Jason Nesmith/Captain Peter Quincy McTaggart
An actor who once starred as the captain in a sci-fi show named Galaxy Quest
. He's arrogant, seemingly a jerk to his costars, and is stuck in the past, clinging to the old glory days of the show, enabled by the devoted fans who love his showboating antics. At the beginning of the movie, at yet another convention, Nesmith is confronted with how pathetic he has become and drinks himself into a stupor. It's in this state that he encounters the aliens and unwittingly agrees to his first real mission.
- Badass: All those years of rolling around a soundstage covered in dirt really paid off.
- Break the Haughty: At the start of the film, he realises how pathetic he's become.
- The Captain: His position in the show, which means he gets giddy when he gets to be an actual captain.
- The Charmer: With his fans, yes. With his fellow actors... not so much.
- Guile Hero: He's got a good head for tactics.
- Jumped at the Call: Once the interstellar shakes wear off, he's thrilled that a bunch of real, actual aliens built a replica of the ship and consider the cast to be actual heroes.
- Large Ham: Much to the annoyance of his fellow actors.
- The Leader: His position on the show, and he eventually takes the position for real.
- Hidden Depths: He is a bit arrogant at first, but he eventually shows a nicer side.
- The Kirk: His role in the show.
- Took a Level in Kindness: Contrast his appearances at the beginning and at the end of the film; at the beginning he's unashamedly hogging the spotlight and gets disappointed when he doesn't get the fanfare he wants. At the end, he realises that the crowd at the convention aren't paying his costars any attention, and gestures for them all to come up and share the spotlight as they deserve it.
- Unnecessary Combat Roll: He does this on the away mission before any actual danger occurs, out of habit from doing it on the show. It doesn't actually help him at first. It helps him kill Sarris in the end.
- What Have I Done: After he tells Mathesar the truth about the show not being real.
Gwen DeMarco/Lt. Tawny Madison
Another star of the show Galaxy Quest
now trapped on the convention circuit. Gwen played the show's fanservice character and is resigned to the idea that she never gets taken seriously. On the show, she had superfluous job of repeating the computer's statements and repeating the orders of the captain to the computer, so when the aliens build a real version of the ship, she gets stuck with that job again. There's some indication that Gwen and Jason were once genuinely attracted to each other but it died quickly once Gwen figured out what kind of guy Jason really was.
Sir Alexander Dane/Dr. Lazarus of Tev'Meck.
Lazarus is a "Mak'tar", a member of an alien species renowned for their intellect. He is deeply intelligent and has psionic abilities. Additionally, he has a non-standard weapon and a pretentious catchphrase: "By Grabthar's hammer, by the suns of Warvan, you shall be avenged!". A trained Shakespearean British actor, Alexander resents both his catchphrase and being typecast.
- Always Second Best: To Jason.
- Catchphrase: "By Grabthar's hammer, by the suns of Warvan, you shall be avenged!" Ironically enough he hates it.
- Classically-Trained Extra: Bitter about it, too.
- Deadpan Snarker: It helps that he is played by Alan Rickman.
- Expy: Part Leonard Nimoy (bitter about being typecast as Lazarus- Nimoy got over it, though ), part Patrick Stewart and part Alec Guinness- a respected Shakespearean actor who ended up on a cult science fiction show, and is none too happy about it (Stewart doesn't regret his time on Star Trek and in fact, is proud of his role, but Guinness was upset that many people only remembered him from Star Wars).
- Hidden Heart of Gold: When Quellek is shot, Alexander delivers his catchphrase with complete sincerity, after having earlier stopped him from reciting it.
- Human Alien: Subverted; the alien part really is just makeup.
- I Need a Freaking Drink: When asked where he's going after the traumatic first contact with Sarris, he shouts back "to see if there's a pub."
- Jerkass Fašade: He comes across as rather annoyed and cynical by everything, but at the end of the day he's a good guy.
- Not so Above It All
- The Spock: The character on whom he's based.
- Took a Level in Badass: He charges an alien head-on while unarmed and wins.
Tommy Webber/Lt. Laredo
Tommy parodies an actor in the "boy wonder" role, who has aged considerably since he was on the show. His role as Laredo is essentially that of the pilot, but when he flies the real Protector
out, it takes him most of the film (and carefully studying his old Galaxy Quest
episodes) to remember how to do it right.
- Ace Pilot: In the show; not so much in real life.
- Doing It for the Art: Being a kid at the time, he naturally took his role on the show quite seriously, to the point of coming up with his own consistent method of how the ship's controls worked. This comes in handy when the Thermians recreate the ship from the episodes.
- Expy: Of Wesley Crusher from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Wil Wheaton (the actor who played Wesley) commented that the one aspect of Trek fandom the film lacked was a fan complaining about the presence of a kid on the bridge. (In fact, Wheaton would have liked to play the role himself.)
- Kid-Appeal Character: On the original show, he was about ten years old.
- Teen Genius: His character.
- Took a Level in Badass: "Pedal to the medal!"
Fred Kwan/Tech Sgt. Chen.
Chen is in charge of the engine room and the operator of the "digital conveyor" (a version of the Star Trek
transporter). He acts in a detached manner and is completely unfazed by the strange and often disturbing events that occur.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He may be a little nuts or detached but he's good at what he does... eventually.
- Cloudcuckoolander: His spacey attitude (no pun intended). A cut scene indicated the reason behind this.
- Grease Monkey
- Fake Nationality: "Kwan's not even my real name!" He's an actor who plays a guy who changed his name then played a guy who is fake. In the process, the real actor played a guy who played a guy and must become that guy even though he's fictional.
- Heroic BSOD: He freaks out when he's asked to operate the "digital conveyor," which could kill Jason if he does it wrong.
- Interspecies Romance: He eventually falls in love with a Thermian.
- Lovable Nerd: In reality, he's only a Hollywood nerd.
- Mr. Fixit
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Or maybe not; frankly, it's hard to tell.
- The Stoner: It's cut out for the most part, but he is explicitly asked whether he's high at one point.
- Unfazed Everyman: He genuinely doesn't seem that freaked out by the events around him... aside from his doubts about successfully operating the digitizer.
Guy Fleegman/Crewman #6/Security Chief Roc Ingersoll in the new Galaxy Quest
An actor who played an extra in one episode of Galaxy Quest
. He suffers from paranoia that he will end up in a Red Shirt
's natural state
during the film. The character is based on real-life Star Trek
actor Guy Vardaman, who played an uncredited background character.
A genocidal alien warlord, Sarris is the force that ultimately causes the Thermians to seek the Galaxy Quest team out for help. When he turns up, things get a lot worse.
- Axe Crazy: The guy is slightly nuts.
- Bad Boss: The man decapitated his previous lieutenant for failing to raise the shields in time. He then leaves several loyal soldiers to die on the Thermian ship.
- Big Bad: The one behind the whole storyline kicking off.
- Character Death: He dies when Jason shoots him and he is disintegrated.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: He did this to the Thermian commander who preceded Mathesar.
- For the Evulz: He already had the information he needed and explicitly invokes this trope, albeit not by the name it has on this very site.
Thermian Commander: I have told you all I know... please... if you have any mercy, let me die.
Sarris: I shall kill you when I grow tired of the noises you make!
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: In his first fight with the heroes, he opts to drive them into a minefield which causes them to be severely crippled. Later, he disguises himself as Fred with an image inducer, sneaks onto the ship and kills pretty much everyone except Guy. This is only undone by the Omega 13, which he had no way of knowing about.
- Evil Brit: Played by Robin Sachs.
- Evil Is Hammy: He generally gets a bit loud, though it's often terrifying instead of funny. When he stops being hammy, he's really serious.
- Eyepatch of Power: Gains one after the first attempt to deal with him fails.
- Gallows Humor: Leading to possibly his only funny moment in the entire film.
Jason: Hey Sarris, how're you doing?
Sarris: (shows the head of his lieutenant mounted on a stick) Better than my lieutenant!
- Genre Savvy: The man generally refuses to go through Bond Villain Stupidity, with one exception.
- In possibly one of the most well done moments of villain genre savviness ever, once shown the "historical documents" Sarris is the only nonhuman character who realizes that he is dealing with actors who have been mistaken for real explorers. This implies that unlike the Thermians, his own race produces entertainment.
- Handicapped Badass: He's horribly cruel and very depraved, but the guy is a good straight-up fighter in spite of lacking one eye.
- Kick the Dog: Oh, where to begin.
- Knight of Cerebus: After it turns out that he's actually a real threat and not something from a B-movie, the humour rating drops significantly whenever he's onscreen.