Lost is a remake of Time Bandits!

I am joking—

No, I’m not.

It is a remake.  It is.

No it isn’t— Is it?

The  parallels are crazy!!  I have loved this film since I was a child, and am still in awe of the respect that Terry Gilliam shows to his audience, particularly children, as they are left to interpret such a wonderful adventure.  There are so many subtle clues in this film that allow you to watch and re-watch and constantly discover more amazing things with each viewing.

So, lets break it down into a few categories and compare Time Bandits to Lost.

Hints/ Foreshadowing:

I’d like to start with one of the first scenes in the film.  Kevin was sent to his room for bed.  Suddenly his wardrobe explodes revealing a fully armored Medieval Knight on horseback who, shocked by the small confines of Kevin’s bedroom, attacks the ceiling hanging lamp, probably assuming it is composed of hellfire.  The knight and horse jump across Kevin’s bed and gallop off into a forest that has spontaneously appeared.  A terrified Kevin pulls his blanket over his head.  After a breath, Kevin peeks out to find himself back in his bedroom.  The forest is gone.  Knight’s gone too.  His wardrobe is repaired and there is no evidence that any of this ever occurred.

"Way to go Kevin! You broke the universe. Let me introduce you to this guy named Jack. He broke the universe once too."

Kevin jumps out of bed to inspect the wall where a forest stood a moment ago.  On the wall are all of Kevin’s dreams and aspirations in the form of photos, drawings, maps, etc.  There is a photo of a rocket, a cowboy, Robin Hood, an Ancient Spartan-like warrior, Napoleon, a map of Italy.  Strewn about on his floor are robot toys, legos, etc.  On a dresser stands a Punch and Judy style puppet stage.

Every single item on the wall, the floor, the dressers, and shelves plays a vital role in the story.  Kevin and the Bandits meet Napoleon in Italy.  They attend a King’s banquet in an Ancient city with a warrior-king.  They band with cowboys to fight evil.

Kevin's own Swan Blast Door?....

The attention to detail was the first thing that made me say “Heyyyyyyy—  I’m feeling a blog coming on.”

So, I started thinking about ‘course correction’ which is a constant issue in Lost.  The universe in Lost, in an almost sentient manner, knows that is has to get from Point A to Z, and in order for that to happen B through Y must occur.  When Charlie didn’t die when and where he was supposed to, the universe itself attempted time and time again to expel Charlie from its cosmic fold.  That is course correction in Lost.  It is comparable to a ship losing its bearing, and, well, correcting its course.

In Time Bandits course correction is a little more like a frustrated writer furiously erasing a poorly chosen word.  In that first scene, a Medieval Knight is not supposed to be in a British boy’s bedroom in the 1980’s.  Also, that boy does not belong in a Medieval forest.  The universe got scrambled for a moment.  Both Kevin and the knight were in both time periods simultaneously.  Kevin, understandably afraid pulled his covers over his head, and at that moment, the universe righted itself.  Instantly, the knight was deposited where he belonged, the wardrobe and lamp were repaired, and Kevin was right back in his bedroom.  Even if Kevin was looking, I doubt he could have understood what happened at that moment.

Lost leaves us to interpret the various paradoxes that occur because of the characters’ various universe shattering moments.  Time Bandits takes a different approach and explains the nature of the universe’s problems in a very quick summary eloquently delivered by the Bandits’ unanimously unelected leader Randall.

“You see, to be quite frank, Kevin, the fabric of the universe is far from perfect. It was a bit of botched job, you see. We only had seven days to make it. And that’s where this comes in. This is the only map of all the holes. Well, why repair them? Why not use them to get stinking rich?”

Antagonists:

Evil / Smokey Team Up! Look out Universe! (click to see full size)

In Time Bandits there was no mistaking who the bad guy is.  He is Evil.  Evil is given form, and he doesn’t attempt to hide the fact that he is evil. He can change his form at will to repel attacks or just to make a point.  Evil is trapped in a finite space and can only influence the outside world.  He seems to do this through game shows and psychically contacting weak-willed people.

So, a shape-shifting evil entity trapped in a place from which he can only slightly influence people in the outside world—  MIB/ Flocke sounds a bit like Evil, doesn’t he?

Location:

No man is an island, but an island can be a fortress of darkness.

To cross into the world/ dimension in which Evil bides its evil time, you first must cross through the “Time of Legends” which seems to be a dimension unto itself where there are orks, giants, rat people, magic, etc.  Once through the Time of Legends, when all seems completely lost (heh) at the edge of that place, you arrive at a desert.  This desert seems to go on forever, and is there to test your resolve.  Can you make it?  You just have to believe, because it is closer than you think.  The Fortress of Ultimate Darkness is hidden from the outside world, (just like a certain island) behind an invisible barrier.

Hints at a greater purpose:

The final battle scene with Evil brings the film full circle, back to Kevin’s wall, AKA his Swan Blast door.  All of his toys come to life and join the good fight.  I had to pause right there, because I had a moment of clarity…  The fortress is made of Kevin’s legos that were lying all over his bedroom?  Kevin’s knight figurines and cowboy toys are fighting for him?  Kevin is the Supreme Being!  The Supreme being took some small part of himself, and made it into a boy.  This boy then explored the universe and even a bit of an outerverse preparing to perhaps replace the supreme being?  Perhaps he is a candidate?

Consequences:

At the end of Time Bandits, Kevin asks the Supreme Being “You mean, you let all those people die just to test your creation?”  To which he replies, “Yes.  You really are a clever boy.”  What an arrogant Deity!  He should really just go hang out on the island.  He would get along well with Jacob, seeing how they think exactly alike and all.  I think I’ll arrange a play-date so they can go play with some more people!

The Bandits will be reprimanded for their actions.  The Supreme Being agrees to take them back, but on his terms:

“I should do something very extroverted and vengeful to you. Honestly, I’m too tired. So, I think I’ll transfer you to the undergrowth department, brackens, more shrubs, that sort of thing… with a 19% cut in salary, backdated to the beginning of time.”

Ben becomes a high school European history teacher.  Hmm?  They all felt some serious cuts in their salaries.

Final Thought:

The Supreme Being is a smoke monster!  But he is the good grayish type of smoke monster—  Too much of a reach?

The Supreme Being - The Good Smoke Monster of the North?

This was fun.  There are many more parallels.  People using flaws in the universe for their personal gain.  Holes in the universe being used to travel great distances, and through time.  Science versus Faith.  I could go on and on, but I won’t.  If you have any other thoughts, I’d love to hear them.

Thanks for reading!

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