Unique alien races can be further explored.
The film established several unique aliens right off the bat. In one scene the crew beam down to a planet and after dealign with deceptively cute aliens, have to fight an alien lifeform made up entirely of rocks. The entire sequence was beautifully done, not only was it played for laughs but it showed the crew that they couldn’t trust anything they saw. That wherever they went, they couldn’t just assume everything was like it was on Earth.
The scene’s also made better by Sam Rockwell’s Guy Fleegman, who was essentially Galaxy Quest’s version of a Redshirt. This is something he constantly brings up all the time, that his character was just there to die. The alien lifeform scenes were as perfect as it could be thanks to Rockwell.
The other aliens in the film, Thermians and the Fatu-Krey. The Thermians are squid-like beings that have the ability to change their appearance as to not cause concern among the cast of the Galaxy Quest television show. They’re peaceful creatures and just want to exist. The Fatu-Krey are large lizard-like humanoids who want to destroy and snuff out the Thermians.
The design of the Fatu-Krey is brilliantly wicked. The design work on them in 1999 was fantastic and really has aged well, opting to use costumes instead of CGI. To think about what the writers could do with these types of base designs and explore outwards into other alien species is really intriguing.
That’s something The Orville has done right, creating an interesting cast and crew of aliens to discover and explore. We already know what Galaxy Quest has done, so it’s all that much more exciting to think about what they can do.