I just wanna take a moment to point out how genius it was to take away Indy’s gun at the start of Temple. I don’t know whose idea it was but that was one of the best things that person ever thought up.
Let’s backup a little though. The revolver is a staple of Indy’s repertoire. He goes into a lot of dangerous fucking situations and he sure ain’t afraid to whip that motherfucker out and start blasting away. The man has no qualms about shooting folks dead and Raiders sets this up thoroughly. Jones reaches for the pistol first almost every time so it’s his primary way of getting out of serious trouble. But in my opinion he uses it too much in the first installment. He’s a little too trigger happy and that makes him slightly less cool. Plus, as we know, shootouts are difficult to make interesting in an action movie. As a general rule hand to hand and melee weapon fights are more impressive and satisfying.
So now if we jump to Temple of Doom we have the curious proposition of Indy without a gun for 95% of the film. This notion probably went down one of two ways: either this was mandated at some point during the screenwriting process, or Spielberg/Lucas realized after reading the script that the writers forgot to have Indy use his pistol and liked the idea so they had him lose it permanently in the beginning to match all the scenes. It’s a great way to change up how Indy fights back and escapes impossible circumstances. Furthermore it’s completely in keeping with the character and in fact makes him more badass overall. He can’t lean on that crutch and quickly shoot his way out anymore, he’s gotta come up with another plan.
If you asked the average Indiana Jones fan what paraphernalia you associate with the character I bet the gun wouldn’t be the first or even second thing named (It’s probably the whip and the hat). And it’s remarkable how the revolver became more of an afterthought with the three sequels. I mean look at Last Crusade, he barely uses it in that one. And in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull I think he only draws his piece once but never fires. Spielberg and Lucas must’ve liked Indy gun-less because they essentially disarmed him after the first outing.
Even though it makes sense for Jones to carry a pistol considering the places he travels to and the people he deals with, it feels like they kinda made a mistake having him rely on it so much in Raiders. That’s why the gun drop at the very start of Temple is so illuminating. The filmmakers continued to refine the character and are acknowledging that Indy doesn’t need the fuckin’ thing by literally throwing that aspect out the window. He can handle shit just fine without it.
Incidentally, I wanna revise my ranking of the four Raiders pictures. I had stated in my Temple talkin’ that Last Crusade was my favorite, then Temple of Doom and lastly Raiders. Well, in the more than five years since I wrote that I’ve changed. Hey, that shit just happens in life. What are you gonna do? These days Temple of Doom is my favorite, Raiders is second and Last Crusade it third (Crystal Skull will likely remain at the bottom of the list if and when more Raiders get made). How could my original favorite drop so much? Maybe I’ll go into it one day, but for now that’s where I am. And I know I know, I should’ve asked if you gave a shit, right?