Original title: The Last Starfighter.
Title of this edition: The Last Starfighter.
Authors: Ala Dean Foster.
Editorial: Target Book.
Edition year: 1, 1984.
Alex Rogan: Hold it! There’s no fleet? No Starfighters, no plan? One ship, you, me, and that’s it?
Grig: Exactly! Xur thinks you’re still on Earth. Classic military strategy, surprise attack.
Alex Rogan: It’ll be a slaughter!
Grig: That’s the spirit!
Alex Rogan: No, *my* slaughter! One ship against the whole armada?
Grig: Yes, one gunstar against the armada. I’ve always wanted to fight a desperate battle against incredible odds.
Synopsis [Warning: Spoiler]: Alex Rogan is a young with great talent but with no future. He is living in a trailer park and his life is condemned to continue there. One day he finishes the arcade game Starfighter… and an alien comes to his door to tell him that the game was only a recruitment test to select the best pilots of the galaxy to defend the League against Xur and the Kodan armada. In the beginning he refuses to join the Starfleet and returns to earth, but then he realises that the threat is real and he has to help. By that time the League has been attacked and he is the only one left able to pilot a Starfigther. He and Grig accept the challenge and themselves alone confront the whole armada piloting the last Starfighter, an experimental ship with the “Dead Blossom” a super weapon able to destroy all ships nearby at the cost of defensive shields. It is a great battle a heroic struggle of only two… humanoids against the whole army. And they win.
Personal Review: To be honest… is there any boy who plays video games who actually doesn’t dream with this happening to him? I mean, beat the game and realize it was a test to become a real pilot who flights in real spaceship. At least I did, and this is one of my iconic adventures. Even if the movie is now a little bit old, remember it was one of the first movies ever presenting such level of computer generated graphics.
I think this book is quite the same as the movie. I read it and immediately after I watched the movie again… and they where pretty much the same word by word. So I enjoed it as wathing the movie. And obviously it’s not a hard science fiction, it’s just a space opera about the path of the hero. But it is cool, and the mixing of video games makes it even more cool. And you know, there was actually a Starfighter game after the movie made by Atari… but it was very bad and not like in the movie.
Fortunately, now, years after, followers made the real game of the movie and you can play it for free (I couldn’t make it work… but it looks nice).
You can visit their web page and download it there. This how it looks alike.
I think the worst thing (in the movie and not in the book) is the frontier. In the movie it is presented as a real drone-like spaceships making a real frontier, while in the book is like a series of outpost who look after the perimeter. I mean, think of the materials needed to have such frontier. That was a bad mistake.
Another weak point is the lack of actual war strategy and preparation. Let’s assume it, the Kodan might be an evil empire made for war… but his strategy is carp and his power is really tiny. A single gunship destroy all of their ships (which by the way where formed completely align and rely on a single central node for control). Seriously? That’s the worst strategy ever. C’mon, at least send thousands of hundreds. And from the League side… even if peace has been for centuries, how it can be that they are not prepared at all for war. Only one base with a few trained pilots it’s hard to believe. I mean, I think war is not necessary, but people trained to survive in hazards environments it is always needed, and I think it will not be very difficult to turn these ones into expert pilots for gunships. A little bit innocent view of life I think.
Ok, I don’t mess more with this movie/book. I really recommend you to watch it!
And if you want to go deeper into the story… before or after watching the movie, here is the documentary.
And here I nice hoodie to buy (I have it).