“Greetings, Starfighter. You have been recruited by the Star League to defend the frontier against Xur and the Ko-Dan Armada.”
Has it really been 25 years? It seems only yesterday I was sitting in a darkened theater watching The Last Starfighter for the first time. Re-released on DVD and Blu-ray, the film that took a kid from a trailer park to the stars still makes me smile.
For those who don’t remember, the story begins in some “fleaspeck trailer park in the middle of tumbleweeds and tarantulas.” Lance Guest stars as Alex Rogan, a trailer park kid with grand dreams but no way to turn them into reality.
Alex’s free time, what little there is not spent doing chores, is spent with girlfriend Maggie (Catherine Mary Stewart) and playing the lone arcade game, “Starfighter.” The night Alex defeats the game his life changes, more than he ever dreamed possible.
Robert Preston shows up
selling trombones for a big brass band as an alien who informs Alex that the game was a test created to find real fighter pilots, and he’s just won a free ride to Rylos to save the universe! At first Alex fights his destiny, but finally understanding the threat to Rylos and the rest of the universe (including Earth), he embraces his role as the last Starfighter.
For a flick aimed mostly at a younger audience The Last Starfighter stands-up pretty well 25 years later. The score still kicks serious ass, and the early computer graphics (though a bit dated) hold up pretty well. At its heart, however, the film is the ultimate in wish fulfillment. A video game opens the door to an entire new world and a chance for a boy from nowhere to soar among the stars.
The new 25th Anniversary DVD and Blu-ray adds little to those who already own the Collector’s Edition from a few years back. The sound and aspect ratio are the same and all of the extras from the earlier version are included here. The only added extra this time around is a class reunion style documentary where those involved in the project look back and reminisce about their experiences.
If you already own the Collector’s Edition there’s little here to suggest spending the money again for this version, unless you simply want it on Blu-ray (which does promise a slightly cleaned-up image). However, if you don’t already own the film, or haven’t seen it, then I would strongly recommend this gem from my childhood.
For those of you curious about the “Starfighter Game,” though promised in the film but never delivered, may want to check out this old ‘buddha post. Do you have what it takes to save the Frontier from Xur and the Ko-Dan Armada? May the luck of the Seven Pillars of Booloo be with you at all times!