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Tear Jerker / Galaxy Quest

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"Buuuuuuuut whhhhhhhhhy?"

WARNING: Spoilers are unmarked.

  • The cast of the Galaxy Quest television show suffering from I Am Not Spock and Dude, Where's My Respect? at the beginning of the movie (despite it meant to be semi-humorous), lamenting over how the fame they gained from the show even after its cancellation destroyed their acting careers due to them being remembered for just that show. Even during their appearances at conventions or store openings, they at first lament the way they are embraced. Gwen is treated as a Ms. Fanservice for every fanboy's perverted wet dream despite being a skilled actress, while Alexander gets the worst of it, as he was a respected Shakespearian actor before his unwanted Star-Making Role that only limits his fans to fans of his television role (much to his dismay, and the fact he lives in a dingy, run-down apartment in contrast of the luxury lifestyles of his co-stars Gwen and Jason. Fortunately, by the end of the film, their experience at least restores their faith in their fandom and revives their acting careers.
    • Jason's In-Universe Creator Breakdown early in the film. To see a jovial-if-arrogant star who at first seems to embrace the fandom in contrast to his less-enthusiastic co-stars, has his positive outlook shattered after listening to the gossip of two non-fans about the negative effects of the show's fandom and how it tainted the actors' careers (which is sadly revealed to be not completely unfounded), then lash out at his fans. He even eventually succumbs to alcoholism at his own home as he pathetically trys to find his comfort zone again, even watching old episodes of his show. Jason was probably thinking "I Wish It Were Real" for his Galaxy Quest television fame to be really worthwhile. And eventually it does for him when he realizes how his show inspired an alien race to turn it into a real experience, thus making him as giddy as a child when his dream comes true, allowing him to gladly embraces his television role for real.
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    • The cast's initial resentment of their remembrance is far more sad as, since the movie was inspired by the Star Trek franchise and its fandom, it was based on said show's casts' initial feelings for being remembered for just that show.
  • Quellek's death always starts the waterworks. This innocent alien fanboy has considered serving Alexander/Doctor Lazarus to be an honor, since he has followed the latter's character's culture and philosophy his whole life. Alexander has to watch his fan die in his arms and, for the first time, delivers his hated signature line with sincerity:
    Quellek: You'll forgive my impertinence, sir, but even though we had never before met, I've always considered you as a father to me.
    • Hell, it's sad enough seeing him earlier in the film, meeting his genuine hero, only for his hero to turn around and snarl at him when he was only trying to be nice. Brings to mind many meltdowns from celebrities meeting over-enthusiastic fans, but what makes it worse is that Quellek genuinely didn't know any better, considering the entire Thermian species aren't just fans of a show; they believe they're meeting real-life heroes.
    • We even see how Alexander treats fans at the convention. He's barely hiding his contempt as he grabs the fans' photos and signs them.
      Fan: By Grabthar's ham-
      [Alexander snatches the photo out of his hand and bluntly signs it]
      Alexander: [seething] Next!
  • Jason being forced to explain the true nature of Earth television and fiction to the naive Mathesar. It's like watching the slow, hard breakdown of a child discovering that there's no such thing as Santa Claus (it even hits harder as Jason's actor played a Santa). Mathesar looks absolutely devastated.
    Mathesar: [weakly whispering] ...buuuut whyyyyyyy?
    Jason: [looking ashamed of himself]'s difficult to explain. On our planet, we, uh... we pretend to, uh... to entertain. [Mathesar can't even look at him anymore] Mathesar, I am so sorry. God, I am so sorry.
    • The varying looks of guilt on the other actors' faces hurt too (even Guy looks ashamed), despite most of them initially resenting their television roles.
    • It's even painful how Jason finally manages to get through to Mathesar. As mentioned before, his species doesn't understand the concept of fiction and playing pretend (which is usually not malicious in intent), but through their interactions with people like Sarris, they now understand the concept of lying. Jason tries to break it to him gently by saying that he's an actor and that they were merely pretending, but Mathesar doesn't understand, forcing Jason to use language the Thermian does understand: "We lied." Mathesar visibly flinches at the word as if he'd been stabbed.
    • Not to mention Mathesar's cheerful face as he tries desperately to hold on to his belief in the show, vainly attempting to counter Jason's statements about how the "ship" is actually only an inch long. That belief, that hero worship, was pretty much all he and his people had.
    • This scene is gutting on many levels, but Sarris makes it even worse: his voice dripping with contempt, he cements his status as an utter dick by demanding that Jason "Explain... as you would a child." (Sarris does have a point, but he's still enjoying every second of Mathesar's humiliation.)
  • The entire scene when Sarris sneaks onto the Protector's bridge and starts killing everyone off. Even if you already know Jason's going to activate the Omega 13, it's still an amazingly horrific scene.
  • Both Jason's outburst at Brandon and ignoring him when they knock into each other and their communicators get mixed up can hit really hard for anyone who has looked forward to meeting a celebrity they admire, only to be severely disappointed, especially when coupled with the feeling that they somehow messed up.
    • Heck, there's a reason that William Shatner's appearance on Saturday Night Live, the infamous "Get a life!" scene is still considered so devastating this many years on. To actually love and enjoy something, to make it a part of your life because you appreciate and treasure it, and then to have one of the people that made it happen tell you it doesn't matter. (It helps that fans have owned it, and have learned to simultaneously enjoy the show on its own merits and acknowledge it's just a show and can get very silly (and enjoy the silliness) which, in turn, allowed them to become critical of it in turn.)


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