Years after a much publicized but failed effort to restore the Star League by the likes of Steven Spielberg and Seth Rogen, the writer for 1984’s beloved science fiction classic The Last Starfighter looks like he may finally be getting a sequel off the ground. According to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Star Wars Rebels writer Gary Whitta, he has teamed up with writer Jonathan Betuel on a film that would stand as a sequel and a reboot to the original story that watched young Alex Rogan leave planet Earth to become a Starfighter to defend the Star League against the Ko-Dan Armada. It’s one heck of a tease–on the heels of last weekend’s release of the 1980s nostalgia-driven film Ready Player One, Whitta picked a great time to pique the interests of the original film’s legion of fans.
Originating from a video game parked conveniently at a rural trailer park and store called Starlite Starbrite (the store still exists in Acton, California, southwest of Vasquez Rocks Park), a young man demonstrated for the first video game generation that–despite parents’ protests to the contrary–you can save the world by playing for the high score. Although plenty of movies enter the concept art phase only to end up a footnote in a retrospective film art book decades later, preliminary design drafts of what has been referred to previously as merely Starfighter emerged via Whitta’s Twitter account Wednesday. Matt Allsopp, a concept artist who worked on Rogue One along with Whitta, created these unmistakable designs, incorporating the Star League emblem, Gunstar ships, and Starfighters. This takes the idea past the rumor phase, providing some evidence that this latest effort looks to be real after all.
Whitta teased the coming film project with eight photographs of concept art, writing on his Twitter page, “Okay, probably shouldn’t show you this so early but here’s a little something I’ve been tinkering on with my co-writer Jonathan Betuel. You might recognize the ships. Thanks to the amazing Matt Allsopp (lead concept artist on ROGUE ONE) for creating these images for us.” He later added, “People seemed excited by the first tweet so here’s a tiny bit more of Matt’s concept art. Can’t show anything more after this, it’s all too spoilery [smile] #GreetingsStarfighter”.
Our hope? How about bringing in original director Nick Castle, and if he’s not interested, what is Rogue One director Gareth Edwards up to these days? It seems like an obvious target release for the second half of 2019–the 35th anniversary of the original. It would also seem obvious to include actors Lance Guest, who played Alex, and Catherine Mary Stewart, who played Maggie. Both well-known The Music Man star Robert Preston and prolific TV and film actor Dan O’Herlihy, who played Centauri and Grig, respectively, passed away several years ago. In addition to the top photo above, check out seven more images of Matt Allsopp’s gorgeous, futuristic, and evocative concept art below:
Nothing else is yet publicly available about Starfighter. Since it is one of the best-loved science fiction films of the 1980s and one of our own favorites, we’ll be keeping our eyes open for more news as it becomes available.