Indiana Jones 5: Best Easter Eggs, references, and callbacks in Dial of Destiny

Chris Tilly
Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.Paramount Pictures

With Indiana Jones 5 – aka Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny – hitting screens worldwide today, these are our favorite Easter Eggs, references, jokes, and callbacks in the movie.

The new Indiana Jones movie debuted at the Cannes Film Festival before releasing in the UK today, and the US this coming Friday (June 30, 2023). The film’s official synopsis is as follows…

“It’s 1969, and Indiana Jones is ready to call it quits. Having spent more than a decade teaching at New York’s Hunter College, the esteemed professor of archaeology is preparing to retire to his modest apartment where, these days, he lives alone. Things change after a surprise visit from his estranged goddaughter Helena Shaw, who is seeking a rare artefact that her father entrusted to Indy years earlier – the infamous Archimedes Dial, a device that purportedly holds the power to locate fissures in time.

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“An accomplished con-artist, Helena steals the Dial and swiftly departs the country to sell the artefact to the highest bidder. Left with no choice but to go after her, Indy dusts off his fedora and leather jacket for one final ride. Meanwhile, Indy’s old nemesis, Jürgen Voller – a former Nazi now working as a physicist in the U.S. space program – has his own plans for the Dial, a horrifying scheme that could change the course of world history.”

Indiana Jones 5: Best Easter Eggs, references, and callbacks in Dial of Destiny

The Indiana Jones story has spanned five films over more than 40 years. The movies move back and forth in time, with Temple of Doom a prequel to Raiders of the Lost Ark, Last Crusade kicking off during Indy’s childhood, and Dial of Destiny flashing back to 1944 before the bulk of the movie plays out in 1969.

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Along the way they have dipped in and out of history, most notably using the Nazi obsession with magic and mysticism to drive stories forward.

Indiana Jones 5 is no different, taking inspiration from real-life historical objects, and referencing events and storylines from past films. The following is a few of our favorite Easter Eggs, so BEWARE OF SPOILERS AHEAD

Dial of Destiny

The Dial of Destiny in Indiana Jones 5.Disney
The Dial of Destiny.

The titular Dial of Destiny – the artefact everyone is after in Indiana Jones 5 – is real. You can read our write-up of the object here. And this is how the official production notes describe the MacGuffin:

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“The sought-after artefact that drives the narrative – the Archimedes Dial – was inspired by a real-world artefact, the Antikythera mechanism. A mechanical device thought to be used in ancient Greece to calculate and display information about astronomical phenomena, it’s been described as the oldest known example of an analog computer.”

Raiders of the Lost Ark callback

There’s a touching moment in Dial of Destiny where Indiana Jones and Marion Ravenwood are discussing their shared pain. Indy asks where it hurts. And Marion points to her elbow, which Indy kisses. Then her shoulder, which Indy kisses. Before they kiss each other. This is a direct callback to Raiders of the Lost Ark, where Marion asks Indy where it hurts, and kisses him in much the same way.

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There’s also an homage to the famous Raiders scene where Indy pulls his gun on a swordsman, though in reverse, with a room-full of people pulling their guns on Indy.

H.R. Pufnstuf

When we meet Indy in 1969, he’s in bad shape. Asleep on the couch in his dingy New York apartment, he’s clearly been drinking. But what makes the scene weird is what he’s fallen asleep in front of on the television – H.R. Pufnstuf.

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That a kid’s show that aired in 1969, about a boy who’s transported to a magical world called Living Island. While there, he befriends a dragon called Pufnstuf, and tries to stop his talking flute from falling into the hands of a witch. And there was us thinking Indy would be watching a history documentary.

Lance of Longinus

In the film’s opening scene – which takes place at the tail-end of WWII – Indy rescues his friend Basil Shaw and finds a relic called the Lance of Longinus. And much like the Dial of Destiny, it’s real!

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You can read all about the Lance here, while it’s also a callback to previous Indy adventures. The Lance was mentioned in an early version of the Raiders script, and it was also at the center of a Dark Horse comic series called Indiana Jones and the Spear of Destiny.

Temple of Doom callback

The horrors in Temple of Doom.Paramount Pictures
The horrors in Temple of Doom.

When moaning about how old he is – and the fact that Helena Shaw is half his age – Indy talks about drinking Kali’s blood, and being tortured by voodoo.

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He’s recounting some of the more horrific scenes in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, where the archaeologist does indeed drink Kali’s blood, and finds himself being tortured by voodoo.

Creepy-crawlies

Creepy-crawlies are a mainstay of the Indiana Jones movies, with all manner of bugs terrifying the title character and his various sidekicks. Dial of Destiny is no different, with Indy and Helena coming face-to-face with a whole host of creepy-crawlies while exploring the Cave of Dionysus.

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Indiana Jones also hates snakes. And while we don’t get a callback to that particular fear, Dial of Destiny features eels instead. Which Indy seems to find just as terrifying.

For more Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny coverage, hit the below links…

Indiana Jones 5 review | Number of Indy movies | Helena Shaw explained | Soundtrack and songs | Indiana Jones streaming details | Dial of Destiny runtime | Filming locations | Lance of Longinus explainedHow to watch the Indy movies in order | Is Short Round in Dial of Destiny? | Ranking the Indiana Jones movies | Villain explained | Does Dial of Destiny have a post-credits scene? | Will there be an Indy 6?

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About The Author

Chris Tilly is the TV and Movies Editor at Dexerto. He has a BA in English Literature, an MA in Newspaper Journalism, and over the last 20 years, he's worked for the likes of Time Out, IGN, and Fandom. Chris loves Star Wars, Marvel, DC, sci-fi, and especially horror, while he knows maybe too much about Alan Partridge. You can email him here: chris.tilly@dexerto.com.