Remembering Raiders Of The Lost Ark: The Making Of Indiana Jones

10. Sand Castles In The Sun

Paramount Pictures

Having sold Lucasfilm to Disney in 2012, George Lucas is unlikely to play any part in Indy 5. But without him we wouldn’t have Indiana Jones or Star Wars; something his many detractors would do well to bear in mind.

Lucas first conceived of the idea for Indiana Jones in 1973 while writing break-out hit American Graffiti. He’d also been working on a more satirical version of what would eventually become Apocalypse Now, and Francis Ford Coppola suggested Lucas should instead try his hand at something “funny, warm and fuzzy” .

Inspired by the Saturday matinee serials he had grown up on, Lucas started brainstorming ‘The Adventures Of Indiana Smith’, named for the Alaskan malamute pet dog who would later also serve as the inspiration for Chewbacca. Lucas tried farming the idea out to his fellow creatives with little success, though fellow director/screenwriter Philip Kaufman’s efforts introduced the Ark of the Covenant as a plot device.

A few years later, Lucas, in what would become a tradition, escaped to Hawaii as Star Wars opened and invited his good friend Steven Spielberg to join him. While building sandcastles on the beach, Lucas asked Spielberg, himself taking a break from shooting Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, what he was going to do next. Spielberg told him he wanted to approach Cubby Broccoli for a second time to offer his services as the director of the next James Bond movie.

Lucas told Spielberg he had something better.

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