Galaxy Quest Is Leaving Netflix, Stream It Now Before It’s Gone

Galaxy Quest is leaving Netflix on May 31.

By Zack Zagranis | Updated

Galaxy Quest Free Streaming

By Grabthar’s hammer, you need to go watch Galaxy Quest before it’s too late! The 1999 sci-fi comedy is the best Star Trek parody/homage ever made, and Netflix is getting rid of it on May 31. If the idea of a movie that lovingly pokes fun at one of the most venerated science fiction franchises of all time sounds like your idea of a good time, then you owe it to yourself to check out Galaxy Quest before it’s too late.

The movie stars Tim Allen as washed-up actor Jason Nesmith whose biggest claim to fame was playing Commander Peter Quincy Taggart in the cheesy television series Galaxy Quest. Nesmith (a stand-in for Star Trek star William Shatner) makes his living doing fan conventions alongside former co-stars Gwen DeMarco (played perfectly by Sigourney Weaver), who played Quest‘s communications officer Lieutenant Tawny Madison and Alan Rickman as Alexander Dane, a classically trained actor who looks back on his role as alien science officer Dr. Lazarus with disdain and resentment.

If those roles sound an awful lot like Uhura and Spock, that’s intentional. Galaxy Quest is full of nods to Star Trek, both big and small. That includes the three main characters being proxies for some of the Enterprise’s most famous crewmembers as well as Sam Rockwell, who fears for his life when he realizes he’s wearing a “redshirt,” an indication in the Star Trek universe that a character exists solely to die in the line of duty.

Galaxy Quest

Nesmith and his costars run into a race of actual aliens that think Galaxy Quest was a documentary and have come to Earth to ask for the crew’s help against a real galactic threat. The actors think it’s just another Hollywood production and agree to go with the aliens before later finding out it’s all real. Nesmith, DeMarco, and Dane get dragged onboard a real-life version of their television ship, the NSEA Protector, and have precious little time to become their TV roles in real-life.

It’s a bit like Spaceballs by way of The Three Amigos. The difference is that where Spaceballs used Star Wars as a backdrop for Mel Brooks’ usual puns and broad slapstick humor Galaxy Quest takes Star Trek’s imperfections and affectionately pokes fun at them while respectfully maintaining a fan’s adoration for the source material.

While the movie teases, it never outright mocks Star Trek or the people who love it. That’s no surprise considering writer Robert Gordon was already a big fan of Star Trek when he wrote the script. David Howard, who shares a writing credit with Gordon, came up with the concept of aliens interacting with the actors from an old sci-fi show, but everything else was Gordon’s.

It was Gordon’s love of Star Trek that led to in-jokes like the redshirt gag and a scene where Jason Nesmith overhears fans talking about how much his co-stars hate him, something that happened to William Shatner at a Star Trek convention in 1986.

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Alan Rickman in Galaxy Quest

Producer Mark Johnson always wanted Dean Parisot to direct Galaxy Quest, something DreamWorks vetoed by hiring Groundhog Day director Harold Ramis. Ramis cast fellow Ghostbusters actor Sigourney Weaver as Gwen DeMarco but wanted Alec Baldwin for the part of Jason Nesmith. Baldwin turned down the role, as did Ramis’s other choices, Steve Martin and Kevin Kline.

When Tim Allen was finally cast as Nesmith, Harold Ramis objected so strongly he quit.

Johnson’s original choice Dean Parisot was brought in to take over for Ramis. Tim Allen, meanwhile, had to give up the starring role in Bicentennial Man to do Galaxy Quest, a decision he made in hopes that the film would lead to more sci-fi roles. Despite William Shatner being the obvious inspiration for Nesmith, Allen based his performance more on Yul Bynner from The Ten Commandments than he did TJ Hooker.

The initial cut of Galaxy Quest was not looked upon fondly by DreamWorks execs who were expecting a different movie than the one they got. Hoping to put the film out against the family film Stuart Little, DreamWorks required that it be edited from its initial rating of “R” into a more family-friendly “PG.” Some of the cuts made include a scene where an escape pod crashes into a crowded convention hall decapitating several fans in the process as well as an F-bomb uttered by Sigourney Weaver’s DeMarco.

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Sigourney Weaver and Tim Allen when the former’s F-bomb was infamously dubbed over

The movie was a financial success earning $90.7 million at the box office on a budget of $45 million. The film proved to be a huge hit with Star Trek fans, so much so that Galaxy Quest was ranked the seventh-best Star Trek film at a 2013 Star Trek convention. The movie even led to a real-life friendship between Tim Allen and William Shatner.

A Galaxy Quest series is currently in development by Paramount for its Paramount+ streaming service. Anyone not wanting to wait that long should check out the original Galaxy Quest now on Netflix before it’s too late!