Last Starfighter

Last Starfighter

4.5 12
Director: Nick Castle Jr.

Cast: Lance Guest, Robert Preston, Dan O'Herlihy

     
 

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Trailer-park teenager Lance Guest regularly escapes from his humdrum existence by playing the video game Starfighter. His expertise at this recreational endeavor attracts the attention of affable stranger Robert Preston. Before he knows what's happening, Guest is whisked by Preston into the outer reaches of the galaxy! It turns out that the StarfighterSee more details below

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Overview

Trailer-park teenager Lance Guest regularly escapes from his humdrum existence by playing the video game Starfighter. His expertise at this recreational endeavor attracts the attention of affable stranger Robert Preston. Before he knows what's happening, Guest is whisked by Preston into the outer reaches of the galaxy! It turns out that the Starfighter game is being played in deadly earnest in outer space, and that Guest is expected to join Preston's Star League, then do battle with the wicked Kodan forces. Guest's principal ally is the lizardlike Grig (Dan O'Herlihy--and we didn't recognize him either). His great rival is the traitorous Xur (Norman Snow). The contrast between Guest's earthbound life as the son of single-mother Barbara Bosson and his new position as Starfighter is daunting at first, but soon the boy is manning a spacecraft and zapping the baddies as though he's been doing it all his life. The Last Starfighter was clearly designed with "sequel" in mind: giveaways include the resurrection of a "dead" character and the surprisingly casual escape of the villain. While the film didn't stir up enough business to warrant a sequel, the Starfighter video game remained a much-sought-after commodity by joystick-happy "warriors" all over the country.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
At the time of its release, The Last Starfighter attracted a strong following among critics (if not viewers) because it used state-of-the-art effects to create a world separate enough from Star Wars to escape accusations of plagiarism, yet magical enough to inspire wonder. The passage of time has not elevated it to the level of common cultural reference, nor did it result in the franchise the producers clearly wanted. But the film's efforts toward originality are still appreciable. For one, instead of taking place in the future, The Last Starfighter imagines that intergalactic strife and epic gallantry are concurrent with the humdrum lives of American teenagers in trailer parks, and it shifts between these two realms with ease. It provides a satisfying logical leap for those who have dreamed themselves away into video games. It cleverly substitutes a robot doppelganger for the departed Alex Rogan, creating a deft subplot about the infiltrator's attempts to sidestep suspicion. It casts an eternally wise Robert Preston as an interstellar mentor/tour guide, and a boyishly charming Lance Guest in the hero role that should have earned him a lot more film work. The CGI spaceships look crisp, too, even if they stand a little too cleanly against the background. The best explanation for the popular failure of The Last Starfighter is that it caught the audience on a downtrend away from science fiction, which went through a period in which it was box-office poison compared to escapist alternatives like sleek thrillers and action-adventures.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/18/2009
UPC:
0025192019975
Original Release:
1984
Rating:
PG
Source:
Universal Studios
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
1:00:00
Sales rank:
959

Special Features

Heroes of the Screen; ; All-new retrospective documentary with the cast and crew as they revisit the scripting, casting and ground-breaking computer effects; ; Additional Features; ; Crossing The Frontier: Making of The Last Starfighter; ; An original documentary on the creation of the film and its innovative visual effects; ; Image Gallery ; Rare production photos, promotional material and an alternate ending; ; Feature Commentary with Director Nick Castle and Production Designer Ron Cobb; ; D-Box Motion Enabled

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Lance Guest Alex Rogan
Robert Preston Centauri
Dan O'Herlihy Grig
Catherine Stewart Maggie
Barbara Bosson Jane Rogan
Norman Snow Xur
Kay Kuter Enduran
Dan Mason Lord Kril
Maggie Cooper Rylan Sergeant
John Maio Friendly Alien
Suzanne Snyder Actor
John O'Leary Rylan Bursar
George McDaniel Kodan Officer
Charlene Nelson Rylan Technician
Robert Starr Underling
Al Berry Rylan Spy
Vernon Washington Otis
Peter Nelson Jack Blake
Peggy Pope Elvira
Meg Wyllie Granny Gordon
Ellen Blake Clara Potter
Britt Leach Mr. Potter
Bunny Summers Mrs. Boone
Owen Bush Mr. Boone
Marc Alaimo Hitchhiker
Cameron Dye Andy
Geoffrey Blake Gary
Kimberly Ross Cheerleader
Wil Wheaton Louis' Friend
Bob Kenaston Uncle Bob
Ed Berke Cop #1
Bruce Abbott Alien soldier
Chris Herbert Louis Rogan

Technical Credits
Nick Castle Director
Gary Adelson Producer
King Baggot Cinematographer
Jonathan Betuel Screenwriter
James D. Bissell Art Director
Ron Cobb Production Designer
Edward O. Denault Producer
Brian Frankish Asst. Director
Melissa Manchester Songwriter
Mark Mueller Songwriter
C. Timothy O'Meara Editor
Robert Fletcher Costumes/Costume Designer
Craig Safan Score Composer
Terry Smith Makeup
Jack Solomon Musical Direction/Supervision,Sound/Sound Designer
Linda Spheeris Set Decoration/Design
Jim Teegarden Set Decoration/Design
Glenn Wilder Stunts

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