Capping off a thoroughly embarrassing year for the nation’s newest not-actually-independent, not-actually-separate branch of the military, the U.S. Space Force on Friday invited nearly universal ridicule when it rolled out the official title by which its personnel will be known — “Guardians.”
Along with an extremely self conscious slogan justifying that ridiculous title that invited even more mockery.
We understand 2020 has been a wild couple of decades so to catch you up, back in January the Space Force kicked off the year by revealing that its members will, for some reason, wear green camouflage uniforms, which had everyone wondering if that means they plan to invade the forest moon of Endor. And then less than a week later, it unveiled the organization’s official logo, something everyone noticed looks pretty much identical to the Starfleet insignia from “Star Trek,” something we’re pretty sure is not an accident.
Space Force wisely laid low for the rest of the year, probably in part because the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed more than 300,000 Americans thanks in part to the Trump administration’s disastrous response, knocked almost everything else out of the news. Until Friday, when the Trump administration official in charge of Trump’s COVID-19 policy decided to change the topic of conversation.
That would be Vice President Mike Pence, who announced the official name for Space Force personnel will be “Guardians.” And no, we aren’t kidding.
Shortly after the momentous occasion, the official Space Force Twitter decided to strip the organization of even more dignity with a tweet celebrating the new title. First, it claims that the name “Guardian” took a full year to come up with — which uh that’s not the flex you think it is, Space Force. Second, the organization shared a graphic that for some reason included the tagline “Heritage. Mission. Culture.” Finally, again we are not kidding, it bragged that the title “Guardian” is “a name chosen by space professionals, for space professionals.”
No really, see for yourself:
Today, after a yearlong process that produced hundreds of submissions and research involving space professionals and members of the general public, we can finally share with you the name by which we will be known: Guardians. pic.twitter.com/Tmlff4LKW6
— United States Space Force (@SpaceForceDoD) December 18, 2020
Basically, no one can believe that this is a real thing and we can hardly blame them. Some people roasted that ridiculous “space professionals” thing. Others made fun of Space Force for bragging about how long it took them to come up with something like “Guardians.” Still others joked that “Heritage. Mission. Culture.” sounds uncomfortably like some kind of weird white nationalist slogan — or just savaged it for sounding corny and stupid.
But mainly, Pence might as well have just gone ahead and made the Space Force motto “I Am Groot”, because pretty much everyone mocked it for apparently trying to associate itself with Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise.
“So now Trump’s Space Force has stolen its logo from Star Trek and its naming conventions from Guardians of the Galaxy,” the Palmer Report joked.
“Looking forward to sharing our great cultural heritage and traditions with outer space. Like… BBQ, baseball, and stubbornly refusing to take even the tiniest precautions against a raging pandemic,” Media Matters editor Parker Molloy said.
“A name chosen by SPACE PROFESSIONALS for SPACE PROFESSIONALS” sounds like a line *I* would write,” joked cartoonist Dan Perkins. “Also “heritage & culture,” space racism getting a jump start here.”
“I want to be sure to use their full title accurately, so has there been any word on whether they are Earth Guardians, Space Guardians or Guardians of the Galaxy? And what is being done to keep the other services from calling them Trekkies?” asked former director of U.S. Office of Government Ethics Walter Shaub.
Even official “Guardians of the Galaxy” people got in on it. “Can we sue this dork?” asked director James Gunn.
But could it be maybe this is what the government wants? That they’re really just nerds like us, trying to do the impossible of bringing together all the big pop culture franchises. Or is it just that they’re really, really, really bad at this and unaware of how much they embarrassed themselves. We’ll let you decide.
See more reactions below.
Can we sue this dork? https://t.co/9skZ8aG446
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) December 19, 2020
Who, us? 🚀
— GuardiansOfTheGalaxy (@Guardians) December 19, 2020
— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) December 18, 2020
Looking forward to sharing our great cultural heritage and traditions with outer space. Like… BBQ, baseball, and stubbornly refusing to take even the tiniest precautions against a raging pandemic. 🚀💫 https://t.co/EGHq2b9ZOe
— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) December 18, 2020
"a name chosen by SPACE PROFESSIONALS for SPACE PROFESSIONALS" sounds like a line *I* would write
also "heritage & culture," space racism getting a jump start here https://t.co/579juwR7dK
— Tom Tomorrow is so very tired (@tomtomorrow) December 18, 2020
They are officially "guardians" of the galaxy?
Is this a joke? How is this NOT a joke… https://t.co/PP6KJNshns
— William LeGate 🇺🇸 (@williamlegate) December 18, 2020
Fuck this. You people are Spacemen and you cannot fight it. https://t.co/a8UADHJl8h
— Spencer Ackerman (@attackerman) December 18, 2020
Aliens are gonna see this ish and be like, actually we’re good on ever visiting Earth, thanks https://t.co/BK4A12N8en
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 18, 2020
— Ryan Gielen (@ryangielen) December 18, 2020
Trump administration uses the Starfleet insignia as the Space Force symbol, now they take the page off of Guardians of the Galaxy, can these knuckleheads come up with anything original? https://t.co/zXSMVeic3F
— David Weissman (@davidmweissman) December 18, 2020
— April (@ReignOfApril) December 18, 2020
— Franklin Leonard (@franklinleonard) December 18, 2020
We are the most embarrassing country in the world https://t.co/QifgsErqCy
— Mike Drucker (@MikeDrucker) December 18, 2020
A military organization with the ideals of "heritage" and "culture" raises a lot of red flags. With swastikas on them.
Obviously this is already an embarrassing, expensive vanity project by President pissbaby, but now it's going full white supremacy, apparently. https://t.co/3vLE0Jo2Gf
— ♥️ Lucky Bun (@Lucky_BunTTV) December 19, 2020