Rejoice and let life have meaning again. As most of the Internet is well aware, it was confirmed recently that Disney has plans to make an Indiana Jones 5 feature with Steven Spielberg returning to direct (as he has with the previous four films) and, best of all, Harrison Ford continuing to star as our favorite whip wielding college professor. The film is being targeted for a July 2019 release date.
This is great news for everyone because, honestly, nobody wants their last memory of Indiana Jones to be 2008's flop that was Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skulls. And with Harrison Ford well into his 70s, it's being speculated that Disney and Lucasfilm will be using this new adventure to finally retire Ford and start the franchise anew with a young protégée (just not Shia LaBeouf). This is a great idea because it keeps the franchise fresh, but maintains the existing continuity (like Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Creed).
So, now the attention of course will shift to what this new film will be about. Below are five reasons why I think the next Indiana Jones film should be in search of the fabled Cintamani Stone.
5. It's Uncharted Territory
No, that is not meant as a pun towards the fact that the Cintamani Stone was the sought after object of the video game Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (see above). Ok, well, maybe a small pun. But what I actually mean is that it covers an area of the world not previously explored by Indiana Jones on film. You see, the Cintamani Stone is said to have belonged to the Buddha and was lost somewhere in Southeast Asia. Dr. Jones has covered Europe, the Middle East, India and South America... but any adventures across the orient are largely unexplored.
4. It Works Great With The Time Setting
Kingdom Of The Crystal Skulls took place in the mid '50s. So if you were to look at things chronologically, that would place this next adventure somewhere in the mid to late '60s. The US was heavily involved in the Vietnam War at that time. So imagine some corrupt politician forcing Dr. Jones to go up the Cambodian River with a small squad of US soldiers looking for the stone in a race against the Soviets and the North Vietnamese. It would definitely have an Indiana Jones meets Apocalypse Now feel. Plus, for an era heavily engulfed in war, we've never really seen Indy in any real combat situations. He took on the Nazi's during their rise to power, but the war in Europe hadn't quite escalated yet. Archaeology in the midst of real combat would be a new and exciting challenge.
3. The Actual Archeological Possibilities
One of the coolest things about the series are the "real" scenes of archeology. Albeit fictionalized, Indiana Jones explores real historical places, like Mayan temples and the city of Petra (used as the location of the grail in Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade). So imagine Dr. Jones and company traveling into Cambodia and investigating the ruins of the Khmer Empire.
2. It's A Mystical Object
If there is one thing that Indiana Jones excels at, it's tracking down artifacts said to be mystical in nature. That's what makes the series so exciting in the first place. The Cintamani Stone is believed to have the power to grant wishes. So imagine the previously mentioned corrupt politician wanting to use the powers of the stone to win the conflict in Vietnam (or for more maniacal purposes). If that doesn't tie into the plot focuses of the previous films, then I don't know what does.
1. It Can Bring Back Short Round!
C'mon... tell me you wouldn't want this. Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull brought back Marion Ravenwood, after all. As fans, we've been dying to know what happened to Short Round. Why wasn't he involved in Raiders Of The Lost Ark or The Last Crusade? This could be the movie where we find out Indy's young companion grew up to pursue fortune and glory on his own across Asia. Maybe we even find out that the reason Indy gets involved in the first place is because Short Round has gone missing in the hot zone that is Vietnam. And best of all, we could have that incredibly dramatic moment where one of them (Indy or Short Round) gets "killed" and the other uses the powers of the Cintamani Stone to bring them back. A winning combination.
So there you have it, my top 5 reasons why Indiana Jones needs to be pursuing the Cintamani Stone in Disney's next installment in the franchise. It's the perfect swan song for Harrison Ford and could easily pave the way for a new adventurer to take up the mantle. Perhaps one of the young soldiers accompanying him up river has a passion for archaeology and follows in his new mentor's footsteps.
While I'm sure Steven Spielberg and Disney have the situation well in hand, let's hope they come up with the right story. The only thing I know for absolute sure is that they can't kill him off. The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles are still canon and each episode of that dealt with a crotchety old Dr. Jones setting some whipper snappers straight with a story or two at the museum. Keep note of that, Disney! What worked well in The Force Awakens isn't what will work here.
So what do you all think? Is this a worthy conclusion to Harrison Ford's adventures before someone else inevitably takes over? Would you rather him search for something less obscure like the city of Atlantis or the Spear of Destiny? Sound off below. And don't forget to follow me on Twitter (@ThisIsJamesT) for all things rant and ravey.