Open Thread: George Lucas on Marion Ravenwood

Reader Theora notified us about something interesting recently. A transcript has been released of the original Raiders of the Lost Ark story conference among Lucas, Spielberg and Kasdan. Here’s a segment, which I’ve trimmed slightly for relevance to the kind of stuff we discuss here. G = George Lucas, S = Steven Spielberg, L = Lawrence Kasdan.

For a while, they weren’t sure what kind of girl to have as a counterpart to Indy…

There was talk about a big name professor who taught Indy everything he knew. Then there was the idea about this German girl, and for the sake of expediency, Kasdan suggested that Indy instead have an affair with the mentor’s daughter, which they loved. And then Lucas and Spielberg were off and running with ideas about how’s she’s been left in Peru and has this bar and is trying to get money together to get back to the States and loves (and resents) Indy to no end. In fact, Kasdan said he wanted Indy and this girl to already have a history when they meet because, “I like it if they already had a relationship at one point. Because then you don’t have to build it.” Hehehe

Then the discussion turned to how old Marion and Indy were at the time of the affair:

G — I was thinking that this old guy could have been his mentor. He could have known this little girl when she was just a kid. Had an affair with her when she was eleven.

L — And he was forty-two.

G — He hasn’t seen her in twelve years. Now she’s twenty-two. It’s a real strange relationship.

S — She had better be older than twenty-two.

G — He’s thirty-five, and he knew her ten years ago when he was twenty-five and she was only twelve. It would be amusing to make her slightly young at the time.

S — And promiscuous. She came onto him.

G — Fifteen is right on the edge. I know it’s an outrageous idea, but it is interesting. Once she’s sixteen or seventeen it’s not interesting anymore. But if she was fifteen and he was twenty-five and they actually had an affair the last time they met. And she was madly in love with him and he…

S — She has pictures of him.

And now consider the dialog of that scene in the film.

INDY: I never meant to hurt you.
MARION: I was a child! I was in love.
INDY: You knew what you were doing.
MARION: It was wrong. You knew it.
INDY: Look, I did what I did. I don’t expect you to be happy about it. But maybe we can do each other some good.
MARION: Why start now?
INDY: Shut up and listen for a second. I want that piece your father had. I’ve got money.
MARION: How much?

Any thoughts on this?


  1. says

    It would be amusing to make her slightly young at the time.

    Amusing? Amusing to have Our Hero commit statutory rape? With a promiscuous 12-15 year old?

    Clearly, these guys have different ideas of amusement than me. And many others. And more than a few legal codes.

  2. sbg says

    I … I … I’m too busy being horrified right now to have any thoughts other than, “Kill! Kill! Kill!”

    Sweet baby Jesus dipped in batter and deep-fried on a stick, that is some messed up shit.

  3. sbg says

    Actually, this sort of thing always brings up my frothing rage about the term “Lolita” being used the way it is, as if every single reader of Nabokov’s book interpreted in a way that places the blame of the whole story on that little girl, when the narrative is clearly skewed to a sick man’s rather twisted and un-objective POV. Like poor little Dolores Haze was actually a temptress at twelve and not the victim of Humbert Humbert’s pedophilia.

    Sorry, that was a bit of a tangent, I guess. It really raises my hackles to see these dudes chatting about how amusing and interesting it would be for Indy to, y’know, have an affair with sexually assault a little girl.

  4. says

    I am *not* defending them at all (they don’t need a defender) but Indiana Jones was originally supposed to be an anti-hero, not a Hero. There are remnants of that original ambiguously bad guy in Raiders of the Lost Ark, but with Harrison Ford playing the character, there was little chance of an amoral archeologist emerging.

    Of course, the TYPE of character Indy started out being, doesn’t have a whole lot to do with how this conversation went: Lucas is blythe about it, Spielberg is iffy about the age, and Kasdan says little (we don’t know how he felt about it).

    I find this conversation even more odd considering how Spielberg later revised E.T. and erased all the guns that the FBI agents were aiming at Henry and E.T. as they raced past them on the bicycle.

    Not to mention the amount of violence implied and shown to children in Temple of Doom. (I mean, wtf was that?)

  5. Dom Camus says

    Another aspect of this issue is…

    ** SPOILERS for Kingdom of the Crystal Skull **

    …that Lucas is obviously not proposing this as “interesting” on the grounds that it’s a way to show a dark side to Indy which the viewer is intended to be contemptuous of. Because in the end Indy and Marion get married. And this is the “happy ending” at the conclusion of the series.

    I think there is some genuinely complexity to issues surrounding age of consent, but the example here is not exploring those issues. Indeed, I am reminded somewhat of the “Barely legal!” exclamations frequently found accompanying spam porn links.

  6. Legible Susan says

    I’d forgotten that dialogue. I didn’t realise they meant she was literally a child. Bloody hell!

    The line “S — She had better be older than twenty-two.” was at the bottom of my screen, and I thought “So far, Spielberg is the only one who’s not looking like a pervert”. Then I scrolled down and, oh look. Him too.

  7. Melanie says

    Oh, that’s just horrid. They really think it’s ok for a grown man to “have an affair” with an 11 year old? Eew. Indy’s a rapist, apparently.

  8. says

    I actually thought Kasdan came out okay in this one. He had a good initial suggestion – affair with mentor’s daughter causes split between Indy and mentor, bad baggage between Indy and daughter! That’s a good, dramatic, noir-ish idea. Then Lucas suggests she be eleven, and I assume Kasdan’s “and he was forty-two” was facetious (since if Indy was 42 back then, we’d be dealing with a hero in his 50s, which doesn’t ever seem to have been the plan) to show Lucas how out-there “eleven” sounds. And it may be due to Kasdan that so little of this wound up in the shooting script that many people never had a clue what was being implied.

    What bothers me most is that when “eleven” gets a facetious response even from someone Lucas probably considered a protege at the time, Lucas comes back a bit of math that would actually make her ten, then later suggests “twelve.”

    I also dislike how Spielberg equates “promiscuous” with a woman coming onto a man. This was exceedingly common then and hasn’t changed greatly now – the idea that a woman’s place in sex with men must always be one of giving something, never of getting – but I still dislike it.

    It’s also troubling to me just how shitty Indy’s behavior to Marion is throughout the movie. Oh, wow, is he sad when he thinks she’s dead, but he still leaves her in Belloq’s hands when it’s convenient later, and so on. It really comes across as a sick relationship, which TPTB seem to have interpreted as true love.

  9. Robin says

    I’m really glad that that was never made explicit in the movie, because my sense of their age difference when they met was more like a grad student and a college freshman. The age difference between Ford and Allen is only about eight years, so that would fit. A little weird, particularly circa 1940, but not nearly so icky as if she was practically prepubescent. My Dr. Jones would never do that, no matter how “promiscuous” the girl was. He can be morally ambiguous in other ways, thank you very much.

  10. SunlessNick says

    I also dislike how Spielberg equates “promiscuous” with a woman coming onto a man.

    Especially when in this case, he’s talking about a girl. And Spielberg is also the one who brings up Marion having pictures of Indy – as if she’d been pining for him all this time.

  11. Patrick J McGraw says

    FWIW, final canon has it that Marion was 17 and Indy was 25, making his actions questionable but not the act of child molestation that Lucas originally suggested.

  12. says

    …Oh, EW.

    *scrubs own brain* Man, I love the Indiana Jones films, I really don’t want to be thinking of THIS every time I watch the first one now.

    Also, George Lucas is starting to get REALLY creepy with the underage kids thing. Consider, also, the Star Wars prequels with Anakin and Padme.

  13. says

    I’m afraid my thoughts are running to “Bastards!” at the moment, which really isn’t very constructive or even critical. :S

    I’ll be fascinated to see what other people have to say. I may even come back with my own thoughts once I’ve had a think.

  14. says

    This is one of those occasions where I’m happy to say that something is excluded from my canon. I think everything in the movie is consistent with anti-hero behavior without really crossing the line. This obviously would.

    Regardless, it’s increasingly obvious Lucas was off even back in his prime.

  15. DNi says

    I’m actually pretty willing to pass (most of) this off as “taking a big fat creative dump”. Basically, it’s the stage in which you get all the idiotic, creepy stuff and disturbing subtexts out of your head and away from your work.

    I consider it the most important part of the creative process.

  16. says

    DNi, they did include the reference to her being a “child” in the film. And the novelization specifies that she was 15. So did they truly “dump” this, or did they just tone down what they (or at least Lucas) considered a good idea to be a little less in-your-face with the controversy? I’d say the latter.

  17. Izzy says


    Lucas just continues to get creepier and more insane. Or, rather, we continue to find out that he was creepy and insane for longer than everyone thought. The “once she’s sixteen or seventeen, it stops being interesting” line…ew. EW.

    As someone said above, AOC issues get complex, I’d be okay with a fifteen-year-old having sex with, say, an eighteen-year-old…and I suppose there are situations where I could deal with the 15/25 thing, mostly in time periods where that was more the norm. It’s the conversation, more than anything in the actual movie, that makes this not okay for me: seriously, twelve? “Promiscuous”? Shut up, Spielberg/Lucas.

    It’s also…interesting…that Lucas both was responsible for the whole “Greedo shot first” controversy and, I hear, for cutting a female Jedi role from Revenge of the Sith because the actress posed for Playboy or some other similarly “unwholesome” magazine. Nice cognitive dissonance there, Georgie-boy.

  18. Patrick J McGraw says

    I’m not even going to try to defend Lucas’ actions here, but a note regarding Greedo shooting first: When Lucas re-cut the special edition, he was required to re-submit it to the MPAA. They gave it a PG-13 (which did not yet exist in 1977), and he had to change the shooting scene to keep a PG rating.

    Izzy, do you have any more information about the Jedi cut from Episode II? The only one I’m aware of is Shaak Ti (played by Orli Shoshan), whose filmed scenes consisted of two death scenes, only for Lucas to finally decide to have her character survive the purge so that she could appear in The Force Unleashed video game.

  19. says

    This is disgusting. I can’t tell if Spielberg is being serious or not when he says “And promiscuous. She came onto him” because it comes right after Lucas said something horrible, so it might have been a response that was intended to illustrate how awful Lucas’s thoughts were, like when he says that she had better be older than twenty-two. But gods if he is serious…*shudder* Lolita FAIL. I am just boggled that Lucas thought it would be “amusing” and “interesting” to make her be a child. WTF WHY. How is that amusing EVER? And 10 or 12 is only considered “slightly young”? Ew ew ew.

    From the dialogue in Raiders of the Lost Ark, I always figured the same as Robin–young undergraduate/graduate student. I am glad I have never been a fan of Indiana Jones anyway.

    @Izzy, Patrick
    I think you are referring to the actress Bai Ling, who played a senator in the Delegation of 2000 side plot that was excised from the film. Bai claimed that she was cut because of her June ’05 Playboy spread, but Lucas claims her scenes were cut for time and had been cut long before she posed for Playboy. I am loathe to defend Lucas, but it seems unlikely that he would slice multiple scenes and characters (including a character played by his daughter) from the film just because of one actresses’ Playboy pictorial. That and the Delegation of 2000 scenes are on the DVD release.

  20. Hayclearing says

    That exposition scene of Indy and Marion always struck me as creepy. Possibly because while people say things like ‘she was only a child!’, no self respecting person ever says that of themselves.

    Not unless they’re looking back on their pasts with a certain amount of horror.

  21. harlemjd says

    I totally get what you’re saying about that line, and I’d agree except that the dialog is awful in any movie Lucas has anything to do with.

  22. Tomoko says

    I’ve got a thought: EEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!

    Sorry, that needed to get out of my system. What the hell was Georgie Lucas on when he said that?! And the fact that that shit made it into the movie?

  23. SunlessNick says

    Jedi cut from Episode II?

    Revenge of the Sith had some deleted scenes with a female Jedi who is portrayed as utterly useless. I commented on it at this post.

  24. DragonLadyK says

    You know, just when I thought the nudge-nudge-wink-wink obsession with sixteen to eighteen year old girls was the lowest of the low, another rung fell out of the cosmic ladder.

    I agree that the AOC falls apart when it’s a sixteen year-old with an eighteen year-old or a fifteen year-old with a sixteen year-old. In the first the ages are close enough for precociousness to fill in the gaps personality-wise and in the second they’re both minors. But fifteen with twenty-five past 1890? That’s sick. That’s as bad as the statutory-rape scene in “the Vagina Monologues” (which was the second time in my life I’ve ever had to leave a play in the middle lest I get up on stage and give the actors/director/audience a piece of my mind).

    Worse than the content is the fact they were all so blithe about it. It was a joke to them, not some traumatizing backstory with all the attendant emotional issues (oh, Criminal Minds, why cannot everyone be you?).

    If this is inchoherent it’s because I’m gnashing my teeth in outrage.


  25. Nicole L says

    I am so revolted! They couldn’t just have her be a strong woman could they? NO they had to make her damaged – and weak, now that I think of her reactions to him in the movie in light of this info. After all she winds up with her abuser. (note: it’s been a long time since I saw the movie, and I never saw the last one). Hasn’t every woman always liked Marion best — wanted to be like her as a kid — because she was the most kick ass of the three movies? Way to subvert a female role model.

  26. says


    They knew. They were going for child rape here — Lucas thinks she has to be fifteen? That at sixteen or seventeen it’s not “interesting” anymore? Too close to adult women who might have a say-so? Who might be able to say “no” and kick your sorry ass?

    And I disagree: Kasdan did show his true colors with that “and he was forty-two” comment. Thirty years her senior WTFBBQ!!??

    Nope. The sickness is rampant, and they don’t even know they have it. I don’t know if I have the heart to even watch Star Wars again, thanks to this reveal.

  27. says

    I took Kasdan’s comment as facetious because that would make Indy 52 in the movie. At no point did they ever propose their male lead be that old. Therefore, he was not serious. Additionally, Lucas backed down a little after that, rather than taking encouragement as he would have if the “42” had sounded like a serious suggestion. I mean, I wasn’t there, and maybe Kasdan thought a 52 year old lead was just what they wanted, but it doesn’t sound remotely likely.

  28. says

    I took Kasdan’s comment as facetious because that would make Indy 52 in the movie. At no point did they ever propose their male lead be that old. Therefore, he was not serious.

    D’oh! There is that.

  29. Stephen Lea Sheppard says

    Not to suggest a relationship between an indefinitely-aged Indy and a ten year old Marion is appropriate, but really weird taboo-breaking sexual relationships were de rigeur in science fiction stories of that period in time, and I would guess George Lucas is something of a science fiction nerd. Creative people of that era had a history of playing with any ideas that came to mind partially out of perverse glee at the idea that they could. I don’t think it necessarily reflect badly on his character given the context, as bad as it looks in retrospect.

    • says

      Stephen, it’s not the fact that this idea came into his mind that’s troubling. It’s that he refers to it as “interesting” and “amusing” and insists it wouldn’t be “interesting” if she were older, yet doesn’t seem to correlate it with statutory rape. Unfortunately, this isn’t unusual in our culture, and I would agree it doesn’t indicate anything about Lucas’ character. It just suggests to me that he doesn’t get the basics of consent, and from my perspective, it’s unfortunate that someone who didn’t grasp this stuff made that movie. Even at the tender age when I first saw it, I remember thinking Marion’s “I was a child” line was creepy, and so was Indy. I remember laying awake at night wondering if that’s what romance really was, and getting loads of confirmation from other movies and shows and the dysfunctional households all around me, and thinking I was never going to convince myself romance was a good idea the way I knew adults expected me to.

      In hindsight, I don’t think I ever did convince myself romance was a good thing, actually.

  30. Stephen Lea Sheppard says

    Well, it was 1978. I know that’s not prehistory, I wasn’t born then and I’m sure a ton of people reading this were, but it seems to me ideas about boundaries were different. I mean, when I was a kid and reading sci-fi from that era and earlier, there was a general vibe of “All sexual relationships have the potential to be healthy, and it’s only our cultural inhibitions that make some of them not.” And these were the progressive, hopeful authors, imagining a future where sexual violence was a thing of the past.

    As a culture, as we look more closely at these issues…

    (I’m strongly resisting the urge at this point to go off on an ill-researched tangent about whether the Satanic ritual abuse scandal raised public awareness of child sexual abuse enough popularize close analysis of these issues, because it was in the 80s and thus definitely after this story meeting, and would therefore support my thesis here if my guess is correct.)

    …as we look more closely at these issues we come to realize that no, it’s not as simple as that, and a lot of that progressive hopeful futurism was naive, but it might not have been as obvious back then. Especially given that the bright, hopeful, progressive futurists were the ones promoting those sorts of thought-experiments.

    I could be reading too much into it, though. The flip side of this is, when I initially read that story meeting transcript, with regards to the Indy/Marion thing, I got the impression of a George Lucas and a Steven Spielberg who were bouncing in their seats, thinking “Ohmygod, can we do this? We can do this? I think we can! We can totally get away with doing this!” and just exulting in being transgressive.

    Which is what I took “It stops being interesting once she’s sixteen” to mean. Once she’s sixteen, they can’t have the fun of hiding transgression in the backstory where only they’ll ever know about it, giggling to each other privately about how other people would react if it were public.

  31. Rikibeth says

    ELEVEN? Jeez, guys. I was eleven when that movie came OUT, and I was still basically a little kid.

    Although I picked right up on what Indy and Marion were saying to each other in the dialogue, and I held both their statements (“it was wrong and you knew it” and “you knew what you were doing”) as carrying similar weight. Mostly because Marion was so kick-ass and awesome, I wanted to believe that she acted with agency. It was sketchy of 25-year-old Indy to pursue a relationship with a smitten 15-year-old, but I can see how she would have entered into it thinking it was wonderful, and how he could have convinced himself that he wasn’t doing something so terribly wrong.

    I can even see it that the big blow-up came when Prof. Ravenwood discovered them, and the most typical solution in 1926 isn’t acceptable for some reason — either the professor insists Marion is far too young to get married, or Indy balks at the idea, or fill in the blank.

    I didn’t break it down so thoroughly when I was eleven, but I did start from the notion that her father was more of a thwarting force than she might have preferred when it happened, and “child” meant “not independent yet,” and probably a teen.

    “Stops being interesting when she’s sixteen” is pretty gross. “Eleven” is even grosser.

  32. alphonse says

    now it make more sence the south park premiere episode of the las week, “The China Probrem”, where lucas and spielberg rape´s indy, mayby it has some subtext (only mi speculation). what if that episode reflex what lucas and spielberg relly are?

  33. andrew says

    im shocked, how two supposed serious directors could(just in the hypothetical case) even make a “joke” like that, but only in this hypothetical case, because if they discused that posibility for real, seriously, there is something very wrong whit them.

    post sctiptum : did someone link “the china problem” of south park whit this? is there a possible relation?, lucas and spielberg shocked me this time, if they protest about the show, better they let it go or probably they get burned. Greatings. have a nice day.

  34. Lorri says

    Please remember that this illicit affair occured in the mid 1920’s. Did they even have statutory rape charges in that time period? Women were getting married very young in the early 1900’s. My grandmother married when she was 13.

    I can easily see how if Marion were 15 having an affair with the handsome older man who is also a student of her fathers is not out of the realm of possibility. I know at 15 I knew what I wanted.

    Watch the scene again. I get the feeling the reason why she is so angry is that Indy broke it off because her father found out. She is angry by how they ended, not by what they did.

  35. says

    You’ve missed the point of the discussion entirely, Lorri. Lucas’ initial idea is that she should be 11. That has never been a normal marrying age anywhere. He bumps it to 15 only because Spielberg and Kasdan are so aghast at the idea of her being 11.

    Furthermore, Lucas and Spielberg demonstrate severe confusion about the concept of consent. Lucas wants Marion’s age to be controversial – “interesting” and “outrageous” as he keeps saying. The only way for her age to be controversial is if it is actually just a bit too young for us to reasonably infer consent on her part. Yet they want it to be consensual because otherwise Indy would be a rapist. They can’t have it both ways – for sex to be outrageous based on her age, Indy must be a rapist, but for Indy not to be a rapist, there can be nothing outrageous about her age – but they’re too ignorant of consent to understand that. I’m sure many people of their generation shared that ignorance, but it’s still spooky to hear people making movies for children to exhibit and pass on that sort of confusion.

    And you’ll notice the younger man, Kasdan, toned it down considerably in the script, so there’s a hint of something disturbing, but nothing on the scale Lucas suggested. By the way, you’re totally misrepresenting the scene, Lorri:

    I never meant to hurt you.

    I was a child!

    You knew what you were doing.

    I was in love.

    I guess that depends on your definition.

    It was wrong. You knew it.

    Then they go back to talking about the amulet. Nothing is said about how they ended it. Marion says “I was a child” and “it was wrong.” Indy offer the usual defense of people who have sex with underage people, whether those people are 5 or 15: “You knew what you were doing.” There is no suggestion she was more upset about how the affair ended than by her mature realization that he took advantage of her. That’s a helluva lot to read into it.

    I get the feeling you are really, really reaching far to defend this movie or its creators.

  36. Anemone says


    “Well, it was 1978. I know that’s not prehistory, I wasn’t born then and I’m sure a ton of people reading this were, but it seems to me ideas about boundaries were different. I mean, when I was a kid and reading sci-fi from that era and earlier, there was a general vibe of “All sexual relationships have the potential to be healthy, and it’s only our cultural inhibitions that make some of them not.” And these were the progressive, hopeful authors, imagining a future where sexual violence was a thing of the past.

    As a culture, as we look more closely at these issues…”

    Yes, because the victims got together, compared stories, and collectively hit the roof. The second wave of feminism, you know, and all that incest stuff that came out in the 90s. There were sex rings in the 70s, there was a group with the motto “sex by 8, before it’s too late”, but it would have been obvious to anyone paying attention at the time that it was rape. Us victims sure figured it out awfully fast.

    Lorri: The Ravenwoods were educated class, so Marion would have probably been expected to get a university degree before marrying. My mother, her mother, and her mother all had university degrees, the first one from 190-something. So 12, 15, maybe even 17, would have been way too young for that kind of relationship.

    Thank you for the heads up on this story. It never ceases to amaze me how creepy some people in film truly are.

    I always liked Marion, but the position she was in was truly horrible for me, because of the “things she had to do” to survive after her father’s death. Creepy, creepy, creepy.

  37. Pocket Nerd says


    (Nobody will get that reference, but I’m a massive geek and I can’t help it.)

    They can’t have it both ways

    But they think they can, that’s the point. Hollywood has often insisted we should somehow sympathize with men who hurt women, either deliberately or through indifference. It’s less common now than it once was, but Lucas still thought Indy could screw a little girl without really being a bad person.

    Canonically, Marion Ravenwood was 17 at the time of her affair with the near-30 grad student Indy, which stills strikes me as fairly creepy. Even if that age is over the age of consent, it’s still easy for a man ten years older, with more experience, money, and social influence, to manipulate her.

    Previously, I’d assumed the age gap was considerably smaller, that Indy was perhaps 25 or 26, and Marion 20 or 21, making her statement that “I was a child!” a metaphorical description of inexperience, not a declaration that she was an actual minor at the time of the affair and that Indy is, by modern standards at least, a statutory rapist.

    I have to agree with Stephen Lea Sheppard’s earlier post; it is always the prerogative of fiction to challenge our boundaries. But I also agree with Jennifer Kesler when she says Lucas’s approach trivializes the issue. This isn’t an exploration of the dynamics of age-disparate relationships, this is “transgression porn.”

  38. says

    I agree that it’s good for fiction to challenge boundaries, but Anemone’s point leads right into why that just isn’t what’s happening here. The vibe Stephen describes with “All sexual relationships have the potential to be healthy, and it’s only our cultural inhibitions that make some of them not” makes sense if you’re talking about gay relationships, or poly relationships or open marriage. That is transgressive, because those types of relationships have been taboo.

    But immature boy-men diddling little girls has not been “taboo” enough. Until last century, the only thing “wrong” with that was if her dad caught you. No, I’m afraid the transgressive position on this issue IS actually the concept of statutory rape.

    Furthermore, as we’ve said, Lucas is clearly NOT trying to be transgressive, he’s trying to be scandalous, and the problem is that statutory rape is more than scandalous. It’s criminal and immoral. Adultery is scandalous. Rich person running off to marry servant is scandalous. Doing it with young girls is not forbidden because our society has hang-ups. It’s forbidden because we eventually came to understand a few things about human brain development, and how children are encouraged to never deny an adult and always do as they’re told, and how teenagers are struggling so hard to get past that, that they often do really stupid and regrettable things. And adults who are in a position to prevent that have some responsibility to do so.

  39. Pocket Nerd says

    Incidentally, as I mentioned in my last comment, knowing Lucas’s hella-creepy intent forces a different interpretation of Indy’s dialog with Marion. Here’s how I tend to hear it now:

    INDY: (I never meant to hurt you.) I didn’t care if I hurt you.

    MARION: (I was a child! I was in love.) I was literally a child. Not just metaphorically a child, as in “I was inexperienced and swayed by a dashing but not-quite-age-appropriate older man.” As in “a twelve year old.” You manipulated my emotions and then you raped me.

    INDY: (You knew what you were doing.) Shut up, you liked it.

    MARION: (It was wrong. You knew it.) What the fuck is wrong with you? You raped me!

    INDY: (Look, I did what I did. I don’t expect you to be happy about it. But maybe we can do each other some good.) Well, jeez, if I knew you’d be all whiny about a little raping… anyway, I expect a favor from you now. Sticking my penis in you means I have a claim on you until the end of time.

    MARION: (Why start now?) I don’t owe you anything!

    INDY: (Shut up and listen for a second. I want that piece your father had. I’ve got money.) Silence, sperm-receptacle. Suddenly I need your help, and I’m profoundly uncomfortable with the reversal of the power structure in our relationship, but rather than make even a token gesture of atonement I’m gonna offer you money.

    MARION: (How much?) How much?

  40. Dom Camus says

    But immature boy-men diddling little girls has not been “taboo” enough. Until last century, the only thing “wrong” with that was if her dad caught you. No, I’m afraid the transgressive position on this issue IS actually the concept of statutory rape.

    Hmm… I’m not sure I’m very comfortable with that reasoning.

    I think it’s much preferable to take the view that statutory rape is to some degree transgressive but that this in no way makes it interesting or cool because (and this is the key point) it causes harm.

    Similarly with what is and is not scandalous. I think you’re right that Lucas is trying to achieve this, but I honestly don’t care what society is scandalized by. I care that Lucas appears to be promoting something which causes real harm.

  41. says

    Uh, I need a semantics check before responding. In no way did I say “statutory rape” was cool. I said the very opposite. I said that “the concept of statutory rape” was transgressive. The idea that, far from being the property of adults to do with as they see fit, teens should be protected from their own lack of life experience and developmental maturity by being sexually off-limits to people above a certain age thresshold. Are you arguing that statutory rape LAWS cause harm, or did you actually think I was saying adults having sex with minors was transgressive? In the latter case, that’s the opposite of what I was arguing. In the former, I’d have to hear more about what you mean. I’m aware statutory rape laws have been misused by people to keep the “wrong” sort of kids away from someone’s little precious, and that is harmful, but that’s down to people being assholes. I think the laws are actually improving on this front, which is hopeful, but people will always find ways to misuse the law.

  42. Dom Camus says

    No, no, I hadn’t misunderstood you at all (you’re hardly likely to be in favour of statutory rape in any context!).

    I probably didn’t word my objection very well, but what I was getting at is that where you say:

    I’m afraid the transgressive position on this issue IS actually the concept of statutory rape.

    Following your support of the general concept of transgressive fiction it makes it sound – despite you surely not intending this – as though you feel like classifying something as transgressive somehow gives it automatic artistic validity and therefore you need to argue against the statutory rape being seen as transgressive.

    It’s not that I misunderstood (or am trying to misrepresent) your views, it’s that I don’t like the way your argument implicitly links two unconnected concepts. In particular, I don’t think it matters whether something is art which makes us think about socially constructed boundaries or (as Pocket Nerd puts it) “transgression porn” or anything in between.

    To focus on the key point, when Stephen Lea Sheppard above speculates that perhaps Lucas et. al. were just “exulting in being transgressive” my response is that whether they were or not doesn’t even need to be addressed because it’s a complete red herring. What happens in a movie is a different matter. You can make a movie about murder or rape without condoning it. But in the transcript above Lucas says “it would be amusing“. Lucas. Not some character in a movie.

    This is not about what can go in movie scripts.

  43. says

    I definitely agree with that.

    I was unclear, too. I set out to demonstrate that transgressive is not automatically good, because not every taboo in our society is based on some superficial hangup – some things are taboo for good reason. Then I realized as I was writing and editing the comment that young girls as sex targets is so exceedingly far from taboo, that the irony of Stephen’s argument was incredible.

    To sum up: transgressive stuff is not always good stuff. And even if it was, the idea of men having sex with young girls is hardly transgressive because it’s not breaking a taboo. It is standard operating procedure in this society, and I think probably has been for thousands of years.

  44. William says

    Wow…Um…Yeah. I’ll never look at Indiana Jones the same way, again, that’s for sure! I always thought that line about her being a child was more of an exaggeration. Like how my mom calls anyone younger than 35 a “kid.” Damn.

  45. Bunker says

    Ok- lets clear some things up. First off, I don’t believe that was a real conversation with George and Steven. If it was, they must have been joking, or being drunk and absurd… or somthing.

    We all know Indy. We didn’t know him when he was 25 or 26, but we can assume that he wouldn’t do somthing like that unless he had a RADICAL character change. Granted, the guys rough around the edges, but I for one would go to a fire pit KNOWING Indiana Jones wouldn’t do that.

    Karen Allen, actress, who basically IS Marion, has said that she was “like 16 or 17” which (while not “legal” in all fifty states) is still a entirely different matter…. Especially at the time this film was made, when ethic codes dominated over legality and political correctness. No doubt Abner was hurt, and Marion was too. That gives the film a little darkness, the Hero somthing to redeam. But to say she was ten… or twelve… well, that wasn’t the case.

    I know the Character wouldn’t do anything like that. Also, the Indiana Jones FACT book says she was 25 in 1936…. meaning when Indy knew her, ten years ago, in 1925, she’d be 16 or 17. Do the math.

  46. Bunker says

    Actually…. 25 minus approx ten is fifteen or sixteen. Young. But. STILL NOT 10! The only thing I can’t figure is why Indy ran out on her. But at least this should clear the whole thing up finally about him going after a 11 year old. SHe was 16, 15 at youngest… and when you judge the guy, keep in mind he was fairly young himself.

    I’m 25, and I can safely say, if a 16 year old Marion Ravenwood were coming on to me…. well, I’d probably have just stuck around and married her.

  47. says

    You’re welcome to go into denial if that’s what gets you through the day, but there is absolutely no valid reason to doubt the authenticity of the conversation. That’s just a handy dismissal/defense intended to silence people who are discussing something that bothers you.

    You seem more concerned about defending someone you admire than by letting the world learn from his mistakes.

  48. Anemone says

    Also, the Indiana Jones FACT book says she was 25 in 1936…. meaning when Indy knew her, ten years ago, in 1925, she’d be 16 or 17. Do the math.

    Lemme see, 1936 – 1925 = 11 years.
    25 – 11 = 14, not 15 or 16 or 17.

    14 looks pretty scary to me.

  49. FM says

    Ugh. This discussion may just be about fictional characters, but attitudes like Bunker’s are what cause people to defend rapists and child molesters.

  50. Dom Camus says

    @Bunker – I’d be interested to know what you think of the debate a little further down the page the original post links to. Start from the point in the text where Spielberg says: “so he goes upstairs and stays up, plotting how he’s going to take it off her”.

    The point the blog’s author makes there is that when the possibility is raised of Indy stealing from Marion George Lucas immediately dislikes the idea on the grounds that it makes Indy too unsympathetic as a character. And yet he did not react similarly to the idea of Marion being too young to give consent to their affair. Indeed, he seemed quite keen on the idea.

    When you say “we all know Indy” and that he wouldn’t do that, I sort of agree. I agree in the sense that in my head he’s a heroic character. The sort who wouldn’t steal from Marion or have an affair with a girl unable to give consent. But that’s an image we’ve both arrived at based on watching the films.

    A key question, in the end, is whether this transcript is real or not. Personally I find it hard to imagine anyone faking a 125 page PDF like this. What’s the motive? This guy’s been running a successful screenwriting blog for four years and suddenly decides to make this up? Occam’s Razor suggests not.

    (The Indiana Jones fact book isn’t relevant here since it would have been written long after the conversation in the transcript.)

  51. says

    attitudes like Bunker’s are what cause people to defend rapists and child molesters.

    And racists (“I’m sure he didn’t mean that racial slur the way it sounded”), and homophobes (“He’s just uncomfortable around them, it doesn’t mean he hates them”) and misogynists (“He loves women, really, he’s just very traditional”) and so on.

    Imagine the things you could get away with if only people admired you so much they would bend reason any which way to excuse your behavior. Oh, wait… that’s exactly what happened with Polanski.

  52. says

    Just for the record, Bunker later attempted to defend itself against our insane arguments, but managed to violate about 7 different parts of our comments policy, so into the trash it went.

  53. says

    Just FYI, folks, if you post a comment about what a “damn good guy” Bunker is because you know him personally and accuse me of calling him a racist because you lack the intelligence to follow my earlier comment, or you post Bunker’s math under a woman’s name because you think I’ll let anything through from a fellow woman, I’m kind of going to assume you are No-Life Bunker and, like, totally send your comment to the trash.

    Take up a hobby, dude.

  54. SunlessNick says

    Just FYI, folks, if you post … Bunker’s math under a woman’s name because you think I’ll let anything through from a fellow woman, I’m kind of going to assume you are No-Life Bunker and, like, totally send your comment to the trash.

    Take up a hobby, dude.

    Simple arithmetic might be a good start.

  55. Missy says

    I always knew there was somthing offensive and not right baou those movies! I think most movies from say before 1998 should be canned anyway.

  56. Missy says

    Not to mention the fact that the guy litterally just gos into other countries with illeagle weapons and kills people like he’s justified.

  57. Missy says

    For every boy afraid to be tender, there is a girl afraid to be strong. For every out dated, macho idea of hurtful, bias behavior, there is a person who is stepped on, a soul that is crushed. What’s sad is that so much of this is getting grandfathered in as lovelable rough spots. We need to crush it out with ZERO tolerance. There needs to be a second wave of political correctness and social standards. It’s not enought to assume people will do the right thing. We need to be more peaceful, more kind. We need to live and let live. We need to crush out the abuse and intolerance and insensitivity that we see in the world. We need to be opened to let people live withotu the tiernany of these ideas. We need to make it very clear what you can and can’t do, can and can’t say, and put our feet down on the solid ground WE have made, in a NEW WORLD ORDER of justice and standards that will tell the biggots, the sickos, those still living with thier macho 1940’s, 1950’s, 1980’s ideas exactly where they can go! We need to be heard and continue the fight! The fightfor MARION RAVENWOOD, and thousands like her.

  58. says

    Well, Missy, that’s just it – if they’d gone with Lucas’ age suggestion, yes, he would be. But apparently Lucas wouldn’t have thought so, and that’s where the cognitive disconnect is. And yes, there is a LOT that’s hardly “politically correct” about the Indiana Jones movies.

  59. Jacky says

    New World Order? Are you serious? I don’t think politically correct was what they were going for with Indy. “Affair” with a twelve year old. That’s not right. But then, lets not bash the whole series, or Marion for that matter. The actual script and film had her a little older then that, and that’s the way it came to the world. Lucas, and Steven Spielburg, if this conversation was real/serious, clearly are kinda being weird… but lets not “can” Indy, or Marion… and certainly not all movies before 1998. ???

    What was that about? I don’t mean to argue, but what is this about siting other decades as though the films made in that time need to all be put into a bon fire? Isn’t that a little scary? (Comments directed mainly to Missy…)

  60. Dom Camus says

    @Jennifer – That might make an interesting topic for a post sometime. People like to assume change is always progress…

  61. Alice says

    If you look at movies made before the 90’s… there is this entirly different way of looking at sex. This isn’t so much about Indiana Jones, but… Like, the whole “sultry” or “come one” thing… the whole idea of what it meant to be “hot”, or act hot… or whatever.

    For heaven sakes, it seems like they’re over sexed, and I believe it’s largely a “male dominated” way of looking at it. Look at Grease, and “make out hill”…. and girls going nuts over guys in cars, at drive ins…. Saturday Night Fever, or Happy Days… Dukes of Hazard… Even That 70’s show.

    Films of the 70’s, the 80’s, seem so steamed up and over ready… The girls are always literally excited about “making out” and “going out….” to do what, get romped by some man-boy? And the way they talk about women is by any standard absurdly limiting. There seems to be a conceptualized understanding of being a “type” or a societal standard of “hottness” that is so subjective it should makes healthy modern viewers sick….WTF? “Ooooh, did you see her man, she wanted you! Look at that figure! DUUUUUUUURH.

    From the office secretary to the girl next door, even the shy types seem like they secretly desire to not only have sex, but to have it in some “hot’n’heavy” male dominated shake down.

    All the corny double speaking and alluring looks…. Please. It’s sickening and ridiculous.

    How sad that women growing up in that era grew up trying to fit into these currupting images and never got to know the day that standards would change to healthier, more mature and conditioned additudes towards sex.

  62. says

    There’s some discussion of it here:

    But I might write something with reference to the “Golden Age” movies one of these days. We’ve often mentioned in comments how much more substantial women’s roles were, how much more substantial actress’ bodies were allowed to be, and how the most popular actresses were encouraged to find their own unique look rather than follow the latest cosmetic surgery trends so they all meet the same narrow “beauty standard.”

    Would be interesting to do a post, maybe with some pictures, even. It deserves a bit more attention than I can give it at the moment, but I’ll put it on my list.

  63. says

    How sad that women growing up in that era grew up trying to fit into these currupting images and never got to know the day that standards would change to healthier, more mature and conditioned additudes towards sex.

    I more or less agree with most of your post, but when I read this, I wondered what movies you had in mind. The 80s also included a few characters like Ellen Ripley, who wasn’t panting to be sexed by anybody. I, and I’m sure many other girls who grew up in that era, chose her as a role model rather than the superficial characters who obviously were written as male fantasies.

    But since the 90s, “chick flicks” have gotten SO much worse, IMO. There used to be such a thing as a good romantic comedy; now it’s all “Little Miss Shoes knows just what she wants in a handbag, but she’s about to discover that she’s totally confused about men! It’s not love or respect she wants, but Domination, preferably by a rich guy!” It’s Cinderella on steroids.

    And despite a few Buffys and Starbucks on TV, I don’t see that women characters in movies have gotten so wonderful in the past 20 years. I think, generally, women’s roles were most substantial in the 30s through the 50s, then there was an antifeminism backlash in the 60s and they mostly sucked, but with a few very notable exceptions, then the blockbuster revolution in the 80s made *everything* suck, then the 90s started out good, but third wave feminism came along, and so did another backlash. And I’m speaking strictly of US film trends here – not TV, and not anything coming from other nations, with which I am less familiar in general.

    • Keith says

      “But since the 90s, “chick flicks” have gotten SO much worse, IMO…”
      I felt that 2003’s Uptown Girls was a notable exception to this.
      One thing I particularly enjoyed about this film is that the story kept presenting possible romantic partners for the main character, Molly, and then making them friends. On the DVD commentary they mentioned that they did that on purpose, because too often these sorts of movies become about the female lead finding a man to take care of her. And this movie was all about Molly learning to take care of herself.

    • Shaun says

      Well since this thread is kinda current at the moment, and is George Lucas, and this comment is about role models, how do you feel about Leia? I’m sure you’ve talked about her before but I don’t recall it if you have.

        • says

          I rarely write articles about George Lucas or his stuff because I resent the movies so viscerally that I can’t trust myself to be fair. His movies were a big part of my childhood, and later a big part of why I had to start this site, so it’s a complicated dynamic for me. That said:

          I have extremely mixed feelings about Leia:

          –She was the best FEMALE role model I had as a kid.
          –And she was just your standard “feisty chick with gun” who was just waiting to be tamed by the love of some rough dude, oh yes
          –So I gave up and went with male role models. (Even as a kid, I wasn’t about to cope with that shit. I didn’t even like boys yet.)
          –Then when it turned out SHE was a Skywalker and could’ve been considered just as central to the fate of the galaxy as Luke, that actually made it worse. And then, lest that appear to be a one-off mistake, she was treated like an afterthought with issues all the way through the goddamn EU.

          I quite liked Mara Jade, but resented that Leia never got to be as cool as Mara – the potential was there. But then, long after I gave up on the whole mess, they killed Mara off because the SW galaxy clearly is just a man’s sandbox where women exist for even fewer reasons than they exist in Indiana Jones’ world: in SW-land, they exist only because the Skywalker men can’t reproduce asexually. I mean, seriously, that’s it. Giving birth to a Skywalker male’s offspring is the quickest way to ensure you’ll die young in that universe.

          I could have forgiven Lucas’ mistakes with Leia if they hadn’t continued resolutely through the 90s, then been capped with Padme dying the minute she’d birthed some Skywalkers (presumably, even SHE recognized her life had no other purpose). This is a pretty grotesque case of gynophobia, IMO, but I admit I’m so married to that opinion (I’m usually very open-minded, and tweak my views here and there regularly) that my journalistic standards wouldn’t allow me to put it forth as an article.

          But feel free to discuss and debate. There may be some nugget in all of this for an op-ed style piece that I should write someday.

          • Shaun says

            I’ve always looked for female role models myself, but I didn’t see the Star Wars movies until I was 18. At the time I found Leia very awesome, but I remember getting this weird feeling when I realized she was Luke’s equal in the Force (or at least, someone else who could have done the job). I didn’t read much of the Expanded Universe, just the Timothy Zahn treaty, but I remember disliking how small Leia’s role was there too.

            • says

              Granted, it’s been a few years since I read the Thrawn trilogy by Timothy Zahn (and the follow up duology) but I remember being pleased with the women in it. Leia even gets a huge storyline where she’s important for being Vader’s heir – not Luke, as shown in the films, but Leia. Could you elaborate on the lack you saw in Leia’s role?

              • says

                Zahn actually did comparatively well with Leia, considering the development of Mara was more central to his work. He had Leia training to be a Jedi, starting a family, moving up in the government. But after that trilogy, nothing much comes of any of it and she’s often just sidelined (meanwhile, the writers’ original female characters are often memorable, which makes me think it was Lucasfilm refusing to commit Leia to a path rather than the writers lacking interest in her). By the time I’d stopped reading, the story had moved 10-15 years past RotJ and:

                –She still wasn’t a Jedi, maybe never was gonna be.
                –The New Republic was still ridiculous and ineffective, so her role there was nothing to be proud of.
                –It’s often suggested or stated flat out that Leia’s trying to do too many things to do any of them well.

                And that seems to be the case, since she never finishes training, the government eventually falls (I think? Getting this from an online source) and one of her kids goes dark side and Mara’s the only one smart enough to figure it out (in fact, he’s the one who kills Mara – lovely).

                So, between the sidelining and the implication that Leia’s the space equivalent of a selfish 80s career mother trying to “have it all” like the menz… yeah, I was not happy.

                • Shaun says

                  Yeah, I’ve never really been interested in the EU, partly because of the “too many cooks” problem, and partly cause I’ve read the timeline and found it kind of disappointing, especially as Leia is my favorite character from the movies (both trilogies, actually). I liked Mara Jade but in general I’d have liked more stuff for Leia to do, from what I’ve read.

                • says

                  I see. Personally I distinguish between each EU author as a separate canon, rather like reading fanfic, so sometimes I forget not everyone draws that distinction as sharply as I do.

                  Focusing on just Zahn, I like what he did. Gave Leia the multiple developments you pointed out plus the Noghri plotline, developed Mon Montha from a talking head to an effective politician in her own right, and then Winter who, despite being just a nanny in other books, is a quiet and underestimated spy in this one.

                  Plus all the concentrated awesome of Mara Jade (anything about Mara from other authors – like her pathetic death – doesn’t count). One survey said that Mara was overwhelmingly voted the fan favorite which since SW fans skew male is another point about how men will like woman characters if they’re developed properly.

                  • says

                    Personally I distinguish between each EU author as a separate canon, rather like reading fanfic, so sometimes I forget not everyone draws that distinction as sharply as I do.

                    Lucasfilm maintained intense control over what stories the authors could tell, what characters they could introduce, etc. Everything the writers proposed had to be approved, and certain things were shot down and in certain cases, authors were ordered to write certain things. I wouldn’t classify anything where Lucas was that deeply involved a separate canon.

                    I agree with everything else you say about the Zahn books. I can actually still read those and enjoy them, and there is nothing else (that’s coming to mind) from the whole SW collection of stories that hasn’t become bitter to me. I even think he did well with Luke, and that character… certainly wasn’t true of every author. Goodness, me, no.

              • Shaun says

                To be honest I don’t remember it that well since it’s been years since I read it. What I do remember is being disappointed that it’d been years since Leia found out she was a Force-sensitive and she still couldn’t really do ANYTHING. I’m aware powers aren’t the be-all end-all of a character, but so much hope was invested in Luke. To present Leia as “another” and then have a story take place years later where she still wasn’t anything close to someone who could also fulfill that role was kind of a huge disappointment. Canonically she and Luke were the only Force users still around at the end of the films so it was also weird to come across a whole bunch of other Force users and still not really develop Leia in this way.

                • says

                  That’s a really good point about Leia in the EU. She should have a few years head start on just about every other student of Luke’s and yet she lags so far behind them. Even her own children end up kicking more ass than she does.

    • MaggieCat says

      I actually wrote an article about Uptown Girls ages back, but I didn’t mention the romantic angle at the time since I was concentrating on the way the movie managed to set up a bunch of other ways to annoy me personally before knocking them all down. It’s really a suprisingly good movie considering what the marketing would have led me to predict.

  64. Maria says

    At least Cinderella worked for a living. I can’t say the same about some of these heroines, with their fancy shoes and their amorphous jobs.

  65. Alice says

    Thats just what I’m saying! I don’t know who Ellen Ripley is, but I am sick of women deigned either to be 70′ 80’s male fantasies, or as materialistic cinderella types with “comically” shallow stereotypical drama and crap!

    It i almost as bad as watching Sandra Dee jump around in white socks! Or small town sweater girl get horny over the new kid and pass notes they want to screw under the bleachers when they should be learning math and chemistry and becoming happy as THEMSELVES as CEO’s for Pete’s Sake! Or discovering sex with (GASP!) each other, instead of some horn dog on steroids!

    What’s sad is, I think a lot of people got to thinking that girls were really like that, that they had too be cool to “get some.” At least now days, mature people can go years without sex and not worry because they aren’t having to watch this over sexed propaganda. But then, the little miss shoes is almost just as bad…..
    I agree with Missy. For every girl afraid to be STRONG there is is a boy afraid to be tender.

  66. says

    t least now days, mature people can go years without sex and not worry because they aren’t having to watch this over sexed propaganda.

    Bullshit. There is absolutely no shortage of media messages telling us “If you aren’t having sex, you suck.”

    I agree with Missy.

    I bet you do, Missy. Whoops, I mean, Alice. 😉

    Anybody else think this thread is besieged with bunker-flavored trolls?

  67. photondancer says

    The problem with reading a blog backwards is that you’re always the last to the comment party :(

    It’s been years since I read it but I seem to recall the Raiders novelisation either stating or clearly implying that Marion was about 15 at the time of the affair. The novelisation would have been based upon the final screenplay, so it sounds like Lucas and Spielberg backed down a bit on her age. It was also made clear that she was hopelessly infatuated and Indy basically took advantage of that, although he was genuinely attracted to her as well. I don’t think Indy is meant to be a noble figure although he’s a heroic one, and that interchange with Marion is one of the clues. Another, which I think was cut out of the film altogether, is that Indy abandoned her in whatever 3rd world country that scene is set in and she had to survive by prostitution. Knowing how badly he treated Marion means I’ve never really liked Indy, although I like the film. Knowing that he is a bastard gives his interactions with the (boo hiss) French rival an extra frisson. It’s rather obvious that the viewer is supposed to deem Belloq a villain but it’s hard to see him as worse than Indy, whom so many see as a hero. Thinking about what kind of person Indy is and then reading the comments on the link about Lucas and Spielberg arguing that Indy is a role model and has to be ‘honest’ and ‘true’ is rather amusing. They’re throwing ideas around and they presumably thought they were creating a complex character, not a confused one.

    I agree with Stephen’s comments above about how many artists were trying to push the boundaries of sexuality in the 70s; it was certainly the case with the science fiction written then, which Lucas and Spielberg probably would have had some familiarity with. That doesn’t excuse Lucas choosing the word ‘amusing’ to describe an affair with a 12 year old; not even Nabokov did that.

  68. says

    Photondancer, I can confirm the novelization putting her at 15 and Indy coming off as a user. I don’t recall it being implied that he abandoned her in Nepal and she had to survive on prostitution. But if that was *implied*, I was only 7 or 8 and might not have understood at the time. (Her age and Indy’s creepiness made a big impression on me, having never come across a protagonist I couldn’t like before.)

    I believe the movie implied her father took her to Nepal and then died, and that’s how she got stuck there. But yeah, you know – how DID she support herself?

  69. photondancer says

    That’s what I get for writing a post at 2am :/. You’re right that her father took her to Nepal and then died, stranding her. What I was half-remembering was that Marion believed her father’s death was caused by his heartbreak at discovering Indy (whom Ravenwood loved like a son) had taken advantage of his daughter. She doesn’t actually say she turned to prostitution but she does look Indy in the eye and ask him “how do you think I survived?” or “what do you think I did to survive?” at which Indy looks away in shame. There aren’t many alternative interpretations of that. I guess the fact that I remember all this after more than 20 years means it made a big impression on me too. I suspect both Lucas and Ford were trying to reprise Han Solo and failing.

  70. Harrison Murray says

    I find it rather appalling that people think the fact that a character is an “anti-hero” can excuse something as heinous as rape. An anti-hero is supposed to be a deeply flawed protagonist, not a twisted and foul one. It reminds me of when my father bought me one of the Thomas Covenant novels around ten years ago. I read to the part where Thomas Covenant rapes a peasant girl for no apparent reason other than impulse and total lack of human decency, hurled the book to the floor, and never read it again. How can anyone expect me to have sympathy for a character after that?

    As if what he’s done to Star Wars isn’t bad enough, now I learn that George Lucas wanted to write Indiana Jones as a pedophile (which of course makes one wonder if he himself is in need of taking a seat with Chris Hansen).

    As for the EU, does anyone else think the concept of the Hapes Cluster is extremely misogynist? It’s a interstellar empire ruled by women…who are corrupt, decadent, and treat men like second-class citizens (because wimmins can’t be trusted with power, or something). It’s yet another retread of the Amazons, but IN SPACE!

  71. says

    Harrison Murray,

    RE: Thomas Covenant, OMG ME TOO!! That was basically my reaction, and this was in high school, waaaay before my feminist-minded days! People were all like “but he gets better just keep reading” and “but he has leprosy and thinks it’s a dream” yadda yadda.

    I knew my feelings of disgust were confirmed when, in a later book, his daughter by that rape wants Thomas to boink her. She said stuff like “but my mother has totes forgiven you!” and “you weren’t the man who raised me, so you aren’t really my father, let’s do it!”

    Hey Donaldson, I don’t really want to know about your secret paraphilias, thanks.


  72. Harrison Murray says


    Oh god, they didn’t actually…do it, did they? So now he’s an incestuous rapist. I think I need some extra strength brain bleach.

  73. says

    Harrison Murray: As for the EU, does anyone else think the concept of the Hapes Cluster is extremely misogynist? It’s a interstellar empire ruled by women…who are corrupt, decadent, and treat men like second-class citizens (because wimmins can’t be trusted with power, or something). It’s yet another retread of the Amazons, but IN SPACE!

    Yes – and in addition to all that, it was all just sort of horribly pointless, too.


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