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Crewman6: The Galaxy Quest Connection
The Crewman6 thing...
Crewman6 here; Crewman.6 on eBay. My email is Crewman6@crewman6.com (I get flooded with spam, so if you want to say 'hi', I'm a lot more likely to see it if you comment one of my hubs!) I'm Crewman6 on a number of other sites also. My first name is Alan... don't confuse me with the other 2 or 3 guys using the same name, please :^)
The point is, my connection with Crewman6 seems a tad obsessive. It's time to explain why the fascination, and how it inspires me.
So, the Crewman6 thing... I've identified with that for years. For a very small number of you, you're feeling smug and nodding your heads, and saying "Galaxy Quest," of course! To everybody else, you're missing out on a very cool movie. Today, everybody knows Tim Allen as the ultimate Space Ranger/Toy, Buzz Lightyear, from Toy Story. But before that, he made a wonderful movie titled Galaxy Quest. Galaxy Quest is a fond look back at the early sci-fi shows that baby boomers grew up on. Mainly taking from Star Trek, it's peppered throughout with sly references to old episodes and backstage history.
Watching the movie is like revisiting my childhood, with all the magic and wonder that was possible back then. But also, it stands on it's own, both as sci-fi, and comedy. It begins with a cast of has-been actors, 18 years after their glory days of starring in the series "Galaxy Quest". Petty, bickering, shallow, they drift from one Questcon to the next, feeding off the adoration of the diehard fans that still love them. Then an actual alien race, the Thermians, 'borrow' them for help, believing the tv show to have been 'historical documents'.
'Guy', the Questcon announcer, invites himself along on the adventure, trading on his one-shot appearance on the show as Crewman 6. He was the expendable crewmember that gets killed before the first commercial to prove how serious the situation is. After it's too late, he realizes he is still the expendable crewman, and spends much of the movie worrying about getting killed. Eventually, he becomes an important and valued member of the team.
Galaxy Quest Opening Scene
Never give up, Never Surrender!
Of course, they succeed against all odds. You know they will before you even sit down to watch. It's the HOW of the thing that makes it so endurable. If you haven't seen it, you should. I don't want to spoil it here. Go watch it. It's one of my top 2 favorite movies of all time. (I'll address the other one some other time.) The story is great. The sound track perfectly captures the feel of the old shows, and evokes a desire to explore the unknown. The cast could not have been better. Tim Allen as the shallow Jason Nesmith, who plays Commander Peter Quincy Taggert. Sigourney Weaver as Lt. Tawny Madison. Talk about credentials! She has major 'alien' experience! Each and every cast member is a perfect fit.
I was there in the theater on opening night (December 25th, 1999), and you could see in the first moments of the show we were in for a treat. I was not the only one there who cheered out loud during the movie! There are many great websites dedicated to Galaxy Quest... some that even continue the theme as if the characters are real actors. For more details (and very entertaining reading), check out this link to IMDB.
The point of all this, is my self-esteem at the time was pretty low. No sense going into why, but it was. Watching the movie not only cheered me up, it inspired me. I took Guy, Crewman # 6, as my personal guide to success. He went from expendable crewman, to important team member. He started with just a first name, but became a 'real' character with a last name. (Fleegman, if you wondered.) If he could go from "crewman 6" to "Guy Fleegman", then so could I.
Ever since then, I've used variations on that theme. My ebay handle, my email, any time I can, I pick that name to represent me. Crewman6 is a constant reminder to "Never give up, never surrender!"