‘Indiana Jones’ theory suggests ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ was responsible for World War II

Raiders of the Ark screenshot opening angry ark
Image via LucasFilm

Could Indiana Jones have prevented World War II? Better yet, did the events of Raiders of the Lost Ark serve as the war’s catalyst? That’s the theory currently turning heads on Reddit.

After more than 40 years, Indiana Jones is still thrilling fans and making headlines. Although Harrison Ford is 80 years old, he’s cracking his iconic whip one last time for the upcoming Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

With so much attention being placed on the franchise, naturally, fans are drawn back to the classic films that made Indiana Jones famous in the first place. At the top of that list is the original 1981 blockbuster, Raiders of the Lost Ark

In Indy’s first adventure, he famously raced the Nazis to find the mythical Ark of the Covenant. Said to hold the two tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments that God gave to Moses, the plot revolved around the hidden religious artifact and the supposed power held within. As part of the movie, Hitler sends forces to Egypt where a rival archaeologist, Belloq, believes he has discovered the Ark’s resting place. 

Despite Indy’s best efforts (and punches), the Nazis get their hands on the Ark with plans to unseal it in front of the Führer himself. However, Belloq convinces the German officers to first open it on an island near Crete. Of course, things go awry, and the Nazis are melted and vaporized by vengeful angels in one of cinema’s most famous scenes.

What would have happened if the Ark had been taken back to Berlin? One Redditor is confident that there would not have been a WWII had that occurred. In fact, he blames Belloq for causing the war.

It’s an interesting theory that has been pondered by viewers since 1981. Since apparently, God did not like anyone touching his things, it’s safe to say it would have been a similar outcome had the Ark been opened in Berlin, only with Hitler and his top officers all having their faces melted.

Historically, Germany invaded Poland in 1939, thus setting the stage for WWII, and Raiders takes place in 1936. With Hitler and the Nazi regime vaporized, we can assume no one else would have given the command to send forces into neighboring countries. 

Of course, there’s an argument to be made that Indiana Jones actually had no real effect on the outcome other than speeding up the Nazis’ plans. In either case, they’re fun theories to ponder as you wait for Dial of Destiny to premiere in theaters on June 30, 2023.