The Last Starfighter (1984) directed by Nick Castle is a film about a young man called Alex Rogan who demolishes the high score of an arcade game called The Last Starfighter, not knowing that the arcade game itself is a test to find cadets to pilot and join an alien legion to fight and save the universe against evil. Through the film we are taught about sacrifice and standing up for not only our own good, but that of others. Once Alex has shockingly and to his surprise been brought to an alien planet, he is shown all the legion and enemies but can’t bring himself to continue and goes back to planet Earth. Alex then realises by giving up his dreams he is sacrificing everyone around him and the planet, while the headquarters and all the other Starfighters are blown up!!
Thinking about this part of the story showed me that sometimes what we want can be easily passed up by our fears of the unknown, leaving everything we have strived to become, as it all falls through our fingertips. It also illustrates what it means to be a team, how others can struggle without our help and depend on us; to be part of a team without consciously knowing it.
Within the storyline there are characters who hold the belief that Alex is their saviour yet he shrugs it off because he doesn’t believe in himself, as the last and lone Starfighter versus an armada of ships. When you think of this, how many of us have turned away from something we have all wanted to do because we think the odds are against us?
A quote from a scene where Alex is being told about chances goes as follows “Things change. Always do. You’ll get your chance! Thing is, when it comes, you’ve got to grab with both hands, and hold on tight!” The power of this statement can hold so much importance to us all! Most of us have heard something similar but within the film we are given an insight into what it looks and feels like – to grab our chance and run with it.
The whole idea of hope with such impact in a story can show us all how we can miss chances to prove all our worth and how things we can sacrifice or do can help others. Who knows? Just like Alex, you could strive for something and it can shape your future in many ways, because who knows where your star may lead you. “So it must be fate, destiny, blind chance, luck even, that brings us together”. Hope is our Starfighter that we must pilot through life and find our purpose.
If you haven’t seen this film and get a chance to, you definitely should. Not just for the film itself but to see one of the earliest CGI films, one of the best quotes before death, any Overwatch Reaper fans should see the Starfighters ultimate ability too!
Thank you and keep watching.