Henry Jones Jr. is back in the latest installment of the ’Indiana Jones’ series.courtesy photo
Henry Jones Jr. always had an independent streak, beginning with his choice to assume “Indiana” as his first name. According to his father, Henry Sr., played by Sean Connery in “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” (1989), the son whom the distinguished archaeologist principally knows as “Junior” borrowed the name “Indiana” from the family dog.
“I had a lot of fond memories of that dog,” the grown-up Henry Jr., played by Harrison Ford, wistfully recalled toward the end of “The Last Crusade.”
In any event, young Indiana, played at various times by River Phoenix in “The Last Crusade” and Sean Patrick Flanery on the TV series, “The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles” (1992-93), inherited his father’s scientific curiosity about occult lore and ancient artifacts. On his own, however, he developed a passion for the perils of the hunt almost as great as his yen for acquisition — or as he puts it in “Temple of Doom,” “fortune and glory.”
The first Indiana Jones movie, “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981), was set in 1936 with Jones pressed into service by the U.S. government to keep the Nazi government of German Chancellor Adolf Hitler from acquiring the Ark of the Covenant. His partner in this quest was Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen), the surly, hard-drinking daughter of Jones’ former and since deceased colleague.
The second movie, “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” (1984), was actually a prequel to the first, taking place in 1935 when Jones, having escaped poisoning by a Chinese gangster, finds himself in India with his young Asian sidekick Short Round (Ke Huy Quan) and a nightclub chanteuse (Kate Capshaw) in tow. A small village wants the archaeologist to recover precious stones and their children, all now in the hands of a sinister cult.
“Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” set in 1938, continues Indiana’s one-man war against the Nazi regime, which, having lost the Ark of the Covenant, now seeks an even bigger prize: The Holy Grail. Henry Sr., being after the same thing, is in German clutches from which “Junior” struggles to release him — and, by the way, pick up the grail as well.
The latest view we have of Dr. Henry Jones Jr. is as an old man, played by George Hall in “Young Indiana Jones,” wearing an eye patch. It’s somewhere near the 1990s. You’d figure he’d last that long, but ... how did he lose that eye anyway?