Space Force, the Trump Administration project so absurd and unnecessary it inspired an entire Netflix sitcom making fun of it, reached a new milestone this week.
In a press conference, Vice President Mike Pence announced the name of the Force's forthcoming troops, and it somehow makes this deeply dumb initiative even dumber: The troops will be called "Guardians."
If the first thing you think of is the Guardians of the Galaxy film franchise, you're not alone.
Folks on Twitter immediately began roasting the name, including a handful of luminaries from various Marvel films, like the franchise's director James Gunn.
Can we sue this dork? https://t.co/9skZ8aG446— James Gunn (@James Gunn)1608336141.0
But it wasn't just the name "Guardians" that rose people's hackles.
The organization's logo also seemed to many like a rip-off.
Today, after a yearlong process that produced hundreds of submissions and research involving space professionals an… https://t.co/5JNUYq439s— United States Space Force (@United States Space Force)1608328757.0
To another Marvel star—actor Jeffrey Wright who will voice the character of The Watcher in Marvel's forthcoming series What If...?—the logo looked suspiciously familiar.
Took a year. What in the wide world of upside-down Pontiac logos and memes to infinity & beyond is this? https://t.co/Fwq53mR5qu— Jeffrey We Voted Out That Gameshow Clown Wright (@Jeffrey We Voted Out That Gameshow Clown Wright)1608343379.0
But it was actor Dave Bautista—who played the character of Drax in the Guardians of the Galaxy films—who seemed to have the strongest reaction to the Space Force rollout and to the Vice President himself.
Tweeting directly at Pence, Bautista said:
"@VP is this payback for me changing my name to Super Duper Fly? Cmon dude that sh*t was funny! That fly sat on that pile of sh*t you call a head for 30 f'king minutes! How bout this! You can call me Vice President. Until the REAL Vice President steps in that is. #Traitor"
In his announcement, Pence stressed the name "Guardians" was used in space operations since 1983 and it holds special significance for the United States.
"[The name] connects our proud heritage and culture to the important mission we execute 24/7, protecting the people and interest of the U.S. and its allies."
But it's hard to argue the very notion space—you know, the infinite expanse where Earth is but one of nine planets and whatnot—is some kind of territory to be claimed as the United States is anything other than patently absurd.
Between that and the logo—which also reminded many people of Star Trek's—it's unsurprising Twitter quickly filled up with people dragging Pence and the Trump Administration.
@SpaceForceDoD Well... in all honesty, you have outdone yourselves in parody, so congrats on that.— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈)1608332776.0
@SpaceForceDoD Aww I also have names for groups in my roleplaying games— Mike Drucker (@Mike Drucker)1608332134.0
Be honest - did you take submissions from anyone outside The CW? https://t.co/XU1bQHDizX— Seth MacFarlane (@Seth MacFarlane)1608340881.0
@SpaceForceDoD At what point is this space organization that's never going to space and has the Star Trek logo and… https://t.co/MhzdKVwFT7— James Felton (@James Felton)1608332180.0
“Heritage.” “Culture.” We’re exporting racism to the cosmos now. https://t.co/BK4A12N8en— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar)1608331256.0
@SpaceForceDoD It took you a year to come up with a Star Trek logo and a Marvel name? Was your backup the Go-go Gad… https://t.co/W28xjyruNq— David Robinson (@David Robinson)1608330026.0
@EamonJavers I still can’t believe the logo wasn’t stopped by Star Trek. Unbelievable https://t.co/6oZTBZHWvz— Ray Konick (@Ray Konick)1608333258.0
So now it’s: Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Guardians. (Unclear if the White House got the OK on this from Marvel...)— Eamon Javers (@Eamon Javers)1608329012.0
@Oriana0214 I LOVE this movie but love nothing abt Space Force with rip off badge from StarTrek this is pitiful. Do… https://t.co/Wj1NlcL1jY— Peter Frampton (@Peter Frampton)1608330062.0
@SpaceForceDoD “After a frantic memo from the White House demanding a late Friday news item to distract from the un… https://t.co/u5oaQrI4CR— Tyler King (@Tyler King)1608339700.0
Pence also announced the name at a ceremony celebrating the one-year anniversary of Space Force's formation.
Given Trump's presidency ends in a month, the future of the program is unknown.