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Old 08-06-2017, 04:22 AM   #1
Raiders112390
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Retcons to Indy's background

Am I the only one miffed at the fact that Indy is retconned in the YIJC to be a city boy, from an upper middle class family that mingles with high society? One of my sore points with the YIJC is I can't reconcile the hard-brewed, rough-hewn Indy as portrayed by Harrison having had the cosmopolitan upbringing he's shown to have had in the YIJC. His family is wealthy enough to go travelling around the world for two years. Ford's Indy would seem in the way he acts to come from more humble stock. I also don't buy Henry being as nice, or as open-minded as he is in the YIJC; He seems very forward thinking, and while stern and a bit neglectful, not the utterly distant and obsessed man we see in the 1912 prologue to LC. Also, Henry is living in Princeton in 1908, goes around the world for two years, then suddenly settles in Utah by 1912, only to come back to the same house in Princeton by 1916?

Anyone else take issue with the way the YIJC retconned Indy's background?
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Old 07-15-2018, 10:10 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raiders112390
Am I the only one miffed at the fact that Indy is retconned in the YIJC to be a city boy, from an upper middle class family that mingles with high society? One of my sore points with the YIJC is I can't reconcile the hard-brewed, rough-hewn Indy as portrayed by Harrison having had the cosmopolitan upbringing he's shown to have had in the YIJC.
Thread bump . Can I ask why you can't reconcile the two? For starters, it's plainly clear that the Great War and its aftermath has a pretty strenuous impact on Indy's mental state, and the events afterwards (the breakdown of relations with his father, his wife's untimely death, and his failed relationship with Marion, as well as other losses) leave him a very different person by the time he reaches full maturity. He's left as a dark, brooding, slightly depressed archaeological soldier of fortune by 1935, but he still retains a bit of his cosmopolitanism--remember, he's a fairly erudite professor as well. The hard-brewed Indy that you speak of, quite fairly, is a mask he wears after decades of suffering, while his personality at home is that of a somewhat shy schoolteacher.
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Originally Posted by Raiders112390
His family is wealthy enough to go travelling around the world for two years. Ford's Indy would seem in the way he acts to come from more humble stock.
Not exactly. I think you probably see what a lot of others see in Ford--he's an awesome, unpretentious everyman (which attracted me to his acting since I was very young) but he still portrays Indy as highly academic and scientific during his travels, often acting somewhat removed from certain situations.
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Originally Posted by Raiders112390
I also don't buy Henry being as nice, or as open-minded as he is in the YIJC; He seems very forward thinking, and while stern and a bit neglectful, not the utterly distant and obsessed man we see in the 1912 prologue to LC.
Well, for starters, the reason why he probably seems so "distant and obsessed" was because his wife had just passed away only a few months prior. A lot of people deal with grief by throwing themselves deeper into their work, and Henry was no exception. As for your characterization of him in Young Indy, I'd disagree. He's utterly distant from his son because he has no idea how to interact with him. Just look at Winds of Change. The man refuses to let Indy eat dinner after he arrives late! Furthermore, he holds fairly cynical viewpoints on world politics.
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Originally Posted by Raiders112390
Also, Henry is living in Princeton in 1908, goes around the world for two years, then suddenly settles in Utah by 1912, only to come back to the same house in Princeton by 1916?
Probably because the house in Princeton reminded him too much of his old life, especially that with Anna. I assume he moved back only when he felt ready to.
Edit: Finally, can I ask why you call it a retcon? There's really no evidence in LC to state whether he is a city kid or country boy, and when watching it one could assume that the family had moved quite a lot. You can't call something a "retcon" when they're not changing anything in the continuity.

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Old 07-15-2018, 02:28 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by TheFirebird1
Thread bump . Can I ask why you can't reconcile the two? For starters, it's plainly clear that the Great War and its aftermath has a pretty strenuous impact on Indy's mental state, and the events afterwards (the breakdown of relations with his father, his wife's untimely death, and his failed relationship with Marion, as well as other losses) leave him a very different person by the time he reaches full maturity. He's left as a dark, brooding, slightly depressed archaeological soldier of fortune by 1935, but he still retains a bit of his cosmopolitanism--remember, he's a fairly erudite professor as well. The hard-brewed Indy that you speak of, quite fairly, is a mask he wears after decades of suffering, while his personality at home is that of a somewhat shy schoolteacher.


Even as a professor I don't view him as erudite. He strikes me as a guy who is a professor to have legitimate income, but whose real love is adventure and he uses the clout and pull of being a Professor to get away with his shenanigans, with Marcus acting as basically a fence for his stolen goods. Like, Indy is the real personality, not Dr. Jones.

To your second point, he does get giddy over geeky archaeology stuff but he seems to hold a bit of disdain for bookworms, men like his father. I think he simply used his "book learnin" to survive; I don't think he holds great value in it.

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Well, for starters, the reason why he probably seems so "distant and obsessed" was because his wife had just passed away only a few months prior. A lot of people deal with grief by throwing themselves deeper into their work, and Henry was no exception. As for your characterization of him in Young Indy, I'd disagree. He's utterly distant from his son because he has no idea how to interact with him. Just look at Winds of Change. The man refuses to let Indy eat dinner after he arrives late! Furthermore, he holds fairly cynical viewpoints on world politics.

Even with Winds of Change, I don't see this absen, cold guy who really doesn't care about his son. He seems to think of his son as an overgrown child and is resentful that he ran away. And I would say in terms of political views, Indy is the more cynical. Henry is a naive idealist still looking at things through a medieval mindset and praising David Lloyd George, while Indy bitterly says "we gave them victory and they threw it away."

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Probably because the house in Princeton reminded him too much of his old life, especially that with Anna. I assume he moved back only when he felt ready to.
Edit: Finally, can I ask why you call it a retcon? There's really no evidence in LC to state whether he is a city kid or country boy, and when watching it one could assume that the family had moved quite a lot. You can't call something a "retcon" when they're not changing anything in the continuity.

Both his and his father's attitude in the 1912 segment just reek of small town regular folk-ness. Their house in Utah is humble and lower class, down to the cheap mailbox and the ramshackle furnishings (compare these to the more grand Princeton furnishings and such). Connery's Henry also doesn't strike me as a man who wrote several bestseller books. There's a certain rough edge which Sean Connery carries with him that the actor who plays Henry in the Chronicles doesn't have; rough around the edges. The YIJC Henry is a romantic Victorian gentleman, suave, sophisticated, a smooth talker who knows just what to say to Helen Seymour to change her mind; not even a hint of the angry old Scottish professor, not even in 1916. And Indy's been in Utah long enough to become an Eagle Scout there. Where did he find the time to do that in the two years between the end of the world lecture tour?

Also, the YIJC never even mention Utah or attempt to reconcile it. All it would've taken was one simple line like, "After mom died, my father isolated us. He secluded us halfway across the country in a one horse town in Utah and I practically didn't exist." Something like that.
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Old 07-15-2018, 03:29 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Raiders112390
Even as a professor I don't view him as erudite. He strikes me as a guy who is a professor to have legitimate income, but whose real love is adventure and he uses the clout and pull of being a Professor to get away with his shenanigans, with Marcus acting as basically a fence for his stolen goods. Like, Indy is the real personality, not Dr. Jones.
Have to disagree with you there. Remember, in the talk with Army intel in Raiders, Indy provides some snark while dealing with Musgrove and Eaton's general ignorance of the Ark of the Covenant and it's power. As someone who comes from a family with a few professors, that snark is extremely common with those who take their day jobs seriously. And watch him as he teaches, or when he "researches" in other countries. He speaks in a cool, collected, fairly intelligent style that's typical of a serious professor, not one just showing up for the paycheck. As for which personality is truly his, I've always seen both Indy and Dr. Jones as almost fictitious characters created by a trauma-stricken young man who had no idea where to go and therefore created two personalities based off those who inspired him the most, such as Fedora (who became Indy) and his father/Marcus Brody (who became "Dr. Jones"). Over time the real Indy became more apparent until he had inherited and took control over both those roles.

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Originally Posted by Raiders112390
To your second point, he does get giddy over geeky archaeology stuff but he seems to hold a bit of disdain for bookworms, men like his father. I think he simply used his "book learnin" to survive; I don't think he holds great value in it.
Again, inclined to disagree. For Indy, knowledge is heavily important, and as someone who was an archaeological scholar I'd consider him to be at least a bit bookish. I'm not sure if he holds a disdain for bookworms (seeing as he is one), but probably holds a disdain for what he views as "armchair archaeologists" like his father who instead of searching for their MacGuffins fell deeper into obsessive research. Furthermore, one of his best friends is a bookworm!


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Originally Posted by Raiders112390
Even with Winds of Change, I don't see this absent, cold guy who really doesn't care about his son. He seems to think of his son as an overgrown child and is resentful that he ran away. And I would say in terms of political views, Indy is the more cynical. Henry is a naive idealist still looking at things through a medieval mindset and praising David Lloyd George, while Indy bitterly says "we gave them victory and they threw it away."
I think there are lines in LC which suggest that Henry thought that for a while Indy was below his interest and somewhat immature in youth ("You left just when you were getting interesting", etc.) but I think it's incorrect to say that he didn't care about his son. He did, he just didn't exactly display it. And as far as political views go, Henry is undoubtedly much more cynical. He praises Lloyd George and Clemenceau arguably because of their skill in forcing Wilson's idealism down, and even criticizes him for it (not the words of an idealist by any stretch of the imagination). Furthermore, Indy's assertion that "they threw it away" comes from a spot of idealism. Indy joined the war because (for better or worse) he believed the promise that the Allies were "building a new world". Henry's comments about the nation-state and it's wars display the fact that he thought everything Indy did was for nothing, and that this was simply an occurrence that would happen again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raiders112390
Both his and his father's attitude in the 1912 segment just reek of small town regular folk-ness. Their house in Utah is humble and lower class, down to the cheap mailbox and the ramshackle furnishings (compare these to the more grand Princeton furnishings and such). Connery's Henry also doesn't strike me as a man who wrote several bestseller books. There's a certain rough edge which Sean Connery carries with him that the actor who plays Henry in the Chronicles doesn't have; rough around the edges. The YIJC Henry is a romantic Victorian gentleman, suave, sophisticated, a smooth talker who knows just what to say to Helen Seymour to change her mind; not even a hint of the angry old Scottish professor, not even in 1916. And Indy's been in Utah long enough to become an Eagle Scout there. Where did he find the time to do that in the two years between the end of the world lecture tour?

Also, the YIJC never even mention Utah or attempt to reconcile it. All it would've taken was one simple line like, "After mom died, my father isolated us. He secluded us halfway across the country in a one horse town in Utah and I practically didn't exist." Something like that.
In all honesty, they don't reek much of small-town folksiness to me, because we only see them for about two minutes at home. Furthermore, their somewhat lousy home conditions could be (again) attributed to Henry's depression after Anna's untimely passing. Through studying the subject and unfortunately knowing friends who've gone through it, sometimes people just throw themselves away to escape reality. Even though Henry didn't act like the perfect husband at times, his wife's death and the realization that he had to now raise a thirteen-year-old boy likely shook him up and isolated him even further. Furthermore, Connery's Henry might seem rough around the edges, but we have to separate the character from the actor a little bit here. Even with that, Sean's portrayal was realistic enough to resemble that of a real professor-especially one who had delved in scholarly ambitions from time to time. As for your last few points, Connery's Henry is romantic, much to Indy's chagrin. He views the whole adventure as a mythical Grail Quest, portraying himself and his son as members of a crusade against good and evil, heavily steeping himself in Christian tradition. And as for suave, well, we know what he did with Elsa, even at his age .
Indy's Scout rank probably is cumulative. We know he's moved around a lot, and as there are thousands of Scout lodges over America, he most likely joined the Princeton one then transferred over to one in Utah when he got there. But yeah, something to acknowledge Indy's isolation while there would've been fitting, even if only a handwave.
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Old 07-16-2018, 05:08 AM   #5
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It comes down to preference for me. I do enjoy the YIJC but they made a conscious choice to change his upbringing from being in the middle of a small town in Utah to being upper class in Princeton. In my own personal sentiment, Indy growing up virtually in the middle of nowhere, in a rough town, appeals to me. Seeing him hobnob with the local elite has always bothered me.
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