Greetings Starfighter you have been recruited to defend the frontier from Xur and the Ko-Dan Armada!
The Last Starfighter was one of my favorite childhood science fiction movies from the 1980s. It’s a 1984 film directed by Nick Castle that stars Lance Guest and Robert Preston in his final on-screen role. It was a box office success with revenues that doubled the production costs. The Last Starfighter was an original movie with a real orchestra composer Craig Sanfan, unlike the sci-fi junk you get today. This movie like 1982’s Tron was the first movies to use CGI graphics. When we watch these movies today we laugh, but at the time, this was cutting edge movie technology.
I was fortunate enough to catch a replay of this on EPIX and got my 7 year old son to watch it with me. I turned him on years earlier to the original Star Wars saga. He has all the toys I enjoyed growing up and watching Clone Wars on Friday nights is something we enjoy together.
As my son and I watched it he loved it just like when I was kid watching it for the first time. The Last Star Fighter is a movie about not letting your dreams die, about going after everything, not holding back. Of course I had to explain what a stand up arcade game is since all he has ever known is the home entertainment systems. This movie has a young teen Alex Rogan (Lance Guest) going nowhere with his life finding something he never dreamed in a simple arcade game. Alex defeats the game and in doing so beats the highest score. He is later approached by Centauri who is a recruiter for the Rylan Star League. He created the game to help him find the next great Star Fighter. He tricks Alex into going to Rylos and becoming a Star Fighter. When he arrives he realizes the reality of the situation that he finds himself in and wants to return home after he witnesses what Xur is capable of. Centauri reluctantly takes him back home. After Alex’s departure the Starfighter base is attacked and all Starfighters except one is destroyed. Xur sends an assassin to take out Alex on Earth. When the attempt fails Alex decides to return to take on the Ko-Dan armada and at least save his planet with a fight rather than staying in the trailer park all of his life and going to City College. He returns and sees the damage to the base thinking all hope is lost. He links up with Grigs who he had met on his first trip and they take on the Armada. You need to watch the rest yourself!
When the credits roll with The Last Starfighter you realize that is all you have, there is no sequel, no remake, nothing. My son wanted to see what else happens. Now I am not that much of a fan of remakes or reboots, however I definitely think this movie would bode well with a remake. Especially when you look at the recent Star Trek and Tron remakes/reboots that just came out the past couple of years with very good success rates. So now I give you my opinion on how a remake or reboot could be done with this movie.
To me you have two options with this movie.
The Son of The Last Starfighter – One way you could obviously go is using the sequel idea and make an awesome CGI film. In this scenario you must handle it very much like Tron Legacy has done with itself as a sequel to the original 1982 film Tron. You revolve it around the son of Alex who has never known his father (possibly mother), after beating a complex new game created by his dad Alex Rogen and other members of the Star League a cool adventure can begin. He gets thrust into a life where he is not only trying to find his dad but a life he always knew he wanted and was destined for. You have a new war brewing in the midst with the Star League and Xur. Spoiler Alert (He escaped at the end) The key is to package the sequel with the same type of cgi and visual effects upgrades as Legacy but not differ from the original designs of the ships and the original universe. Obviously feature upgraded tech and various things that will look better in an HD/Digital format. This is a lot easier to do in Tron because it’s a game world and just features evolution in gaming tech whereas Starfighter you would just need to have some back-story built into some of those explanations but not hard though.
The Last Starfighter Reboot – JJ Abrams did it with Star Trek even though fans freaked at first. I was excited about the remake of this great franchise. Turns out I loved the reboot and what it offered that you can’t deny how Abrams honored Trek for what it was while putting some modern touches and things into the film and characters making it identifiable for younger audiences but pleasing to older ones and fans alike. I believe a Last Starfighter remake could accomplish the exact same thing and just blow the minds of many people.
I did do some research online and in 2008-2009 there was supposedly a sequel in the works with Universal. I even found articles confirming that a sequel was in the works tentatively titled Starfighter, and that the film was going to reunite director Nick Castle with writer Jonathan Betuel and actor Lance Guest. However outside of 2009 I can’t find anything.
No matter what direction you take one thing about this movie is that I always wanted to play the video game! They never made one. If they made one today I think it would be awesome!
BY: CHRIS ROGERS