The following blog article is coming to you compliments of TheFilmFrontier.com. Head Blogger Honcho of the site is Tygrrius, and he is also an Elvis fan. Only a man with both these interests could have created this nifty, unique idea. Two weeks ago, Ty reproduced my review of the Elvis-themed movie Bubba Ho-Tep on The Film Frontier. Now I get to delight you with one of Ty's best articles.
Please note that the Star Wars movie referenced in his article is not the one that thrilled us back in 1977. That has now now been renamed Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Beginning. Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace is one of the newer prequels, and, in it, Anakin Skywalker is a little kid. Do you remember who Anakin grows up to be? Give yourself 10 points if you said Darth Vader. So, what you are about to see is a correlation between Elvis and young Darth Vader racing the hot vehicles of their days. Enjoy Ty's story.
Elvis: Viva Las Star Wars
Posted by Tygrrius @ 11:12 PM, April 28, 2008
When I first saw Star Wars: Episode I-The Phantom Menace back in 1999, I remember thinking that the podracing sequence on Tatooine seemed a little familiar. At the time, there were rumors that it was based on the chariot race in Ben-Hur, so I chalked it up to that and moved on with life.
I'm a huge Elvis fan, so I'm not sure why it took me so long to figure out why the race seemed so familiar. It didn't hit me until I was watching 1964's Viva Las Vegas, Elvis' fifteenth movie, one day last year. Though some of these connections are admittedly a stretch, several of the similarities between the two races are quite striking.
In Star Wars: Episode I-The Phantom Menace, Jake Lloyd appears as Anakin Skywalker, a young slave who enters the Boonta Eve Classic podrace. The event takes place in the Tatooine desert. Much of the Tatooine economy is based on gambling.
The beautiful Natalie Portman co-stars as Anakin's eventual love interest, Padmé. I say “eventual” because Anakin is only nine-years-old in Episode I. The real romance for them doesn't start until Episode II.
As a variety of podracers take their places on the starting grid, Anakin is a late entry.
Anakin's main rival, who is favored to win the podrace, pilots an orange-red podracer.
Anakin's supporters take a viewing platform to watch the podrace from the air above the desert.
In his silver and blue podracer, Anakin concentrates as the race across the desert begins.
Anakin tries to catch up to the leader.
Anakin checks to the right, while a lightning bolt helps power his podracer.
Anakin's supporters watch the podrace with mounting dread.
Anakin finally begins to close in on the leader.
Anakin pulls alongside the leader, who has a much bigger podracer than he does.
Anakin's supporters can't watch, for they fear he will crash out of the podrace.
Anakin's rival crashes and the rest of the field passes by.
Anakin's supporters celebrate as he takes the lead.
Anakin wins the race!
It takes another ten years, but Anakin eventually gets the girl, too! Anakin (Hayden Christensen) marries Padmé in Episode II.
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