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The Last Starfighter 4K UHD Review

“The Last Starfighter” remains a fun-filled sci-fi film. 

1984’s “The Last Starfighter” revolves around a young man named Alex. Although he has a loving girlfriend (Maggie), Alex hopes to one day break free of the trailer park he lives in and explore the world. To kill time, Alex frequently plays an arcade game called Starfighter and becomes quite the pro at it. He becomes such a pro that his wish to explore becomes granted, but not in the way he expected. You see, the world within Starfighter turns out to be real and Alex is being recruited by the League to defeat the evil Xor and the Ko-Dan Armada. While hesitant and more than a little freaked out, Alex ventures with his pal Centauri to outer space to embrace his destiny. On Earth, a robotic unit known as Beta (which takes on Alex’s appearance) takes Alex’s place, but he becomes the target of Xor.

While no doubt greatly inspired by Star Wars, “The Last Starfighter” is still an 80’s sci-fi gem directed by Nick Park and scripted by Jonathan Betuel. It’s a grand space adventure that cleverly incorporates video games before they became such an integral part of pop culture. More than that though, it’s a feel-good slice of sci-fi entertainment about living, love, and heroism. It has plenty of humor and is never once burdened with dark drama (which tends to so often be the case with many movies now).

“The Last Starfighter” also has an important place in cinema history with its use of ahead of its time CGI. While dated, the exciting spaceship action had a unique video game esque visual style that works well for this film.

The cast is what really makes ‘Starfighter’ so timeless. Lance Guest should have been a bigger star after this as he is perfect as Alex. Robert Preston (best known for “The Music Man”) steals every scene he is in as the fast talking Centauri. Dan O’Herlihy is arguably one of the best alien characters of all time as Grig. Catherine Mary Stewart (Maggie) and Chris Hebert (Alex’s brother Louis) also shine in their respective roles.

“The Last Starfighter” may not be mentioned in the same breath as many sci-fi classics, but it’s always had a special place in my heart. Now, when are we getting that sequel?

Note: I reviewed a screener copy of this 4K.


Presentation: 2.35:1 2160p. How does it look? To be blunt, the 4K is not a significant upgrade from the Blu-ray release. With that said, if you don’t own the Blu-ray, the 4K is the option to go with. The print maintains the grain while containing crisper colors. 

Audio Track: 5.1, 4.1 and 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How do they sound? The 5.1 and 4.1 tracks have the most depth here and are the best options. The 2.0 track is clean too.

Extras (same as the Blu-ray):
* 6 separate interviews with Catherine Mary Stewart, composer Craig Safan, writer Jonathan Betuel, special effects supervisor Kevin Pike, author Greg Bear about the CGI company Digital Productions, and arcade game collector Estil Vance about the reconstruction of the Starfighter game.
* 3 commentary tracks- one by Lance Guest and Jackson Guest, one by director Nick Castle and Ron Cobb and one by Mike White.
* Theatrical and teaser trailer for “The Last Starfighter.”
* 9 image galleries for the cast, Starfighter arcade game, Starfighter command, the Starcar, the Gunstar, Ko-Dan Armada, alternate ending, anatomy of a Starfighter CGI and promotion and merchandise.
* “Heroes Of The Screen”- Archival featurette on those responsible for making the film come to life.
* “Crossing The Frontier: Making The Last Starfighter”- Archival 32 minute documentary hosted by Lance Guest.


May 26, 2023 - Posted by | 4K UHD Review | , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. That is a classic!

    Comment by carlocarrasco | May 26, 2023 | Reply

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