The Last Starfighter
Directed by Nick Castle
Quick Synopsis… Alex Rogan (Lance Guest) lives in a trailer park and spends his days playing the Starfighter video game. But upon meeting an alien (Robert Preston) who convinces him to use his skills in real combat, Rogan heads to space to protect the galaxy from invasion. He gets to the Starfighter base station before deciding the trailer park wasn’t so bad, but returns home to find he’s being stalked by an alien beast.
- Okay kids, first I feel like I need to defend this movie a little.
- I may have pointed out in my Clash of the Titans post that the special effects weren’t that great. But that you shouldn’t judge the movie based on that alone.
- If I didn’t make that point, I should have.
- Because I’m definitely making that point with The Last Starfighter.
- The CGI is laughable by today’s standards. But this movie was made 35 years ago.
- Those effects were probably amazing in 1984.
- The thing is, this is a fantastic movie, in spite of the lousy CGI.
- Oh, and the score is pretty epic.
- Alex Rogan is just your average teenage guy living in a trailer park where all the residents seem to depend on him for maintenance repairs.
- He lives with his mom and little brother. I’ve never really picked up on whether or not mom is like a property manager or something, which would make sense for Alex to be the one to fix stuff around the park.
- But I also get the impression that his mom is a waitress at a diner, judging by the outfit she has on at the start of the movie.
- I don’t know…
- Anyway, Alex is fed up with his life, feeling like he’s going nowhere and that he’ll be stuck in his small town forever.
- Just about the only good things he’s got going for him is his girlfriend, Maggie, who’s quietly afraid of change and doesn’t want to leave their little trailer park.
- And then there’s the Starfighter arcade game, providing the only real entertainment around.
- Alex is good at this game. And when he beats the game, it gets the attention of the guy who created it.
- Centauri arrives, claiming to have invented the Starfighter game. Turns out he’s an alien and he sort of abducts Alex.
- The game, as it turns out, was a training program. It was Centauri’s experimental attempt to find new starfighter pilots to join the fight against Emperor Xur and the Ko-Dan Armada.
- They’re not just characters in a video game.
- Meanwhile, back on Earth, Alex has been replaced by a beta unit… an android that’s meant to act as a decoy in case Xur sends an assassin to take out a lone starfighter.
- The real Alex receives his assignment and navigator, Grig, for his starfighter.
- Only this isn’t his war.
- He’s a human… Earth isn’t involved in any of this.
- Much to Centauri’s disappointment, Alex demands to be taken back home.
- While Alex is back on Earth, he finds that his beta unit duplicate has been up to no good.
- Also, while he’s away from the space front, Xur’s armada attacks and destroys all of the starfighters.
- This makes Alex the last starfighter.
- Back on Earth, an encounter with an assassin convinces Alex to join the fight.
- He teams up with Grig and manages to take down the entire Ko-Dan Armada.
- BetaAlex reveals to Maggie that he’s an android and that her real boyfriend is out there saving the universe.
- Victorious, Alex flies back to Earth, hoping to convince Maggie to come back with him so he can help rebuild the fleet.
- And they lived happily ever after…
Have you ever seen The Last Starfighter? What did you think of it? That CGI’s pretty rough, right?
Tomorrow’s Sunday, so we’ll take a break from our trip through the alphabet. But come back Monday for our M movie. If you’re up for guessing what movie we’ll cover, here’s your hint… It’s another 80s flick that probably isn’t seen as a popular movie. It’s a romantic comedy that mostly takes place inside a Philadelphia department store. Any guesses?