Blu-ray Review: Galaxy Quest 20th Anniversary Steelbook Edition
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Galaxy Quest
Limited Edition 20th Anniversary Steelbook Blu-ray
Best Buy Exclusive
Directed by Dean Parisot
Story by David Howard; Screenplay by David Howard & Robert Gordon
Cast: Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tony Shalhoub, Sam Rockwell, Enrico Colantoni, Daryl Mitchell, Sam Rockwell, Justin Long
Paramount Home Entertainment
Release date: September 21, 2019

Back in 1999, Dean Parisot made a little movie called Galaxy Quest, a scifi-adventure comedy starring Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, and Alan Rickman, which at first glance seemed like a parody — and a poke at — scifi franchises like Star Trek. There’s the cast of a cancelled 1970s science fiction television series forced to eke out a living at science fiction fan conventions and grand opening store promotions 20 years after their heyday. Said cast resents the show’s main star, a scene-stealer who takes credit for their successes and often makes paid appearances without them. And there’s the rabid, geeky fans at the convention who seemingly can’t differentiate between an actor and the role he played.

But while Galaxy Quest is humorous in its parody of all those stereotypes, it turns out the film is actually a loving homage to science fiction and its loyal fans. And it’s perfect in every way.

The story opens at the 18th annual Galaxy Quest convention, where the cast of the long-cancelled television series is schedule to appear on a panel, followed by an autograph session — standard convention offerings. Allen’s Jason Nesmith had played the lead on the show as Commander Peter Quincy Taggart of the NSEA Protector, in a role similar to William Shatner’s Captain Kirk in Star Trek. During the convention, an awkward group of people who call themselves Thermians ask Jason to help them against a galactic threat. Thinking it’s just another paid gig, Jason goes with them to their ship, only to discover that these people are in fact aliens from another world and there is indeed a threat from the evil General Sarris, who’s on a path to extinguish the Thermians. When Jason returns to Earth to recruit his former co-stars for the outerspace mission, they agree to go because they too assume it’s a paid appearance.

The kicker, though, is that the Thermians have built their entire civilization around what they’ve seen on Galaxy Quest, thinking that the TV show was actually historical documents of Earth. Hence, why they believe their only chance of survival now is to get Commander Taggart and the rest of the crew of the starship Protector to defeat Sarris.

It’s a tall order for a bunch of has-been actors, but like their on-screen counterparts always say, “Never give up, never surrender!”

I can’t tell you how much I love this movie. It’s just amazing on every level and hits the spot every time. Going into the theater in 1999 to see this, I immediately assumed it would be a harsh parody of Star Trek. The opening convention scenes seemed to prove my theory: It’s long-rumored that the original Trek cast resented Shatner, and Allen’s character is undoubtedly inspired by the actor; there’s the frustrated actors — played by Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tony Shalhoub, Enrico Colantoni, Daryl Mitchell — forever typecast in their scifi roles; there’s even the no-name bit player (Sam Rockwell) who made that one small guest appearance on the show who’s still trying to make a living off his one big moment. And then of course there’s the convention attendees, some of whom are over-zealous fans who want more than their allotted time with the stars (headed up by Justin Long), while others mock the cast as has-beens who take themselves too seriously. But once the crew sets off on their real-life space adventure, it’s obvious that this movie isn’t making fun of anything — it’s paying homage to everything we know and love about fandom and science fiction franchises like Star Trek. It gets everything right.

While the film didn’t hit it big upon release — I’m guessing because of the misconceptions about it — it did get positive reviews and went on to rightfully achieve cult status. It was even voted the “7th best Star Trek movie” by fans at the 2013 Star Trek convention in Las Vegas. Now that’s really saying something.

This new 20th Anniversary “Never Give Up, Never Surrender” Limited Collector’s Edition Steelbook Blu-ray of Galaxy Quest is available for purchase exclusively at Best Buy, and contains a bunch of bonus features, which are listed here below. From what I can tell, it’s the steelbook packaging that makes this release different from the previous editions.

If you enjoy Galaxy Quest, I highly recommended watching the bonus features. I was really disappointed that there was no feature-length commentary track, as this movie really deserves one, but, if you can believe it, they did take the time to create a Thermian audio track. Humans will likely only get through about a minute of it, but it’s there for all you Thermians out there.

Thankfully, there are plenty of behind-the-scenes featurettes where the filmmakers talk about how the idea for the film went from conception to reality. There’s a lot of interviews with the cast, where they discuss their characters and their thoughts upon getting offered their respective roles. And this being a space adventure, there’s plenty of details on special effects, created by the great Stan Winston and his effects house. We get to see filming of action sequences and how the various aliens and their language (headed by Enrico Colantoni and including a little-known Rainn Wilson) were created. There’s even a short video of Sigourney Weaver rapping. And definitely don’t skip the Deleted Scenes — these are a must, as they are not only hilarious, but they give us a lot of details about the Thermians’ ship and their perspective of Earthlings.

Oh, and for the ultimate Galaxy Quest fan there’s the “Galactopedia.” This is a feature you can turn on and click through while you watch the movie that is basically an encyclopedia not only of the details of the movie, but also information on the TV show! This was created by the amazing team of Michael and Denise Okuda, who worked on Star Trek and wrote the massive Star Trek Encyclopedia. These are people who know their stuff, and having them create this Galactopedia absolutely adds legitimacy to Galaxy Quest as a worthy space adventure in the vain of Star Trek.

Special Features

The Limited Collector’s Edition Blu-ray Steelbook includes:

  • Galactopedia””On-screen information about characters, ships, aliens and more
  • Historical Documents: The Story of Galaxy Quest””Cast and filmmakers discuss how the film came together
  • Never Give Up, Never Surrender: The Intrepid Crew of the NSEA Protector””Celebrates the incredibly talented cast
  • By Grabthar’s Hammer, What Amazing Effects””Explores the effects by ILM and Stan Winston
  • Alien School””Creating the Thermian Race””Actor Enrico Colantoni’s process of developing the voice and manner of an alien race
  • Actors in Space””Delves into the psyche of the cast
  • Sigourney Weaver Raps”” Needs no further explanation
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Thermian Audio Track

Blu-ray Cover

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