Galaxy Quest

Movie Review by Nigel A. Messenger

Starring: Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver
Director: Dean Parisot

GALAXY QUEST is the title of a fictional television show which, although long since cancelled, still enjoys a dedicated fan following, worshipping the stars of the show who make a living out of appearing at sci-fi conventions and other smaller personal appearances.

It’s at one of these conventions that the Commander (Tim Allen) is approached by some exceptionally strange fans, dressed in costume, to appear at what he thinks is another personal appearance. It soon transpires that this group are not fans at all, but the real thing, aliens who have watched the ‘Galaxy Quest’ TV show from outer space, and believed it was real. They have no concept of stories or entertainment, and view the shows as “historical documents”, so when their planet is nearly wiped out by a tyrannical alien from yet another planet, they come to Earth to recruit the help of the GALAXY QUEST’s commander and crew because in the ‘historical documents’ (TV shows) they are never beaten. Their beliefs are further enhanced by the fact that the GALAXY QUEST crew are all in uniform and make-up as they are appearing at a convention.

Substitute GALAXY QUEST, as you may have guessed by now, for the original STAR TREK before the movies were made, and you’re starting to get a pretty good idea of what’s going on here, as far as the TV history goes that is.

Tim Allen’s commander copies the classic gestures of Captain Kirk, from the way he sits in the captain’s chair on the bridge, to getting his shirt ripped off when fighting a monster on an alien planet. They even have their own version of STAR TREK instruments, including communicators, phasers (that look very like the originals) and the ability to “beam” from the ship to the planets surface, although it is Tim Allen’s “commander” who complains about being dissected into tiny particles and put back together again, instead of STAR TREK’s Dr McCoy.

Sigourney Weaver plays the communications officer whose uniform gets all the more revealing as it gets ripped apart during the course of the movie. Most of the main STAR TREK characters are here, or at least their GALAXY QUEST counterparts. There is even a teenage boy ‘fan’ at the convention who has an integral part later in the plot, who looks a lot like a young Wesley Crusher, even though Wesley doesn’t appear in the original STAR TREK.

As long as you are a STAR TREK fan who can stand back and laugh at themselves, in a nice way, you will enjoy this movie. It is well acted and although it’s laughs are at the expense of the STAR TREK phenomena it actually tends to pay homage to STAR TREK and it’s characters rather than mock the original.

If you are not a STAR TREK fan you can still enjoy this film but if you really don’t know what a phaser or a Klingon are, then stay away as GALAXY QUEST and its jokes will be lost on you. If you haven’t even heard of Captain Kirk then you probably don’t know what a movie or television set is so I suggest it’s time you evolved !

4 out of 6 stars

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