Damon Lindelof Has a Sweet Love Letter to 'Raiders of the Lost Ark'
Nowadays we know Damon Lindelof as the writer behind properties like the ABC series "Lost," the 2009 Star Trek franchise reboot from J.J. Abrams and the forthcoming Ridley Scott sci-fi film Prometheus. But at one time, he was just another young lover of movies like the rest of us, and at the influential age of 8-years old, Lindelof encountered the adventurer we all know as Indiana Jones in his first viewing of Raiders of the Lost Ark, the classic film from Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. Now, for the 30th anniversary of the film's release, he's written a charming love letter to the film that has inspired him so much.
Since it stands as one of the films George Lucas hasn't yet tainted with unnecessary updates, Raiders of the Lost Ark is a classic action adventure that has truly stood the test of time and Lindelof praises the film in his essay at Hero Complex right off the bat saying:
Dear 'Raiders of the Lost Ark'
You are awesome. God, you are awesome.
I have seen you, in your entirety, more than one hundred times. I know there are folks out there that have seen you more than that, but they don’t know you like I do.
He elaborates on his love in this great passage that truly illustrates why many of us love Dr. Jones so much:
I love you because Indiana Jones is a nerd. Granted, a highly capable nerd who knows how to ride horses and fight real good, but still, at his core, Indy is an academic who’s motivated purely by his desire to find and retrieve really cool stuff so he can put it in a museum where other nerds can appreciate it. Also, he wears glasses and gets nervous when hot female students write the words “Love You” on their eyelids. Do you have any idea how much commitment is involved in writing “Love You” on your eyelids? It’s really hard! Not that I’ve ever done it.
Because I haven’t.
And in one more passage, Lindelof praises the storytelling, recalling it as if he were trying to tell his teenage friends why the movie is so damn great:
You know what else is wonderful about you? That over and over and over again, Indiana Jones has failure rubbed in his face, yet he refuses to give up. He gets the Golden Idol…. But it’s snatched away by a Frenchman. Indy finds the Well of Souls and recovers the Ark. It too gets taken away from him. Same Frenchman! Now Indy gets back the Ark and … oh no, Nazi submarine! They take the Ark and Marion… but Indy gets the drop on them with a bazooka! And yet, he can’t bring himself to destroy the Ark, so Indy is captured.
By the Frenchman.
Yeah, I know his name is Belloq. And I’m pretty convinced that he is another reason I love you so much. Because quality French bad guys are hard to come by and Belloq is la crème du la crop.
This is just a taste of the pure passion and heartfelt love Lindelof (and also many of us) have for this amazing adventure that doesn't need spaceships or superheroes, but just an archaeologist with a sense of adventure, a whip, and a terrible fear of snakes. Honestly, if you love Raiders of the Lost Ark half as much as myself or Mr. Lindelof, make sure you head over to Hero Complex and read the whole essay from the screenwriter who also recounts the first time he watched the film and a certain accident that plagued his first viewing. Do you remember the first time you saw Raiders of the Lost Ark?