Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) is terrified of a cobra snake in 'Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark'
(Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

The Ultimate ‘Indiana Jones’ Watch Guide

Although one of them should be strictly optional.

My first celebrity crush was Harrison Ford as Han Solo. Noticing I was a Ford-head, my father, in his infinite wisdom, quickly introduced me to the Indiana Jones series. I was hooked. To any Indy fan, the release of the fifth film, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, is a gigantic deal. While the Indy films haven’t aged immaculately, per se (Temple of Doom will make you wince a couple of times, for sure), they’re still largely a hell of a lot of fun to watch. Well, most of them. But where can you watch them, and is there a particular viewing order?

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There are presently five Indiana Jones films. You’ve got the original trilogy, which I’d recommend watching in order of release: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), The Temple of Doom (1984), and The Last Crusade (1989). These are the films with the melting Nazis, the very big boulder crashing after Indy—all that iconic fare. Also, here’s a fun bit of trivia for you: If Waymond from the phenomenal-but-completely-different film Everything Everywhere All at Once looked familiar to you, that might be because Academy Award-winning actor Ke Huy Quan played Short Round in Temple of Doom when he was but a child. This blew my mind. I literally screamed.

And then … there’s Kingdom of the Crystal Skull from 2008, which takes place when Indy (and Harrison Ford himself) is significantly older. Shia LaBeouf plays Indy and Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen)’s son. To the confusion of almost everyone, Crystal Skull involves aliens. The main reason to watch this movie, in my opinion, is if you’re a completionist—which I deeply understand. I personally recommend avoiding it at all costs, unless viewed in a kind of MST3K situation or with another aid, perhaps whiskey.

If you were already thinking, “Why are we making this man in his late 60s act like a 20-something action star?” for Crystal Skull, you might be confused as to why another Indy film was released a full 15 years later, as Harrison Ford turned 80. He is still disarmingly good-looking and badass, though. And fortunately, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny explicitly grapples with Indy’s age. Beyond that, it’s also a significantly better film all-around. A low bar, perhaps. But still!

Like Star Wars, Indiana Jones is a Lucasfilm franchise. Disney famously bought Lucasfilm so that they could give Star Wars the Marvel treatment and make approximately 100-thousand-billion dollars. As such, it will not surprise you to learn that the first four Indiana Jones movies are available to stream on Disney+. The surprising bit is that they weren’t for a weirdly long time, but that’s over now.

The other surprising bit is that those four Indy movies are also available to stream on Paramount+. After all, Paramount was the original distributor of the films. In other words, good ol’ Indy was at the center of a whole streaming wars kerfuffle.

The fifth film, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, released in theaters on June 30, 2023. It will likely land on both Disney+ and Paramount+ once it comes to streaming.

(featured image: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)


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Author
Kirsten Carey
Kirsten (she/her) is a contributing writer at the Mary Sue specializing in anime and gaming. In the last decade, she's also written for Channel Frederator (and its offshoots), Screen Rant, and more. In the other half of her professional life, she's also a musician, which includes leading a very weird rock band named Throwaway. When not talking about One Piece or The Legend of Zelda, she's talking about her cats, Momo and Jimbei.