The Last Starfighter

{{journal_mood melancholy}}

I’m sitting here watching "The Last Starfighter" which first appeared in 1984 and is one of those okay sci-fi movies. For some reason, I consider it one of my favorites. Perhaps it’s because Lance Guest who plays Alex (the main character) was cute back when I first saw it, I’ve always had a crush on him. It’s funny though, when I saw it coming on tonight, I had to hit the record button and decided I would sit back and watch it yet again (probably hitting my 25 or so viewings).

It is kind of weird though, as I sit here watching the opening credits followed by the first scene I started to feel sad. For me, many of the movies I watch have hidden meanings for me. For instance, a couple of weekends back I watched both the recent "Zorro" movies. Sure Antonio Banderas is incredibly cute but it was an interview I saw him do that really made me want to watch them. In this interview Antonio was talking about his role in "Zorro". He was joking around and commented on how he had grown up watching the TV show and how he’d always wanted to portray the great hero. It was his excitement and true boyhood charm of this fictionist hero that caught my attention.

For me, the movies I truly love have some meaning to them beyond simple entertainment. They promote hope, survival, growth and most importantly learning about your self. Perhaps that is why "The Last Starfighter" brought this melancholy feeling on me. Here is a show I have watched dozens of times, it’s about a boy trying and hoping to achieve a better life for himself and those around him. He .gets discovered’ by an alien who whisks him away in to outer-space where he has to learn how to fly, fight and well … understand an existence that he had only imagined.

The movie goes on to have Alex becoming the great and last starfighter that ends up saving the galaxy from a vile and despicable alien race who are dead set on destroying anything in their path. In the end, he discovers that he himself had the ability all along to be something he had only imagined, he gets the girl, the respect and well … pretty much the galaxy.

So why the mood change? Well, there is a part of us that always is looking for .the’ opportunity. You know the kind, Prince Charming riding in on his white horse, the big discovery by a movie producer or some such thing, winning the lottery, being called away by some alien race, writing the next big novel, having your work portrayed world wide, publishing the next big thing and the list continues. I’m not saying I had my hopes up, that’s really not me. But I won’t deny that a part of me, way deep down – just like everyone else on this planet – always hopes for that moment in life.

And perhaps that is what this movie means to me. When I saw this little ditty I would have been about 16. That ripe age where life starts to change and boyhood leaves, manhood takes over. In other words, the fancies of being a kid slowly drop away as reality steps in and things start to become a whole lot clearer (insert a sad moan here). So as I sit here and watch this old sci-fi movie I see a part of me from way back when with all his hopes and dreams coming back from those days of being a teenager.

Life is what you make it, one of my typical sayings. I firmly believe that, I have no regrets (actually I have three so far which I think are listed in a previous journal entry somewhere) but that little part of me that’s always hoped for the great moment when I could be rescued from the normality of life when I was just learning to be an adult … came racing back.

I’m not holding my breath and I’ve never been holding my breath for that moment. But it’s always fun to dream and if it wasn’t for dreams then we wouldn’t be here. Or well, it’d be a pretty dang boring life since most things that exist today are because someone dreamed it could happen.

There’s a lot on my shoulders these days and it seems every day more gets added. But that’s part of life and something I have long since been accustomed too. I just feel like some days that I am the only one worrying about the long haul and everyone else is sitting back enjoying. Life may be what you make it; the part of that term "make it" is the key many forget. Life isn’t just one person going through the motions it’s many and if you want to "make it" then you have to learn how to achieve your goals with the help of those around you. The chances of being discovered are slim but with the help of those whom you trust and care about, your chances dramatically increase (or so they say).