Dec 312020

The Last Starfighter is a fun if not overly ambitious (quasi) family friendly science fiction adventure comedy led by Lance Guest, Catherine Mary Stewart and Robert Preston.



The Last Starfighter

Genre(s): Action, Adventure
Arrow Video | PG – 100 min. – $39.95 | October 27, 2020

Date Published: 12/31/2020 | Author: The Movieman

Director: Nick Castle
Writer(s): Jonathan Betuel (written by)
Cast: Lance Guest, Dan O’Herlihy, Catherine Mary Stewart, Barbara Bosson, Norman Snow, Robert Preston, Christ Hebert

Features: Audio Commentaries, Featurettes, Interviews, Promotional Materials
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1

Audio: English (PCM 2.0), English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), English (DTS-HD MA 4.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.35
Subtitles: English SDH
Disc Size: 48.34 GB
Total Bitrate: 43.57 Mbps
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A

Arrow Video provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

THE MOVIE — 3¾/5

Plot Synopsis: After finally achieving the high score on Starfighter, his favorite arcade game, everyday teenager Alex Rogan (LANCE GUEST) meets the game’s designer, Centauri (ROBERT PRESTON) – who reveals that he created Starfighter as a training ground for developing and recruiting actual pilots to help fight a war in space. Whisked away from the banality of his trailer park life to a distant alien planet, Alex struggles to use his video game-playing skills to pilot a real ship, with real lives at stake.

Quick Hit Review: While other films from the 80s, like Ghostbusters, Back to the Future and The Goonies, are recognized, it would seem The Last Starfighter tends to slip under the radar. Personally while I have vague memories of hearing about it back in the day, never watched it even on VHS back in the mid to late 80s, though my childhood was filled mostly with toys for “The Real Ghostbusters”, “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” more so than media or movies. In any case, as with most of these films getting new life in part of the nostalgia, I get to play catch up.

My feelings with The Last Starfighter, although the effects are of course dated, the graphics looking like a high-end video game, there’s no doubt the film has its charm and considering the time, circa 1983/84, can give the effects a pass. However the film really excels with a simple but entertaining premise and an earnest cast headlined by Lance Guest with special recognition to Norman Snow and Robert Preston, not to mention the lovely Catherine Mary Stewart whom I recognized as Gwen from Weekend at Bernies.



This single-disc release comes housed in a clear HD keep case with a reversible sleeve and inside an essay booklet and double-sided poster. The initial printing also comes with a nice reflective-like textured slip cover. This release is well packed with new and old bonus features.

Audio Commentaries:

  • Star Lance Guest and his son Jackson Guest
  • Director Nick Castle and Production Designer Ron Cobb
  • Projection Booth Podcaster Mike White

These have varying qualities but each worth a listen, though since the first is a new track recorded during Covid, has different audio levels at times, however still Lance Guest provides some behind-the-scenes stories. I would say the one with Castle and Cobb is a bit more informative while Mike White’s track provides the history behind the production and effects.


  • Maggie’s Memories: Revisiting The Last Starfighter (9:28) – Actress Catherine Mary Stewart
  • Into the Starscape: Composing The Last Starfighter (12:20) – Composer Craig Safan
  • Incredible Odds: Writing The Last Starfighter (9:27) – Screenwriter Jonathan Betuel
  • Interstellar Hit-Beast: Creating the Visual Effects (10:14) – Special Effects Supervisor Kevin Pike
  • Excalibur Test: Inside Digital Productions (7:46) – Sci-fi Author Greg Bear
  • Greetings Starfighter!: Inside the Arcade Game (7:24) – Arcade Game Collector Estil Vance

Even with the pandemic, Arrow Video has compiled a good array of interviewees from every viewpoint. Each give a brief background and provide their thoughts on working on the project nearly 40 years ago.

Heroes of the Screen (24:19) – Archival featurette with behind-the-scenes footage and newish interviews with the cast and crew (circa 2009 and produced by Universal).

Crossing the Frontier: The Making of The Last Starfighter (32:02) – This featurette is split into 4-parts and is more in documentary form. Hosted by Lance Guest and appears was made in 1999 for the DVD release.

Also includes Image Galleries (The Cast, Arcade Game, Starcar, etc.) and Theatrical & Teaser Trailers (2:47/1:33).


VIDEO – 4¾/5

Arrow Video releases The Last Starfighter onto Blu-ray presented in the original theatrical 2.39 widescreen aspect ratio and given a new 1080p high-definition transfer (MPEG-4 AVC codec). As described in the booklet, the transfer was taken from a scan of the original 35mm camera negative and scanned in 4K resolution. No mention if any work was done but appears this was provided by Universal who I assume did some restoration as the picture didn’t have any major instances of dust marks, scratches or other damage to the film.

AUDIO – 4½/5

The disc has three DTS-HD Master Audio tracks available including a 2.0 stereo (default option), 4.1 (this mix originally created for the film’s 70mm release and available for the first time) and last a 5.1 track. I sampled each one of these throughout the film, though watched the majority with the 4.1 option. But each one of these sounds great and surprisingly, the 4.1 track was the more dynamic and evenly distributed, but you can’t really go wrong with any of these depending on your set-up. Dialogue in all comes across with good clarity and there is some modest depth during the space battle sequences.



The Last Starfighter is a fun if not overly ambitious (quasi) family friendly science fiction adventure comedy led by Lance Guest, Catherine Mary Stewart and Robert Preston. This new Blu-ray from Arrow Video, along with a slick slip cover, comes with a good selection of bonus features and remarkable video and audio transfers.





Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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