I'd love to claim credit, but the extent of my effort was to recognize the importance of someone else's effort and then to promote it here on their behalf. Apparently, it was no accident that this early draft copy of The Last Starfighter's manual was preserved.
Gary Stark is credited as the co-designer of The Last Starfighter. He's also given co-credit for the audio and graphics. He worked at Atari as a project manager (although some of the other documents lead me to believe that he still practiced some relevant technical skills). From the outside, it seems a little bit difficult to pin down the extent of his involvement in each area. Apparently, most of his effort was on the coin-op side, but there was this consumer project for the Atari 800 (Atari 5200), and he was also involved with a Cookie Monster Crunch, an educational cartridge for the Atari 2600.
As it turns out, Gary preserved and republished the documents from his own projects (as well as a few other) during his time at Atari. It looks like he made these documents available sometime around 2015 (and his webpage doesn't appear to have been updated since early 2016). I only managed to stumble across his documents when I was doing some research for the parody project that I'm working on. As an owner of Pit Fighter, Guardians of the Hood, and Thunderjaws arcade PCBs, I greatly enjoyed reading the design and development documents that he preserved and shared from the coin-op side of the house.
I sent Kevin Savetz an email and recommended Gary Stark as the subject for an interview in the ANTIC Atari 8-bit Podcast. All the way around, I think that Gary Stark would have some fantastic stories that we'd all like to hear. Kevin is just the guy to make it happen in the best possible way. (I'm also hoping that Gary is sitting on some source code and that Kevin might persuade him to give it the abandonware treatment.)
All around, Gary Stark seems like a good guy. I'm eager to learn more!