I introduced my kids to one of the great science fiction comedies of all time, Galaxy Quest. The plot centers around the cast of a fictional science fiction TV show. It’s obviously patterned off of the original Star Trek tv series starring William Shatner and Leonard Neemoy. The series in the movie is called, Galaxy Quest, and it’s tired and older cast members includeed Tim Allen as the actor who played the Captain of the Spaceship, Alan Rickman who plays the actor who plays the science officer, and Sigourney Weaver who plays the actor who played the lone female cast member. I specifically mentioned that they “play the actor who played” because that’s the genius behind the plot of Galaxy Quest the movie. When the story begins, the actors are at a Galaxy Quest convention signing autographs for fans. They are all sick of conventions and feel like their career has become a big joke. The exception is Tim Allen’s character who enjoys the attention as the action star of the show. Things get interesting when a group of real aliens show up at the convention convinced that the show was real. They wisk the actors away, all dressed in full show costumes, and take them to a fully operational copy of their spaceship from the show. The alien race is in grave danger and they expect the crew from the TV show to rescue them.
From there, it’s hilarious and at times touching as the fake space crew are forced into a real live adventure that involves barbarous aliens, flying their spaceship through a field of asteroids, and landing on a strange planet to find a mysterious orb that they need to keep their spaceship running.
The movie is well written and the acting is flawless. The balance of satirical humor with sci-fi action is right on. The icing on the cake are the many allusions to goofy plot devices that all Star Trek fans will recognize instantly. For instance, one of the actors that ends up on the ship played a crew member named Guy from episode #81. When Guy is told to come down to the planet with the other more well known crew members he falls apart emotionally. He says he doesn’t want to go to the planet because the unknown crew member is always the one that dies at the first site of danger.
Great jokes like that and more, along with a very clever plot that kept us guessing until the end, makes Galaxy Quest one of my all time favorites. My 11 and 13 year old daughters also laughed hard throughout and enjoyed it too. There was one uneccessary use of God’s name in vain. Plus a few action scenes that are a little intense for younger viewers. Otherwise, if you have older kids, this is a great family movie.