Some notes on the Australiana in Thor: Ragnarok

I saw Thor: Ragnarok eight days ago now, and I loved it. This post isn’t about my feelings on the movie (I got most of them out at comic book club which was later this afternoon), but on the touches of Australiana that Kiwi director Taika Waititi put in the film. A couple of weeks ago, he did an interview on triple j breakfast, where he revealed that he snuck in some nods to Australiana in the film to make the movie unique.

The most significant reference is that he named all the spaceships after vintage Holdens, an Australian car company. I was looking for them, but I know so little about cars that I didn’t pick up on the Statesman or the Torana, but I loved that Bruce Banner, Thor and Valkyrie’s escape ship was the Commodore. The Commodore is one of Holden’s most popular models, having been designed as a family car. All of this is made more special because the last Holden rolled out of Holden’s Elizabeth factory in Adelaide the week before the film was released in Australia. A few years ago the Australian government decided to stop subsidising car manufacturing (I think Tony Abbott was Prime Minister – they change frequently so we tend to lose track) and that was the last car to have been made in Australia.

The other thing that Waititi did was make sure the Commodore was red, gold and black, which are the colours of the Australian Indigenous flag. Taika Waititi is in the Australian parlance a ‘top bloke,’ and I love that he’s put these references in a film starring one of Australia’s biggest actors that was filmed on the Gold Coast. There may have been more references, those were just the ones I caught because I knew to look for them. Thank you Taika for putting your touches on this film to make it ours as well as yours.


Other thoughts:

  • For some reason I wanted an ‘other thoughts’ section on this post, but now that I’ve made it to the end, I can’t remember why.
  • I hope to be writing something about superhero films soon, but it’s something I want to pitch to a publication, and I need to work on it.

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