"I've followed you on many adventures...but into the great unknown mystery, I go first, Indy!"―Wu Han's last words before his passing[src]
Half Chinese, half Dutch, Wu Han was studying political science when his parents and sister died in an influenza outbreak. Their ashes wound up in the possession of the notorious gangster Lao Che, who used the promise of a proper burial to force Wu Han into servitude.
In 1933, Indiana Jones met Wu Han in Shanghai on his way to Mongolia. Upon learning of Wu Han's predicament, Jones stole his family's ashes from Lao Che, thereby securing his friend's freedom. The encounter inspired Wu Han to return to school, this time studying archaeology.
Wu Han took up the life of an adventurer, spending half of his time away from Shanghai working for various private patrons and universities throughout the Orient. He also made a number of visits to Russia to recover artifacts hidden by exiled White Russian aristocrats. He helped Chinese secret agent Mei Ying, who knew him as a smuggler, on several occasions.
Mei Ying arranged to meet Wu Han at Hong Kong's Golden Lotus Opera House in 1935. When he arrived, however, he found that Mei Ying had been kidnapped and she was working with Indiana Jones on a quest to find the tomb of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China.
Wu Han's rickshaw provided Indy transport in chasing Mei Ying's kidnappers, members of the Black Dragon Triad, and his junk boat ferried Jones to Peng Lai Island, home of the triad's leader Marshal Kai Ti Chang. After Mei Ying was rescued, she and Jones needed a ride to Shanghai. Wu Han came to the their aid once again.
When an orphaned pickpocket calling himself Short Round was caught attempting to rob Indiana Jones, the archaeologist took pity on the boy and introduced him to Wu Han rather than see him arrested. Wu Han gave Short Round—and his fellow urchins—a place to stay at the small home he had bought for himself in Shanghai's International Settlement thanks to proceeds garnered from his past ventures with Jones.
Later that year, Wu Han assisted Jones when he was hired by Lao Che to obtain the ashes of Nurhachi, the first Emperor of the Manchu Dynasty, in exchange for the Peacock's Eye, planning to fly the diamond out to London by way of Bangkok. The night before Jones was to meet with the gangster at Shanghai's Club Obi Wan, Lao Che's son Kao Kan attempted to steal the urn from him. While Jones fended him off, he asked Wu Han to be his back up at the club.
Armed with a pistol, Wu Han disguised himself as a waiter and held onto Nurhachi's urn until Jones called him over during the meeting. Flanked on both side by his two sons, Lao Che reneged on the deal and had poisoned Jones's drink to keep the diamond and Nurhachi. Concealed under a tray, Wu Han pulled his gun on the gangster while Jones demanded the antidote Lao Che flaunted in front of him. Sudden celebrations at a nearby table proved enough of a distraction to allow Lao Che's son Chen to shoot Wu Han with his own concealed weapon. Wu Han fell into Jones's arms and died.
Enraged, Jones avenged his friend's death by throwing a skewker of pigeon flambé through Chen's chest. Club Obi Wan erupted into chaos and Jones fled the scene along with nightclub singer Willie Scott, who had picked up the vial of antidote. She would end up taking Wu Han's place on the flight out of China.
Personality and traitsEdit
While he possessed a post-graduate level of education in archaeology and a sound book knowledge of Asian antiquities, Wu Han recoiled against the research aspect of the profession as well as archaeological digs. He much preferred recovering artifacts from the black market for which his skills at disguise proved useful.
Wu Han had some martial arts ability in karate and his superstitious nature would see him casting the I Ching before each of his adventures. Indiana Jones considered Wu Han to be an excellent shot.
Behind the scenesEdit
Wu Han was portrayed by David Yip in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Alan Drevin provided Wu Han's voice in the Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb video game. Yip later expressed his desire to reprise his role as Wu Han in the then untitled Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (however, he stated that if he could have returned, it could have been maybe in a flashback sequence), but at the end, the film was released without Yip in the cast.
There is inconsistency for when Wu Han and Indiana Jones first meet in the canon. The Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom Sourcebook has their first encounter as teenagers in 1914 while Indy and his father are searching for clues to the location of the Holy Grail. Indiana Jones and the Dinosaur Eggs has the meeting take place in 1933, with which Indiana Jones: The Ultimate Guide agrees, while Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb has the event taking place shortly before Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom in 1935.
The novelization of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom states that Jones would send money to Wu Han's family. However, it is unknown which family this refers to.
Wu Han is killed by a bullet in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom but in LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures, he is killed by poison.
- Indiana Jones and the Dinosaur Eggs
- Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb
- Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (First appearance)
- Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom novel
- Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom comic
- Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom junior novel
- Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom: A Tale of High Adventure (Mentioned only)
- LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures (Non-canonical appearance)
- LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues (Non-canonical appearance) (Portable consoles exclusive)
- The Adventures of Indiana Jones
- Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom: The Illustrated Screenplay
- Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom Sourcebook
- (Listed under 'Kao Kan')
- Indiana Jones: The Ultimate Guide
- Top Trumps: Indiana Jones
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom novel
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Indiana Jones and the Dinosaur Eggs
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom Sourcebook
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom junior novel
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
- ↑ Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom comic
- ↑ David Yip interview at TheIndyExperience.com