Indiana Jones’ many adventures outside the movies

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By Webdesk

The end of an era is here as Harrison Ford takes his final turn as Doctor Henry “Indiana” Jones Jr. in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Fate. In 1981, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg created Indy for the first film in the series, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Ford has portrayed Indy in every subsequent film. So far, Lucasfilm has downplayed rumors that someone would take over Ford’s role next The dial of fate.

Luckily for fans, the end of the movies doesn’t necessarily mean the end for Indy herself. There has already been one Indiana Jones TV series, and Disney+ is rumored to be working on another show set in that world. In addition, Indy’s story has been expanded into numerous comics, novels, and video games. To celebrate the release of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Fatewe look back at the adventures of Indiana Jones outside the movies.

The (renamed) TV show

Sean Patrick Flanery at The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles

In 1989 everyone thought so Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was really the last ride for Indy. However, Lucas was inspired by that film’s opening prologue, in which the late River Phoenix played young Indy. That’s why Lucas continued with The Chronicles of Young Indiana Jones, a TV series that ran for two seasons on ABC. After the show’s cancellation in 1993, there were a few TV movies that continued the series.

Corey Carrier in The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles

Unlike the theatrical films, which embraced fantastical adventures with a touch of the supernatural, The Chronicles of Young Indiana Jones was much more grounded. Lucas also boasted that the series would be “educational” as young Indy would meet historical figures. For most of the show, Sean followed Patrick Flanery as a teenage and young adult Indy, although Corey Carrier also starred in the series as an even younger Indy during his childhood. The show initially split focus between the two Indys at different points in their lives, though eventually more episodes started to focus on Flanery, as we learned that Indy fought in World War I (and met a slew of historical figures).

Harrison Ford in his guest appearance on The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles

Harrison Ford made one appearance on the series in a bookend segment during the second season, which was Ford’s last turn as Indy until his return in 2008 for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. But there was also another incarnation of Indiana Jones on the show: George Hall’s Old Indy, who often appeared in current 1990s segments to book every episode. In this continuity, Old Indy wore an eyepatch, and he had a daughter, Sophie, and three grandchildren, Spike, Lucy, and Caroline, as well as two great-grandchildren, Annie and Harry.

George Hall in The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles

However, later edits of The Chronicles of Young Indiana Jones released on VHS and DVD have removed the Old Indy segments, questioning their status as canon. In addition to editing what were once two episodes together into longer films, additional scenes with the cast were filmed to tie the stories together, and the segments were rearranged in chronological order under a new title: The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones. This is the version of the series currently on Disney+ and is currently the only legal way to watch the show.

It is worth noting that Kingdom of the Crystal Skull actually contained a direct reference to one of the TV show’s episodes, when Indy reveals to his son, Mutt Williams, that he once rode with Pancho Villa.

The comic book adventures

Marvel was the first company to make a real effort to keep Indiana Jones alive in popular culture between sequels. So while the Raiders of the Lost Ark adaptation was technically the first Indiana Jones comic from 1983 The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones was the very first ongoing comic series for everyone’s favorite archaeologist.

John Byrne, one of Marvel’s top artists/writers of the time, kicked off The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones with a very impressive two-part story. Following Byrne’s story, the series was allowed to follow up on things from the movies, such as Indy’s relationship with Marion Ravenwood post-Raidersas well as the return of Short Round after the release of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom in 1985. For the record, Short Round was apparently sent back to boarding school after his comic book teamed up with Indy.

Unfortunately, The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones only lasted 34 issues before being canceled and an adaptation of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was the last Indy comic book published by Marvel to date. But in 1991, Dark Horse Comics took over the Indy rights and hired writer William Messner-Loebs and artist Dan Barry to adapt the video game. Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantisas a comic.

Dark Horse went on to publish seven more Indiana Jones miniseries before plans for additional comics are canceled. The last officer Indiana Jones comic was the 2008 adaptation of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Surprisingly, while Disney now owns both Marvel and Lucasfilm, no more Indiana Jones comics have come out.

The Book Adventures

As with the comics, Indy’s first novels were simply adaptations of the movies. But Rob MacGregor, the author of The Last Crusade novelization, then wrote six original novels continuing Indy’s adventures. Surprisingly, MacGregor often went for an even grander scale than the movies, including a search for Noah’s Ark in Indiana Jones and the Genesis Flood. But the biggest change MacGregor was allowed to make was the introduction of Deirdre Campbell, Indy’s first wife.

Deirdre made her debut in Indiana Jones and the Dance of the Giants, making her one of Indy’s students in 1925. She then went on an adventure with him to find evidence that Merlin existed, and they fell in love. The couple married in the subsequent novel, Indiana Jones and the Seven Veilsa full decade before the events of Raiders of the Lost Ark. However, they only shared one adventure as husband and wife before Deirdre died in a plane crash. Although Indy mourned his dead wife in subsequent novels, her existence in the Indiana Jones canon appears to have been ignored or completely receded.

There were six additional Indiana Jones novels, two by Martin Caidin and four by Max McCoy. Caidin and McCoy followed MacGregor’s example in preserving the fantastical elements of Indy’s mythos, depicting his quests for the Philosopher’s Stone and his exploration of the Hollow Earth. McCoy’s last novel, Indiana Jones and the Secret of the Sphinxwas published in 1999. It took ten years for another novel to appear, but in 2009 Steve Perry wrote Indiana Jones and the Army of the Dead. But as with the comics, no new Indiana Jones novels have appeared for years.

Stories for junior archaeologists

This probably won’t come as a surprise, but Indiana Jones was very popular with kids in the ’80s and early ’90s. That’s why there are many more children’s novels for Indy than for adults. Future Goosebumps creator RL Stine kicked off Indy’s first Find Your Fate novel with Indiana Jones and the Curse of Horror Island in 1984, before writing three additional Indy novels in the series. In case you were wondering, Find Your Fate was essentially the same as Choose Your Own Adventure, which allows readers to choose Indy’s actions from a few selections.

There were ultimately 11 Find Your Fate Indiana Jones novels before that series ended in 1987. The Chronicles of Young Indiana Jones was on television, Richard Brightfield actually wrote eight official Choose Your Own Adventures books based on the show, sidestepping the previous Find Your Fate branding. Young Indiana Jones also had book adaptations of some of its episodes, plus several original novels that continued the story of teenage Indy and his even younger self.

In 2008, to coincide with the release of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Scholastic brought Indy to middle-class readers with new adaptations of the first three films. In addition, there were two original middle-class Indiana Jones novels: Ryder Windham’s Indiana Jones and the Wizard’s Pyramid and that of JW Rinzler Indiana Jones and the Mystery of Mount Sinai. But as with Indy’s comics and novels, the young reader’s books have been absent for years.

Raiders of the lost video games

The very first Indiana Jones video game was Atari’s Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1982, a game that was perhaps far too difficult to play for most gamers, largely due to the technical limitations of the Atari 2600. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom arcade game was a big improvement, largely because it allowed players to defeat enemies and ride minecarts. The game was then ported to the NES.

Indiana Jones in the Lost Kingdom was a Commodore 64 title that holds two awards. It’s the very first original Indiana Jones video game and it has one of the best slogans we’ve seen: “No one told Indiana Jones the rules. And nobody will tell you.” Basically, players were on their own if they wanted to solve the game’s puzzles. The Lost Kingdom also opened the door for more computer games, including the split adaptation for the third movie: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Action Game And Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Graphic Adventure. As the names imply, the former was more of an action title, while the latter was puzzle-oriented.

While all three original films have been adapted for the SNES’ The Greatest Adventures of Indiana Jonesfans in the ’90s and ’00s were better served on computers with original Indy adventures, including Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine, Indiana Jones and the Emperor’s TombAnd Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings.

The fate of Atlantis is extremely popular among Indiana Jones fans and gamers alike for a number of reasons. It serves as a sequel to both The Last Crusade movie and games by moving the story to 1939 and introducing one of Indy’s biggest love interests: Sophia Hapgood. Sophia was once an archaeologist before reinventing herself as a clairvoyant. During a previous adventure with Indy, Sophia had kept a necklace that belonged to the Atlantean king Nur-Ab-Sal, who had real supernatural power.

One of the other big reasons why The fate of Atlantis is remembered as a great adventure game of all time is that it gave players three different ways to play. In the team path, Indy and Sophia work closely together while searching for Atlantis. In The Wits Path, Indiana Jones will have to solve several difficult puzzles. And finally, the Fists Path is exactly what it sounds like: it’s almost all action. In our opinion, The fate of Atlantis is too late for a modern remake.

While no new game in the franchise has appeared in years, Bethesda Softworks and Lucasfilm Games are teaming up on an upcoming Indiana Jones title that will presumably be exclusive to Xbox Series X and Series S and PC. But that game could go on for several years.

For now, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Fate will be the only Indy adventure in our near future. But if things go well, we suspect more comics, novels and games will follow.

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