Trailer Tuesday: The Last Starfighter (1984)

Back in the days of 1984 at the age of twelve I firmly believed I was destined for great things…as a gamer. Something that my Father with his wisdom realized was a very great folly, so while my hours of gaming were sadly cut short to study things like Civics and Algebra, I couldn’t help but continuously doodle video game characters on my homework and on my folders. My math teachers were less than supportive of this fascination I held with all things video game related, but luckily for me my Civics teacher, perhaps sensing a kindred soul, showed me a magazine with a picture for an upcoming Summer film called the Last Starfighter.

That Summer, it is an understatement to say that I fell in love with this film. While every actor does an outstanding job of portraying their character, the two standout performances come from the Music Man himself, Robert Preston, and a soon to be head of Omni Consumer Products in Old Detroit, Dan O’Herlihy. Oh, for what is worth I did in fact bump into my Civics teacher while attending a matinee, she seemed to enjoy it as much as I did.


Editor at Retroist
Searching through the alleys for useful knowledge in the city of Nostalgia. Huge cinema fanatic and sometimes carrier of the flame for the weirding ways of 80s gaming, toys, and television. When his wife lets him he is quite happy sitting in the corner eating buckets of beef jerky.

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6 thoughts on “Trailer Tuesday: The Last Starfighter (1984)

  1. vinvectrex says:

    Great post Vic! Most reviews of the Last Starfighter tend to focus on the revolutionary computer graphics. But, while those effects have aged with time, the excellent performances and characters with heart are just as relevant now as they were in 1984.

  2. One of my favorite movies of all times. Also one of the best scores of all times. On par with John Williams for sure.

    The trailer is good, but gives a LOT of the plot away.

  3. du8 says:

    I remember eating at a Pizza Inn just after seeing this movie with my family…I was really excited at the prospect of a whole toyline and a string of sequels…My parents felt that it was pretty much a sure thing….alas it was not to be…

  4. @du8 Don’t give up hope on that sequel just yet, friend. There is talks of a new Starfighter movie in the works, perhaps the success of Tron: Legacy has jump started the talks again. :)

    @RetroJustin Agreed, friend, agreed!

    @strugglingwriter You are quite right about the trailer, I believe back in my youth the only commercial I saw was one television.

    @vinvectrex Thanks for the kind words, my friend. You are right about the special effects in the film and I still think they are awesome to be honest, but I’ve always felt like I’m visiting old friends when I watch this movie, that is the true power of the actors involved with the film. :)

  5. Atari Adventure Square says:

    Great write-up, Vic.
    I love your Civics teacher.

    And a sequel would be terrific!

    This movie would make a great double-bill with Tron.
    The quarter-gobblin’ 80s had a growing excitement about the possibilities of the gamer as a real-world hero. These movies expand upon that idea in impressive ways.
    And I felt that way on a daily basis, anyhow, battling pixel invaders and object-hoarding dragons.
    I almost always expected to have a Centauri knock on my door after an impressive gaming run.
    I still do.

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