Redshifts – A Novel with Three Codas
By John Scalzi
Tor Books, 2012
If you’ve watched even a handful of Star Trek episodes, Redshirts grabs you based on its title alone. As a tribute to the nameless and expendable crew members of the venerable away team, Redshirts takes us to the 25th century where the Universal Union flagship Intrepid has a problem keeping their crew members alive.
Scalzi blends science fiction and parody, as the newest members of the Intrepid learn the hard way that they should not volunteer for away missions. For fans of Star Trek, shades of Galaxy Quest are ever present as gaping plot holes and shoddy science is just shirked away without explanation.
I had been anticipating this release, as I was a big fan of Scalzi’s Old Man’s War. While not as a straight forward science fiction outing that I expected, it was a very enjoyable read. It explores the absurdity in the manner in which these nameless crew members die, and how a group of them decide to find a way to determine their own fate.
I have a certain affinity for Galaxy Quest for a few reasons. First it’s comedic (and somewhat sobering) take on the waning days of a science fiction franchise is unparallelled. How can you not love Sam Rockwell’s Crewman #6? And poor Alan Rickman, a classicaly trained actor so typecast that all he’s left with are grand openings of discount electronic retailers? Or how about Sigourney Weaver playing compeltely against the strong sci-fi chick that she pioneered with the Alien franchise. And up until JJ Abrams’ Star Trek in 2009 I contended that it was the best … Star Trek film made.
This tidbit of an R-rated Galaxy Quest came in a round about way in an interview over at Collider with John Carter producer Lindsey Collins who said:
We had lunch with Sigourney [Weaver] who was telling us that there actually used to be an R-rated version of that movie which was awesome. It was the director’s cut and it was R-rated and everybody was swearing and there were sex scenes, and the whole thing. They didn’t know what to do with it, so they had to re-edit the whole thing and made it what it is today. We were like, ‘How do we get our hands on the R-rated version of Galaxy Quest?’ She said ‘I don’t know!’ and we were like, ‘Come on, Sigourney!’
FRAK ME. I would do unmentionable and illicit things to see this version. C’mon Hollywood, even though you just gave us a Blu-Ray release … this would be well worth double dipping for.