“Indy, we’re home.” That’s a line not uttered by John Rhys-Davies’ Sallah in the first trailer for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, but it might as well be. The legacy sequel directed by James Mangold seems to want to scratch the same nostalgia itch as Harrison Ford‘s return as Han Solo in 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens. But in the fifth Indy flick, it’s not Ford’s character announcing his triumphant comeback but his trusty companion encouraging him to take up the whip once again. One must imagine that when Dr. Jones does put on his iconic hat and leather jacket, there will be a few folks tearing up in theaters.
The long-awaited trailer confirms that Dial of Destiny won’t be shy about playing the hits. Whip gags, Indy on horseback, a new artifact to find before the bad guys do, and at least one scene where our beloved protagonist is clearly in over his head. These moments are all accounted for, plus plenty of snarky quips from his new partner, his “goddaughter” Helena (played by the wonderful Phoebe Waller-Bridge).
The film also confirms it’s bringing back Indiana Jones‘ greatest enemy: the Third Reich. Glimpsed both in flashback scenes depicting a de-aged Harrison Ford (yes, the tech is still a bit jarring but not as bad as Luke Skywalker in The Mandalorian season 2) punching Nazis in their stupid fascist faces, as well as in the 1969 space race main setting of the film, these bad guys return after last getting their asses kicked in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusader in 1989.
Central to the new film’s Nazi scheme is a man named Voller, played by Mads Mikkelsen, and we’re going to assume he’s after the titular Dial of Destiny, which sounds like some sort of time-traveling device based on Mikkelsen’s own recent comments on his character.
“He’s a man who would like to correct some of the mistakes of the past,” Mikkelsen told Empire. “There is something that could make the world a much better place to live in. He 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.”
Mikkelsen’s suggestion that his character wants to “correct some of the mistakes of the past” sounds a bit like Voller plans to use this mysterious Dial of Destiny to turn back time to darker days. In the film, Voller is aided by his henchman Klaber, played Boyd Holbrook. You can spot him aggressively riding a motorcycle during the ticker tape parade welcoming back the crew of Apollo 11. In fact, the film seems to delve into some real history about the Moon landing that NASA probably would prefer to sweep under the rug so many decades later, namely how a former Nazi scientist was a key member of the team who helped the American space agency send man to the Moon.
According to Empire, aerospace engineer and space architect Wernher von Braun, regarded as “the father of space travel,” was one of the key inspirations for the character of Voller.
“The simple fact is that the moon-landing program was run by a bunch of ex-Nazis,” The Dial of Destiny co-writer Jez Butterworth told the outlet. “How ‘ex’ they are is the question. And it gets up Indy’s nose… The people that are behind it are, you know, his sworn enemies.”
Judging from this trailer, Indy will get to teach Voller and his lot one last lesson before finally calling it quits.
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny hits theaters on June 30, 2023.