The Indiana Jones franchise has been going since the first film, back in 1981. It covers all of the films as well as all of the Indiana Jones merchandise. The stories concern mainly the (quite adventurous) life and discoveries of archaeologist and professor Dr. Henry Walton Jones, better known as Indiana 'Indy' Jones. According to the so-far released canon, the Jones character met and interacted with many historical personalities of the 20th century during his youth, while later he made discoveries concerning religious relics, legendary artifacts, places and topics, often having to do with the supernatural.
Indiana therefore not only met (and sometimes befriended) T.E. Lawrence, Pancho Villa, Albert Schweitzer, Nikos Kazantzakis, Pablo Picasso, Sigmund Freud and others, but also discovered the Ark of the Covenant, the Holy Grail, the Spear of Destiny, Avalon, Atlantis, El Dorado and even participated in the recovery of the unearthly being after the crash of Roswell. Despite however the importance and fame of his discoveries, because of some kind of counterbalancing fate, no trace remains of them thereafter, keeping thus their dangerous power forever hidden and lost.
The nature of his discoveries often have to do with the prevention of the 'villains' obtaining the power. The villains traditionally have been Nazi agents, a concept largely inspired from the legendary Nazi mysticism. In the later timeframe, the Nazis are sort of 'replaced' by Soviet characters.
- List of Indiana Jones films
- List of Young Indiana Jones episodes
- List of Indiana Jones video games
- List of Indiana Jones comics
In the later adult Indiana Jones adventures, the setting becomes a sort of crossover fiction, since all myths, legends, legendary and holy objects, turn out to be true and actual, along with the related supernatural powers and deities in the Indiana Jones world.
- "...the secret of the Indiana Jones movies’ success has always been their free-spirited inventiveness, a what-the-hell quality that can’t (or shouldn’t) be faked, even on a gigantic budget."
So far, there have been four Indiana Jones films, starting with the first and original, Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1981, its prequel, Temple of Doom, in 1984, and its sequel, The Last Crusade, in 1989, with the newest Indiana Jones movie, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, in 2008.
Since the release of the fourth installment of the IJ series, rumors for a fifth IJ movie have ran wild among fan sites, and all over the internet, and ideas for a fifth have been mentioned by several actors and crew members from the fourth, most notably George Lucas, but an official announcement has not yet been released.
The Expanded Adventures encompasses all officially licensed material beyond the four theatrical movies.
The Indiana Jones franchise includes many comics told in book and strip formats.
In the United States, Marvel Comics published Indiana Jones comic books in the 1980s: the adaptations of the first three films and ongoing monthly series entitled "The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones" that ran for 34 issues from 1983 to 1986. From the 1990s to the present, Dark Horse Comics was the American publisher of Indiana Jones comic material, and published Indiana Jones titles from 1991 to 1995 (including The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles series), and resumed publishing new material and reprints of old material in 2008.
Outside the United States, original Indiana Jones comic stories were published in the United Kingdom and France, in the early 1990s. In 2008, Titan Publishing released the Indiana Jones Comic magazine in the UK, which reprinted different Dark Horse stories, along with feature articles and puzzles.
Beginning in 1990, Random House published a series of original Indy stories aimed at younger readers. The books centered around Indy's adventures as an adolescent, from age 12 to age 15. Initially inspired by River Phoenix's appearance as the young adventurer in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, the books began to incorporate themes and characters from The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles starting with 1993's Young Indiana Jones and the Titanic Adventure. At the same time, Random House began printing the series under its' Bullseye Books banner. The last entry in the series, Young Indiana Jones and the Eye of the Tiger, was published in 1995. Two additional books (Young Indiana Jones and the Mask of the Madman and Young Indiana Jones and the Ring of Power) were planned, but never published.
Meanwhile, Hachette Livre's translations of the Random House books were meeting with great success in France, and in 1997 the company secured the rights to publish their own original French-language stories. Over the following two years, Hachette released seven Indy books as part of its Bibliothèque Verte series.
In 2009, a new series of young adult novels, entitled Untold Adventures was introduced by Scholastic in the US, and Harper Collins in the UK, focusing on Indy's adventures as an adult, and beginning in a quest to find the Hall of Records.
Gamebooks (also sometimes called Adventure Books) are books that allow the reader to participate in the story by making choices at key points in the narrative. The popularity of the concept arguably reached its zenith with Bantam Books' Choose Your Own Adventure series in the mid-1980's.
A number of Indiana Jones gamebooks have been produced over the years. Ballantine's Find Your Fate Adventure series included a total of eleven Indy titles, mixed with a handful of books featuring other popular adventurers such as James Bond. These books placed the reader in the role of Indy's child companion, either his younger cousin or another youth, such as the case of Indiana Jones and the Dragon of Vengeance where the protagonist is the son of a friend. The series originally ran from 1984 to 1987; certain titles were reprinted in 1994 to capitalize on author R.L. Stine's Goosebumps fame.
In 1992, Bantam adapted eight episodes of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles as part of their continuing Choose Your Own Adventure series, allowing readers for the first time to sit in for Indy himself.