Karen Allen, the actress who played Marion Ravenwood in “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” hopes to clear the air of a controversial scene between her character and Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones.
The massively popular adventure film debuted almost exactly 40 years ago in 1981 and introduced the world to the partnership and turmoil between Indy and Marion. As the films became popular and created three follow-up films, fans have discussed the duo’s first encounter and the implication that Jones had a romantic relationship with a minor girl.
When Jones first sees Marion at the bar, they discuss the outburst he had with his father after they entered into some sort of romantic relationship. Marion holds a grudge and yells at Jones, “I was a kid!”
“You knew what you were doing,” Jones slips back.
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The scene is kept vague and the nature of their previous romance is never explored in subsequent scenes. This has led many over the years to speculate that Jones imprisoned a girl who was inappropriately aged for him, with some even going so far as to call him a pedophile.
In a speech with Uproxx to mark the film’s 40th anniversary, Allen explained that she always thought her character was entitled to be angry at Jones, but stopped short of saying he was caring for a literal child.
“I think I say I was 16. I do not know. It was always what I imagined she was 16, he was 26. And he was her father’s student. And it’s very mysterious, she told the electrical outlet.
She went on to note that Steven Spielberg and George Lucas kept the moment vague on purpose to give the duo history once the audience first met them. As a result, she always thought the relationship might be less whirl than Ravenwood let.
“So we do not even know what it is. I mean, they could have kissed a few times and she was just completely thrown over and he just could not have wanted to get involved with such a young man,” she explained. “And maybe my dad would have been furious at him. I mean, what’s great about it is that we do not know what the circumstances are. So, of course, she cared deeply for him. He might have taken care of her, too. But in the end, it decided it was a dangerous situation and he would not be involved. “
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She added: “I mean, when something is as vague as that, you can color it the way you want to color it. I tend to color it, more or less, that it was pretty innocent. When she says, ‘ It was wrong and you knew it. ‘ “I mean, I think maybe he led her on somehow. But when she says she was a child, I think she meant she was 16. Something like that.”
The star ended her thoughts by unequivocally noting that she does not think of him as a pedophile.
Either way, Jones and Ravenwood revived their romance at the end of “Raiders,” but she did not return to “Temple of Doom” or “The Last Crusade.” However, Ravenwood surprised audiences in 2008 when she appeared in “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” to introduce Jones to their son. Ford is currently filming the untitled fifth installment of the franchise.
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Allen has not been confirmed to reproduce her role, but she recently told Forbes she would be open to bringing Ravenwood back in her own spin-off TV show.
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“It never came up, but I would love it. I would love to do something similar that developed the character deeper,” she told the outlet. “Well, if Disney is out there listening.”