It’s sad, but Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny was a major flop at the box office. Fans of Indy might have been excited about the return of their favourite archaeologist, but their expectations were quickly dampened after the lacklustre return of the titular hero. Dial of Destiny was a downer for fans due to its weak plot and portraying Indy as a depressed, washed-up professor.
Concept art by Industrial Light and Magic artist, Saby Menyhei, featuring Indy fighting zombie-looking ghouls hurt fans all the more, painfully reminding them of what could have been. Saby teased the images on his Instagram account; the images also featured Indy’s beloved side-kick, Short Round, played by Ke Huy Quan in the second film in the series, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
Indiana Jones and the Concept Art of Saby Menyhei
Saby’s evocative illustration evoked the fun and excitement of the original trilogy of Indian Jones films, especially his inclusion of fan favourite Short Round in the scene. The Dial of Destiny has received plenty of criticism, and the litany of failures the film is accused of could have been greatly prevented if fans got one last chance to see Indy and Short Round reunited in one more Indiana Jones film.
Saby has created the piece with exceptional care as it drips with the mystery and adventure of the original films; the artist’s post also featured personal remarks stating:
“Indy and Short Round in action. Personal Piece! It would have been so cool to see @kehuyquan again in the role one more time!”
Saby’s captivating image reinforced a widespread desire from fans to see Indy and Short Round reunited in an Indiana Jones film. The uninspiring characters in Dial of Destiny should never have seen the light of day. An older Indy reuniting with a mature Short Round could have provided the exact excitement and intrigue a new Indiana Jones film needed.
When asked if Short Round would be included in Indiana Jones 5, director James Mangold told IGN that the character would not return for Dial of Destiny:
“We looked at all these different things, but the first thing we were trying to do was assemble a story that made sense in the present, meaning in the 1969 section of the movie.”
The director continued…
“If you notice… the only person we follow through the whole way is Indy himself. Joined by Helena [Shaw, played by Phoebe Waller-Bridge], I felt like we needed to have a female lead who challenged him. But we looked at all these different things and tried to figure out how they would work. I just didn’t want another adult along for the ride.”
Mangold’s reasoning for not including Short Round may not be satisfactory for many fans who argue that Short Round could have provided a challenge to Jones as both characters share a rich history that could have been expanded upon. Unfortunately, Lucasfilm, Disney and Mangold dropped the ball and denied fans a chance to see these two heroes reunited for what may have been the Indiana Jones film fans have been waiting for.
Harrison Ford might be done with Indiana Jones, but Ke Huy Quan isn’t. He would love to reprise his role as Short Round. Before the release of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, the actor spoke on the Happy Sad Confused podcast. The hosts asked him what he thought about revisiting Short Round in a spin-off series now that Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones is ending.
Quan shared that he loved the character of Short Round and would love to revisit it someday.
“I love the character of Short Round. He’s funny and courageous and saves Indy’s ass. If Disney or Lucasfilm ever come to me and say, “We want to do a Short Round spin-off’, I’m there, man! I love that character so much, and it would be incredible to revisit so many years later.”
The hosts asked Quan to weigh in on where he thinks Short Round would be now, nearly four decades later, and he said he has no clue where he could be. Considering he was just a child when he was starring as this character, and the character was so young, it makes sense that he could have gone anywhere.
“I have no idea where he is. Your guess is as good as mine. Just because he looks after Indy so much, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was an archaeologist.”
Short Round Should Continue The Indiana Jones Legacy
Quan’s love for the franchise and Short Round is palpable. Disney could offer the actor a spin-off series that could continue Indiana Jones’ legacy, and the actor could carry the franchise into the future. Short Round would be the perfect choice to follow in Indy’s footsteps. Sure, we got Indy’s son in the fourth film, but Short Round came before Shia LaBeouf was born.
While Short Round only got a single movie to develop his character, his unique quirks made him a standout in the original trilogy. Temple of Doom is the first movie in the trilogy’s chronology, which makes Short Round Indiana’s first travel companion. Short Round has picked up on many of Indiana’s interests as his first partner, like archaeology and tomb raiding.
Seeing him following in on his mentor’s footsteps would be the perfect way to continue the saga in a radically new direction. We could get a Mandalorian-style Short Round Disney+ show, after all.
What do you think about Menyhei’s concept art? Would you like to see Short Round and Indiana Jones team up for another film?
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
Daredevil archaeologist Indiana Jones races against time to retrieve a legendary dial that can change the course of history. Accompanied by his goddaughter, he soon finds himself squaring off against Jürgen Voller, a former Nazi who works for NASA.
Studio: Walt Disney Studios
Running Time: 2h 34m
Release Date: Jun 30, 2023
Cast: Harrison Ford, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Antonio Banderas, Karen Allen, John Rhys-Davies, Shaunette Renée Wilson, Toby Jones, Mads Mikkelsen
Director: James Mangold
Writers: Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth, David Koepp, James Mangold
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