One of the greatest sci-fi satires of all time might finally get a sequel. 21 years after its release in 1999, Galaxy Quest director Dean Parisot tells Inverse that he still discusses the idea for a Galaxy Quest sequel on a regular basis, but there's one problem he needs to solve.
In 2016, Parisot and the Galaxy Quest cast were hard at work on a sequel. Then tragedy struck when Alan Rickman died.
"We almost did it," Parisot says of the potential sequel, "but Alan passed away in the middle of it. And it still comes up every couple of months. I don't know. Maybe. We better figure out how to do it without Alan."
In a 20-year retrospective on the film, Galaxy Quest star Sam Rockwell shed a little more light on those shelved plans for a sequel that almost got picked up by Amazon.
"We were going to a sequel series at one point," Rockwell told The Hollywood Reporter. "But after Alan Rickman passed, we didn’t know what to do with the story."
In another article, Tim Allen told THR:
"I'm not supposed to say anything — I'm speaking way out of turn here — but Galaxy Quest is really close to being resurrected in a very creative way. It's closer than I can tell you but I can't say more than that. The real kicker is that Alan now has to be left out. It's been a big shock on many levels."
Unappreciated in its time, Galaxy Quest is a Star Trek satire that wears its love for the genre on the sleeve of its jumpsuit. The movie centers on a bunch of washed-up actors best-known for playing the crew of a Trek-inspired show that shares its title with the movie. After syndicated episodes are beamed into space, some actual aliens head to Earth and enlist the Galaxy Quest team to save them from a genocidal intergalactic warlord.
The entire cast is stacked, from Tim Allen's blowhard leading man to Sigourney Weaver as a fictional lieutenant whose gimmick is that she's the only one who can speak to the ship's computer. Sam Rockwell and Tony Shalhoub shine in supporting roles. An unknown Rainn Wilson plays an awkward alien, while a young Justin Long pitches in as a Galaxy Quest superfan who uses his knowledge of the show to help the crew survive their extraterrestrial adventure.
But the true star of Galaxy Quest is Alan Rickman. In a role seemingly written just for him, Rickman plays Alexander Dane, a serious dramatic actor furious that he's become typecast due to his role as Dr. Lazarus, an alien member of the ship's crew in heavy prosthetics. Though the part was written as a nod to Leonard Nimoy's own gripes, it's fitting that Rickman ended up in the role.
"He felt he had been typecast in Die Hard and was this Shakespearean trained actor who was only known for that," Parisot says. "So he was playing out something that happened to him in real life."
For Parisot, directing Galaxy Quest was one of the best experiences of his career, matched only by his work on 2020's Bill & Ted Face the Music.
"I’ve had two movies that I just love making: Bill & Ted and Galaxy Quest," he says. "On Galaxy Quest, I'm friends with everybody who made that movie. I saw Alan consistently for meals. Alan was a sweetheart. He was the most supportive person. He shepherded so many people."
Whether a Galaxy Quest sequel should (or could) happen without Rickman remains to be seen, but in the to quote the original movie: Never give up, never surrender.