The hat, the whip, the silhouette. Is there anything more iconic than Indiana Jones himself?
Only if you count his music.
We’ve been scouring the globe for months for clues to the intrepid archeologist’s latest adventure, “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” — and on Thursday morning (April 10), we finally got a big one, with the early release of the track list for the good doctor’s new movie.
We went shot-by-shot , now we’re going track-by-track to discover what composer John Williams’ latest music means for Indy, Mac, Mutt and the rest of his daring crew.
Read below, but be warned: Spoilers to be found within.
And with that … da, da, da, dum! Da, da, dum!
1. “Raiders March”
2. “Call of the Crystal”
Each of the previous three movies has begun with an action sequence only tangentially related to the main story (or, in the case of “Crusade,” not related at all) — the search for the Golden Fertility God, the Remains of Nurachi, the Cross of Coronado — ostensibly a way to show some element of conflict that will pop up later on, but really a way to show a giant boulder coming toward Indy at about 70 mph. Or a Shanghai show tune (“Anything Goes!” Sigh).
Past soundtracks have reflected this, as can be seen in the first track on “The Last Crusade” album: “Indy’s Very First Adventure.”
I’m assuming the “Raiders March” is listed first because it’s the iconic theme — not because it actually appears first in the movie (though it could be minor fanfare during the opening credits). If that’s right, what we get first is “The Call of the Crystal,” which makes me think of Dr. Jones rubbing a broken tablet (“Every man’s dream, including your father’s I believe!”) or talking to two men in suits (“Good God!” “Yes, that’s just what the Hebrews thought.”) The crystals explained already? Where’s my opening action sequence?
Note: I reserve the right to eat my fedora if the opening action sequence concerns the crystal skulls, which would break with established tradition, but which I wouldn’t put past Spielberg and company.
3. “The Adventures of Mutt”
4. “Irina’s Theme”
These will be our introductions to the two biggest new characters, Mutt Williams (Shia LaBeouf) and Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett).
In regards to Mutt, I was actually under the (probably mistaken) impression that he doesn’t meet up with Indy until later on in the story. Interestingly, that might still be correct, given what Shia told me recently about his character’s quest in this movie, which … I can’t reveal yet. It’s possible, though, that his introduction is some kind of solo scene. Possible, but not likely. Either way, looks like we’re in for a lot more Shia than I initially thought.
Then there’s this: John Williams has been known to order his tracks nonsequentially. My head hurts.
5. “The Snake Pit”
“Snakes! Why does it always have to be snakes!?!” Ah, it’s good to have you back, you evil, crawly bastards.
6. “The Spell of the Skull”
Now this sounds like your talky, “what in the heck are Crystal Skulls” scene.
7. “A Whirl Through Academe”
Which would make sense if they are at a university, you know, looking up what in the heck crystal skulls are. Finding this out apparently involves riding around Yale on a motorcycle. Really, they could have just asked Dr. Zender .
8. “The Journey to Akator”
Akator is not a real place. That said, it is an awesome-looking Lego play set.
By this point, of course, we’re in South America.
Return of whom? Of what? From where? Alas, we have no idea. (The “Raiders” warehouse, maybe?)
But since we’re talking about returns, now’s as good a time as any to mention that we don’t have a track called “Marion” or “Marion and Indy” or “It’s good to see you after 20 years, you look older but somehow just as hot.”
10. “The Jungle Chase”
11. “Orellana’s Cradle”
Orellana is a small province in Ecuador named for the explorer Francisco de Orellana, who is rumored to have crossed the site several times looking for the golden city of El Dorado. He is also remembered for somehow sailing the entire length of the Amazon River and not dying (and giving the river its name). The second thing, by the way, is actually true. Could the connection be merely with the place, or could Indy be somehow looking for or coming across the City of Gold?
12. “Grave Robbers”
13. “Hidden Treasure and the City of Gold”
I should really start reading ahead. Unfortunately, this raises many more questions than it answers. Does the City of Gold really play a large role in this? There are two legends Indy has to deal with — could one legend simply be conflated with the other in the skull mythology? We’ve received absolutely no indication that El Dorado plays even a minor role in “Indy 4″ until now — and now we’ve received a big one. I’m baffled.
14. “Secret Doors and Scorpions”
15. “Oxley’s Dilemma”
Scorpions and ants! Both, obviously, are the creepy crawlers Indy will have to go through to get to his ultimate goal.
But who is Oxley? More importantly, what is his dilemma? There is (or rather was) a famous adventurer named John Oxley. Unfortunately, he lived in and explored Australia. Obviously it’s a main character, right? Could it be Ray Winstone? He’s listed as Mac. John Hurt? We all assume he’s Abner Ravenwood. I’m thinking one of those assumptions is false. (Or incomplete. We know Mac has shifting loyalties. It’s very possible his last name is Oxley.)
17. “Temple Ruins and the Secret Revealed”
18. “The Departure”
“The Departure”? Rumors have circulated for months know about a possible alien story line. Could departure refer to their ship/pyramid leaving Earth? Or just Indy riding off into the sunset?
We’ll know the answers to all our questions when “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” opens May 22.
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