“Space Force” is out of this world


Illustration by Marissa Haas.

“Space Force” is a comedy made by Steve Carrell and Greg Daniels that was released as a Netflix Original. The first season released on May 29.

The series follows General Mark Naird, played by Steve Carrell, as he is promoted to the general in charge of the newly formed Space Force. Naird’s main mission is to get boots on the moon by 2024. The show then follows him and the rest of the Space Force crew as they try to achieve this goal.

Most of the episodes are set up the same. A problem occurs within the Space Force command, and it’s up to Naird and Dr. Adrian Mallory, played by John Malkovich, to solve it. Despite Naird seeming like someone who would rather use force than brains, it is usually him who solves the issues.

At first, Naird seems to be a military version of Michael Scott. Both share characteristics such as accidental racism and getting themselves into trouble that could have been avoided.

The series successfully parodies many real life politicians, such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Nancy Pelosi and Donald Trump. “Space Force” also does a good job of not picking sides, keeping the references nonpartisan.

All of the politicians in the show parody their real life counterparts. The Ocasio-Cortez in the show is referred to with the nickname AYC and has a fiery personality. Donald Trump is referenced constantly in the series without being named.In an episode where China destroys an American satellite, Naird is warned that he can expect a Tweet storm from the president if the issue is not fixed. Other familiar names include Pitosi, a reference to Pelosi, and Schugler, a reference to Chuck Schumer.

Another familiar face alongside Carrell is Ben Schwartz, who plays Jean-Ralphio in “Parks and Recreation”. Schwartz plays the Space Force media manager F. Tony Scarapiducci, another nod to a real life political figure. Schwartz’s character is very reminiscent of Jean-Ralphio, having very similar mannerisms and work ethics.

As the series progresses, it goes from a purely comedic show to having a more serious tone. The show still has comedic moments, but it switches into heavier subject matters. 

It is revealed that Naird’s wife is in prison, leaving him to raise their teenage daughter alone. His teenage daughter feels alone, as she was forced to move to a new city and her parents are constantly away.

Dr. Mallory is accidentally outed in front of a lot of his colleagues when it was thought there was a spy at the base. A private video is revealed, which has Mallory celebrating an anniversary with Jerome Lalosz, another member of Space Force. An appreciated fact about this event is that Naird starts to care a little more about protecting his colleagues’ privacy. As events transpire in the season, the characters become more aware and change their behavior for the better.

The season ends on a cliffhanger. Naird is able to put astronauts on the moon, but the Chinese have beaten them there. Naird is forced to make a decision on what to do next, but a coup is formed and another general, Kick Grabaston, takes control. Naird is able to sneak out of the base and reunite with his family. General Grabaston orders the astronauts to destroy the Chinese moonbase, but they are revealed to be stranded on the moon when their own base is destroyed.

Despite being constantly compared, “Space Force” has enough difference from “The Office” to stand on its own. “Space Force” is an entertaining season that’s worth the watch.