We Already Knew When ‘INDIANA JONES 5’ Occurred on the Indiana Jones Timeline

The way my heart sank when I saw that Empire posted their article “Indiana Jones 5 Will Pit Indy Against Nazis Again, In 1969 – Exclusive”.

11 days ago, I decided to write up an article going into the timeline of both the Indiana Jones franchise and the upcoming film Indiana Jones 5. I won’t spoil my findings, nor my conclusion for that matter, but I will proudly say one thing: I was right, it just sucks I didn’t post this first. The following article was written on the 8th and was scheduled to be posted on the 24th of the same month when the January 2023 issue of Empire, featuring a world-exclusive preview of the film, would release. I hope you can still enjoy it regardless, unedited with the exception of the inclusion of 3 images – carpe diem!

So, let’s start off with the current Indiana Jones film timeline, briefly. First, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, the earliest entry, takes place in 1935. A year later, in 1936, Raiders of the Lost Ark, the first instalment in the franchise to release, takes place. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade takes place 2 years later in 1938, with a prologue taking place earlier than all of the films in 1912. Finally, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the most recent film to be released, jumps ahead 19 years to 1957, not before ending with a prologue taking place in 1958. At this point, the titular character is 59 years old. It’s also worth noting that the anthology series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles expands Indy’s timeline from 1908, his first adventure at 9 y/o, to 1993, with a retired 94 y/o Professor Jones.

In January 2021, Indiana Jones 5 director James Mangold teased that the film will take place in “60’s NYC”, giving us a 10-year timespan (1960 – 1969) to work from. An article released by The Illuminerdi spilt some exclusive details on Mads Mikkelsen’s villain character, a Nazi scientist enlisted into NASA by the United States government (identical to Operation Paperclip, a secret US intelligence program in which more than 1,600 German scientists from Nazi Germany were hired to work in the US government) to work on the space agency’s moon landing initiative, AKA Project Apollo. The program lasted from 1961 – 1972, shortening our timespan ever so slightly to 9 years (1961 – 1969).

But with all this talk of the Apollo program, surely the film will cover its most famous mission, Apollo 11, right? Well, pretty much. Set photos released by The Glasgow Times confirmed that not only will the mission be referenced in the film, but will actually show the Ticker Tape Parade for Apollo 11 to celebrate the historic event which took place shortly after on August 13th, 1969.

And there you have it! Our proposed timeline placement of Indiana Jones 5 is that it will take place primarily in the Summer of 1969, with a confirmation that the film will cover the events of August 13th of that same year. Do you disagree? Have any other thoughts about when this or the upcoming Indiana Jones series could take place? Are you excited for Harrison Ford’s final outing as the titular character? Leave a comment below or tag us on Twitter @Blacklight or @Geekritique with your thoughts.

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