Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Indiana Jones and the... what?

Okay, I'll admit it -- I've long been a fan of the Indiana Jones franchise. And, as such, I'm looking forward to the latest installment: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

I can't help wondering, though -- where did that idea come from?

According to a plot synopsis on Wikipedia, an older Indiana Jones battles Soviet agents (aha!) for the Crystal Skull, apparently a South American artifact with mysterious powers.

Okay, I guess I understand the cop-out of fighting Evil Forces (Soviets, in this case) that no longer exist in our world today; after all, in the first and third movies, filmed in the 1980s, Indy fought Nazis. Still, was it necessary to abandon the quest formula used before? In the first movie, a priceless Jewish artifact was sought (the lost Ark of the Covenant); in the third movie, the focus was a Christian artifact, the chalice of Jesus.

(I'm leaving out the second movie, which, to my mind, attempted to compensate for a silly plot using utterly disgusting imagery. Perhaps Steven Spielberg & Co. are trying to emulate that one -- which would be a big mistake, in my humble opinion. Ask any die-hard Star Trek fan about the frustrations of lousy odd-numbered films.)

Here's a different idea for an Indiana Jones adventure. Having sought (and found) incredible Jewish and Christian artifacts, Indiana seeks out a stone statue of the Prophet Muhammad -- the last remaining one known to have been carved in Muhammad's lifetime, and thus the last remaining contemporary likeness of him. (Insert serious-sounding documentary evidence for this; explain that all other contemporary likenesses have been lost or deliberately destroyed. Add spooky stories about this particular statue surviving because it is reputed to have mystical powers.)

With that premise set up, Indy can chase around the globe for clues, pursued ruthlessly by fanatical Muslims who want to find the statue before he does (and destroy it). For the sake of balance, give Indy a Muslim sidekick -- his Egyptian buddy Sallah (John Rhys-Davies) from the first movie, for example.

What do you say, Mr. Spielberg and Mr. Ford? Tired of kicking people who can't kick back? Or would you rather not make an adventure movie that truly is topical?

And if you think I'm proposing this just because I'd love to see a poster like this:

...well, you may be right...

UPDATE: Sol of solomonia.com is much more skilled with Photoshop than I, and was happy to lend his talents to the project. Have a look.


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