Indiana Jones: George Lucas named the character after one of his pets
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When Star Wars creator Lucas was looking for a new project to work on after the conclusion of his sci-fi franchise, he started writing Indiana Jones. He soon hired legendary director Steven Spielberg to helm the films starring the dashing hero, starting with Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1981. Long before Spielberg got involved, however, Lucas named the character after someone close to his heart.
Lucas penned Indiana to be one of the most iconic cinematic heroes in history.
From his iconic hat and whip to his daring nature, Indiana was the perfect action hero in every way.
When writing the initial draft of Raiders of the Lost Ark Lucas looked at his home life for inspiration to name the whip-cracker.
Speaking in the Raiders of the Lost Ark behind the scenes documentary “The Making of Raiders of the Lost Ark”, Lucas revealed said: “Indiana was my dog.”
Lucas continued: “Indiana was the prototype for the Wookie – for Chewbacca [from Star Wars].
“He was this big huge [Alaskan] Malamute. He would sit next to me in the car. A giant bear of a dog.
“And so I named the character after my dog! And ultimately put that in the movie.”
As Lucas noted, in the final moments of his third film with Spielberg, The Last Crusade, the origins of Indiana’s name were revealed by Harrison Ford himself.
The moment came when Dr Henry Jones explained he was named after his father, Dr Henry Jones Snr (played by Sean Connery).
However, when Henry Jones Jnr went adventuring, he used the name Indiana Jones.
The final moment of the film saw Henry Snr revealing: “We named the dog Indiana.”
Despite how memorable the name was, Spielberg wouldn’t go ahead until Indiana’s name was changed.
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During the same documentary Lucas revealed he wanted something changed about the character before he agreed to it.
He said: “Originally when I wrote [Raiders of the Lost Ark] it was Indiana Smith.
“When I told the story to Steven on the beach he said: ‘I love it, it’s fantastic! Let’s go with it… but there’s one thing I don’t like. I don’t like the name.’”
Lucas went on: “Oh, all right. Why don’t we call him Indiana Jones? [Spielberg said:] ‘Okay! That’s fine!’”
Changing Indiana’s name wasn’t the only instance of Spielberg having some influence in the series.
In Raiders’ sequel, Temple of Doom, the director dressed Indiana in a James Bond-styled tuxedo during its first scene.
This outfit choice followed Spielberg being denied any chance of directing a 007 film by Bond boss Cubby Broccoli.
The Indiana Jones movies are available on NOW.
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