Indiana Jones: the story so far

The exhilarating Indiana Jones saga reaches its fifth instalment in the upcoming Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.

Harrison Ford returns to his most famous and celebrated role as the tenacious Indy who finds himself washed up in the 1960s American space race. However, there's no time to rest on one's laurels just yet as old Nazi enemy Voller (Mads Mikkelsen) is looking to get his hands on a powerful artifact.

It's up to Indy and his goddaughter Helena (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) to stop Voller and his henchmen in their tracks. In classic Indiana Jones fashion, this will involve globe-trotting, hair-raising escapes and ventures into deadly subterranean tombs and crypts.

Need to catch up with Indy's story so far? Scroll down for the potted history of Dr. Jones's adventures to date.


Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

  • In 1936, globe-trotting adventurer Indiana Jones doubles up as a professor of archaeology
  • He is enlisted by the American military to help track down the mystical Ark of the Covenant
  • The Ark reputedly holds the fragments of The Ten Commandments that were bestowed upon Moses by God
  • Indy must recover the ark before Adolf Hitler's Nazi forces seize the relic and use it to become invincible



  • Indy teams up with his old flame Marion (Karen Allen) who possesses a medallion that points partway toward the Ark's location
  • In Cairo, Indy and his associate Sallah (John Rhys-Davies) use the Medallion to pinpoint the location of the Well of the Souls, where the Ark rests
  • Indy's archaeology rival René Belloq (Paul Freeman) is working with the Nazis to help track down the Ark for his own purposes
  • Having recovered the Ark from the Well of the Souls, Indy and Marion battle the Nazi forces after they take the artifact back into their possession




  • Belloq plans to test the Ark's abilities prior to opening it in front of Hitler, undertaking a secretive ceremony on a remote Mediterranean island
  • However, Belloq and Gestapo agent Toht (Ronald Lacey) underestimate the object's abilities and it eliminates all who stand before it
  • Indy, perceiving the might of God's wrath, closes his eyes and compels Marion to do the same, and they both survive the ordeal
  • The Ark is sequestered away in a top-secret military warehouse while Indy and Marion rekindle their dormant relationship


Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)

  • In 1935, prior to the events of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indy escapes an assassination attempt by Chinese gangsters in Shanghai
  • He escapes with reluctant nightclub singer Willie Scott (Kate Capshaw) and pre-teen sidekick Short Round (Ke Huy Quan)
  • Forced to bail out of their plane over the Himalayas, the three find themselves in an Indian village filled marked by suffering and starvation
  • Indy is told by the village elder that the nearby Pankot Palace is hosting a resurgence of the evil Thuggee cult
  • The Thuggee stole the children of the village along with one of the sacred Sankara stones



  • Indy, Willie and Short Round travel to Pankot Palace where they are entertained by the Maharaja and his entourage
  • Following an attempt on his life, Indy discovers a secret passage leading to the subterranean base of the Thugee cult
  • The three witness a gruesome sacrificial ceremony undertaken by Thuggee high priest Mola Ram (Amrish Puri) in the name of the Hindu god Kali
  • Indy and his colleagues are captured, and Mola Ram reveals that the kidnapped children are being used as slaves to locate the remaining two Sankara stones



  • When Mola Ram possesses all five stones, the Thuggee will rise up to become all-powerful, and Indy is compelled to drink the cursed blood of Kali, brainwashing him to Mola Ram's cause
  • Short Round escapes, breaks Indy's curse and helps save Willie from being sacrificed in a lava pit
  • The three rescue the endangered child slaves and battle Mola Ram's forces to escape the temple via a mine cart
  • In a desperate final battle on a stricken rope bridge, Indy invokes the power of Shiva to reclaim one of the Sankara stones and send Mola Ram to his death in a river filled with man-eating crocodiles
  • Indy, Willie and Short Round triumphantly return to the village with the children in tow, as they reunite with their parents



Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

  • In 1912, the young Indiana Jones (River Phoenix) intercepts a group of grave robbers while on a Boy Scout trip in Utah
  • Although he fails to recover the famed Cross of Coronado, Indy gains the respect of the lead robber who gifts him his fedora
  • The story then jumps ahead to 1938 when Indy finally recovers the Cross from its unscrupulous new owner



  • Back in America, Indy is alerted to the possible resting place of the Holy Grail by wealthy collector Walter Donovan
  • Indy recommends that his estranged father Henry Jones (Sean Connery) picks up the search, but Donovan informs Indiana that his father has vanished
  • On the search for his father, Indy travels to Venice with his close colleague Marcus Brody (Denholm Elliot) and they meet colleague Elsa Schneider (Allison Doody)
  • A series of clues from Henry's diary eventually point the way toward Austria where Indy's dad is being held by the Nazis



  • Elsa reveals herself to be an insurgent traitor working with SS agent Vogel (Michael Byrne) and the devious Donovan
  • Teaming up with his father, Indy escapes Austria and eventually makes his way to Iskendurin where Marcus has been intercepted by the Nazi forces in anticipation of locating the Grail's final resting place
  • Following a dramatic tank battle, Indy and his allies, including Sallah, kill Vogel and pursue Donovan's men to the Canyon of the Crescent Moon



  • Inside the Canyon, a series of booby traps and riddles point the way toward the Grail
  • Indy is compelled to undertake the challenge after his father is mortally wounded by Donovan
  • Indy makes his way to a cave populated by an ailing Grail Knight who warns him that the wrong choice from a selection of false grails will be fatal
  • Donovan arrives and makes a poor choice, disintegrating into nothing



  • Indiana, however, correctly identifies the wooden cup of a carpenter and takes the Grail back to his father, restoring him back to health
  • With the temple collapsing, Elsa is killed and Indy and his friends escape safely, riding off into the sunset



Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)

  • In 1957, Indiana Jones and his colleague Mac (Ray Winstone) are kidnapped by Soviet agents commanded by scientist Colonel Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett)
  • Spalko directs Jones toward a top-secret hangar at Area 51 where an alien corpse is uncovered from a crate
  • Following Mac's betrayal, Indy escapes and, having survived a nuclear test by hiding in a fridge, returns to his college job where he's greeted by young greaser Mutt Williams (Shia LaBeouf)



  • Mutt informs Indy that his mentor Oxley (John Hurt), a former colleague of Indiana's, has been kidnapped in Peru
  • Oxley was on the search for a mystical crystal skull, possibly of alien origin, in the Peruvian jungle
  • Pursued by Soviet agents, Indy and Mutt venture to Peru where they follow Oxley's instructions and unearth the crystal skull



  • Indy and Mutt are intercepted by Spalko's men and taken into the jungle where Spalko attempts to use the skull's telepathic abilities to get inside Indy's mind
  • When he resists, Spalko reveals that she has also kidnapped Indy's former love Marion Ravenwood
  • Marion then reveals that Mutt is her son and, even more surprisingly, that he is also Indiana's son (official name, Henry Jones III)



  • Escaping the Soviets, Indy, Marion, Mutt and Oxley, who has gone mad via the skull's influence, make their way toward the lost city of Akator
  • This is where the crystal skull is rumoured to have originated from and Spalko is in hot pursuit
  • In the bowels of Akator, the group discovers thirteen alien skeletons, one of which is missing a head, and Spalko places the crystal skull onto the body
  • The thirteen skeletons coalesce into one living alien that overloads Spalko's mind with knowledge, killing her as the remaining Soviets are sucked into a spaceship
  • Indy and Marion return to America where they eventually get married



Are you up to speed? Then click the link below and catch Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny at Cineworld from June 28th.