Around seven thousand years ago, thirteen interdimensional beings with crystalline skeletons from the "space between spaces" became the gods of the Ugha tribe and chose them to build a great city that the conquistadors called El Dorado, otherwise known as Akator.
In 1546, a group of conquistadors led by Francisco de Orellana stole the one of the skulls along with other valuables from Akator. On the journey back to their ship, however, the Skull telepathically compelled Orellana to return it to the city, and the resulting argument with his countrymen led to their murder at Orellana's hand. Shortly thereafter, however, Orellana himself was killed by the guardians of a cemetery where Orellana had chased down his final victim. The skull was buried with him in his grave chamber near Nazca, Peru. The theft of the skull fell into legend stating that whomever returned it to Akator would be granted its power.
Centuries later, the crystal skull had become the obsession of Professor Harold Oxley, who intensely researched its connection to the Peruvian legend of the City of Gold. Oxley found the skull in 1957 and tried to return it to Akator, but couldn't make it past the mechanism that blocked the entrance to the city's temple and so once again buried it with Orellana at Chauchilla Cemetery. He was then captured by Soviet Special Forces under the command of Irina Spalko who sought to use the skull for psychic warfare. They first lured Marion Ravenwood and then Indiana Jones and Mutt Williams to Peru in order to find the skull. Jones and Williams retrieved it, but were immediately after captured by the Soviets, too. On the way to Akator, Jones, Ravenwood, Williams and Oxley escaped the Soviets and brought the skull back to the temple of Akator. They were, however, secretly followed by Spalko and the Russians. Spalko took the skull from Oxley and approached the crystalline skeleton that lacked a skull. The skull was then attracted by the skeleton and put itself on the top of its crystal spine, whereupon the being came back to life.
Powers and physical makeup
The Crystal Skull was incredibly magnetic, even attracting metals (such as gold) that were not magnetic by nature.
The skull also had psychic properties, including the ability to communicate on a primitive level with people who stared into its eyes for a prolonged period. These powers also affected non-humans: Oxley used it to divert an army of siafu intent on attacking him and Jones.
Behind the scenes
The Skull serves as the titular MacGuffin at the heart of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. It was a practical prop created by Stan Winston Studios, with some versions outfitted to physically "glow" from the eyes. The prop that is carried around throughout the film is actually of a different size than that attached to the head of the crystal skeleton at the film's ending. Director Steven Spielberg felt no one would notice.
The Skull later appeared in the 2011 Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode "Wookiee Hunt".
- Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
- Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull novel
- Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull junior novel
- Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull comic
- LEGO Indiana Jones and the Mystery of the Hidden Temple! (Non-canonical appearance)
- LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues (Non-canonical appearance)