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Celebrating Indy Fans as Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny Comes Home

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An exclusive clip shows Indy fans sharing their passion for the adventurer-archaeologist.

Lucasfilm is very much a company of fans, and our own love for our stories like Star Wars and Indiana Jones leads us to form close ties with the wider communities of fans around the world. This past year has been highlighted by many joyful interactions with the Indy fan community, in particular, which has helped lead the celebration around the release of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.

That celebration continues as Dial of Destiny arrives on Disney+ on December 1, and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and DVD on December 5 (not to mention the new documentary Timeless Heroes: Indiana Jones & Harrison Ford, which arrives on Disney+ on December 1). With plenty more to look forward to, we’re continuing to celebrate Indy fans.

Earlier this year, a Lucasfilm camera team crossed paths with “California Jones,” a regional fan group of Indy cosplayers and collectors (some of whom we also met at the Dial of Destiny Hollywood premiere). A number of fans were interviewed, highlights from which can be viewed in this specially-made video:

Peter Cacioppo, a fan and cosplayer, explained that their group’s regular meetings “are really all about celebrating Indiana Jones and celebrating what the films mean to everybody…. To me California Jones is all about…a sense of community more than anything…. One of the things about the Indiana Jones character is he kind of treats everybody in the films the same (obviously except for the bad guys). You know you never see him act any differently toward anybody who he ends up on an adventure with. He’s very kind and he’s very protective of his inner circle.”

Indy’s compassion for others is just one of the many facets that fans adore about the character. “He’s human,” explained Bryan Long, a co-founder of California Jones. “He’s not a superhero from another planet. He’s you. He’s me. He’s her. He’s everyone. So, he’s like an everyman.” Cacioppo added that “Indiana Jones’ vulnerability is what makes him relatable to most people…. There are things Indiana Jones is afraid of in life. But you know you watch him go on these adventures and be the hero…. He never gives up. It’s that perseverance where no matter what he’s afraid of, he faces those fears.”

The love for the character extends to the actor who plays him as well. “Harrison Ford has this ingenuity and resourcefulness in terms of adding to the table what Indy could do,” said cosplayer Eugene Shin. “There’s a scene in Raiders [of the Lost Ark] where he was sick…and instead of doing a very complex fight sequence with the swordsman, he just shot the guy. That’s one of the most cinematic, funniest moments in history. And I think that kind of just shows how Harrison Ford is very pragmatic…. He’s making it up as he goes.”

“Harrison Ford is Indy,” Bryan Long commented. “His mannerisms, the way he talks, his smirks. The way he moves…. No one else could ever replace that…. I think anybody who sees that film just falls in love with the character. And they can’t help but just get engaged and sucked into the Indy universe. Because it’s romance, it’s adventure, it’s failing, it’s succeeding. He never gets the MacGuffin…. You just keep persevering.”

For many, Indy fandom starts at a young age, and can even have an influence in one’s vocation. “I’m an actor because of the Indiana Jones films, among others,” said Nathan Finley, another co-founder of California Jones. “There are so many wonderful pieces of overlap because of Indiana Jones. You have archaeologists. You have production people who got [into filmmaking] because they were so wowed by the special effects, or by the camera work. People like me got into acting because we wanted to do what Harrison Ford was doing. It’s incredible the amount of inspiration that Indy has on all of its viewers.”

Whether their love for Indy inspires a career or a costume, fans discover all sorts of ways the stories can fuel their creativity. Tasha Dahlberg’s personalized costume is for a character of her own imagining named “Arizona Jones,” which she quipped is only her “professional name.” Inspired by her brother’s interest in cosplaying, Dahlberg wanted to create “something original,” as she put it. “I love being creative.  So, I thought you know what? She could be a relative. She could be a cousin…. She’s a professor at her own college. I created this whole backstory.”

For Eugene Shin, his Indy fandom inspired an element of his worldview. “Indiana Jones made me more open to exploration,” he said. “For a long time when I was a kid I was always living in a small town. And I feel like….the Indiana Jones films opened a world for me. There are other nations out there, cultures, and history that I want to go explore. So, I did go out and explore Asia and Europe.”

Nathan Finley shared a similar influence. “[Indy] grew a deep love and passion for history in me,” he said. “I am a very big history buff. And I greatly thank Indy for that because of the era that he’s placed in. And the artifacts that he’s gone after. Whether it’s the films, the comics, or the video games, the world that he is surrounded in is history. And it’s just so incredible to really deep dive and say…is this a real thing? And then you learn that it is and you find the deeper, richer history behind it. It’s wonderful.”

As company of fans, Lucasfilm joins the Indy community in celebrating our favorite globetrotting archaeologist played by the one and only Harrison Ford.

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