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Omega- 13 Timing
- In the show-within-a-show seen at the beginning of the movie, the commander spends about 15 seconds mulling over what to do, then decides to activate the Omega-13. Er, how would that help them?
- The same pretty much applies to the scene where Jason activates at the end. My explanation for both is that Brandon's "13 seconds" bit was inaccurate and it's actually 13 of some alien unit of time measurement. In the case of the TV show, it could also be that the writers never had a time machine planned, or if they did that it was a 13 minute jump instead, which would make a lot more sense.
- That's similar to one of the WMG's about the movie Trancers. They have a wristwatch in the movie that slows time for ten seconds, but each time it is used they obviously get more than that. The WMG posits that ten seconds is probably just what the manufacturer can guarantee, and if you get more time after that, great.
- Or it could be that the writers had something else in mind for the Omega-13. Remember that this was the episode the show was canceled on, so the writers could never show what their idea of it could be (if they even had one since the show did look like typical sci-fi cheesiness). Heck, it could have even been just written in so they could attempt to not get canceled, with the idea that the network wouldn't cancel a show with an obvious next season hook.
- On the show-within-a-show it's bad pacing, bad acting, and bad writing. Remember, it's an exaggeration of original Star Trek, so it's got all of those even more than the real thing had. In the "real" run-through we're seeing a lot of slow-mo, dramatic cuts, and events that are probably happening near-simultaneously being drawn out so we the audience can see and understand them... it might actually have been only a couple of seconds. (Also remember that we as viewers tend to have a wonky perception of how long things take on the screen because so much is happening. Watch a character be silent and still for like ten seconds and it feels like an eternity.)
- Thinking is a Free Action.
Aliens eating and the rock
- If, as the subtitles translate, the little mining aliens intended to eat Nesmith, why did they only knock him out and leave him in the gully to fight with the rock monster instead of, you know, killing and eating him?
- They want their food tenderized before eating. Or possibly they want dinner and entertainment. Or both.
- Yeah, it's not like the rock monster is capable of eating him, so there would be bits left to eat.
- Remember, they said "Hit it with a rock... and eat it!" And then the translator said they were shouting "rock", so they probably just meant to let rocky kill him and eat the bits.
- Wow. I saw "rock" and thought "potato chip."
- They wanted to make hamburgers.
- Presumably, the "pig lizard" was the side dish.
- After knocking him out they changed their minds and decided for entertainment instead of food.
- Also, if the miners aren't total morons, a moment's reflection would've prompted one of them to wonder if Jason was poisonous (to them).
Finding tv stuff in real life
- If everything in the TV show is made up, how come elements of real life actually mirror it? For example, how come the (presumably fictional) fuel used in the TV series actually exists on the mining planet? And how come the ship actually has an Omega-13 weapon? Nobody on the TV show knows what it does, so how would the aliens be able to build a working copy?
- If nobody on the show knows what the Omega-13 weapon does, how do you know that the one the aliens built works just like it? Maybe they just slapped a handy superweapon in its place, since no one would be able to tell the difference.
- The aliens have based their translators on what's said in the TV show. If the engines on the ship they built uses a particular mineral as fuel, the name of that mineral gets translated as whatever the name was on the show. Similarly, while they didn't know how the Omega-13 did what it did, they did know the effects. So they built a machine that did that.
- It may be worth pointing out that beryllium is a real substance: Element #4 on the periodic table.
- It may also be worth pointing out that you do NOT want to roll giant balls of it around with your bare hands. It's a group 2 element. (Calcium is group 2 — anyone remember the Ca + water experiment from high school?) It also looks nothing like those spheres, so they're unlikely to actually be made of Beryllium. More likely the aliens designed an engine to run on things that looked a lot like the spheres in the show, and then named them "Beryllium spheres".
- Calcium? Don't you mean natrium or potassium, which burn/explode in water? Beryllium is poisonous, however.
- No, I meant Calcium. Drop a chunk of pure calcium in water and it explodes. Potassium does too, more violently — K is group 1, Ca and Be are both group 2. Natrium (eg sodium, fellow native English speakers) is also group 1, and tends to be slightly more reactive than Beryllium and probably more reactive than Calcium too, although the higher shell number of calcium should be taken into account for such estimates.
- Beryllium is the least of reactive of all alkali(ne) metals. I've held magnesium (which is more reactive then beryllium) in my hands before. Even calcium will only corrode very quickly in water; it won't burn or explode. So it probably won't kill you to roll a ball of beryllium around. However that ball was probably something like beryllium oxide.
- Beryllium oxide sounds likely, considering the planet obviously had a somewhat oxygen-heavy atmosphere.
- If the spheres do contain beryllium, that doesn't necessarily mean they're pure beryllium. They could be encased in some inert shell.
- Except they didn't know what effects the Omega-13 had. Given that the cliffhanger where the captain orders its use was the final episode of the Show Within A Movie, and even the most insanely hardcore of fanboys could only guess, it's implied the thing was a Black Box of epic proportions. Possibly, then, the Thermians just built something that looked right and had enough power behind it, and hoped it didn't make the fabric of time and space go all melty.
- But the Thermians ARE the most insanely hardcore of fanboys! They built their entire culture around the damn show AND managed to recreate its technology exactly. If the geeks could figure out what the Omega-13 did, the aliens sure as hell could.
- Since the Thermians believed that the TV show was a set of historical documents, and in the final episode they saw the captain activate the Omega 13, they would have to know that whatever it did, it didn't melt time and space. Besides the fact that they wouldn't believe their heroes could willingly cause that kind of destruction, any previous activation of such a weapon would have left hard evidence in the form of reality not existing anymore. So they had to build their Omega 13 to do the next most likely thing, which they presumably would have decided on by following the same logic as the human fanboys.
- The entire ship - Omega 13 included - was painstakingly modeled after fan-circulated blueprints of the ship. And while none of the cast knew its effects, it's a good guess that the creative minds behind the show did, and so consulted with the blueprint designers to model it accordingly. Of course, given that these were TV-show designers and not rocket scientists, it's a wonder that any of the technology worked as advertised when recreated.
- I think they were playing off the notion, promoted by Paramount and floating at the back of surprisingly many people's minds despite its goofiness, that the Star Trek writers actually Did The Research and that the Treknobabble has some kind of basis in reality. I gathered that the Earth civilization, and by extension the Galaxy Quest writers, actually knew in principle how to build FTL drives, teleporters, ray guns etc. but it was way beyond their technical capability. (Much the way the mid-20c writers of Dick Tracy, Get Smart, The Prisoner et al. could sort-of anticipate current communications technology and electronics without actually being able to build them themselves.)
- TOS actually did have a research department. It never received any screen credit, but was covered in articles on Popular Science and Analog in 1967 and 1968. Fans point out that one of the many reasons the show's quality decreased in the third season was that the research company was still correcting scripts, but Roddenberry was ignoring the corrections.
- So why did the real-life beryllium spheres look like the prop beryllium spheres?
- The writers did the research!
- The writers went into outer space and examined beryllium mines?
- There's plenty of Beryllium here on Earth. It's just an ordinary element.
- Actually, a beryllium sphere is an actual component of some nuclear designs, although I'm not sure if any were ever actually built - beryllium can act as a moderator (slowing neutrons to the point where they will interact with atomic nuclei frequently enough to start a chain fission reaction), like carbon or heavy water. It won't work as a power source, but it could be a vital component nonetheless. I doubt it would really be adequate for the power generation needs shown in the show, of course.
- Thinking back to some of the backstory info for Trek (tech manuals and the like), dilithium is used to somehow moderate/control/focus the matter/antimatter reaction that fuels warp drives. Could the "beryllium sphere" perform the same function? Considering they were able to limp at low sublight after the alternate propulsion was resolved. Only the main engines were offline.
- No, the Thermians went out and found something that looked enough like the props and would work as shown in the show, and dubbed those things "beryllium spheres". That doesn't mean they were actually made of beryllium. And the actors, not remembering high school chem or physics, just go with the name they know.
- This is one of the few sci-fi films that actually treats the whole problem of translation with the depth it deserves. For the aliens to be speaking English at all means that there's a huge, tremendously detailed form of total-concept translation going on. Hell, even the aliens' * appearance* is translated, with their true tentacular form being somehow interpreted by really smart computers into humanoid appearances, facial expressions, gestures, even accoutrements (the main alien somehow appearing with his arm in a sling and leaning on a crutch after he's been wounded in some unspecified manner in his "true form") that will appear familiar to the Galaxy Quest cast. There is no reason at all to think that the names they give for their technology — the "beryllium sphere", the "Omega-13", etc. — have any meaning whatsoever besides mapping onto this show they love so much.
- That's a good angle on it. We have every reason to believe that Thermian reception of information from Earth didn't go much beyond The Show and Gilligan's Island (given the problems mentioned elsewhere on this page, eg, "Quellek, why does everyone in this historical document call Gilligan 'Maynard'?") Therefore, it's not too unreasonable to say that they don't have any exposure to English scientific terms (they never watched Cosmos or NOVA), and use The Show's terms as the "English equivalents" to the Thermian ones. ("Beryllium must be the Earth word for fuelium!") Regarding Mathesar's crutch — since he uses it to whack Sarris to the ground, perhaps it's made of Hard Light? (Or a "real" crutch is just as useful to his tentacle-injuries.)
- Actually, the appearance generators are never said to perform only visual changes. When switching from Thermian to human shape, the Thermians drop their tools (when they first arrive on the Protector 2), or lose their grip on whatever they're holding on to (Quellek, later in the movie). So probably the appearance generator really alter the shape of whatever they're acting on. Otherwise, the humans might not be able to touch Thermians without running into "an invisible piece of alien that was sticking out". And Fred would have likely been very annoyed at not being able to touch Laliari...
- The Thermians assumed the series was a account of true events, so they worked around the problems in the certainty that they just hadn't got it right yet. If after all their efforts, they found it couldn't possibly work, or if they'd found that beryllium just can't be used to power a spacecraft, it would have broken their faith in the show and they'd never had come for the cast.
- Perhaps the Thermians are a race of Wishing Makes It So. (If that's not an official trope, it probably should be. Haven't checked.) Remember, this is a race with no concept of falsehood, even to the extent that they have no such thing as parable or metaphor. It makes sense that if if they accept something as true it comes into being, then the concept of making something up would be utter anathema; it would be, essentially, tampering with the fabric of reality for one's own capricious aims. They accepted the beryllium spheres and Omega-13 as factual — voila, the beryllium spheres and Omega-13 * became* factual (or at any rate possible) by way of the Thermians' belief in them.
- Clap Your Hands If You Believe.
- Arguably, they did this to the cast. They believed the Galaxy Quest cast were heroes; they just saw themselves as washed-up actors. By the end, they become heroes. Of course, that's what happens in a story, but you could say the Thermians' Clap Your Hands If You Believe magic worked on them as it did on the beryllium spheres.
- It's just a movie, we really should just relax. If the Omega-13 and other things couldn't exist, then the movie wouldn't have been able to use its Mistaken For Intergalactic Heroes premise.
- Well, of course. But isn't the point of It Just Bugs Me! and Wild Mass Guessing to overthink these things?
- To overthink them with an eye to coming up with an explanation, not purely for pointing out "flaws". (Which is why it's not "It Just Bugs Me" anymore.) Sometimes the explanation is just "If they did it in a way you consider accurate, it would ruin part of the theme and/or the entertainment value", and that explanation is perfectly fine on its own. If you want to come up with other explanations, that's great, the problem is when people are offered potential explanations and go "No! That doesn't convince me! I found a mistake and it's wrong, period!"
- The Thermians shaped their Beryllium Spheres after the ones on the show. As for the Omega-13, they built a device based on fan speculation combined with random bits of their own technology. Or they had their best Mad Scientist types build it and not tell anyone what it did.
- Keep in mind, the show doesn't explain the technology in any real life detail (if it did, it wouldn't be science fiction). So the Thermians built the ship as exactly as they could compared to the "historical documents", using their own advanced technology to fill in the gaps, and if anything didn't work, they just assumed they got it wrong somehow and readjusted their own behind-the-scenes tech until it did. Like if the ship was supposed to have transporters, then they just overhauled their own teleportation systems to look and act exactly like the show's version.
- "...if it did, it wouldn't be science fiction" Ahem. There is such a thing as hard science fiction in which writers, rather than throwing out technobabble a la Star Trek or ignoring the whole thing a la Star Wars, try to plausibly use real life science and tech knowledge and principles to explain their devices. In fact, [[we have a list]] on this very Wiki that ranks works in accordance to their hardness (though not all of these works actually go into explanations of their hardness, some do).
- "There is such a thing as hard science fiction." Which Galaxy Quest decidedly is not by any metric or definition that you might use.
No Concept of Lying
- How is it that Thermian society existed without even the concept of lying? Since they have a strong grasp of science they have to know what truth and falsehood are, since they are fundamental to mathematics. This is just something that bothers me any time we see an alien society that doesn't have a concept that we humans know about, but should simply because it would be impossible otherwise.
- The no lying rule is a cultural thing rather than a knowledge thing. They understand falsehood, they just have difficulty working out why someone would state a falsehood to another. This probably explains why they got their asses kicked despite their technology, the Thermians are a naturally unambitious, communal race who see their purpose to join together in the advancement of knowledge. Trying to do something that hurts the well-being of another does not come easily to them, thus they suck at warfare or conflict in general.
- No, I'm pretty sure that the Thermian leader says that his people "weren't aware of the concept of lying" until they started dealing with the evil alien race. Otherwise that explanation would make sense, though.
- They have a concept that some things are true and some things are false. They just don't understand the concept that someone would deliberately say something that was false, hence, lying. Not having a concept of lying is not the same as not having a concept of falsehood.
- Both explanations are not mutually exclusive.
- The Thermian leader seems fine with the concept at the end, after beating up Sarris he says something like "the ship was a model, haha, a most excellent deception"
- A good grasp of logic only means that they know that there are things that are true and things that are not true. It doesn't automatically follow that they would have a concept of stating an untruth as if it were true.
- In other words, they know that people can make mistakes and accidentally lie. They might even know that people can, say, go insane and say false things because they lack the ability to comprehend truth anymore. But to believe that someone can know what the truth is and yet deliberately choose to lie is something that freaks them out.
- Notice how this works whenever something on the ship doesn't seem to match up with the cast's expectations of the show. They see the cast as having superior knowledge of the "real" ship so they assume that any discrepancies are a result of their own inferior knowledge, their incompetence. Hence their continuous apologetic attitude, their constant self-abnegation — the cast's bewilderment throughout the movie is something they take as a sign that they made a mistake when recreating the ship, not that the "historical documents" were deliberately inaccurate.
- It isn't that they have no concept of lying. Rather, it is that they have no concept of fiction, and the idea they can think of that is closest to it is lying, which they are strongly opposed to.
- It, in fact, IS that they don't have a concept of lying, or, more specifically, they have no concept of intentionally stating something that is false. Fiction itself comes from that concept, but the reason it is not lying is that the audience is not expected to believe it. You must first have a concept of intentionally stating falsehood before having a concept of fiction.
- I took it as not understanding fiction because they didn't have suspension of disbelief. The Thermians couldn't understand why people would watch episodes of a TV show if the viewers knew that events hadn't happened.
- One has to wonder, how in all the episodes of the Galaxy Quest TV series, that none of the characters were ever written as never telling a lie to anyone else? How would the Thermians have reconciled the idea of one of their heroes telling a lie, even if it was for the greater good?
- The movie did emphasize that the show only lasted a few episodes.
- A few? Crewman Number 6 died in episode 81. The lasted several seasons, just like Star Trek.
- Maybe it was some kind of Star Trek: The Next Generation idealist utopia where humans are supposed to have outgrown such things?
- No, at least not if you count trickery. The "fake being mad at each other" trick the crew uses later in the movie is clearly referenced to have been used in the original series, which is where they got the idea from.
- No. Early on, they state that while they have a concept of lying now, they have only begun to acquire it recently through their dealings with the Big Bad. Which means that for most of their history and development, they did indeed lack the concept of lying. Of course, just barely understanding lying, the idea of fiction (essentially "lying which everybody knows is lying done for amusement or instruction") is totally foreign to them.
- Shouldn't everybody hate the cast now? They destroyed a convention, and totalled many, many cars with their little stunt, causing millions of dollars in property damage.
- The convention center damage probably got hushed up by the government, who we can only assume took the WORKING SPACE SHIP hull section. And the cars all belonged to sci-fi geeks. What Trekkie wouldn't want to say their car was totaled by the crash landing of the Enterprise D saucer section?
- I am now imagining a car sticker the says "My other car was destroyed by the Death Star" or similar!
- The sheer awesomeness of the moment overrode the financial concerns.
- No Trekkie drives a car worth more than their portion of that class-action settlement would have been.
- The film ended just before some guy ran into the convention center and yelled "Hey, everybody, look what happened to the parking lot!" The remade show was the community service that the cast members were charged with to repay the damages.
- Alternatively, they paid for the cars with the spaceship.
- Oooh, that's a good one. Make it canon.
- Good one? Seriously, a space ship like that would be worth the continent of your choice in trade...assuming you didn't decide to just use the ship yourself and TAKE the continent.
- Keep in mind that it wasn't the whole starship that crashed, just the detached bridge pod. Still valuable, yes, but not continent-valuable.
- Maybe enough for a Shiny New Australia?
- Depending on how much stuff was in the bridge pod, it might not be valuable at all. As far as I can remember all that stuff was just an interface for the real ship's systems — the pod itself had no engine, no computer, no fancy food synthesizer, no teleporter...
- OK, so all it had was interfaces. That means that the pod is crammed full of computer technology designed by an alien species that can build faster than light starships. How much do you think Intel would pay to get their hands on one of those control consoles?
- If nothing else it's a lot of metal and plastic, that's worth something.
- The IDW comic does show the goverment covering it up and taking the ship for study, also they let the cast go, after telling them to keep quiet, the Thermian girl is made a US citizen
- Destroyed a convention? The convention centre, maybe, but the convention-goers got to see the Galaxy Quest crew land a real spaceship and defeat a real evil alien overlord right in front of them. Never mind putting up with getting their cars totalled; they'd have probably willingly eaten their own flesh for the privilege of seeing that.
Thermians and Earth
- Shouldn't the Thermians have figured something was up when they travelled to Earth, and found it relatively very primitive compared to the Trek-ish tv show? Or why Nesmith was nowhere near any starships?
- They didn't see that much of Earth, they just teleported to the convention. Plus, we don't know if the Galaxy Quest show ever depicted Earth, so they may not have known what fictional-future-Earth was supposed to look like.
- Well if they took every story to come from Earth as true they could pick and choose why Earth was like it was, far as i know they didn't have any concept of our timeline.
- God knows what they think Earth is like. Remember that they have watched Gilligan's Island and, presumably, a bunch of other old-school popular sitcoms, and have probably cobbled together an understanding of Earth from those (one which would probably at least superficially resemble the real world, so no huge surprises lying in wait for the casual visitor).
- Which makes me wonder what they made of shows with supernatural elements, or of kiddie cartoons for that matter.
- Why wouldn't they believe the supernatural elements? There's clearly plenty of utterly weird crap in the universe, like boulders that pull together to turn into a giant monster, a ghost or a vampire isn't that much more unbelievable. For the cartoons, they probably figure they're recreations of events that actually took place... they assume Tom and Jerry aren't actual animals but some form of sentient life that also exists alongside humans, and the cartoons featuring them are animated documentaries about their struggles.
- I wonder if they ever watched MST3K and flew around Earth looking for the SOL.
- Wouldn't they know it had been flung far into the future and/or abandoned at some point?
Sarris and tissue paper
- How the heck did Sarris know what tissue paper was?
- Sarris interrogated the former Thermian commander, who told him "all I know." Maybe that included info on tissue paper; after all, the Thermians based their civilization on the show Galaxy Quest, and somebody on the show might have used tissue paper at some point.
- Or presumably there's some equivalent material amongst his race or out in the galaxy and the translator subbed in "tissue paper" for it.
- Sarris's people have a fairly Earth-like 'tech tree' (clothing, guns, proximity mines). It's not much of a stretch.
- I know the ship was built to match the fictional one, but the lack of safety procedures trumping 'reality' bugs me. Not one of the aliens said 'Hey, those slammy metal things don't serve much of a purpose'. Or, building in extraneous systems to handle an atmosphere breach.
- The Thermians are portrayed as being so naive as to not understand that "Galaxy Quest" was just a TV show; it's a fair assumption that they would be equally naive in deciding that the "slammy metal things" etc. had a purpose of which they were unaware. After all, in their eyes, the Protector and its crew can do no wrong.
- Bear in mind that to them, humans are Starfish Aliens. The Corridor of Pointlessly Smashing Things (With Fire) could, as far as they know, have a vital function that just happened not to be on the show. (Consider all the things TV people don't do onscreen.)
Crewman # 6
- At one point, Crewman #6 explains that his character's name was Guy, and he was so unimportant that he was never given a last name. At the end of the movie, during the opening credits of the new series, it gives the actor's name as Guy Fleegman.
- Yeah, so both his character's name and his real name is Guy. As nondescript in real life as he is in fiction.
- Plus, they never say how much time elapsed between the new show and the entrance at the convention; it could've been a few months.
- No, he said his character didn't have a name because he died before the first commercial break. That's why he says he was "Crewman #6." The last name thing is him freaking out because the main cast doesn't remember his last name, which he takes as proof that he's going to be a Red Shirt in real life too.
- And the joke here (I hate to spoil the joke, but I guess people missed it) is that he only introduced himself ever as Guy. The crew doesn't know his last name, because he never said his last name.
- Except Allen makes a mistake when they're on the planet. After the whole spiel that nobody knows Guy's last name, when Jason is telling everyone what to do he says, "Fleegman, you set up a perimeter," or something like that. But Jason just said he didn't know his last name!
- No, he never said that. Guy accused him of not knowing his name. When asked, Jason just took a few seconds to try and think of it, and Guy flipped out on him when he didn't know it instantly.
- Well, the way Jason answered him it seemed as if he simply didn't know Guy's last name at all. After all, these people didn't know Guy existed until a day or two ago, and never once did Guy mention the name. I suppose it's open to interpretation, but here's the scene where Jason says "Fleegman." Take a look here at 3:46
- Is it so hard to believe that after Guy accused them of not knowing his last name, he told them what it was after he calmed down a bit? I can't remember how long it was in between those two scenes, but I don't think it was a continuous shot, which allows for a line of dialogue to happen off-camera.
- That's actually precisely what happened in the novelization. As they were landing after Guy had his mass freakout; he screams "Fleegman! My name is Fleegman! There! Now I can't die!!"
- There's a problem with him being The Danza?
- The Thermians at one point state that their entire population is on that ship, and many of them begin suffocating at one point. Even assuming they all survived (which, due to the "Taggart has saved us" may very well be the case), Laliara leaving to stay with a human with whom she most likely cannot reproduce is not particularly smart considering their species needs as large a gene pool as it can get.
- I can explain it in two words, and they rhyme with Pentacle Rex.
- Considering Laliara is apparently okay with the whole idea of acting (and, ergo, lying), the Thermians may have kicked her out.
- Wouldn't they have to kick Mathesar out too then, in that case? (See the "most excellent deception" example above.)
- Their entire species was not on the ship with them. They just said they didn't have a planet anymore. Did you forget about the massive space station, which is quite clearly manned, that they're on before the main cast gets onto the Protector?
- I always thought it was possible that Saris destroyed the space station offscreen and Mathesar was too polite to mention it.
- I don't remember the exact line, but when Mathesar mentions that they no longer have a home planet, Nesmith says (after a pregnant pause) something along the lines of "You mean it's just you guys?", and Mathesar answers in the affirmative. I think so, anyway - it's been a while.
- I believe Mathesar says "We are all that are left." "We" could easily refer to the crew of the ship and the station.
- We don't know the Thermian reproductive method (Though I'm sure somewhere there is speculation). It's possible her part in reproducing with fellow Thermians is complete, perhaps by laying eggs somewhere to fertilize, or it's possible she is sterile or beyond reproductive age.
- We also can't assume sexual reproduction is their only (or primary) option. I will say no more.
Lalaria and Fred
- What are Lalaria and Fred going to do when whatever energy source powers her Appearance Generator runs out? They hinted (during the two's first makeout session, when the appearance of tentacles does nothing to diminish Fred's ardour) that Fred won't mind a little tentaclesecs, but the two will have to go from 'well-known couple that appear on tv together' to 'well-known man that appears on tv and his hideous girlfriend whom he keeps in the basement'.
- Who says he has to keep her in the basement? If she becomes famous, won't people know she is an alien?
- Who knows what powers the appearance generator? Maybe it's rated for 10,000 years of continual use. Or maybe it's possible for her to create a new battery from relatively common components.
- Come on the Thermians aren't gonna visit their crew member? One of the only other Thermians out there? They still have the little radio things! If Laliari needed to, she could get more battery power.
Actor names listed
- I love this movie. It's funny and interesting. Aliens who don't realize that the TV show they've seen wasn't real. Cool, I get that. But wait! The 'historical documents' has Jason Nesmith as Commander Taggart at the beginning of it! Even if they don't understand the concept of lying, the beginning of their documents say that Person A as Person B.
- My best guess is that, for whatever reason, they yet to be able to read the Latin alphabet. However, for me, it gets worse considering that whoever was tasked with watching the latest images from Earth would have noticed something was up when characters in a show were performing a play. Wouldn't they have contacted someone to explain this to them the first time they located Earth? I think they would also have been confused by the Roger Rabbit Effect, since a two-dimensional drawing behaving as a three-dimensional object is a clear impossibility. It is possible that the viewers of the incoming programs kept this from the general population, but it does seem out of character for these people.
- I think it's a matter of incomprehensibility for the Thermians. The Document lists him as Jason Nesmith as Commander Taggert. For all they know, "Jason Nesmith" is some kind of special title, or a 'secret name', or some cultural aspect they haven't grokked. After all, the Thermians thought that Tommy's driving was wonderful, even when the ship scraped the side. And they blamed themselves for Fred's first failed attempt with the pig lizard. They are so childlike, that they believe that whatever they do not understand is their own fault.
- They liked his driving? Really? So, they DO know how to lie?
- None of the Protector crew complained about Tommy's driving, so as far as the Thermians know it's a human tradition at ship launches.
- Well, we do hit a new ship with an object, it's just not a space station. Then again, this isn't the Protector's first voyage.
- As far as the Thermians know, this is the Protector II - a separate ship from the original, and this IS its first launch.
New historical documents
- Isn't Laliara (aka "Jane Doe") going to question why they're filming new "historical documents" on a soundstage?
- Historical reenactments.
- Plus, they all know about the fact that it's fiction by the end anyway. Or did you forget that pivotal plot point?
- Mathesar didn't, he praised them for their "deception" of Sarris, and Jason and the others didn't correct him. However, it's fair to assume Fred explained to Lalieri once they were settled on Earth.
- When Mathesar comes back onto the bridge, he is in the middle of telling the Thermians what Nesmith said to him. The line is: "It was a model, as big as this. A very clever deception indeed. Alalalalalala alalalala"
- A soundstage? The US Government now has access to a working starship and a crew proficient enough not only to figure out how to use it, but also to deal with aliens and quite possibly prevent the destruction of the entire human race. Give me one good reason no one would utilize it: send them into space with a film crew to please the fans.
- Um, because there's only one ship and the government would rather study it in a lab than rent it out to film a stupid tv show?
- Why would you study a spaceship's functions in "a lab" instead of in space?
- Presumably Laliara, being of the younger generation of Thermians, is less set in her ways than her father, and ergo is able to be more gradually brought into understanding of concepts such as 'acting' and how it differs from straight-up lying over a given period of time.
- I consider myself a pretty hard core Trek fan, but neither I nor anyone I know can recognize episodes solely by their episode number, something that not only the Galaxy Quest fans can do but also the actors at a pivotal moment. Wouldn't it have made more sense to just come up with some generic sci-fi titles?
- Perhaps, but it's probably easier to just come up with a number. Plus, the actors don't always get it without fail; I distinctly remember at one point them arguing over which episode number a given plot was from, for instance.
- This is a typical ability of fictional nerds.
- I can recognise episodes of quite a few shows by Sx Ex designation (most notably Life On Mars), partly because the British model hasn't always provided readily available onscreen episode titles. Recognition by P-codes is normally the domain of fiction, though.
- You don't know people who can recognize episodes by number? I can recognize episodes by number, for a few different shows — not necessarily for every season of Trek. It's easiest for episodes like season finales, or entries in a story arc leading up to a finale (even if I don't remember right away what "season 5, episode 24" was, I can work backwards from the end and know that it was the one before the one before the Wham Episode, etc.). And anyway, it has a certain internal consistency: if the actors have been going to conventions filled with fictional nerds for year after year, they've probably gotten used to the way fictional nerds refer to things.
- slowly raises hand I do this all the time with my favorite shows. Interestingly enough, I mostly only do it with sci-fi shows in general (one of my favorite episodes of Babylon 5 is episode 315, "Severed Dreams", ferinstance), otherwise it happens when I download shows from perfectly legitimate and legal sources online after purchasing them in accordance with the copyright holder's wishes, and the episodes are of course numbered in the file names.
- My best friend's father is a massive Star Trek nerd, able to tell what episode is what just by looking at the ENTERPRISE AT THE BEGINNING OF EACH EPISODE. So yeah, those sorts of nerds exist. Interesting sidenote: said father is a long-haired rocker who plays Ace Frehley in a KISS tribute band.
- I think the issue is that it's unrealistic for fans to identify episodes by number even though some can. Any Trek fan would refer to their favorite episodes by the title, like "The Trouble With Tribbles", "The Enemy Within" or "Balance of Terror". I have no idea where writers got the idea that actual fans use numbers rather than episode names.
- Heaven forbid that be the joke.
- Some fans do both. In one of William Shatner's books he includes an account of someone who was working on SNL behind the scenes when he did the "Get a life" sketch. One of the Trek nerds quotes an episode title and number, and the guy watching behind the scenes guffaws and says "I wonder how many of those nerds will know it was actually episode number XX?" It took a few moments of the other people in the room staring at him in silence for him to realize he was, in fact, one of those nerds and had never known it. So yes, this headscratcher is a case of Reality Is Unrealistic.
- How did the Thermians react to Vince McMahon confirming that Professional Wrestling is fake? As well as the episodes of Darkwing Duck, Animaniacs, and A Pup Named Scooby Doo that deal with said topic?
- Just because they got some TV Shows doesn't mean they got all of them.
- "This transmission presents a logical paradox. Perhaps once the lives of our entire species are no longer at stake, we can ask the humans."
- Originally the movie was supposed to be quite a bit Darker and Edgier, but the producers (or someone) decided to tone it down to secure a lower rating. Great, except why did they do such a piss-poor job of hiding it? (Right around the 3-minute mark. Yeah, she totally said "screw.") Would it have been so out of the question to do a few extra reshoots? That's the most egregious example, but there are others if you know where to look.
- I read somewhere (I thought it was wikipedia but I couldn't find where I read it) that that line was dubbed for the DVD release but in theatres it was undubbed.
- Are you sure that clip isn't from a network broadcast or something?
- Quite sure, because the same thing happens on my DVD copy. Also, I seem to remember catching it in the theater, because it's sobadly dubbed over.
- Edits for the sake of ratings often happen very late. The first print is sent to the MPAA, and a report comes back with a list of everything they need to change if they want a PG rating. It is too late for reshoots then: the actors have gone on to their next jobs, the sets have been dismantled, etc.
- Plus I'm not sure that one obvious change of "Fuck" to "Screw" counts as either proof of a previous intention to be Darker and Edgier or a "piss poor job of hiding it".
- Let's assume for a moment that Sarris' vaguely reptilian-looking race actually have sweat glands. Even so, on what basis can Jason assume that said sweat glands react to anxiety the same way ours do?
- He's an actor, not a biologist. You're expecting a little too much analysis from someone whose marketable skills amounted to "look good, keep in shape, and read lines."
- He also might have been speaking metaphorically. Sure, Sarris was covered in a sheen of something that made him look like he was sweating, but that could have been incidental. Nesmith might have realized that Sarris was nervous through less conscious cues. As an actor, he's presumably got a good working knowledge of body language. And even though Sarris is an alien, he certainly acts and reacts in a manner that humans can easily interpret.
- Even if he has no idea how Sarris is actually reacting, accusing him of being nervous might gain a bit of a psychological edge. If it works, great; if not, the worst that happens is that Sarris thinks he's a posturing buffoon (which is what Sarris thinks of him anyway).
- Some people in show business do say "sweating" as a metaphor.
- Something that I am wondering in the movie. The interstellar pods that transported Jason and his crew are quite amazing in terms of technology. Firstly, the gel has to supply the person inside with oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from the person's breath. I assume that the gel releases oxygen and absorbs carbon dioxide. Secondly, there is a lot of radiation in space. The gel has to block radiation, but visible light can still penetrate. If not, we wouldn't be able to see the person inside, and the person inside would not be able to see. The gel most likely reflects forms of radiation such as gamma rays but allows for the absorbtion of visible light, even though it reflects some blue. Thirdly, the gel also has to be very heat resistant. Reentry with the pods is not shown, but the pods would have to be able to reenter without burning up or killing the person inside. However, there are some problems. When the rest of the crew is launched from Earth, the pods are launched indoors. There is no sound of the roof crashing or the crews' skulls being crushed. Also, the speed of which the pods are launched could potentially kill the people inside because of the G forces.
- It isn't necessarily that hard to make a substance that could do all that, probably involving perfluorocarbons (which are capable of carrying breathable amounts of oxygen) and/or water (which is transparent to visible light, but makes an effective radiation shield). And since we know the Thermians have artificial gravity (if only because they're not floating around all the time), the inertia encountered at takeoff and reentry shouldn't be an issue.
- There isn't that enough radiation in space to fry someone in a few seconds. A person would be fine for the short time that the pod trip takes, as long as it avoided the van Allen belts and there wasn't a major solar flare.
- Just because it won't kill you instantly doesn't mean it's nothing to worry about. There's radiation poisoning and an increased cancer risk to consider. Neither will kill you right away, but both are worth avoiding. The speed of the capsule is a consideration, as well - if it was moving at high relativistic speeds, the visible light it encountered would be blueshifted into the gamma-ray range. (It would still be possible to see because radio waves would doppler up the same way, becoming visible to the eye. It would look strange, but there would still be something to see by.)
- Since you don't know how the pods work, you can't say they don't work. Simple as that. Saying "They could be crushed by G-forces!" ignores that their advanced science has obviously found a way around that, just like all our advancements found ways around previous hurdles that made it impossible.
- That said, they're pretty impressive considering Jason said they were Christmas lights on the original show. How'd the Thermians make the leap?
- My problem is with the magnetic mines. In the final space scene it shows a magnetic mine bounce off the blade. I have three problems. One, it a mine wouldn't it explode on contact? Two, it's magnetic, wouldn't it have latched on/detonated? Three, they state that all extra power is going to the plasma armor. Wouldn't the super-heated plasma detonate/vaporize the mine? Also, wouldn't any disruption in the field cause the mines to be jostled and the field to collapse as mines started tracing each other, or any iron bearing space rock/bit of hull/empty can for that manner?
- Odds are, the mines are only magnetic when they're activated. As we see in the first minefield scene, the Protector set off some sort of sensor that activated the mine and caused it to arm and become magnetic.
- Also, it is a very old minefield. It is likely that many of the mines are not in 100% working condition.
- In addition, the "plasma armour" probably has as much to do with plasma as the beryllium sphere has to do with beryllium (namely, none).
- Starfleet ships use charged plasma in their power-delivery systems. Perhaps the Protector uses something similar. Then the armor could be magnetic or piezoelectric or whatever, and merely plasma-powered.
- Do we ever get confirmation that the mines are magnetic? All I remember is Laredo yelling, "They're drifting towards us, I think they're magnetic!" It seems more likely that they've got some kind of engine, and navigation/targeting sensors to point them at intruding spaceships and not random space debris or other mines.
- Maybe that one bounced off because the ship was moving too fast for the magnet to get a good hold on the hull. And maybe they have a delay before exploding, both to give the mine a chance to get a good hold on the hull and to give the person who seeded the field a chance to send a disarm code if they accidentally get one on themselves.
Happening in real life
- Here's a major problem. If the Thermians built their culture around a fictional TV, why does stuff from the TV show appear in real life? For example, the planet with the rock monster. The members of the crew specifically remember that happening in the TV show, so how did it become real?
- No, that's not what happened. There was no planet with a rock monster in the show; they were remembering similar instances in the show—I'm sure "land on planet, get captured by natives, be forced to fight monster" showed up at least a couple times. That is what they're referencing, not a specific planet with a specific monster.
- Note that when Guy is describing the situation to the others, he states that the cute little aliens will "somehow" become a lot more scary-looking. If this were an exact clone of a particular episode, he would have been able to describe exactly what they'd do. The point of the conversation is that Guy is a lot more Genre Savvy than the rest of them.
- Does it even make sense to have a minefield in space? Especially since you can see it.
- It defends a strategically important location of some sort. It was possible to safely navigate this minefield by some means, but that means was lost.
- Mines are not a practical cordon in space, but the minefield may have been laid to, say, ambush ships exiting from some kind of FTL, or to give an allied fleet an 'anvil' to force enemies against, or for some other tactical reason.
Jerkasses in bathroom stall
- Question. Why on earth would (at least) two young men go to a huge sci-fi convention and go to the bathroom, where they proceed to mock the actors? I can believe that maybe those two fellows were workers at the convention center (and thus not fans), but to mock the Galaxy Quest fandom while in the bathroom with at least a dozen other fans in there to listen sounds kind of like a death wish. Even if they were part of a Galaxy Quest in-universe hatedom, they should have at least expected to get yelled at for their mockery.
- Well first of all, I don't think the bathroom was that big. It would've been readily apparent if the bathroom was full of hardcore Questies, which it most likely wasn't. Second, I think the movie was relying on the stereotype of the "sissy nerd" who's terrified of getting hurt and can't fight worth a damn. Those two guys were probably fit enough to fight off an entire army of them. Third, they may have been just a couple of guys who like Galaxy Quest but look down on the hardcore Questies. I have a friend like that. He enjoys Star Trek but he has nothing but contempt for the people who dress up like Klingons and have pretend-Batleth fights at conventions.
- That scene was based on a similar situation William Shatner experienced at a Comic Convention or some such.
- It's possible to be a fan of a TV show and the characters therein while still disliking the actors; how many Trekkies are there who love the show and admire Captain James T. Kirk but think that William Shatner himself is a bit of a dick? Not to mention that if you were a pick a fandom at random and go into a chatroom or a con for it, you'd find plenty of fans who were willing to scoff at their fellow fans. No fandom is a homogenous gestalt where everyone thinks in lockstep about everything.
- Another theory: they were there because they were attending with family, say, keeping an eye on a younger sibling, even though they hated the show personally.
- Pretty sure they were dressed up as creatures from the show, though.
- No, another person in the bathroom was dressed as Not!Klingon, but the two guys in question were not.
Alexander's hair piece
- If Alexander hates his character and the show so much, why does always wear the stupid hair piece, even when he's at home?
- We see him once when he's at home, for a few seconds, right after he's been at a convention all day and probably just hasn't taken it off yet. That's not "always."
- Also, "alien makeup" prosthetics are often very time-consuming to put on properly. He might have been intending to keep it on for the full length of the convention just to save himself the trouble of setting it up every day.
- It could be part of his Consummate Professional self-image: he hates the part and the prosthetic that goes with it, but he'll be damned if he lets that get in the way of doing the job right.
- Or, it could simply be that he's not quite right in the head.
- This is apparently a thing some actors (especially aging ones) do, especially if they were one-hit wonders. They will dress as their character near-constantly, even if they resent the role. It's apparently quite common to drive around the Hollywood suburbs and see people wandering about in odd outfits not because of fashion, but because they're still reliving that role.
- Fridge Logic: What happens if the Thermians see one of their "heroes" in a different show/movie? Unless the only thing the actors ever appeared in was Galaxy Quest, which seems unlikely; surely their universe has an equivalent to T.J. Hooker?
- It's implied that not only was the show the Big Break for the cast, but also that the actors hadn't been able to get any other roles since the show's cancellation.
- They wouldn't think they were the same people, just that they looked alike.
- Considering how alien the Thermians look when not in disguise, it could be a case of "You all look alike to me." Or the Thermians might assume that Humans have a very low amount of genetic diversity.
- This assumption would be correct, by the way.
- On the other hand, a Mission: Impossible expy with Alan Rickman instead of Leonard Nimoy is intriguing.
- Why do the Thermians never ask about the original, "real" Protector?
- They probably just assumed something had been done with it when they didn't see it around... decommissioned, passed along to another crew, destroyed when the original Omega 13 was activated. They don't lie or understand fiction but they may have their own version of Wild Mass Guessing.
Guy with other cast members
- Why was Guy with the cast at the electronics store the next day? He was just the MC at the convention, not a cast member.
- It's kind-of implied that Guy, despite being an extra, was able to find work after Galaxy Quest and gained a bit of a name as an actor, whereas the rest of the cast floundered after the show was canceled. At the convention, he later pulls up to the table, greets the cast, and then sits down at the table to "sign a couple of autographs." When Nesmith has his freakout, Guy can be seen sitting at the table with a small stack of pictures next to him, as well as the rest of the cast. Putting two-and-two together, he was an Ascended Fanboy who was also a fairly prominent actor, hence why he was the convention's MC despite playing a Redshirt in the series proper.
- Or, Guy has just made a career out of being a tagalong to events where the rest of the cast is showing up, billing himself as "a member of the crew". If he were a prominent or popular actor it's likely someone would recognize him as such... if not one of the other castmembers, then probably the announcer who sees him and merely goes "And... another crewmember!"
- There are more than a few struggling actors who had a small-but-fandom-significant role on a cult TV show or film then basically end up milking the lower rungs of the convention circuit for all its worth. My personal guess is that Guy had a small role in one episode, most likely as a Red Shirt, but it was one that became a bit of a meme among the fandom. Like, his death scene was particularly over-the-top and people enjoy acting it out, or he had one cheesy line that people like to quote back to each other (kind of like how Doctor Who fans love quoting "No! Not the mind probe!" back at each other). It probably wasn't enough to kickstart his career to any great heights, but it was enough to get people to invite him along to a few conventions, which he then parlayed into a career as a professional 'crewmember' to make up the numbers.
- I took it as Guy being an even more failed actor than the main cast, and just kooky enough to print up a bunch of photos of himself to sign and then wheedle his way into the con. That's not entirely crazy; fandoms have a fanatical element by definition, and some proportion of the fandom would be happy to get a signed photo of a one-episode Red Shirt. The other actors just put up with Guy as a harmless weirdo at first; they've been doing cons and other low-prestige events for a long time. Later he was useful to have around, as another human crew member who understood what was going on, and was willing to carry a weapon.
Special Effects for TV
- The special effects seen in the clips of the Galaxy Quest TV series are of contemporary movie quality, way ahead of early-80s TV quality (clearly the show had one hell of a budget in its day). But out of interest, why was this decision made? Even if it was considered too expensive to build and film physical models (which would have been the period-authentic approach), couldn't the CGI have been made to look more like pre-CGI TV-level effects?
- You just kind of answered your own question there; it was probably considered cheaper in the long-run to just CGI it and use the same sort of models they were using for the rest of the movie, and they probably didn't have the time or money to spend working on it. Anachronistic it may be, but it's also footage that only takes up only more-or-less a minute of the entire movie right at the beginning, and spending more time, effort and resources on that would mean less time, effort and resources were going to something else that may have been more important. The makers clearly wanted to get things as close to accurate as possible, but they also have to draw the line somewhere. They gambled that most of the audience wasn't going to be picky or pedantic enough to argue the point or let it ruin their enjoyment.
- Alternatively, they may have re-released the show with updated special effects in universe, something that happens in real life.
- If the Thermians couldn't comprehend lying, why do they use Appearance Generators at all? That's effectively lying about their appearance - if they could comprehend that being dishonest about their appearance would put the Earthlings at ease, why did they have such issues with figuring out any other kind of lie?
- They're not being dishonest, they openly admit that they're taking a form that Earthlings are more comfortable with. They never claimed to be human.
- It's also possible that specifically because they have problems with comprehending deception, they're less quick with realizing when they might be inadvertently deceiving someone (which helps explain the Appearance Generators when you put together the facts that the Generators appears to actually physically alter the Thermian in question and the fact that the Protector was built for — and as far as the Thermians know, by – humanoids).
- Call it one more bit of Fridge Logic. We can assume that for budget reasons, the 'aliens' on the Galaxy Quest TV show were Rubber-Forehead Aliens, so the Thermians decided that the 'aliens' on the show were using look-more-like-human Appearance Generators in order to get along better with humans.
- When Sarris is wearing Fred's appearance and Jason tackles him, Jason clearly punches Sarris in the right side of his face a few times — where the spiked Eyepatch of Doom would be.
- You know, those Thermians stand awfully close to each other with those things on. If they were really only generating appearances, they'd be complaining about tentacles being stood on (and their voices wouldn't be changing either). This is just a guess, but I think the devices perform localized shapeshifts... in which case Jason wouldn't have to worry about an eyepatch, since Sarris was in the shape of Fred.
- The catchphrase for Dr. Lazarus is "By Grabthar's hammer, by the sons of Warvan, you shall be avenged!" as shown when he avenges Quellek and other times. Yet when Alexander Dane is introduced at the convention at the beginning, the scene shown behind him has him saying "By Grabthar's hammer, you shall be avenged!", and when a fan who cares about the character enough to wear a headpiece like him and ask for the actor's autograph approaches, the fan quotes it as "By Grabthar's hammer, I shall avenge you!" Is there any explanation for this other than screenwriter error?
- Everyone doesn't always get quotes exactly correct every single time. (Also, pretty sure it's "suns" of Warvan.)
- Heck, just look at the name of the trope that this link goes to. The show it comes from is both a huge influence on this movie and one with an intense and passionate fan-base, and even there not every single fan gets every single line of dialogue right every single time. The catchphrase probably just gets mangled and misused by people who remember the general details but not how it specifically goes.
- The catchphrase was deliberately cut short or mangled every other time so that it would have dramatic impact when Alex said the whole thing correctly. Even when Quellek is about to say it (and if anyone other than Alex could get the line right, it's him), Alex stops him. The line is never said in full until Quellek's death.
Rock to sand
- Shouldn't the teleporter have turned the rock monster into sand?
- No, because he'd figured out how to work it properly by that time, as demonstrated by Jason not arriving inside-out.
- Presumably fiction must have been mentioned as a thing within the original show Galaxy Quest? It frequently came up in Star Trek; the holodecks were a major plot point in (too many) episodes. Characters also refer to novels and films. It would be broadly plausible that the references to these are misunderstood by the Thermians, and they imagine that these too are documentary texts.
- You're thinking of the Next Generation. There weren't holodecks in the original series, which the Galaxy Quest show was referencing. And there were probably passing references to fiction, but not long detailed ones, and the Thermians just figured it was some aspect of Earth culture they had no reference for.
Omega- 13 as a bomb
- I'd like to know how the in-universe fan theory that the Omega-13 was a universe-destroying bomb came about. After all, Captain Taggart used it, and it didn't really take him that long to resort to it, either. Personally, I'd be a little hesitant to view the hero of my favorite show as someone who, when faced with imminent defeat or death, immediately decides to take the entire universe with him.
- It's possible that the Thermians, at least, assumed that, even if it did destroy the universe, Captain Taggart was just so awesome that he managed to put it back together. Somehow.
- Except that's not a theory the Thermians seem to go by. They're aware that the Omega-13's power source is strong enough to wipe out the universe, but by the dialogue, they just see it as an unwanted side effect that might happen if they try to use it but screw it up. Only the human fans seem to genuinely see the universe-destroying as intentional, and by the wording, even more than the ones who see it as a universal Ctrl-Z button.
- It just now occurred to me, that the reason why fans would actively think of the universe destroying possibility may very well be a semi-joke between fanboys. The show was cancelled after the button was pushed after all. Therefore, until the new episodes showed up, it can be jokingly assumed by fanboys that the universe was destroyed.
Guy's character death
- Guy's character died in an episode of the show, why weren't the Thermians surprised to see him alive?
- Because they think that humanity runs on Science Fiction rules on mortality and he just got better. If you based your entire view on death on television science fiction, then it seems like death is something for which humans have a very high recovery rate. People come back from the dead all the time, sometimes even offscreen.
- There's a chance the subject of identical twins or cloning was brought up at some point on Galaxy Quest.
- It's also possible that they didn't recognize him because he had aged since then. The show was cancelled at least ten years before after all. Or maybe all humans just look kind of alike to them. Hell, could be a combination of both.
Waiting for beryllium
- Why did Sarris wait for the Protector's crew to get a new beryllium sphere before boarding it? It's never indicated that it would take that long to go around the minefield to reach it.
- He wasted a lot of time killing his own Mooks.
- Perfect time with the main crew off ship.
- Actually, the main crew (except for Jason) were on the ship for some time. Sarris apparently boarded while everyone was busy with the digital conveyor, and none of the Thermians could sound an alarm in time.