Yeah yeah I’m a day late, but I didn’t want to skip too weeks in a row. This is basically the Last Starfighter but inspired but very recent events.
Aisha a high school student is playing Missile Command on an arcade cabinet. It’s clearly the 80s from the clothing and they are playing ‘Come On Eileen’ on the pizza shop’s sound system. She is getting the high score but the missiles start moving too fast and she gets a game over.
Aisha’s boyfriend Reggie returns with pizza. He is sad he missed the end as she had been playing for hours. Aisha beats herself up saying she should have been better. Reggie comforts her and says she beat her high score, and she already has all the high scores on the cabinet.
They leave the pizza shop. They live in a small Utah town. We can see mountains in the distance. As they walk back to Aisha’s house, a van screeches past them. It slides to a stop and the door flys open and men in masks grab her and throw her in the van. Reggie is powerless to do anything.
Aisha wakes up in a warehouse. There is a bunch of other people that look as confused and scared as she does. They all look like outcasts. They are all talking with each other. They can’t figure out what they have in common. They all live in different parts of the country. Some of the younger children are crying.
A gruff older man in military dress walks in.
People are yelling. The man pulls out a TV set. Mark Hamill (ILM made a CGI replica of his younger self). He says that their research says they will need a familiar face to help them come to grips with what they are above to hear. This is a matter of national security. The tv cuts to a really dry and boring documentary talking about the history of The Strategic Defense Initiative.
The crowd becomes restless, people begin to yell and make jokes. Mark Hamill appears on screen again and apologies, he said they had to show that for legal reasons. The reason they’ve all been taken is because the Cold War just got a lot hotter. There is an imminent threat from Russia. They are planning to launch missiles to destroy hundreds of US cities. The missile launch sites are hidden all over the world and there is no way to destroy them. The Star Wars program, he breaks the fourth wall and looks into the camera and says, “not that one,” isn’t up to the task. The program was supposed to shoot missiles out the sky but it wasn’t able to calculate the trajectories fast enough. Even the fastest super computers aren’t able to keep up. There is only one thing powerful enough to do the calculations, and Mark points to his head, “the human mind.”
The tape cuts to footage of Missile Command. He says the game is a training simulation created by the Department of Defense and everyone in this room is the most well trained soldiers now. “We need your skills to save the United States. You are our only hope.” The crowd sits in shocked silence.
We cut back to Reggie. The cops think he is playing a prank and won’t help. He takes matters into his own hangs and visits his friend who works at the DMV. Reggie remembered enough of the license plate number that they are able to find the record for it. It’s owned by a company that neither recognizes.
As it’s the 80s Reggie has to go to the library to find information about the company. From searching through microfilm he discovers the company is a military contractor which owns a warehouse within driving distance. With nothing else to go on he goes to explore.
The warehouse is the same one where Aisha was taken. It’s abandoned now. There are signs that things were quickly moved and disposed of. Reggie is able to find an address on a half burnt piece of paper.
We cut back to Aisha. The general comes back into the room. He says they will save the US but first they have to practice.
There is a modified version of the game. The graphics are much better and it is more complex. They all start playing. Each person has to protect six virtual cities from incoming missiles. They all start playing. Aisha is one of the first to get a game over. Things were moving too fast for her and she got overwhelmed. She is deflated. The others are doing better but they soon get game overs as well. They are all frustrated with how difficult it is.
The general comes into the room again and says, “Not good enough. Your mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers, every soul you know would be dead with that performance. You have to do better.”
Reggie approaches the compound. He is hit on the back of the head. When he comes to he is in an interrogation room. They keep asking if he is a Russian spy but he just keeps saying how he wants to see Aisha.
Finally Aisha is allowed to see him. She catches him up and afterwards is able to convince the military brass that she always plays better when he is by is side.
The next day the general says “missiles are falling, It’s game day!” Everyone scrambles to their games. Reggie walks around bringing people pizza and soda and anything else they need. We see the game they are playing cutting back and forth with the real world. We see Manhattan with missiles reigning down but counter missiles keep exploding them in the air.
We see Aisha getting overwhelmed. Things are moving too fast for her but Reggie is there and touches her shoulder. She takes a deep breath and pushes through. She is in the zone.
The other gamers start to stand up and cheer as the missiles stop falling on their monitors. Everyone has won except Aisha who is still going strong. Everyone crowds around her and are amazed at her skills. Suddenly the missiles stop falling and she crumples from exhaustion. Everyone cheers.