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Galaxy Quest: the Inside Story

Author: Matt Mcallister  

ISBN: 9781858759722
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ISBN: 9781858759722

Publisher Description

The essential guide to Galaxy Quest Behind-the-scenes stories and cast interviews from the critically acclaimed science fiction comedy and all-time top fan favorite. By Grabthar's hammer A witty, inventive, and heartfelt tribute to science fiction fans, Galaxy Quest has been making audiences laugh, cry, and cheer for over two decades. This authorized book examines the entire process of making the movie, from the initial spec script through to development, filming, and postproduction. Along the way, it takes an in-depth look into the film's visual effects. Artists at ILM and Stan Winston Studio reveal how they used a mixture of lovingly designed miniatures, puppets, prosthetics, and CGI to bring to life the Protector, the pig lizard, and the movie's other incredible monsters and starships. Featuring over 60 new interviews with Galaxy Quest's cast and crew, including Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Sam Rockwell, and Dean Parisot, and unseen photos and concept art, this is the ultimate guide to the funniest movie in the Galaxy. Charting the story from concept to script, filming and release, with chapters looking at the casting, the sets, the costumes and makeup and the ship design and the visual effects, this guide is packed with hundreds of fascinating production photos, concept art and rare behind-the-scenes images. Galaxy Quest is a 1999 cult classic science fiction comedy film. A parody of, and homage to, science-fiction films and series, especially Star Trek and its fandom, the film stars Tim Allen , Sigourney Weaver , Alan Rickman , Tony Shalhoub , Sam Rockwell , and Daryl Mitchell . It depicts the cast of a fictional defunct cult television series, Galaxy Quest , who are visited by actual aliens who think the series is an accurate documentary, and become involved in a very real intergalactic conflict. The film was positively received by critics: it won the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation (an award won by the original Star Trek series in the 1960s) and the Nebula Award for Best Script. It was also nominated for 10 Saturn Awards, including Best Science Fiction Film and Best Director for Parisot, Best Actress for Weaver, and Best Supporting Actor for Rickman, with Allen winning Best Actor. Be sure to watch Never Surrender: A Galaxy Quest Documentary - now available on Netflix .

Author Biography

Matt McAllister is the author of the book Ghostbusters: The Inside Story . He has written extensively for entertainment magazines, including Star Trek: The Official Starships Collection , Dreamwatch , MyM , and The Dark Side , and is the former editor of Marvel Fact Files and Indiana Jones: The Official Magazine .

Excerpt from Book

An image of Jupiter flickered onto the cinema screen. A few seconds later, came a voice, solemn yet reassuringly familiar. "Will we leave our home on Earth for other worlds?" asked the voice. "The distances are vast. The voyage hazardous..." Sitting in the audience at the IMAX in Los Angeles was office temp and struggling writer David Howard. It was 1994, and Howard was in attendance to see a short film about the African Serengeti as research for a play he was working on. But it was the trailer for Americans in Space, a documentary about the US Space Program, that caught his attention. "I said to myself, ''I know that voice...'' and tried to place it," Howard recalls. "Then I realized, ''Oh, it''s Leonard Nimoy.'' It made me think about how hopelessly typecast actors like that can be. Even when they don''t appear on camera! It struck me as kind of funny and tragic in a way. I just started exploring what it must be like to be trapped in that sort of situation." After mulling the idea over for a few days, Howard sat down to begin a script for a movie. The script was Captain Starshine. Five years later, it had undergone a metamorphosis to become Galaxy Quest. Strange New Worlds Like many Americans, Howard had grown up watching Star Trek in syndication as a kid in Tucson, Arizona. "It was on dinnertime every night, and my sister and I would watch it over and over again," he remembers. "I loved the show, though I like to describe myself as a Trekkie-once-removed because there are others - like my sister - who were into it more than I was." When Howard was 16, Gene Roddenberry came to speak at a local science fiction convention. "I remember Roddenberry telling us how much the situation had changed since Star Trek had been cancelled. He had gone back to Paramount a number of times to try and get something new happening for several years, and was always shut down. But by the time he spoke to us, the shoe was on the other foot. Paramount was coming to him to develop new Star Trek programming. What was most exciting was the feeling that Star Trek was far from dead, and there were many more strange new worlds yet to explore. Thinking back, that was the beginning right there of this devotion to the world." Howard''s memories of Star Trek - and the show''s cast - fed into his Captain Starshine script. "It was about a guy hopelessly mired in the role of being this sci-fi hero," he says. "The main character wanted to be a serious actor, and the script began with him doing a reading for Mark Antony in Julius Caesar. It cut to the director and stage manager watching him. The stage manager goes, ''He''s really good.'' And the director says, ''He is. Are we going to cast him?'' The stage manager replies, ''Are you kidding? He''s Captain Starshine.''" Howard''s initial notion centered on a TV star, Richard Skylar, who gradually begins to embrace a role he has long viewed as a millstone around his neck. There was plenty of potential for a quirky character piece. Yet it became something far more high-concept when Howard hit upon the idea of aliens showing up at a convention that Captain Starshine is attending and beaming him into space - without him even realizing what''s happening. "From there, it kindof wrote itself," Howard says. Over the next eight months, Howard hammered out the first draft of his script, furiously writing while waiting for the phone to ring in his various temp positions. While the concept of Captain Starshine would carry over into Galaxy Quest, there were some fundamental differences in Howard''s draft - not least in its antagonist. "The ''second banana'' guy in my script - the equivalent to Spock or the Alexander Dane character - has his own little sci-fi franchise, a little like Walter Koenig does. He''s written all these novels and made a lot of money out of it, which he has poured into trying to find a way to connect with other dimensions. He opens up a rift and goes through to this other planet. But he''s like this snake in the Garden of Eden. Everyone is wide-eyed and innocent on this planet, and he becomes a Ming the Merciless-type usurper who takes over. Then these spies hear about how he hates this Captain Starshine character, which is why they go and find him. My script felt a little more Flash Gordon. But as a friend of mine said, ''Your story is really different. But it''s also really the same.''"

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