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Jason Nesmith/Commander Peter Quincy Taggart
Played By: Tim AllenGalaxy 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.
- Bold Explorer: He's the bold Captain Kirk Expy from the eponymous Show Within a Show.
- 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.:
- Suffers 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: Tim Allen has to parody one of the biggest hams in television history. He does so with gusto, 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. He's 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.
- My God, What Have I Done?: After he tells Mathesar the truth about the show not being real.
Gwen DeMarco/Lt. Tawny Madison
Played By: Sigourney Weaver
Voiced By: Yolanda Vidal (Latin American Spanish dub), Mami Koyama (Japanese dub)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.
- 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". An enforced trope, because the computer only responds to her questions!
- Buxom Is Better: In-universe, this was one of Gwen's character's key attributes.
- Captain Ersatz: A disgruntled version of Uhura.
- Captain Obvious: Her only job on the ship was to repeat what the computer says. Lampshaded.Tommy: You know, that is getting really annoying!
Gwen: I have one job on this lousy ship—it's stupid, but I'm going to do it, OK?!
- 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.
- Dumb Blonde: Gwen's character in the show itself. (Sigourney Weaver stated that her IQ dropped significantly every time she put on the wig...)
- The Face: Parodied. The fact that Gwen has no technical specialty is pointed out: Her 'social skills' amount to "repeating everything the computer says."
- Faux Action Girl: Gwen's character, in-universe. She is shown kicking ass in the Galaxy Quest intro, but her role on the show is to recite what the computer says.
- Heart Is an Awesome Power: While not discussed in the movie, one advantage to having the computer respond to only one officer is that it serves as a security precaution (in case, say, an invading force takes over the ship, as eventually happens with Sarris) and in some respects she is actually the most indispensable member of the crew, though admittedly it's probably rather dumb to have only one officer have this responsibility.
- 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!".
- Ms. Fanservice: Gwen DeMarco, and she's well aware of it.
- 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.
- Statuesque Stunner: As portrayed by Sigourney Weaver, she is over six feet tall. The real Gwen De Marco likes to describe herself as "six-foot-four in my stocking feet".
- Stripperiffic: Her uniform, more so after Clothing Damage.
Sir Alexander Dane/Dr. Lazarus of Tev'Meck
Played By: Alan Rickman
Voiced By: Armando Réndiz (Latin American Spanish dub), Unshou Ishizuka (Japanese dub)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 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: His every scene is dry, snarky and bitter. It helps that he is played by Alan Rickman.
- Hates the Job, Loves the Limelight: Alexander Dane, played to perfection by Alan Rickman. You can feel the self-loathing as he has to say "that stupid line". However, he's ready to bask in adulation for saving the Thermians — until they all yell joyously that "Commander Taggart has saved us!"Dane: [sighing] It's just not fair.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: He goes through a minor one when Quellek is killed.
- 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."
- It's Personal: Once Quellek is killed, Alexander charges at Sarris' mooks and assaults them.
- Jerkass Façade: He comes across as rather annoyed and cynical by everything, but at the end of the day he's a good guy.
- The Mean Brit: Of the Jerk with a Heart of Gold variety.
- 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: Doctor Lazarus is a literal rubber forehead alien. In fact, Alexander is never seen without the prosthetic during the entire film, including at home. It becomes visibly damaged near the end so his real hair starts poking through.
- Screaming Warrior: He charges at Sarris' men screaming when Quellek is killed.
- 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.
- Took the Bad Film Seriously: In-Universe. Alexander admonishes Jason for never being serious as an actor. This indicates that Alexander, despite being a Shakespearean actor, brought his A-game to even a schlocky syndicated sci-fi show.
- 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 Mitchell
Voiced By: Benjamín Rivera (Latin American Spanish dub), Koji Ochiai (Japanese dub)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. 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.
- Instant Expert: He becomes an expert in flying the real Protector after practicing for half an hour.
- Kid-Appeal Character: On the original show, he was about ten years old.
- Kid Hero All Grown-Up: Lt. Laredo is a parody of kid prodigies like Star Trek: The Next Generation's Wesley Crusher. At the time of the movie, he's 20 years older, and being put in the position of being that prodigy he played on the series two decades earlier.
- Screams Like a Little Girl: And hilariously so.
- Teen Genius: His character.
- Token Minority: He is the only black character among the main cast.
- Took a Level in Badass: "Pedal to the metal!"
Fred Kwan/Tech Sgt. Chen
Played By: Tony Shaloub
Voiced By: Paco Mauri (Latin American Spanish dub), Koichi Makishima (Japanese dub)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.
- 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.
- Cold Ham: Hilariously underreacts to everything.
- 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.
- Granola Guy: After his team solves a problem, he has a Group Hug with them.
- 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.
- Token Minority: Parodied with the Lebanese-American Tony Shalhou somehow being representative of a Chinese character. When the Thermians are naming the crew, he narrows his eyes when his character's name is spoken. Apparently, that's supposed to be enough to make him seem Chinese.
- This may actually be a nod to the fact that the Chinese-surnamed Dr. Soong was played by the very-definitely-not Asian Brent Spiner.
- 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 Rockwell
Voiced By: Herman López (Latin American Spanish dub), Kazuhiro Yamaji (Japanese dub)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.
- 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: He played a Red Shirt on one episode of the show. At the end, when the show is re-launched, he makes the opening credits. He doubles as an Ascended Fanboy, since it seems he was a fan who managed to score a background role in the show.
- Butt-Monkey: But not nearly to the extent he thinks he is. He's more of a strange, whiny nuisance to the others.
- Casanova Wannabe: In a blink-and-miss moment, where he tries to hit on a female stage hand, she brushes him off for being a mother boy.
- 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: He knows full well that Red Shirts like the character that he played in the Galaxy Quest show-within-a-film tend to die to prove the seriousness of the situation, and is terrified that the same fate will befall him now that they're in a situation that mirrors the show's conventions.Didn't you guys ever watch the show?
- His Name Really Is "Barkeep": He is even more freaked out than the rest of the cast that they have just been transported aboard an alien ship and as he is the only one the Thermians do not recognise, he just introduces himself as "Guy", making the audience think for the whole movie that he was too shocked to even remember his own name and in-keeping with the fact that he is supposedly just a disposable Red Shirt. However, the credits for the in-universe reboot of the shot reveal that his name really is Guy; his full name is Guy Fleegman.
- 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.
- Meaningful Name: His name is Guy, in keeping with him being just a random extra nobody really knows. In fact, it's not until the end of the movie that we learn "Guy" actually is his name at all, rather than just everyone calling him "guy" because they don't know his real name (he introduces himself as Guy, but at the time he was having a Freak-Out so it seems like he was just panicking).
- 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.
- My Beloved Smother: Downplayed. In a blink-and-miss scene, we learn from a stage hand that Guy still lives with his mother.
- No Name Given: He was one of these in the show, identified only as "Crew Member #6". His panic over the fact that this was connected to his Red Shirt status leads to him freaking out and apparently forgetting that he actually has a name in real life:
- If you listen carefully, though, you will hear Jason addressing him as "Fleegman" once when they're on the desert planet.
- 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.
- Promotion to Opening Titles: Having played a Red Shirt on the canceled Show Within a Show, he now gets name-dropped on the new show's title screen playing the chief of security, a position held by the late Tasha Yar.
- Red Shirt: On the show, he got killed by a lava monster shortly into episode 81. He spends most of the film terrified that he will die since it was his only role on the show.(When the whole cast are in equal danger) Gwen: Let's get out of here before one of those things kills Guy.
- Inverted, in that when Sarris goes on a killing spree, Guy is the only character not killed or mortally wounded.
- Sixth Ranger: He gets a promotion from Red Shirt to crewmember. Not only in real life, but in the show's eventual resurrection.
- Unfortunate Name: "Guy Fleegman" — and that's the actor's name - in the show, he was just "Crewman #6". When he joins the cast of the new series, he's given the Awesome Mc Coolname 'Roc Ingersol'.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Rare example of it working in the character's favor. 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.
- You Are Number 6: His original character is Crewman Number Six. When the Show Within a Show gets rebooted, this is averted as he's re-cast as Chief Of Security.
Played By: Robin Sachs
Voiced By: Ricardo Brust (Latin American Spanish dub), Atsuki Tani (Japanese dub)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.
- 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: He is The Leader of the evil aliens and the reason that Thermians called the main cast to help them. Discussed Trope between Jason and Laliari:Jason: Sarris is the bad guy, right?Laliari: Oh, yes, sir. He's a very bad man indeed. He has tortured our scientists, put us to work in the gallium arsenide mines, captured our females for his own demented purposes...Jason: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I got the picture.
- 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: Wears one after surviving the first attack. At least he's doing better than his first officer...
- 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!
- Green and Mean: He and the rest of the Fatu-Krey soldiers.
- 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
- Hellish Pupils: His eyes are yellowish-green with dual pupils (one large one and a smaller one next to it).
- 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. And, because he's a real alien military leader, he's significantly more Genre Savvy than the average villain in a movie of this type. It takes a maneuver no one in their right mind would do AND the activation of the Omega-13 AND some deft shooting skills from Jason/Taggart to finally take him down.
- Large Ham: The actor playing Sarris (Robin Sachs) hams it up considerably.
- 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.
- Red Right Hand: He has an eyepatch and a prosphetic hand after the first attempt to fight him fails.
- This Cannot Be!: He yells "Impossible!" when the core detonation sequence on the Protector is stopped.
- 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.
Played By: Enrico Colantoni
Voiced By: Javier Rivero (Latin American Spanish dub), Eiji Ito (Japanese dub)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.
- 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.
- Accent Upon The Wrong Syllable: They arrrrrrre... notverygood at imitating human speech-patterns.
- Beauty Equals Goodness: Subverted. The cast and audience are led to believe they are pale but handsome humanoids that are also friendly, helpful, and generally benign. They're actually Starfish Aliens covered in tentacles who use "appearance generators", and are less human than Sarris and his crew, but still nicer.
- Bizarre Alien Psychology: They have only recently been exposed to the idea of dishonesty. They cannot imagine any reason to say something that is not the absolute truth, and therefore have no concept of fiction in storytelling, leading them to confuse the cast of a Star Trek-like TV show for real-life spacefaring heroes. Averted by their enemies; Sarris figures out what's going on the second he sees a clip of the show.
- Brutal Honesty: One of the Thermians describes the pig-lizard's teleporter mishap very matter-of-factly. Much to Jason's dismay, since the teleporter is his only way off the planet.Thermian: But the animal is inside out—
—And it exploded.
- Cannot Tell a Lie: They have no concept of lying or fiction in their culture. They don't even have acting. The protagonists learn this the hard way. It gets even worse in that they're beginning to learn about malicious lying from Sarris, but still have no concept of benign fiction not intended to deceive.
- Cannot Tell Fiction from Reality: They have this as one of their hats. They lament the plight of the castaways in Gilligan's Island.
- Cargo Cult: They are an inversion of real-life cargo cults: they produce real, working technology based on nonfunctional, for-show templates.
- Human Aliens: Subverted when it turns out that the cephalopod-like Thermians use "appearance generators" to put the visiting Earthlings at ease (and presumably, to man the Protector II prior to their arrival); much to Fred's delight and Guy's dismay.
- Humorless Aliens: They have no sense of humor, until the end where they laugh at the "trick" Jason pulled off on Sarris. "The ship was a model! Only this big!"
- Innocent Aliens: For example, the concept of deception is so completely foreign to them they don't know what actors are.
- Last of His Kind: The Thermians on board the Protector are all what's left of their race.
- No Such Thing as Alien Pop Culture: They obviously don't have a pop-culture of their own, otherwise they would have seen through the sham of the Galaxy Quest TV series not being real. Sarris's race apparently does, since he realizes what he's seeing immediately.
- Octopoid Aliens: They have this as their default form, but they disguise themselves as humans so that the main cast will understand them.
- Perpetual Smiler: They always have some sort of smile on their faces, even when being tortured
- Pretty Boy: Each of the Thermians... or should we say, their holographic disguises.
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: They invoke this with their appearance generators. Their study of "historical documents" obviously indicated that this was a pleasing image for humans.
- Sci-Fi Bob Haircut: Their human holograms all include this as the hairstyle.
- Starfish Aliens: In their native form they look like an octopus mating with a squid. Sarris' insectoid race are standard People in Rubber Suits.
- Starfish Language: When the Thermians' translators are broken (or not on), their speech sounds like shrieking mixed with Nails on a Blackboard. The DVD release contains a Thermian Language audio track, so you can listen to the ENTIRE MOVIE like this if you wish.
- Translator Microbes: They do not speak English. They use a device for that.
The Beryllium Miners
- Beauty Equals Goodness: Subverted with the inhabitants of the planet they visit, who appear childlike and cute until the fangs come out. Lampshaded (like most of the film) by Guy.Guy: In a minute they're going to get mean, and they're going to get ugly somehow, and there's going to be a million more of them.
- Ditto Aliens: The blue-skinned miners are almost impossible to tell apart.
- Innocent Aliens: Subverted. They look cuddly and sweet, but are sadistic cannibals.
- Killer Rabbits: While the rest of the crew is Squeeing about how adorable the child-like alien miners are, the very Genre Savvy Guy worries, "Oh, sure, they're cute now. But they're going to get mean. And they're going to get ugly somehow. And there's going to be thousands of them." Seconds later, he's proved right.Guy: (frustrated) Did you guys ever watch the show?!
- Monstrous Cannibalism: One of their number comes out of the mine with a limp. It's promptly pounced on and eaten the moment its back is turned.