Our First Look at Space Force, That Comedy About the Joke That Is the Real Space Force

General Mark Naird (Steve Carrell) supervises a mission in a scene from Space Force. All photos: Netflix.
General Mark Naird (Steve Carrell) supervises a mission in a scene from Space Force. All photos: Netflix.
Photo: Netflix

Real life: Sometimes it’s stranger than science fiction. Even though we’re in the middle of a pandemic, Trump’s attempt to create a new branch of the military seems to still be underway. 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.

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The streaming platform has debuted the first look and May 29 release date for Space Force, a workplace comedy that fictionalizes the technically real sixth branch of the military (or maybe the 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.

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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. 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. 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.

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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 endeavor.

In 2018, President Trump unveiled 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’ve been officially sworn in, though there are plans to add more—88 Air Force cadets are being commissioned into the Space Force on April 18.

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Technically Space Force is doing stuff: They’re taking on dozens of 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 May 29.


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Video Editor and Staff Writer at io9. My doppelganger is that rebelling greeting card from Futurama.

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DISCUSSION

chimera388
chimera388

While the origins of the Space Force may very well be deserving of mockery in many readers eyes, the important work we do every day is not. I encourage you to change your tone when talking about what we do, and I’d be happy to discuss it more with you if you’re actually interested.

Also this show is gonna be hilarious and I can’t wait to watch it.