Posts Tagged ‘Star wars’

Transmission Date Dec. 30 2013

The Holiday Season is almost finished up again for yet another year. With the future of 2014 looming just hours away I wanted to put the cap on 2013 with a subject from the Satellite Archival Files. Now loading Satellite log Transmission dated 1984. All Satellite team members congregate in the viewing deck..consider this training of sorts..in the event we run into the Ko-Dan Armada. (Hint)

If you played a video game in an arcade in your life at some point you wondered what it would be like to actually be inside the machine competing for your life on the game grid. Such as it was with Tron. However you quickly wrap your head around the idea that being atomized and sucked into a machine was not really possible…right? Well as far fetched as Tron was maybe as equally possible was being selected by an alien army to help protect the universe from sure destruction. You were selected because you were good..really damn good..so good you KNOW someone was watching and tracking your exploits on that gaming cabinet! Fans of the 80s know exactly what I am talking about..THE LAST STARFIGHTER!

I was 10 years old in 1984 and enjoyed all the fun things that came with that in the 80s. Our home town did not have the luxury of having a theater but from time to time when the moons would align someone would show a somewhat recent movie. It was an event so as it was I gathered in the basement of a local Chinese Food resturant called “The Oriental” to watch this brand new movie “The Last StarFighter” . Displayed on a bed sheet on a wall with a rickety projector I watched Alex Rogan become the “Luke Skywalker” of my day. The premise was simple a small town boy who happened to be great at a certain video game called “StarFighter” is recruited by a warring alien race who is facing imminent destruction. Without a skilled StarFighter their race and the fate of the universe is in peril.

This movie is pure teenage fantasy where a regular kid from a trailer park saves the world in his Starfighter just as he perfected in front of a video game cabinet! Alex Rogan could be any of us and for the first time since Star Wars we believed that the universe was a little bigger than we could see and maybe..just maybe one day we would be called upon to protect it!

The Last StarFighter super served a geek on all levels. Firstly it showcased a very cool Video game cabinet that in reality did not exist but looked cool as hell. I think a StarFighter game in the arcades of the 80s could have been BIG business alas it did not happen .

…but we DID get a semi cool cartridge for the Nintendo Entertainment System.

The Last StarFighter port was actually decent however there was so much left on the table with the potential this franchise offered.Bundle that with the fact the game was released 6 YEARS after the movie was in theaters!??

The game more or less was a generic style clone of many of the space shooter style games of the day in the vain of Konami’s Life Force and the like. Take a look for yourself!

The comparisons of The Last Star Fighter to Star Wars are hard to overlook. Lets review.

In Star Wars a New Hope Luke is looking to eventually leave his Uncles moisture farm to join the academy like his friend Biggs..Alex in StarFighter dreams of leaving the trailer court and going to university. Neither Luke of Alex has their dreams in the cards and are held back by their environment. Luke is asked to stay one more year on the farm by his Uncle Owen and faces the fact he will continue to be the mere servant and fix it boy on the farm. When asked to clean up his Droids Luke utters the famous line “But I have to go to Tachi Station to pick up some power converters!” Alex faces the same fate as he is rejected from attending university and has to give up a trip to the beach with his friends and girlfriend because he has to fix the “electric” at the trailer court.

Both Luke and Alex are recruited by fate to eventually fulfill their destiny. Obi Wan finds Luke and sets him on the path to the Rebellion. Alex is recruited by Centauri and goes on the exact same path to assist a universe stop the Ko-Dan Armada!

Both get the Mos Eisley experience. During their travels Luke is brought to the Cantina where we meet a variety of the creatures that inhabit the Star Wars universe on display.
When Alex is brought to a command ship by Centauri we encounter a very similar group of odd aliens and both Luke and Alex run into some issues with some of the aliens who see them as outsiders.

Of course the end battle scene of Luke bringing down the Death Star is exactly replicated when Alex uses the Death Blossom to bring down the Ko-Dan Armada.

There are so many similarities and more detail is given on one of my favorite podcast’s ThrowBack Reviews where the guys go into extensive detail on Star Wars vs. StarFighter and a bunch more surprises! A MUST listen! ThrowBack Reviews : The Last Star Fighter

The Last StarFighter has lived on in my VHS collection and in a few of my older comic book collections but outside of a random game and a few comics Starfighter merchandise is far and few between!

Limited Series by Marvel Comics were one of my all time favorite buys! Especially when The Last Starfighter is the topic!

Marvel did an admirable job with the comic book adaptation of the film but I would avoid the single issue limited series if you can find the magazine style Marvel Super Special #31: The Last Starfighter, a single issue Official Movie Adaptation! Search this one up on eBay you will not be sorry! (It contains the 3 issue limited series from above just in a more colorful slicker edition and better quality!

One of the few pieces of Starfighter merch that I had..this ones a winner!

There exists some very rare Last Starfighter merchandise that I wish I could get my hands on now check it out!

What kid in the 80s would’nt want to hit the school cafeteria like a Boss with this Last Starfighter lunch Box and Thermos!

The Coup De Gras of StarFighter merchandise would have been this set of action figures! Imagine a complete set of figures like these under the Christmas tree back in 1984..or hell 2013 for that matter! Galoob produced this line of very good looking figures only to never release them for sale. Beauty set! And great detail on some of these toys that was rare for the time!

Could possibly been one string selling toy line if ever given the green light by Galoob!

So if you like video games…practice up…you may be Centurai’s next selection to defend the universe against the evil Ko-Dan Armada!

Transmission Ended..

For more GREAT Last StarFighter information and fun facts you MUST visit my personal favorite retro site The Retroist! There are plenty of great StarFighter articles and one heck of a retrospective StarFighter Podcast episode devoted to this great film!

If You have enjoyed this blog contact me on Twitter @Charlton_Hero and join the conversation using #SuperHeroSatellite Thanks for reading! Please take the time and visit two of the great retro sites,The Retroist and Throwback Reviews

Satellite Quicklinks.

Retroist Article: The Last Starfighter – Where’s All My Toys!

Retroist Article: The Last Starfighter – The Movie Game is Real!!

Retroist Podcast Episode 124: The Last Starfighter

Throwback Reviews: The Last StarFighter (1984)

Happy 2014 Heroes!

Welcome back Satellite Subscribers! The team and I on the Satellite have pillaged the time streams of my youth and using the memory analyzer I have purged several historical publications that were of great interest to me as a child of the 80s. No, it was no great work of literature..it was not the Bible..although I could have used a few passages back then! Outside of my documented interests in Comic Books and Action Figures..I also had  consistent exposure to Coloring Books. Some of my fondest memories of road trips, camping excursions always fall back to the memories of my old companion, the coloring book! All hands to the conference deck as I enlighten our team of heroes on coloring heroes!

Transmission Begin: Nov 28 2013

So as it may be, this post is more or less a gallery of my room closets book shelf. From time to time my parents, to occupy me, would by me one of these coloring books. If it was a trip to the Doctor…a coloring book followed close behind. A trip to visit my Grandmothers usually spawned several coloring books from numerous runs to the general store for a snack run!! Here are a few of the books that were forever locked in my consciousness all of which I personally owned!

Fantastic Four Meets The Witch. One of my all time favorite stand out books. Was always a BIG Human Torch fan..now I could color him!

Out of all the Coloring Book lines available to me during the early 80s ,the vintage Whitman line of coloring books were the best. Whitman publishing company, was a major publisher of children`s books from the early 1900s to the 80s. Many of the titles were liscensed books from popular TV shows and Comic book heroes. Whitman was essentially my entry drug into the world of Coloring Books. One of my first memories of Camping as a child brought me to Dildo Newfoundland..yes insert joke here. One trip to a local general store later and I had my earliest coloring book purchase that I can recall. The Fantastic Four Meet the Witch. The story was very simple. The Witch is picked up by government radar and causes havoc for the U.S. Government. Here comes the F.F. to save the day. Whitman was not known for elaborately drawn books, but that was a good thing. The pages were easy to color as well I was an avid artist at the time so the characters were easy to redraw!

Its Clobberin Time with the crayons! Whitman Coloring Books were simplistic but fun to color!

Even though this book always has a special place in my memories This Amazing Spider-Man Coloring Book always drew me back to it for years later and even as an adult I have flipped the pages of this one!

Spider-Man The Oyster Mystery!

While my love of this book is just that..my own, several websites out there have parodied this book for its basic storyline and super loose artwork. Check out http://www.somethingawful.com/comedy-goldmine/spiderman-oyster-mystery  

Not being the best colorist, I decided that I would be unable to draw a dime begin a colorist in the comic book industry but my favorite thing about this book was the simplicity of the art, especially Spidey! It was a proverbial `How To Draw`as a kid! Thanks Whitman..now I can at least draw this good to this day!

Holloway’s General Store always brought a coloring book on my sleep overs at my Grandparents! The upstairs craft part of the store was always well stocked with Whitman classics like these!

`Buck Rogers was HOT on TV in the early 80s and the Buck Rogers action figures comprised some of my early action figure collections. I had Buck, Twikie, Kane, Draco, Tiger Man and the Draconian Guard!

One of my early forays into action figure collecting! The Buck Rogers collection. A perfect companion to my coloring book.

Buck was lucky enough to have a sequel to his own coloring book! he was THAT popular!

I will not lie..Star Wars was MY space fantasy. As much as I liked Buck Rogers NOTHING and I mean NOTHING captured my imagination like the Galaxy far far Away!

Star Wars was the ultimate in coloring fun and Kenner not only produced a swarm of excellent action figures but amazing Star Wars coloring books with Live Movie Stills as covers! Even some had special studio publicity shots that were amazing!!

Who would not buy this coloring Book.

The Star Wars Coloring Books loosely told a story much like the famous `Little Big Books`they usually told a chapter from the movie and always had a nice happy ending.Others were a mishmash of traced movie scenes, Toy ads and Comic Book pages..and possibly even traced by a drunk. I submit for your approval..

Shamelessly traced from Howard Chaykins work in The Star wars Marvel Comics Series.

Hey this looks familiar!

So artists clearly didn’t  care much  about their artistic output as some could not even draw a straight line while tracing! I put this before the courts as evidence number 2.

Sloppy ass art work!Check out that platform they are standing on..as well as the side panels next to Leia. Anyone have a ruler for gods sake!.

Some images however hit the nail on the head . The right blend of accuracy and simplicity!

The ONLY Toy to put Star wars on my play time back burner was G.I. Joe! The Joe’s were incredible. They had a figure for every job in the military. They had the best vehicles and accessories, one hell of a cartoon show..as well as friggin awesome coloring books!

YO JOE!! This Joe Coloring and Activity book was a staple at coloring time!

The Joe’s did double duty at my house as I bought up every new coloring book I could find! The interesting thing about these books were the attention given to supplementary characters! Rock and Roll and Grunt were featured!! What ever happened to Rock and Roll?? He was the original BIG gunner before Road Block! No Love I tell ya!

The ORIGINAL 80s Joe’s were always my favorites! This was magic for me at my young age. Yo Joe!

I had a very respectable amount of Masters Of The Universe toys and even this coloring book. He-man was highly revered at my house!

Masters Of The Universe, especially The Action Figure line, were huge in my town. He-Man and Skeletor and the gang were huge additions to my action figure line up! Even though actually role-playing in the MOTU world was not their long-term purpose as they were all eventually absorbed into my fictional playtime wrestling league. That is another story for another day! The MOTU coloring book had longevity at home. I literally rode this one to the grave. It still lasted months after going cover-less! I was always a fan of the cover art and I think that’s what gave it its longevity! The cover features He-Man riding on the long forgotten Battle Ram. This is a very early toy that debuted in the pages of the old He-Man mini comics that came packaged with MOTU figures . It was very rare to catch glimpses of this vehicle as the classic Wind Raider was the one most prominently in the cartoon series!

This Laff a Lympics coloring book was a book that featured many stars of cartoons we did not get in our area!

Hanna Barbera Cartoons always a favorite, were aired on a limited basis in our area of Canada , but this Coloring Book opened my eyes to my favorites Blue falcon and Dyna-Mutt! This book allowed me to see stars like Magilla Gorilla,and others I had never seen before! It was a wake up call that our cable package was horrible!

The Good Old Boys Never meanin no harm!

From time to time my parents would surprise me with a JUMBO Coloring/Activity book!! These could literally be 500 plus pages of pure coloring fun and always were a hefty price in our day. The Dukes of Hazzard was a favorite of my fathers who liked vintage cars and country music.  I was bestowed this super sized coloring book! I loved it! 8.95 was a mega price to pay..it may as well been a hundred dollars as that was big money to pony up in the early 80s for a coloring book no matter what the size. The cover always got me as well..pre-photoshop days..these guys did okay!

I was a DC Kid in the 80s..still am..and THESE were my Super Heroes! You might call this the Secret Origin of The Super Hero Satellite!

The Coup de Gras of Coloring Books was the DC Super Heroes Big Big Book! This 448 tome was the best of the best. It was a Coloring book / Activity Book of epic proportions. A full-fledged adrenaline rush of coloring fun. I have a fond memory of this book and it was the center piece of my coloring piece collection. There was no tracing involved in this one. The art in the book was directly taken from the comics and it was fantastic! This was no ordinary activity book. This book had challenging puzzles and mind-boggling games. THIS was the best book of its kind and if you can find it on eBay just grab this one! I’ll show ya why!

SuperMans Game Page!

Batman’s Word Search! Try your best! Solve it yet?

Jokers Word Ladder! These games were no pre-school fun for sure!

Even though my god given skill was drawing and never so much coloring,  when I look at my kids coloring books and cannot help but smile. I just wish that one time I could pass along my son a pack of crayons and the DC Super Heroes Big Big Book and say “You will thank me later!” Shutting down historical archives..Heroes back to the iso chambers we have a big destination planned for our next stop…strap in we are entering our next destination on our time stream…Christmas…Later Heroes!

Transmission Ended:

Satellite Extra Coloring Book Gallery..

My best friend Jason at the time had this one..it always drove me crazy and I always had coloring book envy over this issue!

JAWS 2!! This is one book I scored with one of my numerous sleep overs to my Grand Parents as a kid! Awesome cover!

Saturday Morning faves The Smurfs gave me a Smurfy time with a crayon in this bad boy!

More craziness from Spider-Mans Oyster Mystery parody!

Okay Heroes…PUZZLE Time!

If you have enjoyed this post there are many more to check out here at the Super-Hero Satellite. Contact me directly on Twitter @Charlton_Hero and use  #SuperHeroSatellite to join in the conversation!