Galaxy Quest

Apr 30


Varsity Cinema Des Moines, IA


Charles Nelson

Associate Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at Drake University

Galaxy Quest— Aliens like us?

There are a variety of sci-fi movies about space travel, faster-than-light ships, and advanced galactic civilizations, but one thing they often have in common are the extraterrestrials. Why do they so often look like us? Drake professor Dr. Charles Nelson talks about how humans imagine alien races and why they so often look humanoid in appearance, especially when we know that life might arise elsewhere in very different and wild shapes and sizes.

Varsity Cinema Des Moines, IA


Film Synopsis

The beloved cast of a Star Trek-esque series reunites years after the finale and is recruited to fight intergalactic invaders by a race of aliens who mistook the show for a documentary.

The stars of a 1970s sci-fi show—now scraping together a living through re-runs and sci-fi conventions—are beamed aboard an alien spacecraft. Believing the cast's heroic on-screen dramas are historical documents of real-life adventures, the band of aliens turn to the ailing celebrities for help in their quest to overcome the oppressive regime in their solar system.

Photo courtesy of PHOTOFEST

About the Speaker

Dr. Charles Nelson is an astronomer who is interested in processes which occur in the centers of galaxies, particularly active galactic nuclei (AGN) and starbursts.