An Arab Swordsman, also known as the Cairo Swordsman, was an assassin working for two Nazi intelligence agents operating in Cairo in 1936. He was a member of the city's underworld, who had a reputation as a feared assassin and muscle-man, but his actions led him to meet his death at hands of the famed American archaeologist Indiana Jones.
An Arab swordsman was based in Cairo, Egypt, operating as an assassin and bandit in the city’s underworld. In 1936, the swordsman was hired by two Nazi intelligence agents operating in Cairo. Along with eleven other thugs, the Arab Swordsman was under orders to kill American archaeologist Indiana Jones and his associate Marion Ravenwood and retrieve the Headpiece to the Staff of Ra. After six fellow goons failed to complete the task and allowed Jones to escape their grasp, the swordsman challenged the archaeologist to a duel during his frantic search for the kidnapped Marion.
A busy Cairo marketplace suddenly parted as the black-robed man confronted Jones with an over-sized scimitar. Giving a small laugh, he began displaying his skill with his weapon to intimidate the American. However, Jones, deciding he had no time for a protracted fight against the flamboyant swordsman, simply took out his revolver and shot him. The Cairo onlookers cheered Jones' action and ran off with the assassin's sword.
Behind the scenes
The scene depicting the swordsman’s death in Raiders of the Lost Ark as shot for the film was dramatically shortened; the film's script, written by Lawrence Kasdan, originally intended to have Indy fight the swordsman with lengthy choreography and demonstration of his whip. However, Harrison Ford, along with most of the crew, was suffering from dysentery. Ford then suggested they "just shoot the sucker", and Steven Spielberg agreed, resulting in the biggest laugh of the film and one of its most memorable sequences.
In both Campbell Black's novelization of the film and the comic book adaptation, the Arab Swordsman is absent from the story. Indy never fights him in Cairo as he witnesses the "death" of Marion Ravenwood immediately after getting rid of the bandits who first try to kill him.
The Arab Swordsman's scene is humorously referenced in the prequel Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. After Indy escapes the temple, two Thuggee swordsmen challenge him (even briefly showing off their skill with the sword much like the Arab Swordsman), and he smugly reaches for his gun. However, this time Indy can do nothing but smile sheepishly and fight them with his whip after he remembers that his gun was lost by Willie Scott earlier in the film during the Shanghai car chase. The music cue confirms the homage to Raiders of the Lost Ark, despite the second film actually taking place a year earlier to the first.
The player fights this character in the Cairo mission of Indiana Jones' Greatest Adventures. The swordsman will not attack the player, and as in the film, the player defeats him by shooting him with the pistol. In LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures, the Arab Swordsman's role is the same as in the movie in that Indy finds and defeats him. This is shown in a cutscene, but in actual gameplay of the Cairo level the player can encounter multiple swordsmen. However, in the DS version of the game, the Arab Swordsman, depicted as an old man, is never shot by Indy and fights both Indy and Marion.
In the game’s sequel, the Arab Swordsman is seen in a cutscene, wearing a turban, and blocks all of Indy's bullets, but after a monkey steals his sword, Sallah takes advantage of this and knocks out the Arab Swordsman with a banana. In actual gameplay, the player must use other bandits’ swords to disarm the multiple swordsmen who attack them before being able to kill them for good. In the LEGO set depicting the scenes in Cairo, the swordsman wears a turban just like in the second LEGO game.
- Indiana Jones' Greatest Adventures
- Raiders of the Lost Ark (First appearance)
- LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures (Non-canonical appearance)
- LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues (Non-canonical appearance)
- Star Wars Galactic Spy (Non-canonical appearance)
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Raiders of the Lost Ark
- ↑ Raiders of the Lost Ark novelization
- ↑ Raiders of the Lost Ark comic book
- ↑ Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
- ↑ Indiana Jones' Greatest Adventures
- ↑ LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures
- ↑ LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues
- ↑ LEGO Indiana Jones