I happily admit that ships are a big part of how I consume media. A great ship can make a mediocre TV show or movie more watchable or it can be just one of the many things that makes a piece of entertainment amazing. Either way, finding a ship to love is a wonderful thing. And it’s even better if you somehow get to see the couple together in their older years. Fans got exactly that for Indiana Jones and Marion Ravenwood in the Indiana Jones film series. With Dial of Destiny in theaters, now is the time to celebrate what I love about Indy and Marion!
WARNING: spoilers ahead, so beware!
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Honestly, I shouldn’t have liked this couple so much. First, there is a noticeable age difference between them, which is usually not to my taste. Second, they had a problematic start, as Marion was only 17 when their relationship began. In fact, she reams him about that when they meet again 10 years later in Raiders. After punching him! I think that’s what hooked me about this ship: Marion was allowed to be just as tough as Indy. They also felt like partners as they fought side-by-side against the Nazis who were searching for the Ark of the Covenant. Besides that, nothing sells a ship better than sizzling chemistry between the two actors, and Harrison Ford and Karen Allen have that. And that’s true whether they’re fighting or kissing.
I am also a sucker for the emotion underpinning a ship. When Indy briefly thinks Marion is dead and he is completely distraught, that tells me everything I need to know about his feelings. Plus, how can anyone resist the scene where Marion asks him, “Dammit, Indy, where doesn’t it hurt?” and he points to places like his elbow, which she kisses, until he leads her to a kiss on the lips. These films are action-adventure stories. Good ones. So a successful romantic subplot like this is like the sweetest icing on a delicious cake. And Indy and Marion’s love story is not over yet.
Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Indy had other adventures, with other women. But in 1957, over 20 years after the events in Raiders, fate brings him and Marion back into each other’s lives. Marion’s son Mutt (Shia LaBeouf) asks Indy for help to rescue Marion and another old friend. The moment when Indy realizes Mutt’s mother is his Marion and the moment when Marion reveals to Indy that Mutt is his son are important in the overall Indy/Marion arc. This couple still knows how to bicker, but they also clearly still have feelings for each other. When Marion asks about Indy’s relationships with other women since they split up, he says there have been a few but they all had the same problem. “What’s that?” she asks. “They weren’t you, honey,” Indy responds.
For Indy, Marion is the woman he measures all others against. They are obviously the loves of each other’s lives. It doesn’t matter that they spent so much time apart. And it doesn’t matter that Ford and Allen haven’t worked together since Raiders, their chemistry is still there, too. When Indy and Marion finally marry at the end of this film, it feels right. It feels like they finally ended up where they were supposed to be. Even though it took until they were past middle age, Indy’s adventures led him back to Marion.
Dial of Destiny
This couple has another huge challenge to face, it turns out. Indy and Marion are separating in 1969. He explains to his goddaughter Helena Shaw (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) that after they lost Mutt in the Vietnam War, Indy was helpless to comfort Marion through their grief. Indy has always been a character defined by action. He finds something to do no matter what problem comes up. So this situation must have felt overwhelming to him, even though he loves Marion. Indy is over 70 years old now and his search for the Antikythera device forces him to face his own mortality. The device opens a fissure in time, so Indy is in the past and injured. He wants to give up.
Thankfully, Helena doesn’t let him, which allows fans one more Indy/Marion moment. Marion is there when Indy regains consciousness in his own time. When left alone, they don’t directly discuss their son or Indy’s latest adventure. Instead, they do the reverse of the “Where doesn’t it hurt?” moment from Raiders. Their kiss lets the audience know that even the worst loss couldn’t permanently separate them. Indiana Jones and Marion Ravenwood belong together. It’s as simple as that.
Raiders of the Lost Ark and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull are streaming on Disney Plus. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is now in theaters.