Real life: Sometimes it’s stranger than science fiction. Even though we’re in the middle of a pandemic, American president Donald Trump’s attempt to create a new branch of the US military seems to still be under way. But until there are boots on the ground (of the moon), legitimacy is still a long way off. That is, unless you turn on Netflix.
The streaming platform has debuted the first look and 29 May release date for Space Force, a workplace comedy that fictionalises the technically real sixth branch of the US military (or maybe the US Air Force’s side hustle, it’s really hard to tell at this point). Space Force stars series co-creator Steve Carrell as four-star general Mark Naird, who dreams of running the Air Force but is instead sent to lead the newly formed Space Force. Wacky hijinks presumably ensue.
The series stars Lisa Kudrow, John Malkovich, Ben Schwartz, Tawny Newsome, and others. Here’s the plot synopsis:
A decorated pilot with dreams of running the Air Force, four-star general Mark R. Naird is thrown for a loop when he finds himself tapped to lead the newly formed sixth branch of the US Armed Forces: Space Force. Sceptical but dedicated, Mark uproots his family and moves to a remote base in Colorado where he and a colourful team of scientists and “Spacemen” are tasked by the White House with getting American boots on the moon (again) in a hurry and achieving total space dominance. From co-creators Carell and Greg Daniels (The Office), SPACE FORCE is a new kind of workplace comedy, where the stakes are sky high and the ambitions even higher.
In addition, here are a few photos from the upcoming series.
“Hey. Hey, you there? Can we do space stuff now?”
Don Lake in a scene from Space Force.
Clearly something important is happening here.
Tawny Newsome plays a pilot in the Space Force.
Lisa Kudrow is the newest addition to the cast, playing General Naird’s wife, Maggie.
Careful: John Malkovich has a bomb.
Military guys doing serious military things.
“Houston? We have a space problem.”
“You want space freedom fries with that?”
Netflix first announced the series in January 2019, about six months after the real Space Force was revealed. The show’s concept seemed okay – and remarkably timed to replace The Office after NBC took it off the streaming platform – and based on this first look the show may likewise be “okay.” The remarkable thing isn’t the show itself, but the fact that it was born out of this stupid and unfathomable endeavour.
In 2018, Trump revealed that he was launching a sixth branch of the military dedicated to achieving “space superiority.” Since then, things haven’t exactly gone smoothly. There was the camouflage uniform debacle, having their logo resemble Starfleet’s, and the fact that in January they blessed an “official Space Force Bible” at a Christian church. Plus, the branch only has two officials who have been officially sworn in, though there are plans to add more – 88 US Air Force cadets are being commissioned into the Space Force on 18 April.
Technically Space Force is doing stuff: They’re taking on dozens of US Air Force missions and launching satellites into space, but it’s now part of the Air Force so its ability to do its own thing is limited. Right now it’s hard to tell if this’ll become a real thing or a laughingstock that eventually gets fully re-absorbed by the Air Force. But at least it’s giving us some situational comedy in the meantime. Space Force – also starring John Malkovich, Ben Schwartz, Diana Silvers, and Tawny Newsome – debuts on Netflix on 29 May.
Featured image: Netflix