‘Space Force’: What Is Steve Carell’s New Netflix Series About?

When President Trump announced the creation of the nation’s first military Space Force, the reaction from the public was mixed. Some jeered, some cheered, and some chuckled.

Steve Carell plans to build on the chuckle aspect with his new Netflix show which is cheekily titled Space Force. Subtle, right? The comedy series is due to launch on May 29, but what exactly is it about?

'Space Force' with Steve Carell
‘Space Force’ with Steve Carell as Mark Naird | Netflix

The gist of ‘Space Force’

Carell was the tapped by Netflix to tackle the project and along with another alum from The Office, took creative license and ran with it.

The result combines humor with a hypothetical look at how well the mighty military plays well with others—namely the scientists who are all about space exploration.

And yes, a little bit of it is inspired by the US Space Force that’s still in infancy. According to Netflix’s logline for Space Force, Carell’s character has trouble adjusting to his role as commander of the newly formed unit.

“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. Skeptical but dedicated, Mark uproots his family and moves to a remote base in Colorado where he and a colorful 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.”

Don’t think for a minute that Naird will be a carbon copy of Michael Scott. This isn’t Dunder Mifflin.

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Carell wants ‘Space Force’ to stand on its own

It would be easy to expect shades of The Office in Space Force, but that’s not what Carell wants. He and co-creator Greg Daniel (showrunner from The Office) sought to balance the funny with the serious, and they recently chatted with Entertainment Weekly to discuss the show.

According to Carell, it veers in the opposite direction of The Office.

In a way, it’s sort of the antithesis of what we did on The Office, because there was a roadmap to that show,” he said. “There were characters or character-like types in place, and a structure as to the way the show is shot. But this didn’t have any of those aspects. From day one when Greg and I first met to discuss it, we had to decide what the show would feel tonally and where would the comedy lie, and how much of it would be serious or more heartfelt or more genuine, more human.

They researched by visiting Space X, and one of their missions was to ensure military members who watch won’t feel like they’re being ridiculed.

Daniels added, “Part of our goal was to make somebody in the military enjoy the show and not feel like some snotty Hollywood person was making fun of them.”

Space Force seeks to tap into the excitement that Americans felt around the time of the moon landing, but from a new perspective. Additionally, this was filmed way before the reveal of the real-life Space Force uniforms and the world’s current health crisis.

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Who’s in the cast of ‘Space Force’?

With such a galactical theme at hand, it makes sense to have a star-studded cast. Along with Carell, the cast includes Fred Willard, John Malkovich, Ben Schwartz, Jane Lynch, Noah Emmerich, Tawny Newsome, Diana Silvers, and Lisa Kudrow.

Kudrow said that she had no idea there was a Space Force in the real world, a fact she was embarrassed to admit. It all worked out during filming.

Malkovich plays the head scientist while Kudrow portrays Naird’s wife. Silvers is the rebellious daughter who may or may not be dating a Russian spy and Willard—who passed away on May 16—played the part of Fred Naird, the lead character’s father. Stream the series on Friday, May 29.

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