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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr


Indiana Jones: The Temple of Doom Indiana Jones
The Temple of Doom
Story by George Lucas
Screenplay by Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Release date: May 23, 1984

Indy is roped into recovering an Indian village's lost holy stone from an evil Thuggee cult.


Read the synopsis at the Indiana Jones Wiki


Notes from the Indiana Jones chronology


This movie takes place in December 1935.


Didja Know?


Actor Pat Roach, who appears here as the chief guard of the Thuggee slaves, also played two roles in Raiders of the Lost Ark (a giant Sherpa and a German mechanic who fights Indy on the flying wing) and played a Gestapo agent in The Last Crusade.


The character of Indiana Jones was named after George Lucas' dog. Willie Scott was named after director Steven Spielberg's dog. Short Round was named after the dog of husband and wife screenwriting team Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz (which was itself named after a character in the 1951 Korean War movie The Steel Helmet). 


Notes from The Lost Journal of Indiana Jones


The Lost Journal of Indiana Jones is a 2008 publication that purports to be Indy's journal as seen throughout The Young Indiana Chronicles and the big screen Indiana Jones movies. The publication is also annotated with notes from a functionary of the Federal Security Service (FSB) of the Russian Federation, the successor agency of the Soviet Union's KGB. The FSB relieved Indy of his journal in 1957 during the events of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The notations imply the journal was released to other governments by the FSB in the early 21st Century. However, some bookend segments of The Young Indiana Chronicles depict Old Indy still in possession of the journal in 1992. The discrepancy has never been resolved.  


    The Journal as published jumps from May 1933 relating to the Crystal Skull of Cozán from The Philosopher's Stone, followed by the edges of four pages torn from the journal, with the next existing entries being from 1935 and Indy's adventures as depicted here in The Temple of Doom. A note from the FSB remarks on the four missing pages and that it makes Jones' whereabouts in 1934 unknown. It is interesting to note that none of the chronicles of Indy's adventures in licensed novels, comics, etc. take place in 1934. Possibly, Lucasfilm deliberately left that year off limits to all licensed adventures in case they wanted to be able to state that some certain important event(s) occurred in Indy's life, they would have that whole year open for anything to have happened.

    The FSB note also explains that they did locate Indy's passport with travel stamps for 1935, so they have an idea where he was from January to December of that year. Indy's writings in the journal place the events of The Temple of Doom in December 1935 (the movie itself tells us only that it is 1935). Indiana Jones: The Ultimate Guide places the events in June of that year. PopApostle is going with the December date since the journal purports to be in Indy's own handwriting, with the December dating.


    Indy's journal entry states that he has discovered the Peacock's Eye is in the possession of a Shanghai crime lord named Lao Che and the gangster is willing to trade it for the jade urn containing the ashes of Nurhachi. Nurhachi (1559-1626), also known as Emperor Taizu of Qing, was the founder of the Jin dynasty of China. Indy's comment that Nurhachi also conquered the Mings and made the Manchus a dynasty is also correct. Lao Che claims to be his descendant. This meeting is seen in the movie and was set up at the end of The Emperor's Tomb.

    The Peacock's Eye is a fantastic diamond that Indy and Remy had attempted to track down in a globe-hopping adventure at the end of their service in the Belgian Army at the end of WWI, as seen in Treasure of the Peacock's Eye. They did not find the diamond, but Remy kept looking while Indy went off to the University of Chicago to study archeology.


   There is a note taped into the journal written to Remy where Indy says he's not sure if he should even send it, telling his old friend that he found the Peacock's Eye in China, but it flew out of his grasp again. The note ends with "But I have a good lead on where to look next..." The last we see of the Eye in the movie, it had disappeared into a large mass of ice cubes spilled onto the floor of Club Obi Wan.


At some point, Willie took a photo of Indy and Short Round while they were eating village food in Mayapore. The photo is "taped" into the journal. Who was carrying a camera?


A note from the FSR in the journal remarks that Hindus believe the universe was birthed by creator Brahma, maintained by god of presence Vishnu, and destroyed by Shiva--only to begin again. This is true of Hindu cosmology.


The fiery pillar that confounds Brahma and Vishnu that Indy writes about is another part of Hindu cosmology. Shiva steps out of the pillar and declares his sovereignty and Brahma and Vishnu prostrate themselves before him.


Two of the pages in the journal are taken up with drawings and juvenile commentary by Short Round.


A page from the Illustrated World News of the week ending Saturday, June 13, 1857 is "taped" into the journal. The article describes how Thugs continue to prey on innocents and rob and strangle them. The description of Thuggee history and behavior is generally true to what was believed at the time. Lord William Bentinck was the Governor-General of India in 1828, as mentioned. The article itself is fictitious, as is the newspaper, though clearly meant as a stand-in for the real world Illustrated London News, which was published 1842-2003; in fact, the masthead is identical except for the replacement of "London" in the title for "World".


An invitation card pasted into the journal suggests that the dinner enjoyed by Indy and Pankot Palace's other guests was a special celebration, "The Guardian of Tradition Dinner".


    Indy includes a photostat of a page from a book he found in the Burke J. Carter Library at Marshall College. The page gives a brief description of paganism in India and states that the Thuggee were recognized as more of a cult than a religion. The information is generally accurate, but also has some additional statements about possible use of black magic similar to the voodoo practices seen in New Orleans, Louisiana and Nkishi in Central Africa, which is added as a nod to the black magic Indy experiences at Pankot in the movie. Nkishi are spirits said to inhabit objects in the mythology of the Congo.

    The name Burke J. Carter is borrowed from the Raiders of the Lost Ark Sourcebook of the World of Indiana Jones role-playing game. In the sourcebook, Carter is said to be a wealthy Connecticut industrialist who was a benefactor of Marshall College. The name of Burke J. Carter is a play on the name of Carter J. Burke, a character in the 1986 sci-fi action film Aliens.


Indy's comment about the Scythians being the most famous of those who used the skulls of their enemies as drinking vessels is accurate.


Indy tapes a neem leaf into the journal, a gift from the children of Mayapore, that they call Yeppam. This is a medicinal plant used in India for centuries. One of its uses is to help stop burping and hiccups! 


Characters mentioned in the journal, not in this movie


Remy Baudouin

Burke J. Carter



Characters appearing or mentioned in this movie



Wilhelmina "Willie" Scott

club performers

club patrons

Lao Che

Kao Kan
Chen (dies in this movie)


Indiana Jones

Wu Han (dies in this movie)

cigarette girl

Short Round/Wan Li

Art Weber

airplane pilot and co-pilot


Mayapore villagers

Mayapore chieftain



village guides

Big Short Round (baby elephant)

Willie's grandfather (mentioned only)

palace guards

Chatter Lal

Maharajah of Pankot Zalim Singh

Captain Phillip James Blumburtt

palace dancers

palace servants

palace dinner guests

Thuggees/Kali worshippers

Mola Ram (dies in this movie)

sacrificial victim (dies in this movie)

chief guard (dies in this movie)





Didja Notice?


As the movie opens, the Paramount mountain logo fades into a similar mountain embossed on a silver gong in Lao Che's night club.


A gongman bangs the gong at the opening of the film, just as a gongman did in films distributed by General Film Distributors (and later by the Rank Organization), beginning in 1935. 


The opening scene takes place in Lao Che's night club, Club Obi Wan, in Shanghai, China. The club's name is borrowed by Lucasfilm from that of the character of Obi-Wan Kenobi in its Star Wars films. In the original script, the club was simply The Dragon.


The song Willie Scott performs onstage at the club is a mostly Chinese language version of "Anything Goes" a song by Cole Porter that originally appeared in the 1934 musical play of the same name.


During the musical number, notice that the dancing girls all appear to be Caucasian women dressed up to look Asian. This is likely a wink-and-nod by the filmmakers to the standards of 1930's Hollywood filmmaking, where most Asian roles were played by white actors.


When Willie walks back into the mouth of the dragon stage piece, fog fills the screen and she seems to emerge on the other side onto an enormous stage that doesn't seem could have fit inside the club! Another nod to 1930's musical film numbers. The novelization explains this as Willie imagining it was a Grand Stage and she was back in the States as a glamorous star.


When Indy sits down at the table with Leo Che and his sons, he says something to them in Chinese. I've not been able to translate it from the verbiage. It is not the same interaction they have in the original script, which seems to be gibberish anyway. This again may be a nod to 1930's Hollywood movies that often faked foreign languages most Americans would not understand anyway.


At the table, Kao Kan pulls a Smith & Wesson Safety Hammerless revolver on Indy.


At 7:03 on the DVD, Wu Han carries a Smith & Wesson Model 10 revolver under his serving tray to back up Indy at Lao Che's table.


Chen shoots Wu Han with a Webley Mk III .38 Pocket Revolver.


As Wu Han dies in Indy's arms, he says he has followed him on many adventures, but into the great unknown mystery, he goes first. The known adventures Wu Han had with Indy took place in The Dinosaur Eggs and The Emperor's Tomb. Indy also first met Lao Che in The Dinosaur Eggs.


When Indy accidentally punches the cigarette girl, the cigarette packages that go flying from her tray look like they may be Pall Mall brand. 


What does the Chinese writing on the bandstands in the club mean? The top character seems to be "big" and the bottom appears to have the "gate" character, plus a figure inside it (a person?). Big Gate? Anyone able to translate this any better?


At 10:07 on the DVD, Kao Kan rushes into the melee with a Thompson submachine gun, known as a Tommy gun during the gangster era of the 1920s-1930s.


Short Round pulls up to Club Obi Wan in a 1935 Auburn 851 Speedster. The novelizations though refer to it as a Duisenberg, a 1913-1937 American manufacturer of luxury and racing automobiles.


Short Round wears a New York Giants baseball cap. The New York Giants were a major league baseball team of the time, since moved to California to become the San Francisco Giants. In the main and junior novelizations, the cap is the New York Yankees.


According to Indiana Jones: The Ultimate Guide, Short Round's real name is Wan Li. The website stated that he obtained the nickname "Short Round" while working for money as an orphan in the shady neighborhoods of Shanghai, one of which, according to the novelization, was the Liu Street opium den. As far as I can find, Liu Street is fictitious.


Lao Che and his men jump into a 1931 REO Flying Cloud. REO (for Ransom E. Olds, who also founded Oldsmobile) was an American automobile manufacturer from 1905-1975.


Indy fires back at Lao Che's vehicle during the car chase with a Colt Official Police revolver.


When one of Lao Che's henchmen is shot at 12:15 on the DVD, the Wilhelm scream is heard.


When Shorty's car starts pushing the rickshaw along in front of it, the passengers in the rickshaw are seated with the man to the woman's right. But when the rickshaw is released at 12:21 on the DVD, the man and woman's positions are reversed.


When the rickshaw is released from the automobile and crashes into the vegetable stand, a small third wheel can be seen on the back of the carriage to help it roll in a stabilized manner in its upturned position.


At 12:45 on the DVD a Pan American hangar is seen at the airport in Shanghai. Pan American (aka Pan Am), was a U.S. airline from 1927-1991.


The Lao Che Air Freight plane that Indy boards at Nang Tao Airport with Short Round and Willie is a Ford 5-AT-B Trimotor. This is the same type of airplane Indy had at his disposal during his mission for the U.S. government in The Sky Pirates. Nang Tao Airport is fictitious; it's name was also used in the 1996 Doctor Who novel The Shadow of Weng-Chiang, set in Shanghai.


Art Weber, the British government representative who arranges for Indy's flight out of Shanghai, recognizes Willie and refers to her as the "famous American female vocalist." Just how famous is she? According to the novelization, not too much; she had little-to-no success in the States, but has managed a nice reputation in Shanghai since arriving there.


On the flight from Shanghai, the plane is depicted flying over the Great Wall of China at 14:39 on the DVD. But the flight path from Shanghai to Chungking (seen being passed over/through on the background map) does not cross the Great Wall, the wall being about 700 miles north of Shanghai and Chungking being 1500 miles to the southwest! Obviously, the Great Wall was placed in the montage simply because it is a very recognizable symbol of China.


As the pilots of the plane move to parachute out, notice that Willie has changed out of her glittery red dress and is wearing Indy's tuxedo and white coat.


Willie is wearing a flower pin holding her hair up in place on the right side of her head. For a brief moment at 15:33 on the DVD, the flower pin is seen on the left. This may be a flipped shot in the film.


The sound of the plane's engines failing as they run out of fuel is the same as that of the erratic hyperdrive engine of the Millennium Falcon in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. Listen: plane engine  hyperdrive fail


The inflatable life raft that Indy and the others use as a makeshift crash cushion to bail out of the falling plane is branded with South China Airlines. This appears to be a fictitious airline.


When Indy and friends jump out of the airplane with the rubber raft at 17:41 on the DVD, the plane's propellers are going again even though they were shown to have stopped due to lack of fuel a minute before.


When the plane is seen crashing into the mountain, it explodes in a ball of fire. But it should have just crumpled into debris without an explosion because it was out of fuel.


Indy asks the village elder if he can direct them to Delhi. Delhi is a city and territory of India.


The village shaman tells Indy the villagers prayed to Shiva to bring back the sacred stone (sivilinga) and Shiva brought Indy to them to accomplish it. Shiva is the Hindu god of destruction, time, and meditation. Sivilinga is a Sanskrit term for a symbol of Lord Shiva.


   The fragment of cloth depicting figures that is brought back from the slave mines by the boy Ranjit portrays what Indy interprets as the meeting of Shiva and Sankara, where Shiva gave Sankara five sacred stones with which to fight evil, and possibly the stone that was taken from Mayapore by the cult is one of those stones. The Sankara Stones appear to be fictitious to Hindu mythology. The name "Sankara" is one of several alternate names that may be applied to Shiva when emphasizing different aspects of his nature; "Sankara" indicates beneficence.

   The cloth fragment is seen inside Indy's journal in The Lost Journal of Indiana Jones.


The flying, winged creatures that Willie mistakes for big birds are said by Indy to actually be giant vampire bats. However, vampire bats live in the wild only in Central and South America, not in India. The 2008 juvenile novelization reveals that Indy was just having some fun at Willie's expense and the bats are actually fruit bats. In the novelization, Indy just says they are bats, but Shorty cringes at the proclamation anyway, having seen Dracula. Dracula was a 1931 film starring the quintessential movie vampire, Bela Lugosi.


At the camp site, Indy explains to Willie that he originally caught Short Round trying to pickpocket him. The boy had been living on the streets of Shanghai since his parents were killed in the bombing by the Japanese when he was four years old. This would seemingly reference the Japanese bombing that took place in 1932, but if Shorty was four then, he would be only about seven now. According to the novelization, he is 11 now (which is close to young actor Ke Huy Quan's age at the time, of 12).


Indy asks Willie if her name is short for something. She doesn't exactly answer the question, just says that it is her professional name. The novelization reveals that the full name is Wilhelmina.


Indy shows Willie the cloth fragment and explains the meeting between the priest Sankara and Shiva on Mount Kalisa, where Sankara received the five sacred stones. Mount Kalisa is an alternate pronunciation of Mount Kailash, a mountain in Tibet that is said to be the home of Shiva.


The snake that bothers Willie and frightens Indy is a python. The large snake later served at dinner at the palace also appears to be a python.


The 2008 juvenile novelization reveals that the statue/shrine that Indy uncovers in the jungle near Pankot is of the Hindu goddess Kali. Kali is the Hindu goddess of empowerment, but popular western fiction has tended to portray her as an evil goddess of destruction, such as being worshipped by the evil Thuggee cult in this film. The Thuggee were followers of Kali who were professional robbers and killers in the 14th-19th centuries. The word "thug" has become enshrined in many other languages around the world as a description of a person who is violent and lawless. Indy previously faced a Thuggee cult in India in The City of Lightning.


The novelization describes the architecture of the palace as a mixture of Moghul and Rajput styles. This does seem to be true of the palace exteriors seen in the film.


The Indian Prime Minister to the Maharajah of Pankot, Chatter Lal, tells Indy he recognizes his name as an archeologist from his time at Oxford.


At 39:02 on the DVD, Indy is asking Shorty, "Where is my razor?" But, when he attends the palace dinner that night, he remains unshaven. I guess Shorty didn't pack Indy's razor! (Though the novelization claims that Indy kept his three days growth of beard in order to appear rough and ready to Prime Minister Lal.)


Speaking of Pankot's history, Indy mentions Pankot having been the center of Thuggee activity before the time of Clive. Of course, though the Thuggee were real, since we've already established that Pankot is fictitious, it could not have been the center of Thuggee activity in our history. "Clive" was Robert Clive, 1st Baron Clive, (1725–1774), who became known as Clive of India, was the first British Governor of the Bengal Presidency.


What is Willie doing at 42:01 on the DVD? She appears to see something small on the shoulder of the tunic of the corpulent man seated next to her and while he is occupied with people on the other side of him, she looks closely at it and seems to pluck something away and makes a disgusted face.


When Indy tells Lal that the villagers at Mayapore claimed that Pankot had taken a sacred stone from them, Lal counters, "Dr. Jones, we are all vulnerable to vicious rumors. I seem to remember that in Honduras you were accused of being a grave robber rather than an archaeologist." This would seem to refer to the incident of Indy procuring the Crystal Skull of Cozán in The Philosopher's Stone.


Lal reminds Indy of an incident in which the Sultan of Madagascar threatened to cut off...well, a body part important to Indy. This story has never been fully told, but the book Indiana Jones: The Ultimate Guide reveals that Indy has recovered a sapphire called the Jewel of Heaven from the island nation and returned it to its rightful owner. The Jewel of Heaven appears to be a fictitious artifact.


At the end of the evening, Indy tells Shorty he's going to check on Willie and Shorty says, "Tell me later what happened," and Indy retorts, "Amscray." "Amscray" is so-called Pig Latin for "scram". 


Notice that the Thuggee, uh, thug, can be seen standing "camouflaged" against the painted wall in Indy's room as early as 50:28 on the DVD as Indy paces back-and-forth, waiting until 50:41 to make his move.


At 51:01 on the DVD, Shorty can be seen waking up in the background from the noise of Indy's fight with the thug. But, then he is seen waking up "again" at 51:27.


The insect walking on Shorty's leg at 55:17 on the DVD (and later on Willie's hand) is a spiny leaf insect.


Just after escaping the spike chamber by diving under the falling door slab, Indy quickly reaches back in with his arm to grab his fallen fedora off the floor and whisks it out just a split second before the slab slams shut. He makes a very similar move in Raiders of the Lost Ark to get his whip back.


In hiding, Indy, Willie, and Short Round observe a Thuggee ritual sacrifice to Kali. Willie whispers to him about whether he's ever seen anything like this before and he tells her nobody's seen this for a hundred years. But actually he and journalist Marya Smirnova witnessed a rather similar Thuggee sacrifice in 1933 in The City of Lightning.


When the sacrifice victim is brought out during the ceremony, he is chanting "Om Namah Shivaya." This is a Hindu mantra that means "adoration to Lord Shiva."


The chanting of "Kali ma" by the worshippers essentially means, "Mother Kali" in Hindi.


At 1:08:05 on the DVD, notice that the giant Kali statue not only wears necklaces of actual human skulls, but also a skirt of severed human arms!


Indy is forced to drink the so-called Blood of Kali, some kind of mind control potion that makes those who've drank it become a mindless devotee of Kali and the Thuggee. The Blood of Kali is, of course, a fictitious potion.


At 1:24:40 on the DVD, Mola Ram removes his headdress. But, just three seconds later, as Indy charges at him, he's wearing it again before the next shot shows him without it.


When Short Round wrestles the Maharajah, the Indy doll falls from the prince's hand, with the turban pin pulling out of the doll and held in the boy's other hand. But when the doll lands on the ground in the next shot, the pin is still stuck in it.


The rifles used by the Thuggee guards during the mine cart chase are Martini Henry lever action rifles, most likely Mark IV models.


When the Thuggees knock over the water storage tank to flood the tunnels, there is not nearly enough to water flood the entire tunnel system as depicted. Most of the water would have fallen into the lava chasms that are seen numerous times during the mine cart chase.


When the two sword-wielders challenge Indy on the trail at 1:42:17 on the DVD, Indy casually reaches for his gun in its hip holster at his waist, only to find the weapon missing, making him panic for a moment. This is a gag meant to harken back to a similar moment in the Raiders of the Lost Ark marketplace chase when a swordsman challenges Indy and Indy simply draws his gun and shoots him dead. That movie came out in 1981, while this one was released in 1984, so the audience gets the joke. But it seems a bit strange for Indy to react to the swordsmen here almost as if he's experienced it before when he has not since this film is set in 1935, while Raiders of the Lost Ark was set in 1936.


At 1:42:32 on the DVD, a sun reflector used in film shoots can be glimpsed on the left-hand edge of screen.


Knocking one of the two swordsman down to the ground, Indy has a showdown with the second, the Thug's sword versus Indy's whip. The whip wins the day, snagging the Thug's arm and wrenching it so that the sword goes flying away over the cliffside. A whip versus sword duel was imagined for the marketplace showdown in Raiders of the Lost Ark, but actor Harrison Ford was ill the day it was to be filmed, and Ford suggested the gag of Indy simply shooting the swordsman. It seems they got to revisit the whip duel here.


Just seconds after the second swordsman loses his sword down the cliffside, the first swordsman gets up again and Indy grabs the second swordsman's sword from him, even though it should be at the bottom of the cliff!


The river chasm geography changes from shot to shot, some of the sequence having been shot on location in Sri Lanka at a relatively small canyon with a creek flowing through it, and others on a set of a huge cliff, with a wide blue screen river.


When Indy finds himself trapped on the rope bridge from both ends by Thuggees, he threatens to drop his shoulder bag holding the Sankara Stones off the bridge into the river below. Mola Ram calls his bluff, saying, "Drop them, Dr. Jones. They will be found. You won't!" His bluff having been called, Indy puts the bag back over his shoulder. Indy will attempt essentially this same bluff in Raiders of the Lost Ark when he threatens to blow up the Ark of the Covenant, but relents when Belloq calls his bluff on it. It seems that the loss of priceless antiquities is a line that Indy will not cross.


Another Wilhelm scream is heard when Mola Ram's body is being devoured by the crocodiles.


The Indian Army led by Colonel Blumburtt uses Lee-Enfield No 4. Mk 1 rifles against the Thuggees at the bridge. But this rifle model was not manufactured until 1939. 


Indiana Jones and the The Temple of Doom novelization Notes from the movie novelization by James Kahn

(The page numbers come from the 1st printing, June 1984)


Characters appearing or mentioned in this novel, not seen in the movie 


Belgian man

"Uncle Wong"

Theater patrons


grandmother beggar

Shorty's grandmother (mentioned only, deceased)

drunk American sailor

Willie's mother (mentioned only)

Willie's suitors (mentioned only)

Chu (Shorty's brother, mentioned only, deceased)

past Maharajahs of Pankot (in portrait paintings only)

Shafi Singh (mentioned only, deceased) 


Chapter 1: Out of the Frying Pan...


The title of this chapter is derived from a common idiom in the English language, itself derived from the Aesopic fable "Worse and Worse" in which some fish jump "out of the frying pan, into the fire."


On page 1, très gais is French for "very cheerful".


Running the Chinese lyrics of Willie's rendition of "Anything Goes" on page 3 through Google translate, yields, "In the past, the four children would also sound the alarm in their hearts when they saw it. Today I found out. Anything goes."


On page 3, beau monde is French for "beautiful world."


I've been unable translate the Chinese language interaction between Indy and Lao Che on page 5.


On page 8, Willie notices the scar on Indy's chin and finds it interesting, wondering how he got it. At the time this novelization was written, the origin of Indy's scar had not been chronicled; it's an actual scar on the chin of actor Harrison Ford, who got it when he crashed his car into a telephone pole. In a prologue segment of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (covered in the PopApostle chronology as "The Cross of Coronado"), viewers learn that a 12-year old Indy accidentally cracked himself in the chin with a lion tamer's whip to earn the scar.


The novelization mentions that "the university" had been looking for a long time for Lao Che's diamond. But the 2008 junior novelization of The Temple of Doom states the diamond is the Peacock's Eye, the diamond he and Remy were on the trail of back in late 1918 - early 1919.


Page 14 describes the frenzy to escape the club as violence breaks out as like the inside of Pandora's Box before the lid was removed. Pandora's Box refers to the Greek myth of Pandora, the first woman on Earth, given a box (or jar) by the Olympian gods and told never to open it. Her curiosity got the better of her and she opened it anyway, releasing all the evils of the world (similar to the Bible's story of Eve and the forbidden fruit). The term "Pandora's Box" has come to stand for any seemingly small action performed by a person that results in widespread negative consequences.


Again, Indy's and Lao Che's exchange on page 14 does not seem to be actual Chinese (or other recognizable Asian language).


Chapter 2: A Boy's Life


Pages 21-32 tell of Short Round's day before he picked up Indy and Willie outside Club Obi Wan.


Shorty fancies himself a kind of Robin Hood, after the hero of the movie he'd seen seven or eight times at the Tai-Phung Theater. The film referred to is probably 1922's silent film Robin Hood starring Douglas Fairbanks (officially titled Douglas Fairbanks in Robin Hood). Robin Hood is the heroic outlaw archer of English folklore known since the late 13th Century. The Tai-Phung Theater appears to be fictitious.


When the Belgian man chases Short Round, the man swears in Flemish. Flemish is a Dutch dialect spoken in the Flanders region of Belgium.


On page 23, the Gung Ho bar appears to be a fictitious establishment in Shanghai at the time. The Place of Doves in the courtyard of a monastery near the Gung Ho Bar is also fictitious.


Short Round suspects that Indy is a reincarnation of the lower god Chao-pao, He-Who-Discovers-Treasures. Chao-pao may be a reference to the 11th Century Sung dynasty official Chao Pien who was loved by the people and was canonized under the name Chao Pao.


Shorty tells Indy that the car he's been using all week was borrowed from his "Uncle Wong". This person turns out to be a German consul Shorty met at a brothel while shining his shoes and learned the man would be visiting Alsace for a fortnight. Shorty is said to have hot-wired the car. Alsace is a region of northeastern France.


On page 27, Shorty prays to Naga, the Dragon-King, while he prepares to "fish" at the quais. Naga is probably a reference to the Nagas, a semi-divine race of half-human, half-serpent beings said to live in the netherworld in Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.


On pages 28-29, Shorty sneaks into the Tai-Phung Theater to watch the latest American movie. It's not named here, but from the description of the married feature characters and their dog, it must be The Thin Man (1934).


On page 30, Shorty imagines that someday he could be as good a pitcher as Lefty Grove. Robert Moses "Lefty" Grove (1900–1975) was an American professional baseball pitcher with the Philadelphia Athletics and Boston Red Sox.


On page 31, Shorty watches a man casting the I Ching sticks. The I Ching is a classic Chinese book of divination, cosmology, and philosophy. I Ching sticks are usually sticks of the yarrow plant used in performing an I Ching divination.


Shorty hears a drunk American sailor listen to a radio show of The Shadow, who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men, and who could cloud men's minds. "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men" was the opening line of the opening narration of each episode of the radio show, and the power to "cloud men's minds" was said to be one of the Shadow's abilities.


After Indy and Willie drop into the car and Shorty hits the accelerator away from the club, Indy tells Shorty to head for the Wang Poo bridge (this is also in the comic book adaptation). The Wang Poo is a river running through Shanghai. It has a number of bridge crosses, but not one by that actual name. Indy may just be referring to the river bridge closest to their location, which Shorty would know.


As the vehicle races down the city streets, Shorty imagines himself as James Cagney. James Cagney (1899-1986) was an American actor known for his tough guy roles, particularly as mobsters who often engaged in running car chase gun fights with either police or other mobsters.


Indy tells Willie the flight he and Shorty have reserved at the airport is heading to Siam. Siam is the Asian country today known as Thailand.


On page 37, the chickens she shares a plane ride with remind Willie that she grew up on a chicken farm in Missouri and that she got out of there thanks to the prize money she got winning the county beauty queen contest (the end of the movie also has Willie saying she's going back to Missouri where they never feed you snakes before ripping your heart out and lowering you into hot pits). Her desire to become an actress and dancer has taken her to New York, Chicago, and Hollywood (without much success) before the Orient.


On page 38, Indy's hat is referred to as a gray snap-brim hat instead of a fedora. The 2008 junior novelization also refers to the hat as a snap-brim.


Here in the novelization, the pilots of the plane at first plan to kill Indy and friends while they sleep, but decide Indy may be too dangerous to mess with that way and decide to parachute out instead, leaving the plane to crash with their passengers in it.


The novel explains that Indy was essentially joking when he told Willie he didn't know how to fly a plane. In some of the earlier Indiana Jones novels, we saw that Indy had learned at least how to maintain flight, if not how to land.


When Shorty discovers there are no more parachutes on the plane, he imagines maybe they could grow wings like when the Monkey-God Wo-Mai gave wings to the silkworms. I have been unable to confirm a deity called Wo-Mai in the ancient Chinese pantheon.


Shorty imagines their plane crash will be better than anything in Wings, which he'd seen four times. Wings is a 1927 silent film (and later sound-synchronized film in 1928) about combat pilots.


Chapter 3: The Sacred Stone


As the raft falls through the air, Short Round makes a silent prayer to Feng-p'o, responsible for the winds. This is an actual goddess of the wind (usually called Feng Po Po) in Chinese mythology.


On page 45, Shorty thinks on how their escape in the raft was just like the escape in Ice Creatures From Venus. This appears to be a fictitious film.


Shorty is positive that Indy will get them out of their current predicament as the raft hurtles down the snow-covered slope, thinking Indy is the ultimate clutch hitter, probably better than even Lou Gehrig. He also thinks his idol is better than Robin Hood. Gehrig (1903-1941) was a professional baseball player for the New York Yankees. He was known for his incredible hitting streak as a pinch hitter for the team.


As the raft begins to slow down on a more level surface, Shorty tells Indy he is the greatest and Indy responds, "Sometimes I amaze even myself." This is a nod to Harrison Ford's character of Han Solo, who said the same thing in Star Wars: A New Hope.


Page 47 states that Indy was planning to take Short Round to America with him and the boy plans to become Indy's son. There is nothing in later canon to suggest that Indy adopted the boy, but he did pay for his boarding school in America and continued to bring him along on some adventures as the boy grew.


On page 48, Shorty wants a mother, too, and thinks of the pairings of Nick and Nora Charles, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Robin and Marian, Gable and Harlow, and Hsienpo and Ying-t'ai. Nick and Nora Charles are detective characters created by Dashiell Hammett who appeared in a series of films. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers were dance partners who appeared in a number of films together. Robin and Marian are from the Robin Hood mythology. Clark Gable and Jean Harlow were partnered in several films together. Hsienpo and Ying-t'ai are star-crossed lovers in a Chinese folk tale.


Shorty imagines he, Indy, and Willie living together on the Twentieth Century Limited. This was a passenger express train that ran between Grand Central Station in New York City to LaSalle Station in Chicago from 1902-1967.


The poor village the old shaman takes our heroes to is called Mayapore, in Pankot Province. This is a fictitious village and province of India. The names were borrowed from the Paul Scott novels The Jewel in the Crown (1966) and The Day of the Scorpion (1968).


On page 52, Willie thinks it wouldn't be so bad to go back to America, maybe to Manhattan. Manhattan is one of the boroughs of New York City.


The shaman tells Indy there is a new maharajah now at Pankot Palace. Maharaja is a Sanskrit title meaning "great ruler".


In the novel, the shaman says it is Krishna who brought Indy to the village. In the movie, he says Shiva instead. Krishna is one of the most revered of the Hindu deities and often considered the Supreme God.


On pages 54-55, Shorty says a silent prayer to the God of the Door of Ghosts to not let any ghosts pass into our world after hearing the stories of the old shaman. As far as I can find, the God of the Door of Ghosts is fictitious as far as Chinese mythology goes.


The Sacred River Indy refers to on page 55 is the Ganges, considered the most sacred of the rivers in Hinduism.


On page 58, Huan-t'ien is part of Chinese popular mythology.


Chapter 4: Pankot Palace


Short Round takes to his assigned juvenile elephant quickly, knowing how to ride it from having watched Tarzan. He is probably thinking of the 1932 film Tarzan the Ape Man, based on Edgar Rice Burroughs' 1912 novel Tarzan of the Apes.


Short Round names his baby elephant Big Short Round.


Lei-Kung and Tien-Mu are the god of thunder and goddess of lightning respectively in Chinese mythology, just as Short Round reflects on page 67.


Page 67 reveals that Shorty has had a dream of joining a circus ever since he saw the Charlie Chaplin film about the circus. This would have been the 1928 silent film The Circus. Chaplin (1889-1977) was an English actor and filmmaker from the silent era to shortly before his death in 1977 and he is one of the most important figures in film history.


On page 69, Willie, Indy, and Shorty all start singing different songs, trying to drown each other out with their boisterous voices. Willie sings, again, "Anything Goes", while Indy's song is "Home on the Range", and Shorty's is a song I've not been able to identify (the lyrics he sings are "the golden sun is rising, shining through the city of Shanghai" and "the city of Shanghai, I love the city, I love the sun").


On page 75, Shorty offers a dollar (on account) to the God of the Door of Ghosts and to Dr. Van Helsing against Dracula. Dr. Abraham Van Helsing is the nemesis of Dracula in the eponymous novel.


Page 78 has Indy thinking he doesn't know why he's so afraid of snakes. "The Cross of Coronado" has Indy becoming terrified of snakes after falling into a bin of them on a circus train when he was 13, so he should know why. On the other hand, the Little Indy adventure "Safari Sleuth" has him already hating snakes when he is 9.


Shorty comes to believe that the spirit of his big brother, Chu (nicknamed "Buddha"), now resides in the baby elephant, snagged on the Wheel of Transmigration. The Wheel of Transmigration is a Buddhist precept of the cyclical nature of reincarnation. Buddha was the Indian spiritual teacher Siddhārtha Gautama whose teachings began the Buddhist religion.


On page 79, Shorty recalls an argument he'd had with Chu about who was the better clean-up batter, Jimmy Foxx or Lou Gehrig. Gehrig was previously mentioned above. Foxx (1907-1967) was also a professional baseball player in the United States, known for his power hitting.


When Willie starts complaining about the walk up the road to Pankot Palace, Indy picks her up and carries her to the front gate. Shorty rolls his eyes, thinking it's dumb, just like when he saw Gable do it in It Happened One Night. It Happened One Night is a 1934 romantic comedy starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert.


Chapter 5: The Surprise in the Bedroom


On page 88, Indy's eyes spy an ivory sundial of prime Tamil craftwork in the palace. Tamil are the former kingdoms and people of the southernmost state of India, now known as Tamil Nadu.


The less-than-appetizing foods served at the Pankot banquet are not legitimate meal items in India. Presumably, this dinner was meant as an indication of the cult that was secretly based there, though it seems unwise for the palace to serve such items while outsiders were would just invite scrutiny from Dr. Jones and Captain Blumburtt. The palace's two distinguished guests are unexpected, so that explains part of it...but it still seems they could have substituted a more appealing menu in time.


On page 90, Short Round offers prayers to the Star of Happiness, the Star of Dignities, and the Star of Longevity. These are three Taoist deities.


On page 91, Indy smiles appreciatively at one of the dancing girls at the banquet, saying, "I've always had a weakness for folk dancing." In The City of Lightning, Indy told his reporter friend Marya he adores Bharata-Natyam dance, which is quite possibly the type of dance seen here.


Indy spies a small figurine in the dining room and tells Captain Blumburtt it is a krtya, similar to voodoo dolls of West Africa, representing an enemy and giving one complete control over them. This is only a very loose definition of krtya in Sanskrit.


Here in the novel, the palace banquet begins with a roasted boar, tiny fetal boars, and broiled baby boars. Willie thinks the serving a bit gruesome and Indy finds it odd considering Hindus do not eat meat. However, it is a common misconception that all Hindus are vegetarian. Many sects do practice vegetarianism in reverence for higher forms of life, but many also do not.


Indy and Blumburtt remark that it was Major William Sleeman who apprehended the leaders of the Thuggee cult in 1830. This is true.


Page 96 describes the Snake Surprise platter as being a steaming poached boa constrictor with a garnish of fried ants. Boa constrictor seems unlikely, as the snake is native to South America, not Asia. In the movie, the snake appears to be a python.


On page 97, Lal uses the word "Atman" for his soul. This is essentially correct as the definition of the Sanskrit word.


On page 103, Shorty watches Indy head for Willie's door and reflects that he was about to score a home run, just like Babe Ruth. George Herman "Babe" Ruth Jr. (1895–1948) was an American Major League baseball player known for his home runs of a different kind.


The Jade Emperor, as mentioned on page 103, is one of the names of the original God in Chinese folklore.


As he begins feeling sleepy watching Indy approach Willie's door, Shorty wonders if Willie, like the Shadow, had the power to cloud men's minds. The Shadow is a fictional crime-fighting character created by Walter B. Gibson, who sometimes used magic tricks to fool his foes into thinking he had supernatural powers, and was able to cloud the minds of others with hypnosis.


On pages 104-105, Willie reflects on some more lines from "Anything Goes" as she contemplates spending a liaison with Indy. The "Mae West" in the lyrics was an American actress, writer, and sex symbol known for her double entendres and sexy behavior (1893-1980).


When Willie says she can't blame Indy for being sore at her and admits that she can be a handful, Indy says he's had worse, with noblesse oblige. This is a French expression (literally translated as "nobility obliges") meaning that one is obligated to behave in a noble manner.


Chapter 6: The Temple of Doom


When Short Round sees the two dead men/skeletons in the tunnel, he yells in fear and realizes he saw something similar in The Mummy. This refers to the eponymous 1932 film starring Boris Karloff from Universal Pictures.


On page 114, Shorty thinks of The Invisible Man. This is a 1933 science-fiction/horror film based on the 1897 novel by H.G. Wells.


On page 115, Shorty begins to feel like one of the Little Thunders, children of My Lord the Thunder and Mother of Lightnings, who were always getting into misadventures. My Lord the Thunder and Mother of Lightnings refers to the god of thunder and goddess of lightning, Leigong and Dianmu, in Chinese mythology. I have not been able to confirm the Little Thunders as part of Chinese mythology.


On page 119, Shorty does a slide across the threshold of the rising door like Ty Cobb to escape the chamber trap. Ty Cobb played professional baseball from 1905-1928. The reference to Cobb sliding here may be to a famous photograph of him sliding into third base with a grimace and a cloud of dust during a game in 1909.


On page 123, Shorty thinks the high priest Mola Ram looks like Frankenstein. He is most likely thinking of Frankenstein's monster in the 1931 film adaptation of Mary Shelley's 1818 novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus.


    After witnessing Mola Ram remove the sacrifice victim's heart, Short Round recalls that Emperor Shou-Sin was said to have removed the hearts of sages to see if it was true they had seven holes pierced in them. Shou-Sin is a figure in Chinese mythology, but I've not been able to confirm whether the story includes the part about removing the hearts of sages.

    Short Round believes there are ten hells, ruled by the Yama Kings, and that he must currently be witnessing the fifth hell, in which the dead soul's heart was repeatedly plucked out. Chinese mythology has many variations of the levels of hell. Generally, Diyu is the realm of the dead, where there are ten courts of hell, ruled by the ten Yama Kings. Those hells may be divided into as many as 84,000 hells in some versions of the mythology, including a hell of digging out the heart.


On page 125, Short Round appeals to the Ministry of Celestial Fire to deliver them from this hellish domain. This is, of course, another piece of Chinese mythology.


On page 130, Shorty holds an assailant at bay while Willie attempts to escape. He thinks of himself as like Dizzy Dean holding the runner at first. Jay Hanna "Dizzy" Dean (1910–1974) was an American professional baseball pitcher.


Chapter 7: ...And Into the Fire


Pages 143-149 feature scenes not found in the movie. Willie escapes the tunnels back into her room in the palace. She runs out into the hallway and bumps into Lal and Blumburtt and begins to tell them about the tunnel and the sacrifice temple. She leads them back to her room and they see the tunnel opening behind the secret panel in her room, but then Indy (now under the cult's influence) emerges and calms Willie down until she falls asleep on the bed. He explains to Captain Blumburtt that they discovered the tunnel, but found nothing else, it just dead ends. Indy and Lal explain to the captain that Willie must have gotten scared in the tunnel, ran back to her bed and had a nightmare that she had thought was real. The captain accepts the explanation and he and his troops head out of the valley at morning light. These scenes explain how Willie was captured by the Thuggees after she fled earlier, which is never explained in the movie.


On page 154, Short Round compares Indy in his current state under the influence of the Blood of Kali, to Dr. Jones and Mr. Hyde. This is a reference to the 1886 novella Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, about a benevolent doctor, Henry Jekyll who transforms into an evil alter-ego called Mr. Hyde.


Also on page 154, Shorty appeals to the Celestial Ministry of Time in hopes of shortening his length of time in enslavement of the mines. The Celestial Ministry of Time is another piece of the Celestial bureaucracy of Chinese mythology.


On page 159, Willie claims she had dinner with Chiang Kai Shek and knows people who work for Al Capone, such as Frank Nitti. Chiang Kai Shek was the revolutionary leader of the Republic of China from 1928-1949 until his government was overthrown by the Chinese Communist Party. Al "Scarface" Capone (1899-1947) was an Italian-American gangster during the Prohibition era of the United States; Indy crossed his path a couple of times in past adventures. Frank Nitti was Capone's bodyguard and treasurer of his mafia outfit before becoming leader himself of the Capone gang when Capone was sent to prison for tax evasion.


As Short Round tries to chip away at his metal bindings with a stone axe, he recalls seeing it done this way in I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang. This is a 1932 crime drama about a wrongfully convicted man who escapes from a chain gang.


On page 163, Shorty clambers up the ladder, just like James Cagney in the last scene of Public Enemy. The Public Enemy is a 1931 gangster film starring Cagney.


Chapter 8: Break for Freedom


On page 166, Short Round promises the Three Star-Gods a shrine in his heart forever in exchange for success in his mission to free Indy from the mental control of the cult. The Three Star-Gods are the Sanxing, the gods of the three most important celestial bodies in the sky in Chinese mythology: Jupiter, Canopus, and Ursa Major.


On page 168, the Ministry of Exorcism is a part of Taoist mythology, seven ministers who expel evil spirits from households. Shorty hopes to get their help in ending Indy's possession.


On page 171, Willie's thought of "In olden days a glimpse..." is a line from "Anything Goes".


In the novelization and the comic book adaptation, Chatter Lal falls into the lava and dies. In the movie, his fate after getting stuck in the spokes of the cage wheel is unknown.


Page 179 states that Indy was " always, just making it up as he went along." This is cribbed from a long of dialog of Indy's in Raiders of the Lost Ark.


Chapter 9: Cliffhangers


On page 187, an excited Short Round thinks the mine car "ride" he is taking with Indy and Willie is as good as the roller coaster that was derailed by the giant ape in King Kong. Shorty sees this as a sign that the ride would end well since he was born in the Year of the Monkey. King Kong is a classic 1933 film about a gigantic ape let loose in New York City. As for Shorty being born in the Year of the Monkey...that's not possible. The last Year of the Monkey before the date of this movie's events (1934) was 1932, in which case he'd be only two years old. The next previous Year of the Monkey was 1920, which would make him 14 years old now. Licensed sources say Shorty is 11 or 12 at the time of this film.


The force of guards sent in pursuit of Indy's mine car in the tunnels by Mola Ram is said to be armed with Khyber rifles. This is somewhat of a misnomer, as the Khyber Rifles is the name of a paramilitary regiment in the Pakistani Frontier Corps. The regiment is armed with rifles of various types over the decades. We must assume that the guards' rifles here were taken from ambushed members of the regiment.


As Short Round makes his way across the dilapidated rope-and-plank bridge, he concentrates on being much more yin than yang. Yin and yang is the Chinese philosophical concept of dualism, the connectedness of opposing forces. Yin is retractive, passive, and receptive, yang active, repelling, and expansive; sometimes referred to as female and male aspects.


On page 203, the phrase corps à corps is French for "hand to hand".


On page 204, Mola Ram shouts, "Yanne!" to his henchmen on the bridge and the men begin to advance on Indy. I've been unable to determine exactly what the word means (presumably, it is Hindi).


Indy's Hindi dialog snarled at Mola Ram on pages 210-211 seems to say something about devotees of Shiva.


Page 211 hints that even Mola Ram himself may have been a victim of the Black Sleep and was awakened from it by the burning of the Sankara Stone on his hand, but too late now to do anything but die in his fall from the hanging bridge. This is also hinted in the Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom: A Tale of High Adventure juvenile book and the comic book adaptation.


The novel reveals that Indy and friends spent a few days resting at the palace before returning to the village of Mayapore with a military escort provided by Captain Blumburtt.


Stolen children were returned not only to Mayapore, but also other villages in the area.


Referring to Indy, Willie, and Shorty, the book ends with "They did eventually all make it to America. But that is another story."


Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom: A Tale of High Adventure Notes from the movie junior novelization Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom: A Tale of High Adventure by Les Martin

(The page numbers come from the 1st printing, 1984)


Page 15 reveals that Lao Che radioed the pilots of the cargo plane after it took off with Indy, Short Round, and Willie to tell the pilots what to do with them.


Page 17 states that the plane was to take Indy and friends to Siam and then to Los Angeles. The 2008 junior novelization states it was to be from Siam to London.


The sacrifice ceremony seems to take place all within a few minutes in the movie and most other adaptations. According to this adaptation, it lasts about a half hour.


In this adaptation, it is the young maharajah who whips Indy with the bullwhip when the archeologist spits out the first draught of the Blood of Kali. In the movie, it is the chief guard who does it.


The book ends with "With his arms wrapped as far as they could go around the baby elephant's neck, Short Round had to think this was the luckiest day of his life. The second luckiest, anyway, he thought, as he remembered the day he had met Indiana Jones."


Indiana Jones and the The Temple of Doom #1 Notes from the comic book adaptation

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom #1
Marvel Comics
Writer: David Michelinie
Penciller: Jackson Guice
Inkers: Akin and Garvey
Letterer: John Morelli
Colorist: Andy Yanchus
September 1984


The inkers of this issue, credited only by their last names of Akin and Garvey are Ian Akin and Brian Garvey.


In the comic book, the car Short Round drives is red, not white as in the movie.


When the shaman tells Indy he will go to Pankot Palace, Indy says it's been deserted since the mutiny of 1857. He is referring to the Indian Rebellion of 1857 (also known as the Sepoy Rebellion) against the rule of the British East India Company which acted as India's sovereign on behalf of the British Empire.


Here, Indy describes the sivilinga differently than he does in the film and other sources. He says a sivilinga is a sacred stone in a shrine that is supposed to protect a village.


In the comic, Willie has an encounter with a python while bathing in the river and Indy is too frightened to go in to help her, instead advising her to stroke the snake on the head until if falls asleep, which it does.


Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom #2 Notes from the comic book adaptation

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom #2
Marvel Comics
Writer: David Michelinie
Penciller: Jackson Guice
Inkers: Akin and Garvey
Letterer: John Morelli
Colorist: Andy Yanchus
October 1984


Willie reflects that her mother wanted her to be a nurse.


Notes from the comic book adaptation

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom #3
Marvel Comics
Writer: David Michelinie
Penciller: Jackson Guice
Inkers: Akin and Garvey
Letterer: John Morelli
Colorist: Andy Yanchus
November 1984


No notes. 


Indiana Jones and the The Temple of Doom Notes from the 2008 junior novelization by Suzanne Weyn

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Published by Scholastic

(The page numbers come from the 1st printing, 2008)


Characters appearing or mentioned in this novel, not seen in the movie 


Henry Jones, Sr. (mentioned only)

Anna Jones (mentioned only, deceased)


Didja Notice?


This book was published as a new junior novelization of the film in 2008 to coincide with Indiana Jones merchandising taking place at the time for the Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull movie released in May of that year. The publisher, Scholastic, sells books only through educational institutions.


This book features a prologue not seen anywhere else, set at Princeton University. Indy's father is said to be teaching there at this time.


Page 1 mentions Indy's travels as a young boy with his parents on his father's lecture tour and his time as an Allied soldier and spy during WWI. These are references to his adventures in The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles TV series.


Page 3 mentions Indy having recently written an article about ancient Chinese artifacts of the Tsang Dynasty. Either the Tsang Dynasty is a fictitious one, or it is meant to refer to either the Tang (607-907 AD) or Shang (1600-1046 BC) dynasties.


Page 3 makes the claim that Indy had worked with Wu Han on various archeological adventures, which more-or-less agrees with their first meeting in The Dinosaur Eggs, but The Emperor's Tomb has them meeting for the first time very shortly before the events of Temple of Doom. The version here makes more sense, as Wu Han even says in the movie as he dies, "I've followed you on many adventures...but into the great unknown mystery, I go first, Indy!"


In the prologue, Indy is said to have just returned from the South Pacific (which could be interpreted as a reference to the events of "Shrine of the Sea Devil"),  and finds a letter delivered for him to his father at the university, a letter from Shanghai proclaiming the writer has the Eye of the Peacock and to meet at the Empire State Building on July 6 at sundown if he's interested. This is a different way of Indy receiving the correspondence about the diamond than that seen at the end of Secret of the Sphinx.


Page 5 reveals that Indy was in China for months before the opening events of the movie.


Page 6 reveals that Indy, Short Round, and Wu Han had spent some time riding yaks over the Himalayas where they had been beset by nomadic thieves and rogue monks! What this adventure was all about is left unrevealed, as it was seemingly not part of the retrieval of the Nurhachi urn (see below). The Himalayas is a reference to the Himalayan Mountain Range in Asia which hosts the world's highest peaks.


This book states that Indy plans to turn the Eye of the Peacock over to a museum, probably the British Museum. What about Remy's dreams of avarice??


Indy speaks Shanghainese to Lao Che and his sons. Shanghainese is an actual Chinese dialect.


In this book, Indy's flight out of Shanghai is more specifically said to be for Bangkok in Siam, then on to London (Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom: A Tale of High Adventure says it was from Siam to Los Angeles). Indy is looking forward to visiting London University again while he's there; he taught there from 1925-1927 and in 1930, as seen in Dance of the Giants, The Seven Veils, The Genesis Deluge, and The Sky Pirates.


Page 15 reveals that the Nurhachi urn had been smuggled out of China years ago and Indy had, through rigorous research, tracked it to a tiny, dark pawn shop in Istanbul, Turkey where it had sat unopened for years.


During the melee in Club Obi Wan, some of Lao Che's men throw axes at Indy, a scene that does not occur in in the film or any of the other adaptations of it.


Page 27 reveals that Short Round is 11 years old (though page 107 contradicts this with 12).


The mainstream novelization has Shorty arranging in advance for the plane ride with Weber in person, but here, it's clear the arrangements were made over the phone and Weber is shocked to see that Professor Jones' assistant is just a boy.


Page 34 implies that Indy is teaching at Marshall College at this point. This is also the case in the previous adventure,  The Emperor's Tomb, and he remains there in 1936 in Raiders of the Lost Ark.


Page 71 compares Indy's crew's first glimpse of Pankot Palace as like something out of Arabian Nights. This is referring to the Arabic story collection One Thousand and One Nights (also known as Arabian Nights in the Western world), believed to have originated around the 8th Century AD.


On page 83, Captain Blumburtt explains that he is with the Eleventh Puma Rifles. According to most sources, this is a misprint of "Poona Rifles", which was an actual British regiment in India at the time made up of mostly Indian recruits, though there was no "Eleventh" of the Poona Rifles.


On page 85, Willie imagines that the wife of a maharajah is called maharani. She is correct.


On page 89, the description of the Thuggee cult from the 13th Century to the 1800s is largely accurate, though the goddess Kali is not strictly evil. She is the Hindu goddess of empowerment, but popular western fiction has tended to portray her as an evil goddess of destruction.


On page 91, Lal tries to claim that the Thuggee, in fact, never existed and they were merely a myth and Indy reflects that he had read firsthand accounts of their sinister rituals and evil deeds. Actually, he has firsthand experience with Thuggee evil deeds from his earlier adventure in India, The City of Lightning.


Page 94 reveals that Indy had eaten monkey brains before and that it wasn't bad once you got over the strangeness of it.


In this novelization, it is Indy who leans against a stone block in the sealed chamber that begins the spikes moving down from the ceiling. In the movie, it is Short Round who does it.


In this novelization, the krtya doll is spelled "kryta" instead.


Page 139 states that Indy used a wire to pick the lock on one of the doors leading into the palace from the tunnels so that the children could escape outside once freed from their chains.


This book ends with "Indy laughed along and so did Willie. Finally, they kissed--a sign that while one adventure had come to an end, more were waiting on the horizon."


Unanswered Questions


Why was this film written as a prequel? It doesn't particularly give us any pre-Raiders insight into Indiana Jones' character. According to George Lucas, it was done as a prequel because they didn't want to have Nazis as the villains again. That doesn't really make a lot of sense as an answer because the Nazis existed in 1935 as well, though at a somewhat lesser point of strength and world power than 1936-37. 


Memorable Dialog


Anything Goes.mp3

funny little men searching for their mommies.mp3

this Nurhachi is a real small guy.mp3

the poison you just drank.mp3

into the great unknown mystery I go first, Indy.mp3

hold onto your potatoes.mp3

no time for love.mp3

this is fun!.mp3

nice try, Lao Che.mp3

what are you supposed to be, a lion tamer?.mp3

you call him Dr. Jones, doll.mp3

you know how to fly don't you?.mp3

I hate the water!.mp3

fortune and glory.mp3

my professional name.mp3

made a lot of children happy and died a very poor man.mp3

I'd be safer sleeping with a snake.mp3

the eminent archaeologist.mp3

the British worry so about their empire.mp3

his highness has not yet taken a wife.mp3

maybe he like older women.mp3

I had bugs for lunch.mp3


chilled monkey brain.mp3

primitive sexual practices.mp3

I'm not that easy.mp3

I could've been your greatest adventure.mp3

be gentle with me.mp3

I've almost had enough of you two.mp3

let me in/let us out.mp3


you could get killed chasing after your damn fortune and glory.mp3

you listen to me more, you live longer.mp3

I'm not going to have anything nice to say about this place when I get back.mp3

wake up, Indy!.mp3

now let's get out of here.mp3

hang on lady, we going for a ride.mp3

he no nuts he's crazy.mp3

Mola Ram, prepare to meet Kali.mp3

I understand its power now.mp3

another rock collecting dust.mp3

not my idea of a swell time.mp3 


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