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"Parts of it were built earlier as fortifications and watch towers but Emperor Qin conceived the idea of one continuous wall to mark the limits of his empire."
Miss Seymour[src]

The Great Wall of China is a large wall built in northern China. While segments of walls and other fortifications had been built prior to 221 BC, Emperor Qin Shi Huang designed to make one continuous 3,000 mile wall to mark off his unified empire and prevent attacks from northern invaders. Sections were built from local materials - some segments were made of rammed earth, while others were made of stone. Watchtowers were created every hundred yards for sentries. Later dynasties expanded and rebuilt the wall, sometimes moving it to fit better borders. The Ming dynasty ordered extensive rebuilding in the 15th and 16th centuries. Common estimates of the current wall's full length usually are slightly less than 4,000 miles.[1]

Around the turn of the 20th century, the Great Wall was the subject of a hoax created by some bored American journalists, who reported that China was planning on dismantling the wall to replace it with a road, and was seeking American companies to bid on the project. The hoax was later added to, claiming that the story has sparked the Boxer Rebellion.[2]

In the 20th century, while some sections of the wall had fallen into disrepair and had been even destroyed for its building materials, the section near Ba Da Ling, outside of Peking, was a popular tourist destination.

Adventures at the Great Wall of China[]

"Wow, it goes on forever!"
Indiana Jones[src]
Excursion to the wall

Indiana and Anna Jones, Mr. Li, and Miss Seymour on an excursion to the Great Wall.

In 1910, Indiana Jones traveled from Peking to the section of the wall at Ba Da Ling with his mother, tutor Miss Seymour and local guide and interpreter Li Shung Sui. On top of the wall, Jones was amazed with its length, and hoped to be the second person to have walked its length. Running along its edge, Jones leaped off the side, an act which scared his mother. He jumped up to surprise her, revealing that at that point, the ground was only a few feet down.[3]

In 1935, while flying away from Shanghai, a Ford Tri-Motor Airplane carrying Indiana Jones, Willie Scott, and Short Round passed by a section of the Great Wall on the way to Chungking.[4]

Behind the scenes[]

The flight scenes in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom depicting the Ford Tri-Motor flying past the Great Wall of China present a geographic anomaly. The Great Wall is located in northern China, and would not be in a direct flight route from Shanghai (eastern China) to the Chungking stopover in the south. Either the plane took an even more circuitous route than indicated, or that in the world of Indiana Jones, part of the Great Wall extends further south than in the real world.

In earlier drafts of the film's script, written by Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz, a motorcycle chase sequence was included where Lao Che and his men would chase Indiana Jones across the Great Wall of China. However, the Chinese government refused to give permission to director Steven Spielberg to shoot at the landmark, and the idea evolved into the Shanghai street chase of the final film. A motorcycle chase would eventually find its way into both Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

The Temple of Doom scenes with the Great Wall were filmed using a model plane and a miniature landscape diorama of the Great Wall.



Notes and references[]

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