July 05, 2011

Comparison: Return of the Jedi (1983) and Batman (1966)

Holy Star Wars Batman!
By Jeffrey Bigelow 

What does Star Wars and Batman have in common? ...more than you may think. When watching the original 1966 first ever feature film starring the caped crusader, it was mentioned that there were striking similarities to Lucas' "Return of The Jedi" made almost twenty years later.
This observation revolves around the final fight scene in "Batman The Movie." Here, Batman and Robin fight against the forces of evil on the deck of a submarine out at sea. The battle shares many characteristics of that in Jedi, where Luke Skywalker and his fiends fight for their freedom on desert skiffs in the middle of a sandy dune sea. So what's the big deal?
Okay... so the story is completely different, but you should check out some of the specific components that make up the action sequence. You can judge for yourself whether or not George Lucas was inspired by one of the greatest comic book heroes of all time. Perhaps there's a little bit of the Dark Knight in the Jedi Knight.

Exhibit A
Okay, to start things off, here are the settings for the two fight scenes. Notice that both of them take place in remote locations, on "floating" vessels. There are multiple characters in each scene with action occurring in more than one place. Also take note that Batman is carrying a cat.

Exhibit B
In each scene, the easiest way of dealing with the attacker is to push them off of the deck and in to the not so hospitable surroundings. Both Batman and Luke dump numerous villains overboard during their battles, who in turn make glorious swan dives in to the unknown.

Exhibit C
Now, the best way of getting from place to place when you are out at sea (sand or water) is to make miraculous leaps from ship to ship. Below, both Robin and Skywalker show us their acrobatics as they make leaps of faith to get the upper hand on the enemy.

Exhibit D
Finally, to add diversity to the battles, nothing works better than really big guns. However, regardless the size, it seems that if you're a bad guy, your aim is required to suck. It doesn't matter if you're the Riddler or just one of Jabba's goons, nothing adds to the action better than real fire power.

In conclusion - was George Lucas inspired by the 1966 Batman final fight sequence? I believe the answer is now obvious.

No comments: