“Space Cadet” (2024) Plot, Characters and Ending Explained: How Does Rex Save Her Friends From Dying in Space? 

Space Cadet 2024
Space Cadet 2024

“Space Cadet” (2024) is a newly released space comedy on Amazon Prime. Directed by the up-and-coming director, Liz W. Garcia, the movie stars Emma Roberts (“American Horror Story”) and Dave Foley (“Schitt’s Creek”). The movie is a fun and humorous take on the competitive world of space exploration. Tiffany “Rex” Simpson (Roberts) is a carefree party girl from Florida with dreams of going to space. With some luck and a bit of creative storytelling on her application, she earns a spot in NASA’s astronaut training program. Now, she’s trying to fit in with a group of strict, brainy geniuses.

Cast with Characters

  • Tiffany “Rex” Simpson (Emma Roberts): The protagonist who dreams of becoming an astronaut. She is a bartender who rekindles her aspiration to join NASA.
  • Toddrick Spencer (Sebastián Yatra): A former classmate of Rex who starts a space tourism company and inspires Rex to pursue her dream.
  • Nadine (Poppy Liu): Rex’s pregnant best friend who helps her fabricate a resume to get into NASA’s training program.
  • Pam Proctor (Gabrielle Union): A member of the NASA selection committee who believes Rex deserves a chance.
  • Logan O’Leary (Tom Hopper): A NASA mentor and Rex’s crush who discovers the truth about her fabricated resume.
  • Violet Marie Vislawski (Kuhoo Verma): Rex’s under-confident physicist roommate who helps Rex understand the theories discussed in the training program.
  • Miriam (Josephine Huang): One of Rex’s teammates who qualifies for space exploration and is influenced by Rex.
  • Stacy (Desi Lydic): A teammate who cannot stand Rex and has suspicions about Rex’s credentials. 
  • Grace (Yasha Jackson): A teammate who becomes a senator and ensures funding for NASA.
  • Captain Jack Mancini (Andrew Call): An exmilitary man and teammate at NASA who later proposes to Grace from space.

Plot Summary

Tiffany “Rex” Simpson is a bartender who aspires to be an astronaut due to her mom’s influence and fascination with the heavenly bodies in the sky. Despite being highly skilled and admitted to Georgia Tech after high school, she had to drop out and care for her sick mother, who died. Then, for some reason, she never went back to college and gave into the life of partying and bartending. During a reunion, she is again reminded of her space dreams during a chat with a friend who has made it in life. Her acquaintance Nadine (Poppy Liu) fakes her records, enabling Rex to get admission into an astronaut training camp. Rex fakes it through training sessions, acquires new friends, and falls in love with Logan O’Leary (Tom Hopper), a NASA employee.

How Did Rex Succeed In Enrolling For The NASA Training?

Rex and Her Mom
Rex and Her Mom

Rex was always fascinated with space and science, being a bright student in high school. She was always encouraged by her mother to explore her talents, and as such, she has continued to be engaged in making new innovations and devices. Her life didn’t quite turn out how it should’ve been, and she felt self-conscious about it during her high school reunion. However, after having a talk with one of her super successful friends, Toddrick Spencer, who owned a space airline, she gets the motivation to chase her old dreams. 

Rex believed that lacking several degrees should not be an obstacle since the knowledge and zeal she had would be useful for NASA. Since she did not fit the program’s official requirements, Rex wrote a letter explaining why it was necessary to give her this opportunity. She sent the letter to her best friend Nadine to make it grammatical-error-free and presentable.

Nadine, who wanted the selection panel at NASA impressed, added fake qualifications and experiences to Rex’s resume. Despite having a detailed CV showcasing mechanical engineering expertise, the ability to ride a jet aircraft, and experience in marine life preservation, it was ultimately Pam Proctor, a senior NASA official, who decided that Rex deserved a chance.

Not knowing that Nadine had lied, Rex could not believe herself when she received a response from NASA. While she kept the secret from her, Nadine was glad to see her friend realize her long cherished ambition. To keep maintaining this deception, Nadine impersonated numerous references before Logan O’Leary of NASA called Rex’s referees on his CV. Regardless of how hard things became for her while trying to do so, the truth about what she did began to emerge.

How Did Rex Survive The Training Program Even Though She Was Not Qualified?

Tiffany “Rex” Simpson from movie Space Cadet
Tiffany “Rex” Simpson from movie Space Cadet

The trainees were given the name “AsCans,” and Rex was proud to be one. They were to be put through rigorous mental and physical training, where most of them would be eliminated along the journey and only a handful would go to space. Rex was not from an Ivy League school, but she was smart enough to understand all the lessons in the training program, though it took her time. She did not give up and eventually mastered each topic taught in class with the help of Violet, her roommate at the time, who lacked confidence as a physicist. Upon realizing Rex’s secret, Violet proposed a deal. She asked Rex to help with physical education, and in return, she would help Rex understand what they teach in class.

Even though she was more qualified than her, Violet failed to get into the final round for space travel. She blamed Rex for lying on her CV so that she would be with other candidates selected for the journey. She, however, promised to keep her friend’s secret but warned her about deceit, which would only lead to more troubles. Rex realized what could be at stake but remained resolute in not letting this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity slip through her fingers.

How Did Logan ​Realise That Rex’s CV is Fake?

Dr Logan from movie Space Cadet
Dr Logan

Rex deceived the people interviewing NASA candidates about her competence. She realized during the interview that her friend had exaggerated her credentials, and she felt compelled to continue with the lie. However, this was not enough, as she convinced them that everything in her CV was right.

Dr. Logan, who was a mentor and also admired by Rex, was responsible for checking the references provided by the candidates. It was necessary for NASA to hear from their professors and mentors before making a final decision on whom they wanted to admit. When Nadine accidentally activated her video camera during a call while pretending to be six of Rex’s references, Logan became suspicious.

In order to find out what happened with Nadine, Logan went online, where he came across a website that belonged to her cosmetology business, showcasing some videos of Rex performing at a bar. Unexpectedly, Rex’s Instagram profile came up when scrolling through these websites. This is how he discovered that she was a high school-qualified bartender and had been faking her credentials. 

Therefore, as soon as this information broke loose, Logan went to find Rex only to see her on a jet aircraft pretending to be a pro rider. With sheer luck and intuition, she landed the aircraft safely. Then they took her away, prompting her dismissal from the program instantly. 

“Space Cadet” (2024) Ending Explained: How Did Rex Save The AsCans?

After returning to Florida, Rex was grateful that she had lived part of her dream and happy for her teammates who qualified for space exploration. As the shuttle launched, she saw it from a distance. However, things took a twist when she heard that the astronauts got trapped in space because some debris damaged their station’s airlock. With a rescue operation in mind, Rex took it upon herself to find a solution.

At NASA, Pam and Logan were taken aback by the sight of Rex, and they were unenthusiastic about listening to her proposal at first. They, however, allowed her five minutes to explain her plan, which involved sending astronauts on a rescue mission, with Rex willing to risk her life to save the ones she cared for. While Logan disagreed, Pam saw something in Rex’s determination. Losing time rapidly, they sought a solution desperately. At this point, Rex revealed that she had convinced Toddrick Spencer to join her cause, and by the end of “Space Cadet,” Pam and Logan allowed her to travel to space.

Rex finally got to live her dream in space. Accompanied by Violet, who was equally eager to join the rescue team, this experience surpassed her expectations, even with the initial challenges of tethering. She successfully removed the debris, restoring functionality to the space station. Rex and Vislawski joined Jack, Miriam, Stacy, and Grace at the station in celebration of their successful mission.

There was a monumental impact from this space rescue on the people at the space station. Stacy, for instance, who used to be self-centered, turned around and changed her name to Dr. OneLove. On her side, Grace chased politics and became a senator, ensuring that NASA’s budget never dries up in matters concerning research into extraterrestrial life and other scientific space undertakings. Captain Jack Mancini proposed to Grace from space after a year at the International Space Station, to which she gave a tentative response. Miriam took over ASCAN training after returning from her first trip to outer space.

In the end of “Space Cadet,” Rex and Violet discovered their unbeatable teamwork through founding Galaxy Slush, where they invented other unique equipment for exploring the universe. They were hired as full-time astronauts by Toddrick’s space airline company. Rex finally began dating Logan. Despite her transformed life, Rex continued to share her talents, as her mother had encouraged. Together with Vislawski, they started a Space Cadet Camp for children to spark interest in space, seeing it as crucial for shaping the future. Nadine remained Rex’s friend and became head of publicity for Space Camp. “Space Cadet” encourages its audience not to give up on seemingly impossible dreams, even when they seem out of reach. Nadine became the Head of Publicity at Space Camp.