Crystal Skull Already Retired Indiana Jones (But Indy 5 Can Work With It)



Indiana Jones already retired from his life of adventure in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, but Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny can use that as the basis for its story. 15 years after his last big-screen archeological quest, Indiana Jones is set to return for one more adventure in Dial of Destiny. With Indy’s goddaughter Helena Shaw, played by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, joining him to fight Nazis hatching a plot during the space race, Dial of Destiny will also be Harrison Ford’s final portrayal of the most iconic archeologist in all of fiction.

While the release of Indiana Jones 5 is being marketed as Harrison Ford’s last hurrah playing Indiana Jones, the movie’s immediate predecessor creates a small narrative problem. Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was not only Indy’s theatrical comeback after 19 years away from cinema screens, but also presented itself as something of an endpoint for the character. Fortunately, Dial of Destiny can use one of Indy’s most essential character traits to work around that issue.

Indy Was Already Retired In Crystal SkullIndiana Jones and Marion looking over their shoulders and smiling

In Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Indy was visibly weathered by military service during the Cold War and his many other adventures throughout the franchise. At the end of the movie, Indy becomes the associate dean of Marshall College. Indiana Jones also weds Marion Ravenwood, and properly becomes a father to the son he never knew he had with Marion, Shia Labeouf’s Mutt Williams, with all of these events signaling Indy’s retirement. While this creates a problem for Dial of Destiny, Indy’s natural love of adventure makes coming out of retirement for a fifth movie an easy fix.

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Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull stops short of a full passing of the torch to Mutt when Indy takes his fedora back from his son. Be that as it may, the closing moments of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull clearly indicate that Indy is finally ready to settle down as a husband, father, and educator. Dial of Destiny can nonetheless make Indy’s apparent retirement essential to his story because of who Indy is as a person.

Related: Is Marion Ravenwood Returning In Indiana Jones 5?

How Indy 5 Can Work With Indy’s Retirement

Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny looking deaged in a train scene

Indy may have lectured his students that “70 percent of all archeology is done in the library” in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, but Indy’s natural yearning for adventure always ensured that mindset would never stick. Indeed, Indy was admonishing his students “You’ve got to get out of the library” by Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Even if he has tried to hang up his whip and fedora, the call of adventure is one that Indiana Jones can never ignore, which neatly sets up how he can come out of retirement in Dial of Destiny.

Even Indy delivering a line as simple as “I prefer to work in the field” can succinctly explain why he is back in action after his marriage and academic promotion. Indiana Jones might finally have formed a family and taken on more commitments in academia in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, but Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny can play directly off that ending, establishing that Indiana Jones is too full of energy and hungry for adventure to ever truly move on from his old life.

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