Indiana Jones and the Theories of Conspiracy

The latest Indiana Jones movie, “The Dial of Destiny” is set for a big release this summer and as it is the fifth and final film in the series, audiences are chomping at the bit with excitement.  I was thinking I might take a look back at the four previous films as sort of a primer before you see the latest film, but let’s be honest.  If you’re a fan of Indiana Jones, you know the story. 

I also considered talking about the “greatness” of the Indiana Jones franchise and how each film ranks in the catalog of Steven Spielberg or George Lucas’s other films, but that conversation has been hashed out ad nauseam by film scholars with a lot more knowledge than myself. 

So, what are we left with?  Well, I thought it might be fun to take a look at some of the many plot controversies and conspiracy theories surrounding the Indiana Jones film, “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”  You might have heard of some of these, but I’m pretty sure you haven’t heard of all of them.  And if you think I’m making any of these up, please just take an internet trip down the Reddit hole and type in a search for, “Indiana Jones conspiracy.” 

Here are just a few…

  • Indiana Jones was responsible for World War II.  This sounds tragic, but “Raiders of the Lost Ark” takes place in 1936, and Hitler didn’t invade Poland until 1939.  This theory speculates that if Indiana Jones had not been involved in the search for the Ark, Belloq would have found it and opened it in front of Adolf Hitler, thus killing him and preventing him from invading Poland.  Essentially, in this theory, Indiana Jones saved Adolf Hitler’s life.
  • R2-D2 and C-3PO from “Star Wars” came to planet Earth in biblical times and the Ark of the Covenant is actually filled with the spirits of the last Sith Lords.   This theory postulates that following the events of “Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi” the characters of Star Wars know that the spirits of the last Sith Lords posed a threat, so the Jedi recruited two trusted droids to transport the box to a distant planet.   There is some evidence to back up this storyline.  An engraving of R2-D2 and C-3PO can be spotted near the Ark of the Covenant's ancient resting place, and this would suggest they were at least, known entities to those who hid the Ark.   

  • One of the more well-known theories surrounding "Raiders of the Lost Ark" was made popular on The Big Bang Theory television show.  In the fourth episode of the seventh season, "The Raiders Minimization," they proposed that the movie would have had the same ending regardless of whether Dr. Jones had been involved in the plot.  Essentially, Indiana Jones had one purpose, to keep the Nazis from getting the Ark of the Covenant - which they did, if only for a brief time, to some not-so-great results.  This theory has at least two major flaws.
    • The Nazis would have killed Marion Ravenwood in their search for the amulet, or she would have died when they opened the Ark. 
    • And, if Indiana Jones had not survived the opening of the Ark, it would not have found its way to Area 51.  The Nazis would have had another chance to open the Ark.

What’s your favorite fan theory or plot problem?  Or, does thinking about this kind of stuff just give you a headache? I’m not sure the “Dial of Destiny” will address any of these theories, but if we’re lucky, it might just create some new ones! 

Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark

Indiana Jones

Star Wars Episode VI

The Big Bang Theory

Star Wars Omnibus