8 New Discoveries in the Indiana Jones and the Great Circle Trailer
The first look at Indy’s latest video game adventure is out, and we’re examining all the details.
1. Another cunning adversary?
As the trailer begins, we find Indy in yet another tight spot. Buried in desert sands almost up to his head, the archaeologist endures a villainous monologue from an imposing new character, Voss. He’s wearing round glasses not unlike the memorable Toht (Ronald Lacey) from Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), albeit with a bandage across his nose that feels akin to Jack Nicholson in Chinatown (1974), another moody genre picture about the 1930s.
This villain’s manner of speaking, however, is more reminiscent of René Belloq (Paul Freeman), the chief antagonist from Raiders. “You’re wondering if maybe you should have built yourself a life of meaning, instead of ending up here, dead and forgotten in the sands of Africa?” he says to Indy, which feels akin to Belloq’s own words, not unlike when he decides to leave the hero and Marion Ravenwood trapped in the Well of Souls: “Who knows? In a thousand years even you may be worth something.”
Best of all at this moment is Indy’s wordless response: a clench of the fist, and a smile and chuckle as he rams his head into his foe’s. The self-assured indignance is classic Indy.
2. History with a twist.
“Myths, history, just different ways to interpret the past,” Indy says. Without knowing his exact motivation, the line in itself is an interesting comment on the Indiana Jones stories. These are adventures that walk the line between history and mythology, taking equal inspiration from both and mixing them into a unique blend. Trained as an archaeologist, Indy’s point of view is usually empirical, informed by his commitment to science and history. But all too often his assumptions and understandings are challenged by phenomena that can’t be explained by his usual methods. Indy learns that sometimes you have to take a leap of faith.
3. Did you hear it?
Catch that familiar scream when Indy snags an enemy soldier with his whip? No Indy adventure (or Star Wars one for that matter) is complete with a well-placed “Wilhelm scream.” This now iconic sound effect dates back to the 1950s, when it was heard in a number of Western films. Lucasfilm’s original sound designer, Ben Burtt, first used the sound in Star Wars: A New Hope (1977), and it’s appeared in most every Star Wars and Indy movie since, not to mention dozens and dozens of other films and television shows.
4. A puzzling adventure.
We see Indy attempting to solve elaborate puzzles devised with some kind of ancient technology. Puzzle-solving is seen all throughout his big screen adventures, including his passage through the Grail Temple in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) and his discovery of the treasure vault at Akator in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008). Even more poignantly, puzzle-solving is a staple of classic Indy video games going all the way back to Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (1992) and the home computer adaptation of The Last Crusade.
5. It’s snowing!
Indy is back in the Himalayas, only briefly glimpsed previously when he visits Nepal in Raiders of the Lost Ark. And when you think about it, we haven’t seen Indy spend much time in the snow, except for moments in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) and The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones (in particular, Harrison Ford’s special appearance in “Mystery of the Blues”), as well as some appearances in publishing and other video games. It’s the topographical feature that best suits his choice of jacket!
6. “Marcus? You didn’t drag poor Marcus along, did you?”
Perhaps best of all for Indy fans is the reappearance of a character we haven’t seen in a long time. Marcus Brody was originally played by the late actor Denholm Elliott. A museum administrator and old friend of both Indy and his father, Henry Jones Sr., Marcus always has Indy’s best interests at heart, perhaps more so than Indy himself at times. Knowing that The Great Circle is set in 1937, it’s interesting to consider that this story takes place before The Last Crusade, when Marcus accompanies the Joneses on their quest for the Holy Grail.
Marcus’ line of dialogue raises the stakes of this adventure: “You can’t just run away from your problems, Indiana.” It’s a great example of his compassion for Indy, and his ability to see right through the archaeologist’s gruff exterior. It would appear that Indy is going to be facing the same types of personal challenges that define much of his life, challenges that aren’t ultimately resolved until Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (2023).
7. “Fly, yes! Land, no!”
This action-packed trailer includes some exciting point-of-view shots aboard an airplane, including one shot from the rear gunner’s seat. We see Henry Jones, Sr. take this position aboard another plane in The Last Crusade. We also experience Indy make a death-defying leap from the wings of one plane onto the wings of a Japanese Zero. Just where Indy is and why remains a mystery.
8. The Great Circle
Whatever the MacGuffin of this story turns out to be, it seems like it might have something to do with what Indy calls “the great circle.” He explains that “throughout history, mankind has built sites of great spiritual significance…. If you were to draw a line through these ancient sites around the globe, you get a perfectly aligned circle.” Just what does this mean? Does it have something to do with the popular theory known as ley lines? We’ll just have to wait and see. But one thing is certain: it looks like Indy has a new partner at his side for this adventure, Gina, a woman with as much wit and energy as he has. And we’ll have to wait to learn more about her too!
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