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Old 01-06-2008, 05:48 PM   #1
Matt Holcomb
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Indiana Jones and the Fountain of Youth

I have been lurking on this BBS since 2001, but haven't a good reason to contribute to it. Until now.

Seven years ago I wrote an article for Film Threat entitled “Indiana Jones and the Impossible Sequel”, which this website kindly posted a link to:

http://www.theraider.net/news/archives/indy4/2001.php

In case any of you are interested in reading the article, here are the direct links (the article has since been archived, and as such the original ‘part’ links embedded in the article’s HTML code no longer work):

Part 1: http://www.filmthreat.com/index.php?...eatures&Id=297
Part 2: http://www.filmthreat.com/index.php?...eatures&Id=298
Part 3: http://www.filmthreat.com/index.php?...eatures&Id=299
Part 4: http://www.filmthreat.com/index.php?...eatures&Id=300

The contention of the article is betrayed by its title. When I wrote it, I honestly believed that Lucas, Spielberg, et al, were indulging in wishful thinking, not because I thought they couldn't make a great film (almost a guarantee with Spielberg at the helm), but because “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” was designed as a send off, with closure and finality encoded in its DNA. Because of this, I was convinced that a fourth film would crush under the weight of the trilogy's sense of completeness, even though the three films are not bound by a single narrative like the “Star Wars” and “Lord of the Rings” trilogies.

When speculation as to the fourth film's MacGuffin hit fever pitch a few months ago, I thought there was a chance I could become a “true believer” -- but only if it turned out that Jones was on a quest to retrieve the Ark of the Covenant from a thieving gaggle of Russian spies and scientists, who had discovered evidence supporting the theory that the Ark was a lot more than a transmitter to God or a supernatural, God-powered super weapon. If the MacGuffin was once again the Ark, albeit a more faceted Ark, at once familiar and fresh, almost like a metaphor for the film -- and the “trilogy” -- itself, then I thought the fourth film would have the connective issue to give it instant legitimacy, and would function as the perfect bookend.

But when the title for the fourth film was announced in September last year, I instantly reverted to my orginal mindset. As a result, I spend a good deal of time each day scouring the Internet for new information about “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” in the hope that I will discover a kernel of information that will instantly revive my faith like adrenaline delivered via a canister of compressed air.

However, George Lucas’ revelation in Jim Windolf’s Vanity Fair article, entitled “Keys to the Kingdom”, that the fourth instalment will pay homage to sci-fi cinema of the 1950s rather than the action-adventure serials of the 30s as with the previous films, confirmed a fear shared by many fans -- the incongruous presence of aliens and/or alien technology in the relatively earthy Indiana Jones mythos.

Recently I decided to do more research on the possible link between crystal skulls and Atlantis, which lead me to the official description of the "Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull" ride (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDuasAQMynQ) over at the Tokyo Disney website (http://www.tokyodisneyresort.co.jp/t...indiana.html):

“Follow in the footsteps of Dr. Indiana Jones in a harrowing, life-or-death quest for the legendary Fountain of Youth. But beware -- the Fountain is purported to be guarded by a vengeful, supernatural spirit known as the Crystal Skull!”

The description instantly called to mind a quote from George Lucas in the aforementioned Vanity Fair article:

“What it is that made it perfect was the fact that the MacGuffin I wanted to use and the idea that Harrison would be 20 years older would fit.”

If you join all the dots, then it's not much of a stretch to believe that the MacGuffin that Lucas is referring to could very well be the legendary Fountain of Youth -- the ultimate MacGuffin, irrespective of whether the “fountain” turns out to be an alien invention. If I’m ultimately proven to be correct, then I don't think it's wishful thinking to say that “Indiana Jones and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” could be a better send off than the last one, even if our intrepid archaeologist ends up boarding a flying saucer at the end of the film so he can look for ancient artefacts on another planet.

Last edited by Matt Holcomb : 01-06-2008 at 06:09 PM.
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Old 01-06-2008, 09:12 PM   #2
Moedred
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Welcome, Mr. Holcomb! Excellent article, a classic barometer around here.

A while back I bought, scanned and posted the only Indy 4 script currently available of the five, Saucer Men. So we've been living with extraterrestrial fears for a while. When George challenged us to guess what the crystal skull does, I made a comprehensive list of possibilities. I've warmed to #3. A scientific explanation for the MacGuffin could be all that changes this time around, no aliens needed.

I'm all for a sort of fountain of youth next time (reportedly in Boam's 1995 script).
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Old 01-07-2008, 11:36 PM   #3
Matt Holcomb
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You know; I quite like possibility #3.

The Peruvian temple that features in the new film could very well turn out to be a sort of gateway to Atlantis, with the crystal skull functioning as an Atlantean security system, if you will, which keeps the gateway secure by controlling the minds of those who dare to enter.

I'm still sticking by the Fountain of Youth as the MacGuffin because of my interpretation of Lucas' quote in the Vanity Fair article, and because Lucas is famously hands on, to the point where he probably had a lot of input into the Disney and Tokyo Disney rides, both of which were developed after he had the MacGuffin-for-a-new-film epiphany while shooting the "Young Indiana Jones" episode in which Harrison Ford made a cameo appearance.

Last edited by Matt Holcomb : 01-07-2008 at 11:59 PM.
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Old 01-08-2008, 12:47 AM   #4
Adamwankenobi
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Matt Holcomb, did you see the picture with Karen and Shia in the Raiders warehouse? Looks like you might get what you want.
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Old 01-08-2008, 09:21 AM   #5
commontone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adamwankenobi
Matt Holcomb, did you see the picture with Karen and Shia in the Raiders warehouse? Looks like you might get what you want.

Someone pointed this out in another thread...that picture looks nothing like the Raiders warehouse. In Raiders, the ceilings were about three times as high.

We can speculate that they'll use CGI to make the new set look like Raiders, but as of now, that's just a low-ceilinged warehouse with some crates.
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Old 01-08-2008, 10:47 PM   #6
Moedred
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It seems to me some of the moderators here (with the blue avatars) have been privvy to parts of an old Indy 4 script, which they casually revealed bits of in this thread. Maybe they're on the Lucasfilm payroll and it's all misdirection, so gather what you will. If true, Boam's MacGuffin would have been related to a fountain of youth (and I'm quick to explain the difference between eternal youth and eternal life, which has been done). Until last year, it was probably the most popular sequel idea here at the Raven.
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Old 01-08-2008, 11:35 PM   #7
Matt Holcomb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moedred
It seems to me some of the moderators here (with the blue avatars) have been privvy to parts of an old Indy 4 script, which they casually revealed bits of in this thread. Maybe they're on the Lucasfilm payroll and it's all misdirection, so gather what you will. If true, Boam's MacGuffin would have been related to a fountain of youth (and I'm quick to explain the difference between eternal youth and eternal life, which has been done). Until last year, it was probably the most popular sequel idea here at the Raven.

Some intriguing info on crystal skulls and their possible link with Atlantis:

"The famous Mitchell-Hedges crystal skull unearthed in the ruins of the Mayan city of Lubaatun in 1927 is an example of morphacrystallic transformation. Yet the crystal skull was transformed in Atlantis at a time when the true art form was ebbing, and is therefore not a classic example of the science. The crystal skull of Lubaatun was not entirely worked mentally... lasers finished the polishing and extra faceting required for specific light functions. Although the latter Mayan priests used the crystal skull for black magic and trick performances, it was originally used as an ocular medium. With its pivotal jaw, a beneficent spirit could "move" through it, lending a greater reality to the messages given. The skull was that of the female priestess, Shalkuunthee-tra, killed in one of the last earthquakes of Atlantis."

http://www.spiritmythos.org/TM/crysk...yskulls-01.htm

Last edited by Matt Holcomb : 01-09-2008 at 12:01 AM.
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