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All right. Unless you’ve been living under a mountain, you’re probably familiar with the major movie milestone manifesting itself this week. Although the story was initially aimed at a younger generation, many adults have developed a soft spot in their heart for this work as well.

I mean, what’s not to like? A boy, living a life of perceived obscurity in a cookie-cutter collection of homes, finds out that he has special abilities that set him apart from other humans, and, at the end of the story arc, it’s up to him to save everyone he’s ever known or loved. Of course, the movie I’m talking about is The Last Starfighter, starring Robert Preston of Music Man fame and Lance Guest, who plays the protagonist, Alex Rogan.

Released 27 years ago today, the movie tracks the adventures of Alex and his high score on the video game (slash interplanetary recruitment tool) Star Fighter, which earns him a spot as a gunner in an actual Star Fighter in outter space.

This movie was released on the heels of the wildly successful Star Wars trilogy, so it’s not surprising that the Alex Rogan character has some similarities with the young Luke Skywalker of A New Hope. People may also draw some parallels between this story and that of Harry Potter, but, uh, I just don’t see it.

Something you *can* see in the original movie is a very young Wil Wheaton running around wearing a red jersey. As he wasn’t officially part of an away team at the time, he was able to proceed to play the role of young Wesley Crusher in Star Trek: The Next Generation, which
is referred to as TNG by Star Trek aficionados. Another actor in the movie, Marc Alaimo, went on to play Gul Ducat, the very first Cardassian in the Star Trek series, Deep Space Nine. And that’s not all! Several other Starfighter cast members went on to work in one Star
Trek franchise or another.

Dan Mason, who played Lord Kril in the movie, went on to play Accolan in Star Trek: TNG.

Barbara Bosson, who played Alex’s mom, Jane Rogan, went on to play Roana on Deep Space Nine, aka DS9 for those in the know.

Norman Snow -> who was Xur in StarFighter -> went on to play Torin on TNG

And Geoffrey Blake -> who played the small role of Gary in StarFighter -> went on to play Arjin on DS9.

But… The most uber of all the Trekkie tie-ins is that of Meg Wyllie, who played the role of Granny Gordon in The Last StarFigher. Any guesses as to her significance?

She played the role of The Keeper in the pilot episode of Star Trek: The Original Series, which was called The Cage. Though the pilot was completed in 1965, it wasn’t broadcast in it’s entirety until 1988 due to the fact that NBC rejected Gene Roddenberry’s original submission. A two-part episode was substituted for the network premier of the series. Titled The Menagerie, this new pilot contained much of the footage originally shot for The Cage. It also contained a entirely different enterprise crew than the original pilot. Only one
crew member is common across both pilots. Anyone want to take a guess as to which?

The answer is Spock, played by Leonard Nimoy, who got the very first line in all of Star Trek, “Check the circuit!”

So… As far as trivia questions go, that first one was a toughie. No worries that no-one got it.

I’m sure if I had asked someone to name the five houses of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, they’d certainly be able to. Anyone want to take a try? Dwight? Sorry, but in the words of Admiral Ackbar, “It’s a trap!” I think Ackbar would have made a cool Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher…

And in other happenings, the Movie which Shall not be Named is hitting theaters tomorrow night. Really, whether or not I see the movie this weekend depends entirely upon when Apple’s new OS, Lion, hits, but that’s another story, which we’ll loop back to in a second.

If you don’t have a clue as to who Harry, Hagrid or Hermione are or what the House of Hufflepuff is, you may want to head over to the Houston Area Apple Users Group Semi-Annual Swap Meet to shop for some amazingly “new to you” computer deals. If you missed the release of the first film in 2001, then you probably also missed the release Apple’s OS 10.0 (code name Cheetah), earlier that same year, meaning that most of the stuff you’ll come across at the Swap Meet will be so technologically advanced, it may even appear to be magical.

Muggles and Luddites alike are free to stop by the Bellaire Civic Center this Saturday, July 16th, between nine AM and noon to peruse the peripherals up for sale or trade. 7008 South Rice Avenue is where you want to be, and the site www.haaug.org will certainly help you get

Well, That’s nearly it for your last night of sleepless Slytherin sensations and that’s that for BarretTime.

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