Arrow Video’s ‘The Last Starfighter’ Blu-Ray: The Conskipper Review

Science Fiction films and video games were pervasive in the 1980s, but ones that brought both together in the decade were surprisingly few and far between (at least competent ones).

Universal’s The Last Starfighter flew into orbit in July of 1984 and fit the all-ages science fiction mode that played so well in this era. And although the film did well at the box office, it found an even greater audience on cable TV and home video and became one of the film’s synonymous with the burgeoning mediums.

For those who have fond memories of The Last Starfighter, as well as those who grew up outside of the pervasive showings on television, Arrow Video has once again added to their string of high quality blu-ray transfers of material for collectors and new fans interested in the films from the decade that won’t fade away.

As usual, Arrow Video’s complete package is tantalizing to those who have seen the film multiple times due to all of the extra features and bonus materials, saying nothing of the cleaned up version of the film. The Last Starfighter is a brand new restoration from a 4K scan of the original 35mm camera negative and the picture is clearer and brighter than you remember, especially when it come to the early CGI space effects. The high definition blu-ray (1080p) format certainly helps the somewhat dated effects, and even makes the trailer park home of the reluctant protagonist Alex (Lance Guest) and his girlfriend, the literal “girl-next-door”, Maggie (Catherine Mary Stewart), more vibrant.

The Arrow Video release also comes with a variety of new and legacy bonus features, including three audio commentaries featuring Guest and his son Jackson, Mike White of The Projection Booth podcast, and the original audio commentary track with director Nick Castle and production designer Ron Cobb.

The disc also contains six new features such as Stewart’s trip down memory lane entitled Maggie’s Memories: Revisiting The Last Starfighter and Interstellar Hit-Beast: Creating the Special Effects, a new interview with special effects supervisor Kevin Pike. The Heroes of the Screen featurette and Crossing the Frontier: The Making of The Last Starfighter both come over from early releases, just in case collectors are willing to part with some of the other versions they may own.

Aside from the disc, The Last Starfighter also contains a reversible sleeve with original and newly commissioned artwork by Matt Ferguson, a limited edition reversible mini poster, and a collector’s booklet featuring new articles by Amanda Reyes and author Greg Bear’s previously unpublished Omni magazine article on Digital Productions, the company that created the early CGI in The Last Starfighter.

The complete Arrow Video package and the nostalgia that many have for The Last Starfighter make this release one that any fan of 1980s science fiction would be happy to own.

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