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Starman (1984)

Originally released in 1984 and starred Jeff Bridges.

In 1977, Voyager 2 was launched containing a gold phonographic disk with a message of peace and inviting visitors to come to the planet Earth. The Voyager probe is intercepted by an alien space ship, which sends a small observational scout vessel in response to the invitation in order to establish first contact with Earth. However, instead of being greeted by its human hosts, the U.S. government shoots down the alien craft. Crashing in Chequamegon Bay, Wisconsin, the alien, as a blue ball of energy, stumbles upon the house of the recently widowed Jenny Hayden (Karen Allen). While there, the alien finds a lock of hair of the deceased Scott Hayden in a photo album and uses it to clone a new body in the likeness of Scott, which the stunned Jenny witnesses.

The Starman (Jeff Bridges) has seven small silver spheres which he turns into pure energy to perform miraculous feats. He uses the first one to send a message to his people that his craft has been destroyed, that the environment is hostile, and that he will rendezvous with them at "Landing Area One" in three days. He then uses the second one to create a holographic map of the United States in order to compel the dumbstruck Jenny to take him to Arizona.

As the shock wears off, Jenny turns both hostile and frightened of him. After repeatedly and unsuccessfully attempting to escape, she finally implores the Starman to shoot her with her pistol. But instead, the Starman releases the pistol's magazine and tells her he means her no harm. As they continue on their journey, the Starman, who had a rough understanding of English syntax from the Voyager 2 disk, learns to communicate his presence to Jenny, and Jenny teaches the Starman that humanity is not completely savage.

The Starman explains to Jenny that he has three days to get to the rendezvous point, Arizona's Barringer Crater, or he will die. She teaches him how to drive a car and use credit cards, intending on escaping so he can continue his journey alone. However, as she is about to make her escape, she witnesses him miraculously resurrect a dead deer. Deeply moved, she resolves to help him at whatever cost.

Along the way, the couple is pursued by the United States Army who detected the crash. The Army contingent is led by a cold-blooded NSA Chief George Fox (Richard Jaeckel) who is reluctantly assisted by a decidedly more humane civilian SETI scientist named Mark Shermin (Charles Martin Smith). After finding the Voyager 2 phonographic disk in the Starman's ship, Shermin understands that Earth invited the Starman to visit in peace. Shermin later determines through collected pieces of evidence that the alien had taken the appearance of the deceased Scott Hayden.

While staying at a motel, Jenny and the Starman learn that they have been discovered by the police, who holding position outside the motel until the federal government arrives. Employing a distraction, the two fugitives escape, and as the police chase after them, one of them shoots at them, critically wounding Jenny. In order to escape, the Starman crashes the vehicle into an overturned gas tanker and protects both himself and Jenny with one of his silver spheres. Under the cover of the explosion, they take refuge in a mobile home being transported on a trailer bed.

The Starman, down to his last two silver spheres, uses one to heal Jenny. He then leaves her and attempts to reach the Meteor Crater alone, as he is afraid she will be hurt again. Jenny catches up to him and they continue their journey together. While stowing away on a boxcar, the couple have sex. Later that night, the Starman tells Jenny "I gave you a baby tonight." Jenny attempts to explain to him that she is infertile, and cannot conceive a child, but the Starman insists, saying, "Believe what I tell you." He explains to the stunned Jenny that the baby will be the son of her dead husband, because he is a clone of Scott. He also explains that he will know all that the Starman knows and when he grows up he will become a teacher. He tells her that he will stop the gestation from going further if she wishes, but the joyful Jenny embraces him, in acceptance of this gift.

The couple mistakenly travel too far on the train and arrive in Las Vegas. To make matters worse, Jenny has lost her wallet. The Starman uses their last quarters in a slot machine, which he manipulates with his powers in order to win a $50,000 jackpot. The couple use their winnings to buy a new car to complete the drive to Winslow, Arizona, which is near Barringer Crater.

Meanwhile, Fox has received information from NORAD that the trajectory of The Starman's Observation Craft, prior to it being shot down, was to Barringer Crater, and concludes that the Starman, along with Jenny Hayden would be in that general vicinity within the next 24 hours of that determination.

Near the end of the journey, the Starman and Jenny are confronted in a cafe in Winslow, where Mark Shermin interviews the dying Starman. The Starman explains to him that his people had previously visited Earth, and are interested in humans, because out of all the many savage intelligent races in the universe, humans are at their best when things are at their worst. Confronted with this, Shermin decides to ruin his career to help the Starman and Jenny escape.

The couple reach the crater as Army helicopters buzz them. Suddenly, the aliens' large, spherical mothership appears in the sky and descends into the crater. A blue light surround the couple, and the Starman is instantly restored to health. He tells Jenny he will never see her again. Jenny confesses her love and begs him to take her with him, but he says she would die on his world. He then gives her his last silver sphere, telling her that her son will know what to do with it. As she watches in silence, the mothership rises, carrying the Starman away.


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Starman Last post by Richard1978
25 March 2011

Do You Remember Starman?

Do You Remember Starman?