So I was watching the premiere of Stargate Universe on Friday, and got a case 0f 80s deja vous. Stargate Universe is the latest in a series of television shows based on the 1994 science fiction flick “Stargate”. In the season opener, the Stargate Command is trying to figure out how to dial the gate using the 9th chevron. To get help they decide on the ingenious solution of putting the problem into a video game on the Internet to see if someone can solve it. And sure enough, some young geeky kid figures it out and is paid a visit by the Stargate team who promptly beam him out of his house and onto a real starship.
Any SciFi fan from the 80s will know immediately where the show’s writers got the idea for this. The idea of using a video game to find a kid capable of solving problems was the central theme of the classic 80s SciFi movie “The Last Starfighter”. In the film, an alien race uses coin operated video games as a test to find people “with the gift” who can fly their real Starfighter space ships. Sure enough they find a geeky teenager playing their Starfighter arcade game in some small American town. They come down and fly him off in a real starship to help them fight real space battles.
This happens to be the 25th Anniversary of the release of the film, and there is a new The Last Starfighter 25th Anniversary Edition DVD out with a “making of” documentary included. There are also rumors floating around of a sequel being in the works.