Apparently eager for a fight, the huge Bavarian stepped in after the first mechanic had been taken down by Jones, and challenged the American to a fistfight.
Although he easily outmatched Jones, he unintentionally saved the archaeologist's life at one point. When the Flying Wing's pilot was about to shoot Jones, the mechanic unknowingly stepped in between Jones and the pilot, blocking his line of fire before he was knocked unconscious by Marion Ravenwood. Although Jones' blows eventually managed to break the Nazi's nose, they had no effect as the man effortlessly overpowered Jones, pummeling him and knocking him to the ground several times.
Finding the challenge all too easy, the German Mechanic ordered the archaeologist to fight back, unaware that the rotating plane was drawing the propellers ever closer. Bemused by Jones ducking for safety, the mechanic turned around to look behind him and was immediately cut down by the spinning blades.
Behind the scenes
The German Mechanic was portrayed by the late professional wrestler and stuntman Pat Roach in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Roach also portrayed the Giant Sherpa in the same film, and later went to portray the Chief Guard in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and the Gestapo Agent in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Despite being credited as "1st Mechanic," Roach's character is actually the second of the two mechanics to appear onscreen, because the Second German Mechanic was the first mechanic to appear in the Flying Wing scene, even if its name indicates otherwise.
In the third draft of the film's original script, written by Lawrence Kasdan, the German Mechanic's death was the same, but it was a little different from what happened in the final film. Instead of being killed by propellers by chance for not being attentive, Indiana Jones knocks out the mechanic and pushes him toward the propellers, staining blood in the process. This action, however, happens in the film's novelization published by Campbell Black.
In Campbell Black's novelization, this mechanic is described as being a young man with tattoos, thought of as a kid by Marion Ravenwood. He is not as tough as he is in the film, but is nonetheless persistent in his fight with Indiana Jones. In the Raiders comic book adaptation, the German Mechanic's demise is drastically changed. Instead of being killed by the Flying Wing's propellers, he is knocked out by the chocks of the Flying Wing, firing his gun to the plane's fuel tank, causing the Flying Wing's explosion and killing him and his companion in the process.
The Mechanic appears as "Enemy Boxer" as an end-of-level boss in LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures who can only be defeated when the player is carrying an anvil. It is possible for Indy to defeat him without getting hurt, unlike Indy's confrontation with him in the film. In the game's sequel, however, the German Mechanic is absent from the story because the Flying Wing scene is omitted (although that scene represent the film in the box's selection). However, both he and the Flying Wing are playable characters and vehicles.
In the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! at Disney World, the Second German Mechanic is absent from the plane fight scene. The German Mechanic is thus the one who spots Indy while working on the plane's wing. He is also directing traffic for the Flying Wing as it prepares to land. Roach reprised his role as the mechanic until his death in 2004. Since Roach's death, the stuntmen that play the German Mechanic vary. The Mechanic's death alternates in different performances of the show; he either meets his film demise of being killed by the Flying Wing's propellers (accomplished through a trapdoor) or is shot by Marion with the Flying Wing's gun.
In Indiana Jones' Greatest Adventures, the plane fight is omitted, but the German Mechanic still appears in Cairo as an end of level boss in the streets at night, which occurs before Indy finds the Well of Souls. As the player jumps on a horsecart, the mechanic hops on and kicks away the player's gun, and the player is forced to have a fist fight with the mechanic. When he dies, the level is accomplished. As with LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures, it's possible to defeat him without getting hurt in Greatest Adventures.
- Raiders of the Lost Ark novel (First appearance)
- Raiders of the Lost Ark
- Raiders of the Lost Ark comic
- Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark junior novel
- Indiana Jones' Greatest Adventures
- LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures (Non-canonical appearance) (As "Enemy Boxer")
- LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues (Non-canonical appearance) (As "Enemy Boxer")
- Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings (Indirect mention)
- Raiders of the Lost Ark Sourcebook (As "Chief Mechanic")