First plot details about Indiana Jones 5 reveal that it’ll deal with Nazis and the space race of 1969

Yesterday, we got our first real look at Indiana Jones 5 as Empire began rolling out some articles and images from their upcoming magazine issue, which comes out next week. Today, as Empire continues those releases, we got our first real details about what the plot will be.

In an article for Empire written by Ben Travis, we learned that the film will center around the space race and will, of course, feature Nazis. Here’s what we learned about the plot of the upcoming film, which until now had been kept very much under wraps.

  • The movie is set in 1969, and the context for that is the space race between the Americans and the Russians (1969 is the year the Americans placed a man on the moon, if you remember).
  • As part of the space race, the Americans are aided by former Nazi scientists (a fact true to history). But given Indy’s history, he may have some issues with that. “The simple fact is that the moon-landing program was run by a bunch of ex-Nazis,” the film’s co-writer, Jez Butterworth, said. “How ‘ex’ they are is the question. And it gets up Indy’s nose…” Butterworth went on to talk about how this changing era will be difficult for Indiana Jones to adapt to, especially since “the people that are behind it are, you know, his sworn enemies.”
  • Putting a name and a face to these Nazis is Mads Mikkelson, who plays the film’s villain, Voller. The character is inspired by Wernher von Braun, the Nazi scientist who worked with NASA to put a man on the moon. “He’s a man who would like to correct some of the mistakes of the past,” Mikkelson said. But as for whether or not Indy would agree with those “corrections” remains to be seen.
  • There’s another Nazi character, Klaber, who is played by Boyd Holbrook. “I’m a lapdog to Mads, and a crazy one at that,” Holbrook said. One scene he appears in is a “major action-set piece” set on August 13, 1969 in New York, celebrating the Apollo 11 success.
  • Lastly, Mikkelson hints at what figures to be the macguffin in this film. We don’t know what it is, but it’s something that both Indy and Voller are after. “There is something that could make the world a much better place to live in,” Mikkelson said. “[Voller] would love to get his hands on it. Indiana Jones wants to get his hands on it as well. And so, we have a story.”

This is the first time we’ve really had any sort of concrete details about what the film will be about, so it’s really nice to learn more on that front. There’s still much we don’t know – like what the thing is that these characters are after – but this at least gives us the broad picture. We’ve known that it would be set years in the future, but now we know that it’ll be in 1969. For context, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was set in 1957, taking place two decades after The Last Crusade (which was set in 1938). Now we’ll pick it up 12 years later, which is not too far off from the real-world time difference (it’ll premiere 15 years after the release of the last film). Seeing Indy adjust to this new era and this changing world, particularly a world that’s going to space, will be fun (even though I imagine humans going to space loses a bit of its luster after being confronted with aliens who came from space, but still).

Mikkelson is no stranger to Lucasfilm, having played Galen Erso in Rogue One (and his brother, Lars, is the voice of Grand Admiral Thrawn in Rebels). We’ve been wondering for a while who he’s playing in this film, assuming that he was the villain, and now we know. Bringing back Nazis for Indy’s final film seems fitting, especially since they’re able to tie it in so well to the space race. So as much as things change, there are some things that stay the same: Indiana Jones is still fighting Nazis, all the way to the end.

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