Indiana Jones and a mine trolley full of Thuggees argue over...
Are the Indiana Jones movies simply the fever dream Han Solo has while he’s encased in Carbonite? While we didn’t invent this theory we’ve been exploring it extensively on the podcast and we lay out what we think is the overwhelming evidence below. Let us know what you think…Has Pete the true believer been drinking too much carbonited Kool-Aid? Is resident skeptic Christy right that we’re just dreaming it all up?
Our story begins like many dreams (especially fevered ones brought on by sudden encasement in Carbonite): Han falls into a deep sleep and suddenly finds himself in a far away magical land called South America, a long time from now in 1936. Somewhere in the back of his mind he is troubled, for he vaguely remembers that he owes somebody a lot of money and he has to do something about it.
- In his dream Han has become Indiana Jones, famed seeker of lost treasure, part-time scoundrel and full-time hero. Very quickly into the dream he thinks he’s solved his money problems once and for all as he lays his hands on the golden Chachapoyan fertility idol. Han’s trademark grin shines through here. You can hear about this in Minute 9..
- As it slowly dawns on him that his problem might not be so easily solved, Indy glances up to see his old friend Snaggletooth from the Mos Eisley Cantina looking down at him from the wall of the Chachapoyan Temple. The first rock to fall on Indy after he mis-weighs the sand is literally a snaggletooth. The slow rate at which the temple begins to crumble is an obvious reference to Snaggletooth’s slow pace of drinking on Life Day Eve in the legendary Holiday Special. This is also in Minute 9.
- In Minute 10 Indy is chased out of this temporary refuge, a collapsing cave/not cave (“The cave is collapsing!” “This is no cave!”), by a large, gray object.
- As Indy flees the temple, chased by a mysterious nemesis, he runs past a pair of mules in Minute 12. They attempt to communicate with him in the Native Tatooiner (Tusken Raider) language, quite possibly warning him that if he continues on this path he will wind up with a son (Mutt? Ben?) that will one day be his undoing. If only he spoke Native Tatooiner, that nemesis shouts.
- As he dives for safety (in Minute 12) toward his flying means of escape, he sees OB-CPO written on the tail of Jock’s plane. Indy/Solo seems to be right on the border between subliminal and liminal awareness here. Even Christy would have to admit that Han never bothered to learn that C-3PO’s name isn’t actually CPO.
- When Indy finally nears the safety of the flying machine, the sound of Jock’s plane starting up is exactly the same as the Millennium Falcon’s hyperdrive. Minute 12.
- As often happens in dreams, our venue suddenly shifts and Han, always thinking of himself as the smartest guy in the room, is now a professor of archaeology at a prestigious west coast school. After imagining a room full of young women going gaga over his brilliance, he is confronted by a strangely familiar older authority figure. This figure negotiates a transaction (with a fair amount of flattery) with the words “no questions asked.” Minute 16.
- At this point in the dream, feelings of guilt and remorse seem to develop in Han’s subconscious. Somewhere deep inside he realizes that if he’d been a little less concerned about his reward, many lives might have been saved in the Battle of Yavin. The first pilot to die in that legendary fight was Red Six, a brave freedom fighter named Porkins. Han, obviously troubled by the thought that if he’d shown up just a little earlier Porkins might still be alive, suddenly finds himself confronted face-to-face with the great man himself. This unsung hero manifests himself in Han’s dream as Major Eaton, a name certainly symbolic of Porkins and his mighty stature. Minute 16.
- Han, never one to dwell on such thoughts for too long, suddenly turns his attention to his next treasure hunt. Our friend Alex Robinson from the Star Wars Minute points out in Minute 17 that the headpiece to the Staff of Ra Indy is describing is literally a disk-shaped falcon.
- Porkins once again tries to fight his way back into Han’s conscious thoughts. Han responds valiantly, trying to assuage his guilt for Porkins’ death by having Major Eaton pull up in Minute 19.
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Thank The Maker!
We'd like to extend our thanks and appreciation to Pete and Alex at the Star Wars Minute. They started this Minute Podcast idea and they were kind enough to let us steal it (although it's possible they're just averting their eyes and waiting for our faces to melt off).
If you haven't heard their absolutely fantastic podcast yet, please check it out:
We'd like to offer our most heartfelt thanks to the great Kevin Murphy (of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and RiffTrax fame) for writing our theme song!