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This Last Starfighter Artwork Pays Tribute to a Forgotten Era

A piece of Last Starfighter Tribute art by Barry Blankenship
A piece of Last Starfighter Tribute art by Barry Blankenship
Photo: Gallery 1988

With any luck, in the coming years, the 1980s cult classic The Last Starfighter will make a comeback. Until then, we can live vicariously through this wonderful piece of art and hope for more like it.

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Artist Barry Blankenship created this super cool piece called “Starfighter Fields Forever” for his two-person show with Dave Quiggle at Gallery 1988 in Los Angeles, CA. It’s available in a regular edition, variant edition and, as of publication, an original drawing too. Here they are.

The regular edition.
The regular edition.
Photo: Gallery 1988
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The variant edition.
The variant edition.
Photo: Gallery 1988
The original pen and ink.
The original pen and ink.
Photo: Gallery 1988

We love this piece because it works on so many levels. Obviously, first and foremost, it’s paying homage to The Last Starfighter by recreating and duplicating the the standup arcade machine at the center of the film. It’s also an acknowledgement of a time long gone, when those machines were part of our popular culture. The title of the pieces is, of course, a nod to the Beatles—and the Starfighter in the sky feels like a wink to Galaga and Space Invaders.

Anyway, it’s an awesome piece, and if you want to pick it up make sure you also check out the full show at this link. There are also pieces inspired by The Monster Squad, Contact, Stranger Things, Ghostbusters, and more.

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[Gallery 1988]

Entertainment Reporter for io9/Gizmodo

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DISCUSSION

lightninglouie
lightninglouie

Fun fact: There was actually going to be a Last Starfighter arcade game from Atari, but they pulled the plug on the project because the individual units were too expensive, and the bottom had just fallen out of the industry.

Honestly I think I’d rather see some sort of Cobra Kai-style miniseries rather than a big-budget sequel, or god help us, a reboot (probably with some sort of Fortnite-like mobile game). And there’s also Armada, which is for all intents and purposes a Last Starfighter remake with the serial numbers filed off. (I can’t wait for Ernest Cline to write a fantasy novel, which will probably just be a mashup of Krull, Ladyhawke, and I dunno, the Cannon Masters of the Universe movie. The wizard protagonist is nicknamed “Schmendrick” and every time it comes up there’s a paragraph explaining that it’s a reference to the novel and movie versions of The Last Unicorn.)