Galaxy Quest

Tool Time in Space!

A mixed cast of TV (Tim Allen, Tony Shalhoub) and film (Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman) stars play the stars of an early 80s sci-fi adventure TV show who are milking their fading fame for all the $20 autographs it’s worth. Meanwhile, in another galaxy, a beleaguered race of aliens have been tuning in to the show and – much like the disturbed fandom back on Earth – can’t quite grasp the difference between reality and fantasy. Under attack by big green nasty bad guys, they come to Earth to enlist the aid of their heroes. Merry mix-ups and zap gun fights ensue.

I’m told this is kind of an old theme in literature, though I can’t trace it back any further than The Three Amigos at the moment. One other nitpick: why didn’t the aliens think something was awry when they couldn’t find the crew’s space ship? Did they just make one for them when they couldn’t find the real one or what? They are portrayed to be unfamiliar with the whole concept of falsehood, but they didn’t even ask where the ship had gone. Other than that, this is a real hoot.

Last year brought us two documentaries about Star Trek fans, but segments on news shows and specials have already done much the same thing. Fanboy behavior has entered the public consciousness to the point that this high-concept romp works with audiences. Even ten years ago, this would only appeal to “insiders”. The Platinum Age of Psychotronic continues.

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