred Kwan: [calmly sniffs the air and takes a few panting breaths] Seems okay.

[Jason is being menaced by a huge monster made of rocks.]
Tommy Webber: Go for the eyes, like in episode 22!
Jason Nesmith: It doesn't have any eyes!
Tommy Webber: Well, then, go for the throat or something. Its vulnerable spots!
Jason Nesmith: It's a rock! It doesn't have any vulnerable spots!
Guy Fleegman: I know! You'll need to make a weapon. Look around; can you construct some sort of rudimentary lathe?

Fred Kwan: We gotta turn off that valve. Their oxygen's almost gone.
Guy Fleegman: Listen... I'll go in. I'll create a distraction. I got this [ brandishes an oversize alien gun]. I'm okay. I might be able to hold them back long enough for the aliens to escape.
Fred Kwan: That's suicide!
Guy Fleegman: I'm just a glorified extra, Fred. I'm a dead man anyway. If I gotta die, I'd rather go out a hero than a coward.
Fred Kwan: Guy — Guy, maybe you're the plucky comedy relief. You ever think about that?
Guy Fleegman: Plucky?
Fred Kwan: Besides, [goofy laugh] I just had this really interesting idea... Yeah, let's go.
Guy Fleegman: Are you stoned?

Gwen DeMarco: What is this thing? There's no useful purpose for there to be a bunch of chompy, crushy things in the middle of a hallway!
Jason Nesmith: Gwen—
Gwen DeMarco: No! I mean, we shouldn't have to do this! It makes no logical sense! Why is it here?
Jason Nesmith: Because it's on the television show.
Gwen DeMarco: Well, forget it! I'm not doing it! This episode was badly written!

Brandon's Mom: Where are you going with those fireworks?
Brandon Wheegan: Well, the Protector got super-accelerated coming out of the black hole and just, like, nailed the atmosphere at Mach fifteen, which, you guys know, is pretty unstable obviously, so we're gonna help Laredo guide it on the vox ultra-frequency carrier and use Roman candles for visual confirmation.
Brandon's Mom: Uh, all right. Dinner's at seven. [Brandon leaves.] Well, at least he's outside.


  • Never give up, never surrender!
  • The show has been cancelled... but the adventure is just beginning.
  • A comedy of galactic proportions.


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