Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Indiana Jones 4

WEDNESDAY JULY 2 I'll be going to Las Vegas for Westercon. So before we discuss Indiana Jones, here is my program item schedule:

Here is your Westercon 61 Las Vegas Programming Schedule. All of the programming rooms are on the first floor of the Convention Center and very near one another. Each item is scheduled for 60 minutes in 90 minute intervals.

7/3 2:30 pm Grand Ballroom C
Fantasy: Is the Magic Gone?
Has the genre been overdone? Or can you use traditional themes to tell wonderful new stories? Can there be new fantasy without overused archetypes?
Kage Baker (M), Jacqueline Lichtenberg, Kevin Andrew Murphy, Tony N. Todaro

7/3 4:00 pm Galicia
Autographing: Jacqueline Lichtenberg
Jacqueline Lichtenberg

7/4 10:00 am Grand Ballroom A
Little Known SF Television
Someday while flipping channels you saw an episode of Supernatural or Smallville or Torchwood. There are dozens of these shows on cable or available on DVDs. Which ones are worth watching? Are there even some canceled ones that you should hunt down on DVD?
Jacqueline Lichtenberg, Milt Stevens, Lee Whiteside (M)

7/4 11:30 am Sevilla
The Flip of a Card, The Toss of the Dice
There are a lot of way to lose (or win) large sums of money. Here are some of the betting situations found in SF and Fantasy novels and movies.
Kevin Andrew Murphy, Jacqueline Lichtenberg (M), Barry Short

7/4 4:00 pm Andalucia
Classic Science Fiction Literature
Most people who read SF start reading science fiction by the age of twelve. But there was a lot written before you were born. What are the classics of science fiction?
Bradford Lyau, Jacqueline Lichtenberg, Milt Stevens (M), Ben Yalow

7/6 10:00 am Sevilla
Vampires - Much More than Buffy
Although Buffy created a huge following for modern vampire tales, there are many more vampires out there than the ones found in Sunnydale.
Catherine Cheek, Jacqueline Lichtenberg (M), Kevin Andrew Murphy

7/6 11:30 am Andalucia
How to Break an Editor's Spirit
Editors and writers gather together and reveal secret methods for destroying markets and driving editors crazy!
Beth Meacham (M), Jacqueline Lichtenberg, Deirdre Saoirse Moen, Tony N. Todaro

check out westercon.org -- choose this year's Westercon and get all the details.

So now to Indiana Jones 4 --

A while ago, I did an email interview for a blog about Alien Romance. It's now been posted at http://thegalaxyexpress.blogspot.com/2008/06/state-of-science-fiction-and-romance.html

If I'd done the interview after seeing The Crystal Skull (Indy 4), I'd have woven that movie into the interview discussion because Indie4 does represent a high point in Science Fiction Romance, and I think that's something Blake Snyder missed.

Here below are my comments (slightly rewritten) in answer to Blake Snyder's post on Indiana Jones -- and don't read it if you are sensitive to spoilers.


Answer to Blake's post & some of the comments
Why 1 and 3 Beat 2 and 4
Today's Blog — 2:44 pm on June 16, 2008


I think we're all missing something vital here. Story Arc.

I totally agree with Blake about how perfectly the beats were reticulated in 1 and 3, and just blurred a bit in 2 and 4. But that may not be due to flaws in those films but rather due to the planting of a clue.

Take 1,2,3,4 in order and let's first consider what we learn by looking at all 4 as an entire WHOLE story, not 4 different stories. Define the beats for this envelope arc.

Indy starts by not believing in the mystical -- has his nose rubbed in it -- tries to live in his old world with one toe on the mystical line -- gets roundly trounced (fun and games) by more mysticism (the Nazi side of the Force), and now discovers (science again) aliens from outer space, and mysticism (true love). True Love = Soul Mate = Applied Mysticism.

Indy's discovery of Aliens messing with our History (crystal skull evidence) after his lifetime of "fun and games" is the rude awakening of a story-mid-point.

4 doesn't have the feel of a "final chapter" but rather of a springboard into a whole new adventure in a whole new world. It's a midpoint. It needs 4 more episodes to complete.

Indy's "Universe" has been touched and perhaps altered by alien mysticism which could throw some light on humanity's mixed up ideas of mysticism.

In other words, 4 has the mid-way beat and BAD GUYS CLOSE IN beat -- the real threat invisible in 1,2,3, now becomes central and clear.

Aliens have messed with Earth History, and History is Indy's territory. You just don't mess with Indy.

His rude awakening is a story-mid-point. You think Nazi's are bad guys? Wait till you meet the Skulls. (that is, if I were writing this). But Indy's OLD (like his father was). We need the story of Indy's death and how the son figures into all that.

So instead of looking at these 4 films as individual stories, maybe we should run the "beats?" Set the end of 4 as the Mid-point in the beat sheet and see what comes next.

To do that, we have to reinterpret the first 3 movies in terms of the existence of that crystal skull and the effects it had -- especially on Indy who "just knew." What did discovering the Arc and the Challace have to do with that "just knew?" in Indie4? (that would be the plot of #5 if I were writing it.)

Those skulls have/had power.

What does that say about the Arc of the Covenant and the Challice that Indy found and all the rest (even objects we haven't seen in films)? When exactly was the kid conceived? Born? Indy's "just know" comes from channeling mystical power -- what was he channeling when the kid was concieved? Power like that can change genes. Is that kid entirely human? Is his mother human? Is this marriage a soul-mating? Or was it engineered by the Skulls way back in Indie#1?

Match up the year those skulls were entombed with what else was going on all over the world in that year -- in the Indy Universe.

I don't think we're looking at two films, Indie2 and Indie4, that miss the beats. I think we're looking at some masterful worldbuilding going on in the feature film arena rather than the weekly TV series arena.

Also, as far as mysticism goes, you realize that we now have 3 generations of men marching through history revealing ultimate truths. We should keep count of the number of "wives".

Jacqueline Lichtenberg


  1. Jacqueline, this was delightful. I wish I had a fraction of your perception. I also hope somebody in Hollywood acts on this. I've heard at least one person who saw Indie4 comment that the introduction of the alien space ship threw them out of the story, but I'd bet they just weren't open to the idea of SF and the supernatural being presented as simply different aspects of the same reality, one we've simply not seen before (or been allowed to see). In that respect, I think it could be likened to Star Wars, set in a galaxy not so long ago or far away.

  2. d'oh! I'm sensitive to spoilers. I will visit again once I've seen it. Looking forward to it!

  3. D'oh! Sorry, Heather! *cringing*