Friday, August 22, 2008
Indiana Jones And What Came Before (Part One)...
A warning... if you don't want to know the stories and a large amount of details about these adventures then read no further. This isn't a review, it isn't a synopsis, it's more of an example of what's known as a scriptment. I will try to tell the story the screenwriter wrote as detailed and quickly(or not) as possible.
SPOILERS WILL BE TOLD.
Still with me? Good...
This is a script that Lucas commissioned back after "Last Crusade" and is from 1995.
Indiana Jones and Saucer Men from Mars by Jeb Stuart
Our story begins in Borneo, 1949. Indy is on one of his typical adventures down a dark river with his trusty pal, Kabul(this film's sidekick version of Short Round). They're being chased in their little steamer by a PT Boat filled with river pirates.
Cut to the PT Boat up next to Indy's steamer. They've taken possession of Indy's cargo. A Belloq-type character named Baldassare takes maps from Indy that obviously leads to some treasure. A battle ensues with the pirates trying to feed Jones and his friend to crocodiles. Baldassare leaves with the boat ready to blow up. Indy saves Kabul and his boat as they talk about how Baldassare got away with their treasure. Indy pulls out a small golden idol and they laugh. Indy says he's getting too old for this kind of thing.
Cut to them back in a small harbor town at the wharf, Kabul reminds him that he's promised Brody that he would escort a female linguist up the river looking for a mythical temple lost in time. He doesn't feel like doing it after these adventures and tells Kabul to go sell the steamer. He then goes looking for the linguist to tell her so. Once he sees her as you would expect, he changes his mind...
Dr. Elaine McGregor is a beautiful and smart professor looking for a guide to help her navigate the area and Indy can't say no as he feels an immediate attraction to her. We can tell the feeling is mutual, even though she is quick to point out that she's engaged. Kabul comes back telling him he sold the boat. Indy responds that "I told you to sell the goat" as he motions toward Elaine. Kabul runs off to get the boat back.
Cut to weeks later with Indy, Elaine and Kabul once again captured by Baldassare who realized he was fooled by Jones. They're all hanging upside down waiting to be devoured by ants(familiar?). Indy tries to convince Baldassare to save Elaine and himself by pretending there are more secret maps that only they can read. It only works halfway. Baldassare saves her and leaves Indy to die saying he doesn't need him. They head off, Indiana winds up having to save himself and Kabul. They head off for Baldassare's boat.
Cut to Indy arriving, fights ensuing and the river pirates and Baldassar fleeing off their own boat over to Indy's steamer. Indy thinks he scared them until he turns to see the boat heading toward a giant waterfall that will surely crush the boat if it goes over the falls. Indy, Kabul and Elaine wind up barely making it back just as they notice their own steamer passes by toward the falls. Indy notes they should have fixed that gas gauge as the pirates jump from the ship and the boat plummets over the falls. After all this, Indy turns to Elaine, swooning in her eyes and asks her to marry him(Nooooooooooooooo! Sorry, that was me.).
We now move to America. A wedding is about to commence... Indy and Elaine's wedding. Elaine is preparing to Marry Indy. In another room Henry Jones Sr. is helping Indy tie his tie and criticizing him for getting married so quickly, peppering him with questions like: "How long have you known this woman, Junior?"... (Very Sean Connery).
As we see the chapel, the brides side is may up of many well dressed, respectable people. Indy's side is quite the opposite. A few rag-tag friends, among whom we see Willie Scott, Marion and Short Round(Cringing here). They're about to begin with Indy and his father standing there waiting as the music starts up. We see Elaine about to come up the aisle just as a man walks up to her and Indy and his father get into some nervous banter. Elaine's father shouts: "she's gone!" Indy runs outside and sees a black sedan head off with his future bride in the back. He bolts over to the wedding car and jumps in, chasing after her.
A chase ensues across the university campus(familiar?) over the football field, through the streets and ... alas, when the black sedan carrying Elaine goes around a corner it drives up into the trailer of a semi. As the trailer doors close Indy comes screeching around the corner only to find the sedan and his future wife gone(kinda a reversal of the market scene in Raiders). He goes back to the chapel and says the kidnapper got away. Elaine's father tells him she wasn't kidnapped, but went willingly. Indy is heartbroken.
Cut to Indy at a bar starting to get hammered. We notice that he is drinking with Marion and Willie as they try and console him(More cringing here). Indy walks home and goes to Elaine's office. He goes in and starts to rummage around. Eventually he finds a document with a picture of the military man who looks remarkably like the one she fled with. He also finds her passport with the last name Bollander and a telegram. Then Dr. Jones finds a marriage certificate and he notices the man in the photo has a name plate on his chest with the name Bollander... her husband. Indy reads the telegram. It list something about needing urgent help on a discovery in White Sands, NM.
Back at his house, Indy is arguing with his dad about just finding out that Elaine being married. Jones tells his dad that it's a front and he's going after her looking for answers. He tells his father that he knows she's a spy and wants to find her because he still loves her. The traditional Indy montage across a map until we land in...
New Mexico. Indy pulls into a small diner in the middle of nowhere. Indy goes in asks the waitress shows pictures of Elaine and Bollander. She doesn't recognize Elaine, but identifies Bollander. Two cowboys(one Indy's age, one younger) over to the side ears perk up at this mention and look at one another. She tells him he's the second person to ask about him today and turns to the cowboys... they're gone.
Indy follows a convoy of trucks to a military base. He tries to get the MP's to let him through to see Bollander. It doesn't work. Indy turns and heads away. Cut to Indy on horseback riding across restricted government land. Indy goes across the plains noticing a long black streak where something crashed. He rides on...
Cut to Indy watching a large procession of trucks. trailers, tents and generators(think the end of Close Encounters) as a plane goes by and spots him. He runs off on his horse as Jeeps with machine guns roll after him. After a series of turns and jumps evading them he's finally caught. And winds up in an interrogation tent facing...
Bob Bollander, the military man who stole his wife along with a General McIntyre grilling him with questions(familiar?). They ask Jones what he's seen. What exactly does he know? After a bit a scuffle Indy gets knocked out. And wakes up to see...
Elaine over him. They argue, she comes up with an idea to allow him to stay. She convinces the General that he can help her decipher what she's been working on. Bollander objects, but is overruled. He's taken to a massive operations tent. Indy's introduced to Dr. Bernard who goes about showing him pieces of the crash. Strange alien metal and then a refrigerated coffin with a dead alien inside. A sceptical Indy starts to believe there's something to this. He's shown a long stone cylinder with various runic symbols on it. This is what they are trying to decode. They note that it is some strange power source and it was found among the wreckage of the crash whose site Indy saw earlier. He agrees to help them figure out what this thing is.
Cut to the edge of the base. The two cowboys show up and kill the MP's at the post. They turn to each other and speak in Russian. They mount their horses and head off across the dessert. We focus on Indy and Bollander staring off into the night watching the sky glow... they're testing the bomb off in the distance.
Indy and Elaine figure out what they believe the symbols mean. They meet with the General and Bollander. It appears that the symbols are longitude/latitude symbols and they correspond to various mountains about the world. They talk about how perhaps this ship was taking device back to the mountain.
A commotion happens across the site. It appears that one of the crude computers blew up. Indy notices something unusual and Elaine is missing. He goes over to find out what's going on. He stumbles into the Cowboys. They stick a gun to his back and pull him into a tent. The Cowboy we find out is a Russian spy named Cheslav... and Indy and he have a history. Elaine is tied in the tent. A fight ensues and Cheslav and the other Russian escape with Elaine in tow as Jones stumbles after her.
A chase happens across the dessert base as the General and Jones both go looking for him. There's a huge missile test area where the Russian hide their car amidst a hundred others. Indy goes hunting for them and goes down a cavern to battle one of the Russians. He winds up battling the spy on top a missile testing sled(familiar?). The sled shoots off and heads out at a blinding speed. When it comes to a stop, the Russian is dead and burnt to a crisp. Indy is barely conscious and notices figures come up to him speaking in Russian. Someone knocks him out before he can see what is happening clearly.
Cut to Indy in the car's trunk next to the body of the dead Russian trying to pick the lock. They're going across the base, one is reading a map and they notice he was reading it wrong. They see a small town(Boomsburg) up ahead and pull into a gas station. Indy sneaks out of the trunk and sneaks around the side. Indy runs into a house and tries to find a phone. Everything is strangely sterile and quite. He sees some people and notices they're mannequins. About this time the Russians realize this and start to get out of town as quickly as possible(This scene plays out exactly like the one in Crystal Skull except the fridge scene is a bit different. He goes into the cellar and covers the top with the open fridge).
Cut to Indy being scrubbed off(Just like Crystal Skull). Cut to interrogation with them accusing Indy of helping the Russians(Just like Crystal Skull). Indy and Bollander are arguing as Indy tells him he has a mole on the base and it's someone that speaks Russian with a German accent. They only have two hundred German scientists helping with this project so it should be easy to find the General says sarcastically.
Cut to Indy under arrest. He's taken down to be locked up. He hears Dr. Bernard arguing with some people. Jones eyes go wide as realizes that Bernard is the voice he heard. Indy escapes from his MP escort and goes after Bernard. He climbs onto the top of one of the trucks in a convoy. The convoy pulls into a deserted gas station as a car pulls up carrying Elaine. Suddenly a huge Russian flying fortress swoops down from the sky and lands. They're fueling the plane as they load cargo. The guy loading the fuel notices it's stopped and goes looking for a kink in the line... you can guess what happens next. Jones dressed in a Russian outfit boards the plane as it's starting to take off. He looks around for the cylinder and runs into some Russian soldiers and gets in a fight when they realize he's not one of them. Indy looses the fight.
Cut to Indy being taken to the pilot's compartment. He and Elain embrace. We notice that the cylinder is starting to glow(giving us the impression of it being like a time bomb). Bernard takes him to the back and opens bomb bay doors to throw Indy out. Before they can throw him out they discover they have a visitor. Something is trailing the plane... something not American, not human. A flying saucer. They get caught in its tractor beam. Two American jets come into the fight after having seen the saucer on radar. They fire at the saucer and it released the plane. A fight ensues as the plane starts to head down. Elaine tries to get the device, but gets sucked out of the plane. Indy goes after her and grabs her as he pulls his parachute. The plane explodes. They land. She has the cylinder as she and Indy walk into an almost deserted town near dusk. They go into a shop. No one around. Indy goes to try and find someone leaving Elaine inside. Things happen and a spider-like alien comes after her(feels very much like the house scene from CE3K). She runs out of the shop as Indy pulls up in a truck. She jumps in and tells him to go.
It's night as the truck drives down the road toward a drive-in theater. They pull in and park their vehicle, hiding around the other cars. On the screen is some cheesy alien invasion movie that plays out while all the teens around them make out. Indy and Elaine talk until she and he start to make up or make out just like the rest of the teens. The rod's runic symbols continue to light up and expand. A shadow appears over the drive-in... no one notices, including Indy and Elaine as their car starts rising.
The truck is lowered onto the ground. The alien ship(not the one that shot down the plane, this one's smaller) lands and a bug-like alien comes out and tries to get the door open with them inside. Indy tries to draw the thing away as a small alien appears in the doorway of the saucer. It says something that sounds like what Elaine heard the spider-like alien say and being a linguist she starts to decipher what it was saying. It's saying "Dangerous". Indy and she try to give it to the creature, but even the creature doesn't want it. About this time an explosion happens on the saucer. Tanks are firing at the spacecraft. Bollander pulls up with the General. They put Indy and Elaine under arrest and Bollander takes the cylinder, looking at it almost like a lover. The convoy heads back to the base as dawn approaches. The clouds above move and shift... something is in them following the convoy(very much CE3K).
A huge windstorm is kicking up. Suddenly a beam of light destroys one of the trucks in the convoy. The large flying saucer is back as the storm gets worse. The ship destroys more vehicles. Elaine and Indy escape again as the Army does battle with the saucer. Bollander takes off with the cylinder in his jeep as the burning sandstorm buries the entire convoy of Army vehicles. Bollander is riding up the mountains. Bollander reaches a runic alter(a cairn) up in the mountains as three saucers come out flashing green lights all around the cairn. Indy and Elaine are going toward Bollander when suddenly they're stopped by Cheslav. Fights happen, Cheslav runs for Bollander and the cylinder. Bollander is holding the rod, it glows and he starts to glow. He becomes drunk with power. He takes the cylinder and melts Cheslave before he can get to him. Just then the sun rises and Bollander feels the power start to drain from his body. He explodes. Blinding light everywhere. When the storm settles and the light goes away the cylinder is missing. Everything is back to normal now that the cylinder has been returned...
Cut to the church from before. Indy Sr. fixing Indy Junior's tie again. Indy and Elaine get married and run over to get into the car. Everyone is around cheering them... Sallah, Marion, Willie and so on. As they get in the driver, Short Round says: "Where to Dr. Jones?". He tells him the airport and they speed off. Indy says: "I love you". Elaine say: "I love you". They kiss. The wedding car roars off toward the airport.
Would this have been better than Crystal Skull?
You be the judge.