'Space Force' Is More Real Than You Think

Steve Carell in Space Force
Aaron Epstein/Netflix

Netflix is hoping to pull in fans of The Office with its new workplace comedy Space Force, which also stars Steve Carell, who co-created the show with The Office showrunner Greg Daniels. But although this new comedy takes inspiration from a new and real branch of the military, Space Force isn't based on a true story.

However, Space Force is a very real thing. According to its website, it became a branch of the Armed Forces in December 2019. When President Trump first announced his intention to create a Space Force in March of 2018, Carell and Daniels quickly came up with this somewhat parody of show about the military branch in response. By January 2019, Netflix had ordered a season of the show.

The real Space Force has thus far been tasked mostly with keeping an eye on satellites, which the Space Force in the show does as well. But the series is also attempting to get "boots on the moon" per the president's request, which mirrors the real-life president's desire to get astronauts back on the moon by 2024. President Trump also wants us to go to Mars and "return to Space in a BIG WAY!" He's essentially writing Daniels' Space Force scripts for him.

But while the show was inspired by the creation of Space Force and Trump's moon plans, the series deviates from there. The characters are all fictional, and even the president and first lady are only referenced through veiled mentions. They're called POTUS and FLOTUS, likely in an effort to avoid explicitly referencing Donald Trump and Melania Trump, and also to keep the show relevant for when there's eventually a new president in power.

The show takes place in Colorado, where Steve Carell's General Mark Naird heads Space Force as is its own branch of the military that mostly makes its own decisions. By contrast, the Space Force website says it's headquartered at the Pentagon and is an arm of the Air Force, where the Chief of Space Operations ultimately answers to the Secretary of the Air Force.

Giving the fictional Mark Naird more responsibility and less oversight than the real Chief of Space Operations allows for a funnier dynamic, as Carell does his best "Michael Scott, but space" acting. And if something that happens in the show seems preposterous, just remember that it does stem from real life, and there really *is* an initiative from the president to get boots on the moon by 2024.