Viewing Sequence of Indiana Jones?

Discussion in 'Lucasfilm Ltd. In-Depth Discussion' started by Darth-Seldon, Mar 25, 2005.

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  1. Darth-Seldon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2003
    star 6
    They have these types of threads for the Star Wars saga.
    The big argument is what viewing sequence to choose for the films.
    Should the audience watch the films in chronological order or the order they were released in?

    Both viewing experiences have benefits.

    The first option is to watch: Raiders of the Lost Ark, followed by Temple of Doom followed by The Last Crusade.
    The second option is:
    To watch:
    Utah: 1912 Sequence of Last Crusade
    1935: The Temple of Doom
    1936: Raiders of the Lost Ark
    1938 Part of the Last Crusade

    Watching the trilogy in the order that it was released in, is the best way to watch it for a character study of Indiana Jones. The first film he is serious, determined and mysterious. The second film explores his darker side as well as his best sides. He becomes more compassionate and more human. The final film is his back story and this wonderful tale of who he is, and where he came from. It is this great moral film which follows him and his father, where they?ve been and where they?re going. More is added to his character with each film.

    Watching it in chronological order (story wise) is also interesting. It begins with this wonderful introduction of what he is like as a child. Then we are mysteriously introduced to who he is as an adult while he is in Shanghai. In the Utah sequence he actually becomes a lion tamer, and in the plane sequence of Doom (a few minutes later) he is accused of looking like a lion tamer. Then after he becomes a hero in that film, we see him matched against Belloq and the Nazis. The two religious tales are back to back and it becomes sort of a Indy vs the Nazi duology. Then finally after watching two films, we learn what happens to Coronado?s cross, and we also learn what the father was working on in the 1912 sequence. The two parts of Last Crusade act as bookends for the story.

    So the question is if you were going to show the films to someone who has never seen them, which way would you show it? Order of release? Chronological Order (for the story)? Or another way?

    -Seldon
  2. Gobi-1 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 22, 2002
    star 5
    Intresting idea there. I don't think I'd ever watch the films in chronological order because I'd hate to keep switches dvds.
  3. Darth-Seldon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2003
    star 6
    You only really have to switch in the very beginning.
    It is a bit annoying to turn Crusade on, watch the first three DVD chapters and then switch, but after that point it is all normal.

    -Seldon
  4. malducin Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2001
    star 4
    I would say or prefer the release date order. And it's something that even happens in books (say Vernor Vinge's A Fire Upon the Deep and its prequel, or the Narnia chronicles of CS Lewis).

    Temple of Doom is fairly independent and it doesn't depend that much on how Indy is introduced in Raiders. Rader and Crusade are more dependant. But some details IMHO are better appreciated if watched in order: in Raiders seeing more Indy as both adventurer and professor, the thing with snakes is a bit more fun and why the bugs in Temple don't matter to him which leads to the joke about Willie and the comment about rats in Crusade, etc. Fairly minor but I like it better that way.
  5. george_starwars Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2002
    star 4
    I prefer to watch them in order of release. I think Raiders is the best introduction to the series. It's got a little of everything.

    Temple of Doom is independent, as is Last Crusade, so it doesn't really matter which one is watched before/after which.
  6. howardgarbo Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 29, 2005
    star 1
    This is an interesting question to ask.

    The Indy series are set up similar to the James Bond films (no plot connections to each other save for a returning main character and supporting characters). So I feel that viewing them in the order they came out is the best way to introduce someone new to the series.

  7. Tyranus_the_Hutt Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 14, 2004
    star 4
    Like many good pictures, the films which comprise the "Indiana Jones" saga can be watched either independently, sequentially, or in any discernible order. The films do not explicitly relate a "developing" narrative story, so it isn't imperative to view them in any set systematic fasion. This is despite the fact that the movies concern some recurring characters, and the same central heroic figure anchors each of the installments. There is a an underlying story, but it appears to be less a product of grand design, than of an arbitrary series of homages to classic Hollywood serials.

    The first ("Raiders of the Lost Ark") and third films ("Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade") share an aesthetic similarity, as they are referencing the same sort of serialized film. I believe that Spielberg designed "Last Crusade" so that it would (for the most part) both tonally and thematically echo the first chapter of the series, creating not only a nice series of parallels, but also a "bookend" structure to the series, which, in its execution, brings a sense of closure to the material (yet the three principles, Spielberg, Lucas, and Ford, maintain that they wish to pursue a fourth entry into the series - rumors persist that Lucas himself has now personally undertaken script revisions...but that's another story). The movies seem less complete emotionally than they do through their inherent and respective textures and rhythms, some of the many qualities which give the films life and energy.

    Darth-Seldon - Your suggestion that the segments of the films be watched in chronological order is an interesting one. This reminds me of when Francis Ford Coppola produced a "grand edit" of "The Godfather" and "The Godfather, Part II" into one 386-minute film called "The Godfather: The Complete Epic, 1902-1958", in which the events of the first two pictures were arranged in a linear and chronological manner, so that the story of the Corleone family could develop qualities similar to that of a rich, complicated, and epic novel. While the "Indiana Jones" films are not exactly in the same category as "The Godfather", particularly concerning notions such as character and storytelling, it would be sort of interesting to see a master edit of all of the events in the "Jones" saga, arranged in a fashion similar to that employed by Coppola. Food for thought.

    I notice that I have not yet formally answered the question posed in this thread. I would probably choose to show a neophyte viewer each of the films in the order that they were originally released. As I have mentioned, while some semblence of a connecting arc does exist, the films are largely self-contained, and can therefore be viewed in any order.

    With all due respect, Darth-Seldon, I probably wouldn't go as far as to call "The Last Crusade" a "great moral film"; sure, the picture does convey some sense of morality, albeit relatively straightforward and uncomplicated morality, within its characters and situations, but this movie doesn't really fall in the same category as, say, "Judgement at Nuremburg".
  8. howardgarbo Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 29, 2005
    star 1
    Good post there Tyrannus.

    I wouldn't be too surprised if Lucas really did release the Indy series in a chronological fashion, since after all he's become notorious for his constant re-tinkering and such.
  9. Darth-Seldon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2003
    star 6
    In regard to the "great moral comment", I was speaking in regard to the trilogy not to films in general. Of the trilogy, Crusade is the film of lessons and morals.

    -Seldon
  10. Handmaiden Yané Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 15, 2002
    star 6
    I watch it this way:

    Raiders of the Lost Ark
    Temple of Doom
    The Last Crusade
  11. LordSilvertouch Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 19, 2003
    star 4
    Well they didn't get famous by GL, SS and HF stopping the film at the cinema three chapters in and then switching the reel to a different movie, so i'd show them in the order which everybody has grown to love them in.

    After all, we all were introduced to them in release order, and they seem pretty popular around here :p
  12. Darth-Seldon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2003
    star 6
    I'm not being a critic of the popular viewing order. These films are classic, and I love them as much as the next fan. I'm simply discussing in terms of story, which order would be most interesting. It is just something to think about.

    -Seldon
  13. Spirit-Of-77 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 26, 2005
    I watch it this way:

    Raiders of the Lost Ark
    Temple of Doom
    The Last Crusade


    Me too. This is also how I would show them to someone who's never seen them before.
    For one thing... in "Temple," the scene where Indy faces two swordsmen is an intentional joke reference to the Arab swordsman scene in "Raiders." Johnny Williams even uses a music snippet of "The Basket Game" in the "Temple" scene.
  14. TheWhiteTuxedo Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2004
    star 1
    I've watche dall three back-to-back only once. I watched Temple of Doom forst. That's just me. If I were showing them to someone for the first time, I would show in their release order. Or maybe show them Temple of Doom last. I think Raiders and Crusade make a great double feature.
  15. arwen_sith Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2005
    star 4
    If I were showing the films to someone for the first time, I'd go for the release order. Last time I watched them, it was all wrong: first Last Crusade, Raiders, then Temple of Doom. That was an unusual situation, though, because I borrowed the movies from a friend for a week, and my sister only had time to watch one episode with me, and she chose Crusade.
  16. TheAlternateReality Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2005
    star 1
    I would show them the young indy movies first, then the theatrical films.
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