How the Mortal Engines movie took plot points from Star Wars

16 April 2024
The magic of movies is that they can transport us to new worlds, often drawing inspiration from the most beloved stories. 

"Mortal Engines," directed by Christian Rivers and springing to life from Philip Reeve's imaginative novel, is a thrilling cinematic journey that lovingly echoes the legendary Star Wars saga.

With its heart-stopping pursuits and richly drawn characters, "Mortal Engines" skillfully incorporates subtle tributes to Star Wars, enriching its narrative tapestry.

From adrenaline-fueled adventures to intricate family dynamics, "Mortal Engines" salutes the enduring legacy of Star Wars, offering fans both nostalgia and novelty in its vibrant world.

How the Mortal Engines movie copied plot points from Star Wars

Let's explore how Peter Jackson and his writing colleagues Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens borrowed story beats from the Star Wars playbook!


Mortal Engines Film Moment

Star Wars Film Inspiration was borrowed from

Original Star Wars Theme/Moment comparison

Opening scene of London traction city chasing Salthook where the scale of London’s size is revealed by a camera slowly sweeping up and circling around London to reveal its true size.

A New Hope

In the opening scene of "A New Hope," the Star Destroyer, a massive imperial warship, pursues the small Rebel blockade runner, Tantive IV. The size of the Destroyer helps establishes the power dynamic between the oppressive Empire and the Rebel Alliance, setting the stage for the galactic conflict.

Anti Traction league agent Anna Fang and the Jenny Hanniver serve the Han Solo and Millennium Falcon role

The Empire Strikes Back

Anna Fang, a skilled pilot and rebel fighter, embodies the spirit of Han Solo. She pilots the Jenny Haniver, a nimble and iconic airship, much like how Han Solo captains the Millennium Falcon. Both characters have a checkered past and play crucial roles in aiding the protagonists against formidable adversaries.

Thaddeus Valentine revealed as Hester Shaw's father during their knife fight at the pivotal ending of the movie.

The Empire Strikes Back

In "The Empire Strikes Back," Darth Vader's revelation to Luke Skywalker that he is his father is a pivotal moment that deepens the conflict and adds emotional complexity. Similarly, the reveal that Thaddeus Valentine is Hester Shaw's father during their intense battle adds layers to their relationship and raises the stakes of their confrontation.

Tom flying the Jenny Hanniver into the heart of London City

Return of the Jedi

Tom's daring flight into the heart of London City mirrors the climax of "Return of the Jedi," where Lando Calrissian leads the Millennium Falcon on a perilous mission to destroy the Death Star's core. Both scenes feature a small, agile craft infiltrating a massive, heavily fortified structure to deliver a decisive blow against a formidable enemy.

Final duel between Valentine and Shaw

Return of the Jedi

The final duel between Thaddeus Valentine and Hester Shaw echoes the climactic lightsaber battle between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader in "Return of the Jedi." Hester's decision not to fight or join the Emperor after realizing her familial connection to Valentine mirrors Luke's refusal to succumb to the dark side and join Emperor Palpatine, emphasizing themes of redemption and family bonds.



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About the author Jimmy Jangles

My name is Jimmy Jangles, the founder of The Astromech. I have always been fascinated by the world of science fiction, especially the Star Wars universe, and I created this website to share my love for it with fellow fans.

At The Astromech, you can expect to find a variety of articles, reviews, and analysis related to science fiction, including books, movies, TV, and games.
From exploring the latest news and theories to discussing the classics, I aim to provide entertaining and informative content for all fans of the genre.

Whether you are a die-hard Star Trek fan or simply curious about the world of science fiction, The Astromech has something for everyone. So, sit back, relax, and join me on this journey through the stars!
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