The Raiders ware­house. What’s inside?

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Contents -


It’s one of cin­ema’s all- time great­est part­ing shots. In­di­ana Jones has just saved the world from Bel­loq and the Nazis and re­cov­ered one of the most im­por­tant archaeological finds in his­tory. It should be a mo­ment to whip the Time Team dirt- scrap­ers into a col­lec­tive frenzy. Ex­cept it isn’t, be­cause what does the US gov­ern­ment do with its spoils? Of course, it com­pletely ig­nores the bla­tantly ob­vi­ous fact that the Ark Of The Covenant “be­longs in a mu­seum” and packs it up in a wooden crate, just one anony­mous box among thou­sands stacked in a gi­ant ware­house.

It’s the per­fect end­ing to a per­fect movie, simultaneously hi­lar­i­ous ( it’s bu­reau­cracy gone mad!) and a lit­tle bit tragic – has Indy’s quest re­ally been a com­plete waste of time? It’s a relic from a time when movies didn’t al­ways have to worry about se­quel op­por­tu­ni­ties; un­doubt­edly an end­point, but still ripe with po­ten­tial. Ever since I first saw the movie as a kid, the scene has lin­gered with me. What other trea­sures could be in the rest of those boxes? Who man­ages the ware­house? Will the Ark ever see the light of day again? And who the hell are those “top men” Ma­jor Ea­ton was bang­ing on about? Surely the old fel­low in the flat cap push­ing the Ark to its fi­nal rest­ing place isn’t one of them…

Of course, the an­swers to some of th­ese ques­tions came in the open­ing scenes of In­di­ana Jones And The King­dom Of The

Crys­tal Skull. As Soviet forces ze­roed in on one of the Roswell aliens, we learned that the ware­house was lo­cated in an in­fa­mous Ne­vada hotspot, is called Hangar 51, and that the Ark Of The Covenant is still a res­i­dent. But de­spite the al­lu­sion to one of my all- time favourite movie mo­ments, I wish Indy had never been forced to go back.

Be­cause aside from the beau­ti­ful fram­ing, the won­der­ful John Wil­liams score, and the stun­ning matte paint­ing that con­veys the vast­ness of the store­room, the rea­son the orig­i­nal scene works so well is the mys­tery. Surely we were never sup­posed to know too much about it. With­out rooms like that there would be no X- Files, no “top men” to form the ba­sis of con­spir­acy the­o­ries. Some doors are best left un­opened.

Hope he made a note of where he left it.

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