For almost 20 years, Galaxy Quest has enjoyed life as a cult sci-fi classic the likes of which we rarely see these days. While it's been sequelized in comic book form, there was never a massive push for a feature film follow-up to Dean Parisot's love letter to Star Trek and geeks all around the world. Well, we almost got one as recently as this year, and that ship has sailed for two unfortunate circumstances: scheduling, and a loss in the cast.
Who would know better than Sam Rockwell, co-star of Galaxy Quest and recent guest of The Nerdist podcast? During his session with the popular internet radio show, Rockwell revealed how close Galaxy Quest came to having its own sequel, and it breaks our hearts to tell you that it was really, really close to happening. The reasons for the project's eventual cancellation, according to Rockwell, are as follows:
They were going to do a sequel on Amazon and we were ready to sign up for, and you know, Alan Rickman passed away and Tim Allen wasn’t available, he has a show, and everybody’s show was all weird. We were going to [do] this sequel on Amazon. It was going to shoot like, right now.
The fact that we're not getting a Galaxy Quest sequel is, indeed, a bummer. But the greater sadness comes from the fact that the untimely loss of Alan Rickman earlier this year just compounded that fact. While a sequel to the adventures of the NSEA Protector was always a goal to aspire to, there would always be a bit of oddness in the mix without Rickman's heroically bitchy Sir Alexander Dane playing the role of Dr. Lazarus. His dry wit, and eventual heroism in the face of the big bad Sarris was well earned, and cannot be easily replaced. The fact that Amazon didn't force the issue in the light of such loss is respectable.
If Amazon really wanted to, they could have recast / rewritten the role that Alan Rickman had originated, or for that matter gone full "Next Generation" and introduced another captain to replace Tim Allen's Jason Nesmith / Commander Peter Quincy Taggart. With new characters and cast members in play, Galaxy Quest could have continued its trek through space without a hitch. But it wouldn't have been the same as that first time out with all of the people we grew to know and love. All a sequel to Galaxy Quest without Allen and Rickman would have been was a project that would have existed for the sake of existing.
Galaxy Quest is, and always will be, a classic in its own right. As cool as a sequel would have been, it would have had to have happened under the right conditions, and with the cast we know and love. Whether this news has any effect on the TV series that was developing at Amazon, or if this project was the same one that they were putting together, is yet to be seen. All we know is that if there's a future for Galaxy Quest, the powers that be ought to proceed carefully.