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‘Indiana Jones 5’ Director James Mangold Explains the Fate of Shia LaBeouf’s Character and the ‘Wild Swing’ Ending

By Adam B. Vary

Adam B. Vary

Senior Entertainment Writer

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(L-R): Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) and Helena (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) in Lucasfilm's INDIANA JONES AND THE DIAL OF DESTINY. ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

SPOILER ALERT: This story discusses major plot developments, including the ending, of “ Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny ,” currently playing in theaters .

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Except, Mangold says, he realized he didn’t want do to that.

“I couldn’t find a way to wrap my head around going back to the past and stopping Mads from doing his nefarious deeds to continue the Third Reich,” Mangold told Variety in early June. “It lacked wonder and was going to turn into kind of a cat and mouse thing. I felt like we’d be better off if that’s what people are anticipating, but that we really pull the tablecloth out from under the dishes at the last minute.”

The moment is foreshadowed early in the film, when we see Indy lecturing a class of indifferent college students about how Archimedes invented a series of ingenious mechanisms to repel the invading Roman navy. Mangold saw in the ending a chance to give Indy the opportunity — after a lifetime spent seeking out relics of bygone eras in history — to actually witness that history first hand.

“He’s suddenly in the midst of it,” the director said. “I also thought it presented us with a kind of audacious turn which I thought was a staple of these movies.”

Putting a Nazi warplane alongside a fleet of Roman triremes is certainly a big swing, but Mangold thought it of a piece with the climaxes of 1981’s “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and 1989’s “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.”

“It’s no more of a wild swing in my mind than ghouls flying out of a box and melting people’s heads through the sheer power of dark angels, or a 700-year-old knight existing in a cave for perpetuity,” Mangold said. “These are all beyond the scope of all physical belief.”

More importantly, it provided Indy with a chance to express an almost existential grief. We learn in “The Dial of Destiny” that Indy’s son, Mutt Williams — first introduced in 2008’s “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” as played by Shia LaBeouf — was killed in the Vietnam War, and the anguish over that loss shattered Indy’s marriage to his beloved Marion Ravenwood ( Karen Allen ). As an injured Indy looks over the battlefield, he tearfully tells Helena that he doesn’t want to go back to his home in 1969. He believes he has nothing to go home to.

“That seemed to me to be right emotionally,” Mangold said, “that a disillusioned hero could end up at this wonderful tumultuous moment in world history and — with his son gone and his wife gone — that he’d picture himself staying in the place he loves best, which is this imagining these worlds.”

The decision to kill off Mutt evokes some baggage that has nothing to do with “The Dial of Destiny.” Two years after the release of “Crystal Skull,” LaBeouf told the Los Angeles Times that the movie “dropped the ball” and that “there was a reason it wasn’t universally accepted.” In 2016, LaBeouf went even further, telling Variety that “I don’t like the movies that I made with Spielberg,” and that he found working with the filmmaker to be disillusioning: “He’s less a director than he is a fucking company.” 

But Mangold said LaBeouf’s scorched earth interviews did not factor into his decision about Mutt’s fate.

For Mangold, that was getting to explore what it meant for Indy to look back a lifetime of regret and loss and find himself ready to disappear into history, quite literally. But he also never entertained the possibility of fulfilling Indy’s desire to stay behind.

“Unless we established him healing and setting up shop and remarrying and finding a beautiful Sicilian house to live in — I guess there was a way of doing it, but I didn’t imagine it,” he said. “I felt like he had to come home. He had to clean things up. He had to own what happened to him and Marion, and the amount of loneliness and disappointment in himself he’s carrying about his inability to navigate that between them.”

With Indy intractably set on remaining stuck in antiquity, Helena cold cocks him to get back on the plane and through the time fissure so they can all return to 1969. In the next scene, he wakes up in his New York City apartment, and discovers that Helena has called Marion and convinced her to come back to see him again. 

Asked about working with Karen Allen , Mangold broke into a wide grin.

“She’s so wonderful,” he said. “She’s such a beautiful soul. And I can’t imagine how hard it was for her because she’s stepping into a movie that had been shooting for a long time. But it was really moving to me.”

The film ends with a reprise of the famous scene from “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” when an injured Indy cajoles Marion into kissing the parts of his body that don’t hurt . In “The Dial of Destiny,” the roles are reversed, with Indy tenderly apologizing for the heartache he’s caused Marion, and kissing the parts of her she says don’t hurt.

Mangold credits the Butterworths for coming up with the callback. “I thought it was just brilliant,” Mangold says. “I didn’t know what to do. It just seemed like a gift the second they showed me this idea. It’s one of the great encapsulations of their relationship and a memory that everyone knows the second they hear that, ‘Where?’ They remember that movie.”

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How Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny’s Time Travel Works

This time, it's the years AND the mileage!

Harrison Ford smiling as he explores a cave with Phoebe Waller-Bridge behind him in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.

  • The Time Travel In Indiana Jones 5

Who's Time Traveling?

From when to when, the purpose of their trip.

  • How Time Travel Happens In Indiana Jones 5
  • Can History Be Changed As A Result Of Time Travel In Indiana Jones 5?
  • What Are The Consequences Of Time Travel In Indiana Jones 5?

Give ‘Em Hell, Indiana Jones!

Warning: spoilers for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny are in play. If you haven’t seen Harrison Ford ’s final Indy adventure just yet, you’ve been warned. 

Welcome back to the CinemaBlend Time Travel Lab, dear readers! This is the place where from here to there in the then and now is one of our specialties, and I’m glad to be continuing the good work that was revived when we explained how The Flash’s time travel works . Our latest case study is a wild one, as we’ve got a rogue traveler trying to change the outcome of World War II, with good old Indiana Jones along for the ride.

Yes friends, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is the topic of discussion today. So spoilers will be as plentiful as the Nazi goons that Harrison Ford wipes off the map. Don’t worry, our time travel archives are always open for business, and our official review of Indiana Jones 5 is also available, should you need something to read up on in the meantime. But from this point forward, it’s time for a date with destiny! 

The Time Travel In Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny

Mads Mikkelsen and Thomas Kretschmann looking into a glowing crate in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.

For a franchise that’s seen voodoo, a well of souls, and even the Holy Grail in the mix, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny mixes things up a bit with time travel. And it definitely fits, based on what happens as a result.

A whole mess of characters get to go on this time-bending adventure. But our main passengers are Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford), his goddaughter Helena Shaw ( Phoebe Waller-Bridge ), and their nemesis Jürgen Voller ( Mads Mikkelsen ). Also, a bunch of Nazis who become canon fodder, because this is an Indiana Jones movie.

1969 is our home base in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny , with August 20th being the day in question. While Jürgen Voller’s intent was to go back to August 20th 1939, his efforts overshoot the mark…into 212 BC.

You know how some people want to go back in time and kill Hitler? Well in Indiana Jones 5 we’ve got a Nazi who wants to do just that…because Voller thinks he’d be a better Fuhrer than old Adolf. That's a motivation we hadn't heard before. Who would have thought it’d take a bad guy to put a fresh spin on this old chestnut?


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How Time Travel Happens In Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny

The Antikythera, shown in action in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.

Welcome to the Antikythera, or “Archimedes’ Dial,” which invokes a similar naming dilemma as whether you should call Nicholas Flamel’s alchemic miracle the Sorcerer’s Stone or Philosopher’s Stone. Though much like the Time Turner that made Harry Potter’s time travel possible, the famed Grecian mathematician’s Indiana Jones MacGuffin, the Antikythera helps its user go back in time. 

Now you can’t just go anywhere in time, like in Back to the Future , another franchise shepherded by Executive Producer Steven Spielberg . Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny’s titular device is, in theory, supposed to detect “fissures” in the fabric of time. Were one to find such a fissure and cross through it, they would wind up in another point in time, on the same day, in the same location on the map.

Franchise producer Frank Marshall laid out Indiana Jones’ approach to time travel quite aptly with one key phrase: “it’s math and time.” All one has to do is set the Antikythera to the date in question, and the device calculates the coordinates of the relevant fissure. Those openings just happen to open at high altitude, so an aircraft will be required to get to where you’re going. And you’d better be quick, as those fissures only stay open for a short window of time; no pun intended.

However, there’s two outstanding factors that make Jürgen Voller’s little mission a failure. The first is that Archemedes didn’t know about Continental Drift theory, so the coordinates the dial spits out are invalid without some extra calculations. And the second is, per Helena Shaw’s observation in Indiana Jones’ latest expedition, Archimedes always intended the Antikythera to bring its user to the Siege of Syracuse.

Archimedes’ dial was a “forced deck” intended to scare the Romans into fleeing Syracuse. Like the man himself said, Indy was always destined to arrive at that moment. 

Can History Be Changed As A Result Of Time Travel In Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny?

Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

In theory, one could change history in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny’s time travel adventure. Helena Shaw is vociferous in this belief, as she tries (and succeeds) in stopping a dejected Indy from staying in the past. Also, thanks to those markings at Archemedes’ tomb in Sicilly depicting an aircraft as a Phoenix, as well as the presence of a ‘60s wristwatch on his remains, some might see that as a change.

However, taking into account the “forced deck” nature of the Antikythera, and Archemedes’ specific programming for it to bring the users to him, a new angle presents itself. This isn’t “changing” history, but rather an outlier in time where a natural barrier was exploited, creating the reality we’re in now. 

Whether you call it an “inevitable intersection” or a “fixed point in time,” this was always going to happen in the Indiana Jones franchise’s timeline. History could be changed, but I haven’t seen enough evidence to suggest that it would stick.  

What Are The Consequences Of Time Travel In Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny?

Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones in The Dial of Destiny

There aren’t all that many consequences involved in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny’s time travel. Not unless you count Dr. Henry Walton Jones Jr. having a different outlook on life, and trying to make things right with estranged wife Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen). Again, this whole trip was set up by Archemedes, and the world’s chain of events don’t deviate. 

If anything, the largest change is that a whole bunch of Nazis died all spicy like, thanks to Roman warfare. Which, as we stated before, seems par for the course in the Indiana Jones adventures. So is that really a consequence, or is that just a feature at this point? 

John Rhys-Davies as Sallah in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

Well, I think this latest trip into time has been a rousing success, don’t you? Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny closes out the famed franchise once and for all, and all we got out of it was this fedora someone had lying around. 

Well, I get to keep that, as our contract with Tempus Fugit Insurance clearly states that any artifacts procured during CinemaBlend time travel excursions go straight…to the museum. I’ll have to think very carefully about what I nab next time, as we’ll once more be heading into some uncharted waters the next time we meet.

It hasn’t been decided which temporally charged adventure should be tackled next, as the various variants of me need to meet and decide. Much like The Terminator’s time travel , the future isn’t set, but rather decided over martinis. Until next time fellow travelers, don’t forget the olives, or the Continental Drift, when venturing forth into the seas of time.

Mike Reyes

Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.

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does indiana jones time travel

Indiana Jones looks panicked as he drives a cart with Helena and Teddy in the backseat in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

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The case for and against Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny’s bonkers ending

But frankly, it’s mostly the case against

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Like every Indiana Jones movie after 1984’s Temple of Doom , Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is here to remind you of Raiders of the Lost Ark . It has all the hits: world-hopping archaeologist Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) reluctantly facing snakes and dutifully facing Nazis. Plus: John Rhys-Davies playing an Egyptian! The film is so dead-set on nostalgic thrills, it’s easy to forget that director James Mangold, alongside writers David Koepp and Jez and John-Henry Butterworth, are very consciously telling a story about an Indiana Jones at the end of his career, and have a genuine interest in taking him somewhere new for what’s intended as his final bow .

This means Dial of Destiny ’s last act might come as a complete surprise for viewers, even though the film teases it as a possibility throughout. It’s perhaps the most jarring Indiana Jones moment since — well, the ending of the previous Indiana Jones film, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull . If nothing else, it carries forward a rich tradition of unforgettable endings to Indy’s adventures. It also feels like it’s contrary to the spirit of every Indiana Jones movie before it. Let’s talk about it.

[ Ed. note: Spoilers for the entirety of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny follow.]

How does Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny end?

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny follows Indy and many other less savory folks as they race to find the Antikythera , the Greek name for the film’s eponymous Dial of Destiny. Also called the Archimedes Dial after its inventor, the Greek mathematician Archimedes, the Dial is allegedly a compass of sorts, one that points to anomalies in space and time.

Jürgen Voller (Mads Mikkelsen), the film’s villain, is a former Nazi scientist who got into the U.S. government’s good graces by helping with the moon landing and pretending to have been reformed. Secretly, he’s after the Dial in the hopes that he can use it to travel back in time to World War II and lead the Nazis to victory. What actually happens is stranger than that.

Mads Mikkelsen as Doctor Jürgen Voller opens a crate while two Nazi soldier overlook, shining a flashlight inside in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.

The Dial works as advertised, leading Voller to a rift in time at the center of a storm. But Voller’s calculations are wrong — the portal doesn’t take his plane full of secret Nazis back to the war, but to the Sicilian city of Syracuse circa 212 BCE, when the city was under siege by the Romans. It’s the battle where Archimedes dies.

The final fight in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny involves Indy and his goddaughter Helena (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) defeating the Nazis while avoiding the Romans. In the end, the heroes succeed, but Indy suffers a grievous injury. Helena wants to save him and bring him back to the present, but Indy is moved by the living history around him, and after meeting Archimedes himself, says he wants to die there in the past.

Helena, smartly, knocks Indy out and brings him back to the present of 1969, where he can be hospitalized and saved.

The case for Dial of Destiny’s ending

In an interview with Uproxx , director James Mangold notes that the artifact in an Indiana Jones movie is like Chekhov’s gun — the ancient object discussed in the first act has to go off in the third and show its power. It also, he argues, must tie into Indy’s personal journey, and help him resolve whatever he’s struggling with.

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is set at a point in Indy’s life where he doesn’t feel like he belongs anymore. Mankind has made it to the moon, his son Mutt (Shia LaBeouf in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull ) died off screen in Vietnam, his marriage with Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen) is over, and he’s about to retire from his long career as a professor. There is a strong thematic resonance in the idea of Indiana Jones yearning to hide in the past, and wanting to remain there when he miraculously ends up in an era he devoted his life to studying.

Trouble is, it’s incongruous with the Indiana Jones movies before it.

The case against Dial of Destiny’s ending

Even though the same two people — Steven Spielberg and George Lucas — shepherded every prior Indiana Jones movie, each film is a wildly different flavor of pulp throwback. One thing is consistent, though: The artifact at the center of each story blurs the line between fact and fiction, lying on the threshold of history and myth.

“Archaeology is the search for fact, not truth ,” Indy tells his classroom at the start of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade . It’s a clever line that sums up both Indy’s biggest drive and his biggest blind spot: He resolutely believes that history is discoverable and explainable, even as he’s continually encountering things that defy explanation, and growing as a person because of it.

Indiana Jones crosses a bridge in shadow in a still from the untitled Indiana Jones 5 movie

In Dial of Destiny , Indy is skeptical of the Dial’s abilities, but it doesn’t ultimately force him to confront something he doesn’t understand. In fact, it tempts him with a version of the world he already knows.

While it is jarring and a bit silly to see Indiana Jones talking to Archimedes, Dial of Destiny ’s script does set the moment up thematically, and a solid argument could be made for it within the logic of the film. Take a step back, though, and the ending becomes a metaphor for the ways a franchise gets hollowed out as sequel after sequel pile up, and the story gets further away from its center.

The Indiana Jones movies were always throwbacks to pulp adventure serials. They were in 1981 when Raiders of the Lost Ark premiered, and they were in 2008 with Kingdom of the Crystal Skull — a film that, while derided, was designed to evoke ’50s sci-fi the way the previous films in the franchise evoked movies like the 1939 adventure Gunga Din . While Dial of Destiny is all about a compass, it doesn’t lead its viewers anywhere but to other Indiana Jones films. It bends the franchise into a navel-gazing ouroboros. Superficially, as Mangold says, it’s a story about moving on. But it isn’t — it’s a regressive story about Indy choosing a world he knows, and history he knows. And it’s about the franchise itself retreating into self-parody. Much like Indiana himself, this final installation of the series is stuck in the past — and shows no indication of what a problematic message that is.

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Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny ending explained: your biggest questions answered

We break down the twists and turns of that wild Indy 5 ending

Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

The Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny ending certainly goes wild, with that titular Dial taking the plot in a very unexpected direction. With so much going on, you might have missed a few key details – but that's where we come in. 

With the movie now in US theaters, we've broken down the major twists and turns in the Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny ending and explained exactly what happened, answering your biggest and most burning questions in the process. 

Dial of Destiny sees Harrison Ford return to his iconic role for one last adventure, while newcomers to the cast include Phoebe Waller-Bridge as Indy's goddaughter Helena Shaw, Mads Mikkelsen as the sinister Dr. Voller, Antonio Banderas as Indy's pal Renaldo, and Toby Jones as Helena's father, Basil Shaw. 

It should go without saying, but the following contains major spoilers for Indiana Jones 5. Turn back now if you haven't seen the movie yet! For everyone else, destiny awaits…

Indiana Jones 5 ending explained

Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

The Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny ending gets pretty complicated once time travel enters the equation. After tracking both halves of the Antikythera down across the globe, Indy (Harrison Ford), Helena (Phoebe Waller-Bridge), and Teddy (Ethann Bergua-Isidore) are discovered by Dr. Voller (Mads Mikkelsen) and his henchmen. 

Indy gets shot, but it's not a fatal wound. He's taken captive by Voller and co. and ends up at an airbase. Voller then explains his sinister plan: he intends on using the Dial to go back in time to August 20, 1939, in Munich, Germany. There, he will kill Adolf Hitler and replace him, with Voller believing that he himself could win the Second World War instead. 

Meanwhile, Helena sneaks onboard the plane carrying Indy, while Teddy steals a plane of his own. 

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As the Nazis set the Dial to travel back in time, Indy, watching items in the plane move across the ground, comes to a realization: Voller hasn't accounted for continental drift (that's essentially the term for the continents shifting as tectonic plates move). Since Archimedes had no way of knowing about continental drift (it wasn't observed until the 20th Century), he couldn't have factored it into the Dial. That means Voller's calculations are off, and his coordinates are wrong. Voller wavers, then at the last moment tries to stop the plane – but it's too late. 

The plane emerges through the portal into… ancient Sicily. The siege of Syracuse in 212 BC, to be specific. In real life, that's when Archimedes was killed by a Roman soldier. Things go differently for him in the movie, though, as it's revealed that he built the Dial specifically to bring help from the future to stop the siege. 

Helena and Indy manage to escape Voller's plane together with a parachute, while the Roman fleet shoots it down with giant bolts. The impact kills everyone onboard, and Archimedes comes across Voller's badly burned body and takes his watch (which could well be the very same watch Indy and Helena found in his tomb). He also finds the completed Antikythera. 

Indy and Helena get away from the action, but Indiana reveals that he plans on staying behind. He's been studying history his whole life, but, if he stays, he'll get to actually live it. Helena isn't pleased with this, though – then Archimedes joins the fray. He and his companion save Indy and Helena from a Roman soldier, then Archimedes hands back the Dial. Indy tells Archimedes he plans on staying behind, but Helena still objects. The argument ends with Helena punching her godfather in the face, knocking him out. 

Later, Indy wakes back up in the right time period. "You're meant to be here, Indy," Helena tells him, to which he replies: "For who?" But then, Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen) enters the apartment. She and Indy were going through a divorce following the death of their son, who was killed in action in Vietnam. 

"Someone told me you were back," Marion says. "Are you back, Indy?" The duo then repeat the "Where doesn't it hurt?" moment from Raiders of the Lost Ark, in a romantic reconciliation. 

The film ends with Indy's famous hat hanging outside the apartment – though, right before the screen goes to black, Indy's hand shoots outside to grab it again. 

What is the Dial of Destiny?

Phoebe Waller-Bridge in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

The Dial of Destiny, AKA the Antikythera, is a time-traveling device built by the mathematician Archimedes, who lived in ancient times. Archimedes split it into two parts, however, but left a clue to the location of the hidden second half. When fit back together, the Dial can be used to locate fissures in time and visit the past.

But, it comes with a catch. It turns out Archimedes built the dial only to bring himself help from the future during the siege of Syracuse, Sicily when his home was under attack from invading Roman forces. That throws a wrench into Voller's sinister plans, to say the least. 

You may be surprised to learn that the Antikythera is in fact a real, historical device  –  though it (probably) wasn't used to go back in time. The Antikythera mechanism was discovered in 1901 on a Roman shipwreck near the Greek island of Antikythera, much like in the movie. The device, now seen as the first analog computer, was a clockwork model of the solar system which could be used to track and predict astronomical positions and events. No one knows for sure who invented it in real life, though Archimedes is one of the possible candidates.

Who is Archimedes?

Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones 5

Archimedes is a major character in Dial of Destiny, but he was also very much a real person. As depicted in the film, he was an inventor and mathematician from Syracuse, living from 287 BC to 212 BC, who was lightyears ahead of his time. His inventions helped to defend Syracuse during the siege. 

But, unlike his fictional counterpart, Archimedes was actually killed by a Roman soldier during the siege of Syracuse. We're going to assume that's because he didn't really invent time travel and so couldn't call Indiana Jones for help. 

Why does Voller want the Dial?

Mads Mikkelsen in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

Dr. Voller goes to great lengths to get hold of the Antikythera, beginning in the flashback at the start of the film. He plans on using it to travel back in time to Munich, Germany on August 20, 1939, where he intends to kill Adolf Hitler. But, Voller isn't doing this for the good of humankind – instead, he plans on replacing Hitler, believing he understands why the evil dictator lost the Second World War. Voller intends to lead the Nazis himself and win the war, but, thankfully, his plan fails and he is killed when his plane is shot down in the siege of Syracuse.  

What is continental drift?

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

Put simply, continental drift is the movement of the continents across the planet, caused by shifting tectonic plates. As Indy points out, this wasn't observed until well after Archimedes's time, so there's no way he could account for it with the Antikythera. The movements of the continents over millennia means that Voller's calculations are all wrong – but it doesn't matter anyway, because Indy and Helena discover that Archimedes built the Antikythera solely with the intention of getting help in the siege of Syracuse. That means Voller couldn't go back to Nazi Germany even if his calculations were perfect. 

Does Indiana Jones die?

Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones 5

Indy is shot by Voller and spends much of the third act wounded. When all is said and done in Syracuse, Indy tells Helena that he wants to stay behind. After all, as an archaeologist, he's studied ancient history all his life – and now he gets to experience it firsthand. Helena is seriously against this plan, though, insisting that Indy returns home, but he's just as stubborn. For a moment, it really looks like Indy is going to stay behind, getting his own bizarre happy ending – and effectively killing him off, since he wouldn't exist in the present day anymore. 

Ultimately, though, Helena punches her godfather in the face, knocking him out, and gets him home offscreen. We have to say, we never thought we'd be this happy to see Indiana Jones get punched. 

Who is Helena Shaw?

Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones 5

Helena is none other than Indy's goddaughter, but since he hasn't seen her for some time, he doesn't recognize her when she shows up. She's the daughter of Basil Shaw, who was driven mad by his quest for the Dial. When Helena reconnects with Indy, she's actually looking for the Antikythera to sell it at an illegal auction. 

What happened to Basil Shaw?

De-aged Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones 5

Basil was a friend of Indy's, seen in the opening flashback and in another flashback later in the movie. After he and Indy stumbled across one half of the Antikythera on the Nazi train, Basil became obsessed with the Dial and believed it could be used for time travel. His fixation on the Dial led to Indy taking it (or one half of it, anyway) from his friend – which is also the last time he saw Helena, until she reappeared much later. 

Who was that at the end?

Raiders of the Lost Ark

At the end of the movie, when Helena tells Indy he's where he's meant to be, he heartbreakingly asks, "For who?" Cue the entrance of one very special person in particular: it's none other than Karen Allen's Marion Ravenwood! She first appeared in Raiders of the Lost Ark; in that film, she and Indiana Jones were revealed to have had a relationship in the past, though he left her heartbroken. They reconnected in the course of the movie, but she wasn't seen again until Kingdom of the Crystal Skull . In that movie, it was revealed that she and Indy actually had a son together – Shia LaBeouf's Mutt (real name Henry). 

Indy and Marion got married in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, but in Dial of Destiny, we learn that they're in the process of divorcing following the death of their son. Marion's return, though, seems to be an emotional happy ending for the adventurer. 

What happened to Indiana Jones's son Mutt?

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Mutt does not appear in Dial of Destiny, though he's seen in photographs. Indy explains to Helena that his son died after enlisting in the army, so presumably Mutt was killed in action in Vietnam. Tragically, Indy says Mutt only signed up to annoy him. 

Does Short Round appear? 

Ke Huy Quan in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Despite all the attention Ke Huy Quan has been getting lately – and those heartwarming moments with Harrison Ford – Short Round does not have any type of role in Dial of Destiny. We're still holding out hope we'll see him again someday, though.

Will there be an Indiana Jones 6?

Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

The Dial of Destiny ends on a very final note – even if Indy grabbing his hat might suggest he's still up for the occasional adventure or two. We can safely assume we won't be seeing those escapades, though, since there is no sequel set-up, no post-credits scenes, and Harrison Ford has been very clear that this is his final time playing Indiana Jones. Instead, we'll have to content ourselves with imagining Indy out there on all his future adventures. 

That's a wrap on the Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny ending explained. For even more on the movie, check out our other pieces through the links: 

  • Our  Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny interview with the cast and director
  • Harrison Ford and James Mangold's favorite Dial of Destiny memory
  • Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall look back on over 40 years of Indiana Jones
  • Our  Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny Cannes interview 
  • Why  Harrison Ford doesn't want to reflect on his old movies
  • Mads Mikkelsen is desperate to play a zombie
  • Mads Mikkelsen recalls meeting Harrison Ford   
  • Does Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny have a post-credits scene?
  • Kathleen Kennedy reveals the Rey and James Mangold Star Wars movies are linked

Molly Edwards

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after graduating with a BA in English. 

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does indiana jones time travel

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Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny ending: Explaining that time-travel twist

Can you change the past?

preview for Mads Mikkelsen & Phoebe Waller-Bridge | Indiana Jones 5

In a series that has used the actual Holy Grail as a MacGuffin, the fact that Indiana Jones 5 ended up being about time travel made sense. Given that it was the final movie though, fans were worried that Indiana Jones ( Harrison Ford ) would be killed off.

Did that end up being the case? We're about to head into some major spoilers for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny , so look away now if you haven't seen the movie yet.

harrison ford, indiana jones and the dial of destiny

Indiana Jones 5 ending explained: Does Indy die?

Indy and Helena (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) manage to make it to the second half of the dial first, which is buried with Archimedes (Nasser Memarzia) at the Ear of Dionysius in Sicily. When they uncover his skeleton, Archimedes is holding a watch – which, obviously, wasn't around in his time.

Before they can question that further, Voller arrives and Indy gives him the other half of the dial after Voller threatens Helena. Indy gets shot when Helena's ally Teddy arrives and tries to get the dial back, before Voller and the Nazis leave with Indy.

Helena and Teddy follow them to an airport where Voller intends to use the dial to travel back in time to August 20, 1939. He wants to kill Adolf Hitler and take over the Nazis, rewriting every mistake he feels that Hitler made which led to them losing the war. Helena manages to sneak onto the plane, while Teddy steals another plane to follow.

As predicted, the dial knew of a temporal anomaly in the sky that will allow anybody who passes through it to travel to a specific place in time. Voller believes that destination will be August 20, 1939, but before they travel through, Indy realises that Archimedes could never have known about continental drift when he made the dial.

harrison ford, indiana jones and the dial of destiny

The calculations are clearly off and when they go through the temporal anomaly (with Teddy close behind), they find themselves at the Siege of Syracuse in 213BC. Unsurprisingly, the Romans start attacking the "dragons" (planes) in the sky which Archimedes clearly expected to arrive.

If you're surprised that Indy's story didn't take him back to Germany, that was entirely the point.

"I felt we needed something more shocking, something bolder, and something that also affected Indy. If he had gone back to Nazi Germany, he would simply be a hero trying to stop Voller from doing his plan," director James Mangold told io9 in December 2023.

"If he ended up where he does end up in the film, he was going to be facing bigger questions about his own life and what he studied all his life. And I thought that was going to be more interesting."

Back to the movie, Voller's plane is irreparably damaged and while Indy and Helena manage to escape, Voller and the other Nazis – including lead goon Klaber (Boyd Holbrook) – are on board when it crashes, leading to their deaths.

Indy, struggling with the gunshot wound, tells Helena to go and get on Teddy's plane (which has safely landed) before the temporal anomaly closes. He's more than happy to be left in the past, something which he has studied for his entire life.

Archimedes comes to greet Indy and Helena, taking the watch from Voller's corpse which we saw earlier in his tomb. He tells Indy, "You were always going to meet me", and it appears Archimedes didn't get the dial wrong.

It was a "stacked deck" (a reference to a card trick) that was always supposed to lead Indy to 213BC, so the two could meet. Thanks to Indy arriving with the complete dial, Archimedes now knows how to complete it. (Don't think about it too much, it's time travel.)

harrison ford and phoebe waller bridge in indiana jones and the dial of destiny

Indy is still determined to stay in the past, but Helena warns him that he will "muck it all up" if he stays behind. He's stubborn though so Helena is left with no choice but to knock Indy out.

He wakes up back in his New York apartment in 1969, still annoyed that Helena didn't let him stay in the past to die. She tells him again that he'd have "changed the course of history" if he did, and Indy soon forgets about it when Marion ( Karen Allen ) shows up.

Teddy and Sallah also arrive, but swiftly leave with Helena to allow Indy and Marion to chat. They recreate their Raiders of the Lost Ark kissing scene ("where doesn't it hurt?") and appear to be on the way to reuniting, following their separation after Mutt's death .

In the final scene of the movie, we see Indy taking his fedora off the clothesline on his balcony just as the credits roll. Some might think it's a sign that he's coming back for another adventure , but sorry guys, Harrison Ford has been pretty clear this is the end .

According to Mangold, it was never a consideration to kill off Indy . "To me, there really is no attraction to just getting thousands of people in a theatre and hitting them in a head with a hammer... Death is not an ending," he said.

Ford added that he's satisfied with how Indy's story wrapped up : "Most of his problems have been solved, dealt with. He's back to the form that we like to see him in, I think. And I think it's a wonderful last scene... I really like it."

And what better way to go out than by Indy actually visiting the past?

For more Indiana Jones 5 coverage, check out:

• Indiana Jones 5 review • How long is Indiana Jones 5 ? • Is Karen Allen's Marion in Indiana Jones 5 ? • When will Indiana Jones 5 be on Disney+? • Does Indiana Jones 5 have a credit scene? • Why Indiana Jones 6 won't happen • Indiana Jones 5 reveals the fate of Shia LaBeouf's Mutt • The 'true' story behind Indiana Jones 5

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is available to watch now on Disney+ .

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Movies Editor, Digital Spy  Ian has more than 10 years of movies journalism experience as a writer and editor.  Starting out as an intern at trade bible Screen International, he was promoted to report and analyse UK box-office results, as well as carving his own niche with horror movies , attending genre festivals around the world.   After moving to Digital Spy , initially as a TV writer, he was nominated for New Digital Talent of the Year at the PPA Digital Awards. He became Movies Editor in 2019, in which role he has interviewed 100s of stars, including Chris Hemsworth, Florence Pugh, Keanu Reeves, Idris Elba and Olivia Colman, become a human encyclopedia for Marvel and appeared as an expert guest on BBC News and on-stage at MCM Comic-Con. Where he can, he continues to push his horror agenda – whether his editor likes it or not.  

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Will Indiana Jones Time Travel in 'Dial of Destiny'?

Has Indy gone full science fiction?

One of the more controversial plot points of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was the inclusion of extraterrestrials towards the end of the film. Fans of the series felt this was stretching credibility and felt out of place. This was perhaps misguided when you consider that Indiana Jones ( Harrison Ford ) had previously uncovered the Ark of the Covenant, which melted the face off of a group of Nazis, and the literal Holy Grail, two items that are rooted more in myth than fact.

It's for this reason that news of time travel as a plot point in the upcoming Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny shouldn't be sneered at, but leaned into. Indy is a larger-than-life character, and the series is about adventure—so why not fully embrace the concept of science fiction and build a story around it? At least, that's the belief of Frank Marshall , the storied producer who co-founded Amblin Entertainment and has been a long-term creative partner of Steven Spielberg . He also happens to be very connected to the Indiana Jones franchise, as he worked on Crystal Skull and is married to Kathleen Kennedy , the head of Lucasfilm , which is the studio producing the latest installment of the franchise.

In an interview with SFX Magazine , Marshall spoke about the time travel plot device featured in Dial of Destiny, explaining why he felt it was a natural fit. Not only is time undoubtedly a factor in the film—considering we will see a much younger Indy from the 1940s before catching up to a veteran, grizzled Dr. Jones in the late 1960s, but a time travel plot leans nicely into the story of the Nazis looking to go back and right what they consider to be a wrong. Marshall explained:

"The Dial of Destiny is perfect for us because it’s about time. It’s math and time. We always try and have some sort of archeological connection and there was certainly that – there’s a mythology to the Dial of Destiny that exists. It turned out to be the perfect thing for this movie. It works in the plot because it is scientific. Well, I guess it’s scientific! It really works for what we are doing and it sets up a whole lot of great plot points. The question is, if you can control time, like in Back to the Future, would you change things? And what would that mean? That’s a big question for everybody, and certainly is in the movie."

RELATED: First Four ‘Indiana Jones’ Movies Set New 4K Ultra HD Releases

“There’s a Mythology To It”

When asked about why the Nazis were involved once more in a head-to-head with Indy, Marshall explained, "It’s a plot point that drives the story. Mads Mikkelsen's Voller wants to go back and change time, change what happened, and obviously it turns out to be in Nazi Germany. The Nazis are kind of a thread we’ve had through all of the movies. I think it definitely works this time."

In addition to Harrison Ford reprising his role as Indiana Jones, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny stars Phoebe Waller-Bridge as Helena Shaw, Toby Jones as Basil Shaw, Mads Mikkelsen as Jürgen Voller, Antonio Banderas as Renaldo, John Rhys-Davies as Sallah, Shaunette Renée Wilson as Mason, Thomas Kretschmann as Colonel Weber, and Boyd Holbrook as Klaber, while Ethann Isidore and Olivier Richters are cast in undisclosed roles.

With tickets now on sale, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny whips into theaters on June 30. Check out the official teaser for the upcoming film below:

Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny's Timeline Explained

Indiana Jones tied to a chair wearing a military uniform

Warning: This article contains spoilers for "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny."

"Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny" finally gives fans of the franchise the final pieces of the series' twisted timeline — though not before twisting once more toward the distant past.

The story begins in 1944, showing Harrison Ford's titular archaeological hero's time serving the United States military during the Second World War. The film then jumps ahead decades to its primary "present," which begins exactly on July 24th, 1969. Despite not being explicitly mentioned in the film, we can determine this date precisely via context clues — primarily that Dr. Jones wakes up to the commotion of the impending success of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon. "Dial of Destiny" spends the vast remainder of its runtime in the days that follow, with Indy and his new companions racing against the villainous Jürgen Voller (Mads Mikkelsen) for the eponymous MacGuffin.

At the start of the film's final act, however, as Voller attempts to drag the entire company back to 1939 in order to assassinate Adolf Hitler and create a power vacuum in the Nazi party, he mistakenly leads them to 214 BCE — specifically, sometime during the Siege of Syracuse. After several explosions, plane crashes, and historical fractures, Indy and his goddaughter, Helena (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) escape back to 1969.

All things considered, the timeline of "Dial of Destiny" is relatively straightforward, especially for what winds up being a time travel film. Where longtime fans may start to struggle is in trying to place the film's events in the already tangled history of the "Indiana Jones" franchise .

Where does Dial of Destiny fit in with the rest of the franchise?

To keep things as simple as possible, we're just going to deal with the five films theatrically released by Paramount and Disney with Ford in the title role. This means no novels, comic books, and — woefully — no "Young Indiana Jones Chronicles" (a TV series that holds up surprisingly well in 2023).

Indy's OSS days at the top of "Dial of Destiny" take place several years after "The Last Crusade," which is itself the most chronologically recent of the original three installments ("Temple of Doom" being the oldest). The next major point in the timeline would be "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," which took place in the late 1950s.

Sometime after the events of that film, Indy's son Mutt (played by Shia LaBeouf) defiantly enlists to fight in the Vietnam War. It's revealed in "Dial" that he was ultimately killed in combat, his death subsequently driving a devastating wedge between Jones and former flame Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen). All told, there's roughly a decade between the fourth and fifth installments in the series, which almost lines up with the real-life distance between the films' respective releases. The year 1969 will ostensibly serve as the endpoint for the franchise, barring any spin-off TV shows or movies likely dependent on the film's box office performance.

Is Indiana Jones 5 a Time-Travel Movie? Here's the Evidence

There are clues in the new Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny trailer that match rumors about the plot of the film involving time-travel.

From the pitch-perfect trailer for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny , it seems that the latest movie will share more in common with SyFy's 12 Monkeys than Kingdom of the Crystal Skull . At the very least, this is an old World War II legend about "Die Glocke," German for "The Bell," which was an artifact the Third Reich uncovered that had something to do with time.

Since the start of filming, Indiana Jones 5 was plagued by rumors involving time travel, bolstered by set photos showing Roman soldiers fighting. After World War II, a conspiracy theory arose about a device that looked like a bell. It was either a time machine or an antigravity machine or a flying saucer and such. While not likely based on anything in history other than pulp fiction in the immediate post-war years (which the Indiana Jones films are directly inspired by), it does make for good drama. It's possible that James Mangold is sending Indy on a time heist. Though if he needed inspiration, he shouldn't watch Ant-Man do his thing, but 12 Monkeys. The show tied the bell legend to its own series mythology. And while it's great to see Indy punching Nazis in the face again , there seems to be a lot of them in the trailer.

RELATED: Indiana Jones 5 Introduces Phoebe Waller-Bridge as Indy’s Grifter Goddaughter

How 12 Monkeys 'Die Glocke' Episode Teases Indiana Jones 5

The showrunner for Picard Season 3, Terry Matalas, is the co-creator of 12 Monkeys and an Indy super-fan. In reaction to the trailer, he suggested on Twitter that Indy would be going after Die Glocke like the characters in the series did. Yet, in Season 4, Episode 6, "Die Glocke," the bell is the McGuffin, not the method of time travel. For The Dial of Destiny , it's a strong bet that whatever Mads Mikkelsen's pardoned Nazi scientist Dr. Toller needed to do required some sort of space-age technology. Yet, if time travel is involved, when the plan is executed doesn't matter so much.

The 12 Monkeys episode was one worthy of Dr. Jones. Emily Hampshire -- best known as Stevie from Schitt's Creek -- sings Pink's "U+Ur Hand" to Hitler. Amanda Schull's Cassie cosplays in some lingerie to distract an army of guards before she guns them all down to steal the bell. The inimitable Barabara Sukowa out-Germans an SS commander, then delivers an Emmy-worthy "Holy shit" line delivery. The Monkey Squad ends the episode by doing what every time traveler should when they cross paths with the Chancellor of Germany from 1933-1945. They blow him up.

This particular adaptation of Die Glocke legend is unique to 12 Monkeys , but it could parallel the journey Indy takes in the movie. In fact, the legend is so obviously an Indiana Jones premise, it makes sense they held back the trailer and title this long.

RELATED: Indiana Jones 5 Fans Can't Get Enough of Harrison Ford's Nazi Punching

The Dial of Destiny Could Send Dr. Jones Back Through Time

As for what "real" theory Die Glocke is based on, it's a vague collection of innuendo and nonsense, perhaps only persisting in cultural memory because it's great fiction. Matalas and company just kept its powers vague, tying its purpose directly to 12 Monkeys ' perfect series finale . The Indiana Jones universe is many things, but not one where "how does this work , exactly?" is ever a valid question. If time travel appears in The Dial of Destiny , it could be a classic B-movie contraption or a more conceptual experience like the end of Interstellar . 12 Monkeys was too meticulous for it, but Indiana Jones can just go straight to "magic."

It's Harrison Ford's last outing as Indiana Jones. So, with Lucasfilm's expertise in digitally creating younger versions of their actors, this is the film to employ the device. Any time travel will be more about the character than the science or the magical rules. No matter what vile plot the maleficent Dr. Voller dreams up, the story will almost certainly be about that thing at the end of humans' lives when they wonder if they could correct past mistakes.

Fans who find next summer too long a time to wait can get some slight Nazi-punching satisfaction from 12 Monkeys , currently on Hulu. Whether it holds any clues to where Indy is headed in The Dial of Destiny or not, the show still has that same heartfelt adventure feel.

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny debuts in theaters in June 2023.

  • Entertainment
  • <i>Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny</i> May Be Lackluster But Harrison Ford Is Forever

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny May Be Lackluster But Harrison Ford Is Forever


Harrison Ford is known to flummox journalists by being less than forthcoming in interviews; in public appearances, he tends to radiate an “I don’t really want to be here” vibe. Which is why it meant something to see him take the stage just ahead of the Cannes premiere of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny on Thursday night, with tiny glimmers of almost-tears in his eyes. Cannes head Thierry Fremaux had introduced Ford by showing a highlight reel of his long, prismatic career, from American Graffiti to The Mosquito Coast to Bladerunner and beyond. It must be strange to sit there in a tux and watch your various incarnations across decades flash past you on a screen—it’s probably true that when you’re a movie star, others are more attuned to the natural changes in your face than you are. No wonder Ford, now 80, seemed moved by the tribute. “You know, I love you too,” he said to the audience after the applause had waned. “You give my life purpose and meaning, and I’m grateful for that.”

Ford is, pretty much, the best thing about James Mangold’s Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, the fifth film in the franchise. The first, Steven Spielberg’s 1981 Raiders of the Lost Ark, was inspired by adventure serials of the 1930s and ’40s—the idea had been conceived by George Lucas and Philip Kaufman, with Spielberg later joining the project. In 1981, looking back at movies from 50 years earlier felt like gazing through the wrong end of the telescope; all the movie’s lo-fi hi-fun touches—its fixation on ancient golden gewgaws, slithery snakes and clearly labeled cartoon bad guys—seemed so mistily far away from what the movies had become by that time. Now, in 2023, when filmmakers have tons of new technology at their disposal, it’s easier than ever to make stuff look old-timey. (This new installment is set in 1969, around the time of the lunar landing.) By this point, any Indiana Jones picture is going to have almost too many layers of meta-nostalgia to sift through, though it’s also more likely to foster fond memories of your old, busted childhood VCR than it is to conjure Buck Rogers or Zorro’s Fighting Legion . That’s not a good thing or a bad thing; it’s merely a thing. But it does make you think about how readily your own cherished vision of the past can be used as a marketing tool, and how, increasingly and for some good reasons, we yearn to be returned to olden times that aren’t really even that old.

Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) in Lucasfilm's IJ5. ©2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. &amp; TM. All Rights Reserved.

Yet Dial of Destiny creaks under the weight of the franchise’s stature. The movie’s opening flashback scenes give us a much younger Indiana Jones, in the form of a digitally de-aged Harrison Ford. He looks reasonably realistic—there’s nothing too terribly Hall of Presidents about him—but the effect is disconcerting even so, especially following the tribute reel the audience at the Cannes premiere had just seen, where the younger Ford had been brought to life before our eyes. That’s part of the wonder of movies: you can always go back to look at the Bette Davis of the 1930s and 1940s, the Montgomery Clift of the 1950s, and see the beauty of youth played back for you, even long after a star is gone. The de-aging technique used in Dial of Destiny scanned reams of footage from every Lucasfilm in which Ford had ever appeared, in addition to outtakes, to pick up various angles of his younger face in every possible permutation of lighting. Such an efficient tool! But efficiency isn’t the same as magic.

In the de-aged portion of Dial of Destiny, we catch up with Indiana as World War II winds down. Hitler has retreated to his bunker; the end seems near. A bunch of Nazi heavies see what’s coming and try to skate off with a bunch of looted art and artifacts, and the youngified anthropologist Indy needs to stop them. It’s here that we meet the story’s marvelously villainous villain, Mads Mikkelsen’s Jürgen Voller, an adorably nerdy physicist in Clark Kent glasses. Too bad he’s a Nazi.


In this early part of the film, we also meet Indiana’s pal Basil Shaw (Toby Jones), an academic whose eyes gleam at the mere mention of the story’s object of desire, the dial-thingie of the title, an important-looking doodly-doo—invented by Archimedes— that can locate fissures in time. Everybody wants it, most of all Voller. We watch in something that’s supposed to approximate awe, but doesn’t quite, as Indiana and Toby face off against Voller and various other Nazi thugs atop a train speeding through the European countryside. It’s as thrilling as any clatteringly fake CGI-heavy scene can be.

It’s also a harbinger of what’s to come. There are so many chase sequences in Dial of Destiny that the movie seems held together with slender bits of plot, rather than the other way around. Worse yet, they’re so heavily CGI’ed that they come off as grimly dutiful rather than thrilling or delightful. After about a half hour of Nazi-era setup, we finally get to meet the Indiana Jones of the late 1960s, who looks as Harrison Ford actually does now—phew! Just as he’s retiring from Hunter College, where he’s been a revered archaeology professor, he’s drawn out of retirement when Basil Shaw’s grown daughter Helena (Phoebe Waller-Bridge), now a brainy archaeologist type herself, first charms him as a means of procuring the dial of whatever, and then runs off with it. Then the slippery Voller shows up: he wants it too, now more than ever. It’s important to note, though, that this is only half of the dial; you’ve got to have something to look for in an Indiana Jones movie.


As Helena, Waller-Bridge, with her Tommy Tune-like legs and daffily expressive eyes, is one of the movie’s better natural effects. But even she gets lost in the overly complex plot, which involves world travel from New York to Tangiers to Athens to Sicily that should be exciting but isn’t (aside from the little old-style cartoon maps used to trace the adventurers’ perambulations, which are adorable). And then there are those interminable chase scenes. In New York, on the run from somebody or other during an Apollo 11 celebratory parade, Indy rides a horse right into the 59th Street station and onto the tracks—directly in the path of a speeding subway train. We see how he gets out of this one, sort of. But the narrow escape doesn’t make visual sense. It’s a case of being signaled that something is truly, madly astonishing but failing to deliver the actual goods.

The movie’s best scenes are the more modest ones that remind us what we loved about the earlier movies—the way, for example, a host of creepy-crawlies come clattering down the walls of a cave, inquisitive and menacing at once. But there’s also a murky underwater sequence and, one of the movie’s worst sins, a tragically underused Antonio Banderas as ace undersea diver Renaldo. The best thing about Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is its ending, a reunion of characters that anybody who has any affection for the franchise is probably longing to see. And it’s here that Ford—with his current-day face, marked by all the actual living that goes into a life—is at his best, showing the kind of gruff, reluctant tenderness that’s become one of his trademarks. He’s already got the best face money, or technology, can’t buy.

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Indiana Jones 5 trailer hints at a wild time-travel rumor

Turning a big dial that says “Destiny” and looking at the calendar.

does indiana jones time travel

The movie we’ve been calling “ Indiana Jones 5 ” finally has an actual title, a release date, and an action-packed trailer. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny will be out on June 30, 2023, but what exactly is happening in it? We know it’s about the space race in the ‘60s, which allows Indiana Jones’ age to more closely match Harrison Ford’s, but we also see him digitally de-aged .

Could Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny be a time-travel movie? It’s a far-fetched theory, but the evidence is piling up.

Let’s start with the strongest evidence: The Dial of Destiny itself. We don’t know what the artifact looks like or does, but its name merges two time-related concepts. Clocks can have dials, of course, and destiny brings to mind the concept of fate and changing the past.

Then there are the comments made by Mads Mikkelsen in Empire’s first look at the movie. Mikkelsen says his Nazi villain, Voller, is “a man who would like to correct some of the mistakes of the past.” If the Dial of Destiny can correct mistakes, does that mean it can manipulate the very fabric of time?

For more evidence, we have to do our own time traveling back to October 2021, when set photos were published by The Daily Mail. They show Indy wearing a parachute, with Phoebe Waller-Bridge as his goddaughter Helena next to him. That’s typical Indy fare, but another picture included a group of Roman soldiers. Could Indy travel thousands of years into the past?

The trailer also made waves because of the “ Raiders -era” Indiana appearing in certain shots. Many fans assumed these were simply flashbacks, but it’s also possible we’ll see the young Indy and the older Indy on-screen simultaneously.

Indiana Jones Time travel theory dial of destiny

We see Nazis in the Dial of Destiny trailer, even though it’s supposed to be set in the 1960s.

Time travel may seem completely out of the left field for Indiana Jones, but the franchise has always dabbled in magic and miracles. We know you’ve probably tried to erase Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull from the mind , but the oft-maligned fourquel put sci-fi in the spotlight with a plot focused on aliens. Time travel is arguably the next logical step.

In what’s being billed as the last Indiana Jones adventure, a retrospective — whether through flashbacks or actual time travel — is more than warranted. As Indy himself says in the trailer, “I don’t believe in magic, but a few times in my life, I’ve seen things. Things I can’t explain. I’ve come to believe it’s not so much what you believe, it’s how hard you believe it.”

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny premieres in theatres June 30, 2023.

  • Science Fiction

does indiana jones time travel

History | June 28, 2023

The Real History Behind the Archimedes Dial in ‘Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny’

A device called the Antikythera mechanism is the true-life basis for the object at the center of the franchise’s latest installment

The Archimedes Dial, or Dial of Destiny

Meilan Solly

Associate Editor, History

Off the coast of the Greek island of Antikythera in 1900, sponge divers came across a shipwreck filled with ancient treasures. Hidden among flashier finds like marble statues and jewelry was a mysterious device known today as the Antikythera mechanism .

Dated to more than 2,000 years ago, the device “is probably the most exciting artifact that we have from the ancient world,” says Jo Marchant , author of the 2008 book Decoding the Heavens: Solving the Mystery of the World’s First Computer . More than a millennium before 13th-century Europeans invented the first mechanical clocks , the Antikythera mechanism employed similarly complex technology—including gear wheels, dials and pointers—to chart the cosmos. The ancients used it to predict eclipses, track the movement of the sun and the moon, and even see when sporting events like the Olympics were scheduled to take place.

Contrary to what Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny , the latest installment in the epic franchise, suggests, the Antikythera mechanism won’t transport you back in time—not literally, at least. Every Indiana Jones adventure needs an exotic MacGuffin; in the new outing, which arrives in theaters this week, the hero chases after the Archimedes Dial , a fictionalized version of the Antikythera mechanism that predicts the location of naturally occurring fissures in time.

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In the film’s 1944-set prologue, Indy ( Harrison Ford ) captures a train loaded with Nazi plunder, including the titular Dial of Destiny. The movie then jumps ahead to 1969. Indy is set to retire from teaching archaeology, and the world is celebrating the safe return of the Apollo 11 crew . One of the men most responsible for the United States’ victory in the space race is Jürgen Voller (Mads Mikkelsen), a former Nazi who was given sanctuary by the Allies in exchange for his expertise, much like the real-life NASA engineer Wernher von Braun . When Indy learns that Voller wants to use the Archimedes Dial to travel for nefarious purposes, he reluctantly dusts off his old hat and bullwhip to (again) keep a potentially devastating weapon out of Nazi hands.

At the time of its discovery, the actual historical device was encased in a corroded clump of metal. Experts only began to realize the object’s significance in 1902, when the clump—by then housed at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens— broke apart to reveal an intricate network of gears.

In the decades since, scholars have used X-rays , CT scans and other tools to study the 82 surviving fragments of the mantel clock-sized object, which is believed to date to between roughly 200 and 60 B.C.E. Observers originally speculated the mechanism might be a navigation device, or perhaps a modern object dropped at the Antikythera wreck site centuries after the ship sank. A more far-fetched interpretation suggested the device was “alien technology used on alien spaceships,” Marchant says.

In 2021, a team writing in the journal Scientific Reports presented a computational model of the mechanism, offering the clearest sense yet of how the device might have worked. Still, much about the mechanism remains unknown, from its creator (one theory, apparently picked up by the movie’s creative team, attributes the technology used in the device to Greek mathematician Archimedes ), to the meaning of the inscriptions scattered across its surface, to its overall purpose.

Preview thumbnail for 'Decoding the Heavens: Solving the Mystery of the World's First Computer

Decoding the Heavens: Solving the Mystery of the World's First Computer

Jo Marchant tells the story of the 100-year quest to understand the Antikythera mechanism.

“It’s by far the most sophisticated technological device that survives [from that era],” says Marchant. “It’s essentially a pocket universe, like a model of the cosmos.”

To learn more about the real Archimedes Dial, Smithsonian chatted with Marchant, a frequent contributor to the magazine who has written extensively about the Antikythera mechanism. Read a condensed and edited version of the conversation below.

What is the Antikythera mechanism? Why is it unique?

This is the most sophisticated example we have of ancient Greek technology. This is the pinnacle. We know of nothing else as complex as this. There’s nothing even close.

The mechanism was held in a wooden case, a bit like a clock that might go on the mantelpiece. Inside, it was made of bronze gear wheels, and there was a big dial on the front. Instead of telling you the time, it showed you the motions of the sun, the moon and the planets in the sky.

The Antikythera mechanism on view at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens

You turned the handle on the side to move the gear wheels and wind forward and backward in time. It drove these mathematical pointers, showing you the positions of celestial bodies, the date, the timing of athletic games. There’s a calendar, there’s an eclipse prediction dial, and there are inscriptions giving you information about what the stars are doing. The dials and the pointers are telling you everything you need to know about the state and workings of the cosmos.

At least 30 bronze gear wheels survive. But there were probably many more than that originally. I’m not sure there’s even one other gear wheel that survived from the ancient world. There are no other devices like this, before or after the Antikythera, until we come to the invention of modern mechanical clocks in medieval Europe.

How was the mechanism discovered?

Sponge divers who were working in the Mediterranean discovered the shipwreck in 1900. The ancient vessel’s crew members were blown off course by a storm, and they sheltered in this little island of Antikythera, which is beautiful but very treacherous. It’s a barren island, with jagged rocks and sheer cliffs that fall down straight into the sea.

The sponge divers sheltered there, and when the storm passed, they dived down. The first diver to go down came back up terrified, talking about how he’d seen a pile of rotting corpses on the seabed—men, women, horses. It turned out that these were not corpses but the remains of statues. They had discovered a shipwreck that was full of treasure.

Divers examine objects from the Antikythera shipwreck

The sponge divers then recovered as much of the cargo as they could. Working for the Greek government and directed by archaeologists, they spent about ten months hauling up marble and bronze statues, gold and jewelry, pieces of furniture like a throne , weapons, beautiful glass bowls, amphorae that would have been full of wine and olive oil.

The ship set sail between 70 and 60 B.C.E. It was coming back west from the Asia Minor coast, the eastern Mediterranean. Initially, it was thought to be a Roman vessel bringing looted treasures home. Further analysis of the wreck suggests it was actually a Greek trading vessel that was carrying this luxury cargo back home. Either way, it didn’t make it.

Did Archimedes create the Antikythera mechanism?

Cicero was a writer and politician around the first century B.C.E. He wrote descriptions of devices that sound quite similar to the Antikythera. But they don’t have any technological detail about how the machines would have worked, so historians have never really been able to take them that seriously. Cicero talked about bronze machines, globes that turn to show the motions of the heavens. And one of them he attributed to a philosopher named Posidonius , who lived on Rhodes in the first century B.C.E. at exactly the time scholars think the Antikythera ship would have stopped off at the island. The main theory is the device was made in a workshop on Rhodes, perhaps Posidonius’ workshop, perhaps as a commission for a wealthy buyer who lived in northern Greece, and was being shipped from Rhodes to northern Greece when the ship sank.

Benjamin West, Cicero Discovering the Tomb of Archimedes, 1805

Cicero also wrote about another device he said was constructed by Archimedes, the legendary mathematician and inventor. Archimedes lived a couple of centuries too early to have made this particular Antikythera mechanism. But he could easily have invented this idea of representing the universe or celestial motions in a machine using bronze gear wheels. It probably would have started off a bit simpler and then been refined, incorporating the latest astronomical thinking over the centuries. We don’t know for sure. But Archimedes would be our prime suspect for the person who invented this entire line of technology.

How did the ancient Greeks use the device?

What I really like about the mechanism is just how many different functions you’ve got packed into one device. You could almost think of it as the iPad of the ancient world, because you’ve got all these different apps: the dial on the front that’s showing you the sun, moon and planets around the sky; eclipse predictions on the back; and Olympics predictions. Depending on which display you’re looking at, you’re seeing all of these different functions.

The Greeks didn’t use the device to do work. They weren’t making a steam engine or industrial machinery. They were modeling the heavens. Why? What were they trying to do? It doesn’t seem that this was a navigational device. There’s nothing it could do that you couldn’t accomplish much more easily with other well-known types of navigational instruments.

Astrology is another option. Could you have used it for casting horoscopes? Because you could turn it to a particular date and see everything that was going on in the sky at that point. There are actually some astrological hints on the mechanism. On the eclipse prediction dial, there are mentions of colors and directions associated with different predicted eclipses, perhaps a direction the wind was supposed to be blowing or maybe the direction the disk would be blocked from.

Antikythera mechanism by Raiz on Sketchfab

But again, it would have been a lot easier to cast horoscopes using astronomical tables that would have been available at the time. You wouldn’t need something like the Antikythera mechanism . So the explanation most scholars have converged on, and the one that makes the most sense to me, is this is more of a philosophical device or a teaching device. It’s encapsulating the knowledge of what the universe is and how it works, and it was a way of sharing that knowledge with other people.

Some of the inscriptions on it are almost like captions you might see at a museum exhibition. They’re aimed at laypeople. They’re not instructions for a professional. They’re explaining to you what’s happening as the machine is working. The idea the mechanism was expressing ultimately was of the universe as a machine, as something that works according to predictable mathematical rules that we can study and understand.

For a lot of human history, the universe would have been seen as a divine being, or perhaps a plaything of the gods, something quite magical. The planets moved in unpredictable ways, and often they were seen as gods themselves. This device represents a shift to an understanding of the universe as something much more mathematical, something scientific, where there are these numerical principles behind what’s happening, and you can model that in a machine.

Another aspect that’s actually mentioned by Cicero is this idea of a divine creator of the universe. Cicero said something along the lines of, “Look at a machine of the cosmos, and you know it must have had a creator, a designer.” The device was making the point that the universe itself must have a creator, so there are a lot of deep religious and philosophical principles embodied in it.

What does the mechanism tell us about the ancient Greeks?

One of the things it tells us is we don’t know the half of it in terms of what people were capable of in the ancient world, because so little survives. We’ve just got this one device. If this mechanism hadn’t survived on a shipwreck, and we hadn’t been lucky enough to find it, there would have been this whole branch of technology, the heights of what the ancient Greeks were able to do, that we would have had absolutely no idea about. And it just makes you wonder what else we have no idea about. Relying solely on archaeology means there’s always going to be a huge underestimate of what these ancient people were capable of.

The mechanism also represents a really impressive tale of human ingenuity. This machine was under the sea for more than 2,000 years, so as you can imagine, it is not in a good state. It’s in pieces, it’s battered and corroded, and different layers of it are all smushed together. About two-thirds of it is lost, actually. So you’ve got these very uninspiring pieces until you look at them closely, at the very different, dense layers. It’s really inspiring how scientists have studied the layers and used technology as it becomes more advanced—so initially cleaning them, studying the device by eye, and then you’ve got the first X-rays that were done. Next, they’re using X-ray tomography to try and pick apart different layers, conducting CT scans, and trying different lighting techniques to bring out details of the surface. Today, we’ve ended up with quite a big international team of people in different disciplines, all working together to try to figure out what this thing was.

Exploded model of the Cosmos gearing of the Antikythera mechanism

Why do you think the Dial of Destiny team decided to feature the Antikythera mechanism?

The Antikythera mechanism really fascinates people. It’s one of those things that when you first hear about it, and this was certainly my reaction, you think, “How did I not know that this existed? How could there be an ancient Greek mechanical computer that predicted eclipses that was found on a shipwreck?” It sounds unbelievable. It’s just so outside what we would expect to find and what we previously knew about the ancient Greeks. There are these natural connections that we make with something almost magical or supernatural. The device is a natural choice if you’re looking for something that actually exists, but you want to give it a slightly magical spin.

It’s also absolutely bound up with time. It’s a time machine in a sense. When you turn the handle on the side, you are moving backward in time, you’re controlling time. You’re seeing the universe either being fast-forwarded or reversed, and you’re choosing the speed and can set it to any moment in history that you want.

The greatest hero returns to the big screen. Get tickets to see #IndianaJones and the Dial of Destiny, only in theaters June 30: — Indiana Jones (@IndianaJones) May 22, 2023

What mysteries does the mechanism still hold?

We know quite a lot about how it worked and what it did. But certainly in terms of exactly how that front dial worked and what it showed, a lot of that is missing. We know it showed the planets, but how did it show them? Were there pointers? Were there rings that were moving around? These are debates that scholars are having about the details of the mechanism.

The other main mystery is that it would just be really nice to find more devices like this. We only have one, so there’s nothing to compare it against. But it seems pretty likely this was not the only device of its kind. It’s just too well made, too sophisticated, too complex. It’s quite small, as small as you could make something like this without needing magnifying glasses to see all the components, and generally with a piece of technology like this, you would start off making it bigger and simpler. This is such a confident design. It’s clearly the product of decades or generations worth of development.

Divers have been going back down to the Antikythera shipwreck since around 2012 . One of the things they would love to find is either more pieces of this mechanism or more devices like it. For me, that would be the most exciting way in which we could take the story forward.

Interpretations of inscriptions on the Antikythera mechanism

Can the public view the device anywhere?

The Antikythera mechanism is on display at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens. It’s an incredible thing to see. It’s much smaller than you would expect, but it’s beautiful and so intricate. It’s really haunting to see, because you’re looking at these corroded, battered pieces. You can see they’re ancient, you can see they’ve been lying there for thousands of years. And yet, when you look closely, it’s familiar. It looks like the inside of a pocket watch or alarm clock. It’s a form of technology we have all around us today. It’s an incredible feeling to recognize that connection and see an invention that has been so influential in shaping human history right back at its starting point.

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Meilan Solly

Meilan Solly | | READ MORE

Meilan Solly is Smithsonian magazine's associate digital editor, history.

Screen Rant

Indiana jones 5's time travel could be great (despite crystal skull's aliens).


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This 46-Year-Old Martial Arts Classic Has One Of The Best Kung Fu Training Scenes Of All Time (Because It Was Real)

How did this 27-year-old thriller get declared the best movie ever by rotten tomatoes, jason statham's upcoming thriller movie will be his version of denzel washington's $573m franchise.

Indiana Jones 5  appears to involve time travel, which could offer great story possibilities, provided that it avoids the pitfalls of  Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull 's aliens. The fifth movie is currently in production, with Harrison Ford once again wearing the wide-brimmed fedora for one final adventure. Director James Mangold is in the director chair after Steven Spielberg stepped aside, though he's staying on as a producer.

The Indiana Jones films started out as homages to the adventure serials of the 1930s, though creator George Lucas innovated the genre by throwing supernatural elements into the mix.  Raiders of the Lost Ark  had the Ark of the Covenant unleashing the blinding power of God.  Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom  dealt with black magic, while  Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade  played with the idea of eternal life. The supernatural elements are always present in the original Indiana Jones trilogy, but they don't overwhelm the adventure. Conversely , Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull  pushed the supernatural element more to the forefront, to the extent where actual aliens -- or inter-dimensional beings -- and a spaceship end up on the screen. Between that and the film's more outlandish elements (Indy surviving a nuclear explosion in a lead-lined refrigerator),  Crystal Skull pushed the concept into the absurd. The film pulled back the supernatural curtain too far and overloaded the film with unnecessary CGI.

Related: Indiana Jones: Everything That Went Wrong With Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Time travel is an equally " out there " idea for  Indiana Jones 5 , and one that at first seems close to repeating  Kingdom of the Crystal Skull's  problems . However, the concept of time travel could work if the execution is right. The Indiana Jones films are at their best when the McGuffin is linked to Indy's character development. In  Raiders of the Lost Ark  and  Temple of Doom  he’s more concerned about the Ark and the Stones as prizes to be won within the parameters of " fortune and glory ," though eventually humbly recognizes their deeper value and ends up respecting them as more than mere treasures. In  Last Crusade , the quest for the Holy Grail is intrinsically tied to Indy reconnecting with his estranged father. It's the emotional journey of Indiana Jones as a character that makes him such an endurable hero to generation after generation. For time travel to payoff for  Indiana Jones 5 , it needs to similarly tie in with Indy's character journey.

Taken at face value ,   Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull  has all the ingredients of a classic Indy film. The father/son scenario returns, with Indy now in the paternal role, but it crucially neglects to connect the skulls to Indiana's character development. The same is true for Indy's rekindled romance with Marion. It's happening at the same time, but it's not linked to the quest, and so doesn’t connect. For Indiana Jones 5 , Harrison Ford is almost 80 years old , and time travel as an idea has real relevance for an older Indiana Jones nearing the end of his adventures. Elements of regret or the desire to change one moment in your past or history are well-worn time travel questions that could fit in nicely as a farewell to a beloved character. There is great scope for an emotional journey for the character with time travel as the hook, regardless of its outlandish concept.

The visuals for how time travel is presented need to fit in with the established look of the franchise. Any current blockbuster can include dazzling sequences of time and space whizzing by in a flurry of CGI. However, this would be a wrong move for  Indiana Jones 5 . The original films are a triumph of old-school effects, and the visualization of time travel should capture the feel of the original Indiana Jones  movies , even if modern effects are used. If they can connect Indy to the McGuffin, and capture the feel of the old films, then time travel could work in  Indiana Jones 5 where the supernatural elements in  Crystal Skulls failed.

Next: Indiana Jones 5 Photos Hint At Multiple Timelines (& Why That's Perfect)

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Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny viewers stumped by huge plot hole

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Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny viewers have been left stumped by a major “plot hole” in the new Harrison Ford sequel.

The film, the fifth entry in the adventure franchise, sees Dr Henry “Indiana” Jones Jr (Ford) come up against an old Nazi adversary ( Mads Mikkelsen ) in 1969.

Spoilers follow for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny ... you have been warned!

Most of the plot of the film revolves around the hunt for the two pieces of Archimedes’ dial, an ancient device that could supposedly be used to “read fissures in time”, potentially allowing the user to travel back in time, by locating the right fissure at the right time.

By the end of the film, the villainous Jürgen Voller (Mikkelsen) has acquired the dial, and follows it towards a wormhole located somewhere in the sky. He flies through the wormhole in an airplane with Indiana Jones on board, expecting to arrive back in Nazi Germany, where he will change the course of history and win the war for the Nazis.

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The plane does indeed get transported back in time – but instead arrives in ancient Greece, during the Siege of Syracuse in 213-212 BC.

It is ultimately revealed that the dial was invented by Archimedes to help direct people from the future to his location in the past, during the ancient battle.

However, while the ending clears up some of the questions posed earlier in the film – namely, how Archimedes’ entombed body was wearing a modern-day wristwatch – the nature of the time travel still seemed to leave open a large plot hole.

Given that the dial was simply a device for reading the “fissures” in time, as opposed to creating them, it remains unexplained how Voller was able to locate a portal to Archemedes’ exact time and location, just hours after the device fell into his possession. The most logical explanation would be that the “time portals” are constantly opening up all over the world, round the clock – which poses further questions as to why no one had ever noticed them, or travelled through them.

One person shared his confusion on Reddit. “I’m not sure I really understand the time travel,” they wrote. “So archimedes was working on his dial when the Romans attacked. During the attack, the Nazi plane came out of the sky and murdered the enemy army. So archimedes knew in the future, the dial would be found and this would happen. So he built a device that allowed the user to find a worm hole to that exact moment in time?

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“But like why is there a time hole to that exact moment? Are there just time vortexes to any point in history? How did archimedes even know there was a time hole to the time of this attack. Idk maybe I don’t understand it.”

Another viewer wrote that the film featured “plot holes the size of 18-wheelers”.

In a three-star review of the film for The Independent , Geoffrey Macnab wrote: “Tonally, the film wavers. It pulls in too many different directions at once. On the one hand, this is an exercise in affectionate nostalgia.

“On the other, like its predecessors, it’s an old-fashioned matinee adventure in which characterisation is deliberately broad. Certain episodes are knowing and ironic, while others seem painfully naive.”

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is out in cinemas now.

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Indiana Jones Wiki

Time travel

  • Edit source
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Fissure in time

Two planes fly through a fissure in time.

Time travel is the concept of being able to move back into the past or forward into the future.

  • 2 Behind the scenes
  • 3 Appearances
  • 4 Notes and references
  • 5 External links

History [ ]

In an account attributed to Merlin , the wizard was able to travel through time with the powers of the Omphalos and Stonehenge . [1]

In 214 BC , during the Siege of Syracuse , the Greek mathematician Archimedes was working on a dial that would allow him to locate fissures in time and possibly travel into the past or the future. One half of the device was finished when his assistant informed him about a dragon flying in the sky. Confused, Archimedes headed outside and saw a giant flying machine burning and crashing on the beach. Archimedes went closer to investigate and took a small mechanical device from the corpse of one of the people who had died in the crash. A man and woman then appeared in front of him, holding a device identical to the one he was working on. Archimedes asked the strangers how far they traveled, and the man replied "Two thousand years". The strangers then had a brief argument, for the man was injured and the woman wanted him to return to their time so he could be healed, but the man was reluctant. The woman punched the man, knocking him unconscious, and the strangers departed in another, smaller mechanical dragon. Realizing that time travel was real, Archimedes split his device into two pieces. One was captured by the Romans and ended up at the bottom of the sea when the ship that was carrying it sunk in a storm. The other was buried with Archimedes in his tomb . [2]

Around October 1913 , while staying in England with his father , Indiana Jones was briefly displaced from his present and experienced the aftermath of the fall of Camelot to the invading Anglo - Saxons . [3]

While Jones was on a London bus in 1916 , his journey was interrupted by a German air raid. When Jones asked aloud if the craft he spotted was a zeppelin , Vicky Prentiss , the bus conductor, sarcastically claimed it was a 21st century time traveler newly arrived to check on their welfare then urged Jones to get moving as the bombs started to drop. [4]

Two decades later, in 1934 , after he had returned the Crystal Skull of Cozan to its temple in British Honduras , Jones struck his head while fleeing a giant anaconda then found himself perceiving the city back when it was inhabited. There, he witnessed the sacrifice of a slave girl by the native Cozanians in the Skull's presence. Jones found that he had little interaction with his surroundings so could not prevent the slave being stoned to death. Back in the ruins of the city, Jones noticed a rock at his feet which was covered in hair and fresh blood. He later sought out a fellow Princeton University professor for advice. [5]

By 1944 the Nazi scientist Jürgen Voller was searching for Archimedes ' dial . During an evacuation of a castle in Germany , a group of soldiers led by Voller and Colonel Weber discovered a hoard of precious antiquities, including the dial and the fabled Spear of Destiny . After loading the loot on a train the Nazis departed, hoping to bring their prize to Adolf Hitler . However, Voller discovered the Spear was fake, and tried to convince Weber about the dial's power, but the Nazi officer dismissed his theories as rubbish. The dial was eventually stolen by the American archaeologist Indiana Jones and his colleague Basil Shaw . [2]

Jones kept possession of the dial until 1969, when neo-Nazis led by Voller set out to reunite the two halves in order to assassinate Adolf Hitler so that a more competent Führer could win World War II for Nazi Germany. Voller and his men battled Jones and Shaw's daughter Helena for possession of the dial, ultimately resulting in Voller reassembling the dial and attempting to travel in an airplane through a time fissure to 1939 with the captive Jones and the stowaway Helena. However, what nobody realized was that the dial was only ever meant to allow travel to 214 BC. The group arrived at the Siege of Syracuse, closing the causal loop and resulting in Voller's death. Helena forced Jones to return to 1969 with her, ensuring that history would not be further altered by their presence. [2]

Behind the scenes [ ]

In the Readers of the Lost Ark letters section of issue 28 of The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones comic book series, when asked by a fan on why they didn't make a time-traveling gem to allow Indiana Jones to travel from the 1930s to 1985 and team up with the Avengers only to then return to his own time and discover that he was gone merely for five minutes, the Marvel Comics writers in charge of the series opined that Indy already had enough headaches to add time travel and a meeting with the Avengers to his list. [6]

In an interview with The Indy Experience in 2004 , Indiana Jones and the Secret of the Sphinx author Max McCoy revealed that he had intended to include time travel in a larger sequence for his novel but creatives at Lucasfilm Ltd. pushed against the story mixing genres with science-fiction. [7] The sequence involved Indiana Jones returning the Crystal Skull of Cozan to the Temple of the Serpent only for the temple's exit to take him out to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City in the then-contemporary 1990s. The removal caused the book to lose some chapters in the finished version of the story, but McCoy still added a few references to the phenomenon by having Jones talk about space and time with Albert Einstein . [8]

In 2008, Indiana Jones creator George Lucas was quoted by Total Film as saying that simply inventing an object like a time machine wouldn't work for the MacGuffin of an Indy adventure as any supernatural artifact could only work with an historical or archaeological context. [9] However, in 2023, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny —on which Lucas served as an executive producer—found a way to use the historical Antikythera mechanism as the basis for a MacGuffin said to be capable of locating fissures in time . [10]

When brought into the development of the film, writer/director James Mangold felt that the existing screenplays for the fifth film were too derivative of previous entries, seeing that as a problem which had affected the Star Wars series: "Is it a Death Star again ?" He instead opted to start a new script which explored the themes of time, past and present, which resulted in the time travel plot of the final feature. An idea that was considered was ending the film with a climax set in 1938 's Nazi Germany but Mangold decided that it would be both too predictable for the audience and a repetition of the earlier 1944 prologue sequence so developed the 214 BC Siege of Syracuse finale instead. [11]

Appearances [ ]

  • Young Indiana Jones and the Ghostly Riders
  • Indiana Jones and the Dance of the Giants
  • Indiana Jones and the Secret of the Sphinx
  • Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

Notes and references [ ]

  • ↑ Indiana Jones and the Dance of the Giants
  • ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
  • ↑ Young Indiana Jones and the Ghostly Riders
  • ↑ The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles – " London, May 1916 " → Love's Sweet Song
  • ↑ Indiana Jones and the Secret of the Sphinx


  • ↑ Interview with Max McCoy at The Indy Experience
  • ↑ "Is Indiana Jones allowed to time travel?" a START WRITING interview with author MAX McCOY! on YouTube
  • ↑ "TF Interview: George Lucas ". Total Film . United Kingdom . May 2008. See here .
  • ↑ Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
  • ↑ The Shocking Ending of Indiana Jones 5 Wasn't Always What's in the Movie at Gizmodo

External links [ ]

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Indiana Jones 5 set photos appear to confirm time travel theory is true

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Indiana Jones 5 set photos appear to tease a time travel theory that’s been doing the rounds.

The new film, which has just been delayed by Disney , will see Harrison Ford , 79, return as the professor of archaeology for the first time since 2008’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the crystal Skull .

It will be the first film in the franchise not to be directed by Steven Spielberg , with Logan’s James Mangold introducing the character “to a new generation”.

Details are scarce about the new film’s storyline elements, but a theory predicted that Ford’s character will discover an artefact that powers a time machine.

New set photos , taken by Francesco Pallazoll, show Indy and a new character played by Phoebe Waller-Bridge – and seem to corroborate that time travel will play a part in the sequel.

One photo shows extras dressed as Roman soldiers, which appears to date the scene as taking place at a different point in history.

While it’s possible this will be a flashback, it’s being suggested that Ford and Waller-Bridge are a part of the scene.

Fans have been reacting to the news with perplexed comments, having originally believed the theory to be unfounded.

“So…it really does look like Indiana Jones 5 is a time travel movie,” one wrote, with another adding: “I heard this a couple months ago and couldn’t believe it but someone just confirmed and I feel like I need to say this out loud: INDIANA JONES 5 is... a time travel movie?”

The film was set to be released in July 2022, but will now be released 11 months later in July 2023.

Spielberg has said he will remain on board as a “hands on” producer of the film.

Following the sequel’s announcement, many fans were left questioning the necessity of another follow-up considering the lukewarm response to Kingdom of the Crystal Skull .

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