Ke Huy Quan's Short Round Should Be Indiana Jones' Successor
Most of us know Ke Huy Quan from his child actor days, starring in movies like The Goonies and TV shows like that ‘80s Brady Bunch spin-off that’s seemingly about a group of adopted children who spend their free time staring at their parents while they make out, for some reason.
But of course, his first screen role was as Short Round, Indiana Jones’ orphaned child buddy who showed up in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, before disappearing forever never to be mentioned ever again.
Now, Quan has returned to the acting world, co-starring in Everything Everywhere All At Once, and … goddamn he’s good in it.
This has prompted some to wonder whether or not Quan would ever return to the Indiana Jones franchise, should it continue – presumably focusing on adventures such as Indy picking up dry cleaning and watching daytime TV – which the actor has claimed he would “absolutely” be interested in. But here’s an idea; Quan should be the next Indiana Jones.
We don’t mean the literal character of Dr. Henry Jones, but clearly, the franchise is searching for a new character within the existing continuity to take the reins over from Harrison Ford. They tried it in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, teeing up Shia LeBeouf’s character Mutt (Indy’s son) as a potential heir to the fedora and bullwhip. But following LeBeouf’s comments about Crystal Skull, recent allegations of domestic abuse, and because no one wants to see an Indiana Jones movie where you’re rooting for the boulder, it seems like that isn’t going to happen.
But reintroducing Short Round to the series would fix a lot of problems. For one thing it’s genuinely weird that this character was never brought up again. And it makes Indy’s grievances against his own father’s parenting choices in The Last Crusade that much more petty and hypocritical considering that Indy seemingly left an unhoused orphan child he clearly cared about to die penniless on the streets of Shanghai while he galavanted around the world murdering people for ancient gold. And for another, fleshing out Short Round’s character could retroactively imbue the notoriously cringey sequel with more meaning and lasting impact.
Most importantly, with Everything Everywhere All At Once, Quan proved he has the chops to take on the adventure hero role; he gets to be unrelentingly badass, heartbreakingly sweet, suavely romantic, and, in one memorable scene, does more damage with a single fanny pack than Indy could ever hope to with a bullwhip.
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Top Image: A24/Lucasfilm