The following contains spoilers for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, now playing in theaters.

Indiana Jones has returned to the big screen for one final outing in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. The fifth film in the franchise unites star Harrison Ford with Phoebe Waller-Bridge as Indy's goddaughter, Helena Shaw, and Mads Mikkelsen as thne new villain, Jürgen Voller. Behind the camera is Logan director James Mangold, who is due to return to Lucasfilm to work on their other major franchise in the not-too-distant future.

As was revealed at Star Wars Celebration 2023, Mangold is set to direct an upcoming Star Wars movie about the dawn of the Jedi Order. While Mangold has already shown he can handle big franchise blockbusters with his work on Hugh Jackman's Wolverine movies, the Indiana Jones series' close ties to Star Wars will surely have fans looking to Dial of Destiny for an indication of what Mangold's Jedi origin story might look like. While Dial of Destiny might not outshine other entries in the Indiana Jones franchise, there are some good signs for the upcoming Star Wars movie.

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Dial of Destiny Brings a New Tone to Indiana Jones

Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones in Dial of Destiny looking at the camera.

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny opens with a bit of classic Indy action from the hero's glory days, made possible thanks to some impressive digital de-aging. After this exciting opening sequence though, the film shifts gears. Jumping forward from World War II to 1969, the film finds an older Indiana Jones retiring from teaching and looking forward to a quieter life, until his goddaughter Helena shows up, looking for Archimedes' Dial. However, Helena is not the only one after the Dial and Indy soon finds himself accused of murder and dragged into an adventure to recover the Dial and clear his name.

Dial of Destiny's adventure doesn't feel like a classic Indiana Jones escapade, though. Indy is markedly more reluctant to set out on this quest than he has been in the past and his advanced years are certainly catching up with him, leading him to question why he has let himself get pulled into another crazy adventure. There's a sadness weighing on this Indiana Jones as well, having lost his son to the Vietnam War, which has led to the breakdown of his marriage. It's a far more somber movie than the others in the series, but one that retains plenty of pathos, all of which bodes well for James Mangold's Star Wars movie.

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James Mangold Can Take Star Wars Into New Territory

On the left, the director James Mangold. On the right, an illustration from comic 'Dawn of the Jedi; Force War 5' depicting Jedi in battle.

Much like Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, James Mangold's Star Wars movie will need to adopt a tone that is distinct from other films in the franchise. Mangold has likened his Star Wars film to biblical epics such as The Ten Commandments, giving fans some idea of the tone he is striving for. Given that the film takes place thousands of years before any other canon title in the Star Wars franchise and will address the very beginning of the Jedi Order, it is sure to be steeped in more mysticism than other Star Wars movies and will have to depict a more primitive, austere galaxy.

Although Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is about providing an ending to a beloved character and Mangold's Star Wars movie is about finding a beginning, both films take established franchises in new directions. Both films also require a quieter, more solemn approach than has been seen before. Mangold's heartfelt handling of Indiana Jones coming to the end of his career is the perfect reassurance that he is the right choice to tell the story of how the first Jedi forever changed the galaxy far, far away.

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is now playing in theaters.