Alex Rogan lives in a trailer court where his mother is manager and everyone is like a big extended family. He beats the Starfighter video game to the applause of everyone in the court and later that day finds he has been turned down for a student loan for college. Depressed, he meets Centauri, who introduces himself as a person from the company that made the game, before Alex really knows what is going on he is on the ride of his life in a “car” flying through space.
Chosen to take the skills he showed on the video game into real combat to protect the galaxy from an invasion. Alex gets as far as the Starfighter base before he really realized that he was conscripted and requests to be taken back home. When he gets back home, he finds a Zando-Zan (alien bounty hunter) is stalking him. Unable to go home and live, Alex returns to the Starfighter base to find all the pilots have been killed and he is the galaxy’s only chance to be saved from invasion.
The Last Starfighter is a 1984 American space opera film directed by Nick Castle. The film tells the story of Alex Rogan (Lance Guest), an average teenage boy recruited by an alien defense force to fight in an interstellar war. It also features Robert Preston, Dan O’Herlihy, Catherine Mary Stewart, Norman Snow, and Kay E. Kuter.
The Last Starfighter, along with Disney’s Tron, has the distinction of being one of cinema’s earliest films to use extensive computer-generated imagery (CGI) to depict its many starships, environments and battle scenes. It is one of the first films to use CGI to represent “real-life” objects instead of digital graphics.
The Last Starfighter was Preston’s final film role. His character, a “lovable con-man”, was a nod to his most famous role as Harold Hill in The Music Man. There was a subsequent novelization of the film by Alan Dean Foster, as well as a video game based on the production. In 2004, it was also adapted as an off-Broadway musical.
The Last Starfighter (1984)
Directed by: Nick Castle
Starring: Lance Guest, Robert Preston, Kay E. Kuter, Catherine Mary Stewart, Dan O’Herlihy, Barbara Bosson, Norman Snow, Charlene Nelson
Screenplay by: Jonathan R. Betuel
Production Design by: Ron Cobb
Cinematography by: King Baggot
Film Editing by: Carroll Timothy O’Meara
Costume Design by: Robert Fletcher
Set Decoration by: Linda Spheeris
Art Direction by: James D. Bissell
Music by: Craig Safan
Distributed by: Universal Pictures
Release Date: July 13, 1984