The Indiana Jones series, created by George Lucas and directed by Steven Spielberg, has captivated audiences since its debut in 1981. It’s a mix of thrilling action, exotic locations, and memorable characters spanning numerous novels and comic books—all of which describe the adventures of the archaeologist Indiana Jones. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the story behind Indiana Jones, the movies, and the books, as well as what fans can expect from the upcoming film.
The Indiana Jones Story
The Indiana Jones story revolves around the daring exploits of Dr. Henry Walton “Indiana” Jones Jr., a professor of archaeology and adventurer who travels the world in search of lost relics and treasures. Set in the mid-20th century, the series is inspired by pulp magazines and adventure serials of the time. Indiana Jones books represent a perfect blend of action, humor, and mystery and include novelizations of the films and original stories. In other words, there’s everything for Indiana Jones fans to immerse themselves further into the world of this iconic character.
Why Indiana Jones is such a popular character? One of the reasons stems from his ability to navigate dangerous situations with both intelligence and cunning. His adventures take him to exotic locations, where he confronts supernatural forces and evil adversaries. It’s the fate of the world hanging in the balance that he has to save, and he always manages to succeed. Another reason is that he’s not perfect, which exactly makes him so relatable. Besides, we can’t mention the charismatic performance of Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones.
Indiana Jones Movies
There have been four Indiana Jones movies released to date, each with its own distinct story and setting. Below is a brief overview of each film:
- Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)—In this movie, Indiana Jones races against a group of Nazis to find the Ark of the Covenant, a powerful biblical artifact that could be used for evil purposes.
- Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)—This movie is set before the events of the Raiders. It revolves around Indiana Jones’s travels to India to recover a sacred stone and rescue enslaved children from a cult.
- Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)—In this movie, Indiana Jones teams up with his father, played by Sean Connery, to find the Holy Grail while evading the Nazis once again.
- Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)—Set in the Cold War era, Indiana Jones faces Soviet agents and uncovers hidden secrets about extraterrestrial life.
Indiana Jones Movies in Order
So, here are all of the Indiana Jones movies, in order of release:
- Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
- Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
- Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
- Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
Although Temple of Doom is a prequel to Raiders of the Lost Ark, it is generally recommended to watch the movies in the order they were released.
The First Indiana Jones Movie
Raiders of the Lost Ark is the first Indiana Jones movie. It’s often regarded as the best Indiana Jones movie, too. This is definitely our favorite. It introduces audiences to the character of Indiana Jones, an archeologist that will soon be universally recognizable for the crack of his whip, the fedora, and the lip bruise that always bleeds. He seems to be as skilled with his fists as he is with his mind. Raiders of the Lost Ark is a brilliant adventure film notable for its thrilling action sequences, memorable characters like Marion Ravenwood and Sallah, and an engaging plot that involves Nazis seeking to exploit the supernatural power of the Ark of the Covenant.
One fun fact about Raiders of the Lost Ark is that the famous scene in which Indiana Jones shoots a sword-wielding assailant was improvised by Harrison Ford. Originally, a lengthy fight scene was planned, but Ford was suffering from dysentery and suggested a quicker conclusion to the confrontation, which has since become an iconic moment in film history. Cool, huh?
A New Indiana Jones Movie
If you are a fan of the series, you can look forward to a new Indiana Jones movie—Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny—currently in the US theatres (since June 30, 2023). The film is directed by James Mangold and features Harrison Ford in the iconic role, who’s been playing this character for over three decades. With the previous film having explored the mysteries of the Crystal Skull, the new Indiana Jones movie will revolve around a time travel theme. It looks like it’s the final Indy movie starring Harrison Ford, and he seems proud of it.
The Indiana Jones new movie trailer does seem to promise that this series was worth the wait: there’s plenty of action, an impressive cast, and many cool returns.
Indiana Jones Film Novelizations Book Series
The popular question all the time is, “In what order should I read the Indiana Jones: Film тovelizations series?” Here’s our answer to this question:
- Raiders Of Lost Ark
- Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom
- Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade
- Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull
Other Indiana Jones Film Novelizations
- Indiana Jones: Film Storybooks
- Indiana Jones: Film Junior Novelizations
Other Indiana Jones Literature
- Indiana Jones: Prequels
- Indiana Jones and the Army of the Dead
- Indiana Jones and the Dance of the Giants
- Untold Adventures: Indiana Jones and the Pyramid of the Sorcerer and Indiana Jones and the Mystery of Mount Sinai
- Young Indiana Jones—check the reviews at Goodreads
- Choose Your Own Adventure: Young Indiana Jones Chronicles—check the reviews at Goodreads
- The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles: TV—check the reviews at Goodreads
Movies Like Indiana Jones
If you can’t get over Indiana Jones and want more thrilling action and adventure, there are several other films that capture a similar spirit. Here are a few recommendations:
- The Mummy (1999), where an adventurer and a librarian team up to stop an ancient evil unleashed in Egypt.
- Romancing the Stone (1984), where a romance novelist and a rogue adventurer search for a priceless gem in the Colombian jungle.
- National Treasure (2004), where a treasure hunter races against time to decode a secret map and uncover a hidden fortune.
- The Adventures of Tintin (2011), where an intrepid young reporter embarks on a treasure hunt that leads to a thrilling adventure.
The Indiana Jones series has captivated audiences for decades, and now we have another fascinating adventure to enjoy. All in all, with a mix of film novelizations and original books, fans can delve deeper into the world of Indiana Jones and experience even more of his daring exploits. There’s no doubt that the legacy of Indiana Jones will endure as a timeless example of action-packed storytelling. Whether you’re a longtime fan or just discovering this iconic character, there’s always a new adventure waiting for you in the world of Indiana Jones.