Film Score Friday: The Last Starfighter

This was one of my favorite movies as a kid, so let’s dive into obscurity!

Director: Nick Castle
Music: Craig Safan

The theme from this movie popped into my head one day, and unlike Cocoon, I knew exactly where it came from! The Last Starfighter is a great sci-fi space adventure. The film tells the story of a teenager recruited by an alien defense force to fight in an interstellar war…because he was the highest scorer on a video game created and placed by the aliens to find recruits. It was one of the earliest movies to use extensive computer graphics for special effects.

My favorite surprise when watching this movie was that Professor Harold Hill from the film The Music Man (actor Robert Preston in his final role) was in this movie! (I’m big into musicals!) When I got older, I realized that Wil Wheaton has a bit role as the little brother’s friend, but his lines were cut from the film.

The main theme from The Last Starfighter is one of my favorites. Ever.

Composer Craig Safan wanted to go big when it came to writing a theme. Apparently, his orchestra was quite large, using quadruple woodwinds and eight trumpets, trombones, and horns. While listening to the main title, you can absolutely hear the extra instruments!

What’s great is that someone was brilliant enough to write a musical based on this movie! It was an off-broadway production, and the cast did record a soundtrack! Not nearly as great as the movie itself, but fun nonetheless!

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