NYCC: ‘Never Surrender: A Galaxy Quest Documentary’ Review

Never Surrender Galaxy Quest
Official Poster

Never Surrender: A Galaxy Quest Documentary is exactly what the Galaxy Quest movie is: a love letter to fans.

It is also pretty meta, given it’s a documentary about a fictional movie about the actors who played the crew of a fictional starship that literal aliens take as an a real spaceship crew. Then the actors have to become the characters they played to save their alien fans and themselves.

What we have is a real documentary about a movie about a fake show.

And I couldn’t wait to see it at New York Comic Con at a premiere screening.

Why? Because  I can quote whole swaths of dialogue from Galaxy Quest, though my favorite line belongs to Sigourney Weaver: This episode was badly written!  (I want to quote that everytime the world seems awry, which is a lot lately.)

Here’s a look at the trailer:

Never Surrender A Galaxy Quest Documentary
Sigourney Weaver in ‘Never Surrender.” photo copyright Fandom.

What’s In Never Surrender: A Galaxy Quest Documentary

Never Surrender has new interviews with the Galaxy Quest actors including Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Tony Shalhoub, Sam Rockwell, Daryl Mitchell, Justin Long, Enrico Colantoni, Missi Pyle, and Rainn Wilson. But equally as fascinating are the behind the scenes creatives, including director Dean Parisot, screenwriter Robert Gordon, and producer Mark Johnson.

Among the items of interest contained in the documentary:

  • The long and complicated road to making the film, including the original choice of Harold Ramis as director.
  • A list of actors who might have been Captain Taggert.
  • Why Sigourney Weaver pushed for her role in Galaxy Quest
  • Just how much ab-libbing was going on during the movie’s filming, including the invention of the Thurmian-style of walking.
  • An interview with the casting director who insisted Tim Allen was perfect for the role.
  • Remembrances of Alan Rickman’s time on set, especially his wry humor.
  • Why the initial cut of Galaxy Quest was full of profanity.

I could give away more but it’s more fun to watch the interviews and experience the film altogether. The crowd at the screening clearly had a grand time. As a Galaxy Quest fan, I loved it and thought it was very well done. The younger woman sitting next to me during the screening had never seen the original movie (she was covering it for a site) but I asked her if she’d see Galaxy Quest after this and she said “Definitely!”

One of the strongest parts of the documentary is how it remembers the fans, to the point of showcasing a couple who cosplay as Thermians when they attend cons. They’re lovely people and the documentary treats them as such.

Never Surrender: A Galaxy Quest Documentary
Okay, yes, part of this is fuzzy but the photobomber in the back perfectly captures my reaction to “Never Surrender!”

As did Fandom, which produced the documentary, and made it possible for the cosplayers in the documentary to attend the screening at New York Comic Con, as you can see from the photo above. And, believe me, I wasn’t the only one insisting on photos of them or with them.

Never Surrender Galaxy Quest Documentary
Director Dean Parisot in “Never Surrender: A Galaxy Quest Documentary.”

So, you ask, when can I see this if I’m a Galaxy Quest fan?

AMC Theaters is hosting a screening of Never Surrender: A Galaxy Quest documentary on November 26. Check the link for theaters and times near you.

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