Here’s Your Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny Homework

Here’s Your Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny Homework

A new Indiana Jones movie is on the way, marking the fifth film in the franchise and the fifth time we’ll return to the bullwhip-wielding and cowboy hat-wearing archaeologist played by Harrison Ford.

At Star Wars Celebration, James Mangold, the soon-to-be-Star Wars and current director of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, could have stopped at just showing fans a trailer for the upcoming fifth Indiana Jones adventure, but he wanted to do more. So after the trailer, he also showed six minutes of footage from the middle of the film, which included plenty of clues about the story itself, and a lot of Indy action.

It was the rickshaw chase scene that played a big role in the teaser trailer.

To prep for what’s sure to be a massive world premiere (which takes place Thursday evening in France), the film festival posted a clip from the film, from one of its action set pieces. Check it out.

If you’re yet to watch the India Jones films, or you want to give them another run before you shoot off to the cinema to watch Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, we’ve got a little bit of homework for you.

With Indiana Jones being quite a solid franchise, it’s a bit hard to know where to start. Thankfully, the names aren’t too confusing (looking at you, Fast and Furious) and the overarching story follows the same beats throughout, but that doesn’t mean release order is the right way to speed through.

Here’s the order you should watch the Indiana Jones movies in if you want to follow them chronologically.

How to watch the Indiana Jones movies in chronological order

Watching the Indiana Jones movies in chronological order requires a quick heads-up as they weren’t exactly released in sequence. Apart from one out-of-place prequel, things are pretty simple. If you want to watch the films in order of release, we’ve listed their release years in the title. All Indiana Jones movies will be available to stream on Disney+ from May 31, but they’re still on Stan and Paramount+ (not sure if they’re being removed from May 31 but will update this article when we know).

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)

Despite being the second Indiana Jones movie released, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is a prequel to the original movie (set in 1935), making it the first in the franchise chronologically. That said, it’s not really an origin story like most prequels these days are — it’s more like revisiting Indiana Jones as he goes on another adventure.

Its darker plot is not the strongest of the Indiana Jones franchise, although it’s a lot of fun to watch. Taking place mostly in India, Indiana Jones sets out to find the Sankara stone, fighting a dangerous cult along the way. Why was it a prequel? Apparently, George Lucas didn’t want to use the Nazis as the bad guys again.

If you don’t want to start your Indiana Jones experience dark or weaker, it might be best to skip this one for now and watch it second or third. If you want to watch it accurately to the timeline, however, this is where to start.

Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (or, Raiders of the Lost Ark) (1981)

The original Indiana Jones movie, often referred to simply as Raiders of the Lost Ark (as it was originally released), is where it all started for Indiana (although it is set in 1936, a year after Temple of Doom).

In the definitive Indiana Jones movie, Indiana races against a group of Nazis to track down a religious relic, which would aid the Nazis in global domination. It’s one of the classic adventure movies of the 1980s and is a great place to start if you want a strong movie. As far as chronological order goes, it’s the second film in the Indiana Jones franchise.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

The final movie in the original Indiana Jones trilogy, The Last Crusade is a more emotional journey than the rest. Indiana’s father (played by Sean Connery) has gone missing while searching for the Holy Grail, so Indie sets out to find him.

The Nazis show up again in this movie to be the bad guys — they’re also on track to find the Holy Grail, so it becomes a race to the relic, much like Raiders of the Lost Ark. It has a puzzling ending and was originally where things were left for Indy and his adventures back in the ’80s. If you’re watching chronologically, The Last Crusade is the third movie to watch.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)

Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is the reboot of Indiana Jones, released in 2008 (19 years after The Last Crusade!), featuring a much older Indiana and a lot of questionable direction decisions.

Of the four Indiana Jones movies, the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull gets the most hate for its overacting, use of CGI, and… Aliens? A big part of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is that it delves a little out of the bounds of archaeology and into the world of sci-fi in a very Ancient Aliens kind of way.

Set in 1957 (20 years after The Last Crusade), Indiana goes on another adventure to find a telepathic crystal skull, while fighting Soviet KGB agents along the way. It’s the fourth movie in the Indiana Jones franchise, the fourth in the chronology, and in many ways a good place for the franchise to end… which brings us to Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.


Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny will premiere in Australia on June 28.

This article has been updated since it was first published.