I love “The Last Starfighter” – it’s one of those early ’80s gems that, despite the wonky effects and syrupy schmaltz, transports you back to kinder, less stressful times. “Ghostbusters”, “Gremlins”, “Young Sherlock Holmes”, “Explorers”, “Poltergeist”, “Sixteen Candles”… they’re all good H.G Wells surrogates too. I don’t know what it is about that 1984-1985 period, but there’s something – for lack of a better word – ‘magical’ about those films. Maybe it’s that I was of the perfect age for these films then, and that’s why they’ve always stayed with me and taken up residence in the warmer spots of my heart, or maybe – dare I say it – they just don’t make ’em like they use to?
Nick Castle’s “Last Starfighter” wasn’t as big as the Spielbergian efforts of the time but it definitely garnered a colossal fanbase. I remember being on holidays and having to ‘rush back’ – counting down the days to it’s release, and all – to see it when it started. It could’ve been Catherine Mary Stewart, it could’ve been that ‘Star Wars meets TRON’ premise, or maybe I mistook it for an Amblin flick – whatever the case, I loved it. Still do. Just showed it to my 3-year-old daughter and she, well… she didn’t enjoy it as much as I did; maybe she’s a little too young or maybe, and I’m afraid this might be the case, it’s a film that only resonates with those that came-of-age with such flicks? I’ll convince her somehow… I mean, c’mon! It’s Robert Preston!
There’s been talk of a “Last Starfighter” sequel for many, many years but I think the last I heard that idea was on the outer and it was going to get the remake treatment (yeah, big shock). Well, gotta say, I smiled – and considering how sick I am at the moment, that’s saying something – when this email came into my inbox from long-time Moviehole reader ‘Dennis’ in NJ.
I was at the monstermania convention here in NJ in March. I met Lance Guest, Catherine Mary Stewart and Director Nick Castle from The Last Starfighter. I asked Nick if the rumers of a sequel were true and he said they were. They almost got the film made a couple of years ago. In the proposed sequel, Lance and Catherine’s characters Alex and Maggie are parents to a son who will be a Starfighter. My conversation with Nick castle was brief but he encouraged me to help spread the word in the hopes that the film may still get made. So I am. I was wondering if you could do the same and if you have heard anything on this proposed sequel? Would live to see it come to fruition. Lance, Catherine and Nick were all very pleasant and it was great to meet them.
That storyline – Alex and Maggie’s son being a Starfighter is indeed the one Nick Castle has wanted to do for many, many years but, as I said, I thought he’d given up the plight of making it happen. As far as I know, there had been some kind of issue with the rights… or the producers… or something. Whatever, Castle is determined! It’s not a reality yet, and might not ever be one, but if we can make our voices heard… someone might listen. Ideally, Cenatuari.
NB : Sadly, Robert Preston and Dan O’Herlihy (‘Grig’) aren’t with us anymore, so they’ve have to recast those roles or… leave them out… or bring in ‘the kids of…’.