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The subject of this article was cancelled.
This article covers an Indiana Jones medium that was cancelled or replaced by another product. Cancelled material is not usually canon; however, aspects of such material sometimes find their way into later products and thus become canon.

Indiana Jones and the Saucermen from Mars was written to be the fourth film during the 1990s until it was eventually abandoned. However, some elements of the story were retained in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (the Nevada opening in particular).

Plot summary[]

Prologue: Borneo, 1949[]

After battling river pirates and a rival archaeologist, Indy and his friend Kabul stop at a local fishing port to pick up Dr. Elaine McGregor, a linguist who Indy has been hired to escort to a jungle temple. Indy is instantly smitten with the confident brunette, and through various adventures, the two rough-edged academics fall in love.


Back stateside, Indy and Elaine are about to tie the knot, despite barely knowing one another. Indy's former flames, Marion and Willie, his old friend Sallah, Henry Jones, Sr and a now grown-up Short Round are there to witness an event they thought they'd never see. As Indy and his father stand at the altar waiting for Elaine to walk down the aisle, she leaves — still dressed in her gown — and hops in a car with a mysterious man.

A heartbroken Indy searches Elaine's office and finds clues that point to her going to the White Sands Proving Grounds in New Mexico, the military base where the Trinity nuclear bomb tests were held. Indy gets caught snooping around the base and is interrogated by Bob Bolander, the same man that took Elaine away from the wedding.

When Elaine is called to verify Indy’s story, she realizes she could actually use his help. Despite Bolander’s resistance, Indy is allowed to join a top secret project researching debris found at the crash site of a flying saucer. Indy is skeptical, but his interest is piqued when he's shown the charred remains of alien bodies, as well as a strange stone cylinder. The cylinder is covered in a series of rings and complex code written in ancient languages including early Egyptian hieroglyphics and Sanskrit. In addition, the cylinder is a great source of power, able to turn on a radio or illuminate a light bulb by proximity alone.

Thanks to a room-sized computer, Indy and Elaine crack the coded symbols on the cylinder. One section is latitude and longitude coordinates for nearby Mt. Keebo. Indy surmises that perhaps the aliens were trying to take the cylinder to the mountain when they crashed. The rest of the code seems to be descending numbers, like the countdown for a bomb. That can't be good.

Soon after, Elaine and the cylinder are taken and placed aboard a plane full of Russian spies. Indy tries to rescue her, but is about to be tossed out the bomb bay doors when a flying saucer appears and tries to take control of the plane. Its plan is foiled, though, when Air Force jets are scrambled, leading to a high-speed dogfight.

Later, our heroes have a close encounter of the third kind after their truck is lifted off the ground by a beam coming from the bottom of the saucer. When Indy approaches the aliens to return the cylinder, whose rings are now glowing because the countdown has begun, the aliens back away and keep saying, “Mukara. Mukara.” Being a linguist, Elaine realizes that Mukara is Sanskrit for “dangerous.”

Suddenly, explosions rock the area as Army tanks and missiles under the command of Bolander destroy the UFO. Bolander takes the cylinder and he and his convoy head towards Mt. Keebo. Indy and Elaine – as well as a Russian spy and a new flying saucer – give chase.

Just before going up the mountain, the Army attacks the flying saucer with everything they’ve got. But this time, when the shooting stops, the ship is unharmed. It begins to rise above the ridgeline and we see that it’s a gigantic mothership that fills the sky. Bolander hightails it in his Jeep, but the rest of the convoy is frozen in horror. The saucer is able to conjure up a great wind that sweeps through the valley, flipping trucks and tanks like a child’s toys, and burying men in the desert sand.

On Mt. Keebo, just before dawn, three saucers appear in the sky, each emitting a green light focused on the summit. Bolander takes the cylinder into the green lights and holds it above his head as his body surges with power. Suddenly, a bright white light shoots out of the cylinder. Bolander points it at the Russian, who melts before our eyes.

But then, the sun breaks the horizon, and it seems to invigorate the saucers, which glow brighter and brighter. Bolander holds the cylinder above his head again, hoping that its power will have some effect on the spacecraft. Instead, a beam fires out of the bottom of the cylinder, splitting Bolander in two. The cylinder’s white light becomes blinding, the hum of the saucers becomes deafening, and then, in a flash...the saucers and the cylinder are gone.

Back at home, Elaine and Indy finally get married with the same old friends in attendance. When they get in the car, Short Round drives the happy couple off into the sunset.



Behind the scenes[]

Jeb Stuart

Jeb Stuart, the script's writer.

George Lucas began writing the story in September 1993, and Jeb Stuart wrote a first draft (where Indy's love interest is an archaeologist named Molly, and Indiana has to protect a live alien). Stuart was replaced by Jeffrey Boam in 1995. The following year, Lucas and Spielberg (who already had troubles with aliens as the MacGuffin) decided that the premise had been undermined by the release of flying saucer film Independence Day, which was breaking box office records, so stepped back to re-evaluate the story.

A character in the script was named "Bob Bolander", a likely reference to the "Steve Bolander" from Lucas' film American Graffiti.

In Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Indiana Jones actually quotes the title, "Saucermen from Mars?" in the dialogue.


Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Novel · Junior novel · The Movie Storybook · The Official Magazine · Scholastic Readers · Interactive Play-a-Sound
Partial adaptations
Meet Indy · Meet Mutt · Race for Akator
Indy's Adventures · Traps and Snares · Great Escapes · The Search For Buried Treasure
Soundtrack (The Soundtracks Collection) · An Unabridged Production
Comic · 1 · 2 · TPB · Indiana Jones Comic · Escape from the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull!
Mobile game · Didj · LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues · Trading cards · Akator Temple Race Game
Activity books
Ready for Action! · A New Adventure! · Activity Book With Stickers
Activity Book · Activity Annual · Winter Activity Annual
Sticker Collection · Annual 2009 · Annual 2010 · The Greatest Adventures of Indiana Jones
Behind the scenes
The Return of a Legend · Pre-Production · Production Diary (abridged cut) · Warrior Makeup · The Crystal Skulls · Iconic Props · The Effects of Indy · Adventures in Post Production · Closing: Team Indy
The Complete Making of Indiana Jones · A Photographic Journal
Script development
Indiana Jones and the Saucermen from Mars · Indiana Jones and the City of the Gods
Home video
DVD (Complete Adventure Collection) · Blu-ray (The Complete Adventures) · 4K (4-Movie Collection)
Other material and merchandise
Toy line · Collector's Guide · Piano Accompaniment