'You're on Rylos! Stop thinking human'
TODAY'S RETRO-REVIEW: 1984's "The Last Starfighter," starring Lance Guest, Catherine Mary Stewart and Robert Preston. Directed by Nick Castle (The Boy Who Could Fly, Tap). It was one of the first films to take advantage of computer graphics for entire segments of the movie. In 2004, it was converted to stage in an off-Broadway production.
THE PLOT: A teenager stuck living in a trailer park (Guest) finds that his videogaming skills are highly prized elsewhere in the universe when he's recruited to defend an alien race against invaders. But will he leave his girlfriend (Stewart) and family to pursue his destiny?
MAYBE YOU REMEMBER: Lance Guest played the part of "Jack" in the Kristy McNichol film, "Just the Way You Are." Guest falls for McNichol before meeting her in person and realizing she's handicapped. (Come on, Jack!)
SURELY YOU CAN'T FORGET: This was the final film appearance for Robert Preston, who died in 1987 of lung cancer. Best known to 80s fans for his role in "Victor/Victoria," Preston based his "Starfighter" role of "Centauri " on his 1962 performance of "Professor Harold Hill" in "The Music Man."
WHAT THE CRITICS SAID: "The Last Starfighter is not a terrifically original movie. The video game concept seems inspired by Walt Disney's TRON, and the battles in space are such close copies of the Star Wars movies that George Lucas might have a lawsuit." -- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
WHY WE LIKE IT ANYWAY: The aliens are more human than those living on Earth, especially movie critics it seems. And without sounding like too much of a wuss, there's great romantic juice between Guest and Stewart (who would go on star in "Night of the Comet," "Weekend at Bernie's" and "Mischief.") Hell, if Guest had left her behind on earth, I'd be living with "Maggie" now at the "Star Lite Trailer Park!"
TOP 5 LINES FROM THE LAST STARFIGHTER:
5. "Back to sleep, Louis, or I'm telling Mom about your Playboys!"
4. "Woo! All right! We're being invaded!"
3. "Greetings, Starfighter. You have been recruited by the Star League to defend the frontier against Xur and the Ko-Dan armada."
2. "Sorry, I didn't mean to step on your, uh, whatever that is."
1. "You're on Rylos, my boy! Stop thinking human."