The Last Starfighter is getting closer to his rematch against Xur and the Kodan armada.
Screenwriter Gary Whitta took to Twitch this afternoon to give fans an update on the long in development project, stating “We are close, closer than anyone has ever been. We are right on the one yard line.”
Whitta was on his Twitch channel to give fans a sneak peek at a sizzle reel that he has put together to help push that project into the end zone and get a greenlight from a studio. Some of the artwork, by Star Wars: Rogue One concept artist Matt Allsopp, Whitta had shared before on twitter, but a majority of it is new.
Additionally, Whitta revealed the name for the project that he and the original film’s writer/director Jonathan are currently using – The Last Starfighters. The title reflects the type of story that Whitta and Betuel hoped the film would be. He stated that it would not be a reboot, but told a story that “honored the canon yet passed the torch to a new generation of heroes like The Force Awakens.”
For the uninitiated, The Last Starfighter focused on a teenager (Lance Guest) whose prowess at an arcade video game leads him to be recruited by an alien civilization to serve as their last defense against the invading alien despot “Xur and the Ko-Dan Armada.”
Word of the sequel first came in April 2018, when Whitta took to twitter to share some concept art that was created in conjunction with the work on the script that he and the film’s original director Jonathan Betuel had been doing.
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 :) #GreetingsStarfighter pic.twitter.com/FydxLwEfrt
— Gary Whitta (@garywhitta) April 4, 2018
Reportedly, there had been rights issues surrounding The Last Starfighter and any possible continuation of the property, be it a remake or sequel. But when Whitta reached out to Betuel to find out what the actual status of the rights were – the creator was holding out for a sequel that would not be just a cheap cash-in but a big blockbuster theatrical film. The two wound up pitching ideas to each other that lead to them teaming up to developing this new film.
While it made a moderate splash at the box office when it was first released, The Last Starfighter is notable for it being one of the first films to make use of extensive visual effects created entirely by computer. For the film, nearly 27 minutes of footage were created using one of the most powerful computers in the world at the time, a Cray X-MP supercomputer. At the time, it was an amazing feat, though nearly three-and-a-half decades later more realistic effects could probably be realized on a consumer grade laptop.