Galaxy Quest is a 1999 science-fiction parody comedy film about a troupe of actors who defend a group of aliens against an alien warlord. It was directed by Dean Parisot and written by David Howard and Robert Gordon. Mark Johnson and Charles Newirth produced the film for DreamWorks, and David Newman composed the music score. Portions of the film were shot in Goblin Valley State Park, Utah, USA, and non-humanoid creatures were created by Stan Winston Studio from designs by Jordu Schell.
The film parodies the television series Star Trek and related media activities such as fandom. It stars Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tony Shalhoub, Sam Rockwell, and Daryl Mitchell as the cast of a defunct television series called Galaxy Quest, in which the crew of a spaceship embarked on intergalactic adventures. Enrico Colantoni also stars as the leader of an alien race who ask the actors for help, believing the show's adventures were real. The film's supporting cast features Robin Sachs as the warlord, Patrick Breen as a friendly alien, and Justin Long in his feature-film debut as a fan of the television show.
The film received critical praise and reached cult status through the years, garnering admiration from Star Trek fans, staff, and cast members. It won the prestigious Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, the Nebula Award for Best Script, and was also nominated for ten Saturn Awards including Best Science Fiction Film, Best Director for Parisot, Best Actress for Weaver and Best Supporting Actor for Rickman, winning Best Actor for Allen.
The film was included in Reader's Digest's list of The Top 100+ Funniest Movies of All Time. In commentary on the Blu-ray edition of Star Trek, director J. J. Abrams called Galaxy Quest "one of the best Star Trek movies ever made."
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. — Patrick Stewart
- 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 (jokingly sending himself up, as he is the one Allen was parodying), who played James T. Kirk
- 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, who played the Vulcan Lt. Cmdr. Tuvok on Star Trek: Voyager
- Yes, I have seen Galaxy Quest and no, Star Trek fandom is not really like that. — Casey Biggs, who played the Cardassian Legate Damar on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
- 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, who played "the kid" Wesley Crusher in Star Trek: The Next Generation
- 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, who played Hikaru Sulu in Star Trek: The Original Series
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, which are obviously parodies of the USS Enterprise and Starfleet respectively. The prefix of the Protector’s registration number NTE-3120 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.
This homage even extended to the original marketing of the movie, including a promotional website intentionally designed to look like a poorly constructed fan website, with "screen captures" and poor HTML coding.