Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Last Starfighter - Unsequelized: November 24, 2010


In my last Unsequelized write-up (the premiere one actually) I made a crack about a buddy of mine actually having a shot of getting his sequel to The Last Starfighter off the ground, now that Disney was willing to spend hundreds of millions on a sequel to Tron, an even more costly flop than TLS. While that may have been an obvious inside-joke and dig at my friend's obsessive desire to sequelize a movie he may love, but others don't expound as much energy on, it is the essence of the argument I'm trying to make with Unsequelized. Every one of us has a film that they love to death that never had a chance at a sequel, outside of the legendary ones we created inside our own heads.

A lot of these films, just like The Last Starfighter, seem more than anything to be obvious origin stories. Probably one of the most infamous ones of the last ten years is Unbreakable. In and of itself, Unbreakable is ONLY an origin story and nothing else. I have a hard time believing Shyamalan (not Sham-a-lam-ding-dong or any other mildly racist taunting take on his name that the interweb nerds love to lob at that dude) was aiming to create a franchise with that film. That doesn't stop a lot of that film's fans from writing one in their head, demanding that Shyamalan get off his ass and give us something he was never REALLY planning on doing. Such is the same vibe I get from The Last Starfigther and my buddy.

I doubt very much that writer Jonathan Buetel and director Nick Castle (The Shape!!!aahhhh!!!) thought that the adventures of Alex Rogan would live on in any place other than the imaginations of little boys who fell for the movie's brilliant fusion of video games, sci-fi and you-can-do-it 80s optimism. I still really dig the movie. I showed it to my girlfriend a couple months back and I think it still holds up, wonky proto-CGI and all. But even then I thought that my friend's idea for a sequel, while smart, would kind of kill the film's spirit for me. Like a lot of fanboys who connected with a piece of lighthearted pop culture as a child, my friend's imagination has now shifted gears into the ever-so-popular dark and serious spin on all things cinema. That's the place he was writing from and I think many others would do the same if given the opportunity.

At the end of The Last Starfighter there is really nowhere to go but down. The high point of it all is that Alex has found somewhere he belongs. That's it. That's the whole point of the film and that's why I don't know if it would work beyond the rousing finale that kind of sentiment is given. After that, the only place we can go is into outer space for more adventures of the kind that will never give us that same jumpstart to the heart that the first film did. I'd love to see someone try, but I don't care to live in yet another universe of repetitious space battles. This is the same hole that has been dug by every jackass who tried to write a novel that takes place in the post-New Hope trilogy in the Star Wars universe.

I'd really like to leave Alex's fate to the imaginations of the fans who continue to fall in love with this story. Better to have it live there than on the big screen.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home