SFX Issue 71

December 2000

Interview:

Galaxy Quest-ions

SF fan or agent provocateur? We discover if spoof director is a bona fide geek

Dean Parisot, director of hit SF lampoonery Galaxy Quest is currently working on another SF comedy about two 1970’s air hostesses transported to the London Blitz. In light of this development, we think he may have an SF “problem”. The poor man could be on as many as 30 videos a day, so SFX health officials contacted him to give him our standard geek test – is the man an SF addict or not?

You were obviously heavily influenced by Star Trek when making Galaxy Quest . Do you actually like SF?

I love it, yeah. There are two periods to watching Star Trek – when you’re a kid, and then when you’re in college, when the more absurd aspect of it comes through. The kitsch and campiness of it come through. Then there are all the milestone movies – 2001 , Blade Runner , and then the books – Asimov, Heinlein.

Were you worried that SF fans might be insulted by Galaxy Quest ?

I have a great deal of affection towards people who are real characters, eccentrics; I never approached it as mockery. In a sense, this movie is a love letter to those fans. Especially as the fans essentially save the day at the end of the film! I wanted to show the actors mocking the fans; these people who have put them where they are today.

So you haven’t had anybody come up to you and say, “That was a bit cruel”?

The opposite! In fact, we’ve just won a Hugo award. They loved the movie and felt it was celebrating fandom.

Have you ever attended a convention?

Oh, yeah, several. I actually went into the men’s room at a Star Trek convention and there were a whole lot of Romulans in there. It’s an odd thing to be urinating next to a Romulan!

Have you got any Star Wars action figures?

I have children... Yes!

Can you do the Vulcan salute?

Since 1974.

If you ever met William Shatner, what question would you ask him?

You mean after I ran for cover?

How many videotapes do you own?

Probably about 5-600. First of all, I’ve been a member of the Academy, so I receive free movies from them as I’m a voting member, and then I buy them voraciously, too.

How many times have you seen Star Wars ?

Probably over ten, actually.

Hmmm, well, it’s obvious the man is on the brink. Perhaps a course of romantic novels may cure him. Or perhaps not.