The Last Starfighter
© 1984, Lorimar/Universal
He's got one extraordinary chance at the dream of a lifetime. Alex Rogan is a small-town teenager with big-time dreams. He's just like everyone else, except Alex has a very special talent... Tonight, a mysterious stranger will call on Alex. He comes from a galaxy that's under attack by an alien force. And Alex's unique ability is their last hope. [Transcribed from the cover of the novelization, written by Alan Dean Foster]
Can a teenager from a trailer park in the sticks find happiness as an intergalactic warrior? That's the premise of THE LAST STARFIGHTER, a magical adventure starring Robert Preston, Dan O'Herlihy, and two of today's most exciting young stars, Lance Guest and Catherine Mary Stewart. It's the story of an alien scalawag (Robert Preston) who recruits a whiz kid at the video game, Starfighter, to fight outer space wars to save the universe. Besides appealing characters and an intriguing plot, THE LAST STARFIGHTER features production design by Ron Cobb of ALIEN, STAR WARS and CONAN THE BARBARIAN fame, plus computer generated special effects that go far beyond anything ever seen on film. [Transcribed from the back of the video box.]
1.20) Lance Guest's filmography (unabridged) PROGRAM DATE CHARACTER Hart to Hart Returns (1993) (TV) .... Peter McDowell ``Favorite Son'' (1988) (mini) TV Series .... Ross Wizard of Loneliness, The (1988) .... John T. Jaws: The Revenge (1987) .... Michael Confessions of a Married Man (1984) (TV) Just the Way You Are (1984) .... Jack Last Starfighter, The (1984) .... Alex Rogan Roommate, The (1984) (TV) .... Orson Ziegler I Ought to Be in Pictures (1982) .... Gordon Halloween II (1981) .... Jimmy ``Knots Landing'' (1979) TV Series .... Steve Brewer (1990-) ``Lou Grant'' (1977) TV Series .... Lance (1981-82)
1.21) Dan O'Herlihy's filmography (abridged) PROGRAM DATE CHARACTER Web TV Comercial [Magnavox] (1996) .... N/A Love, Cheat & Steal (1993) (TV) .... Hamilton Fisk ``Twin Peaks'' (1990) TV Series.... Andrew Packard Robocop 2 (1990) .... Old Man Robocop (1987) (as Daniel O'Herlihy) .... The Old Man (Head OCP) Last Starfighter, The (1984) .... Grig ``Whiz Kids'' (1983) TV Series .... Carson Marsh (1984) Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1983) .... Conal Cochran MacArthur (1977) .... President Franklin D. Roosevelt 100 Rifles (1969) .... Grimes Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1952) .... Robinson Crusoe Kidnapped (1948) Macbeth (1948) .... Macduff
1.22) Catherine Mary Stewart's filmography (abridged) PROGRAM DATE CHARACTER Number One Fan (1995) .... Holly Newman Out of Annie's Past (1995) (TV) .... Annie Samurai Cowboy (1993) (TV) Sea Wolf, The (1993) (TV) .... Flaxen Brewster ``Hearts Are Wild'' (1992)TV Series .... Kyle Hubbard Cafe Romeo (1992) .... Lis Weekend at Bernie's (1989) .... Gwen Saunders World Gone Wild (1988) .... Angie Cherry 2000 (1987) Nightflyers (1987) .... Miranda Annihilator (1986) (TV) .... Angela Taylor ``Hollywood Wives'' (1985) (mini) TV Series .... Angel Hudson Mischief (1985) .... Bunny Last Starfighter, The (1984) .... Maggie Gordon Night of the Comet (1984) .... Regina Nighthawks (1981) .... Sales Girl ``Days of Our Lives'' (1965) TV Series .... Kayla Brady
1.23) Robert Preston's filmography (abridged) PROGRAM DATE CHARACTER Outrage! (1986) (TV) .... Dennis Riordan Finnegan Begin Again (1985) (TV) .... Mike Finnegan Last Starfighter, The (1984) .... Centauri September Gun (1983) (TV) Rehearsal for Murder (1982) (TV) Victor/Victoria (1982) .... Toddy S.O.B. (1981) .... Dr. Irving Finegarten Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg, The (1980) (TV) .... Mr. Stranger ``The Chisholms'' (1979) (mini)TV Series .... Hadley Chisholm Semi-Tough (1978) .... Big Ed Bookman My Father's House (1975) (TV) Mame (1974) .... Beauregard Island of Love (1963) How the West Was Won (1962) .... Roger Morgan Music Man, The (1962) .... Harold Hill
1.24) (Director) Nick Castle's filmography (unabridged) Director filmography Mr. Wrong (1996) Major Payne (1994) Dennis the Menace (1993) Tap (1989) Boy Who Could Fly, The (1986) Last Starfighter, The (1984) Tag: The Assassination Game (1982) Writer filmography Hook (1991) (story) Tap (1989) Boy Who Could Fly, The (1986) Tag: The Assassination Game (1982) Escape from New York (1981) Skatetown, U.S.A. (1979)
1.25) (Writer) Jonathan R. Betuel's filmography (unabridged) Writer filmography Theodore Rex (1995) ... aka T. Rex (1995) My Science Project (1985) Last Starfighter, The (1984) Director filmography Theodore Rex (1995) ... aka T. Rex (1995) My Science Project (1985)
A: [From the Film] ``Greetings, Starfighter! You have been recruited by the Star League to defend the frontier against Xur and the Ko-Dan armada.''
A: No. Alex's Gunstar was a prototype. It had... ``...greater range, more power and a slight weapons modification... and of course she has deflector plating so she can withstand several direct hits." And... "...Deathblossom, a weapon of last resort!''
A: Sadly, yes. Robert Preston passed away in 1987.
A: Sadly, yes. Dan passed away February 2nd, 2005 of natural causes.
A: The video is currently available from MCA/Universal Home Video, for the retail price of $16.99 The English Language Laserdisk version is also available, but only in the pan-and-scan version.
UPDATE: 1/21/97 - Laserdisk
A2: There is a Japanese import laserdisk of The Last Starfighter that is in widescreen/Letterbox format. It is still in English, and subtitled in Japanese across the bottom of the black Letterboxing. Sadly, I do not know where you can find the film. I would suggest a company that does a lot of import video and laserdisks such as Japanese Anime.
UPDATE: 10/20/2003 - DVD
A3: Well, by now EVERYONE who's interested knows that the Last Starfighter has been released on DVD! The video transfer is good and the behind the scenes photos and misc. materials are well worth the purchase price. The format is 16:9 anamorphic widescreen format. Now I can retire my Import Japanese widescreen video tape!
UPDATE: 2007 - HD-DVD
A4: HD-DVD format. I didn't buy it. Thank god I saved the money because...
UPDATE: 8/23/2009 - Blu-Ray DVD
A5: Blu-Ray High Definition DVD format. This was just released this week. It's very inexpensive ($20). It contains all the same special features as the Collector's Edition DVD and has a bonus retrospective feature that is exclusive to the Blu-Ray version.
UPDATE: 10/20/2003 - Last Starfighter the Musical
No, you didn't just experience a drug induced hallucination when you read that! There actually IS a musical based on the Last Starfighter! Do a search on Amazon.com for the soundtrack on CD. By all reports it's actually a pretty good show. If it pops up in your neck of the woods, check it out!
Update:11/1/99 (Update:8/10/96) - 8 bit Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) Version. Update:12/1/96 Update: 8/10/96 - Last Starfighter: Tunnel Chase Game Update: 9/18/2010 - The Last Starfighter: Duel In Space Game Do you have some info on The Last Starfighter that _NEEDS_ to be shared?
If so, send the info, along with your name and e-mail address to
me with ``LAST STARFIGHTER SUBMISSIONS'' in the subject line. And thanks! The names of films, books, games, etc. mentioned in this work
are Copyright by the original copyright holders, and their inclusion
in this FAQ is not intended to be an infringement of those rights. ``The Last Starfighter Movie and Videogame FAQ'' This FAQ and ANY INFORMATION CONTAINED THEREIN may NOT be published in any
electronic or printed form, or distributed via CD-ROM/Magnetic media in
``best of'' compilation disks, or used IN ANY FORM ON ANY OTHER WEB PAGES, etc. without
the express written consent of the author.
1.8 The Last Starfighter TRIVIA!!!
-- You may have recognized the actor who plays the part
of the "Hitchhiker," Marc Alaimo. He was a recurring actor in
Star Trek: The Next Generation and he's perhaps most famous
for his role as the Cardassian Gul Dukat on Star Trek: Deep Space 9.
-- And yes, the 'Wil Wheaton' listed as "Louis' Friend" in the
credits is also a ST: Next Generation alumni, Wesley Crusher.
I wonder if he didn't have a bigger part, but possibly his
scenes ended up on the cutting room floor, since his total
screen time is less than 60 seconds in the finished film.
(I know, I've timed it. :} )
-- (Update: 10/2003) Just a tidbit of information, but Atari
ceased being "Atari" in the early 2000s.
They became "Midway Games West" and were quietly shut down
when midway decided to pull out of the coin-op amusement business
to concentrate on their gambling machine business (making slot machines,
video poker, etc). Mike A. (and many other Atari employees) lost
their jobs with little advance warning.
About that same time Midway (who ALSO owned Bally/Williams Pinball)
shut down their pinball business also, leaving Stern as the only pinball
A publishing company bought the Atari name and logo and are now
producing PC/Console games under the Atari name. At last report they
have no plans to enter the Coin-Op business.
1.9 What 'The Last Starfighter' items can I buy?
Ebay.com aside from being a hive of scum and villany... has the largest
collection of Last Starfighter items for purchase of anywhere on the 'net!
Some items that pop up regularly include...
DVD's, VHS, even laserdisk versions of the film pop up regularly.
The Novelization is easy to find (and well worth it if you've never read it).
The hardcover 'Storybook' is often available.
The comics, either in the large scale magazine size, or the individual 3 issue
limited series as well. The art is... inaccurate to the film, but
if you must own everything Last Starfighter, buy them cheap.
Activity/coloring books are another regular offering.
There are two different US movie posters. There are two pre-release posters that say "coming soon"
at the bottom. The artwork is TOTALLY different on each version making each one worth getting.
The US posters are 27x41 inches in size, and NO, they will NOT fit properly in those "movie" poster
frames you can buy at Walmart. They are 27x40. WTF? That's not even an even ratio! Yes, some
movie posters are 27x40, just not the ones 'I' own.
There are also foreign language posters, which sadly can be very expensive to buy. I've seen
Japanese, French, and Spanish language ones, as well as lobby cards, and also video store promotion
posters pushing the release on VHS video.
Batten down the hatches and prepare to dig deep into that college fund for the original film
soundtrack! The lowest I've seen it offered lately has been about $90! And one MORON had it listed
for... drumroll please... $10,000! Yes that's right TEN-THOUSAND-DOLLARS!! Supposedly it had
a different case sleeve or some other stupid thing. Well, I won't be paying for it. And I hope
None of YOU will either. That's insane for a CD that probably cost $16 when it was released originally.
The soundtrack to the Musical is also available, and won't cost you a kidney to purchase. Check it out!
The two FASA board games and the Nintendo NES game are still available regularly.
Section 001: THE LAST STARFIGHTER: THE GAME
2.0) Q: WAS THERE REALLY AN ARCADE GAME?
A: Yes and No. In the spring of 1995 I called Atari
Games on an unrelated matter (trying to find an old
instruction manual for an arcade game) and asked the same
The representative I talked to said that the game
was created, and test marketed in a limited fashion, but
never went into mass production, largely because of the
glut in movie related games at the time, and the fact
that Atari had lost a great deal of money paying licensing
fees for their previous movie related games (Star Wars,
TESB, Indiana Jones/Temple of Doom...).
Around this time, Atari was also losing millions
because of "The Crash" of the home gaming market,
so that may have been an additional nail in Starfighter's
>How many units were produced? What were the graphics like?
It was never produced. It earned almost no money.
Some of the graphics were later used in another game.
The Mystery Solved!
I recently was able to contact Lyle Rains (formerly of
Atari Games, now with Leisure Video Research) and
Mike Albaugh (Formerly of Atari Games/Midway Games West).
They have graciously (and for me, sadly) solved
the mystery of The Last Starfighter arcade game.
From: Mike Albaugh
From: Mike Albaugh
Date: Sat, 22 Feb 1997 15:21:14 -0800
From: Lyle Rains
Date: Mon, 24 Feb 1997 09:20:11 -0800
To: Wayland DeGreene
[I'm STILL interested in buying one of the test/prototype arcade
games. Or if you don't want to sell, I'd be Very interested in
photos/video of the game. E-mail Me if you have information you'd care to share.]
Arcade Cabinet found?
I received a few e-mails after the new DVD release of TLS, saying that
there was the arcade game in the DVD into given by Lance Guest.
Well, I hate to break it to you, but that cabinet pictured was neither
an actual arcade game, nor was it the actual mockup used in the film. The cabinet
was a special project prop created just for the DVD. I was contacted in the
spring of 2003 by the person who owned the cabinet and he was looking to sell it at
that time. He was looking to get upwards of I believe $20,000 for the cabinet.
I do not know if he eventually did sell it or not, and I had a computer
crash in the meantime so I lost all his contact information. :)
DVD Arcade Cabinet sold!
It's been a whils since the last update, but a LOT has happened regarding
the DVD movie prop replica. The cabinet was purchased by "Doc" at Rogue Synapse.com.
from an auction on eBay! Doc is involved in both the arcade game fandom AND the
movie prop making like I am, so it was only a matter of time before it happened:
someone made a playable simulation of the game as seen in the film! The game is
an EXCELLENT recreation and everything that a "vintage" game from 1984 should be. ^_^
It's also available for FREE That's right kids, FREE! And to think your
parents said you can't get something for nothing! If you DO download the program,
I request you send a thank you note to Doc for all his HARD work on the project.
Game Footage video found!
This update is actually a few years OUT of date by now. A couple years
ago somone contacted me saying they had a video tape showing test footage
of the Atari arcade game. It was 8-12 odd minutes of footage and I asked what they
were going to do with it. I offered to copy it and host it on the 'net for everyone
to enjoy but I suspect that they were more interested in selling it, as it WAS the
ONLY footage of the actual game screens EVER seen anywhere. The price they
wanted was WAAAAY more than I was willing to pay for 8 minutes of footage and
I never heard back from them.
But if you do a search on Youtube.com
You should be able to EASILY find the footage. Definately interesting to
say the least but honestly, Doc's PLAYABLE game is better. ^_^
Arcade Programming Hardware found!
This is ANOTHER long overdue update. 3-4 years ago I was contacted by a former
Atari employee who was given the custom "computer" platform that Starfighter was partially
programmed on when Atari/Miday was cleaning out all the "junk" from their West Coast
offices. He received no documentation or other information with the hardware, just
the parts alone. At the time he was interested in trying to see if he could figure it out
(he collects obsolete computer hardware) and get it working. As far as I can recall
he didn't have the data tapes that Starfighter was stored on, and seeing as we haven't
seen arcade versions available on eBay, I'm guessing it went no farther than an
2.1) Q: WAS THERE AN ATARI 2600 T.L.S. GAME?
A: There was at least was one in development, but the final
version of the gamecart never made it into mass production,
again due in part to the ``Crash'' of the home videogame market.
A version was also created for the Atari 5200 game system,
and the Atari 800 computer system. The prototypes of the game
contain a Last Starfighter intro, and graphics similar to the
ships from the movie. Gameplay involved fighting your way through
wave after wave of enemy ships, and then a final confrontation
with the with the command ship, which would then pound you into
The prototype Last Starfighter game was suddenly renamed
and released as ``Star Raiders II'' in both cartridge and floppy
disk format for the 5200 console and Atari 800 computer systems.
The game has slightly changed graphics and an increased difficulty.
The TLS intro was also removed and replaced with an Atari corporate
Here's the Atari 2600 listing of the game.
Name Atari Rar Gr Pl Model No.
The Last Starfighter NR ? ? CX26134
Rar= rarity (Not Released), Gr=Graphics Pl=Playability
A: Apparently there do exist commercial copies of The Last Starfighter
which were released for the old Atari 800 computers as well as a
prototype for the Atari 5200 game system. I've had many people
e-mail me saying that they have a copy they could send me if I
wanted it. Actually, I'd be more interested in a copy of the ARCADE
roms if anyone has them, but thank you all for the offer of the
Atari computer versions. I may start taking you all up on the offer
and host it here just so others can play it as well. -_^
2.2) Q: HAS T.L.S. EVER BEEN RELEASED FOR ANY OTHER GAME SYSTEMS/PLATFORMS?
A: Yes it has.
There was supposedly a version released for the 8 bit Nintendo
NES system. It's reported to be a scrolling shooter, in the same
style as Sky Shark, 1941, Raiden and others. That's the only
other version said to exist.
A.1: The NES version of TLS is a _Terrible_ game. It's a side
scrolling shooter like the games mentioned above. The intro
says ``The Last Starfighter'' in a font like that used in the
film. It also contains an abridged version of the soundtrack
score. The high scores contain some _really_ bad mispellings
of the names (Xur is Zur, etc.) And that's about it.
Not worth buying, _or_ renting, unless you're a true die-hard
TLS fan. And maybe not even then...
A.2: Chuck Cochems [email@example.com] claims...
"It's just a renamed "Uridium".
I've played Uridium on the c64, and that "the
last starfighter" game I saw for it [The NES Version]
looked VERY familiar...
So, to sum up, the game is not a true Last Starfighter game
It is simply a conversion of a c64 game called Uridium.
[I have no way of confirming these claims, So I'll just assume he's
Correct about the game. Either way, it's still a lousy game.]
Robin Harbron says...
> Hey, I like your FAQ an awful lot, it was brought up in
> RGVC [Rec.Games.video.Classic], so I followed through.
> I'm a classic video game
> collector, a fan of TLS, but #1 a commodore 64 fan :)
> I've never seen the NES TLS game, but I've played the
> c64 game called Uridium. Nearly every c64 user over the
> years has played this game, and it is pretty much
> universally accepted as a massive classic. It was
> written by a fellow named Andrew Braybrook, who is highly
> esteemed by many :)
> Anyway, my point is, if TLS for NES is truly a conversion
> of Uridium, it must be a very bad one, as Uridium is truly
> brilliant. Or alternatively, perhaps Chuck didn't mean it
> was a conversion, but merely a similar game, one of the
> same "genre".
> Sorry if this isn't much use to you, I guess I just didn't
> like how it is sort of implied that Uridium stinks, when
> in fact just TLS on NES stinks. :)
[OK, What I said was...
``I have no way of confirming these claims,
So I'll just assume he's correct about the game.
Either way, it's still a lousy game.''
What I meant to say was...
``I have no way of confirming these claims,
So I'll just assume he's correct about the game.
As far as I'm concened it was the wrong game to put
the Last Starfighter name on. The ships look _NOTHING_
like those in the film, not even remotely close. Putting
"The Last Starfighter" name on a Donkey Kong cart would
have done the same job. Taken by itself as a side
scrolling shooter, The 8 bit NES LSF is a decent game.
But as a representation of The LSF film, it doesn't
even come close to the mark.]
A.3: Well, there was another version. Sort of.
FASA, (famous for the Battletech/Mechwarrior games)
produced a Last Starfighter Board game, where you
pilot your Gunstar through tunnels looking for things
to shoot at.
This game has been out of print since about 1985-86.
Last Starfighter: Tunnel Chase Game
Publisher : FASA
In print? : No
# players : 2-6
Plays best with: see comments
Ease of learn? : 5-10min
Avg. play time : 31-60min
Immed. replay : 3+/session
Longterm replay: Average
Format : Board
Genre : SciFi
Feel : Serious
Description : The two player game portrays the battle in
the asteroid in the movie _The Last Starfighter_.
(More than two players just gives different starting
The players have to attempt to outflank the other
player(s) through the tight quarters of an asteroid
full of tunnels while avoiding damage by being shot
and/or hitting walls.
Last one alive wins. The 'asteroid' is assembled from a
central hexagon (which is symetrical) and six surrounding
hexagons, so there are 720 possible asteroids'.
Comments : RE: Plays best with: That depends on what type of game
you want. 2 players gives a nice game of trying to outflank
the other player and get several good shots. With more
players, it devolves into a chaotic ruckus where you can't
afford to just pursue one other player.
FASA also released another tabletop board game based on
The Last Starfighter called The Last Starfighter: Duel In Space.
It's basically a single ship to ship combat game of a Gunstar
versus a Deck Fighter. I have a copy of this game and have formatted it in an
Adobe PDF document. It's available, FOR FREE from Rookscastle.com!
Of course, free will donations via paypal won't be turned away. ^_^
Feel free to grab a copy here: TLS: Duel In Space
EBay is the best source for these types of out of print games.
Typically they cost between $5-$20 or so, depending on condition. I think
I paid about $15 for BOTH games.
Section 003: THOSE WHO HELPED WITH INFO FOR THE FAQ...
Here's the names of the intrepid souls who donated knowledge to
Section 004: LEGAL MUMBO-JUMBO, ET AL...
is digitally © 1996-2010 by Russ Krook III ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
(Update:8/10/96) - 8 bit Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) Version.
Update: 8/10/96 - Last Starfighter: Tunnel Chase Game
Update: 9/18/2010 - The Last Starfighter: Duel In Space Game
Do you have some info on The Last Starfighter that _NEEDS_ to be shared? If so, send the info, along with your name and e-mail address to me with ``LAST STARFIGHTER SUBMISSIONS'' in the subject line. And thanks!
The names of films, books, games, etc. mentioned in this work are Copyright by the original copyright holders, and their inclusion in this FAQ is not intended to be an infringement of those rights.
``The Last Starfighter Movie and Videogame FAQ''
This FAQ and ANY INFORMATION CONTAINED THEREIN may NOT be published in any electronic or printed form, or distributed via CD-ROM/Magnetic media in ``best of'' compilation disks, or used IN ANY FORM ON ANY OTHER WEB PAGES, etc. without the express written consent of the author.All Other Rights Reserved.