|“||"Is your face odd, misshapen? Join the Air Force!"||”|
|— Mike Nelson|
This movie is about the day-to-day lives of men training to fly state-of-the-art (for the time) jet fighters. Refueling is prominently featured.
A sub-plot involves Lt. Witkowski's father (a Congressman) constantly harassing him while on duty and offering to pull political strings to get him transferred to a safer part of the Air Force. Witkowski is also introduced to a woman who lives near the training base and a courtship ensues. There is little in the way of conflict, suspense, or drama.
- Robert Dornan, who plays young Lt. John Witkowski, later became a staunchly Conservative congressman from California who unsuccessfully vied for the 1996 Republican nomination for President. He later lost his House seat in a hotly contested race the same year, losing by less than a thousand votes.
- The congressman might actually have had a point: the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter jet had a notoriously poor safety record, mostly due to design issues that made it much more difficult to fly than other planes. (The major actually touches on the big issue when he remarks the wings are so thin "you'll wonder how it gets enough lift to stay up.")
Prologue: With his seriously impressive (by 1994 standards) computer, Crow attempts to access the wonder that is the information superhighway using state of the art (by 1994 standards) dial-up. When his talked-up tech skills crumble after he's unable to connect, Mike and Tom have to restrain him from smashing the computer/himself.
Segment One: As Crow suffers through the queue waiting for technical support, the Mads attempt to introduce their new cranial ports. They are distracted by Cowboy Mike's Red Hot Ricochet Barbecue Sauce until they discover that the SOL crew has misrepresented its claimed boldness. (The BBQ sauce is actually called "Cowboy Mike's Own Original Red Hot Ricochet Barbecue Sauce")
Segment Two: Inspired by the film, Crow and Tom reenact the spectacle that is "refueling". Unfortunately Crow's on-hold tech support call finally reaches a human in the middle of it and Crow can't "disengage" in time.
Segment Three: The Bots attempt to debrief Mike. They succeed.
Segment Four: The United Servo Academy Men's Chorus perform a stirring tribute to flight.
Closing (Segment Five): Crow finally gets to experience the wonder that is the information superhighway, but finds the wonder has been overstated a tad as Mike reads a letter, while the Mads finally get to show off their new cranial ports.
Stinger: Wife's elbow jab teaches Husband who's boss.
- Michael J. Nelson - Mike Nelson
- Trace Beaulieu - Crow T. Robot / Dr. Clayton Forrester
- Kevin Murphy - Tom Servo
- Frank Conniff - TV's Frank
- Jim Mallon - Gypsy (credit only)
- This is the only episode of season 6 and the final episode of the original run to feature anything resembling an Invention Exchange. Invention Exchanges wouldn't be featured again on Mystery Science Theater 3000 until the Season 11 premiere, Reptilicus.
- At the end of the performance of The United Servo Academy Men's Chorus, they begin singing another song: "Mademoiselle from Armentières", a song dating back from World War I and often referred to by its faux-French title "Hinky-Dinky Parley Voo". The reason Mike is so eager for them to stop is that the song is somewhat risque.
- This episode aired sixth during MST3K Anthology.
- United Servo Academy Men's Chorus Hymn
Music and Lyrics by Kevin Murphy
- “Shut up Iris.” (The Beatniks)
- “People seemed to laugh more then.” (Stranded in Space)
- “Eegah” and “Watch out for snakes!” (Eegah)
- "The turtle called Gamera is approaching the base."
- (After the title "The Starfighters" is revealed) "The Sean Penn story!"
Sean Penn is an American actor who is notorious for a series of altercations with paparazzi.
- "Robert Dornan, the Congressman?" "Couldn't they get Rush Limbaugh?"
Robert "Bob" Dornan is a former member of the House of Representatives from California and had the reputation of being one of the most vocally conservative members of Congress.
- "The refueling jet likes me! It thinks I'm cuuuuuuuute!"
Paraphrasing of a line from the stop-motion animated Christmas classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
- "Welcome to Air Otica... Put your lips, your legs, your hips in a locked position..."
From a musical sequence in the Bob Fosse movie All That Jazz. (Mike seemingly incorrectly attributes it to Prince afterwards, however.)
- "Gotta go, Reagan fired us."
On August 5, 1981, President Ronald Reagan fired 11,345 air traffic controllers who had gone on strike two days previously.
- "Anyone seen Francis Gary? Where'd he get off to, that nut?"
In one of the tensest crises of the Cold War, Francis Gary Powers' U2 spy plane was shot down while he was flying a reconnaissance mission over the Soviet Union.
- "They were in BTO?"
Abbreviation for Bachman–Turner Overdrive, a Canadian rock band.
- "Well there's Tailhook, and all."
The Tailhook scandal was a series of incidents involving Navy and Marine personnel accused of various forms of sexual assault and misconduct during the 35th Annual Tailhook Association Symposium from September 8 to 12, 1991 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
- "It's Budgie the Helicopter!"
- "Here, the Air Force escorts Sununu to a golf game!"
Yet another reference to John H. Sununu's misuse of government planes for personal use.
- "His name is Gein!"
A reference to murderer, cadaver thief, and suspected cannibal Ed Gein of Plainfield, WI.
- "We got a great big convoy, truckin' through the night..."
A line from the C.W. McCall song "Convoy" which was an impetus for the C.B. radio craze in the 1970s.
- "Class... Class... SHUT UP!!!"
A quote from the comedy sketch "Sister Mary Elephant" from one of Cheech & Chong's albums.
- Poopie (or Poopy) Suits
Poopie Suit is a nickname for a water survival suit. Its nickname stems from the odor that it acquires after extended use. It comes with a neck gasket and does not, by design, breathe. This is the actual nickname for that particular piece of flight gear—not a 'sanitized for Hollywood' version. It is also known as "the body condom".
- Mike: Is your face odd, misshapen? Join the Air Force!
- Col. Hunt: He wants him out of the Tactical Air Command and into SAC.
- Crow: In the sack?!
- Crow (as Maj. Stevens): Yeah, there's plenty of girls around here.
- Mike (as Lt. Witkowski): Well that's great, 'cause I'm really-
- Crow (as Maj. Stevens): SHUT UP!!!
- Servo: Yeah the wife is gonna be awful glad to see "the me."
- Crow: We're going to have "the sex"!
- Commercially released on DVD by Rhino in October 2007 as part of The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Volume 12, a 4-DVD set with The Rebel Set, Secret Agent Super Dragon, and Parts: The Clonus Horror.
- The set was re-released by Shout! Factory in October 2019.
- The DVD special features include The MST3K Video Jukebox Volume 3 and the Major Auteur: The Films of Will Zens featurette.
- The set was re-released by Shout! Factory in October 2019.
|preceded by: Season 5||MST3K Season 6||followed by: Season 7|
|1994 - 1995|
|601||Girls Town||1994-07-16||609||The Skydivers||1994-08-27||617||The Sword and the Dragon||1994-12-03|
|602||Invasion USA||1994-07-23||610||The Violent Years||1994-10-08||618||High School Big Shot||1994-12-10|
|603||The Dead Talk Back||1994-07-30||611||Last of the Wild Horses||1994-10-15||619||Red Zone Cuba||1994-12-17|
|604||Zombie Nightmare||1994-11-24||612||The Starfighters||1994-10-29||620||Danger!! Death Ray||1995-01-07|
|605||Colossus and the Headhunters||1994-08-20||613||The Sinister Urge||1994-11-05||621||The Beast of Yucca Flats||1995-01-21|
|606||The Creeping Terror||1994-09-17||614||San Francisco International||1994-11-19||622||Angels Revenge||1995-03-11|
|607||Bloodlust||1994-09-03||615||Kitten with a Whip||1994-11-23||623||The Amazing Transparent Man||1995-03-18|
|608||Code Name: Diamond Head||1994-10-01||616||Racket Girls||1994-11-26||624||Samson vs. the Vampire Women||1995-03-25|