The Last Starfighter


Last Starfighter was assuredly NOT done on an Amiga, nor anything remotely resembling a desktop system. All the CG was done by John Whitney Sr.'s company, Digital Productions, on a Cray X-MP supercomputer.

DP was eventually bought out and merged with Robert Able productions, another early pioneering CG company.

I've worked with a number of folks who were on this. It's a respected and loved film, both for its cinematic and technological achievements. The effects look deeply dated today, but at the time, they were mind-blowing. There's even an industry joke about it:

How do you know you've been doing computer graphics for too long?
You can remember sitting alone in a theater watching 'The Last Starfighter' and thinking "Wow. This is even cooler than Tron!"


ty. I play the theme while driving all the time. It is great for going fast.



One coin.

That is all.



VICTORY OR DEATH! VICTORY OF DEATH! That would have scared the heck out of me too. It is a fun movie with Robert Preston playing his conman character to the hilt. It has some flaws but it is a good story and has a good soundtrack.


I get what you're saying. I also saw it in the theater but in '84 I was ten, so I was 'bout it 'bout it. I haven't seen it as an adult (or teen) so I really can't say if it was actually any good or not but knowing me I'd probably go along with my nostalgia.


"What do we do?"

"We die."

One of the best movie lines of all time.

I also liked the alien vocoder voices.

I did not like as a kid, and it still kinda bugs me and makes me hesitate having my kiddo watch, the scene where they kill the spy. That screaming was a little too real and too long.


Yep. I really miss Amiga, though.



All things considered, I'm actually kind of glad that a sequel (or, even worse, a series -shudder-) of "The Last Starfighter" was not made. It was a good story when it came out in the mid-1980s, partially because it had a beginning, a middle and an end.

I think one of the things lost today with many action, fantasy and SF films is that they aren't self-contained; instead, they are episodic. While that's okay for some stories ("The Lord of the Rings", "Star Wars" and its two sequels, etc.), there are times when I think Hollywood's over-reliance on properties means we just end up with unmitigated crap: In particular, I am thinking of two of Paul Verhoeven's films, "RoboCop" and "Starship Troopers." Both appeared to be fun, campy action-SF films at first glance, but they both contained darker, more satirical elements nested in them. Not so for any of their follow-ons.

Now, one thing I would not mind is a modern, contemporary re-make of "The Last Starfighter." If nothing else, they could do something about all the alien lifeforms with faces that are arranged in familiar configurations and, even worse, having human eyes (in many cases). Personally, that has always been a pet peeve of mine.


Aryeh Goretsky


Siskel and Ebert listed "The Last Starfighter" as one of their guilty pleasures along with "The Last Dragon"


I've worked with a number of folks who were on this. It's a respected and loved film, both for its cinematic and technological achievements. The effects look deeply dated today, but at the time, they were mind-blowing.

Last Starfighter was, absolutely, the film that made child-me want to grow up to be an animator.

(The initial hangar scene with all the parked Gunstars was the most complex scene that had ever been rendered - over 10 million polygons at the time. It doesn't sound so impressive now, of course, but it was almost unbelievable back in 1984.)


Not trying to piss on anyone's party, but

...this sums up pretty well how it struck me at the time; although it wasn't a waste of a movie ticket by any means, 'unforgettable' isn't the word I'd use. I don't have any particular hankering to watch it again... I think I saw it a second time 15-20 years ago.

But for some reason* I'm reminded of Enemy Mine (b-grade mid-80s SF connection?), which I would be interested to see again; IIRC that flick had something to say.

(IMDB rates The Last Starfighter 6.5 and Enemy Mine 6.7; less daylight between than EM deserves IIRC)

*heh - that reason would appear to be subliminal reading, now that I look at the next comment...


Not to piss on your party, but when I first saw Enemy Mine in the theater I thought it was awesome. Seeing it later as an adult I found its "Can't we all just get along?" message overly simplistic and even pretentious. But still a hell of a lot of fun to watch. There were some pretty major changes from the original novella, but I thought Dennis Quaid did a good job capturing Davidge's brusque character. And Louis Gossett Jr. was very entertaining too.

But then I'd say the entertaining quality is the one thing both films have in common. One tried to sell us a franchise, one tried to sell us a simple moral, and both have fun details and performances that make me remember them fondly even if they don't hold up so well.


And it’s been a while, so you know how that goes…

I guess IMDB is more accurate than my nostalgia; that certainly stands to reason


That last post was meant to be in reply to you, but this board can't walk and chew gum yet.


DMK?!?!?! Who is DMK?!?!?!


Fun IMDBish fact: The kid running around the trailer park in the red sports jersey during the opening scenes was Wil Wheaton.


If I remember correctly, it even got into the credits as "Supercomputer"


I really loved this movie when I was a kid... Saw it at the drive-in, read the novelization (Alan Dean Foster), the comic, the storybook. My memories of this movie are so golden that I've been apprehensive of ever returning to it in order to protect that time. Maybe when my son is old enough we'll watch it together. Krull on the other hand, another favourite from that time, I've shamelessly watched a billion times...


Is nobody going to mention the Starfighter 3000 videogame? Honestly?

There was an amazing video game for PC which allowed you to destroy EVERYTHING. The easiest way to destroy an armored tank was to destroy the mountain under it so it fell down!


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