The Last Starfighter (1984)

last starfighter poster 1984 movie
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 8/10

Early computer animation, video game theme

Dated

Movie Info

Movie Name: The Last Starfighter

Studio: Warner Bros.

Genre(s): Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s): July 13, 1984

MPAA Rating: PG

last-starfighter-arcade-game

Greetings Starfighter!

Alex Rogan (Lance Guest) dreams of leaving his small trailer park home and seeing the world. When he gets the highest score on the video game called Starfighter, he gets the chance to see the world…from space. Alex is contacted by an interstellar agent named Centauri (Robert Preston) and invited join the Star League to fight the evil Xur and the Kodan Armada. Meanwhile on Earth, a robot fills in for Alex leaving his girlfriend Maggie Gordon (Catherine Mary Stewart) questioning his behavior. When a raid by the Xur destroys the Star League, Alex and his co-pilot Grig (Dan O’Herlihy) are the last hope against Xur and the Kodan Armada.

The Last Starfighter was directed by Nick Castle and originally released with another video game film Cloak & Dagger as a double feature in 1984. Relatively low budget, it was a big hit and was an early hit in the VHS market. The movie’s ties to early video games has made it a cult hit.

last-starfighter-alien

I’m no Chewbacca

The Last Starfighter had a strong cast for a Star Wars rip-off type movie. Lance Guest and Catherine Mary Stewart) might not have been the best actors but Robert Preston (in his last film role) and Dan O’Herlihy as the alien Grig really help propel the movie by adding needed comic relief to the space storyline which gets a bit heavy handed. Guest does do a nice dual role performance by playing his own robot on Earth which also provides humor to the somewhat generic story.

What made The Last Starfighter stand out was early video game ties. Like Tron, The Last Starfighter was a big step in computer animation. With completely computer rendered battle scenes, the movie really stepped up what could be done with computer animation. The animation is very basic, but it has held up ok. Yeah, it isn’t great, but all things considered, it also isn’t bad.

last-starfighter-preston

The Music Man to this…oh well, it’s a living

The Last Starfighter feels like it was the set up for something more. With its success, it is rather surprising that a quick sequel didn’t quickly follow. I remember this was a big rental movie when I was young and it seemed everyone rented it for parties etc because it is rather harmless. Revisit the movie…You can still be Luke Skywalker…I mean Alex Rogan “Greetings, Starfighter! You have been recruited by the Star League to defend the frontier against Xur and the Kodan Armada”.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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