Editorials/Opinions Lucasfilm

Why Lucasfilm Should Make An Animated ‘Indiana Jones’ Series

Recently it was reported that Lucasfilm is developing an Indiana Jones series for Disney+. No other details were given so at this point we don’t know anything. It could be a prequel like the beloved Young Indiana Jones Chronicles from the 90s, or it could be a continuation of what we’ll see in the upcoming film focusing on a brand new set of characters.

Because Harrison Ford says that he’s done playing the character after the upcoming film, as well as Lucasfilm’s hesitancy to recast classic characters, we probably won’t get any show focusing on Indy in his prime either. While I don’t really agree with the studio’s refusal to just recast characters, it’s a decision they’ve seemed to stick to. That’s evident by their use of CGI to bring back or de-age characters such as Princess Leia, Grand Moff Tarkin, and Luke Skywaler in some of the newer Star Wars live-action projects However, there’s one way they could get around that problem.

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Along with the live action series and whatever that ends up focusing on, Lucasfilm should also make an animate series for Disney+. That would be the easiest way to make a show about the Indiana Jones we met in the original trilogy. Similar to what Marvel’s What If… has done by bringing in other actors to replace some of the busier actors in the cast, it might be the best way to bring a brand new actor to the role without disrespecting Ford’s legacy.

While the recent live-action Star Wars films have received a mixed reception from fans, LucasFilm has always thrived in animation. Animated series such as The Clone Wars, Rebels, and Visions have received wide acclaim.

Now, I acknowledge that this isn’t a new idea for fans either. Back in 2016, animator Patrick Shoenmaker released a video on the YouTube channel Frame Order titled “The Adventures of Indiana Jones.” The video, which can be viewed below, is an amazing fan-made opening sequence for a potential animated that shows just how perfect of an idea an animated Indy series would be.

Steven Spielberg and George Lucas originally created the character based off of old B-movie serials. And an animated series could be a great way to continue that style, with every episode focused on a new wild adventure for the character. It’s an approach that also wouldn’t be limited by budget or Ford’s real age.

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Another inspiration for the character was comic books, and this was seen in the development of the very first movie where comic book artist Jim Steranko was hired to do concept art for the film.

It’s also worth noting that, back in 1983 Marvel Comics (also owned by Disney then) published actual comics featuring the character. Similar to their original Star Wars comics, they started as adaptions of the films before creating new stories.

Although Marvel gave away the comic rights to both Indiana Jones and Star Wars to Dark Horse in the 90’s, after Disney acquired them they took Star Wars back. It would only make sense for them to get the rights to Indy too. If they do, an animated show could adapt some of those old comic book arcs, and even incorporate new characters down the line. For those who don’t know, this happened with Star Wars. Before making his debut in The Book of Boba Fett, Black Krrsantan was a character unique to the comics.

Now, as I mentioned earlier, it’s still unclear who the reported show will revolve around. Despite being billed as an Indiana Jones show, there have been rumors about it being a prequel featuring Indy’s mentor Abner Ravenwood. If true, then perhaps we meet another young Indiana Jones who is his sidekick. It’d be like watching Indy and Short Round in Temple of Doom all over again. At least I think it would be anyway. While any new Indiana Jones content be great, I stand by my idea that an animated series would be the best way of truly capturing the feel of the films without having to damage Ford’s legacy.

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