Fairly late on Saturday night, I went where no man has gone before: the men’s washroom on the lower level of the Javits Center, before making my way over to Fandom’s preview screening of their new documentary – to be released in select theatres at the end of November to coincide with the twentieth anniversary of Galaxy Quest – about the making of that wonderful film.
I love Galaxy Quest. And I absolutely had no idea it has the following that it has now. The following is sort of an offshoot of the Trekkie phenomenon. More than one person in the doc called the film the best Star Trek movie ever made. I love the film because it hits me right in the center of my humour/satire sweet spot and also because I have nostalgia for the old Star Trek.
The screening room was full of bleary eyed fans who love the film. The doc itself is a low-key one, composed of talking heads and clips from the film with a tiny bit of behind the scenes footage. All of the surviving actors were interviewed (Alan Rickman has passed away) and some of the key production staff spoke as well. The doc really emphasizes the film’s highlighting the connection between fandom and the stars it idolizes, so Comicon was the perfect place to preview it.
I knew nothing about Galaxy Quest’s director – Dean Parisot – but I learned from the doc that it was largely due to him that the film turned out the way it did. Originally, it was going to be made by Harold Ramis (producer Spielberg’s pick) who wanted Kevin Kline for the Tim Allen part, and it was going to be a lot goofier (perhaps like Spaceballs) but Parisot made it into the dryly humourous love letter it became. Also, Tim Allen really pushed for that part because he loved sci-fi as a kid. Apparently, Spielberg wanted the aliens to look like his own aliens from Close Encounters but thankfully, that decision was reversed at the last moment or it could have become worse than the bathroom situation at Comicon. There are lots more of these interesting behind the scenes stories. If you’re a fan like I am, you should check out the doc.