Remember William Shatner’s single coolest post-Star Trek performance, that time on Saturday Night Live when the once-and-forever Captain Kirk tells a convention of nerds and mouth-breathers — wait, I mean hyperintelligent Trekkies — to get a life? Getting a life is the punchline of Galaxy Quest, a fast, loose, and very funny parody that pulls off the not-so-simple feat of tweaking Trekkies and honoring them, ribbing long-in-the-tooth actors and applauding them, bringing together Star Trek savants and those who couldn’t give a squat about dilithium crystals, and saying, See, there’s room on the final frontier for everyone.

Just the sight of a Shatneresque Tim Allen, a Nimoyish Alan Rickman (with a touch of Patrick Stewart’s British grandiosity), and a generically blond and full-bosomed Sigourney Weaver as cast members of a late-’70s Trek clone called Galaxy Quest, making their wretched middle-aged livings signing autographs, is treat enough. But the movie takes a giddy leap when the hungover faux spaceship commander is visited by aliens who look like overenthusiastic fans but who turn out to be…Thermians from the Klatu Nebula who have studied old episodes of the TV series as ”historical documents,” and who desperately need the ”crew’s” help.

Director Dean Parisot (Home Fries), working from a sharp script by newcomer David Howard and Robert Gordon (Addicted to Love), understands the Trek ethos. When the picture jostles as the spacecraft is bombarded, and when life-forms that look cuddly as babies turn out to be stone-cold savages, you know that Parisot knows that you know that Star Trek, long canceled, will continue to provide comic inspiration to infinity, and beyond. A-

Galaxy Quest
  • Movie