XT-11 Bluetooth Earphone Magnetic Wireless Sports Headset Bass Music Earbuds Mic for Mobile Phones and More Devices
All products featured here are independently selected by our editors and writers.If you buy something through links on our site, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission.
By Alison Foreman2020-06-01 10:00:00 UTC
Space Force has landed on Netflix. So, what’s up with the real thing?
In response to Donald Trump’s 2018 announcement of the United States’ newest military branch, Parks and Recreation creator Greg Daniels teamed up with The Office star Steve Carell to bring an intergalactic workplace comedy to Netflix.
Carell stars as General Mark Naird, a stand-in for real-life Chief of Space Operations John W. Raymond, tasked with bringing Trump’s ridiculous vision of space warfare to life. What follows is a messy, crazy, Beach Boys-infused send-up of military culture and the current administration. Whether you loved it or hated it (we found it meh), this series predicted headlines in a supremely timely and remarkably accurate fashion.
What did Netflix’s Space Force get right and wrong about the real United States Space Force? We’ve broken it down into 7 big takeaways — for your research and ours.
1. Boots on the Moon by 2024 is possible, but not with Space Force.
Unlike the unnamed POTUS in Space Force, Trump never demanded “boots on the moon by 2024” (or “boobs on the moon,” for that matter). But the Trump administration has called for U.S. astronauts to return to the lunar surface within the next four years. NASA had originally planned on a moon exploration mission in 2028.
At the fifth meeting of the National Space Council in March, Vice President Pence called for the accelerated timeline, saying it was an essential step in protecting U.S. dominance in space: “The United States must remain first in space in this century as in the last, not just to propel our economy and secure our nation, but above all, because the rules and values of space, like every great frontier, will be written by those who have the courage to get there first and the commitment to stay.”
That said, the lunar mission will not go through Space Force — instead, it is going through NASA as initially designed. Space Force remains predominantly focused on satellite protection, while NASA and the White House plan the lunar mission that experts are hesitantly calling “possible” but rushed.
2. Space Force’s logo looks more like Star Trek‘s than Space Force‘s.
Image: netflix / u.s. Space force
The U.S. Space Force logo has been finalized and released to the public. Netflix’s take doesn’t look particularly like the real thing (it was likely designed long before the logo’s January 2020 reveal), but it does bear a striking resemblance to the logo made famous by Star Trek.
In a particularly solid jab, Star Trek favorite George Takei tweeted of the similarities, “Ahem. We are expecting some royalties from this…” adding, “I feel like Melania must have had a hand in copyi—I mean, designing this” (a reference to the First Lady’s 2016 speech plagiarism scandal).
As for Netflix’s bomb-ass camo-style uniforms, the real Space Force has yet to establish a distinctive dress code for its members. At present, the military branch is continuing to use the uniforms standardized by the Army and Air Force (though Space Force has its own style of name tags) while officials continue to work on other designs.
“General Raymond’s team has a massive, incredibly well thought-out and planned implementation process for uniforms, pay, songs, [and more] that they need to go through to get a Space Force,” Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said of the branch’s development at a January hearing, reported on by Military.com. “I don’t know the timeline on it, but we can probably get you guys an update on some Space Force-related issues in the near future.”
3. Space Force is recruiting, but the troops aren’t called “spacemen.”
Yes, Space Force is actively recruiting civilians and transfer service members to join their ranks. Currently, the most direct path for interested parties is to go from the Air Force to Space Force (and in limited cases from the Navy or Army to Space Force). However, the specifics of what a career in the Space Force would look like if you make it remains murky.
Although Space Force is operating with 16,000 members at present, most of them temporary, they have yet to sort out what a progression through Space Force ranks entails — or even what a Space Force member is officially called. According to Defense One, both “space cadets” and “spacemen” are out of the running for formal titles. But it does appear that officials are still sorting through the crowdsourced ideas they got off Facebook. Fingers crossed for Spacey McSpaceFace!
4. Yes, Space Force and Space Force are set in the same place. But that was just luck.
Aaaah, the moon(ish).
Image: Courtesy of Netflix
In the first episode of Netflix’s Space Force podcast, titled Inside Joke: Space Force and hosted by cast member Jimmy O. Yang, Greg Daniels revealed that he picked the very real place of Wild Horse, Colorado to set Space Force in before knowing the actual Space Force had plans to station its provisional headquarters in Colorado Springs, roughly 90 minutes away.
“I was just looking at a map and you know thinking that the exterior should be kind of classic American Southwest, Monument Valley, John Ford kind of desert stuff and it would be helpful for the base to be surrounded by something that would feel like the moon for the lunar habitat episode,” Daniels explains. “Colorado is classic NORAD and Air Force and you know strategic command, and it’s where they actually ended up putting Space Force after we already picked it.”
“I feel like the real Space Force is stealing our ideas, putting their base in Wild Horse, with the uniforms and everything,” Yang joked. “We should get credit for that.”
5. The military pomp and circumstance is impressively accurate.
It’s tricky to tell that this is from a TV show.
Image: AARON EPSTEIN/NETFLIX
In addition to absolutely nailing Carell’s costuming, the Space Force team managed to get a lot right about the pomp and circumstance surrounding military operations.
“We had our writer’s assistant who’s a retired Navy officer. So, he would hold us accountable all the time about the details of the star ceremony and who’s putting the star on you,” Daniels shared of the series’ ceremony scenes and other recognizable military procedures on the show’s podcast.
“One thing we did for effect or poetic license is we removed the layer of the secretary of each service so there’s the general in charge of the service but then there’s also a secretary of the Navy between the head of the Navy, Chief of Naval Operations or whatever, and the secretary of defense. There was this other layer that we removed because otherwise it would be too crowded in the room, but apart from that we tried to be pretty real.”
6. Space Force can’t get quite as big as Space Force predicts.
Per reporting from Politico, Netflix’s take on Space Force is a bit grander than the real thing. As the series tells it, the military branch stands as a well-funded competitor to the Air Force — exemplified in numerous budget-focused meetings with Congress and the rivalry between Naird and Air Force chief General Kick Grabaston (Noah Emmerich).
In reality, the Space Force branch hasn’t been given nearly the amount of money Space Force implies, asking for just $15 billion (of the $721.5 billion total annual defense budget) in their first request made in February. Moreover, Space Force was designed to nest within the Air Force much like the Marine Corps nests within the Navy. It’s unlikely Space Force will ever “compete” with the Air Force in the truest sense of the word — especially considering how much help the Air Force is offering to help get Space Force off the ground.
7. Space Force doesn’t seem all that thrilled about Space Force.
Image: google / mashable
Google “space force” and it’s easy to see why the United States’ sixth military branch could be getting a little annoyed with Netflix. From overshadowing Space Force’s official press releases on social media to stealing their search engine thunder, the fledgling sitcom has been consistently keeping the real Space Force out of headlines. To be fair, that was kind of the point.
“Netflix had an internal conversation after [the White House] announced the real Space Force, and they got to thinking, ‘That might be a fun idea,’” Carell shared on the Space Force podcast. “And so I got a call. They said, ‘Would you be interested in this idea? Of these two words?’ And I thought, ‘Sure.’ And then I called Greg and he said, ‘Sure.’ And then we were off and running. It was based on literally nothing.”
With roughly 333,000 views on Space Force’s most watched recruiting video and 5.2 million views on Space Force‘s less than three-minute teaser, it’s safe to say that was a pretty effective “nothing.” Still, when asked about the show on a Space Foundation webinar earlier this month, General Raymond said he was excited to see it — though he did suggest Carell get a haircut.
“He’s looking a little too shaggy if he wants to play the Space Force chief.”
Kellen Beck contributed to this article.
Space Force is streaming now on Netflix.