Back to the Future

Indiana Jones 5 trailer hints at a wild time-travel rumor

Turning a big dial that says “Destiny” and looking at the calendar.

The movie we’ve been calling Indiana Jones 5 finally has an actual title, a release date, and an action-packed trailer. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny will be out on June 30, 2023, but what exactly is happening in it? We know it’s about the space race in the ‘60s, which allows Indiana Jones’ age to more closely match Harrison Ford’s, but we also see him digitally de-aged.

Could Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny be a time-travel movie? It’s a far-fetched theory, but the evidence is piling up.

Let’s start with the strongest evidence: The Dial of Destiny itself. We don’t know what the artifact looks like or does, but its name merges two time-related concepts. Clocks can have dials, of course, and destiny brings to mind the concept of fate and changing the past.

Then there are the comments made by Mads Mikkelsen in Empire’s first look at the movie. Mikkelsen says his Nazi villain, Voller, is “a man who would like to correct some of the mistakes of the past.” If the Dial of Destiny can correct mistakes, does that mean it can manipulate the very fabric of time?

For more evidence, we have to do our own time traveling back to October 2021, when set photos were published by The Daily Mail. They show Indy wearing a parachute, with Phoebe Waller-Bridge as his goddaughter Helena next to him. That’s typical Indy fare, but another picture included a group of Roman soldiers. Could Indy travel thousands of years into the past?

The trailer also made waves because of the “Raiders-era” Indiana appearing in certain shots. Many fans assumed these were simply flashbacks, but it’s also possible we’ll see the young Indy and the older Indy on-screen simultaneously.

We see Nazis in the Dial of Destiny trailer, even though it’s supposed to be set in the 1960s.Lucasfilm

Time travel may seem completely out of the left field for Indiana Jones, but the franchise has always dabbled in magic and miracles. We know you’ve probably tried to erase Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull from the mind, but the oft-maligned fourquel put sci-fi in the spotlight with a plot focused on aliens. Time travel is arguably the next logical step.

In what’s being billed as the last Indiana Jones adventure, a retrospective — whether through flashbacks or actual time travel — is more than warranted. As Indy himself says in the trailer, “I don’t believe in magic, but a few times in my life, I’ve seen things. Things I can’t explain. I’ve come to believe it’s not so much what you believe, it’s how hard you believe it.”

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny premieres in theatres June 30, 2023.