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The Last Starfighter Reviews

This very good science fiction film has young Alex Rogan (Lance Guest) stuck in a trailer park in California with his mother (Barbara Bosson) and little brother (Chris Hebert). He longs to leave with his girlfriend Maggie (Catherine Mary Stewart). His only solace is a video game, "Starfighter," at which he breaks the record one evening. Later that night Centauri (Robert Preston) shows up, introduces himself as the inventor of the game, and asks Alex to climb into his unusual car to discuss a business proposition. Within minutes the bewildered youth finds himself hurtling through space to a strange planet, where he's given a uniform and is put into a room with a lot of strange-looking aliens for a briefing on the evil Kodan forces, under the traitor Xur, who are attacking the Star League. It finally dawns on Alex that he's being asked to be a real starfighter. Clever, exciting, and fun, THE LAST STARFIGHTER boasts good performances by Guest and Preston, and a literate, funny script that highlights the real story: not the space war that only Guest can win but the difficulty of leaving home, family, and security for a totally new life when the opportunity presents itself. The special effects, computer-generated rather than STAR WARS-type models, work rather well, giving the film an odd but effective look.