GalaxyQuest may not refer to Star Trek in name but in every other regard it could be. The designs of the bridge and engineering sets, the spaceship and the costumes are all almost identically modelled on Star Trek counterparts. Theres much fun to be had in spotting the character likenesses Alan Rickman is the Leonard Nimoy/Mr Spock counterpart, mirroring Nimoys becoming fed up with being perpetually identified with the Spock role; Sigourney Weaver, in plunging neckline and given only dumb stock phrases to parrot, is a combination of Marina Sirtis and Nichelle Nichols; and Daryl Mitchell plays the Wil Wheaton/Wesley Crusher counterpart. Particularly sharp is Tim Allens send-up of William Shatner. The part is written into the widespread fan perception of William Shatner as a womanising sleaze and an egocentric who frequently stole the limelight for himself. Theres an especially good scene in a bathroom, which mirrors some of William Shatners discoveries in his Star Trek Memoirs books, about him finding out that everybody else regarded the cast as nobodies and none of the others in the cast liked him. GalaxyQuest is particularly devastating when it comes to the portrait of the original Star Trek actors seeing them as has-beens who have barely ever worked again outside of the series and have spent the ensuing years milking the slavish fan audience for money. (Unlike real life though, GalaxyQuest lets its actors off the hook rather easily, eventually transforming them into heroes, and never giving us a glimpse of how exploitative and tacky some of the Star Trek actors have become in merchandising themselves charging $10,000 convention appearance fees and the long line of ghost-written sf novels that are sold under the Star Trek casts names, not to mention William Shatners infamous ventures into the recording industry, which are widely regarded as deservous of music industrys equivalent of the Golden Turkey Awards).
GalaxyQuest is a wonderfully knowing film for anyone who has spent any time hanging out around Star Trek fandom. It wittily punctures cliches and long-running fan jokes about the series. Theres the bit part actor who played a security guard in the series (in fanspeak a Redshirt usually a character in Security who would appear once only and would be killed off by the episodes resident menace) who realizes once he gets into the action that he is the most expendable. And then theres Sigourney Weaver in pushup bra and plunging neckline repeating stock technical questions during a mission conference and then turning to snap I know its a dumb part but its the only part Ive got on this ship and dammit Im going to do it well. Action cliches are hilariously sent up Tim Allen does forward rolls from boulder to boulder to head into the action while the others calmly stroll across; people try to offer helpful suggestions while Tim Allen is being attacked by a rock monster Look around and see if you can find any materials to build a lathe with that wittily puncture planetary survivalist cliches; and then there is the encounter in the ships bowels with crunching pistons Why would anybody build a stupid crunching device right here? It was a badly written episode, thats why. But the funniest of such moments is the proposed solution for shutting down a nuclear reactor by calling up a nerdy techno-geek, only to have the mission being stalled seconds before the ship is about to blow up because the nerds mother makes him put the garbage out.
GalaxyQuest is definitely a film written by hardcore Star Trek fans and con attendees the opening scenes at the convention hold a painfully knowledgeable portrait of Star Trek fans depicting the overweight people who come dressed in badly-fitting uniforms, the overeager and socially ill-adept nerds clamouring for celebrity presence, the female fans eager for even the slightest hint of romance between characters and the geeks who get caught up in the minutiae of techno-babble.
GalaxyQuest is a film that conducts several delicate balancing acts that of sending up science-fiction adventures, yet also of being one too; that of making a film for Star Trek fans, yet also giving it an appeal that carries it to mainstream audiences; of having a hero that is a limelight grabber and an egotist, yet also allowing him to become a hero too. The film succeeds in walking the wire between the several sets of fences that it sits on and does so with considerable sophistication. It is a wonderfully knowing film.
Also of note among the various Star Trek spoofs was the Futurama episode Where No Fan Has Gone Before (2002), which did actually get the sanction of and contains voice appearances from most of the series original cast members. Other Star Trek parodies and films about fandom include the German (T)Raumschiff Surprise Periode 1 (2004), Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning (2005) and the tv series The Orville (2017 ).
Most of director Dean Parisots work has been in television. Theatrically he also directed the Jim Carrey remake of the comedy Fun with Dick and Jane (2005) and the action sequel Red 2 (2013).