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.