Well, Disney just made three hugely succesful Pirates movies, based on a ride.
And how does the existence of a "Skull" ride rule out the possibility of skulls in the new movie? Ideas, especially good ones, can be reused and recycled. If the skulls provide a good McGuffin, and I've always said that I think they do, then I have no problem with that.
Many people (including me) used to dream of a Indy finds Atlantis movie. That idea would've been recycled too, and many people didn't seem to have any problem with it.
I'd have to say that the Crystal Skulls work well for the same reason that has been hit upon - they are real and not well-known. The second I found out they were real, I said, "Cool" I would like to know more." That kind of an attitude makes for good word-of-mouth to draw in audiences. It makes people continue to enjoy the movie after they've seen it, and makes people who wouldn't see the movie otherwise want to check it out.
Listen guys, I looked at the wiki page a few months ago and thought... hmmm. Sounds intruiging. Anyway, my curiosity got the better of me and I snapped up this book -
The Mystery of the Crystal Skulls by Chris Morton and Ceri Louise Thomas.
Frankly, there is so much to this story it's mind boggling. But I couldn't put the book down and ithe crystal skuls concept offers some exciting ideas - the book claims that a professor in London devised an image based system, via Kirlian photogroahy, that when placed some quartz crystal under this system, an entity appeared in the crystal and began to leave (midichlorians? Ho ho) serpent like from the formation! You don't have to beleive it, but point is, this isteeming with possibilties. Check the book out, it's unputdownable and properly researched, unlike the nonsense written on wiki.
I was hyped about Indy 4 as it was, but the skulls are perfect foil for an adventure.
It works the other way around for me. I was actually willing to give the crystal skulls a go, UNTIL I read that Wiki page. Because it also says several skulls have been found and studied and none have exhibited any powers whatsoever. So if they're featured in the movie, you'll have to forget all about that if you want to believe in them.
A bit like having to pretend the Sankara Stones have power in Temple of Doom, which were also made up for the movie.
We can say, the real mcguffin is the Kingdom and the Crystal Skull is an artifact that leads to that mcguffin, in this case a real place, this is a very typical structure for an adventure movie.
1) Hero learns about something and goes after it - the mcguffin.
2) The audience learns MORE about the mcguffin than the hero watching by scenes on the opposing forces, hence increasing the suspense.
3) The hero starts to know the real value of the mcguffin.
4) The hero gets the mcguffin.
In this case:
1) Marion goes to Indy with a strange Cristal Skull, brings Mutt along, Indy doesn't get to see the son very much (akin to Last Crusade).
2) We're introduced to some scenes in the soviet republics where they are making some weird experiments, and learn the mcguffin is dangerous.
3) The hero learns the real meaning of the Skull, as a key/map/portal to a lost kingdom.
3) Indy gets there, uses the mcguffin to open kingdom.
I remember being fascinated by crystal skulls in the early 90's when my tv aired Arthur C. Clarks Mysterious World series. Today I have a book from this show that has a Skull on the cover and its sheer brilliance. I always loved that image, and I love the fact that my most favorite hero is going to have an adventure piece with it!
What I most remember is the fact that they sent the skulls to a lab, and they scanned the thing and found it was made from a single piece of crystal which is incredible, also, they found that there were no microfractures or any indication of it to be etched by metal, so the only way to do one would be to use some meticulous method that would take 300 years or something. They said the skull was an impossibility, but it was there for all to see.
I just love this artifact! And now that I know the real mcguffin Lucas was saying all along, I totally agree with this.
In fact, atlantis sounds like just a big fake after the real hard facts on the skull.
I posted this in a thread about Atlantis that must have been deleted, but there's a blog by the guy in charge of continuity for Star Wars and Indy at Lucasfilm. He mentions some of the former references to the crystal skulls in the Indy mythos. The death of the loved one seems the most intriguing idea as well as the one about Atlantis:
I have been to the ruins in Southern Belize where the Mitchell Hedges Crystal Skull was found. I have looked into the Altar where Anna Hedges recovered it and even have a pic of the altar. Send me a PM or email for more info. I am at the moment in contact with Hedges niece and am trying to arrange a private viewing of the skull. There is so much I could share on this forum. Hope to talk to someone soon.
There was a show yesterday evening on TF1, a French television network about the thirty most mysterious cases in the world.
At number two (!) was the mystery surrounding the thirteen crystal skulls!
The footage they used to illustate the case began with a clip from Raiders of the Lost Ark, where the narrator explained that the myth of the crystal skulls will be used in the upcoming Indiana Jones movie...
They concluded by saying that when all the found crystal skulls had been united at one point, only a few turned out to be fake. The true origin of the others remains -until this day- the second greatest mystery know to man...
Someone on this board once said that the Mitchell-Hedges skull was a "fake" that was found to have been made in the 1800s....this is false. It turns out the man's daughter probably didn't find it like he said; he *bought* the item in Mexico in the late 1800s.
The skulls themselves are impossible to date, because carbon-dating only works on organic material. Several of the skulls have strange properties; they were wrought against the grain of the quartz, which would normally cause the rock to splinter and shatter. Even today, modern technology cannot work around this. It's a basic property of crystals that you must cut them with the grain, yet the skulls, including the MH skull, are cut against the grain.
Analysis of the skulls shows none of the microscopic markings that would indicate they were "hand made," without the ultra-precise machinery we have today. This is one reason they are thought to be "fake" or modern by some. Yet, even dating back to the 1800s, which is the last documented acquisition of many skulls, the technology to create them so precisely did not yet exist.
My problem with the movie was that they made the skulls look alien. None of the crystal skulls so far found have looked anything like that, certainly not the Mitchell Hedges skull ! They reference Mitchell Hedges in the film I think, then they come up with that skull that looks NOTHING like the one his daughter "found". I was disappointed !
I agree, but Lucas' sensationalism ! Not really something Spielberg wanted to do but he ( Lucas) sold him on " Inter-Dimensional Beings " instead of '50's Alien scare was more appealing I guess and we got what we got..
Sorry to get away from the subject ( Mitchell and Hedges and so on), all the skulls ( which really can't be justified as real from South America, they didn't have the technique to do the quality for not one but all the skulls in that fashion) are in question. They sensationalized how the Mayan and other tribes/civilizations in that area of the time used to shape their children's heads around/after birth to make them seem godly/otherworldly.