Comics Creators

Does the plot of Raiders really work? Read this!!


Okay, Raiders is in my top 10 ever so when someone said this to me yesterday I was actually quite shocked.

Get this:

Indy struggles for 2 hours to stop the Nazis from finding the Ark of the Covenant.

He wants to beat them to it, but he fails.

He and Marion are tied up and Beloc opens the Ark to find… the vengeance of God. The Nazis all killed.

The guy’s point is that this would all have happened anyway whether Indy had done any of the set-pieces leading up to it. The Ark would have killed the nazis as soon as it was opened and Indy thus is completely extraneous to the plot.

It can’t be denied.

Remove Han Solo from Star Wars and Luke gets killed before he takes that final shot at the Death Star. Remove Indy from Raiders and the conclusion is still the same.

My mind is blown.



That’s one of the weird things about the Indiana Jones movies. He is sort of ineffectual as a hero. He just about scrapes through every time and he only just about survives in any fight (as a sidebar - as an actor Harrison Ford really knows how to sell taking a punch). I think that George Lucas says as much in the extras on the DVD of the original trilogy.

What has bugged me for years about Raiders is Marian and Indiana are tied up securely by the Nazi’s before Belloq opens the Ark. When he opens up the Ark, all of the Nazi’s and Belloq himself are melted. How do they get out and if they could do so why didn’t do that before the whole wrath of God descended upon everybody? . It is always possible that I may not have been paying attention.


Guys, can we remove the blur functions?

I have no idea how to remove it and I can’t be alone :smile:



Only thing I can think of is having the ark locked up in a warehouse for safe keeping at the end. Or else someone would eventually stumbled across it and open it where the nazis left, if Indy wasn’t their in the cave at the end.


There’s a few articles dedicated to showing these plotholes in classic films. One I saw recently is why does Buzz Lightyear go still when Andy enters the room when he doesn’t believe he’s a toy. In Citizen Kane there is no-one around to overhear the last words.

Skyfall took a lot of similar criticism in that Bond doesn’t actually achieve much, the plan is to kill M and she dies anyway. I think older films escaped the scrutiny of internet nerds picking holes. :smile:


The only reason they discovered the Ark was because of Indy. Remember ,“they’re digging in the wrong place.” So, not only did he expedite the finding of the Ark, but he also sped up all those evil Nazis dying. I mean the whole time you aren’t hoping Indiana Jones can find it first so he can put it in a museum, you’re thinking Nazis need to die. The result would’ve been the same once the Ark was opened, but Indy got it over with, and that opened up his calendar to save a village from a Temple of Doom and find the Holy Grail.


I realise that I’m nitpicking here, but Temple of Doom (1935) is based before Raiders (1936). Some people of a far more scholarly bent than myself have tried to explain the transformation from the mercenary we first meet in Shanghai in Temple of Doom to more altruistic Indiana we see in Raiders (i.e. It belongs in a museum) as being a result of what he goes through in Temple of Doom. I’m not sure that was intended, but it’s fun to theorise.


This Indy theory has been doing the rounds for a while. There are a couple of holes in it.

One is that without Indy, they might not have even found the Ark in the first place (“they’re digging in the wrong place!” etc.). It’s Indy that leads them to it, so without him the outcome might have been different (if not better - the nazis would still be alive but the Ark would still be hidden).

Of course, you could reason it out further - the reason the nazis didn’t know where to look is because they have the wrong length staff as they only had access to the information on one side of the head piece that they try to steal from Marion early in the film. So maybe without Indy’s intervention, they manage to get it from her (although I wouldn’t bet on it - Marion is pretty tough), and locate the Ark. But the full head piece also contains the information that tells Indy to shut his eyes when the Ark is opened. So maybe without Indy, they still get the Ark but also find out how to survive it…

But even if you buy the original theory - that the nazis would get the Ark but be killed by it - then without Indy, there’s no-one to retrieve the Ark afterwards, so it stays lost until someone else (possibly less altruistic) finds it. And who knows what could happen then?

Either way, I’m glad Indy was there. :slight_smile:


Indy and Marion are tied to a post. The “wrath of God” burns the ropes away but leaves them unharmed. Seriously, there’s a shot of Indy looking at a piece of burnt rope.

After that they either use the Nazi’s radio to call for help, or steal a boat from the Nazi sub base and sail away.

Yeah but if Indy doesn’t go to see Marion the Nazis either make a deal with her (she’s in a better mood) or they torture her and get the headpiece. Then they know where to dig because they have both sides, not just the one burnt into Toht’s hand.

Bond achieves his goals in all the other films; kills the bad guy and foils their evil scheme. In ‘Skyfall’ he only manages to kill the villain, and he was suicidal anyway.

Seriously, Bond really doesn’t keep the British end up in that film. :wink:


By all normal rules of story, the protagonist of Raiders isn’t Indy.

It’s God.


So I guess that makes Indy the comedy relief sidekick.


My wife is religious. I am not.

I will try to stop myself, but it is inevitable. The die is already cast. At some point in the future, I am going to mention this to my wife in my usual unthinking way. I will spend some time sleeping on the sofa thereafter.


If the Nazis had gotten hold of the Ark without Indy’s interference, then maybe they would not have had a reason to go searching for the Tesseract in Norway, which led to the Red Skull battling Captain America and his plane crashing into the Atlantic and Steve Rogers being preserved on ice for almost 70 years. Not to mention that whole Hellboy/Rasputin business in Scotland.



If she gets mad, just follow it up with, “But then really, isn’t God the protagonist of every story?”


What Blurred function?!
I just think you started drinking a little early today!


It’s spoiler text. Just click on it and it becomes readable. :wink:


I like that. I’m going to use that!

Even if it doesn’t work, when we bought a sofa I made sure that it was one I would be comfortable sleeping on.


I read that 1 year ago, and it’s true, Indy didn´t find the ark, the nazis did, Indy didn´t stop the nazis , the ark did, so what did Indiana do?..just be cool


He made it a story worthy of film. :wink:


He was probably playing fetch back at the old homestead.

Henry Jones Jnr. on the other hand tried his best to keep the Ark safe from Adolf Hitler and rescue Marion. He just wasn’t very good at it.