Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Last Starfighter

Synopsis From Back Cover:

Millions of light-years ago, a great frontier was constructed in the universe to protect the Star League from it's enemy, the evil KO-DAN.  But now a defector has given the key to the frontier to the KO-DAN, and Starfighters from throughout the galaxy are needed to defend the peace.  One recruiter, the alien scalawag Centauri (Robert Preston), visits Earth to fill his quota of recruits and finds Alex (Lance Guest), and 18-year-old Earthling with an extraordinary talent for video game wizardry.  Alex is quickly propelled into the regions of outer space to join others from planets throughout the Star League to fight a war to save the universe.

Two things you need to know about me, if you didn't all ready.  First, I'm addicted to movies from the 1980s.  I love them.  I loved them then, I love them know, and I'll love them far into the future.  Secondly, I spent half my childhood dreaming about going to Space Camp.  Sadly, we could never afford it, but I would have done anything to go.  I even signed up for a self fundraiser thing, where they send you a catalog full of tacky, expenisve stuff, and you have to get the adults you know to buy from it.  I even got some orders, but I ended up pocketing the money.  Luckily, it was all family or friends of the family, so nobody ever questioned me about it.  I think after only getting about $30, I gave up, hence the pocketing of funds.  I'm not even sure what I spent it on, probably candy, Garbage Pail Kids cards, and Root Beer New York Seltzer Water.  So watching any movie, within reason anyway, that made me feel as if I was flying through space, was a no brainer.

The Last Starfighter came out in 1984, though I'm sure it was at least a year later that I got to watch it.  And watch it I did, I probably watched it a few times before it had to go back to rental store, and there was nothing about it that I didn't love.  It was so cool that a kid, who loved video games, got to live out my wildest fantasies.  I'm sure the fact that he was older and hot, helped to keep my interest glued to the screen. Alex Logan was the type of guy I wanted to be, and the kind of guy I wanted to cuddle with at the same time.  I may have been 11 or 12 years old, but I already knew what my type was.

Alex is the kind of hero you don't see much of anymore.  He was just an ordinary guy, thrust into a situation way above his pay grade.  And instead of whining and crying about it, or refusing to accept the responsibility, he steps up and does the job asked of him.  Even when all those around him are taken out, knowing what he is about to do could lead to his death, he does it anyway.  He does the right thing, saving billions of people, simply because he can.   Well that and he has to, he is the last Starfighter left.  Hell even after he saves the day, he goes home, picks up his girl, and goes right back to train the new generation of Starfighters.

For those of you who don't know this movie, or aren't a fan of 80s movies, it may not be for you.  The special effects, while cool when the movie came out, can't hold a candle to what modern moviegoers are used to.  The dialogue can be pretty cheesy at times, but what scifi movie isn't.  But it's not just that, there is something almost naive about movies from the 1980s.  There is a sense of innocence and wide eyed wonder that doesn't seem to exist in today's movies, which are considerably more sarcastic than the ones I grew up with.  They are assuredly a product of their time, and I think that's part of the reason I'll never tire of watching them.


Rich Mom, Rich Dad. Poor Mom, Poor Dad. said...

I LOVE The Last Starfighter!!!! It was so good then and still good now. OMG you made me laugh- I think I pocketed fundraiser money once because I didn't raise enough. Eh. It is what it is but I sure did love going to the Kansas State Cosmosphere on field trips as a kid!

bermudaonion said...

My husband and son love that movie too.

Man of la Book said...

I loved that movie as a teen, watched it many times whenever it was on TV. While the cast wasn't stellar, the acting, and the storyline a bit kitchie, it somehow all worked.

Also, the first movie to make extensive use of computer animation (CGI).

Angela's Anxious Life said...

This movie is soooo good. Surprisingly .. I didn't watch this movie in the 80s. I didn't actually find out about it till I was married and my husband showed it to me. Mind Blown I missed out on it sooner.