Starman (film)

From Academic Kids

Starman (1984; see also 1984 in film) is a science fiction film which tells the story of an alien from another planet (Jeff Bridges) who has come to Earth in response to the invitation left of the gold phonograph record on the Voyager space probes.

Upon arriving at Earth, the ambassador (anthropologist?) crash-lands. In order for the visitor to get asistance, he/she/it needs to take human form. He/she/it searches the local countryside and finds the cabin of a young woman named Jenny Hayden (Karen Allen). Jenny, who has been reminiscing about her dead husband (watching old movies, looking through photo albums), has fallen asleep, encouraged by the drinking she has been doing to drown her sorrows. In one of the photo albums is a lock of her husband's hair. The visitor samples the DNA from the lock of hair, then replicates it to full adulthood in just a couple of minutes, in effect becoming the dead husband's clone. The Starman then attempts to get Jenny to drive him to Meteor Crater in Arizona from Wisconsin, where his mother ship will be picking him up. Jenny is both terrified and enthralled by this seeming revenant of her dead husband, and so agrees to help Starman get to Arizona, although at first the fear seems to outweigh the interest.

Along the way, the couple must flee the Army, who detected the crash. The Army contingent is led by gung-ho, shoot-first-dissect-later NSA chief Fox (Richard Jaeckel), who is reluctantly assisted by a more can't-we-just-get-along scientist named Shermin (Charles Martin Smith).

While making the journey, Starman learns more about humans (and being human) from direct experience, as well as some explanations from Jenny. Jenny also learns more about him as he becomes better at communicating, and finds he is a tender, sincere, loving person. By the end of the trip, they have fallen in love, made love, and Jenny has gotten pregnant. It is the belief of the contributor that this last plot device was included for a couple of reasons:

Reason 1(the internal reason): Jenny was devastated by the loss of her husband, who was taken from her too soon/suddenly. Also, she has (had?) a medical condition that prevented her from having children with the real Scott, and so does not even have some sort of reminder/continuation of him that could have kept her going. Now that she has gotten Scott back, she has fallen in love with the new Scott as much as if not more than with the old Scott, and is about to be abandoned by him as well. In order not to hurt her too badly with his departure, Starman bypassed her medical condition in order to give her the child the old Scott could not. Since it is Scott's DNA that was used to create the body for the Starman, then it will be Scott's child as well, but because of Starman's alien influence, the child will also be his, becoming a "great teacher" sometime in the future.

Reason 2(the external reason): This is a good open-ended situation for any sequels that might want to be written. This did not actually take place in movie form, but there was a television series of the same name made in 1986, starring Robert Hays and Christopher Daniel Barnes.

The movie was written by Bruce A. Evans, Raynold Gideon and Dean Riesner (uncredited). It was directed by John Carpenter. Bridges was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor.

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