- "You have been recruited by the Star League to defend the Frontier against Xur and the Kodan Armada."
A Gunstar is a heavy starfighter employed by the Star League in the movie The Last Starfighter.
A Gunstar is a two-seat starfighter operated by a navigator who pilots the vehicle and a "starfighter" who operates the weapons. A Gunstar is heavily armed with beam weapons and guided missiles, although the exact payload wasn't specified. Gunstars have four engines for sublight propulsion, and they are capable of at least some FTL travel.
The Gunstar's beam weapons are located in multiple turrets around the vessel, giving it the ability to attack an enemy ship in any direction with many (if not all) of its weapons, meaning that there is no safe direction from which to approach the ship. Similarly, it's missiles, while only launched forward, can target and home in on targets in any direction. The targeting systems of the Gunstar are accurate enough that it's beam weapons can shoot down incoming missiles while attacking larger targets at the same time.
The only way for the Kodan to attack a Gunstar with any chance of success is to overwhelm it with more targets than the "starfighter" can effectively engage. Because the "starfighter" role is so demanding, the Star League recruits extremely selectively, and large bounties are paid to recruiters who can bring in qualified "starfighters". Even so, in a government covering "hundreds" of worlds and a population of billions, they found only 13 people that met the requirements for a starfighter.
The armor of a Gunstar consists of "deflector plating" that can endure multiple direct hits from Kodan weapons without sustaining serious damage.
The prototype also has a weapon system specifically designed to take advantage of the Gunstar's fire envelope in a massive attack that electronically targets every enemy vessel within a certain range of the ship. Death Blossom, as the system is named, appears to have been designed to counter the only Kodan tactic for effectively defeating a lone Gunstar. An overwhelmed Gunstar with the system installed can destroy all targets nearby in a rapid burst of fire. The main disadvantage of the system is that it drains the ship's main energy reserves, leaving any Gunstar that uses it dead in space until its systems can recharge.
The Kodan Armada considered Gunstars so superior to their own ships and fighters that they deemed a single Gunstar to be a serious threat to their invasion of the Star League, and they would not have invaded had not a traitor assured them that he could destroy the entire Gunstar fleet in its hangar and assassinate all of the crews. The Kodan's fears are completely justified, as their own fighters can be quickly targeted and killed by only a few shots from any of a Gunstar's weapons. While a single Gunstar was nearly overwhelmed, a fleet of Gunstars would have shredded their invasion fleet in a matter of minutes.
How Gunstars would compare to the starfighters and warships of other settings is difficult to determine.