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Jason Nesmith/Commander Peter Quincy Taggart
Played By: Tim AllenAn 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.
- '80s Hair: Back on the show.
- 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 realizes 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.
- Captain Ersatz: on the Show Within a Show, of Captain James T. Kirk by way of Tim Allen.
- Catch Phrase: "Never give up! Never surrender!"
- The Charmer: With his fans, yes. With his fellow actors... not so much.
- Guile Hero: He's got a good head for tactics and bluff and has an actor's talent for reading people.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: Suffered an in-universe Creator Breakdown at the beginning of the film after hearing gossip about the negative impact of the show has done to him and his cast-mates.
- He also has a more guilt-ridden one after he tells Mathesar the truth about the show not being real.
- Hidden Depths: He is a bit arrogant at first, but he eventually shows a nicer side.
- The Kirk: His role in the show.
- 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.Jason: Your commander is on deck!!
- The Leader: His position on the show, and he eventually takes the position for real.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: To William Shatner, the show's main cast member who has an inflated ego and is shocked to discover how the rest of the cast dislikes him for it.
- Stepford Smiler: Behind the egotistically jovial facade lies a sad Man Child escapist who desperately seeks to find the worthwhileness of his famed television role and found it thanks to the Thermians.
- Took a Level in Kindness: Contrast his appearances at the beginning and at the end of the film; at the beginning he was a Nice Character, Mean Actor who was unashamedly hogging the spotlight and gets disappointed when he doesn't get the fanfare he wants. At the end, he realizes 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.
- Unfazed Everyman: At first, when first found himself on an actual spaceship and faces Sarris for the first time, he at first thinks it's all part of the fandom show despite the interior decor being likely impossible to be constructed by a group of fans, but when he's transferred back to earth via teleporter, he is... considerably fazed.
- 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, and even causes him to lose his weapon. 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
Played By: Sigourney WeaverAnother 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.
- Action Girl: Though not in the old show, much to her chagrin.
- Bridge Bunny: Her original role was to stand on the bridge, lean toward the camera, and "repeat everything the computer says".
- To the point that the computer only responds to her questions!
- Captain Ersatz: A white, cranky version of Uhura.
- Communications Officer: She does this during the movie out of principle—it's her one job, and she will do it even though it's stupid.
- The Lancer: Alexander is the lancer on the show, but in real life Gwen fills the role.
- Impossibly-Low Neckline: She HATES it!
- Limited Advancement Opportunities: She just repeats what the computer says, and she HATES that too!
- Most Common Superpower: The essay on her character is "About my boobs, and how they fit into my suit!".
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: To Nichelle Nichols in her role as a bridge officer, and Jeri Ryan in being a skilled actress trapped as a shameless Ms. Fanservice character (and unlike Ryan, never being able to break out of that role).
- Sarcastic Devotee: To Nesmith.
- Show Some Leg: in a deleted scene, she invites two aliens to have sex, even showing them her boobs before instructing the computer to liquify them with a blast door.
Sir Alexander Dane/Dr. Lazarus of Tev'Meck
Played By: Alan RickmanLazarus 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 sons of Warvan, you shall be avenged!". A trained Shakespearean British actor, Alexander resents both his catchphrase and being typecast.
- Always Second Best: To Jason.
- Author Avatar: Alexander's Shakespearean background and resentment of being typecast following his Breakout Role is likely a Flanderization of his actor's real-life Shakespearean background and his resentment of being typecast as a villain following his Breakout Role in Die Hard.
- Captain Ersatz: Not just of Spock, but of the late Leonard Nimoy, who despised being pigeonholed as well.
- "By Grabthar's hammer, by the sons of Warvan, you shall be avenged!" Ironically enough he hates it.
- Also serves as an Ironic Echo, a Tear Jerker and a Pre-Asskicking One-Liner (when he speaks the line to comfort a dying Quellek, who considered him a father figure).Alexander: [gentle, but with gravitas] By Grabthar's hammer... by the sons of Warvan, you shall be... avenged .
- Classically Trained Extra: Bitter about it, too.
- Deadpan Snarker: It helps that he is played by Alan Rickman.
- Hidden Heart of Gold: When Quellek is shot, Alexander delivers his catchphrase with complete sincerity, after having earlier stopped him from reciting it.
- Even earlier, after Jason tells Mathesar the truth about the show not being real, he experienced a Heroic B.S.O.D. by being guilt-ridden for Jason's explanation along with the rest of of his cast-mates.
- 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.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: 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).
- Not So Above It All: World-weary, snarky, and British... but he still holds his scanner upside-down on the planet. And only realizes after boldly starting them in the wrong direction.Tommy: You know with all that makeup I almost thought you were smart for a second!
Alexander: Shut up!
- Phrase Catcher: Fans constantly repeat his character's catch phrase at him and he despises it.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: After Quellek is shot, he opens up a huge can of whupass on Sarris' Mooks.
- Rubber-Forehead Alien: Subverted; the forehead really is just rubber, and become visibly damaged near the end so his real hair starts poking through.
- The Spock: The character on whom he's based.
- Surrounded by Idiots: He never actually says this, but it's all over his face and in his voice.
- Took a Level in Badass: He charges an alien head-on while unarmed and wins.
- What Have I Become?: Played for Laughs.Alexander: How did I come to this? I played Richard III. There were five curtain calls. I was an actor once, dammit; now look at me, LOOK AT ME! I won't go out there, and I won't say that stupid line one more time. I can't! I won't!
Tommy Webber/Lt. Laredo
Played By: Daryl MitchellTommy 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. After he reviews his technique he's good enough that he can attract the mines to drag without actually getting hit.
- Captain Ersatz: 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.)
- Doing It for the Art: This occurs in-universe as, due to the fact that he was 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.
- Kid-Appeal Character: On the original show, he was about ten years old.
- Screams Like a Little Girl: And hilariously so.
- Teen Genius: His character.
- Took a Level in Badass: "Pedal to the metal!"
Fred Kwan/Tech Sgt. Chen
Played By: Tony ShaloubChen 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.
- Captain Ersatz: Of Scotty
- An inversion, however. Like Scotty, he turns out surprisingly skilled, but unlike Scotty deadpans it completely... except at the teleporter, the only thing Scotty never broke a sweat on.
- Cloudcuckoolander: His spacey attitude (no pun intended). A cut scene indicated the reason behind this.
- Fake Nationality: "Kwan's not even my real name!" In-universe, 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 B.S.O.D.: He freaks out when he's asked to operate the "digital conveyor," which could kill Jason if he does it wrong.
- He also has a guilt-ridden one after Jason tells Mathesar the truth about the show not being real.
- Interspecies Romance: He eventually falls in love with a Thermian.
- Lovable Nerd: In reality, he's only a Hollywood nerd.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: To James Doohan, playing the engineer with an obvious case of Fake Nationality (here made even more obvious by his playing a different race).
- 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, he's constantly munching on snacks, and he's way too relaxed.
- Unfazed Everyman: He genuinely doesn't seem that freaked out by the events around him... aside from his doubts about successfully operating the digitizer.
Played By: Sam RockwellAn 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.
- Adorkable: Nearly two decades after his cameo on the show, he's still nothing but proud of it and perfectly satisfied with this tiny blip of a career.
- Ascended Extra: From no name redshirt to chief of security in-show, of course.
- Butt Monkey: But not nearly to the extent he thinks he is. He's more of a strange, whiny nuisance to the others.
- Cowardly Lion: Spends most of the movie whimpering in a corner about the gory death he thinks is inevitably coming for him, but is prepared to go on a suicidal charge into the enemy lair, reasoning that if he's going to die he might as well die in a blaze of glory. Luckily for him, he's not destined to die because he's mistaken about his role as a Red Shirt.
- Genre Savvy: "Didn't you guys ever watch the show?"
- Irony: Guy keeps freaking out that he's gonna get killed throughout the entire movie. When Sarris manages to kill off the crew in the surprise attack, he's the only one shown not being shot.
- Monster Munch: A parody of it; his in-show character was "eaten by a lava monster before the first commercial"; he's terrified that he's going to buy it too.
- Only One Name: For most of the movie, which he uses as prime evidence of his unlikelihood to survive.Gwen: Guy, you have a last name.
Guy: Do I? DO I?!
- The credits at the end list it as Fleegman.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Fred tries to comfort Guy in the third act by suggesting maybe he's this - in fact, Fred becomes the Trope Namer as a result. Realizing that he's this and not a Red Shirt is a great relief to him.
- Red Shirt: On the show, he got killed by a lava monster shortly into the episode. However, he's never killed off!
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Rare example of it working in the character's favour. He's terrified of getting killed because he thinks he's the Red Shirt. Fortunately for him it turns out he's actually the Plucky Comic Relief.
Played By: Robin SachsA 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.
- Ax-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.
- Deadpan Snarker: Emphasis on the deadpan. If he makes a joke at all, it's usually more terrifying than funny.
- 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.
- For the Evulz: He already had the information he needed and explicitly invokes this trope.Thermian captain: I have told you all I know... if you have any mercy within you, please, let me die.Sarris: When I grow weary of the noises you make, you shall die!
- 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: Being a real alien overlord, the actors of the show have a very difficult time dealing with him because he's actually competent and intelligent. Really, the only two mistakes he makes are assuming the actors and Thermians are too emotionally broken to stop the ship's self-destruct sequence, and not realizing the Protector was dragging a field of magnetic mines towards his ship. When he finally sees the "historical documents", Sarris immediately realizes what's happened and has a jolly laugh over it, then forces Jason to tell Mathesar the truth, knowing the revelation will break his spirit harder than anything Sarris himself could ever do.
- Handicapped Badass: He's horribly cruel and very depraved, but the guy is a good straight-up fighter in spite of lacking one eye and having a prosthetic hand. And this is just a day or two after he was crippled when Nesmith ordered the Thermians to bombard his ship
- Kick the Dog: Oh, where to begin.
- He tortured the Thermian's commander to death to hear him scream.
- He presented the Thermians promises of mercy only to continue his genocide.
- Watch as the Protector II leaves the space port. You can see Thermia utter devastated, with only a wedge of the entire planet left. Sarris is the likely culprit.
- He forces Jason to reveal to the Thermians that everything they believed in was a lie.
- Even when he has nothing to gain from, he decides to self-destruct the Protector and have the air sucked out of the crew chambers the Thermians occupy.
- Knight of Cerebus: After it turns out that he's actually a real threat and not something from a B-movie, the humor rating drops significantly whenever he's onscreen, and one of the only two jokes involving him is a bit of Gallows Humor where he reveals he decapitated his lieutenant.
- Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: Delivers one before opening fire on the Protector in a response to Nesmith insulting him when he thought he couldn't hear.Sarris: Perhaps I'm not as stupid as I am ugly, commander.
- Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: The film is a lighthearted Actor/Role Confusion comedy with endearingly innocent aliens and the cast of a Star Trek Expy... and he is a sadistic, genocidal maniac, not above murdering underlings who fail him, who takes a specific glee in forcing Jason to Break the Cutie by explaining the nature of their "historical documents" to a culture that has no concept of fiction.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: As he's not aware that the heroes are actors, he assumes that they can tell him what the Omega 13 does, and when Jason says he doesn't know, he assumes he lying under the belief that no captain could be that clueless about his own ship.
Played By: Enrico ColantoniThe leader of the Thermians, though he steps back to let Jason lead. He and his other people are completely ignorant of any type of falsehood, including fictionalized entertainment, and thus they have no idea that Galaxy Quest was just a TV show.
- Actually Pretty Funny: Seen laughing with the rest of the Thermian crewmembers over how the "Historical Documents" they based their entire culture on is nothing but fiction."Their ship was a model, as big as this!" (holds up his thumb and forefinger an inch apart) "A very clever deception indeed! Ah Lah ah lah ah lah!"
- Break the Cutie: When Jason finally tells him the truth, Mathesar is broken almost beyond the point of speech.
- Cane Fu: Mathsar uses his cane to beat down Sarris after getting tortured.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: See Break the Cutie above.
- Mr. Exposition: By virtue of As You Know — Mathesar is eager to show the crew how perfectly they've replicated the Protector, thus explaining the ship's functions to the audience as well.
- Starfish Aliens: Without his holographic disguise, he looks vaguely like conjoined twin octopi.
- Strange-Syntax Speaker/What the Hell Is That Accent?: Thermians speak a language very different from English. They use translators to get around this, but their speech still comes out very stilted and strange, somewhere between these two tropes.
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: When he wishes that the actors would stay because the Thermians have no commander, Nesmith looks at him and says they have a great commander.
- You Are in Command Now: When the actors leave at last, Jason appoints Mathesar Commander of the Protector.