YMMV / Galaxy Quest

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Mathesar at the end. When he says Jason's explanation of the show was "a very clever deception indeed," does he now accept the truth, or does he think it was something Jason made up to trick Sarris? Either way, it implies that Mathesar has at least learned deception isn't universally bad, something he seemed incapable of at the beginning of the film.
  • Awesome Music: The soundtrack is very good, particularly as it emulates many of the Star Trek themes.
  • Complete Monster: Despite being the villain of an otherwise funny film, the bloodthirsty, sadistic General Roth'h'ar Sarris is a brutal galactic warlord played dead straight. In pursuit of a mysterious and powerful device called the Omega 13, Sarris has launched a genocidal campaign against the naive and childlike Thermians and has wiped most of them out. He has been known to torture them to death, put them to grueling work in his mines, and keep the women as sex slaves. In order to find information on the Omega 13, he tortured a Thermian commander for days, only killing her when he grew tired of the noises that she made. When the Thermians enlist the help of the cast of Galaxy Quest, a TV show that they based their culture around while oblivious to the fact that it was a work of fiction, Sarris and his men invade the Thermian ship and try to force the show's star Jason Nesmith to tell him how the Omega 13 works by torturing Thermian leader Malthasar, and threatening to do the same with Jason's Love Interest and co-star Gwen DeMarco. When Jason can't answer and admits that the show isn't real, Sarris takes a sickening glee in forcing him to reveal his deception to Malthasar in order to completely break his spirit. Afterwards, he tries to have all the Galaxy Quest actors thrown out of an airlock while slowly suffocating the remaining Thermians to death; when his plans are foiled, he manages to gun down most of the Galaxy Quest actors in revenge and only fails to kill them all due to the Omega 13 being able to turn back time. Not just brutal to his enemies, Sarris is shown to be incredibly cruel to his own allies as well, as demonstrated by him decapitating his lieutenant for failing to put up his ship's deflector shields in time, and leaving his men on the Thermian ship to die after rigging its reactor to explode.
  • Creepy Cute: The Thermians human forms are a bunch of pale, black haired people who are constanty smiling, waving their arms at their sides, and speak with strange syntax, and they are just so naive and adorable, you can't help but love them.
    • The aliens on the beryllium sphere planet are either this or Cute is Evil.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: The Teleporter Accident is so gross that it loops around to being funny again. It's had quite a few shout outs over the years as a result.
  • Cult Classic: The movie was oddly mis-marketed to children upon initial release, but wound up playing far better simply as the Affectionate Parody of Star Trek that it was, and it maintains a big following of sci-fi nerds to this day.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Alan Rickman plays Alexander with such seething self-loathing and bottomless Deadpan Snark that for many fans, he's the show-stealer.
  • Fan Nickname: Star Trek 10.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • After Tommy is injured badly, he has to be carried out to the medical bay in a bit Played for Laughs. Daryl Mitchell, the actor playing Tommy, was in a motorcycle accident and was left paralyzed because of it. Now watch the scene with this fact in mind...
    • A running gag is Guy's worry about getting killed off. In Moon, his actor, Sam Rockwell, plays a character whose point is to get routinely cloned and killed off over and over.
  • Genius Bonus: One of the Thermians mentions their people being forced to produce gallium arsenide. It sounds like Technobabble, but it's a real chemical, used in the production of integrated circuits and laser diodes.
  • He Really Can Act: Enrico Colantoni was thought of as just a lightweight sitcom star at the time, and seems the same for much of this movie. Then comes his devastating performance when Mathasar learns the truth about the Galaxy Quest show.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Watching Alexander talking to a dying Quellek is already the most heartbreaking scene in the film, but it's much sadder now that Alan Rickman has passed on. Or the fact that he's parodying a character played by Leonard Nimoy, who has also passed on. Little eerie.
    • Tim Allen saving a group of refugees from a genocidal dictator plays rather differently after his notorious Insane Troll Logic comparison of Republicans in Hollywood to Jews in Nazi Germany.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • When Tony Shalhoub's character has to operate the digital conveyor, and he talks about the thing he did with his hands...
    • Similarly, the same character's rather out-of-nowhere remark on how impressively clean the floors are in the alien spaceship.
    • Also, Jason is fighting Gorignak (the rock monster), and remarks that it "doesn't have any weak points." The line becomes especially ironic when another rock monster, Thardus, later makes an appearance in Metroid Prime, who does have a weakness (using the Thermal Visor to locate the weak Phazon ore, expose it with firepower, and then finishing it off with firepower while using the Combat Visor).
    • The year the movie was released also marked the debut of a show which, like the movie's titular Show Within a Show, was a Cult Classic space show that lasted four seasons and ended on a cliffhanger: Farscape.
    • Alan Rickman plays an actor admired by a large fandom. Two years later...
    • The transporter accident scene is this for Minecraft fans who are familiar with how the Creeper was created. Bonus points for exploding.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Alexander Dane and Jason Nesmith, both come across as this at the beginning of the film, due to how the show that made them stars only killed their acting careers, as the embittered Alexander was a respected Shakespearian actor and Jason was trying to escape from the painful reality by trying to arrogantly embrace his fandom, only to suffer a Heroic B.S.O.D. after hearing the gossip about the Galaxy Quest negative impact on their careers and lives.
  • Memetic Mutation: "Never give up! NEVER surrender!" If you've seen this movie, you will quote this at least once or twice afterward.
  • Moral Event Horizon: While Sarris is established a monster throughout the movie, he truly shows how depraved he is when after finding out the truth about Galaxy Quest's cast, he forces Nesmith to admit the truth about Galaxy Quest being fiction to Mathesar just to torment them both... and then decides to self-destruct the Protector and kill everyone on it and then when questioned about the fate of the Thermians, he claims that a quick death is "too good" for them and orders them suffocated instead.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
  • Squick: the Teleporter Accident.
  • Uncanny Valley: The somewhat unnatural way the Thermians act when they have their "human appearance" generators activated. This might be owing to the fact that they are not really a Human Alien species... or that their reference on how to act human came from fictional TV shows. Or a combination of the two, really.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The marvelous alien effects, courtesy of Stan Winston in one of his few comedic efforts.
  • The Woobie: The entire cast of the Galaxy Quest television series, due to after the show's cancellation, how its recognition negatively impacted the lives and careers of the actors. Gwen DeMarco, counts too, due to just being a remembered as every fanboy's degrading Ms. Fanservice object of lust then a fellow skilled actress, much to her embarrassment. It's even sadder in real life when it's based on the real-life experience of the Star Trek cast. However, after experiencing the space adventure of their lives in this movie, their recognition becomes worthwhile in the eyes of the public and in turn made embracing their roles with complete sincerity.
    • The Thermians count too, due to them being a nearly happy-go-lucky Man Child-like race having no conception of fiction and Mathesar being absolutely devastated in hearing the reality of the television show.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/GalaxyQuest