The Last Starfighter was first released in 1984, and it was a movie that I freakin’ loved as a kid! It was one of the few movies at the time to use computer-generated imagery. Now it sounds like we’re going to get a whole new adventure for TV that will also involve some virtual reality technology.
The original screenwriter, Jonah Betuel, is spearheading the project, and he’s teamed up with Surreal.tv, which was co-founded by Andy Vick and Rick Rey, to push the boundaries on the technical aspect of VR. The series will be called The Starfighter Chronicles, and it will be the first TV show to embrace virtual reality and implement it in its storytelling. The news comes from Variety, who says:
And while most of it is meant to be viewable on plain old TVs, it would also feature special scenes that break the frame, allowing viewers equipped with virtual reality (VR) headsets to look around and explore the inside of a spaceship or immerse themselves in an alien firefight. “It’s a very interesting blend,” said Betuel. “The otherworldiness of it lends itself to VR.”
That would be pretty awesome… for anyone who has what they need to play around in the VR world. It’s an interesting gimmick, but it’s hard to tell if it would actually take off.
Rey and Vick also believe that their experience with online video will help them to succeed with the “Starfighter Chronicles,” and VR in general. The duo was there when online video grew up, and hopes to use that knowledge as this new type of media emerges. “We are doing it again, and it’s just as exciting,” said Vick. Except, this time, they hope it’s going to happen a little faster. Said Vick: “I don’t want to wait five years again.”
The series is still in the early stages of development, and it will not continue the story of the original Starfighter film. This series is described as a “serialized story about alien law enforcement.” Betuel explained, “It’s about instilling a moral code.”
People have been trying to remake this film for years, including Steven Spielberg, but they've never been able to nab the rights to it. It seems like Betuel has been saving it for this. I’m curious to see how this turns out, but to be honest, I’m not expecting much. Hopefully they can pull something awesome off though and surprise the hell out of us!