Keanu Reeves has Neo from “The Matrix” and the title role in “John Wick.” Ian McKellen has Gandalf in “The Lord of the Rings” and Magneto in “X-Men.” Sylvester Stallone has Rocky Balboa and John Rambo. Some actors do well carrying big-budget franchises and maintaining consistency through multiple movies. One of the most famous and talented actors to pull off multiple franchises through numerous decades is Harrison Ford, with his iconic runs as both Han Solo in the “Star Wars” franchise and the fedora-wearing, whip-snapping titular hero in the “Indiana Jones” franchise.
While Jones had three films in the 1980s that saw him matching wits and fists with everything from Nazis to cult leaders, there was a two-decade wait for a new installment. When the fourth installment hit the screens, there wasn’t as much love for the hero as it fell short of fan expectations (per Rotten Tomatoes). With his return to “Star Wars,” Ford saw a lot more love from fans who had waited even longer to see the return of their character. Ford is trying to revive his adventuring college professor one last time with the new film “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.” Fans were treated with a new first-look trailer that gave us our deepest look so far at the legacy sequel, presumably looking to bring the character’s story to a close.
Of course, there was certainly a lot to take in with the new trailer, from the cast to the locales and taking in a new, updated score, but one split-second moment caught the attention of fans. And they weren’t about to let it go unnoticed.
An apparent nod to Han Solo
In a split-second moment, a cut scene shows what looks to be a pilot looking out a circular window with distinctive circles of different sizes. Of course, if you’re a fan of Harrison Ford, this brought immediate thoughts of his other role, the pilot Han Solo peering out the window of his beloved Millennium Falcon. The image of the smuggling scoundrel staring out the window as it jumps into hyperdrive is legendary. Even the coloring of the shot looks similar to the “Star Wars” moments. It didn’t take long for fans to flock to social media to express their excitement over the image.
@ArclightPNW tweeted the photo with the caption, “Wink and nod to Han Solo, and the MF love it.” The revelation sparked some comments that excitedly showed their recognition of the iconic image. @naaman posted the same photo and made the joke about the predictability of Han Solo always having to swoop in to save Indiana Jones, which certainly won’t happen. But it’s fun to dream. Finally, @DrOho shared the trailer with the caption, “New Indy trailer! Includes a very cheeky Han Solo moment…” Over on Reddit, u/squi993 made the statement that the “Millennium falcon scene was the best part of the trailer.”
While there was a lot to look at during that clip, the moment calling out the other iconic Harrison Ford character seems to have done precisely what a legacy sequel is supposed to do, and it tapped into audiences’ nostalgia. But the question remains, will “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” be enough to overcome the last sequel and the divisive fan response?
A return to form
The response to the trailer wasn’t all positive. For every excited comment about the Han Solo nod, there is another like that from u/Particular_Aspect406, who plays on a classic Indiana Jones phrase by saying, “He belongs in a museum!” But some aspects of the trailer may serve to show that the filmmakers may have learned from the backlash of “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.”
For instance, there is the presence of Jones’ last living ally from “The Last Crusade,” Sallah, played by the incredible John Rhys-Davies (“The Lord of the Rings”). But what gives us hope is that he is present in the film and what he says when narrating the trailer’s opening. He speaks about how he misses the desert and the adventures it brought. While that may seem like an off-handed comment, there could be something more profound for fans to grasp. The two top-rated films in the franchise on Rotten Tomatoes are “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “The Last Crusade.” Meanwhile, “Temple of Doom” and “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” fall shorter than the others in the eyes of the audience.
One thing to keep in mind with the two higher-rated films is they both take place in the desert and pit our hero against the Nazis, while the others take place in the jungle. With Sallah speaking about missing the desert adventures, it feels like he is speaking directly to the audience, telling them they hear what they are saying. With the storyline of this last film pitting Indy against a former Nazi played by Mads Mikkelsen, it feels like this film is attempting to return the franchise to its former whip-cracking, fedora-wearing, globetrotting glory.