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What Could Indiana Jones 5's Dial Of Destiny Be A Reference To?

The last time the part-time professor, part-time archaeologist Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones Jr. (Harrison Ford) appeared on the silver screen, it didn't go over well. Despite Steven Spielberg returning to the director's chair, the inclusion of legacy characters, and several nods to the first three "Indiana Jones" movies, 2008's "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" didn't click with moviegoers. Maybe it was the aliens or, perhaps, Shia LaBeouf's character, Henry "Mutt" Williams. Who's to say? The point is, Indy's film franchise didn't win out with its supposed final chapter.

Nevertheless, Lucasfilm, Disney, and director James Mangold are eager to add yet another — and this time, truly final — entry into the "Indiana Jones" saga. Titled "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny," this film takes Indy, along with his trusty fedora and whip, to the 1960s, where he embarks on one last adventure. According to the movie's first trailer, old friends will return, newcomers will join the fray, and villains will emerge in what promises to be an intriguing sequel. Then, of course, there's the MacGuffin that'll thrust the entire narrative forward, the "Dial of Destiny" itself.

So, what exactly is the "Dial of Destiny," and why should we care about it as much as the Ark of the Covenant, the Holy Grail, and Indy's other iconic trinkets? Here's what we've come up with to explain what this artifact could be.

Indiana Jones and the Antikythera Mechanism?

When one searches the internet for the "Dial of Destiny," two things pop up. First is a host of things related to "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny," and second is a book by author Frederick Luther Koontz titled "The Dial of Destiny." Originally published in 1911, the entire book is available for free online, so feel free to give it a read if you wish. Although, if you're not purely interested in checking out a new book, you might find this a fruitless endeavor, seeing as the story doesn't seem like it has much to do with the next "Indiana Jones" movie. It looks like Koontz's book is a dead end.

Moving on, if we look at the new "Dial of Destiny" trailer, we can see someone holding a circular object among some old ruins for a quick second. While it's not an exact match, some theorize that this trinket could be the Antikythera Mechanism: a series of gears used to predict future astronomical positions that dates back to the time of Ancient Greece. The mysterious object, whose creator and their reasons for creating it remain unknown, was discovered underwater off the coast of Antikythera in 1901, and in the decades since its discovery, researchers have gone above and beyond to learn as much as they can about this remarkable piece of technology.

So, how likely is it that the Antikythera Mechanism will factor into Indy's next quest, and for what reason? Let's dig a little deeper.

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny might be a time travel story

To lend credence to the theory that Indiana Jones, as well as his adversaries, are after the Antikythera Mechanism, let's look at the trailer itself once more. In addition to seeing an object that resembles it, we also get a brief shot of Indy looking at a statue (shown above). For those familiar with Greek mythology, this sculpture looks quite similar to the deity Athena, who's commonly depicted wearing a chest plate adorned with snakes while holding a spear in one hand with an owl on the opposite arm. If he wants the Antikythera Mechanism, Antikythera, Greece would be a great place to look. That is, if it wasn't already recovered by this point in the timeline.

Thus, we come to our next question: if the Antikythera Mechanism is the titular "Dial of Destiny," why doesn't Indy retrieve it from those researching it in the 1960s? It could be that he's not in the 1960s and has somehow wound up in the distant past. For proof of this, we look again to the trailer, where the potential Antikythera Mechanism is in relatively new condition. Then, there are set photos featuring Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones and Phoebe Waller-Bridge as Helena, along with a bunch of extras dressed as soldiers from Ancient Rome (via The Daily Mail UK). Both are indicators that time travel could be on the table in this movie.

With all of this in mind, could "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny" feature a version of the Antikythera Mechanism — the "Dial of Destiny" in question — capable of moving people through time? Or is this all just tinfoil hat speculation? We'll just have to wait and see when the highly-anticipated finale to the "Indiana Jones" series reaches cinemas on June 30, 2023.