Star Trek’s Secret Crossover With Indiana Jones

By Chris Snellgrove | Updated

indiana jones and the dial of destiny

In the 1980s, both the Star Trek and Indiana Jones franchises did well at the box office. However, those franchises never had a proper crossover, both because it would be a legal nightmare to make it happen and because they have almost nothing in common. However, Deep Space Nine gave us a crossover via a wonderful Easter egg: in the episode “Dax,” the title character owns the same statue Indiana Jones stole in Raiders of the Lost Ark.



If you were wondering, this particular Star Trek episode doesn’t really have any thematic connection with Indiana Jones. The episode centers on an alien who accuses Jadzia Dax of murdering his father.

The Starfleet officer hosts a symbiont who has experienced many lifetimes, and the main drama comes from exploring whether each version of Dax is truly distinct (in the eyes of the law as well as the audience) from the ones that came before.

The Idol

opening scenes

It’s a Star Trek episode about an identity crisis, something that doesn’t really pop up in Indiana Jones (unless you count the later filmmakers effectively forgetting everything that made the early movies so great).

That didn’t keep the producers from sneaking in an Easter egg instantly recognizable to fans of Harrison Ford’s globetrotting archeologist. In Dax’s quarters aboard the station, you can see the fertility idol that Indy dodged a giant boulder in order to steal (before it was, in turn, stolen from him).

Most Star Trek fans overlook this Indiana Jones Easter egg because the statue looks slightly different than it did on film.

For example, everyone remembers Indy stealing a golden statue, and the one in Dax’s quarters isn’t gold-plated. Look closely, though, and you can tell this is definitely the same statue, leading to inevitable questions as to why it is there in the first place. 

ILM Connection?

Obviously, as an Easter egg, it could simply be there because one of the Star Trek writers, producers, or actors was a big fan of Indiana Jones and wanted to sneak it in there. That often happened on TNG, with things like Doctor Who names being hidden on a computer console by Michael Okuda because he was presumably a big fan of the franchise.

Of course, there may be a deeper connection: Industrial Light and Magic handled special effects for many Star Trek films as well as the Indiana Jones films, so the idol might be in Dax’s quarters as an oblique shoutout to those FX artists.

Dax’s Long Life

what is a trill in star trek

If we had to speculate about the main reason Star Trek: Deep Space Nine included this crossover with Indiana Jones, it is probably meant to hint at all the past adventures that previous Dax hosts have had.

Jadzia might have been a young scientist in the 24th century, but her previous hosts stretch back centuries and had their own lifetimes full of misadventures. Whether or not fans clocked what it was, a mysterious statue in Dax’s quarters makes audiences instantly curious as to what kinds of trouble she and the previous Dax hosts got into before Deep Space Nine began.

No Real Indy/Star Trek Crossovers

indiana jones star wars

Sadly, there wouldn’t be any real crossovers between Star Trek and Indiana Jones, either onscreen or in comics. However, given the events of the last film featuring this archeologist, we may be closer to a crossover than ever. Now that Indiana Jones has officially become a time traveler, he may just be one adventure away from setting foot on the bridge of a starship.