Indiana Jones: The Ultimate Guide
by James Luceno
Published by Dorling Kindersley
Adrick's Rating: 4 out of 4
The four movie adventures of Indiana Jones continue to thrill audiences around the world. The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones TV series as well as comic books, novels, and incredible video games have further expanded Indy's world.
Indiana Jones: The Ultimate Guide allows you to travel with Indiana Jones from his early escapades as a young boy to his adventures as an eminent archeologist and daredevil hero. Uncover information about the characters Indy meets along the way, join him on his thrilling chases and close escapes and dig deep for fabled treasures.
Ah, for once, there is truth in advertising. DK’s Indiana Jones: The Ultimate Guide is exactly that—and not just because it’s virtually the only comprehensive book on everyone’s favorite whip wielding archeologist. James Luceno, whose Star Wars books rarely disappoint (and who is a bit of an adventurer in his own right), has done an amazing job compiling nearly every piece of Indiana Jones lore. Although the four Indy movies take center stage here, Luceno provides an excellent rundown on the Young Indiana Jones TV series, covers the Dark Horse comics in great detail, and works in references to the novels, the Marvel comics, the video games, the theme park rides, the Young Indy young adult series, and even the rare foreign language novels and comics.
And while Luceno’s reference-packed text is exciting to read, it’s only half the book. Like most of the other entries in DK’s Ultimate Guide series, the Indiana Jones edition relies heavily on images. In addition to some excellent screenshots from the movies and TV show, there are also spectacular cutaway illustrations by Richard Bonson and Richard Chasemore (Chasemore has also done some great work for DK’s Star Wars Locations and Cross Sections series) which reveal the inner workings of the spectacular set pieces of the original trilogy. Maps for each movie reveal Indy’s journey, and Luceno steps in again to fill us in on the details of Indy’s trip and the real-life history of some locations.
All in all, this is probably the best Indiana Jones book ever made, and a must-have for fans.
I liked this book so much that I almost hate to nitpick. Harrison Ford’s reprisal of the role in one episode of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles is all but unmentioned, with no screenshots or background information on the characters in that segment given. The timeline is also inconsistent with both the recently-published Lost Journal of Indiana Jones, and the reedited versions of the Young Indiana Jones episodes...and even with itself on at least one point.
The biggest disappointment, though, is that the Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull section is a little light. It does an excellent job of setting up the characters for the new film, but there’s very little that would spoil the film itself. There are plenty of screenshots, but nothing from the comic adaptation, no maps, and no cutaway illustrations. This makes a second edition including those additions almost inevitable, and as much as I loved this book, I would hate to have to buy it all over again.
There’s only one thing worse than Nazis, and that’s undead Nazis. Ugh…