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Was Galaxy Quest just a parody of Star Trek and related Sci-Fi tropes or were the lead characters in Galaxy Quest poking fun at certain actors in particular as well?

I remember reading something like William Shatner regretted his role as Captain Kirk for some time, until Patrick Stewart compared the role to Shakespeare. That is evocative of Alan Rickman's character at the start talking about how he used to be a real actor.

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    Yes. The answer is yes. – cde Feb 19 '16 at 3:16
  • Yes. I agree, yes. – sanpaco Feb 19 '16 at 5:27
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    You can't make fun of Star Trek and it's tropes without making fun of it's cast too. But Galaxy Quest was also self-deprecating about its own cast. Rickman's character was parodying Nimoy's attitude towards Spock startrekdom.blogspot.com/2007/05/… , and Rickman's own casting history. Tim Allen's character was a parody of Shatner's world ... renown over ... acting as well as his own hammy-ness – cde Feb 19 '16 at 6:34
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    And Jason Nesmith (= Tim Allen's character) also usurps all of the attention, a complaint often hurled at Shatner by many of his TOS colleagues: "Shatner often blatantly stealing dialogue intended for other characters" etc. – BCdotWEB Feb 19 '16 at 9:34
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    The posters of these comments might want to consider fleshing them out into proper answers. – Napoleon Wilson Feb 19 '16 at 11:59
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Alan Rickman was actually parodying himself when he complained about being a "real actor". Rickman was originally a Shakespearean actor, as was Patrick Stewart. So, I suppose there was a little of both of those actors in that character.

William Shatner's need to be the center of attention, which is at the center of the long-standing coldness between Takei and Shatner, is clearly evident in Tim Allen's character.

It's fairly apparent that Guy Fleegman (played by Sam Rockwell) took a page out of Bill Paxton's book from Alien (which would be a clear homage to Sigourney Weaver). If you recall, Paxton's character is hyper-paranoid about being killed (who doesn't love when he says, "Game over, man. Game over!"?) and Guy Fleegman is also fixated on not getting killed.

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    And the winner for Best Ironic Moment: When Sarras is killing everyone on the bridge, Guy is the only one who doesn't get shot. – Roger Feb 19 '16 at 14:40
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It's a parody of shows like Star Trek (particular emphasis on the original Star Trek series and its Next Generation sequel), the show's cast, and the associated fan culture.

Specific characters in Galaxy Quest (the movie) are parodies, less of specific characters than mash-ups.

  • Tim Allen's "Jason Nesmith" is probably the most singularly focused as a parody of William Shatner, his portrayal of Captain Kirk, and the public image he acquired as he tried to move on.
  • Alan Rickman's "Alexander Dane" combines Leonard Nimoy's inextricable connection to Spock with the Shakespearean background shared by numerous Trek actors (Shatner and Patrick Stewart) among them. Dr Lazarus' alien-ness both in appearance (the prosthetic) and culture ("By Grabthar's Hammer") directly parody Spock's ears and Vulcan personality/cultural traits and the way they reinforce the actor's inescapable bond to the role. Furthermore, the whole "Grabthar's Hammer..." thing seems to spoof the elaborate in-universe mythologies of the Stargate franchise (Goa'uld, Jaffa, etc.).
  • Sigourney Weaver's "Gwen DeMarco" lampshades the roles of women in the original Star Trek series (arguably evolved in The Next Generation).
  • Tony Shalhoub's Fred Kwan is a dig at Hollywood "whitewashing" as well as "treknobabble"
  • Sam Rockwell's Guy Fleegman is all about the "redshirt" trope, not targeting any specific actor or character
  • Daryl Mitchell's Tommy Webber combines two Next Generation actors/characters: Wil Wheaton's whiz kid Wesley Crusher and LeVar Burton's Geordi LaForge (token inclusivity).
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