Creator: George Lucas
The Indiana Jones franchise is an entertainment franchise, based on the historical adventures of Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones, a fictional archaeologist. It began in 1981 with the film Raiders of the Lost Ark. A prequel, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, followed in 1984 and the sequel Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in 1989. In 1992, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles began airing on television. A fourth film, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, was released in 2008. The series was created by George Lucas; the films star Harrison Ford and were directed by Steven Spielberg.
In addition, Marvel Comics began publishing The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones in 1983, and Dark Horse Comics earned the comic book rights to the character in 1991. Novelizations of the films have been published, in addition to a series of German novels by Wolfgang Hohlbein, and twelve novels set before the films published by Bantam Books. Numerous video games about Indiana Jones have been released since 1982.
Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) is set in 1936. Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) is assigned by government agents to locate the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis do, to make them invincible like the Israelites in the Old Testament, who revered it as the dwelling place of God. The Nazis are being helped by Indiana's nemesis René Belloq (Paul Freeman). With the help of his old flame Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen) and Sallah (John Rhys-Davies), Indiana manages to recover the Ark in Egypt. The Nazis manage to steal the Ark and capture Indiana and Marion. Belloq and the Nazis perform a ceremony to open the Ark, but when they do so, they are all killed gruesomely by the Ark's wrath. Indiana and Marion, who survived by closing their eyes, manage to get the Ark back to America, where it is stored in a secretive government warehouse.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) is set in 1935, a year before Raiders of the Lost Ark. Indiana escapes Chinese gangsters with the help of singer/actress Willie Scott (Kate Capshaw) and his twelve-year-old sidekick Short Round (Jonathan Ke Quan). The trio crash-land in India where they come across a village whose children have been kidnapped. A destructive cult led by Mola Ram (Amrish Puri) have also taken the holy Sankara Stones, which they will use to take over the world. Indiana manages to overcome Mola Ram's evil power, and rescues the children and returns the stones to their rightful place, overcoming his own mercenary nature.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) opens in 1912 where a thirteen-year-old Indiana (River Phoenix) attempts to recover an ornamental cross belonging to Francisco Vásquez de Coronado, a task which he finally completes in 1938. Indiana along with his friend Marcus Brody (Denholm Elliott) are assigned by American businessman Walter Donovan (Julian Glover) to find the Holy Grail. They are teamed up with Dr. Elsa Schneider (Alison Doody), following on from where Indiana's estranged father Henry (Sean Connery) left off before he disappeared. It turns out Donovan and Elsa are in league with the Nazis, who captured Henry in order to get Indiana to help them find the Grail. However, Indiana recovers his father's diary filled with his research, and manages to rescue him before finding the location of the Grail. Both Donovan and Elsa fall to the temptation of the Grail, while Indiana and Henry realize that their relationship with each other is more important than finding the relic.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) is set in 1957, making it nineteen years since The Last Crusade, and thus acknowledging the real-life passing of years between films. Indiana is having a quiet life teaching before being thrust back into his old adventuring. He races against agents of the Soviet Union, led by Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett) for the crystal skull. Indy's journey takes him across Nevada, Connecticut, Peru, and the forest of the Amazon in Brazil. In the film. Indiana is faced with betrayal by one of his best friends, Mac (Ray Winstone), is introduced to a greaser named Mutt Williams (Shia LaBeouf), who turns out to be his son (real name revealed to be Henry Jones III), and is reunited with his old flame Marion Ravenwood.
In 1973, George Lucas wrote The Adventures of Indiana Smith. Like Star Wars, it was an opportunity to create a modern version of the serials of the 1930s and 1940s. Lucas discussed the concept with Philip Kaufman, who worked with him for several weeks and came up with the Ark of the Covenant as the plot device. The project was stalled when Clint Eastwood hired Kaufman to write The Outlaw Josey Wales. In May 1977, Lucas was in Maui, trying to escape the enormous success of Star Wars. Friend and colleague Steven Spielberg was also there, holidaying from work on Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Spielberg told Lucas he was interested in making a James Bond film. Lucas then told him of an idea "better than James Bond", explaining the plot of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Spielberg loved it, calling it "a James Bond film without the hardware", though he had the character's surname changed to "Jones". Spielberg and Lucas made a deal with Paramount Pictures for five films about Indiana.
Spielberg and Lucas aimed to make Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom much darker, because of their personal moods following their respective break-ups and divorces. Lucas made the film a prequel as he didn't want the Nazis to be the villains again. He had ideas regarding the Monkey King and a haunted castle, but wound up creating the Sankara Stones. He hired Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz to write the script as he knew of their interest in Indian culture. The major scenes that were dropped from Raiders of the Lost Ark were included in this film: an escape using a giant rolling gong as a shield, a fall out of a plane in a raft, and a mine cart chase. For the third film, Spielberg revisited the Monkey King and haunted castle concepts, before Lucas suggested the Holy Grail. Spielberg had previously rejected it as too ethereal, but then came up with telling a father-son story. He thought, "The Grail that everybody seeks could be a metaphor for a son seeking reconciliation with a father and a father seeking reconciliation with a son."
Following the 1989 release of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Lucas let the series end as he felt he could not think of a good plot device to drive the next installment, and chose instead to produce The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, which explored the character in his early years. Ford played Indiana in one episode, narrating his adventures in 1920 Chicago. When Lucas shot Ford's role in December 1992, he realized the scene opened up the possibility of a film with an older Indiana set in the 1950s. The film could reflect a science fiction 1950s B-movie, with aliens as the plot device. Ford disliked the new angle, telling Lucas "No way am I being in a Steve Spielberg movie like that." Spielberg himself, who depicted aliens in Close Encounters of the Third Kind and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, resisted it. Lucas came up with a story, which Jeb Stuart turned into a script from October 1993 to May 1994. Lucas wanted Indiana to get married, which would allow Henry Jones Sr. to return, expressing concern over whether his son is happy with what he has accomplished. After he learned that Joseph Stalin was interested in psychic warfare, he decided to have Russians as the villains and the aliens to have psychic powers. Following Stuart's next draft, Lucas hired Last Crusade writer Jeffrey Boam to write the next three versions, the last of which was completed in March 1996. Three months later, Independence Day was released, and Spielberg told Lucas he would not make another alien invasion film. Lucas decided to focus on the Star Wars prequels.
In 2000, Spielberg's son asked when the next Indiana Jones film would be released, which made him interested in reviving the project. The same year, Ford, Lucas, Spielberg, Frank Marshall, and Kathleen Kennedy met during the American Film Institute's tribute to Ford, and decided they wanted to enjoy the experience of making an Indiana Jones film again. Spielberg also found returning to the series a respite from his many dark films during this period. Spielberg and Lucas discussed the central idea of a B-movie involving aliens, and Lucas suggested using the crystal skulls to ground the idea. Lucas found those artifacts as fascinating as the Ark, and had intended to feature them for a Young Indiana Jones episode before the show's cancellation. M. Night Shyamalan was hired to write for an intended 2002 shoot, but he was overwhelmed writing a sequel to a film he loved like Raiders, and claimed it was difficult to get Ford, Spielberg, and Lucas to focus. Stephen Gaghan and Tom Stoppard were also approached.
Frank Darabont, who wrote various Young Indiana Jones episodes, was hired to write in May 2002. His script, entitled Indiana Jones and the City of Gods, was set in the 1950s, with ex-Nazis pursuing Jones. Spielberg conceived the idea because of real life figures such as Juan Perón in Argentina, who protected Nazi war criminals. Darabont claimed Spielberg loved the script, but Lucas had issues with it, and decided to take over writing himself. Lucas and Spielberg acknowledged the 1950s setting could not ignore the Cold War, and the Russians were more plausible villains. Spielberg decided he could not satirize the Nazis after directing Schindler's List, while Ford felt "We plum[b] wore the Nazis out." Darabont's main contribution was reintroducing Marion Ravenwood as Indiana's love interest, but gave them a 13-year old daughter, which Spielberg decided was too similar to The Lost World: Jurassic Park.
Jeff Nathanson met with Spielberg and Lucas in August 2004, and turned in the next drafts in October and November 2005, titled The Atomic Ants. David Koepp continued on from there, giving his script the subtitle Destroyer of Worlds, based on the Robert Oppenheimer quote. It was changed to Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, as Spielberg found it more inviting a title and actually named the plot device. Koepp wanted to make Mutt into a nerd, but Lucas refused, explaining he had to resemble Marlon Brando in The Wild One; "he needs to be what IndianaJones' father thought of [him] – the curse returns in the form of his own son – he's everything a father can't stand". Koepp collaborated with Lawrence Kasdan on the film's "love dialogue".
Indiana Jones character
Dr. Henry Walton "Indiana" Jones, Jr. is a title character and the protagonist of the Indiana Jones franchise. George Lucas and Steven Spielberg created the character in homage to the action heroes of 1930s film serials. The character first appeared in the 1981 film Raiders of the Lost Ark, to be followed by Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom in 1984, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in 1989, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles from 1992 to 1996, and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in 2008.
Particularly notable facets of the character include his iconic look (bullwhip, fedora, and leather jacket), sense of humor, deep knowledge of many ancient civilizations and languages, and fear of snakes.
Indiana Jones remains one of cinema's most revered movie characters. In 2003, he was ranked as the second greatest movie hero of all time by the American Film Institute. He was also named the 6th Greatest Movie Character by Empire magazine. Entertainment Weekly ranked Indy 2nd on their list of The All-Time Coolest Heroes in Pop Culture. Premiere magazine also placed Indy at number 7 on their list of The 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time. Since his first appearance in Raiders of the Lost Ark, he has become a worldwide star. On their list of the 100 Greatest Fictional Characters, Fandomania.com ranked Indy at number 10. In 2010, he ranked #2 on Time Magazine's list of The Greatest Fictional Characters of All Time, surpassed only by Sherlock Holmes.
Indiana Jones is from Princeton, NJ and was first introduced in the 1981 film Raiders of the Lost Ark, set in 1936. The character is presented as an adventurer reminiscent of the 1930s film serial treasure hunters and pulp action heroes, whose research is funded by Marshall College (named after producer Frank Marshall) a fictional college in Connecticut, where he is a professor of archaeology. In this first adventure, he is pitted against the Nazis, traveling the world to prevent them from recovering the Ark of the Covenant (see also Biblical archaeology). He is aided by Marion Ravenwood and Sallah. The Nazis are led by Jones's archrival, a Nazi-sympathizing French archaeologist named René Belloq, and Arnold Toht, a sinister Gestapo agent.
The 1984 prequel, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, set in 1935, took the character into a more horror-oriented story, skipping his legitimate teaching job and globe trotting, and taking place almost entirely in India. This time, Jones attempts to recover children and the Sankara stones from the bloodthirsty Thuggee cult. He is aided by ShortyShort Round and accompanied by Willie Scott (Kate Capshaw).
The third film, 1989's Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, set in 1938, returned to the formula of the original, reintroducing characters such as Sallah and Marcus Brody, a scene from Professor Jones's classroom (he now teaches at Barnett College), the globe trotting element of multiple locations, and the return of the infamous Nazi mystics, this time trying to find the Holy Grail. The film's introduction, set in 1912, provided some back story to the character, specifically the origin of his fear of snakes, his use of a bullwhip, the scar on his chin, and his hat; the film's epilogue also reveals that "Indiana" is not Jones's first name, but a nickname he took from the family dog. The film was a buddy movie of sorts, teaming Jones with his father, often to comical effect. Although Lucas intended at the time to do five films, this ended up being the last for over eighteen years, as Lucas could not think of a good plot element to drive the next installment.
The 2008 film, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, became the latest film in the series. Set in 1957, 19 years after the third film, it pits an older, wiser Indiana Jones against Soviet agents bent on harnessing the power of a crystal skull associated with extraterrestrials discovered in South America by his former colleague Harold Oxley (John Hurt). He is aided in his adventure by an old lover, Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen), and her son—a young greaser named Henry "Mutt" Williams (Shia LaBeouf), later revealed to be his biological child, Henry Jones III. There were rumors that LaBeouf will take over the Indy franchise. This film also reveals that Jones was recruited by the Office of Strategic Services (a predecessor department to the CIA) during World War II, attaining the rank of Colonel in the United States Army and running covert operations with MI6 agent George McHale on the Soviet Union.
 Character description and formation
In his role as a college professor of archaeology, Henry Jones Jr. is scholarly
and learned in a tweed suit, lecturing on ancient civilizations. In Indiana
Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, it is revealed that Jones is
influenced by the Marxist Archaeologist, Vere Gordon Childe, whose qualified
acceptance of cultural diffusionism theory he propounds. Ironically, though
Childe loathes fieldwork, Indy goes on to say, "If you want to be a good
archaeologist, you gotta get out of the library." This is in tongue-in-cheek
contrast to the previous film's comment, "Seventy percent of all archaeology is
done in the library."
However, at the opportunity to recover important artifacts, Dr. Jones transforms
into "Indiana," a "non-superhero superhero" image he has concocted for
himself. Producer Frank Marshall said, "Indy [is] a fallible character. He
makes mistakes and gets hurt. [...] That's the other thing people like: He's a
real character, not a character with superpowers." Spielberg said there "was
the willingness to allow our leading man to get hurt and to express his pain and
to get his mad out and to take pratfalls and sometimes be the butt of his own
jokes. I mean, Indiana Jones is not a perfect hero, and his imperfections, I
think, make the audience feel that, with a little more exercise and a little
more courage, they could be just like him." According to Spielberg
biographer Douglas Brode, Indiana created his heroic figure so as to escape the
dullness of teaching at a school. Both of Indiana's personas reject one another
in philosophy, creating a duality. Harrison Ford said the fun of playing the
character was because Indiana is both a romantic and a cynic, while scholars
have analyzed Indiana as having traits of a lone wolf; a man on a quest; a noble
treasure hunter; a hardboiled detective; a human superhero; and an American
Like many characters in his films, Jones has some autobiographical elements of
Spielberg. Indiana lacks a proper father figure because of his strained
relationship with his father, Henry Senior. His own contained anger is
misdirected at the likes of Professor Abner Ravenwood, his mentor at the
University of Chicago, leading to a strained relationship with Marion
Ravenwood. The teenage Indiana bases his own look on a figure from the
prologue of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, after being given his hat.
Marcus Brody acts as Indiana's positive role model at the college. Indiana's
own insecurities are made worse by the absence of his mother. In Indiana
Jones and the Temple of Doom, the character becomes the father in a temporary
family unit with Willie Scott and Short Round to survive. Indiana is rescued
from the evil of Kali by Short Round's dedication. Indiana also saves many
children from slavery.
Because of Indiana's strained relationship with his father, who was absent much of Indiana's youth searching for the Holy Grail, the character does not pursue the more spiritual aspects of the cultures he studies. Indiana uses his knowledge of Shiva to ultimately defeat Mola Ram. In Raiders, however, he is wise enough to close his eyes in the presence of God in the Ark of the Covenant. By contrast, his rival Rene Belloq dies horribly for having the audacity to try to communicate directly with God.
In Crusade's prologue, Indiana's intentions are revealed as prosocial, as he believes artifacts "belong in a museum." In the film's climax, Indiana undergoes "literal" tests of faith to retrieve the Grail and save his father's life. He also remembers Jesus as a historical figure – a humble carpenter – rather than an exalted figure when he recognizes the simple nature and tarnished appearance of the real Grail amongst a large assortment of much more ornately decorated ones. Henry Senior rescues his son from falling to his death when reaching for the fallen Grail, telling him to "let it go," overcoming his mercenary nature. The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles explains how Indiana becomes solitary and less idealistic after fighting in World War I. In Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Jones is older and wiser, whereas his sidekicks Mutt and Mac are youthfully arrogant and greedy, respectively.