Geek Exclusive: ‘Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny’ May Be Indy’s Last Crusade, But Harrison Ford Isn’t Retiring Yet

The world has said goodbye to Rick Deckard from Blade Runner and bid farewell to Han Solo from Star Wars, and when he finally covers his whip with his signature brown fedora this month, the world will no longer enjoy the further adventures of the legendary archaeologist, Indiana Jones. 

But 80-year-old icon Harrison Ford, who has embodied the very iconic characters he’s played on screen, isn’t quite done with acting just yet – he just knows when it’s a good time to exit the stage. The latest casualty is Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, the final chapter in one of cinema’s most recognisable and celebrated adventurers, even though it’s not easy to say goodbye.

“There’s not one thing that I’m not going to miss,” opened up Ford in an exclusive interview with Geek Culture.

“I’m going to miss the camaraderie of [Indiana Jones’ co-creator] Steven [Spielberg] and then [director] Jim [James Mangold), I’m gonna miss the opportunity to play this character that the audience has such a warm spot in their heart for I’m gonna miss,” said Ford of his current last crusade.

“But I’m not going to miss everything I love about acting because I have no intention to retire. I just want to keep telling stories being part of the work of other real artists and ambitious people.” 

Dr. Henry Walton Jones Jr. might also be the most iconic of all his roles, as Han Solo was part of a group of heroes in Star Wars, and Blade Runner was more of a cult favourite. But ever since Raiders of the Lost Ark premiered in 1981, there was just something about the academic turned adventurer. And even after 42 years of playing Indy, the 80-year-old actor still fondly recalls that he was never co-creators Steven Spielberg and George Lucas’ first choice for the role. Credit, he says, goes to fellow actor Tom Selleck. 

“I remember that it all happened in one day. George Lucas called me and said ‘I have something I want you to read’, I said, ‘Okay, George, send it up to the house’. An hour later, a script arrived. It took me one hour to read the script. I called back George and I said ‘I want to do this’. He said, ‘Go over and meet Steven, please’. I went over to Steven’s house, and we sat together for two hours and we talked about it, and I was given the opportunity,” recounted Ford.

“Of course, there was a moment before this where I was not involved and the role was to have gone to Tom Selleck, but Tom Selleck had another obligation that he had to fulfil, a television series that he’d signed on to do, so he was unable to do the Indiana Jones films.” 

Ford added with a smile and waved, “Thank you, Tom. Thank you for a great career!” 

In his journey as Indy, he found the Ark of Covenant, retrieved the Sankara Stones, acquired the Holy Grail and even took back the skull of Akator – all of which are ancient relics lost in history. In the Dial of Destiny, Dr. Jones seeks out Archimedes’ Dial, an Antikythera mechanism that is said to be capable of locating fissures in time but the dial is so much more than a rare object. In Dial of Destiny, Archimedes’ Dial is a metaphor for Indy’s own passage of time. 

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

“I think what we do in the film is really powerful because we know so much about his past and his interests, and also the device that’s been chosen – the Dial of Destiny – is not the only thing that is about time,” explained Ford.

“Age is about time, about the ravages of time, how time changes you and how much time any of us have on earth. And so it’s consistent, the MacGuffin, the object is also imbued with emotion because it’s parallel, it’s in the form of Indiana Jones himself, so it’s a really beautifully constructed story I think.” 

Indiana Jones has also had a cultural impact on cinema. It created the trope of the imperfect hero, created a franchise staple and set the tone for the action-adventure genre. The likes of The Mummy, Lara Croft and Unchartered all took inspiration from Indy and tried to emulate its success. Most importantly, it cemented Ford’s career as a hero in cinema. Ford has spent half of his life in the role of Indiana Jones, so finishing up this chapter has been an emotional journey for the 80-year-old but he’s looking forward to trying other things.

Indiana Jones

Ford, who also made his presence felt in action film Air Force One, horror flick What Lies Beneath and sci-fi movie Ender’s Game, more recently co-starred with Jason Segel in the AppleTV+ comedy-drama series Shrinking. And while he may not know what’s next, it will definitely involve exploring more varied genres and stories surrounding human relationships. 

“I’m interested in everything about human relationships. I’m interested in the world. I have no sense of what I want to do. I want to be of service, I want to help tell stories. My job is assistant storyteller!” 

Leaving the role of Indiana Jones behind promises a new adventure for the iconic actor and potentially, the opportunity for the character to be re-cast and played by another actor. It’s not uncommon for a popular franchise or movie character to be rebooted or revived with a new cast in the future. While Lucasfilm and Disney have not announced or suggested casting a new Indiana Jones one day, the chances are likely – and by then, Ford won’t mind being replaced at all. 

“I’m 80 years old! In 20 years, I will give a rat’s ass!” teased Ford.

“You can you can control what you can control. When you ain’t there – everything’s up for grabs!”