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"Adios, señor."
―Satipo, leaving Indiana Jones to die.[src]

Satipo was a Peruvian guide and thief who, along with his partner Barranca and several porters, helped guide American archaeologist Indiana Jones to the Temple of the Chachapoyan Warriors in 1936.


Early scammings[]

Satipo ran scams in the South American jungles with his partner Barranca, with whom he engaged in any con, heist or dirty job they could find in the jungle. They frequently hung out at Machete Landing in between expeditions.[5] The two con men had contacts throughout Peru, Colombia and Venezuela who set up jobs for them,[6] and they often guided adventurers into the jungle only to then murder or rob them.[4]

Around 1935,[7] Barranca and Satipo were hired by the French mercenary archaeologist René Emile Belloq to steal an incomplete map to the Temple of the Chachapoyan Warriors from one of the campsites of the Princeton University archaeologist Forrestal. However, under the pretext that the map was useless for being incomplete and couldn't be used to find more treasure, Satipo and Barranca kept it for themselves, wishing to tempt some poor treasure hunter to retrieve the prize and then steal it upon recovering it. Belloq worked out the general area that Forrestal was looking for the site by calculating where Barranca and Satipo had gone hunting for the map instead.[5]

Search of the Golden Idol[]

The next year, Satipo and Barranca were hired by the American archaeologist Indiana Jones to guide him to the Temple of the Chachapoyan Warriors to learn the fate of his competitor Forrestal and if possible, retrieve the golden idol said to be there, despite Jones' awareness of their reputation.[3] Although Jones considered that he might have eventually found the temple on his own, that would have taken more time. Barranca and Satipo already had the other fragment of a map to the site and some knowledge of the route and Jones was certain that some treasure hunter had a head start on him.[8] Unknown to Jones, Barranca and Satipo had received an anonymous tip-off from Belloq that he had the missing map fragment and so they had offered their guiding services to him.[5] On the approach, Barranca tried to kill Jones at Dead Man Falls, but failed and fled into the jungle. Satipo remained with the archaeologist and the pair reached and entered the Temple of the Chachapoyan Warriors.[1]

After a fearful encounter with tarantulas and discovering Forrestal's dead body skewered on wall spikes, Satipo followed Jones in swinging across a deep pit on Indy's bullwhip. He almost fell backwards into the hole when the branch anchoring the whip started to give way but Jones caught him. Satipo then watched Jones make his way to the Chachapoyan Fertility Idol without getting shot with darts and then carefully replacing the idol with a sandbag. Believing the danger to be over, Satipo smiled relieved, but as Jones turned his back, the sandbag sunk into the altar, causing the temple to collapse. In the escape, Satipo barely made it back across the pit but the whip came loose from its branch.[1] Seeing his chance as the temple's defenses started to activate,[9] Satipo demanded his employer to hand him the idol with the promise he would throw him back the whip.[1]


Satipo death

Satipo's dead body after being killed by the spike trap.

With no time to argue, Jones did what Satipo asked, but the treacherous guide double-crossed him and dropped the whip where he stood, leaving Jones to his fate with an "Adiós, señor" while he escaped with the prize. Desperate, Jones managed to make the jump on his own. However, he caught up with up Satipo only to discover that the thief had, like Forrestal, been caught by a lethal spike trap which protruded from a wall. Jones recovered the idol from Satipo's lifeless body, offered an adios and continued his flight from the temple.[1]


Indiana Jones would later write on his journal how "helpful" were the "family of porters" that Satipo and Barranca were on assisting him in finding the Temple of the Chachapoyan Warriors, sarcastically writing that with help like that, who needs enemies.[10]

Jones returned to the temple some years later to find Satipo's corpse still attached to the trap that had taken his life. The archaeologist reproached him for not throwing him his whip when he had the opportunity and continued on his way before discovering a second idol.[11]

Personality and traits[]

A helpful yet shady and shifty contact,[5] Satipo was furtive[3] and a swindler.[1] He had no qualms about being entrusted by adventurers to serve as their guide only to then rob or murder them in the jungle.[4] He even offered his clients accommodation at Tequila Flats in Machete Landing in exchange for being hired, though Indiana Jones could easily see through this as cover for a tomb robber.[5] Despite his partnership with Barranca,[1] in the end, Satipo was loyal to no one but himself.[9]

Greedy and materialist, Satipo didn't show any remorse in leaving Indiana Jones to die, even after the mad saved him from falling to his death, as long he captured the prize for himself. However, Satipo's greediness ultimately became his undoing; while getting away with the idol, he failed to heed the spike traps which both he and Jones had navigated upon entering the temple.[1]

Aside from money, both Satipo and Barranca followed sports and had some national pride. They were enraged when Peru's president announced that their country had withdrawn from the Olympic Games in Berlin following Austrian complaints about Peruvian conduct after a soccer game Austria lost led to a rematch being called. Both thieves hoped to console their nation's loss by claiming any treasure they could find for themselves.[8]

Behind the scenes[]

Satipo was portrayed by Alfred Molina in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Satipo has the distinction of being the first big film role of Molina's acting career.[1] Joe Moranz played Satipo during the film's title sequence.[12] The character was erroneously called "Sapito" in the video game Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine,[11] perhaps reflecting Indiana Jones actor Harrison Ford's delivery of the line that was simply "Adios" in the film's script drafts and written as "Adios, stupido" in the Release Dialogue Script.[13]

While developing the film in a story conference in January 1978 with director Steven Spielberg and writer Lawrence Kasdan, George Lucas proposed that the character that would become Satipo flees when faced with the Temple of the Chachapoyan Warriors's dangers. Kasdan suggested that Satipo shouldn't escape the temple – with Spielberg spitballing the idea that he gets crushed while trying to outrun the rolling boulder – but in his first draft of the script, Kasdan has Satipo successfully flee the boulder with Indiana Jones, only to be killed once outside by the Hovitos (a fate which would later go to Barranca in the finished film).[12]

Alongside Denholm Elliott (Marcus Brody), Alfred Molina was one of the last actors cast in the film. Before filming began, Molina went to Elstree Studios in England so the crew could create the necessary body mold for Satipo's corpse. During filming, Molina was covered with around two dozen live spiders provided by animal handler Mike Culling. However, they all remained completely still during the first few takes, looking fake. Once it was discovered that the spiders were all male, a female was added to his body, causing the spiders to start crawling over him rapidly, Molina became genuinely scared and suffered slight irritation on the neck due to the tarantula hair. Afterwards, Molina jokingly told Spielberg that if movie acting required being covered with spiders, then he would prefer to remain in British theatre.[12]

In the video game Indiana Jones' Greatest Adventures, Satipo's role is greatly reduced. There he simply informs Jones that the Hovitos are near then disappears from the narrative without explanation.[14] Satipo appears in the game LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures, in which he actually manages to escape from the temple along with Indy, only to then betray him when it is revealed he was working for Belloq all along.[15] In LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues, the Peru sequence is omitted despite Satipo being a playable character.[16]

Satipo, like Barranca, never appears in the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! at Disney World. In the show, Indy independently goes to the Temple of the Chachapoyan Warriors temple to retrieve the golden idol.[17] In the TV special, LEGO Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Brick, Satipo's role is the same as the movie. However, when he betrays Jones and claims the idol for himself, Indy knocks him out with the idol, and continues his escape.[18]

There were plans by Kenner in the 1980s for a Temple of the Chachapoyan Warriors set which would have included an action figure of Satipo. The set, however, went ultimately unproduced when the whole Indiana Jones toyline was abruptly cancelled, although some concept art was made.[19]


Non-canon appearance[]


Notes and references[]

External links[]