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 Posted:   Oct 14, 2013 - 8:03 AM   
 By:   Ron Pulliam   (Member)

Last week's "The Big Bang Theory" postulated that the character Indiana Jones contributed nothing to the plot/story of the film that would not have happened had he not been in it.

Sheldon's girlfriend Amy put it to Sheldon when he asked her what she meant when she said it had plot holes.

Of course, Sheldon is fictitious and, for a supposed genius-off-the-charts, is rather immature and specious most of the time. Still, he spent the remainder of the episode attempting to tear down Amy's favorite thing -- Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" (he couldn't) -- and finally had to accept her premise that nothing Indy did truly affected the inevitable outcome of the story.

Discuss, please, your own takes on the matter at hand!

 
 Posted:   Oct 14, 2013 - 8:14 AM   
 By:   AlexCope   (Member)

Can't be nearly as bad as the third act in Crystal Skull where Indy follows John Hurt around, letting him take the lead and solve all the puzzles for him.

 
 Posted:   Oct 14, 2013 - 8:16 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

But didn't Indy find the Ark when those dopey Nazis were "digging in the wrong place"?

 
 Posted:   Oct 14, 2013 - 8:19 AM   
 By:   Ron Pulliam   (Member)

But didn't Indy find the Ark when those dopey Nazis were "digging in the wrong place"?

Sorry, but Amy refuted that with the fact that had Indy not intervened, the Nazis would have gotten the medallion (rather than the image of only one side of it on a Nazi's hand) and would have dug in the correct location.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 14, 2013 - 8:23 AM   
 By:   CinemaScope   (Member)

I think that's the case in a lot of movies, & sometimes the hero makes things worse. Die Hard 2, I'm sure there would have been a lot less dead people if Brucie hadn't turned up!

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 14, 2013 - 8:44 AM   
 By:   Ado   (Member)

A lot of pretty great movies have been built on HOW things happen, not WHAT things happen.
The details of the story of some great blockbusters are often pretty superfluous, but how they were directed is what carries the picture. If you look at Jaws or ET on paper they appear pretty thin and pointless and uninteresting, as films they are remarkable.

Now you have some guys like Michael Bay that push that to the limit and story is so background as to be irrelevant, but great direction can make an okay script a great movie. Spielberg has done it many times.




 
 Posted:   Oct 14, 2013 - 9:12 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

Because Indy knew not to look at the ghosts of the Ark he and Marion survived and thus "inherited" the Ark. If they died the Ark would have been lost on the Island. More than likely the ground would have opened up and swallowed it. wink

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 14, 2013 - 9:59 AM   
 By:   Michael24   (Member)

Indy's presence caused the Nazi's plane to blow up. They were originally going to fly it to Berlin to give to Hitler, but the plane blew up and Indy was able to steal it from the convoy on the road to Cairo. Although the Nazis get it back at sea, the change in plan gave Belloq enough time to convince Dietrich to open the Ark themselves first on the island. So, if Indy hadn't been present, the Ark would have been flown straight from Egypt to Germany and handed over to Hitler. Instead, Indy caused it to be diverted, where he was ultimately able to get it after it zapped the Nazis. Amy's theory is shot, but it was still a funny episode.

And Crystal Skull was great fun. smile

A lot of pretty great movies have been built on HOW things happen, not WHAT things happen.
The details of the story of some great blockbusters are often pretty superfluous, but how they were directed is what carries the picture. If you look at Jaws or ET on paper they appear pretty thin and pointless and uninteresting, as films they are remarkable.


I don't know if you were thinking of the same quote or not, but that's similar to what Roger Ebert once said: "For movies, it's not WHAT it's about, it's HOW it's about." (Paraphrasing. Don't remember the exact wording.)

 
 Posted:   Oct 14, 2013 - 10:13 AM   
 By:   Ron Pulliam   (Member)

Because Indy knew not to look at the ghosts of the Ark he and Marion survived and thus "inherited" the Ark. If they died the Ark would have been lost on the Island. More than likely the ground would have opened up and swallowed it. wink

And the ark is...where now...exactly?

And how did Indy and Marian get away from that island? American ships? Which would have arrived anyway?

 
 Posted:   Oct 14, 2013 - 10:16 AM   
 By:   OnlyGoodMusic   (Member)

Indy's presence caused the Nazi's plane to blow up. They were originally going to fly it to Berlin to give to Hitler, but the plane blew up and Indy was able to steal it from the convoy on the road to Cairo. Although the Nazis get it back at sea, the change in plan gave Belloq enough time to convince Dietrich to open the Ark themselves first on the island. So, if Indy hadn't been present, the Ark would have been flown straight from Egypt to Germany and handed over to Hitler.

So, essentially, had Indiana Jones NOT intervened, the opening of the ark would have killed Hitler, thus there would have been no WWII. Hmmm, somehow that doesn't sound so great for Indy. wink

Amy's theory was a hoot. Of course, with bubblegum movies, "external" logic doesn't matter (internal logic does), but it was fun to see how the mere hint shocked the nerd boys to their very core. smile

 
 Posted:   Oct 14, 2013 - 10:26 AM   
 By:   Jeyl   (Member)

I'm still wondering how Indy know not to look at the Ark since he didn't know what the heck was happening in the picture.

Agent: What's coming out of there?
Indiana: Lightning. Fire... power of god, or something.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 14, 2013 - 11:30 AM   
 By:   CinemaScope   (Member)

A lot of pretty great movies have been built on HOW things happen, not WHAT things happen.

Yep, there's a word for that, The McGuffin. The plot is only there to give the main characters something to do, & a reason to stick together & get to know each other (or something like that).

 
 Posted:   Oct 14, 2013 - 11:36 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

I'm still wondering how Indy know not to look at the Ark since he didn't know what the heck was happening in the picture.

Agent: What's coming out of there?
Indiana: Lightning. Fire... power of god, or something.


You answered your own question. He knew it wasn't good, what ever it was.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 14, 2013 - 11:40 AM   
 By:   Ado   (Member)

@ Michael 24

Yeah, that is what I was talking about, basically story is a framework to an extent to set up a barely plausible reason for events to happen and string together a picture. It does not really matter that Indy does not fulfill a concrete narrative purpose, he is our vehicle - excuse to enter an adventurous world.

Beyond that, we need to recall that Indy was not supposed to a heroic character, the first looks at him in Indy 1 painted him as not the most lovable or heroic guy, very much similar ironically to Han Solo when we met him first.






 
 Posted:   Oct 14, 2013 - 12:02 PM   
 By:   Storyteller   (Member)

Well if I may, this logic is faulty to begin with. It sets up the idea that the film was about Indy saving the day. If that were the case, then yes, it would be a "plot hole". However, that is not the case here. Raiders is based on the serials of old and is more about the journey than the destination. Each week the antagonist would get the upper hand only for the hero to foil it, or vice versa. In the case of Indy, he is not the hero, but one of the "Raiders" of the title. Him and René Belloq are very similar and it is mentioned several times. Indy shots a swordsmen without a second thought, he raids villages for their sacred artifacts such as in the beginning of Raiders. This is not a hero, but he is our protagonist.

we are on the adventure with Indy, and we root for him because we do see he is not completely like Belloq which is why he could never be a Nazi. I have always felt that is what the ending meant. Indy could have died with the rest of the Nazis, but he survives along with Marion. It's as if God is saying, "I am allowing you to live" at the end. Indy is not supposed to win, he is supposed to make the right choice. The first three films get this right, where-as the forth ignores it completely.

I had to rush this as I have to get going right now, so I hope I explained this well enough and didn't just write a bunch of mish-mash.

 
 Posted:   Oct 14, 2013 - 12:06 PM   
 By:   Ron Pulliam   (Member)

And yet...would the end result be the same if Indy wasn't there?

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 14, 2013 - 12:07 PM   
 By:   Ado   (Member)

Storyteller got it, he is not Batman or Superman or any superhero or hero.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 14, 2013 - 12:27 PM   
 By:   Joe E.   (Member)

I didn't see the episode, but Indy's actions ultimately being relatively inconsequential in Raiders of the Lost Ark has been well-understood and discussed at some length in Indy fandom for a long, long time; it's peculiar to see it just now brought up in the mainstream, as though somebody just suddenly discovered it.

It's long been a point of discussion just exactly how much would have changed in the Indyverse, given the movie's set-up, had Indy not taken the assignment to go get the Ark. My own take on it is that probably the Nazi's team would have recovered the Ark but still been defeated by its powers, with the major differences being that:

- Toht would likely have killed Marion in getting the Headpiece to the Staff of Ra from her, and all his henchmen would still be alive
- none of the German soldiers would have gotten hurt / killed in transporting the Ark
- the Ark would've been flown out, per the original plan

I think the end result as far as the fate of the world would have been the same, since Belloq would still have his own designs on the Ark, and likely would find some way or another to open it before Hitler got it, and again it would wipe out him and the other villains in the immediate area, and then probably remain wherever it was. Essentially, it'd remain out of Hitler's hands and the world would go on, except that Marion would be dead (perhaps Sallah, too). It's an intriguing if disturbing thought experiment, though, to wonder whether it might have made it to Berlin before being opened, and thus taken out Hitler and other Reich leaders back in 1936, thus saving the world a lot of trouble. But it's one of those things where no one could have known for sure what would happen, anyway.

At any rate, much the same is true for both Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, I'd argue; the only one in which Indy's actions really change things on a larger scale is Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. It's one of a number of shared characteristics for which I sometimes consider Raiders, Crusade and Skull to be a sort of loose trilogy, while Temple stands apart from the rest.

Can't be nearly as bad as the third act in Crystal Skull where Indy follows John Hurt around, letting him take the lead and solve all the puzzles for him.

Er... huh? That's not what happens; in fact it's pretty much exactly the opposite. Indy actually quite specifically figures out how to get into the monument that Oxley was unable to on his previous visit.

Well if I may, this logic is faulty to begin with. It sets up the idea that the film was about Indy saving the day. If that were the case, then yes, it would be a "plot hole". However, that is not the case here. Raiders is based on the serials of old and is more about the journey than the destination. Each week the antagonist would get the upper hand only for the hero to foil it, or vice versa. In the case of Indy, he is not the hero, but one of the "Raiders" of the title. Him and René Belloq are very similar and it is mentioned several times. Indy shots a swordsmen without a second thought, he raids villages for their sacred artifacts such as in the beginning of Raiders. This is not a hero, but he is our protagonist.

we are on the adventure with Indy, and we root for him because we do see he is not completely like Belloq which is why he could never be a Nazi. I have always felt that is what the ending meant. Indy could have died with the rest of the Nazis, but he survives along with Marion. It's as if God is saying, "I am allowing you to live" at the end. Indy is not supposed to win, he is supposed to make the right choice. The first three films get this right, where-as the forth ignores it completely.

I had to rush this as I have to get going right now, so I hope I explained this well enough and didn't just write a bunch of mish-mash.


I think you actually have it down pretty well for the most part, and get it across, except for "The first three films get this right, where-as the forth ignores it completely" - Indy's choices are pretty similar in all four of them, but the consequences in the fourth are actually more like those in the first (Raiders) and third (Crusade), while in Temple they actually have more of an effect.

 
 Posted:   Oct 14, 2013 - 1:20 PM   
 By:   Storyteller   (Member)

I didn't see the episode, but Indy's actions ultimately being relatively inconsequential in Raiders of the Lost Ark has been well-understood and discussed at some length in Indy fandom for a long, long time; it's peculiar to see it just now brought up in the mainstream, as though somebody just suddenly discovered it.

It's long been a point of discussion just exactly how much would have changed in the Indyverse, given the movie's set-up, had Indy not taken the assignment to go get the Ark. My own take on it is that probably the Nazi's team would have recovered the Ark but still been defeated by its powers, with the major differences being that:

- Toht would likely have killed Marion in getting the Headpiece to the Staff of Ra from her, and all his henchmen would still be alive
- none of the German soldiers would have gotten hurt / killed in transporting the Ark
- the Ark would've been flown out, per the original plan

I think the end result as far as the fate of the world would have been the same, since Belloq would still have his own designs on the Ark, and likely would find some way or another to open it before Hitler got it, and again it would wipe out him and the other villains in the immediate area, and then probably remain wherever it was. Essentially, it'd remain out of Hitler's hands and the world would go on, except that Marion would be dead (perhaps Sallah, too). It's an intriguing if disturbing thought experiment, though, to wonder whether it might have made it to Berlin before being opened, and thus taken out Hitler and other Reich leaders back in 1936, thus saving the world a lot of trouble. But it's one of those things where no one could have known for sure what would happen, anyway.

At any rate, much the same is true for both Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, I'd argue; the only one in which Indy's actions really change things on a larger scale is Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. It's one of a number of shared characteristics for which I sometimes consider Raiders, Crusade and Skull to be a sort of loose trilogy, while Temple stands apart from the rest.

Can't be nearly as bad as the third act in Crystal Skull where Indy follows John Hurt around, letting him take the lead and solve all the puzzles for him.

Er... huh? That's not what happens; in fact it's pretty much exactly the opposite. Indy actually quite specifically figures out how to get into the monument that Oxley was unable to on his previous visit.

Well if I may, this logic is faulty to begin with. It sets up the idea that the film was about Indy saving the day. If that were the case, then yes, it would be a "plot hole". However, that is not the case here. Raiders is based on the serials of old and is more about the journey than the destination. Each week the antagonist would get the upper hand only for the hero to foil it, or vice versa. In the case of Indy, he is not the hero, but one of the "Raiders" of the title. Him and René Belloq are very similar and it is mentioned several times. Indy shots a swordsmen without a second thought, he raids villages for their sacred artifacts such as in the beginning of Raiders. This is not a hero, but he is our protagonist.

we are on the adventure with Indy, and we root for him because we do see he is not completely like Belloq which is why he could never be a Nazi. I have always felt that is what the ending meant. Indy could have died with the rest of the Nazis, but he survives along with Marion. It's as if God is saying, "I am allowing you to live" at the end. Indy is not supposed to win, he is supposed to make the right choice. The first three films get this right, where-as the forth ignores it completely.

I had to rush this as I have to get going right now, so I hope I explained this well enough and didn't just write a bunch of mish-mash.


I think you actually have it down pretty well for the most part, and get it across, except for "The first three films get this right, where-as the forth ignores it completely" - Indy's choices are pretty similar in all four of them, but the consequences in the fourth are actually more like those in the first (Raiders) and third (Crusade), while in Temple they actually have more of an effect.




Well Joe, my point is that the first three films are not about the object of the quest, but Indy on that quest. I do not feel the forth film fits that. The first film is not about the ark, but about Indy. In the end, Indy makes amends with his past (Marion) and has to confront himself about the choices he makes. In fact, this is why Lucas and Steven made the next film a prequel. They felt Indy had grown up in Raiders and would probably go off and marry Marion. So they went back to when Indy was a bit more selfish. Temple Of Doom is Indy looking out for others more than himself. He choses the life of the children over fortune and glory. Cut to years later and they decide to make another film and another prequel would be out as everyone is just too old at this point, so Indy now must face his mortality and close the book on his relationship with his father. In the end, he choses family instead of the grail, but this time it required his family to help him make the choice.

Now, Crystal Skull has some of these elements: Indy must again amend with Marion (though she apparently left him), and become the father. However, the quest is in consequential to this journey for Indy this time. There is no moment of choice. Everything just sort of happens. Indy is already a father, just doesn't know it. By the end, the Skull plays no part in any of the journey of Indy's life. It is 100 percent inconsequential to Indy's journey. At the very beginning of Raiders Marcus says, "the search for the ark is the search for the divine in all of us". This signifies that the point is not the ark, but that which lies deep within. The ark plays a part in the journey, it just isn't the point of the story. The same with the Stone in part 2 and the Grail in part 3... but the Skull plays no part in that journey in part 4.

 
 Posted:   Oct 14, 2013 - 1:36 PM   
 By:   dogplant   (Member)

Storyteller got it, he is not Batman or Superman or any superhero or hero.

Here here.

Raiders is a great adventure story, but I always felt that Indy movies have a bit more going on. In a way, they are all about faith. Indy is not a supersitious fellow, he is a man of action, but when it comes down to it he has to confront something more than he bargained for, or initially believed. In Raiders, he's flippant about what's in the Ark ('Didn't you guys ever go to Sunday school?'), but, as Storyteller said, Indy is like Belloq in that he respects or maybe even fears its mystery. In Temple of Doom it's 'fortune and glory' versus the Shankara Stones. In Last Crusade, it's The Grail versus his relationship with Dad. In Crystal Skull, it's Aztec gold versus a quest for greater knowledge. Indy has feet of clay, but he's a tenacious survivor, and a bit of a romantic.

I think he's a terrific character, and an endearing hero. Irrelevant my arse! razz

 
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