It’s safe to say Indiana Jones is one of Hollywood’s most beloved properties. Along with Star Wars‘ Han Solo, this character made Harrison Ford a household name and became the gold standard for treasure hunt movies in the ’80s — a standard the entertainment industry struggles to replicate to this very day. It’s why, despite Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull missing the mark, fans are eager for the new movie, as well as the planned video game.
There’s a lot more on the docket, with Disney+ working on a TV show linked to the swashbuckling relic-hunter. Now, while many assume it could focus on Young Indy, the House of Mouse can carve out something fresher and more nuanced by passing the baton to none other than Ke Huy Quan’s Short Round.
Ke Huy Quan Can Make Short Round a Hit Again
Ke Huy Quan portrayed Short Round in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, helping Indy fight off the threat of Mola Ram. He was the emotional heartbeat and moral compass of the film, saving Indy a couple of times as they recovered sacred stones in India. Fans lapped up Short Round, but sadly, he didn’t feature in any more movies down the line. In fact, Quan didn’t appear in Hollywood that much thereafter.
However, he’s experiencing a renaissance after appearing in Netflix’s Finding ‘Ohana, which focused on Hawaiian youths on their own treasure hunt, and in the highly acclaimed Everything Everywhere All at Once as Waymond. There, he helped his beloved Evelyn save the Multiverse while getting some badass fight sequences of his own. Seeing as he’s also due to star in the Russo brothers’ Netflix robot thriller, The Electric State, as well as in Loki Season 2, he’ll definitely be in the pop culture sphere in the next few years. Thus, Disney+ could capitalize and max out on him as a former sidekick now all grown up.
Short Round Can Chart Other Worldly Indy Adventures
A more patient, dimensional Short Round, though, can become a spiritual Indy successor, which non-canon stories did paint him as when he became an archeology expert. Disney+ can make this official, shaping him as a mentor to his younger family members or those belonging to other Indy allies, such as Wu Han and Sallah. This way, while Indy’s movies focus on him, Short Round can establish a more global legacy, making Indy a symbol. Short Round’s team can explore other countries in Asia, or even South America, especially as Short Round loves mystical tales.
There are the stones in India that could be used again, or other Hindu gods, as Short Round and Indy already experienced the likes of Shiva and Kali. This way, the franchise can incorporate more cultures and people of color, and add more diversity to the series, rather than pivot on the touchy white savior angle Indy often cuts. Such an inclusive direction makes Short Round just as important a teacher as Indy, while adding to the tapestry and possibly informing Indy’s god-daughter, Helena, for the fifth Indiana Jones film. Ultimately, Short Round can set the stage for a reunion with Indy this way, maybe even seeding out some of Helena’s origins. This allows Disney+ to follow the Marvel Studios formula for the likes of Ms. Marvel and Kate Bishop, properly bridging the generational divide.
Read More: Indiana Jones’ TV Series Should Make Short Round Indy’s Successor