The Phantom Menace Ben-Hur - Chariot Race vs Podrace

George Lucas has been known to take inspiration for his movies from classic films, TV shows, comics and more. The original Star Wars in 1977 took cues from sci-fi serials like Flash Gordon and masterpieces such as Metropolis. Other influences include the films of Akira Kurosawa and much more, and this is a practice that George Lucas brought with him when he made the Star Wars prequels.

Many cinephiles know that the podracing sequence from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace was inspired by the famous chariot race in Ben-Hur. Just to be clear, we’re talking about the classic 1959 film not the remake that just bombed at the box office this past weekend. There’s even one sequence that is mimicked almost shot-for-shot in The Phantom Menace. Now you can see how these sequences compare thanks to a video comparison showing all the similarities.

See The Phantom Menace vs Ben-Hur comparison video after the jump.

The sequence that’s almost exactly lifted from the original movie is when Sebulba’s podracer gets tangled up with Anakin Skywalker’s, only to break apart and cause the Dug’s podracer to crash and burn. Charlton Heston ends up winning the race in the same way in Ben-Hur, though his opposing brother does not shout “Poodoo” after he crashes.

It’s probably no coincidence that both the characters Ben-Hur and Anakin Skywalker were slaves as well. In addition, it’s interesting to note that just as Ben-Hur comes to blows with his brother Messala, Anakin eventually battles with the closest thing he has to a brother, Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Cool Posts From Around the Web: