“It’s a can’t miss!” they told the producer. “It’s Galaxy Quest, but instead of outer space it’s a Presidential election, and instead of a man who plays a space ship captain it’s a woman who wants to be President!”
If you are one of the dozen or so who saw the movie you are already ahead of me. Galaxy Quest starred Tim Allen as an actor who played Jason Nesmith, the commander of an intergalactic starship. Think an adult-sized Captain Kirk. In the movie, a bunch of aliens who are being harassed by an evil empire intercept the broadcast of the ship’s adventures and mistake them for the news. They build an exact replica of the Protector, kidnap the “crew” and ask for their help defeating the unstoppable enemy. The captain is a self-important gasbag who is secretly (well not so secretly) despised by the rest of the crew. They put up with him though, because he is their meal ticket.
The 2008 “re-imagining” is different yet no less poignant. Instead of visitors from another planet on the run from a reckless despot, our adventure revolves around the plight of a witless band of voters driven from their decade—the 1990s—by a reckless thespian despot, or Thespot, named Karl Rove. They stagger into the future, witness the daring adventures of a woman who on their planet pretended that she had been elected to national office and mistake it for the news. Captain Hillary, like Capt. Nesmith warms to the task, and her crew of co-dependents are dragged into the fray. The battle rages on and on. Outnumbered, outgunned, leaving a trail of bodies behind her, she repeats the Galaxy Quest rallying cry! Never give up! Never surrender! At the climax—spoiler alert!–Thespot, who everyone was sure was dead—storms into the command center and kills everyone except the plucky captain who triggers the secret weapon—which might send them all just far enough back in time to undo the chaos or destroy the very fabric of space and time. In Galaxy Quest the crew returns safely to Earth with the aid of a bunch of teenage sci-fi geeks who guide the ship on a glide path manufactured with pilfered roman candles. At the last minute, the ship literally bursts through the wall of the convention center. The crew pops out of the hatch, the commander slays the bad guy. The crowd goes wild!
Spectacular? Outrageous? Galaxy Quest was a milky shadow of the spectacle that will be Hillary Quest! Cut from the comic book convention to the meeting hall of the Pepsi Center (No really!–the pols that refresh us.) where the dark lord Barack is about to declare that the Earth is his. He stands at the podium, his army of dazed robotic minions chanting “Yes We Can! Yes We Can!” while FOX News surreptitiously insets the evil Rev. Wright doing that little jig of his and singing “not over my dead body.” Just as the balloons are about to fall, the bow of the WJC Electability splinters the rear wall. Pandemonium breaks loose. The minions are wrested from their waking dream. The gangplank lowers and out comes their champion, Commander Hillary, the League of Women Voters in full battle gear behind her. She draws her lamazer, sets it to stun and drops the pretender where he stands.
What a tale! The stuff of legends. Comedy. Drama. Irony. Pathos to choke on. It’s the kind of story America can sink its teeth into!
Just Like Galaxy Quest—which was out of the theaters and into the remainder bin long before September.