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The Last Starfighter
(1984)
Album Cover Art
1987 So. Cross
1996 Intrada
Album 2 Cover Art
2015 Intrada
Album 3 Cover Art
Composed, Co-Orchestrated, Conducted, and Produced by:
Craig Safan

Co-Orchestrated by:
Alf Clausen
Joel Rosenbaum
Labels Icon
LABELS & RELEASE DATES
Southern Cross
(1987)

Intrada Records
(January 23rd, 1996)

Intrada Records
(January 5th, 2015)
Availability Icon
ALBUM AVAILABILITY
The 1987 Southern Cross SCCD album was considered a highly desirable collectible in the early 1990's, and it was long out of print and difficult to find. The value of that album fell upon the release of the Intrada release, but that expanded 1996 album also became difficult to find, selling at prices over $100 in the 2000's. The 2015 Intrada album is a regular commercial release initially worth $20.
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AWARDS
None.
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ALSO SEE
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you gravitate towards the best of the noble and heroic themes for bold brass that seemed to be everywhere in 1980's science fiction movies.

Avoid it... if cheesy 1980's ray gun sounds and other obnoxious electronic accents in the rest of the underscore are simply too much vintage arcade ambience for your evolved ears to handle nowadays.
Review Icon
EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #609
WRITTEN 9/24/96, REVISED 2/7/15
The Last Starfighter: (Craig Safan) The early 1980's represented the pinnacle of popularity for corny science-fiction movies, with one of the more typical stories to streak into space at the time being The Last Starfighter. It's hard to imagine now that in 1984, The Last Starfighter was a rather innovative and serviceable entry in the genre, featuring cutting edge digital special effects technology that served as the origin of the next decade's computer-generated animation. You can laugh at it now, of course, with its silly effects betraying the modest budget of the film, but the unsophisticated visuals were a match for the subject matter of the film: video games. The story of The Last Starfighter is quite intriguing, especially for video game aficionados, basically entailing that aliens seed certain video games on Earth as an experiment to determine which humans would make the best pilots in a real-life representation of the game. For all humanity of the 21st Century knows, the American government could be engaged in such plots to find the next drone pilots in real life. In the more virtuous case of The Last Starfighter, that real-life version of the arcade meant a battle between advanced space-faring races. One particular everyday kind of guy of trailer court origin is recruited from the arcade to the stars and thus begins his fantastic journey. The choice of composer for the assignment was not completely unexpected given his relationship with the director, but it was still a risk given his primarily television and electronics background; along with a music director to supervise the licensing of songs for the film, Craig Safan was hired for the project. At the time of this score, Safan was best known for supplementing the long-standing piano theme for the hit TV show "Cheers," and science fiction with a large orchestra for the big screen proved to be a new journey for him as well. The producers of the film, like any with high hopes of transcending the usual trash of the era, desired a large space opera score, with Gustav Holst and John Williams obviously in mind, and offered Safan five days with an orchestra as immense as he needed to achieve the right sound. As you might expect, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. He greeted it with enthusiasm that he later recalls as the best moment of his career. He wanted to produce the space opera sound without allowing it to fall into the well of existing, cheap Star Wars imitation scores. His theory was to have everything revolve around strong melodies, which was often lost in that era to experimental sounds and sheer weight of typically overwrought orchestral sound.



Ratings Icon
VIEWER RATINGS
301 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 3.31 Stars
***** 68 5 Stars
**** 79 4 Stars
*** 70 3 Stars
** 48 2 Stars
* 36 1 Stars
  (View results for all titles)

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COMMENTS
2 TOTAL COMMENTS
Read All Start New Thread Search Comments
Craig Safan did NOT write the "Cheers" Theme
MS - March 31, 2015, at 10:29 a.m.
1 comment  (538 views)
Reminds me of....
The first One - June 19, 2003, at 10:55 a.m.
1 comment  (2408 views)
More...


Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
1987 Southern Cross SCCD Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 29:38
• 1. Main Title (2:30)
• 2. Outer Space Chase (2:52)
• 3. Into the Starscape (3:50)
• 4. The Planet of Rylos (2:04)
• 5. Death Blossom; Ultimate Weapon (3:37)
• 6. Incummunicado* (3:08)
• 7. Never Crossed my Mind* (2:45)
• 8. Return to Earth (3:28)
• 9. The Hero's March (2:16)
• 10. Centauri Dies (3:08)
* written by C. Safan & M. Mueller, and performed by Cliff Magness
1996 Intrada Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 48:38
2015 Intrada Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 63:47

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
The inserts of all the albums contain notes about the score and film.
Copyright © 1996-2017, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from The Last Starfighter are Copyright © 1987, 1996, 2015, Southern Cross, Intrada Records, Intrada Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 9/24/96 and last updated 2/7/15.
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