The Last Starfighter VR-Enhanced TV Series in the Works

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Ernest Cline’s new book Armada hits stores today and, as you can probably guess, it is another gleeful ’80s pop culture pander-fest. This time around he seems to be drawing directly from the 1984 sci-fi cult classic The Last Starfighter, about a high school kid who is recruited to fight an intergalactic war based on his video game skills. Why am I telling you this? Because today Jonathan Betuel, the original writer of The Last Starfighter, has announced that he is developing a TV series based on The Last Starfighter. Coincidence? Probably. The slightly crazy part is that this upcoming TV series will also attempt to ride the upcoming wave of VR technology by adding special immersive elements. Hit the jump for the full scoop.

According to Variety, screenwriter Jonathan Betuel is teaming up with Los Angeles-based entertainment company Surreal.tv to create a TV series based on The Last Starfighter. The show is tentatively titled The Starfighter Chronicles and it will not continue the story of Alex Rogan but rather shift the focus to a serialized tale about alien law enforcement. The big selling point of the series seems to be the fact that certain scenes will require the use of a VR headset to immerse yourself in the action. Why am I suddenly reminded of Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future?

We have heard rumours about a possible sequel to The Last Starfighter for years now, but it seems odd that this is the format that Betuel has ultimately chosen to move forward with. By the time the show launches, it is possible that the VR revolution will be underway with the consumer version of the Oculus Rift set to release early next year. However, as it stands right now, this seems like a pretty big risk and a somewhat questionable direction to take. Are you interested in a reboot / continuation of The Last Starfighter? Do you think VR has potential for TV and movies or is this all just crazy talk?

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  • Stinker

    I think Jay would like it, when the Carpenter Buddy Nick Castle is still on Board. Otherwise ….wait and see….

  • Lori Cerny

    The premise is just… wrong. There isn’t an interesting hook to pique my interest.

  • Colin

    I attempted to read Ready Player One and Sean is absolutely right in calling Ernest Cline’s work a pander-fest; this is an instance where editorializing is on point and justified.