Friends, much like in 1982 the sheer amount of classic and cult classic films that were released in 1984 are astounding. Ghostbusters, The Terminator, Amadeus, The NeverEnding Story, Gremlins, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Night of the Comet, Streets of Fire, and The Last Starfighter are just a very few of the movies released for that year. And in similar fashion as 1982’s TRON the box office take of The Last Starfighter was enough to save it from being a flop but did not generate enough revenue to warrant an immediate sequel. In addition these happen to be two films that are near and dear to my heart, to say nothing of the latter being something of a snapshot of my youth.
I grew up in small and sleepy little town, just down the street from a trailer park, where most entertainment was to be had at the local gas station on the weekends. From ice cream, to picking up a comic book off the rusty spinner rack, and of course playing video games. As far as I know however I was never a contender for being recruited to defend the Universe from the invading forces of Xur and the Ko-Dan Armada. No matter how much Star Trek: Strategic Operations Simulator or Time Pilot might have made me feel like Alex Rogan in the film.
Over the years there has been talk of a sequel or even a reboot of The Last Starfighter but nothing has materialized as of yet. Although just a few days ago there was an article from Josh Weiss for SYFY Wire that revealed that we might be getting a sequel and possibly sooner than we might realize. From that article which also provided a sizzle reel for the proposed sequel entitled The Last Starfighters, Gary Whitta (Star Wars Rebels, Mouse Guard) who is the attached screenwriter said:
“[We are] right on the one-yard line,” he said. “After pushing the boulder uphill for years, we are very, very close … I believe it will happen.”
The Last Starfighters sizzle reel is quite remarkable, set to storyboards which have been illustrated by Matt Allsopp and it benefits from a reworked version of the memorable theme from Craig Safan by Chris Tilton (Fringe, Assassin’s Creed: Unity). Whitta has been able to work with Jonathan Betuel, the writer of the 1984 screenplay – which is fantastic news as I think the sizzle reel proves that the two will be able to deliver a film script that is a worthy successor to The Last Starfighter.
In closing out this article on The Last Starfighters, I will admit I teared up pretty hard at the end of the sizzle reel with Tilton’s score playing over those lines from the 1984 film between Lance Guest’s Alex Rogan and the late and great Robert Preston’s Centauri. So, here is to hoping that in the near future we will be able to see a new generation of Starfighters piloting a fleet of Gunstars on the big screen, protecting the Universe from whatever intergalactic threats might pop up.