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.
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.
Tommy Webber/Lt. Laredo
Played By: Daryl Mitchell
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: 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.
- 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.
Played By: Tony Shaloub
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!" 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 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
- 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.
- 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: 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.
- 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.
Played By: Enrico Colantoni
The 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.
- Break the Cutie: When Jason finally tells him the truth, Mathesar is broken almost beyond the point of speech.
- 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.
- 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 in Command Now: When the actors leave at last, Jason appoints Mathesar Commander of the Protector.