Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Sad Story of Wu Han

Indy's doomed buddy took the bullet for him, and he's never been mentioned again.

Raiders of the Lost Ark burst into theaters in the summer of 1981, like Alfred Molina forgot there was a wall of spikes there. More than 40 years later, Indiana Jones remains one of the most iconic child endangerment heroes outside of Batman. The franchise created by George Lucas has seen Indiana Jones adventure across the globe. The fifth installment in the new series, Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Bell of Destiny, will be released on June 30 this year. Like the Dark Knight, Indy isn't shy about training child soldiers to aid him in his ongoing crusade, though Indy's crusade isn't about bringing fear to the heart of crime, but about looting world culture And locked it up in his friend's museum for the good of white America.

From the moment he was introduced in his first film in 1981, Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) firmly established himself as the quintessential rough adventurer who would unafraid to turn a Partner after partner is thrown into the hapless meat grinder without batting a gnarly eyelash. These partners are usually kids of various ages, including his fake 11-year-old son Short Round (Jonathan Ke Quan) and his real teenage son Mutt (Shia LaBeouf). But in his escapades, he also employs a rotating army of one-time buddies and mercenaries, none of whom are more tragic than dear Wu Han (David Yeh). Stickman forever. A true ride-or-die friend who takes a bullet in the heart so Indy can hilariously ruin an evening of live entertainment at the Obi-Wan Club.

Wu Han's Introduction in 'Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom'

In case you don't remember, Wu Han was introduced three years later in the opening scene of the Indiana Jones prequel "Raiders of the Lost Ark", which was released in May 1984. The urn containing the remains of Emperor Nurhachi was sold to Shanghai gangster Lao Che (Jiao Yuan) with a huge diamond. Because it was an old gang car, the old car tried every means to sell Indy. Fortunately, Wu Han appeared on the scene disguised as a waiter, and rushed in with a revolver to support Indy. Unfortunately, the entire nightclub was distracted by the sound of popping champagne corks, as apparently no one in the building had heard this particular sound before. A gun-loving son of Lao Che took the opportunity to secretly blow up Wu Han to the next world. The grief-stricken Indy hugged Wu Han in his arms, and Wu Han said the last words: "I have followed you through countless adventures, but in the unknown great mystery, I will go first, Indy." Then he turned to Indy His face smiled—he did—and died.

Of course, a personal tragedy of this magnitude would have shaken the heart of the heroic archaeologist. At the very least it might make him question his years of globetrotting theft of ancient artifacts. But Indy never mentioned Wu Han again. I'm not saying Wu Han was overlooked like a Bond girl in the subsequent sequels. I mean Indy seems to have forgotten that Wu Han ever existed in the same scene.

After a wacky, camp-fueled scramble for a vial of the antidote, Indy tumbles out the window and into the backseat of a getaway car, and we're introduced to Short Round. Short Round is Indy's fifth-grade business partner, and it's worth noting that Indy doesn't see Shorty as a child. He treats Shorty like they met in the back of a patrol car. This could be misinterpreted as "Indy is treating the Short Round equally", but after what we just said Seeing Wu Han, I can only use "Indy treats Short Round as a temporary worker" to interpret this relationship. Anyway, after briefly shouting at each other, Short Round expertly drove the getaway car to the airport, where they made their escape. At no point during the drive, or the ensuing plane ride, or subsequent adventures at the titular Temple of Doom, Indy and the short round do not discuss Wu Han's death.

At first glance, they appear to have come to Club Obi Wan together, as each of them has a definite "robbery" role: Wu Han sneaks into the club early as a waiter, Indy wears a Sean Connery tuxedo to direct transactions, Short Round opens Waiting outside in the car. But even so, Indy never mentioned Wu Han's name again, and Short Round never asked where Wu Han was, which means that Short Round has never seen Wu Han in this life. All three characters were directly involved in a heist that required some planning and coordination, so the only explanation is that Indy kept them separate on purpose, like sitcom characters Date two different women at the same restaurant.

Wu Han Was the Original Short Round

Now, Indy doesn't do that to any of his other buddies. In Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Last Crusade, he didn't try to separate Salah from Marcus Brody (Denholm Elliott) or his father Henry Sr. (Connery); nor did he try Isolate Mac (Ray Winston) from Mutter, Marion (Karen Allen) or Ox (John Hurt) in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, though he absolutely should. Also, with the exception of Mutter (his biological son), Indy's other allies are all around his age. In contrast, Wu Han is clearly several years younger than Indy (the character's age is never mentioned, but David Yeh is 9 years younger than Harrison Ford), let alone Short Round, who is a literal child.

"So what?" you yell like a fool. "What are you implying?" Well, I'm glad you asked that question, hypothetical dissenter, because I think those contextual clues point to Wu Han being the original Short Round. Indy recruited him as a child and took him on adventures for several years before finally getting him murdered Killed by gangsters at the penthouse nightclub and never thought about him again.

The first evidence is the age difference. Indy has obviously been kicking Wu Han for a while, because the old car's bullets and Indy's indifference broke his heart, mentioning their "many adventures". Wu Han also has a kind of childishness in his dying struggle. He's pretty excited about dying before Indy, even though their age difference makes that frustrating and unnatural. Wu Han ecstatically accepts his own destruction, suggesting that a major part of Indy's training involves convincing his kid mates that it'd be great to be killed before him, so they shouldn't use their bodies to protect him from Feeling bad about being shot by a machine gun. Remember, in Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indy was saved from Belloc's Nazis by a human shield made by Salah's children. Wu Han doesn't look too old with a small but noticeable scar on his forehead, so we know that Indy puts him in danger a lot.

But perhaps the strongest evidence that Wu Han is only a short round 1.0 In fact, like Wu Han, Short Round was never seen or heard from again in the franchise.

What Happened to Short Round After 'Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom'?

Temple of Doom is chronologically the first Indiana Jones movie (it takes place several years before Raiders of the Lost Ark), so Short Round's absence from the rest of the series is quite notable. Not only did Short Round not help Indy retrieve the Ark or the Holy Grail, but he wasn't invited to Indy and Marion's wedding at the end of the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. He won't be in any of these adventures, and the only reason he won't see Indy end up getting married is if he miraculously escapes his surrogate father, or if he's busy in Indy with Looney Tunes for a bottle of antivenom And chase a few gangsters. I choose to believe the latter because it's fun. (A third possibility is that Glare-ison Ford, A.K.A. Indiana Groans, A.K.A. the craziest action hero in history, just forgot to invite Short Round to his wedding, but that doesn't explain his absence from the other two movies.) So, What happened to that kid in Indy? More importantly, how many short rounds are there?

Temple of Doom takes place in 1935. Raiders takes place in 1936. In a year's time, Indy has settled into Marshall College as a comfortably tenured professor with no signs of Short Round in sight. Incidentally, Indy's move from Marshall College to Barnett College in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade happened in 1938. That means something happened during the two-year transition between this movie and Raiders of the Lost Ark that forced Indy to switch jobs, and apparently Marcus Brody had to jump ship with him. It's kind of weird. Indy came back to Marshall in 1957 when the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull happened, and Marcus presumably came back at some point, too, since there's a statue of his big ass in Marshall's commons. (Marcus' bronzed head smashes a man's groin within a centimeter during a whimsical car chase.) What's going on there? Why did Indy and Marcus have to escape Marshall College? Did Indy start a fight club? A kids' fight club somewhere in Marshall? Is that why he and Marcus had to move to Barnet? Decades until the heat subsides? Is... Short Round buried under the Marcus statue? Please understand that I never wanted to answer these questions; I'm glad they exist.

Indy's relationship with Wu-Han and Short Round (and the other orphans he might be drafted into) is basically the same as the vampire girl's relationship with her fake daddy - "You stay with me until you're too old or dead, to I'll trade you in for a new follower sometime." Meeting Indiana Jones as an adult is arguably the best option for Mutt, as the chances of him being brutally murdered somewhere in a mosque at the age of 12 are extremely slim .

Below you can view the trailer for Indiana Jones and the Wheel of Fortune, the latest installment in the Indiana Jones series.

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