Kathleen Kennedy, Lucas Film’s esteemed president, has officially confirmed that there will be an Indiana Jones part 5, although she kept her lips sealed about any details surrounding plot, story or cast.
Needless to say, the web is a buzz with a flurry of opinions, speculations and questions, with one central question: Does there really need to be an Indiana Jones 5? While a variety of answers comes from the internet, I would like to answer with a resounding, define “need.”
The short answer is, no, we don’t need a new one. After all, how are we ever going to create the next big thing if we just keep rehashing old characters and stories to placate the grown children of today?
However, the executives will keep going to the well until its dry, and the powers that be feel as though there is still life in the Well of Souls. Whether there is or not remains to be seen; but there definitely can be a chance for it. However, the audience isn’t going to be going to the theater with the same level of excitement as they did in 2009.
That seems to be the biggest hurdle of dissonance for the masses; Crystal Skull was a bad movie, so they killed off the hopes of making another good Indiana Jones. But, doesn’t that seem to be all the more reason to make another film? Do you really want Henry Jones Jr.’s fate to end with a psychic Soviet in space, and have that be the end of our hero? There are a lot of places for a new story to go that would be completely different and potentially entertaining.
Since Indy’s fedora rests in the House of Mouse these days, he could easily share space with anyone in the Star Wars, Disney, or Marvel universe via interdimensional travel. Who wouldn’t want to see Han Solo talking to Indiana Jones? Or, you could hire Sean Patrick Flannery, who played Indiana Jones in the short lived television series Young Indiana Jones, to talk directly to Indy in a sort of time travel angle. And if you think that the story would be too crazy, clearly you need to be reminded of surviving a fall from an airplane onto a mountain by putting three people in a rubber raft.
Or from another angle; how about Chris Pratt – the current forerunner in the rumor mill to assume the mantle of the famed archeologist – as a grown up Mutt (played in Crystal Skull by Shia LaBeouf) and Indiana playing his older, wiser but still somewhat out of touch father; trying to reignite the chemistry that was beloved by many in The Last Crusade?
Perhaps some of those would only make matters worse, making Indiana Jones all the more out of touch. But that still doesn’t demonstrate a lack of potential. There is a lot of things never discussed in the Indiana Jones universe. For example; was he and Belloq always bitter rivals, or did they ever work together? What was his first meeting with Sallah like? Did Brody ever look to Indy like a father figure? How did Indy meet Short Round? Was there ever any kind of follow-up on the orders by Hitler to kill Indiana Jones delivered to Donovan in Last Crusade?
There isn’t much to be done at this point; Lucas Arts is contractually obligated to put Harrison Ford in the role of Indiana Jones for at least one more film, although there is a propensity to make movies into trilogies, so don’t be surprised if three or four years later we are debating about the plot of Indiana Jones six. Just go with an open mind, and we will all hope for the best. There are a lot of possibilities for a great film, as long as there is a love and respect given to the source material, while not deviating from the style that made the characters so popular in the first place. To reiterate; does there need to be an Indiana Jones 5? No… but that doesn’t mean it’s doomed to be bad.