Indiana Jones and Helena in Dial of Destiny

Helena Shaw’s Inclusion in ‘Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny’ Is a Welcome One

From the start of the Indiana Jones franchise, female characters have primarily served as love interests for Indy. After all, who can resist the charms of Harrison Ford? Whether it’s Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen), Willie Scott (Kate Capshaw), or Elsa Schneider (Alison Doody), each woman was meant to be either a distraction for Indy or someone he can save/fall in love with.

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*Spoilers for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny lie ahead.*

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny does something different with Helena Shaw (Phoebe Waller-Bridge). She’s the first female character to challenge Indy without a looming romantic storyline. Helena isn’t without romance; she still flirts with her ex-fiancé (Alaa Safi) via car chase. But what sets Shaw apart from the women who came before her is her connection to Indiana Jones. It is one that’s based on mutual respect and platonic love, which was refreshing to see.

A strong woman that isn’t a love interest to Indy

Helena sitting with the Dial
(Walt Disney Studios)

As someone who loved this series my entire life, I always connected with Marion Ravenwood. Yes, she is in love with Indy, but she is also someone who fought her own battles and had plenty of agency. Helena Shaw has that same take-charge energy, and she’s not distracted by a romantic storyline. Waller-Bridge’s performance introduces a welcoming new dynamic for Indy.

I would love to see more of Helena in the Indiana Jones franchise, alongside Marion and Mason (Shaunette Renée Wilson), who made her debut in Dial of Destiny and deserved more screen time. I would be very into a prequel series where we visit these characters on their globe-trotting adventures.

A future with a godfather and goddaughter

Indiana Jones and Helena in Dial of Destiny
(Walt Disney Studios)

Both Short Round (Ke Huy Quan) and son Mutt Williams (Shia LaBeouf) were younger counterparts to Indiana Jones, but we’ve never seen him take a parental tone with a woman. That’s where moments between him and Helena really work well.

He hasn’t been in her life for 18 years (having had a falling out with her father Basil Shaw when she was 12), but their back and forth in the film is rooted in that familiarity from when she was younger. Their dynamic is important to them both and it is clear that they love each other, even if Helena does betray him a couple of times.

Given the end of the film, I hope we get to see more of this dynamic duo, whether in a series or just in moments where Helena talks about Indy. Their relationship has become one of my favorite moments of the franchise.

(featured image: Walt Disney Studios)


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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.