Do You Need to Watch Indiana Jones 1-4 Before Seeing Dial of Destiny?

Are you wondering if watching Indiana Jones 1-4 is necessary before viewing Dial of Destiny? Here's the answer for you.

by Matthew Kevin Mitchell
Image: Walt Disney Motion Picture Studios

If you plan to watch Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, you might be curious whether you need to catch up on the first four Indiana Jones movies. With over 40 years of franchise history, including TV shows, books, and comics, you may need to watch a lot to grasp the plot and characters fully. But what exactly is essential viewing?

What Should You Watch Before Seeing Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny?

Image: Paramount Pictures

It may come as a surprise, but to fully understand Dial of Destiny, watching both Raiders of the Lost Ark and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (in that order) from the Indiana Jones franchise is essential. These films include crucial plot points, significant events, and essential characters referenced in the last movie. Watching these two films is critical to understanding Indy’s current situation and the reasons behind his life choices in between films.

Which Characters Return in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny?

Image: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

However, if you don’t have the time to watch or don’t want to watch these movies, we have provided you with a reference of the essential characters and how they fit into the franchise so you won’t be lost watching the Dial of Destiny.

*** Spoiler Warning – everything below this should be treated as spoilers for Dial of Destiny ***

Marion Ravenwood

Image: Paramount Pictures

Marion Ravenwood, also known as Marion “Mary” Williams, was the daughter of an American archaeologist named Abner Ravenwood. She was married to Colin Williams and later to Indiana Jones, with whom she had a son named Henry III, nicknamed “Mutt.” She first appears in Raiders of the Lost Ark and then in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull but makes a significant appearance in Dial of Destiny.

Mutt Williams

Image: Paramount Pictures

Meet Henry “Mutt” Williams, also known as Henry Walton Jones III. He was the son of Marion Ravenwood and Indiana Jones, born out of wedlock. Sadly, his stepfather Colin Williams passed away during WWII, making him go down a troubled path, shown during his only appearance during Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Though Mutt doesn’t appear in the Dial of Destiny, he is frequently alluded to because of his death after enlisting in the army between Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Dial of Destiny.

Related: Why is Shia Labeouf Not in Indiana Jones 5?


Image: Paramount Pictures

According to Indiana Jones, Sallah Mohammed Faisel el-Kahir was the most skilled digger in Egypt. The two have been friends since their teenage years and have gone on countless adventures together, many of which were not depicted in the films. Sallah first appeared in Raiders of the Lost Ark, is only referenced in a picture during Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and then appears in Dial of Destiny.

- This article was updated on June 26th, 2023

About The Author

Matthew Kevin Mitchell has been a contributing writer for Attack of the Fanboy and PC Invasion since 2022. Matthew primarily covers Manga like One Piece, horror movies like Scream, and survival horror games like Dead by Daylight. His favorite moment came during his first press event covering Scream 6 for AotF. He hails from Denver, Colorado, where he received his Bachelor of Science in Information Technology from Regis University. When he isn’t scaring himself silly or writing, he loves to play ice hockey, spoil his dog, and drink an unhealthy amount of coffee.