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Composer Craig Safan Discusses THE LAST STARFIGHTER Remake/Sequel/Whatever It Is...

Merrick here...
Composer Craig Safan was recently interviewed about his involvement with various scores (like CHEERS) and discusses his tremendous work on THE LAST STARFIGHTER. During the interview, Safan reveals that work is underway on 25 Anniversary DVD release of the film (which would be this year), and that anniversary theatrical screenings will also occur (in places like the Aero theater in L.A.) He also refrences the remake (or sequel?) we got wind of a while back. Very close paraphrase (the audio interview isn't rewindable):
There are plans for a sequel. There has been a script written, it's been storyboarded. I think they're just sort of waiting for the final go.
...says Safan in an interview you can find HERE. There's some surprisingly candid discussion in the interview about the current state of film scoring (essentially saying that a majority of today's film music sounds too much alike), Hollywood's propensity for pushing out the old guard in favor of new talent, etc. Give it a listen it you have a's approx 30 mins long. There's been some confusion about whether the new STARFIGHTER project is a remake, a pseudo-sequel, or what. I can't say for certain, but all indication's I've received point to it being a sequel of sorts. Eager to learn more...

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  • March 12, 2009, 12:34 p.m. CST

    What's a beta unit?

    by WerePlatypus

  • March 12, 2009, 12:35 p.m. CST


    by DeweyOxburger

    Best. Theme. Ever.

  • March 12, 2009, 12:37 p.m. CST

    Great film! Loved to see another.

    by Damien Chowder

  • March 12, 2009, 12:38 p.m. CST


    by Merrick

    It's really a badass theme. Easily in my top five most favorite themes.

  • March 12, 2009, 12:39 p.m. CST

    The first movie to use CG to create Spaceships

    by Orionsangels

    The CG looks God awful today, but still. It has it's charm.

  • March 12, 2009, 12:39 p.m. CST

    "majority of today's film music sounds too much alike"

    by awepittance

    i only this to say: Tyler Bates Watchmen

  • March 12, 2009, 12:43 p.m. CST

    Greetings, Starfighter

    by Ray Gamma

    You have been recruited by the Star League to defend the Frontier against Xur and the Ko-Dan armada.

  • March 12, 2009, 12:44 p.m. CST

    "What do we do?!"

    by HoboCode

    (zuuurrp) "We die."

  • March 12, 2009, 12:44 p.m. CST

    original is so great!!

    by FleshMachine


  • March 12, 2009, 12:44 p.m. CST

    Why not just go back and Lucas-ize the effects

    by Engelhast

    And release a new special edition with updated CGI? I'd be all for it.

  • March 12, 2009, 12:44 p.m. CST

    I loved this movie and Flight of the Navigator as a child

    by walrusholder

    Looking back Flight of Navigator really sucked. I think I just liked Pee Wee Herman as the robot alien. Starfighter still is pretty cool.

  • March 12, 2009, 12:46 p.m. CST


    by FleshMachine

    no! the original effects are classic!

  • March 12, 2009, 12:49 p.m. CST


    by HoboCode

    I just IMDB'd this. The same director is remaking this? That's kind of cool.

  • March 12, 2009, 12:56 p.m. CST


    by Spyhunter

    Hope you took a big grain of salt with that. IMDB isn't exactly a trustworthy news source.

  • March 12, 2009, 12:59 p.m. CST

    Great score for such a small movie.

    by Kevin Holsinger

  • March 12, 2009, 1:05 p.m. CST

    So what are they going to do now?

    by Bentley_Bear

    Instead of placing recruiting machines at the arcades, the first test is to beat some level in a Wii/PS3/Xbox? <br/> Arcades are dead now and that was part of the hook. <br/> It's like that cursed Poltergeist remake. No channel has white noise anymore.

  • March 12, 2009, 1:06 p.m. CST

    Alex?! What the hell is goin on???!!?!

    by Darth Macchio

    Great flick! HoBO's been playin it lately and it's just as fun as it was 20 years ago! Not to mention the girl who plays Maggie has a decent/passing resemblance to Racquel Darrian, one of my favorite old-skool porn stars! (she was also in Weekend At Bernie's, etc).<p>I presume we're getting this in blu key-rect?<p>Computer used was a Cray X-1 which, for us computer geeks long in the tooth, is a "mainframe" computer! (remember those?). I believe much of the graphics of TRON was also done on the Cray as well as some other very early CGI for other films (Wrath of Khan 'genesis demo' was done by Atari as was Superman 3).

  • March 12, 2009, 1:07 p.m. CST

    This score is from when everything had a kick ass theme.

    by TheWrathOfSean

    Someone even mentioned Flight of the Navigator back there. The theme from that was awesome too.

  • March 12, 2009, 1:08 p.m. CST

    Been waiting 25 years for closure on Xur

    by Liberty Valance

    That slippery fuck!

  • March 12, 2009, 1:09 p.m. CST

    Go back to sleep or I"ll tell mom about your PLAYBOYS!

    by Xian042

    *snore* *snore* *snore*

  • March 12, 2009, 1:12 p.m. CST

    Great music/ movie!

    by Darth Thoth

    Love the movie and that theme brings tears to my eyes almost every time I hear it. Anybody know where I could get a copy of the soundtrack? Amazon is selling it for close to a $100... I don't love it that much, lol.

  • March 12, 2009, 1:15 p.m. CST

    Yeah, everything sounds like Hans Zimmer.

    by Henry Jones Sr

    And I mean everything! And how come no one can write theme tunes anymore? All these big movies come and go (X-Men, Fantastic Four, etc) with not a single memorable note between them. Shame. Oh, and I have an original copy of The Last Starfighter soundtrack on CD. It really is outstanding. Yay!

  • March 12, 2009, 1:22 p.m. CST

    the real starfighter game

    by punkerkris

    if you want to play the real starfighter game and if this is going to be a remake and shia lafbeouf is going to be in it.....the world will end

  • March 12, 2009, 1:23 p.m. CST

    Where to find the soundtrack

    by GeneralKael

    iTunes has the entire soundtrack for $9.99(or just the theme for 99 cents). I know cause it's on my iPod...

  • March 12, 2009, 1:24 p.m. CST

    Alex is goin' for the record!

    by spkinbote

    Because arcade games were networked. Even as a kid I was filled with dread thinking that someone, somewhere was monitoring the videogame scores in Shitville, USA. If they know how good we are at videogames, they know everything. Robert Preston was funny, though.

  • March 12, 2009, 1:26 p.m. CST

    Perfect 3D Movie

    by Autodidact

    This movie needs to be immersive 3D, and for once I'd love to see what the video game tie-in looks like.

  • March 12, 2009, 1:29 p.m. CST

    The problem with soundtracks today...

    by GeneralKael

    It seems like Composers used to really think about what they were writing - for example, the Star Wars soundtrack with John Williams - different characters etc. have different themes, and then these are combined around to work with what is happening in the movie. Some composers still do this but most today seem to just write music for the specific scenes or time allotment and many times this feels flat. I still think one of the best soundtracks ever is Close Encounters of the Third Kind, because to my knowledge this is the only soundtrack where some of the music is actually part of the plot of the movie...

  • March 12, 2009, 1:33 p.m. CST

    "How DARE you?!?! I am the EMPEROR OF RYLOS!!"

    by DocPazuzu

    What a wonderful, wonderful movie. So much heart and charm. I could watch that thing a thousand times and never get tired of it. Sure, the effects look terrible today, but you know what? The movie is so great you just don't care. You buy that Amazing-Stories-title-sequence level of effects completely for the duration of the film. And Safan's score is one of the greats -- every bit as rousing and chill-inducing as Williams' Star Wars theme or Poledouris' Conan theme. I own the LP, which is made of some kind of weird semi-translucent vinyl which I've never seen before or since. <p> I loves me some Last Starfighter. <p> "And did Galoka think the Uluus were too ugly to save?"

  • March 12, 2009, 1:46 p.m. CST

    Last second digital editing/temp tracks = bad

    by Samuel Fulmer

    This is probably a big reason why most current film scores stink. John Williams did some amazing music in Phantom Menace, but Lucas decided to totally re-edit the last reel and cut and pasted music where Williams didn't intend it to go. The same thing happened with Attack of the Clones. Temp tracking has been bad too because you get idiot directors that know nothing about music that fall so in love with their temp tracks (maybe old Hans Zimmer scores, hence the overuse of the Zimmer sound), that they make the current composers copy the temp tracks.

  • March 12, 2009, 1:49 p.m. CST

    actually a sequel worth making

    by br1947

    Loved that film, hope it's a sequel not a remake. 25 years later, Alex is a fleet commander looking for the next generation via XBox or PS3 this time. That'd be awesome!

  • March 12, 2009, 1:52 p.m. CST

    Hero coming back for his woman

    by NoHubris

    The hero coming back for his woman is a standard plot point in many love story arcs, but no one does it better than Last Starfighter.<p>Dude comes back for his woman in a Starfighter and lands right in the middle of their neighborhood/trailer park. Now THAT is a great scene.

  • March 12, 2009, 2:04 p.m. CST


    by Tell_Your_Mom_I_Said_Hi

    Another movie for people to bitch about because it's not as good as the original! Umm...Mutt Williams will be in this, right?

  • March 12, 2009, 2:06 p.m. CST


    by Darth Thoth

    Thanks for the heads up on where to find the soundtrack. Peace!

  • March 12, 2009, 2:08 p.m. CST

    TYPO: waiting for the final "NO"

    by Arcadian Del Sol

    its not go, its no.

  • March 12, 2009, 2:12 p.m. CST

    Sequel vs Reboot

    by enderandrew

    Hollywood will demand any sequel work for people who never saw the original, which means no real continuation of the story. I'm not opposed to a reboot because the original was a lot of fun, but it is very dated and I think it can be improved upon. I'd like to see this in the hands of Peter Jackson honestly, but that isn't going to happen.

  • March 12, 2009, 2:18 p.m. CST

    If only Dan O'herlihy were alive...

    by Shut the Fuck up Donny

    to reprise his role as Grig...Alas.. <p>

  • March 12, 2009, 2:23 p.m. CST

    No good composers today..

    by Bishop6

    I remember Zimmers score for "Black Rain" way back and thought it was interesting, but thematically I cant even remember a good movie score lately..I still listen to the 'classics' of John Williams, Goldsmith, Horner and a few others but all in one's writing good music. I have fears the new Trek soundtrack will be another victim of "generica action movie music" with no good themes in which to emote or connect with. Someone said on one of these things that the music is unimportant these days, oh how WRONG you are..

  • March 12, 2009, 2:25 p.m. CST

    Who needs it?

    by uuluu

    Who needs a remake when there was a Last Starfighter musical? Seriously. A musical. (link to the album on iTunes -- original cast recording!)

  • March 12, 2009, 2:32 p.m. CST


    by Odd_Todd

    Now what I couldn't understand when I saw this for the first time back when it came out was that if Centauri could drive his car at 300+ miles per hour down a winding road, why wasn't HE the last starfighter instead of a puny human with normal reflexes? Still a great movie. I saw it recently too on HBO, and it brought back memories. Now if only MTV would start to actually play MUSIC again.....

  • March 12, 2009, 2:34 p.m. CST

    Half the original cast are dead.

    by lockesbrokenleg

    No Grigg and no old flying car guy.

  • March 12, 2009, 2:40 p.m. CST

    Yep, I concur

    by Flyingcircus

    Todays scores are too much incidental and not enough theme. It's been WAY too long since I've heard a memorable theme. Even Williams bombed it with Indy 4. Look at all the amazing themes in Raiders. Where was that talent on Crystal Skull? Recycled, that's where. Oh, Johnny.

  • March 12, 2009, 2:42 p.m. CST

    Last New Memorable Theme

    by enderandrew

    Was Williams for Harry Potter 1.

  • March 12, 2009, 2:44 p.m. CST

    Loved the movie

    by redshirt

    But even as a kid I wondered why the safety of the universe was up to what looked like about only a dozen starfighters. And why they were all collected into one place. Another great movie soundtrack was the theme to "Buckaroo Banzai"!

  • March 12, 2009, 2:57 p.m. CST

    Would the sequel be called...

    by Rando Calrisian

    The Second to the Last Star Fighter?

  • March 12, 2009, 2:59 p.m. CST


    by skimn

    The end credit theme with each member of Team Banzai walking in the LA "canals" is great.<p>Last Starfighter..this will be BluRay right?? And although the lowliest Playstation 2 game has a higher polygon count than the ships in Starfighter, that is part of its charm. In fact a reboot/remake is pointless because 99% of space effects are digital, they'd have to go back to actual model work to make it stand out.

  • March 12, 2009, 3:05 p.m. CST

    Loved the original but...

    by NoHubris

    ...I agree with those who say there is no need for a remake.

  • March 12, 2009, 3:07 p.m. CST

    craig safan

    by Bouncy X

    so i now know two movies he did, this and i already knew him because of Nightmare on Elm Street 4. i feel.....the same.

  • March 12, 2009, 3:08 p.m. CST

    Ooooooh yah!

    by Fawst

    Another movie from my youth that sort of needs a sequel. If not Krull, then I'll take this.<br><br>The only problem is that it's kind of a ripoff of Ender's Game at a very basic level. I mean, is there any real reason why they would ever have to send Starfighers out into battle? In fact, now that I think about it, with the technology they had back in the original, there was no reason to do that in the first place!<br><br>FUCK LOGIC! WHY MUST YOU RUIN ALL MY FAVORITE THINGS?!

  • March 12, 2009, 3:09 p.m. CST


    by Cap'n Jack

  • March 12, 2009, 3:10 p.m. CST

    I'm telling you Yentl is next in remaking

    by Six Demon Bag

    and this will make me weep...

  • March 12, 2009, 3:15 p.m. CST

    Giacchino's Star Trek theme sucks

    by darthpigman

    There are no good themes anymore.

  • March 12, 2009, 3:19 p.m. CST

    The Really Last Starfighter. We think. Maybe

    by Morte_Bea_Arthur

    enderandrew, I agree with you. Except for Cloverfield. That score rocked.

  • March 12, 2009, 3:57 p.m. CST

    Remember when movie scores had THEMES you could HUM?

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    Now we just get a screeching synth chord held for five minutes while Heath Ledger's Joker prances around instead of Danny Elfman's clever and eclectic music for the Burton movies.

  • March 12, 2009, 4:10 p.m. CST

    You know, thinking about it now

    by Ray Gamma

    If ever there was a remake/sequel that i DID approve of, it might be this. Simply because now in 2009, more than ever before, we are immersed in gaming culture. Games consoles are in every home, and every child who plays on a games console is a potential recruit for some sort of "remote-controlled avatar hotshot" scenario. </P> <P>The central idea of "The Last Starfighter" could work brilliantly, using today's special effects.

  • March 12, 2009, 4:28 p.m. CST

    Didn't Last Starfighter kinda suck?

    by lockesbrokenleg

    It just ripped off Star Wars.

  • March 12, 2009, 4:31 p.m. CST

    Prequel- The Penultimate Starfighter

    by GoodTimeBobby

  • March 12, 2009, 4:52 p.m. CST

    excellent news

    by Mr_X

    i'm glad this remake is hapening but im unhappy that somebody in hollywood is nicking all my ideas

  • March 12, 2009, 5:05 p.m. CST

    ron cobb's gunstar is one of the coolest ships ever

    by JimmyJoe RedSky

  • March 12, 2009, 5:14 p.m. CST

    Today's film music sounds too much alike?

    by Amy Chasing

    Is today's film music really sounding anymore alike than film music of previous years? <P> It's film music. Yes it's nice when there's a theme you can hum afterwards, but the bulk of it usually has to be functional - and that's your tried-and-true background-underscore-that-conveys-a-particular-emotion music. Emotions haven't changed over the last 100 years, hence why certain music is used to convey them. <P> Sure you can say the sound of Hans Zimmer/Media Ventures/Remote Control's composers is very similar, but they are all working together using the same equipment, and there's plenty of films out there not done by them. <P> You could also say that there's orchestral music done by Danny Elfman that sounds like Rachel Portman that sounds like Joe Hisashi. That's the nature of orchestral film music. You've got those particular instruments to work with and in the end there's only so many ways you can make string/horn/percussion sections play before different scores start having overlap in the way they sound. <P> I would argue that today's film music is the most different it's ever been. It's truly world music with all the sounds of the world (and out of this world) being used, more so than ever before. Listen to the current music for Battlestar Galactica for example, the use of duduk and taiko drums but all still with that "western" approach to film music. Listen to anything by Yoko Kanno - she's out there. Or Alexandre Desplat - always something interesting, even in his orchestral music. <P> Today's film music has more variety and points of interest to listen to than ever before, and anyone who says otherwise just hasn't been listening to enough of it.

  • March 12, 2009, 5:18 p.m. CST

    Starfighter a rip-off from Ender's Game?

    by Player 1

    Pull your head out of your ass. Starfighter came out in 1984, Ender's Game came out in 1985. Dumbest comparison ever.

  • March 12, 2009, 5:24 p.m. CST


    by George Peppard


  • March 12, 2009, 5:43 p.m. CST


    by 1234567891011121

    I agree - they need to find the new Starfighter through XBOX live... Here is my pitch: Bring Lance Guest back... Once again things aren't going well and they need to recruit a new pilot - so they make a Starfighter game and put it on XBOX live or something similar to that... The Alex character comes back to earth - he is 50 now... He traces the IP adress and stakes out the house of this great gamer and it turns out to be this really hot girl - and she becomes the new Last Starfighter... Hot girl playing video games and becoming Starfighter = GOLD. Plus the great banter between the older generation and younger generation... Alex character could be tearing stuff up in space and the young girl character would be like - wow you really are good.. and he'd be all "remember the video games from the early 80's were much harder - rookie..."

  • March 12, 2009, 5:46 p.m. CST

    New GUNSTAR's will be

    by Monkey_King

    transformable robots with Death Blossom. Sweetness!!!

  • March 12, 2009, 5:49 p.m. CST

    Good themes you may have missed

    by SingingHatchet

    Chicken Run. Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. (The First one) Narnia Spider-Man's theme isn't that bad.

  • March 12, 2009, 5:55 p.m. CST

    Last Starfighter Was A Gem Of A Film

    by Media Messiah

    They need to update the FX though. The Last Starfighter was the second film after Tron to use extensive computer effects, but where Tron got away with the look, as the landscapes in Tron were not real world vistas, but a computer generated alt world, The Last Starfighter...sought to produce space craft, asteroids, a moon scape, etc., all of which are clearly computer graphics...a look that always hurt the film. <BR><BR>Hopefully, they will redo the effects and remaster the original it a more believable, more handsome, look overall.

  • March 12, 2009, 5:56 p.m. CST


    by cookepuss

    "The Last Starfighter" didn't so much rip off "Star Wars", imo. At least I never saw it that way, especially when you consider that TLS came out a full year after the SW trilogy ended.<p> <p> When you mix these space actioners with the classic "hero's journey" you invariably run into certain similarities. It's impossible not to with the whole fish out of water character growing into a new role and saving the day IN SPACE thing.<p> <p> The real difference between the two movies is in the details. TLS offers up a cute slice of the 80's while also actually taking some clever digs at Star Wars. In a way, <p> <p> In TLS, "Ben Kenobi" isn't some wise, yet retired warrior monk. He's an intergalactic hustler. There's no test of the force or anything like that. Instead, he's "testing" potentials with a game that only one person in the whole galaxy can win. Essentially, he's ripping off tons of 80s teens and stealing their milk money via his totally unwinable game. =) So, his goals are ultimately selfless, but he's a total scammer. As a kid, the idea of this "test" seemed cool to me. As an adult, he now seems like a mega douche. LOL<p> <p> Alex and Luke are actually fairly different, especially when you account for Lucas' long term plans for the Skywalker/Starkiller family. Luke is a farm boy who is reluctantly plucked out of obscurity to save the day. Alex is a college aged teen plucked out of a trailer park to save the day. Same? Yeah. But that's about where it ends. <p> <p> By 1984, everybody knew about the Vader/Luke connection. The Star Wars saga and its mysticism was well known. The Last Starfighter makes ZERO sort of connections to anything beyond the material. Alex has no special powers. He's not connected to anybody. He's really not special at all, except for the fact that he's good at video games. Basically, Alex is the everyman. You, me, or even (god forbid) Harry could be Alex. Conversely, unless I'm tripping balls on acid, I probably won't develop any mind altering abilities that would make me Luke Skywalker.<p> <p> TLS' supporting cast is much smaller than that of SW. There's no point for point equivalents, unless you count Alex's wingman as a weird Han/Chewie/3PO hybrid. If anything, TLS is more of a buddy flick than this large scale epic.<p> <p> Star Wars is meant to be a sort of cosmic fairy tale, brother-sister tonsil hockey aside. The Last Starfighter really is a commentary on 80s culture. The huge and fairly recent fascination with video games made this timely and circa `84 current. <p> <p> The whole city college VS podunk trailer park subplot was a typical sort of socioeconomic commentary for 80s movies. Just look at John Hughes flicks like Pretty in Pink for an example of this "richie" thing. In Star Wars, there's no socioeconomic commentary. If any such commentary is to be found, it's maybe the idea of rampant capitalism as an evil empire and the work class man fighting oppression. Even then, that's kinda stretching it.<p> <p> Alex also wasn't fighting a bad guy as evil as Vader or Palpatine. He was essentially fighting a power hungry, cowardly Steve Urkel. About the only thing scary about him was his hairline. =)<p> <p> To me, the difference between The Last Starfighter and Star Wars is the difference between Mom's home made cheeseburgers and the ones you find at McDonalds. Both can be just as satisfying and tasty, but only one has a more intimate, personal touch while the other is more polished and mass market. Nothing wrong with either. Just a different set of sensibilities.

  • March 12, 2009, 5:56 p.m. CST

    Cool! I have a real soft spot for that movie.

    by Mr Nicholas

  • March 12, 2009, 6:02 p.m. CST

    As far as themes & soundtracks

    by cookepuss

    I actually think that the 1st X-Men had a fairly memorable scoring. Kamen's work isn't ground breaking, but does stand out. I can actually remember the theme that plays during the final battle & credits, as well as Mystique's personal theme. <p> <p>I can't say that many other themes are so memorable these days. Don't even get me started on the use of pop/rock/metal soundtracks over actual scores. ICK!

  • March 12, 2009, 6:07 p.m. CST

    The Last Starfighter Was More E.T. Than Star Wars

    by Media Messiah

    Yep, it felt like E.T., not Star Wars. Yes, it had space battles, but that is where the comparisons end with Star Wars. In its way, The Last Starfigher, thanks to its family friendly light humor, mixed with teenage coming of age angst...and brimming sexuality, it may have somehow inspired Back To The Future, there are clear parallels between those two films.

  • March 12, 2009, 6:12 p.m. CST

    Media Messiah

    by cookepuss

    Back to the Future came out in 1985 & was in development since 1980 well before The Last Starfighter. The similarities are likely quite coincidental.

  • March 12, 2009, 6:13 p.m. CST

    Remo Williams

    by MilesGloriosus

    "Remo Williams" had a good musical theme, but it a little repetitive. OTOH, it gave us Kate Mulgrew when she was still sexy (as much as she ever was, at least) and Joel Grey as the Asian guy. Fred Ward was a better actor than he gets credit for. Plus it had the oatmeal guy from "Our House."

  • March 12, 2009, 6:25 p.m. CST

    Safan is underrated.

    by Darkman

    REMO WILLIAMS' main theme is good, but I prefer his theme for Chiun. <br><br> Also, a score I don't hear too much about: MR. WRONG. Delightful piece of work.

  • March 12, 2009, 6:39 p.m. CST

    Last Starfighter was a predictable sci fi movie

    by lockesbrokenleg

    Wow, hero wins at end, and gets girlfriend. Gee, never saw that before.

  • March 12, 2009, 6:42 p.m. CST

    Great music, want CD, make a sequel TV show instead

    by Drath

    Alex's little brother Lewis is a teenager when he receives and urgent message that the new starfighters are dead and his brother Alex is missing while Xur has taken over Rylos. Centauri and Grigg pick him up and together with his own sweetheart in tow he becomes the new LAST STARFIGHTER as he searches for his brother and fights against Xur and the Kodad Armadda....yes, I have out nerded you, Tron-whores.

  • March 12, 2009, 7:11 p.m. CST

    Ender's Game

    by enderandrew

    Zemeckis needs to make that movie with mo-cap CGI like he did for Beowulf. You can cast older kids who are better actors, and have them voice over animated kids who are actually age appropriate. Instead, Card says Hollywood wants him to write a script where the kids are 16, and there is an adult lead throughout the movie.<p>Not to mention, filming with real kids, how will you do all the no-gravity sequences without looking like silly wire-fu? You need CGI buggers regardless, and space battles. Full on mo-cap CGI is the only way to do the movie.<p>Zemeckis also understands how to tackle mature material, and also lighter fare. Note Back to the Future. Zemeckis would be perfect.

  • March 12, 2009, 7:21 p.m. CST

    Enough with the remakes/sequels

    by Jodet

    TLS was absolutely awful. Why are they talking about this? Good God. And yes, the score to Remo Williams was pretty good. And Captain Janeway was kind of sexy in 1985. A looooong time ago. You know, like when Robot Chicken was funny.

  • March 12, 2009, 7:37 p.m. CST

    I hope they go with a sequel.

    by rbatty024

    I haven't seen the film in a decade but if I remember correctly it ends with the villain escaping at the end. It was obvious they wanted to go for a sequel but it probably didn't make enough dough. Finish what you started for once, Hollywood.

  • March 12, 2009, 7:57 p.m. CST

    R Santa74: Yes, Perhaps...But...

    by Media Messiah

    Battlestar Galactica was being developed in the early 70s...and Star Wars, which was being developed approximately at the same time, beat it to the marketplace. Clearly, however, Galactica was influenced by Star Wars, and both were influenced by Space Cruiser Yamato (Star Blazers) which opened-up in Japan in 1974. And then there is Dark City versus The Matrix, and The 13th Floor. All great movies, with the same concept...and all were in development, in, or around, the same time...but you can bet that The Matrix and The 13th Floor were influenced...and informed by the film that beat them both to the marketplace, that being Dark City. I suspect, the same thing happened here with The Last Starfighter...versus Back To The Future. <BR><BR>As you know, filmmakers say that a film is remade 3 different times. 1) When it is first written. 2) When it is shot...and 3) During its editing. It is upon these last 2 stages that a film can be altered, and often is, even if it has been under development for years. The Matrix creators stole shots right out of the film Blade, which beat them, The Matrix, to the theaters by a year or more. Remember the bullet time effect? A similar shot was done in Blade as Stephen Dorff dodged a series of Blade's bullets...all in glorious slow motion. Or what about the liberal use of wire-fu? It was all in Blade, prior to the Matrix. Then there are the characters wearing sunglasses at night, the trenchcoats, the leather look--it was all there in Blade...before The Matrix...and the concepts found in Dark City. Coincidence??? Maybe...but it is not so coincidental that in the case of Galactica...the lead FX expert John Dykstra and the production designer Ralph McQuarrie, both worked on Star Wars. As for Blade, and Dark City...they were produced by New Line Cinema...which is owned by Warner Brothers...which produced The Matrix.<BR><BR>What if any link is there to Last Starfighter and Back To The Future? I don't know, but much of the feel of the films is similar. The difference, Back To The Future had a bigger budget, and a superior special effects company doing its FX.

  • March 12, 2009, 8:05 p.m. CST

    The problem with soundtracks today...

    by m_prevette

    Isn't that composers don't want to write themes, directors don't want them to. They don't want the score to get in the way of the sound effects. Chris Nolan prefers drones and ambient sounds to scoring...and yes I liked TDK's score anyway. The death knell was when the Star Wars special editions were released and the music was BURIED in the new mix, with sound effects taking the lead. Theme-driven, melodic scoring is pretty seen as OLD HOLLYWOOD. There are a few directors who still want themes, Zemeckis is one of them...but ambient noise and percussion is all most directors want these days.

  • March 12, 2009, 8:20 p.m. CST

    The problem with soundtracks today are hack composers

    by darthpigman

    None of these guys can write a tune worth a fuck even when they are asked to. There are plenty of composers working now who still write melodies and they are all terrible.

  • March 12, 2009, 8:24 p.m. CST

    the Remo Williams main theme is FUCKING AWESOME

    by The Amazing G

    dun dun dun duuuuuuun dun! dun dun dun duuuuuuun dun! dun dun dun duuuuuuun dun! duuuuuuuuun DUN DUN!

  • March 12, 2009, 8:37 p.m. CST

    "problem with soundtracks" generalisations.

    by Amy Chasing

    Please listen to recent works by Alexandre Desplat, James Newton Howard, Kenji Kawai, and then reevaluate your position. <P> If there's anything that film music has more of these days it's variety. If you only go and see a bunch of action movies you're not getting the full picture. There is just as much lush orchestral thematic music being produced today as ever before, and fascinating electronic music, wall-of-sound rock music, and minimalist to heart-racing percussion music. <P> To say all or even the majority of soundtracks these days are tune-less noise is just ill-informed and poorly researched.

  • March 12, 2009, 8:53 p.m. CST

    Chasing Amy

    by darthpigman

    I'm not saying that today's scores are tuneless. I am saying that the tunes that are there are terrible and unmemorable. Even in something like Benjamin Button, the themes are by far the weakest element in an otherwise okay work. And also, very important: variety does not automatically equal quality.

  • March 12, 2009, 8:58 p.m. CST

    I think KOTCS has a good score...

    by The Amazing G

    the whole "theme" of the crystal skulls themselves is classic Williams

  • March 12, 2009, 9:55 p.m. CST

    uhh...Fawst... Last Starfighter predates Enders game

    by MurderMostFowl

    And actually it's not like Ender's game much at all. Alex is not deceived into thinking it's a game, while he's actually mudering millions of creatures.... instead he's deceived into playing a game to train him how to fight. I kind of see a similaity, but not really. I'm probably too biased because I love both Last Starfighter and Ender's Game<BR><BR>God I hope it's a sequel and not a remake. You will be pissing on Robert Preston's grave if you remake it. <BR> I wonder if Catherine Mary Stewart is hot at all these days.<BR> I'll be in my bunk.

  • March 12, 2009, 10:01 p.m. CST

    if they do get a sequel...

    by MurderMostFowl

    Maybe Wil Wheaton's scenes can stay in it this time. :)

  • March 12, 2009, 11:29 p.m. CST

    Traffic School with the Last Starfighter

    by mercuryx23

    Years ago, a friend and I had to do time in a Hollywood traffic school so we went together. There we were, sitting at this table and for the better part of the morning staring across at this guy who we are just absolutely sure is Lance Guest. Finally at the break, we overcame our need to seem too cool to approach celebrities adn asked him if he was, indeed, the Last Starfighter. Sure enough, it was him. We started chatting and discovered that we had a lot of friends and colleagues in common (my friend and I worked at a small theatre in Hollywood at the time). Later in the day, we had to play traffic school games and he was on our team. We elected him captain (after all, he had defeated Xur and the Ko-Dan!) and our team reigned supreme. It was the greatest day of traffic school ever.

  • March 12, 2009, 11:37 p.m. CST

    Great movie

    by DirkAngerReloaded23

    Gotta say i loved it when i first saw it and still love it now when i pop it in the dvd. I hope they make the new one a sequel though. As far as the theme music for Remo Williams goes........BAD - ASS. I love that damn them song.

  • March 13, 2009, 3:42 a.m. CST

    The amazing G

    by kwisatzhaderach

    Yup, the Skull theme is classic Williams.

  • March 13, 2009, 7:28 a.m. CST

    Actually, Enders Game Was A Novella Published In 1977

    by LaserPants

    But its true that the full novel wasn't published until 1985.

  • March 13, 2009, 7:51 a.m. CST

    SW and TLS are in the same universe

    by WickedJacob

    OK, not really, but I remember being a kid and watching this and having this sense that they just gotta be connected. Some of the aliens, for one, looked very similar. One could certainly fan-fic a way that the SW universe evolved over some long timespan into the TLS story. I mean, that would be like writing a story where Shaft discovers he's the descendent of Okonkwo from "Things Fall Apart," but I'm just saying . . . there could be something to it.

  • March 13, 2009, 8:12 a.m. CST

    Last Starfighter was the first VHS I ever bought

    by kwisatzhaderach

    Great memories.

  • March 13, 2009, 10:42 a.m. CST

    "thats a weapon of LAST resort"

    by Circean6

    The kid wasn't much of a super space pilot when all he had to do was press his smart bomb/cheat code button at the end...

  • March 13, 2009, 11:04 a.m. CST

    why remake movies..Why not re-release originals!!

    by FleshMachine

    seriously...if the last starfighter or remo or whatever was in theaters i'd go for sure...studios should really start thinking about this. 1/2 price reviews!!!!!

  • i lecture on a multimedia degree course and one of the students doing his final major wants to use different stages of screen based game design throughout the 80s. i pointed him towards this with the idea that games at the time this film came out didn't really have the ability in the main to look as good as the takeoff sequence did. man did i feel old. this is such an underrated film tho, loved it.

  • March 13, 2009, 12:17 p.m. CST


    by Darth Macchio

    Cray X-MP. Saw it last night. Still a great movie.

  • March 13, 2009, 12:54 p.m. CST

    kwisatzhaderach, I found it via VHS too

    by NoHubris

    Back in the day, it was one of those movies that was perfect to watch at night with the lights out.

  • March 13, 2009, 1:11 p.m. CST

    Nice little movie

    by matineer

    Remember seeing this and being more impressed than I anticipated. On movie music, I'm no expert, but it does seem generic to me. Same for TV. I doubt there will be many tunes in the future from this era people know by heart, like Brady Bunch, or even $6MDM. Not every old show had good music, but something has changed and it's not just that people are too untrained to know that, actually, what we are hearing is better than ever.

  • March 13, 2009, 3:46 p.m. CST

    I always wonder if Disney kept the original footage

    by MurderMostFowl

    If disney kept the original unintegrated footage ( i.e. separate from the CGI ), it would seem to be relatively painless to make a "special edition" of this movie, redo all the CGI and effects and release it. <BR> I know I get too nostalgic, but seems to me the story holds up fine, if a little weak on the badguys motivation and all.<BR> Could you imagine how awesome one could make the final battle if you redid the CGI?

  • March 13, 2009, 8:25 p.m. CST

    spidercoz, matineer, & manpigdarth

    by Amy Chasing

    spidercoz: Elfman did Standard Operating Procedure just last year. It's as original a work as he's ever done, and quite unlike the "ambient noise and percussion" soundtracks that some people seem think all soundtracks are these days. <P> matineer: You kinda prove my point by admitting you're no expert and that you find movie music generic. Perhaps you're like the majority of film goers and tv audiences today, you probably go see the big films: Pirates, Transformers, Dark Knight, Frost-Nixon, and so think all film music sounds the same. Or even if you're not seeing films that have the same production company do the music, something like Eagle Eye, Incredible Hulk and Max Payne - they're all based in the western orchestral ideal with electronics used for good measure. Yes there are similarities between the scores, just like there are similarities between the movies. But would you say the movies are generic? Surely there's something in each one that sets it apart from the others. <P> TV music is a bit harder. Because of the proliferation of procedural shows (House, Mentalist, NCIS, etc), they all have a similar story basis, ie. solving a puzzle, and so the music reflects that. That the composers for these shows seem to all use similar ambient pads and strings with occasional piano and percussion does lend it to being thought of as generic. But then there are shows like Battlestar Galactica, Chuck, Heroes, Doctor Who, Burn Notice, and the generic argument fails. <P> darthpigman: You thought the themes in Benjamin Button were weak? See I found them to be quirky and evocative of an earlier period of film music. Listen to Steiner's Now Voyager theme and you can hear the similarities in instrumentation and thematic structure. You may not be humming the theme on the way home, but when you hear it you get a feel of what story its telling and it'll probably remind you of the movie you saw. <P> As for recent soundtracks with a decent tune, try: Wanted (another Elfman score from 2008), Assasination of Jesse James, and Story of the First King's Four Gods. There really is quite a selection out there these days, from big budget studio films to indie stuff. Don't write it all off. <P> Variety may not equal quality, but it does undermine the basis for your generalisations. Just listen to more music from current films. There's plenty of it out there. Surely there's something that you'll like. I recommend In Bruges, Appaloosa, and Death Defying Acts for starters.

  • March 13, 2009, 8:31 p.m. CST

    Chasing Amy

    by matineer

    Procedural shows mean they have similar music? How many great Western TV themes are there? Dozens. I'm just giving an opinion. Not trying to justify anything or semi-flame anybody. Must we praise everything Hollywood does? Over and out.

  • March 13, 2009, 8:53 p.m. CST

    the old pc game "outcast" has an amazing score...

    by JimmyJoe RedSky

    ... by lennie moore - it far outshines the game - which for its time was pretty good - but the score is sweeping and epic and really belonged in a huge fantasy film - seek it out

  • March 13, 2009, 10:30 p.m. CST


    by Amy Chasing

    I'm not quite understanding your reply. I was pointing out that procedural shows have noticably similar scores (in a way agreeing with you), but to say tv music sounds generic (as you do) is a generalisation of which I provide examples that may change your mind. <P> Not really sure what you're pointing out about western TV themes, but saying you're giving an opinion and not trying to justify it is... odd. <P> And who is praising everything Hollywood does? I mention a bunch of films and shows not at all related to Hollywood as examples of music to listen to that goes against people's generalisations. I also point out why certain Hollywood movies and shows sound the same. Like I said, I don't really understand what you're getting at.

  • July 31, 2009, 9:16 a.m. CST


    by Memes

    Name me 3 composers today that are as innovative as Morricone, Glass or even Elfman were in their prime. I bet you can't. The last two scores that impressed me were Assassination Of Jesse James, which, like the film in question, was essentially an updated throwback, and 'We Own The Night', by Polish composer Wojciech Kilar. WOTN wasn't a classic film, but the score was about as elegant as any American cop/crime can have nowadays. Stylistically it draws from European--not American--minimalism, so it makes perfect sense. Anyway, soundtrack music is too cheesy for my taste anyway, and i can't really listen to any soundtrack music outside the context of the film it's meant to serve. It just sounds like watered down classical, jazz or world, to my ears.