When Will Indiana Jones 5 Take Place? Here's the Insane Math

Disney recently announced that the upcoming fifth Indiana Jones movie will be delayed until July 2021, cementing suspicions that it will find Indy battling noisy teenagers and plundering the Ramada Inn early bird buffet. One question that hasn't been answered yet: When will this movie take place?

Raiders Of The Lost Ark came out in 1981 and was set in 1936. So one might assume that the new 2021 movie will be set 40 years later, in 1976, allowing filmmakers to seamlessly swap out John Williams for ABBA. Except 1984's Temple Of Doom was set one year before Raiders. This explains the movie's lack of Nazis, but not why Indy's ten-year-old best friend mysteriously disappears, never to be mentioned again.

When Will Indiana Jones 5 Take Place? Here's the Insane MathLucasfilm

When Will Indiana Jones 5 Take Place? Here's the Insane MathLucasfilm

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The issue is further complicated by the fact that The Last Crusade was set two years after Raiders, but was released eight years later, and Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull was set 21 years after, but released 27 years later. It prompts one to wonder if Bible magic is all that's keeping Dr. Jones going at this point.

When Will Indiana Jones 5 Take Place? Here's the Insane MathLucasfilm

When Will Indiana Jones 5 Take Place? Here's the Insane MathLucasfilm

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Thankfully, Vulture's Nate Jones used the ancient magic of mathematics to help us puzzle out exactly when Indiana Jones And His Kids Who Never Visit will be set. If we exclude the prequel, there's a discernible pattern for when Indy sequels take place: the actual time elapsed minus 6. This would place the new movie in 1970. Yup, the world's perviest archaeology prof would finally get to dabble in free love.

Jones goes even further in his calculations, applying a "linear regression model" plotting the rate at which time passes in the Indy-verse versus here in reality. The conclusion? Indy ages only "82 percent as fast as we do," meaning the movie would actually be set in 1966.

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Then again, it's possible that Indy-verse time doesn't flow in a straight line. Using a "quadratic regression model" and a bunch of equations we totally understand, Jones concludes that the fifth movie will take place 45 years after Raiders Of The Lost Ark. So the next (and God willing, last) Indiana Jones movie will be set in 1981, the very same year Raiders, a nostalgic old-timey throwback, was released. It's kind of like if the Stranger Things series finale finds the gang purchasing Netflix subscriptions.

You (yes, you) should follow JM on Twitter, or check out the podcast Rewatchability.

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