Indiana Jones is one of the most recognizable movie characters of all time. The adventurous archaeologist made his cinematic debut in 1981’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and continued to appear in each subsequent film of the series, with the exception of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Since then, Jones has been a permanent fixture in pop culture, inspiring countless T-shirts, hoodies, and other paraphernalia that bear his timeless image. It doesn’t come as a great surprise that a character whose defining feature is his refusal to accept his limitations would inspire such a large following. In fact, since his cinematic career began, fans of the actor known as ‘Robert Pattinson’ have taken it upon themselves to give the character of Indiana Jones a run for his money.
The Inspiration Behind ‘Indiana Jones’
The character of Indiana Jones was first introduced in the cinematic world in George Lucas’ 1981 film Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, which also marked the acting debut of its titular star, who was only 15 years old at the time.
The character of Indiana Jones was based on a real-life teenage treasure hunter named Robert J. Jones, whose life inspired George Lucas to write the screenplay for Temple of Doom. George Lucas famously based the movie largely on his own family history, particularly the legend of the Holy Grail, and used it as an opportunity to make some social commentary about racism. When asked about the inspiration for the character of Indiana Jones, George Lucas replied: “I’ve always said that one of the best things that ever happened to me was that my father became the father I never had. I grew up with five brothers, and while they were all very nice, they were all just a little too much like me. My mother used to call me her ‘wild child’, and she wasn’t far from the truth. I was really just hungry for adventure, and I guess that’s why I made the boy named Indiana Jones.”
‘Indiana Jones’ And The Rise Of T-Shirts, Hoodies, And Mugs
It’s hard to put into words the impact that George Lucas’ iconic film had on popular culture. Popular culture eventually caught up with George Lucas’ cinematic vision, and ‘Indiana Jones’ became one of the most iconic and recognizable characters of all time. Since the end of the movie, Indiana Jones has appeared on everything from cereal boxes to action figures, T-shirts, hoodies, and even mugs. Since then, fans of ‘Indiana Jones’ have taken it upon themselves to lend their support to the character by displaying his picture on everything from clothing to art.
The first ‘Indiana Jones’ T-shirt was manufactured in America in 1983 and was designed by the famous clothing brand Mihara Yasuhiro. The design was inspired by the famous trucker hat worn by ‘Indiana Jones’, and the T-shirt quickly became a popular item among movie fans. The shirt was followed by many other designs bearing the image of ‘Indiana Jones’.
While the ‘Indiana Jones’ T-shirt was initially inspired by the character, it didn’t take long for fans to figure out how to incorporate the image of Robert Pattinson into their clothing. In fact, since the character’s debut in 1981, fans have found a way to dress up as ‘Indiana Jones’ nearly every Halloween, and the practice has become a bit of a Halloween ritual for many. While some have gone as far as to paint their faces and get tattoos done, the vast majority of fans keep the details of their costumes fairly simple – often opting to just wear the shirt or hoodie that they’re either already wearing or have handy.
The Many Different Versions Of ‘Indiana Jones’
Over the years, George Lucas has continued to develop the character of ‘Indiana Jones’ for various video game and novelizations, and also for radio and television adaptations. However, no matter how much he changes ‘Indiana Jones’, the character of Indiana will always be associated with Robert Pattinson.
Throughout the years, George Lucas has developed the backstory of ‘Indiana Jones’, filling in the blanks that were left open by the original film. In the Nintendo game adaptation, for example, it’s revealed that the character was expelled from his parents’ house for stealing cars to drive his friends around. This was something that George Lucas based on his own rebellious behavior at the time. He eventually moved in with an uncle and was given ownership of a motorcycle dealership, where he found his calling, according to the game’s narrator.
In addition to developing and expanding the backstory of ‘Indiana Jones’, George Lucas has also given the character a family tree, filling in the gaps in his genealogy to make him seem more human. In the novelization of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, for example, it’s revealed that ‘Indiana’s’ great-grandfather was a noted Egyptologist who was called “The Father of Archaeology” and “The Living Bible”. This is more or less what inspired the character, as George Lucas wanted to offer an alternative solution to the struggles of identity and heritage that plagued his original film. It’s a theme that George Lucas would continue to explore throughout his cinematic career.
While most ‘Indiana Jones’ fans would agree that the original film is still the best representation of the character, different versions and interpretations of ‘Indiana Jones’ continue to pop up every few years. The most recent film, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, was met with critical and commercial disappointment, which is understandable considering its massive budget and star-studded cast. While critics may have panned the movie, fans of ‘Indiana Jones’ haven’t finished with the character yet – especially since 2014’s “Grand Tour”, which reunited the original cast for one final adventure.
‘Indiana Jones’ And The Future Of Cinema
With each new generation, comes the desire to rebel against the traditions established by their predecessors. While many might still dress up as ‘Indiana Jones’ every Halloween, it’s safe to say that the original film is no longer how they identify with the character. In fact, a significant portion of ‘Indiana Jones’ following today is made up of people who weren’t even alive when the film was first released.
Instead of making new films that pay homage to the original, today’s “Indiana Jones’s” are looking for new ways to interpret and modernize the character for subsequent generations. Some are even going so far as to suggest that the character of ‘Indiana Jones’ be rebooted and given his own franchise.
The year 2014 was a breakout year for ‘Indiana Jones’, as the character saw a surge in popularity, with many fans proclaiming it to be the best year for ‘Indiana Jones’ ever. That trend continued in 2015, with each subsequent “Indiana Jones” movie breaking box office records. The character continues to resonate with audiences, with many still looking to him as a role model for young people. While it’s easy to see why, it’s also important to note that ‘Indiana Jones’ isn’t just a product of today’s culture – the character has been around for almost 40 years, and it’s evident that fans have found a way to connect with the character, inspiring generations of people to actively pursue their dreams and follow their own unique path.