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1912, "Young Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade"

[Depicted in the opening scene of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, directed and executive produced by Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. In this film young Indiana Jones is played by actor River Phoenix]

  • At some point in 1912, Henry and Indiana move to Moab, Utah, where Henry is teaching at a nearby university and Indiana is actively involved in the Boy Scouts, going as far as to achieve the rank as a ‘Life Scout’.

  • Around this time Henry has also instructed Indiana to read Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Parzival, a medieval German poem written sometime in the 13th century that revolves around the sacred Holy Grail.

  • One day during an expedition with the Boy Scouts at Arches National Park, Indiana and his friends wander off into the Indian tunnels of the desert cliffs, where they find a crew of thieves who are looting the caves. One object that they find is the Cross of Coronado, an object that Indiana believes belongs in a museum.

  • While the crew of thieves is preoccupied with their other findings, Indiana lifts the Cross of Coronado and escapes the tunnels by horseback until he arrives at a circus train, where he comes face to face with the perpetrators who followed him.

  • On the circus train Indiana falls into a barrel of snakes, creating his lifelong aversion to the reptile species.

  • He also learns how to use a whip against a lion, which begins his lifelong affinity for his favorite weapon of choice.

  • Indiana ultimately outwits the thieves and escapes the train through a magic box, which allows him to promptly return back to his home on foot.

  • Upon returning home, Indiana desperately tries to get his father’s attention, however, Henry is too busy working on The Grail, and instructs Indiana to wait and count to 10 in Greek; a language that at the time was the only way of communication between father and son.

  • As he waits numerous men arrive at their door, including the thieves he previously escaped who appear to be backed by the Sheriff, whom to Indiana’s surprise makes him return the Cross of Coronado to it’s “rightful owners.”

  • As they leave the leader of the crew takes a moment to admire Indiana’s courage, saying to him “You lost today kid, but that doesn’t mean you have to like it,” followed by taking his fedora off and putting it on Indiana’s head as a sign of respect, thus marking the very beginning of what would become one of Indiana’s most signature trademarks.


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