We meet again, Dr. Jones!

So Indy 4 will be made soon, at long last.

I wonder what the MacGuffin will be this time.

One article I found states that Lucas’ idea for the MacGuffin was ‘originally deemed too incendiary’. Hmm. It has to be old, with something to do with a major religion, somewhat supernatural, previously undiscovered or buried, power-bestowing, and everybody has to want it. Here are a few guesses as to what it is NOT:

  • The Fountain of Youth (too obvious, and Jones has already quaffed from the Grail)
  • Noah’s Ark (the subject of an early and very bad fan screenplay)
  • The Garden of Eden (apparently an ongoing rumor, but rather dull-sounding)
  • Holy Lance / Spear of Destiny (probably not, given the Grail has been done and there’s a comic book concerning this)
  • The lost city of Atlantis (the subject of a Indy PC game, so definitely out)
  • Something Arthurian – Excalibur, Avalon, etc (probably not, given the medieval themes of the last movie)
  • Something Mayan – crystal skulls?
  • The Sargasso Sea / Bermuda Triangle, where Indy could find literally anything – I think it’s been done, though.

More promising:

  • Something Chinese, possibly involving Nurhaci (the Chinese emperor’s urn that Jones trades for the diamond in ToD)
  • Something Islamic. We’ve had the Ark (Judaism), the Sankara Stones (pseudo-Hinduism), and the Holy Grail (Christianity). Islam might be up this time, though I can’t think of any good possibilities offhand (Sword of Ali? The Nazis snatch the black stone of Mecca?).
  • Something non-religious, perhaps, like the Philosopher’s Stone (alas, Harry Potter already found that).

The MacGuffin needs what H calls ‘zappy-eye’ quality. It should either give the owner great powers, or kill them violently and messily. In Indy’s universe, the MacGuffin always has the ultimate power of moral judgment, functioning as a deus ex machina that kills the bad guy and lets Indy off the hook as he is a good-hearted adventurer who is not there for power. The long delay in a script suggests difficulty in finding a good MacGuffin; let’s hope they decided on something that is at least good as the Ark.

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