The Last Starfighter

1984

The Last Starfighter

Critics Consensus

The plot is as barebones a space movie will allow, but The Last Starfighter captures an era and eager style of filmmaking well.

77%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 30

69%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 47,474
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Movie Info

Trailer-park teenager Lance Guest regularly escapes from his humdrum existence by playing the video game Starfighter. His expertise at this recreational endeavor attracts the attention of affable stranger Robert Preston. Before he knows what's happening, Guest is whisked by Preston into the outer reaches of the galaxy! It turns out that the Starfighter game is being played in deadly earnest in outer space, and that Guest is expected to join Preston's Star League, then do battle with the wicked Kodan forces. Guest's principal ally is the lizardlike Grig (Dan O'Herlihy--and we didn't recognize him either). His great rival is the traitorous Xur (Norman Snow). The contrast between Guest's earthbound life as the son of single-mother Barbara Bosson and his new position as Starfighter is daunting at first, but soon the boy is manning a spacecraft and zapping the baddies as though he's been doing it all his life. The Last Starfighter was clearly designed with "sequel" in mind: giveaways include the resurrection of a "dead" character and the surprisingly casual escape of the villain. While the film didn't stir up enough business to warrant a sequel, the Starfighter video game remained a much-sought-after commodity by joystick-happy "warriors" all over the country. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast

Lance Guest
as Alex Rogan
Barbara Bosson
as Jane Rogan
Kay E. Kuter
as Enduran
Chris Hebert
as Louis Rogan
Dan Mason
as Lord Kril
John O'Leary
as Rylan Bursar
George McDaniel
as Kodan Officer
Charlene Nelson
as Rylan Technician
John Maio
as Friendly Alien
Robert Starr
as Underling
Al Berry
as Rylan Spy
Maggie Cooper
as Rylan Sergeant
Bruce Abbott
as Rylan Sergeant
Scott R. Dunlop
as Tentacled Alien
Peter W. Nelson
as Jack Blake
Peggy Pope
as Elvira
Meg Wyllie
as Granny Gordon
Ellen Blake
as Clara Potter
Britt Leach
as Mr. Potter
Bunny Summers
as Mrs. Boone
Owen Bush
as Mr. Boone
Marc Alaimo
as Hitchhiker
Kimberly Ross
as Cheerleader
Wil Wheaton
as Louis' Friend
Bob Kenaston
as Uncle Bob
Chris Herbert
as Louis Rogan
View All

News & Interviews for The Last Starfighter

Critic Reviews for The Last Starfighter

All Critics (30) | Top Critics (2) | Fresh (23) | Rotten (7)

  • Great fun, with some truly comical moments; a must for pulp-heads and video-junkies.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • The special effects are competent. The acting is good, and I enjoyed Robert Preston's fast-talking The Music Man reprise and the gentle wit of Dan O'Herlihy's extraterrestrial. But the final spark was missing.

    Oct 23, 2004 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • The quintessential '80s artifact -- though in this case I mean that in the best way possible. It arrived at a time when earnestness hadn't yet been overwhelmed by cynicism.

    Nov 8, 2018 | Full Review…
  • It embraces its derivativeness and runs with it to deliver a fun kids space opera that's simple, but exciting.

    Aug 12, 2014 | Full Review…
  • full of 80s cheese, but for someone like me who grew up with this kind of stuff, it was the perfect escape

    Mar 2, 2011 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • One of the few successful Spielberg clones, administering the usual routine of aliens and mouth-agape wonder with friendly determination and a perfect, just perfect, game boy screenwriting hook.

    Aug 26, 2009 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Last Starfighter

  • Oct 15, 2017
    What sounded like a Star Wars ripoff quickly dismisses the comparison with a likable film. The film has a lot of heart and the running time is quite quick, meaning the film doesn't out stay its welcome. It's a shame the film didn't receive the ovation that Star Wars did as this could've grown into a lucrative franchise. I liked the lead character and the presence he provided, the only real issue I had was the simplistic villain, we really needed more depth. This is an old cult classic that has special effects which feel quite state of the art for the time period. 15-10-2017.
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Dec 23, 2015
    Pretty entertaining, and worth a watch. This is one of those films that had a lot of influence on modern sci-fi (especially Armada and its upcoming blockbuster release!). So I'd recommend checking this out if you want a light-hearted sci-fi film with decent action.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer
  • Aug 15, 2014
    "Greetings Starfighters..." A science fiction classic, The Last Starfighter delivers an imaginative, action-packed adventure. After breaking the record on the Starfighter arcade game at his trailer park Alex Rogan is approached by the game's creator and taken to a space-station on a distant planet where he learns that the arcade game was really an alien recruiting tool to find Starfighters to defend the Star League against an invasion force. Starring Lance Guest, Catherine Mary Stewart, and Robert Preston, the film has a good cast that delivers some pretty strong performances. And, as one of the first feature films to use CGI, the special effects are incredibly innovative and revolutionary for their time. The score by Craig Safan is also extraordinarily well-done, and is full of sweeping themes. Though it's aged a bit, The Last Starfighter is a fun and entertaining space odyssey.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Aug 13, 2013
    The Last Star Fighter is an entertaining Sci Fi action adventure that I quite enjoyed. Although not perfect, the film is very entertaining from start to finish. Many critics have said that this is similar to Star Wars, and I can see why, but there is still plenty of originality to the film to make it a memorable viewing experience. Though not perfect, The Last Star Fighter is still a film with plenty of charm, and nostalgia value, and for that it works very well. Director Nick Castle crafts a Sci Fi adventure with heart, and the cast do a great job in their performances to really make this an amusing ride. Although not as great as others in the genre, this is a film worth seeing if you're a fan of Sci Fi. The film's flaws are that it does look a bit dated by today's standards, but if you grew up watching it, you won't mind that much. Some areas could have been improved upon as well, and I felt that this film could have been great, instead it's a film that's good, but never realizes its potential. Overall, the film is entertaining and it is a film that manages to work around its shortcomings to create something memorable. The cast keep you engaged and there are some impressive effects that are a highlight of the picture. I found this one to be much better than what I thought it was going to be. If you're looking for a good Sci Fi film, then give this one a shot, you may be surprised by how good this one is.
    Alex r Super Reviewer

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