Since Clisair started a crystal ball rolling about 80s sci-fi and fantasy films a week or so ago, I’ll bring in another movie not to be missed for so many reasons. It’s a great fun story for one, and it was the first movie to completely use computer animation for its space scenes. Let’s go to Northern Cal in the mid 80s. Video games are still pretty much 2D, but the one in the trailer park that Alex Rogan lives in and helps maintain is very special. It was designed as a test to find new fighters for the fight against Xur and the Kodan Armada out on the “frontier” Alex is a simple guy who wants what most teen boys want, a shot a good college, to marry his steady girlfriend, Maggie, but all that gets put aside the night he meets Centauri. Robert Preston, a great actor who excelled in every role he played, best know as Professor Harold Hill, in “The Music Man”, is Centauri, an alien recruiter who designed the video game tests. He wisks Alex away to the “Frontier”, and Alex is now on the biggest adventure he’ll ever know. Alex gets as far as the Starbase when he realizes he was drafted, and ask to not be part of this war, as he has to many responsiblities at home, and he really should not get involved. When he gets back home, things really turn for the worst. He’s got a bounty on him, and to save his family, from the bounty hunters, he has to save the galaxy.
The Starbase and space scenes are sleek, and it is hard to believe that they were developed on the old Amiga system, but for the time, it was state of the art, and really gave the movie a technical feel, but not a cold, sterile one. The most fun character in the movie is Grig, Alex’s pilot. I can’t remember what alien race he was, but this lizard-looking guy was always upbeat and high-spirited, and a pretty funny guy. There is just so much fun to this movie that everyone can enjoy it, even with its retro setting. Take and hour and a half or so, and get caught up in the high-tech fun of The Last Starfighter.