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Headscratchers: Indiana Jones

  • Okay, so where is Indy's college exactly? Last Crusade and Crystal Skull both show his plane leaving from New York, but Raiders shows him leaving from San Francisco. Surely he didn't travel across the whole country just to get a flight.
    • He got a new job in between Raiders and Last Crusade?
    • No, that can't be. Last Crusade clearly shows him teaching in the same classroom he used in Raiders. Plus, Brody was still there and Crystal Skull copies an establishing shot from Raiders (except with '50s cars instead of '30s cars).
      • In "Raiders" he was going to Tibet. He'd likely have taken a train or plane cross-country to reach San Francisco. Back in the '30s the only way to cross the Pacific fast was on Pan American Airlines' flying boats (service had just started a year or two before the movie). It's more likely that the classic "Indy travelling the globe via red line" montage skipped a step of land travel, I think. Whereas to cross the Atlantic he would leave from a major port like New York- and by the '50s, international airline service was good enough he could easily catch a flight out of New York. The thing to remember is that in this era there wasn't an international airport for every city of respectable size. People trying to fly out of the country had a relatively short list of options.
      • He went to Nepal, not Tibet.

        The plane you are refering to is the China Clipper, which started service in 1934 (although the plane featured is a Short Solent 3 - owned by Howard Hughes - which first flew in 1946).
    • He DID get a new job between Raiders and Last Crusade — sort of. In Raiders (and presumably Temple of Doom) he taught at Marshall College in Bedford, Connecticut (filmed at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut). In Last Crusade, he taught an archaeology class at Barnett College in New York City, but remained a tenured professor at Marshall, where he was seen working in Crystal Skull. So it was the same classroom in Raiders and Last Crusade; he was teaching at the same college. Bedford, like its real-life counterpart, is close to New York City, which had the nearest international airport.
      • In the video game, when he travels to Venice, we first see him riding from San Francisco to New York...
      • No it doesn't...also, in his office, he refers to something sent to him by "some people from San Francisco."
  • INFURIATING: This troper, with more than a little guilt/misplaced sympathy, finds herself feeling really sorry for the Redshirt Germans and Russkies. They were likely conscripts, and don't deserve horrible burning/crushing deaths. Furthermore, the general labeling of all the Germans as Nazis drives her up the wall.
    • "Dammit, I don't even like Hitler."
      • It's during WWII. Did you really expect this general who's been fighting the Nazi to be all calm and understanding to every German?
    • It could be argued that only the most loyal and/or fanatical supporters of the Nazi/Communist regime would've been chosen to undertake such a prestigious and important mission.
      • This is true. In the case of the Nazis, at least, it seems more likely most troops used would be from the Waffen-SS than the Wehrmacht, which Hitler never fully trusted (and as demonstrated later for good reason.)
      • Hitler didn't trust the Waffen-SS? Didn't they start off as his own private bodyguard? I may be wrong, but wasn't their first divison named Adolf Hitler?
      • I think that troper means Hitler didnt fully trust the Wehrmacht, not the Waffen. Also, I know it's a German word, but Waffen sounds quite silly to me.
      • The troops appear to be the Afrika Korps, based on uniforms and DAK insignia (which wasn't formed until 1941) which was Wehrmacht, but in 1936, fanatics/fiecely loyal supporters wouldn't be hard to come by, even in the Wehrmacht.
    • What Measure Is a Mook?? By the standards of the 1930s and 1940s serials that Indiana Jones is based on, not much.
    • It's 1936, not 1945. The German soldiers were unlikely to be conscripts that early. This was also when things were just starting for the Nazis, so German troops tended to be volunteers, fiercely loyal, and more often than not fanatics. Being actual Party members was not uncommon, either.
  • This may be potential blasphemy, but here goes. Why does he use a whip? OK Rule of Cool, and the plot contrives it so having a whip frequently comes in handy, but is their ever any concrete reason given why Indy favours a whip as a weapon? I know the intro to Last Crusade gives a pseudo origin story for the whip, but even then, how does "once used a handy whip to fend of a lion" translate into a whip becoming his Iconic Item?
    • The whip was George Lucas' idea, inspired by Zorro. In-universe, it's a pretty versatile piece of equipment. It can be a rope, a harrying weapon, and there is at least one report of a bullwhip being used as a hunting weapon.
    • Also it scares the shit out of people, which is always good when you constantly rely on the Indy Ploy.
    • Didn't the guy that apparently inspired Indy's choice of hat in the entire introductory segment of Last Crusade have a whip also? I may be misremembering, but I distinctly recall one being on his hip.
    • No, he didn't.
  • So, am I the only one who finds it weird people are complaining about real-life physics (ie, nuking the fridge) yet nobody seems to find anything wrong with a lost ark melting peoples' faces? How come people're willing to suspend the Willing Suspension of Disbelief for crazy moments like those (or the whole raft scene) yet they can't for Kingdom of the Crystal Skull?
    • Because Willing Suspension of Disbelief only goes so far, and it requires the creator of the text to actually put the work in to establish why the reader should apply Willing Suspension of Disbelief to the situation in question. As far as the Ark and the fridge comparison go at least, they're completely different; the Ark is explicitly constructed and presented by the makers of the first movie as being a supernatural and mystical object supposedly constructed by God Him-or-Herself. Ergo, it's hardly a stretch for the viewer to accept that that it would therefore be imbued with certain strange qualities and abilities that might seem to fly in the face of natural physics; we can make that leap because the movie is clearly set up to enable us to do so. The fridge, however, is as far as the makers of the later movie tell us — and therefore, as far as the reader is concerned — nothing more than a perfectly ordinary fridge, so unless the text clearly establishes that this fridge just so happens to be God's Own Refrigerator, Crafted By His-Or-Her Own Hands To Keep His-Or-Her Brewskies Chilled (which as far as I'm aware it doesn't), as far as the viewer's concerned it should not be capable of doing anything that a perfectly normal fridge in Real Life would also not be capable of doing. Such as, for one example, providing adequate shelter at near-ground zero of an atomic bomb detonation. Of course, by this logic the raft scene in "Temple" arguably fails the same test, but then again "Temple" comes in for a fair bit of flack as well.
      • Crystal Skull shifts the genre from 1930s pulp hero fiction to 1950s science fiction. Nuking the fridge seems off to us, but I think it plays to those rules: hiding under school desks, etc.
      • Duck and Cover was meant for an indirect hit, and would protect from falling glass and debris caused by the blast. A direct hit is not survivable, as testing showed, so it was never actually intended to protect from one.
      • The raft scene doesn't stretch the imagination much, when you think about it: As MythBusters showed, a raft can stay stable for a while, and it overturns at a certain height (although they didn't test a lower height since we don't know the plane's altitude, or if the raft were inflated while falling), and it falls off a cliff and into a river - we don't know the exact height, but it's probably not all that high, so it doesn't stretch one's Willing Suspension of Disbelief.

        The fridge's only Hand Wave is just a manufacturer's placard that says it's lead lined "for superior insulation", which both didn't exist, would serve no commerical purpose (it's not military because of the manufacturer's placard - it wouldn't need one if military), and lead is a horrible insulator (there's small office-sized fridges for radiopharmicuticals around today, but they only have a shielding to prevent radiation from leaking out; there's conventional insulation). On top of all that, a refrigerator is not going to withstand a nuclear bomb; it would be destroyed along with everything else in the town, and it certainly wouldn't go flying for over a mile.
    • Indiana Jones always does things that defy physics - like how in Raiders, he is at one point dragged behind a truck and emerges with no clothing damage or friction burns.
      There are also no hand waves as to why Indy is dragged behind a truck with no clothing damage so much as friction burns, the ducks Henry Jones scares so happen to fly right at a Nazi Plane (30s plane or no), or Temple of Doom's famous inflatable raft scene.
  • So, with Disney owning Lucasfilm, if Disney makes an Indy film, will they distribute it through Paramount so that they can do the mountain Logo Joke? Or will they replace it with the Disney castle fading into an ancient temple or somesuch?
    • Yes.
    • Then the Millennium Falcon will fly over the castle, and the opening credits of Han Solo and Indiana Jones starring in: Twin Furies will begin.
  • I always found it odd that Idiana being a highly sucessful and respected Archeologist was more of an informed attribute than anything, at least going by his success rate on the movies. In Raiders, he lost the golden idol to Belloq, and while he does return witht he Ark, that was never made public. In Temple, he fails to return with the Sankara stones. In Last Crusade, he gets his only real hit by returning the golden cross of Coronado, but by the end of the movie the Grail and everything involved to it was lost. And finally, in Crystal Skull, he once again fails to return with the titular Macguffin.
    • To be fair, there's probably oodles of successful digs and priceless historical finds and reputation-making discoveries to Indy's credit that we don't see, but since they no doubt offer less opportunity for punching Nazis and running away from supernatural beings, there's also a reason why we don't see any of them. Plus, with regards to the very first example, it's less that he 'lost' the golden idol and more that Belloq shamelessly stole it from him.
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