The full timeline of the Indiana Jones movie franchise, from Raiders of the Lost Ark to Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.


A fancy timeline has emerged over the course of the Indiana Jones film franchise, which first started in 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark. Helmed by director Steven Spielberg and starring Harrison Ford in one other career-making function (along with taking part in Han Solo), the Indiana Jones films span greater than 30 years in actual time, and slightly greater than 20 years in-universe – that’s, for those who do not depend all of the historic occasions which lie on the coronary heart of every Indiana Jones installment. With many of the franchise set in the course of the Nineteen Thirties and later choosing up within the Fifties, audiences observe Indy as he travels internationally with a view to discover and protect the world’s best treasures, together with the Ark of the Covenant and the Holy Grail. Despite the Indiana Jones sequels by no means actually measuring as much as the unique movie, the Indiana Jones film timeline has grown to change into extremely advanced – however the Indian Jones film release order is simple to pin down:

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  • 1981: Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • 1984: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
  • 1989: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  • 2008: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
  • 2023: the yet-unnamed fifth Indiana Jones film

Indian Jones’ historical past stretches additional and deeper than the films, nevertheless. The cinematic Indiana Jones timeline would not account for the quite a few novels and comics, in addition to a ’90s tv present primarily based on the Indiana Jones character. This makes issues much more advanced, however what’s vital is that every one of those extra supplies from the Indiana Jones world cowl Indy’s childhood, teenage, and younger grownup years. At the beginning of the primary movie within the franchise, which, chronologically talking, is George Lucas’ Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom – Indy is 36 years outdated. Here’s how the remainder of the timeline for Indy’s grownup years play out, in addition to what occurred earlier than Indiana Jones was born.

Related: Where To Watch Every Indiana Jones Movie Online (Not Disney+)


Indiana Jones Pre-History

Each Indiana Jones journey is predicated on a historic occasion or, within the case Crystal Skull, a really fictional occasion involving aliens. This means key elements of each story occurred centuries earlier than Indy’s start. Here are some key prehistoric dates within the Indiana Jones timeline in addition to the character’s backstory.

  • Unknown: Aliens arrive within the Akator area of the Amazon, giving native tribesman unbelievable quantities of data. The tribes construct town of Akator in tribute to the alien explorers and accumulate an enormous quantity of gold and different treasures.
  • 1400 BC: The Ark of the Covenant, which contained the Ten Commandments handed down by God and carried by Moses and the Hebrews by the desert, is created. Fun reality: the Raiders of the Lost Ark villain Arnold Toht – the Nazi agent who wished to assert the Ark – was purported to be a cyborg, an concept which George Lucas shut down.
  • 1095: Sir Richard, a knight within the First Crusade, and his males discover the Holy Grail within the Canyon of the Crescent Moon. One of the knights remained with the Grail and was found by Indy centuries later.
  • 1546: Francesco de Orellana disappears searching for Akator.
  • 1872: Henry Jones Sr. is born on December 12 in Scotland.
  • 1899: Henry Jones Jr. is born on July 1. He modifications his identify to Indiana throughout his childhood in reminiscence of his beloved canine.
  • 1907-1920: As seen in ‘90s prequel show The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, Indiana travels along with his mother and father internationally for his father Henry’s work from the age of 8 to 21. During his continent-spanning travels, Indiana usually finds himself wrapped up in a brand new thriller or journey. Essentially, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles laid the in-universe basis for the type of thrill-seeking archeologist he would finally change into.
  • 1912: Indiana has an encounter with a person in a Panama hat who makes an attempt to steal a golden crucifix belonging to Coronado. During this encounter, he will get his well-known chin scar after utilizing a whip for the primary time. His mom dies throughout this 12 months, too.
  • 1926: Indiana will get romantically concerned with Marion Ravenwood, the daughter of his mentor, Abner Ravenwood.

Related: The 1 Rule Indiana Jones 5 Must Stick To (That Crystal Skull Broke)

Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom

The Year: 1935

  • Shanghai: Indiana Jones flees town after narrowly escaping the clutches on an area crime boss, Lao Che. He manages to flee with a nightclub singer, Willie Scott, and the 12-year-old boy who would change into Indiana Jones’ beloved sidekick, Short Round. The three stow away on a aircraft out of town, believing they’ve made it out of Lao Che’s grasp. What they fail to comprehend is the aircraft is owned by Lao Che. Lao Che’s males dump gasoline and parachute out of the aircraft, leaving Indiana, Willie, and Shorty to perish. The three as soon as once more make a slender escape, taking a life raft, leaping out of the aircraft, and driving it down the river into the village of Mayapore, India.
  • Mayapore, India: Indiana, Willie, and Shorty all discover security within the village. They be taught from the villagers that youngsters have been disappearing, which they consider is linked to the disappearance of a sacred Sankara Stone. They are directed to Pankot Palace by the villagers after being advised the stone was taken from a temple within the space. Notably, that is the a part of the film timeline which incorporates many of the Indiana Jones franchise’s racist mistakes.
  • Pankot Palace: When they arrive within the village, Indiana questions the Pankot Palace Prime Minister, Chattar Lal. Lal rejects the concept that evil forces close to Pankot Palace are the explanation the Mayapore youngsters are being stolen. Instead, he claims the Thuggee cult is behind the disappearances of the youngsters and the Sankara Stone. Indiana, Willie, and Shorty enterprise into an underground temple the place they consider the Thuggee worship in hopes they is likely to be extra solutions. Instead, they watch because the Thuggee sacrifice a human to the goddess Kali. It’s revealed the Thuggee are utilizing the stolen youngsters to mine for the ultimate two stones to finish the set of 5 Sankara Stones which Indiana earlier hypothesized had been the identical fabled stones which might deliver fortune and glory. Indiana Jones, Willie, and Short Round are captured and separated by the Thuggee, led by excessive priest Mola Ram. Eventually, Shorty escapes his captors and will get to Indiana, who was compelled to drink a potion referred to as the Blood of Kali, making him extremely suggestible by Mola Ram. Indiana retrieves all of the Sankara Stones and the stolen Mayapore youngsters, as Mola Ram and the Thuggee pursue them by the jungle. Mola and Indiana wrestle for management of the stones on a slender rope bridge. Indiana remembers invoking the identify of the goddess Shiva turns the stones white-hot – as Indiana does this, Mola Ram tries taking one of many stones. Mola Ram’s hand will get burned, inflicting him to lose steadiness and fall with many of the Sankara Stones all the way down to the river, the place crocodiles shred Mola Ram’s physique to items. Indiana, Willie, and Shorty return to Mayapore, giving the youngsters again to their households and the one remaining Sankara Stone nonetheless of their possession. As for what happened to Short Round after Temple of Doom, a Eighties comedian tie-in gives a solution. In Marvel Comic’s The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones, Indiana takes Short Round again to the U.S. to enroll him in boarding college.

Related: How The Indiana Jones Movies Prove Indy Isn’t A Hero

Raiders of the Lost Ark

The Year: 1936

  • Peru: Indiana Jones dodges a number of traps to retrieve a golden idol from an historic temple. As he’s leaving, Indiana is confronted by rival archeologist René Belloq. Indiana surrenders the idols to Belloq, and Belloq leaves.
  • Bedford, Connecticut: Indiana Jones returns to work as a professor of archeology at Marshall College. He is approached by two Army Intelligence officers, who inform him the Nazis are pursuing Indiana’s mentor, Abner Ravenwood, who’s in possession of a headpiece referred to as “the Staff of Ra” – which the Nazis consider will make them the magical metropolis of Tanis in Egypt. Indiana theorizes the Nazis are looking for the Ark of the Covenant, which might give the Nazi military unbelievable energy.
  • Nepal: After studying the Abner is lifeless and that Indiana Jones heroine Marion Ravenwood has the headpiece, Indiana travels to Nepal to search out her. Indiana locates Marion in a tavern – however not earlier than a bunch of Nazis finds her first. A gunfight breaks out and Indiana and Marion narrowly escape with the headpiece.
  • Cairo: Indiana and Marion head for Cairo, the place they meet up with Indiana’s good friend, Sallah. Sallah tells them Belloq and the Nazis are digging for the “Well of Souls” which they consider will take them proper to the Ark. Indiana and Marion piece collectively that Belloq and the Nazis are digging within the mistaken place. Indiana and Sallah infiltrate the Nazi campsite and try to make use of the headpiece to assist get into the Well of Souls. Curiously, regardless of Indiana’s prior expertise activating the magical Sankara Stones, Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark initially dismisses the Ark’s supposed powers as superstition, and Indiana’s try to get into the Well of Souls exhibits him starting to shed off the skepticism. However, the Nazis stumble upon them, take the Ark for themselves, and attempt to seal them within the chamber. They escape with the Ark throughout a high-speed automotive chase, and all three get aboard a tramp steamer certain for London.
  • On an island within the Aegean Sea: A Nazi U-boat intercepts the tramp steamer, with Belloq rising and taking the Ark, Indiana, and Marion captive. Belloq brings them to an island within the Aegean Sea so Belloq can take a look at the powers of the Ark earlier than presenting it to Adolf Hitler. Out of the Ark springs angels of demise, which proceed to kill all of the Nazis. Indiana and Marion shut their eyes to keep away from wanting on the angels and being killed (which led to the fan theory that Indiana Jones himself was one). The fiery warmth of the angels of demise kills Belloq and the remainder of the excessive command. The Ark then seals itself shut. Indiana and Marion deliver the Ark again to the U.S., the place the federal government takes possession of it for additional analysis.

Related: The Raiders Of The Lost Ark Plot Hole That No One Ever Notices

Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade

The Year: 1938

  • The coast of Portugal: Indiana meets an outdated foe from his childhood, the Man within the Panama Hat. The two are engaged in a struggle on Panama Hat’s boat someplace off the coast of Portugal. Indiana escapes the struggle and takes again the cross of Coronado taken by Panama Hat when he first encountered Indiana greater than 20 years prior.
  • Connecticut: Indiana receives phrase his father, Henry Jones, Sr., has disappeared whereas trying to find The Holy Grail. Henry was utilizing an inscription from a stone desk as his information. Indiana resolves to search out his father – performed by Sean Connery in the Last Crusade.
  • Venice: Indiana takes colleague Marcus Brody to Italy with Henry’s Grail diary, which he obtained days earlier. He meets Dr. Elsa Schneider, who was working with Henry to search out the Grail. Indiana and Elsa go to the catacombs of a library the place Henry was final seen. They discover the entire stone desk inscription from the tomb of a knight from the First Crusade. The Brotherhood of the Cruciform Sword, sworn to guard the Grail, discover out Indiana and Elsa are within the tomb and set the tomb on hearth. The pair escapes.
  • Turkey: Indiana and Elsa go to the Turkish metropolis of İskenderun. They meet with Sallah. Indiana and Elsa head to a Nazi-controlled fortress the place they discover Henry – nevertheless it’s revealed Elsa is working for the Nazis in hopes Henry would lead her to the Grail. Henry tells Indiana the diary is the important thing to getting previous the three traps protecting the Last Crusade‘s Holy Grail, and so they resolve to get it from Marcus, who was entrusted with the diary when he and Indiana parted methods in Italy. They be taught Marcus has been kidnapped by the Nazis, and the Nazis are forcing Marcus to disclose data from Henry’s diary to make them the positioning of the Holy Grail.
  • Hatay: Indiana saves Marcus and Henry from the clutches of the Nazis after Henry, too, was briefly kidnapped by them. Indiana, Henry, Marcus, and Sallah observe the Nazis to the Grail website.The pair observe Elsa and one other Nazi conspirator. The Nazi conspirator fatally wounds Henry, motivating Indiana to search out the Grail to avoid wasting him. The tomb containing the artifact is guarded by a 700-year-old knight, nonetheless transferring due to the Grail, which is hidden amongst many comparable chalices. Indiana chooses the suitable Grail and manages to heal his fatally-wounded father. The “Immortal Indiana Jones” fan theory is rooted on this scene, as Indiana drank from the Grail first earlier than saving Henry. The knight warns them the Grail cannot depart the tomb, however Elsa ignores this, inflicting the construction to break down. She plummets to her demise, however Indiana and Henry make it out alive. Indiana, Henry, Marcus, and Sallah experience off into the sundown.
  • Location unknown: Marion provides start to Mutt Williams, Indy’s son. Indiana would not discover out till 19 years later when Mutt exhibits up, asking for his assist.

Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull

The Year: 1957

  • Nevada: Indiana and George “Mac” McHale are kidnapped by a bunch of Soviets led by Dr. Irina Spalko. They are taken to Area 51 (Hangar 51 in-universe) and ordered to search out the physique of a mummified alien Irina needs to analyze. Mac reveals he is a double agent and Indiana unsuccessfully makes an attempt to take the alien physique from Spalko. After escaping from Area 51, Indiana Jones survives a nuclear blast by hiding inside a lead-lined fridge, however is later apprehended by FBI brokers. The brokers suspect him of working for the Soviets however Indiana denies this.
  • Connecticut: Indiana is compelled on an indefinite depart of absence due to the FBI’s allegations. Shortly afterward, Indiana is approached by Mutt Williams, who asks for Indiana’s assist in discovering Harold Oxley. Oxley was a good friend of the Williams household, together with Mutt’s mom (later revealed to be Marion Ravenwood); Oxley was additionally a classmate of Indiana’s at Oxford. Mutt says Oxley despatched his mom a letter written in an historic South American language. Indiana cracks it and figures out the pair should go to Peru. This is simply one of many many convoluted plot factors which have led many to name Crystal Skull the worst Indiana Jones movie.
  • Peru: Indiana and Mutt examine the psychiatric hospital the place they consider Oxley was held after his seek for Akator went awry. After decoding scribbles on the partitions of Oxley’s cell, they theorize he was looking for the identical historic metropolis – Akator – that Spanish explorer Francisco de Orellana wanted within the sixteenth century. Indiana and Mutt are captured by Soviets after efficiently finding Orellana’s grave and discovering a crystal cranium buried in his tomb. They deduce Oxley discovered the cranium however in the end tried to place it again earlier than his disappearance.
  • The Peruvian jungle: The Soviets take Indiana and Mutt to their campsite, the place Spalko waits with Mac, Oxley, and, a lot to Indiana’s shock, Marion. Oxley is proven to have gone mad, which Spalko causes was from researching the crystal cranium for too lengthy earlier than placing it in Orellana’s grave. Unfortunately, this compelling plot level in the end results in Crystal Skull’s sci-fi/alien problem – despite the fact that it hinted that the 2008 sequel could be going again to the franchise’s archeology/history-inspired roots, as Oxley’s riddles are revealed to be the code to Akator’s coordinates. Indiana, Spalko, Mutt, Marion, Mac, and Oxley all set off for Akator. During their travels, a struggle ensues as Indiana, Marion, Mutt, and Mac attempt to break free from Spalko. The groups separate, with Indiana and his group getting a head begin to Akator.
  • Akator: Indiana and the group efficiently make it previous all of the booby traps main down into the stomach of Akator’s largest constructing. In one room, they uncover huge quantities of treasure. In one other room, they discover historic alien skeletons, which is when Crystal Skull breaks from Indiana Jones tradition by injecting sci-fi into the narrative. Spalko arrives on the scene, having been left a path of transceivers due to Mac, who continues to be working with the Soviets. Spalko takes the cranium from Indy, however then the extraterrestrial skull will get teleported through telekinesis again to the skeletal system it was faraway from centuries prior. Spalko steps ahead, hoping obtain the alien’s accrued information for the Soviet Union. She’s overwhelmed by the alien’s energy although, and dies. Akator begins to self-destruct because it was constructed on high of the aliens now-reactivated spaceship. Indiana, Marion, Mutt, and Oxley make it out alive, however Mac sacrifices himself.
  • 1959, Connecticut: Marion and Indiana get married. Indiana returns to work at Marshall College and is made affiliate dean. As Indiana Jones was fired earlier and no context is given as to why he was rehired, that is largely thought of to be Crystal Skull‘s biggest plot hole.

Related: How Indiana Jones’ Daughter Became Mutt Williams

Indiana Jones 5

The Year: 1969

  • The Indiana Jones timeline continues within the yet-unnamed fifth Indiana Jones film, which is reported to be set 12 years after Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Leaked set images from filming in Scotland, UK. The set images confirmed a heavy Americana aesthetic from the late ’60s, together with classic automobiles and style, anti-Vietnam War and Nixon protest posters, parade bunting to have a good time the Apollo mission. That stated, whereas it is all however confirmed that Indiana Jones 5 will happen in 1969, it needs to be famous that this might simply be one a part of the whole movie, which might additionally fill in additional of the franchise timeline by flashbacks or flash forwards. With the franchise branching off into sci-fi within the final film, there are additionally rumors that Indiana Jones 5 could involve time travel, suggesting large reveals concerning – or presumably even modifications to – the canonical Indiana Jones timeline. In any case, the fifth and presumably remaining Indiana Jones film is slated for theatrical release on June 30, 2023 – 15 years after Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Next: Indiana Jones 5’s Biggest Problem Is Following Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull

Key Release Dates

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