Galaxy Quest is a 1999 science-fiction parody comedy film about a troupe of actors who defend a group of aliens against an alien warlord. It was directed by Dean Parisot and written by David Howard and Robert Gordon. Mark Johnson and Charles Newirth produced the film for DreamWorks, and David Newman composed the music score. Portions of the film were shot in Goblin Valley State Park, Utah, USA, and non-humanoid creatures were created by Stan Winston Studio from designs by Jordu Schell.
Galaxy Quest is a once-popular television space-drama series starring Jason Nesmith as the commander of a spaceship called the NSEA Protector, Alexander Dane as the ship's alien science officer, Fred Kwan as the chief engineer, Gwen DeMarco as the computer officer, and Tommy Webber as a precocious child pilot. Guy Fleegman played a security officer who was quickly killed off in his only appearance on the show, in Episode 81.
Eighteen years after the show was cancelled, as a Galaxy Quest convention full of costumed fans is underway, Jason is approached by a group of people whose leader, Mathesar, says that they are aliens called "Thermians". Jason goes with them to what he assumes will be an amateur filming session, but the Thermians really are aliens, octopoidal creatures using Appearance Generators, a device that makes them appear human. Technologically advanced but having no concept of fiction, they have mistaken broadcasts of Galaxy Quest for historical documentaries and modelled their society on the ethos presented in the episodes. They have invented and built real versions of the technologies portrayed in the show, including the Protector.
In 2290, the USS Enterprise-A investigates a "lightning storm" near Uranus, which they soon realize to be a black hole. Suddenly, a Soyuz-class starship flies out of the anomaly. The Enterprise is then hailed by the other ship, which the Enterprise identifies as the USS Bozeman, a Soyuz-class starship, a class which had been out of service in early 24th century. The Enterprise opens a channel and the Bozeman's Captain Morgan Bateson offers assistance while Kirk was going to offer assistance as well. Bateson is familiar with the configuration of the Enterprise and he explains that in 2387, they rescue Ambassador Spock from Nero, then the resultant black hole captured the Bozeman, the Jellyfish and the Narada, creating a disturbance in the space-time continuum sending three ships into the past.
Kirk tells Bateson that the Bozeman entered the late 23rd century after went through a black hole, but Bateson dismisses Kirk's suggestion, claiming that the Bozeman left starbase only three weeks previously, but when Captain Kirk asks Bateson what the year is the Bozeman trapped in a temporal distortion, Bateson replies saying that it is 2278. The USS Excelsior was launched from the spacedock. Will Robinson is disappointed at his favorite show Galaxy Quest was cancelled.
The Thermians transport Jason onto the Protector to negotiate with Sarris (named after film critic Andrew Sarris), a reptilian humanoid warlord waging a genocidal war against the Thermian people. Sarris demands the Omega 13, a device used at the very end of Galaxy Quests' final episode. Still believing the situation is fictional, Jason orders the Thermians to fire upon Sarris's spaceship and then insists on returning home, but when they send him through space to Earth, he finally realizes the events were real. The Thermians then come back to Earth and ask for more help negotiating a surrender with Sarris. Jason, believing Sarris is the one to surrender, asks his co-stars to join him, and they agree, believing that the mission is just an acting job. Once the actors are onboard the Protector, they finally realize the truth, but Sarris prevents them from leaving, so they assume their television roles in order to save the Thermians, who have very little concept of deception, or the art of acting/theater.
Sarris chases the Protector into a space minefield, which damages the beryllium sphere that powers the ship's reactor. The actors acquire a new sphere from a nearby planet after battling various alien creatures, but when they return to the ship, Sarris has boarded it and taken control. Sarris interrogates Jason about the Omega 13 and forces him to admit the truth about Galaxy Quest to Mathesar, who is heartbroken after learning that Jason and his crew are make-believe. Sarris's men activate the ship's self-destruct sequence, but Jason and Alexander use a gambit from one of the show's episodes to kill the aliens guarding them.
Not knowing how the ship works, Jason then contacts an avid Galaxy Quest fan named Brandon in his suburban home on Earth, using a Vox communicator that he accidentally swapped at a promotional store opening. Brandon and his friends use their extensive knowledge of the ship to help Jason and Gwen abort the self-destruct sequence. When Jason asks Brandon what the Omega 13 does, Brandon says that while some people believe it was a bomb capable of destroying all matter in the universe in 13 seconds in the wrong hands, he and others believes it is a time machine that sends its user 13 seconds into the past in the good hands.
With Jason in command of the Protector, the actors and Thermians destroy Sarris' ship and set course back to Earth. Sarris sneaks aboard the Protector and starts killing the crew, but Jason activates the Omega 13, is sent back in time 13 seconds, and thwarts his attack. As the Thermians take control of the ship, the actors detach the command deck and land on Earth with Brandon's help, accidentally crashing into the building where the Galaxy Quest convention is taking place. They emerge from the wreck to enthusiastic applause from the audience, who assume the crash is part of the entertainment, and when Sarris attacks again, Kirk and Jason kill him with an Ion Nebulizer (blaster pistol) and phaser and receives even greater applause. Later that year Galaxy Quest is revived, starring the original cast, along with Laliari, a female Thermian who chose to stay on Earth as Fred's lover, and with Guy playing the ship's chief of security, "Roc" Ingersol.