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: 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.
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:11/1/99 (Update:8/10/96) Update:12/1/96 Update: 8/10/96 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
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 FAQ'' is © 1996-1999 by
Russ Krook III
and may be freely distributed in it's original form as long
as this copyright notice remains intact, and the person distributing
this FAQ does not recieve monetary compensation, other than user
registration fees normally associated with the operation of an
electronic Bulletin Board Service.
All Other Rights Reserved. This FAQ and any information contained therein may NOT be published in any
printed form, or distributed via CD-ROM/Magnetic media in
``best of'' or compilation disks 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's a recurring actor in the
Star Trek: The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, and he's
frequently seen as the Cardassian Gul Dukat on ST: DS9.
-- 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. :} )
-- [Computer Trivia will end up here when I get around to doing it.]
2) 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 (currently of Atari Games :}).
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 want to sell one of these units. Need not be in working condition!]
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. 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. :}
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 [firstname.lastname@example.org] 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.
3) THOSE WHO HELPED WITH INFO FOR THE FAQ...
Here's the names of the intrepid souls who donated knowledge to
4) LEGAL MUMBO-JUMBO, ET AL...
MOST RECENT UPDATES...
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 FAQ'' is © 1996-1999 by Russ Krook III and may be freely distributed in it's original form as long as this copyright notice remains intact, and the person distributing this FAQ does not recieve monetary compensation, other than user registration fees normally associated with the operation of an electronic Bulletin Board Service. All Other Rights Reserved.
This FAQ and any information contained therein may NOT be published in any printed form, or distributed via CD-ROM/Magnetic media in ``best of'' or compilation disks without the express written consent of the author.