True believers should brace themselves: The Indiana Jones saga never even happened. And that doesn’t just mean that the films are fictional, though they are. It means that they’re even less real than most fiction. In fact, the whole franchise is a lengthy dream/hallucination of a character from yet another multi-film fantasy saga. To put it bluntly, the adventures of the famed archaeologist and world traveler are merely the hallucinations of Star Wars smuggler-turned-rebel Han Solo during that unfortunate period when Han was encased in carbonite and used as wall art in Jabba The Hutt’s palace. That’s why Indy and Han look so much alike. One is the fantasy projection of the other. The whole “Indiana Jones is Han Solo’s dream” theory is apparently an age-old preoccupation of internet nerds, but it took the team behind a podcast called The Indiana Jones Minute to put all the evidence together. Team members Tom Taylor, Gerry Porter, and Pete Mummert are now ready to present their findings to the public. Preconceptions, prepare to be shattered.
For the carbonite-encased Han, the plot of Raiders Of The Lost Ark unfolds in a place (South America, planet Earth) and a time (the year 1936) almost inconceivably far from his own. The golden fertility idol represents a solution to Solo’s ever-worrying money problems. From there, seemingly every foe and obstacle Indy encounters has a counterpart in the Star Wars universe. For instance, those spear-carrying Peruvians seem an awful lot like Tusken Raiders, don’t they? After the opening sequence, Raiders switches venues to Professor Jones’ classroom. But real dreams often have those kinds of jarring scene changes. And the doubling continues. The actor William Hootkins, who played Porkins in the original Star Wars, pops up as Major Eaton in Raiders. There’s even a resemblance between the Staff Of Ra and the Millennium Falcon, as demonstrated in a side-by-side comparison. The former is “literally a disk-shaped falcon,” the explanation goes.
The podcasters admit that they did not originally devise this theory, but they have been amassing evidence to support it as they examine the Indiana Jones movies one minute at a time. As they tell The A.V. Club: “We’re less than halfway through Raiders Of The Lost Ark on our show and we already have enough evidence to turn any doubter into a believer, or at least any nerd into a philosophically satisfied nerd.”