As if we didn’t have enough reason to be bummed about the death of Alan Rickman, the magnificent star of Die HardDogma, and the Harry Potter series, on a recent episode of the Nerdist podcast, Sam Rockwell says that we almost got a Galaxy Quest sequel, but the plan was squashed by Rickman’s death.

In the original film, a magnificent satire of and tribute to Star Trek and rabid pop culture fandom, Rickman played Alexander Dane, the Leonard Nimoy figure of the cast of a canceled but fondly remembered sci-fi series called Galaxy Quest. Dane’s character was Dr. Lazarus, a wise alien with a crazy head and a killer catchphrase (“By Grabthar’s hammer, you shall be avenged!”) Rockwell played Guy Fleegman, a redshirt who gets dragged along with the rest of the Galaxy Quest cast on a real interstellar adventure.

Galaxy Quest wasn’t a big hit in theaters in 1999, but it quickly accrued an appreciative cult following, and it was clear that everyone involved (including Tim Allen, Justin Long, and Sigourney Weaver) loved the process and the finished product. In 2014, they all told MTV they’d be happy to do a sequel (“I still have my costume!” Weaver laughed) and last summer there were rumblings of some kind of Galaxy Quest TV show at Amazon.

There’s no official word yet from Amazon, but that sure sounds like the project Rockwell told the Nerdist guys about:

“They were going to do a [Galaxy Quest] sequel on Amazon and we were ready to sign up, and [then] Alan Rickman passed away and Tim Allen wasn’t available – he has a show – and everybody’s schedule was all weird. We were going to do, like, this sequel on Amazon. It was going to shoot, like, right now.”

Rockwell also conceded that Rickman’s is “a hard void to fill” and he’s right. You could conceivably do the show or film without him, but Dane/Lazarus was really the cranky heart and soul of the original movie and his absence would absolutely be felt no matter how you wrote his character out (or especially if you tried to recast him). It’s just so sad to hear how close we came to a legitimate Galaxy Quest sequel with that amazing cast. There was even a ready-made premise (and title!) thanks to the first movie’s ending: Galaxy Quest: The Journey Continues. It seems like now it won’t. Not even Grabthar’s hammer could fix this.

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