Sep 11 2007, 4:03pm
All of the Indiana Jones movies have a sacred artifact as a McGuffin (or is it MacGuffin?): the goal of Indy's quest and the device that moves the plot along. It's the Ark of the Covenant in "Raiders of the Lost Ark," the holy stones of Shiva in "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom," and the Holy Grail in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade." Lucas himself has referred to the search for a good MacGuffin in this excerpt from an interview in Empire magazine:
http://www.theraider.net/films/indy4/faq.php (scroll down to "What will be the MacGuffin this time")
So if the movie's title is any indication, a crystal skull is the MacGuffin of Indy 4.
A few months ago, my husband and I were trying to figure out what the MacGuffin of Indy 4 might be. Clearly it had to be a religious item of some sort: the Ark of the Covenant was sacred to Judaism (and by extension, Christianity), the stones were sacred to Hinduism, and the Grail was a sacred relic of Christianity. We thought Indy might go on a quest for something along the lines of a statue of Buddha or the Kaaba if the MacGuffin was a sacred artifact of a contemporary religion. Religions of the past gave even more interesting ideas for MacGuffins, since that opened up civilizations like ancient Egypt and Nubia in Africa, the Incans, Mayans, Aztecs, and various Native American tribes in the Americas, the Celts and Vikings in Europe, the Polynesians in the Pacific islands, and more.
Geography plays a role in the Indy MacGuffins, too -- Indy 1 took place in Tibet, Egypt, and the Mediterranean (with a side trip to Guatemala), Indy 2 took place in China and India, and Indy 3 took place in Europe and the Middle East. The MacGuffins in these movies all had some kind of association with these areas. So we thought the Indy 4 MacGuffin might be from South or Central America, Africa, Australia or Polynesia to bring Indy to a new set of exotic locales.
I don't know for sure which civilization or religion a crystal skull might be associated with .. maybe the Aztecs or Mayans? I also remember reading somewhere about ancient crystal skulls that supposedly had mystical powers, but thought they were a hoax.
But maybe they aren't a hoax after all, or at least Indiana Jones doesn't think so ....
With caffeine, all things are possible.
The pity of Bilbo will screw up the fate of many.
(This post was edited by Idril Celebrindal on Sep 11 2007, 4:04pm)