Viva Las Star Wars

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

 
Could Elvis Presley have been a Jedi? We may never know, but he sure raced one like one.  A few weeks ago, I read an article comoparing the similarities between Elvis and Star Wars.  That article reminded me of something I noticed about a year ago.

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 Viva Las Vegas, Elvis Presley stars as Lucky Jackson, a down-on-his-luck racecar driver who enters the Las Vegas Grand Prix race. The event takes place in the Nevada desert. Much of the Las Vegas economy is based on gambling.

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.

Elvis Star Wars, Photo 1

 
 
The beautiful Ann-Margret appears as Elvis' co-star and love interest, Rusty Martin. (Incidentally, happy birthday to Ann-Margret today!)

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.

Elvis Star Wars, Photo 2

 
 
As a variety of cars take their places on the starting grid, Elvis is a late entry.

As a variety of podracers take their places on the starting grid, Anakin is a late entry.

Elvis Star Wars, Photo 3

 
 
Elvis' main rival, who is favored to win the race, drives a red-orange racecar.

Anakin's main rival, who is favored to win the podrace, pilots an orange-red podracer.

Elvis Star Wars, Photo 4

 
 
Elvis' supporters take a helicopter to watch the race from the air above the desert.

Anakin's supporters take a viewing platform to watch the podrace from the air above the desert.

Elvis Star Wars, Photo 5

 
 
In his silver and blue racecar, Elvis concentrates as the race across the desert begins.

In his silver and blue podracer, Anakin concentrates as the race across the desert begins.

Elvis Star Wars, Photo 6

 
 
Elvis tries to catch up to the leader.

Anakin tries to catch up to the leader.

Elvis Star Wars, Photo 7

 
 
Elvis checks to the right, wearing a lightning bolt on his helmet. (This actually looks a lot like the TCB lightning bolt that Elvis would use as a personal emblem about ten years later.)

Anakin checks to the right, while a lightning bolt helps power his podracer.

Elvis Star Wars, Photo 8

 
 
Elvis' supporters watch the race with mounting dread.

Anakin's supporters watch the podrace with mounting dread.

Elvis Star Wars, Photo 9

 
 
Elvis finally begins to close in on the leader.

Anakin finally begins to close in on the leader.

Elvis Star Wars, Photo 10

 
 
Elvis pulls alongside the leader, who has a much bigger racecar than he does.

Anakin pulls alongside the leader, who has a much bigger podracer than he does.

Elvis Star Wars, Photo 11

 
 
Elvis' supporters can't watch, for they fear he will crash out of the race.

Anakin's supporters can't watch, for they fear he will crash out of the podrace.

Elvis Star Wars, Photo 12

 
 
Elvis' rival crashes and the rest of the field passes by.

Anakin's rival crashes and the rest of the field passes by.

Elvis Star Wars, Photo 13

 
 
Elvis' supporters celebrate as he takes the lead.

Anakin's supporters celebrate as he takes the lead.

Elvis Star Wars, Photo 14

 
 
Elvis wins the race!

Anakin wins the race!

Elvis Star Wars, Photo 15

 
 
And Elvis gets the girl! (Lucky marries Rusty.)

It takes another ten years, but Anakin eventually gets the girl, too! Anakin (Hayden Christensen) marries Padmé in Episode II.

Elvis Star Wars, Photo 16

So, there you have it. Evidence that the Force was with Elvis Presley. As for Anakin Skywalker, sure, he may have been one of the most powerful Jedi ever, but could he belt out songs like “Viva Las Vegas” and “What'd I Say”? I don't think so.


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Presented by   Phil Arnold,  Original Elvis Blogmeister

One response to “Viva Las Star Wars

  1. Pingback: Elvis Movies 50th Anniversary Pictorial – Viva Las Vegas: 1964 | ElvisBlog

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