The Indiana Jones Series Won’t Be About A Jones

Abner Ravenwood, who served as Indiana Jones' mentor, will be the star of the upcoming Indiana Jones series.

By Jennifer Asencio | Published

It was recently announced that Disney+ was developing a show based on the Indiana Jones series of movies, but little was known about any potential plot. However, columnist and podcaster Jeff Sneider found out that the series will not be about Indiana Jones. He tweeted Thursday that it looked like the series was going to be about Abner Ravenwood, Indiana Jones’ mentor.

Fans of the Indiana Jones series will recognize Abner Ravenwood’s name from Raiders of the Lost Ark, as he was the “real expert” on the city of Tanis that held the key to finding the Ark of the Covenant. However, when Indiana Jones tracks down Abner, he has arrived too late – his old mentor has passed, and only his daughter Marion survives him. Marion is an old flame of Indy’s and the couple fell in love while he was studying with her father.

It is mentioned in Raiders of the Lost Ark that Abner and Indy were estranged in the end and hadn’t spoken in years, and perhaps an Indiana Jones series will shed light on the causes of that discord. Was it really Indy’s relationship with his mentor’s daughter that drove them apart? Or did Abner’s student become better than his mentor?

Since it would seem that there will be no Indy in the Indiana Jones series, it can also be speculated that the show will give audiences a look at Abner Ravenwood at Indy’s age and experience level. The first three Indiana Jones movies took place from 1935 to 1939, after the action hero had already had enough experience under his belt to be recruited by the United States government and make enemies of men like Rene Belloq.

Indiana Jones series

A flashback sequence in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade showed Indy’s roots, including his first adventure with his signature bullwhip and a look into his family with the introduction of his father, Henry. Will Henry Jones figure into the adventures of Abner Ravenwood? It would seem the three men had a common connection in the unlikely figure of museum curator Marcus Brody, played by Denholm Elliott in the films.

While Indiana Jones may not be a part of the series, viewers could see the early roots of the relationship between Marcus Brody and Abner Ravenwood that prompts Brody to send Indy to Nepal to seek out his mentor to find the Lost Ark. Not much is known about the Disney+ Indiana Jones series because the announcement is so recent and there is not yet a scriptwriter for the project.

Another Indiana Jones series was aired on ABC from 1992 to 1993, about the exploits of a younger Indy as a child and young adult. The Disney+ project would be the second series about the iconic archaeologist. A fifth Indiana Jones movie is due out in 2023 and marks Harrison Ford’s departure from the film series.

While the role has also been played by River Phoenix, Sean Patrick Flanery, Corey Carrier, and George Hall, Harrison Ford made the character with his rugged good looks and demeanor, as well as his own contributions to Indiana Jones’ development. It may be wise of the Indiana Jones series not to try to fill those big shoes just yet, so centering it around Indy’s mentor is a great way to give us Indiana Jones content, even without Indiana Jones.