A long time ago, a third Indiana Jones movie came along, and was meant to bring the series to a close as a trilogy. So much so that they went ahead and called the film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The final shot of the movie literally showed our hero, as played by Harrison Ford, riding off into the sunset. A perfectly scripted ending. Only, that wasn’t the end. In fact, a fifth Indiana Jones movie will be in theaters this summer. While we wait for that one, let’s catch up with recent Oscar winner Ke Huy Quan and find out how he feels about appearing in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, but not getting asked back for Last Crusade.
As many of you likely know, a very young Ke Huy Quan appeared as Indiana Jones’ sidekick, Short Round, in the second Indy film, the darker and edgier Temple of Doom. He was a terrific counterpart to the calm, cool Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford), and often stole the show with his enthusiasm, his adventurous approach, and his comedy. Quan recently was asked by Variety how he felt about not returning to the series when Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade rolled around, given the fact that the movie made room for returning characters Dr. Marcus Brody (Denholm Elliott) and Sallah (John Rhys-Davies). And he admitted:
I was secretly hoping. But honestly, Steven has given me so much — not one movie, but two movies. And they were the first ones to put an Asian face in a big Hollywood movie.
The second movie Ke Huy Quan mentions is The Goonies, which cast him as the inventive Data in the race against time to retrieve a pirate’s treasure and save their neighborhood from developers. Quan was so endearing in both movies, you would have been safe to assume that he’d end up in endless movies for years to come. But as we all know now, they couldn’t even get Goonies 2 off the ground, despite years of trying.
There’s really only one reason why it might have been odd to see Short Round in the third Indiana Jones movie. People forget the fact that Temple of Doom was a prequel to Raiders of the Lost Ark, so the character’s age would have had to have been addressed. At the same time, The Last Crusade began filming in 1988, when Quan would have been 17 and easily could have played a young-adult version of his classic character. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be.
Even with Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny being one of many upcoming 2023 blockbusters heading to theaters, there have been other calls for ways that Ke Huy Quan could continue playing Short Round, even today. Some fans have pitched the idea of a Disney+ series catching up with Short Round, who possibly followed in the footsteps of his adventurous mentor. It makes as much sense as an Obi-Wan Kenobi series for Ewan McGregor (and honestly, has the potential to be much better than that series turned out).
For now, check out Ke Huy Quan’s incredible performance in the Best Picture-winning Everything Everywhere All At Once. And celebrate the performance that we got, instead of the one that is lost to time.