It’s 2023, and Harrison Ford is 80 years old. Action stars from the 1980s — Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone — can now collect Social Security benefits, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if they stopped performing death-defying stunts onscreen and enjoyed their well-earned retirement.
Ford, however, has other ideas, as he’s starring in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, his fifth go-around as the beloved fedora-wearing adventurer. Nothing last forever, however, and with Ford publicly commenting that Destiny is the last time he will play one of his most famous characters, many fans have been left asking this: does Indiana Jones die at the end of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny?
So, does Indiana Jones die at the end of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny?
Surprisingly, no, he does not die at the end of the movie, but it sure does look like it at the climax. We explain the ending to the Dial of Destiny in detail in another article, but what you need to know is this: the Nazi bad guys obtain the Dial of Destiny, otherwise known as the Archimedes Dial, and want to travel back in time to 1940s to rewrite history and win World War II.
While they succeed in going back in time, with Indy, his female partner Helena Shaw, and pre-teen sidekick Teddy Kumar in close pursuit, they end up not in 1940s Germany, but in 212 B.C. in the middle of the Siege of Syracuse, a famous Roman battle in Sicily. Whoops!
With hordes of Roman warriors firing arrows and spears at them from below, Indiana and Helena both manage to parachute out of Voller’s Nazi airship just before it’s shot down. Voller and all his henchmen die gruesomely in the crash — leaving the Archimedes Dial to be discovered by Archimedes himself! Elsewhere, Helena and Indy, who was shot in the shoulder earlier by Klaber, land in the war-torn hills of ancient Sicily.
Indy, for his part, insists that Helena and Teddy, who followed Voller back in time on a stolen plane of his own, leave him where he belongs in history. Bleeding profusely and ignoring Teddy’s calls for them to get on his plane, Indy has a brief conversation with Archimedes and tells Helena that he believes he was always meant to end up stranded in the past because of his archaeological interests. Helena, in a truly applause-worthy moment, responds by punching him so hard he goes unconscious. When he wakes up an undefined amount of time later, he’s back in his own time period (the late ‘1960s) and, specifically, his shabby New York City apartment.
Saved from certain death, Indy is quickly reunited with his estranged wife, and true love, Marion Ravenwood, who reconciles with him. Reinvigorated, Indy grabs his trademark fedora as the camera slowly zooms out, signaling more adventures ahead for the now-geriatric hero.
While it would’ve made sense for Indy to die as Ford will no longer portray him, it’s probably better Indy lives on in the hearts and minds of his fans. There will always be more Nazis to punch, more tombs to explore, and more adventures to be had as long as Indy’s around ready to crack that famous whip of his.
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is now playing in theaters.