Satipo ran scams in the South American jungles with his partner Barranca. They frequently hung out at Machete Landing in between expeditions. The two con men had contacts throughout Peru, Colombia and Venezuela who set up jobs for them, and they often guided adventurers into the jungle only to then murder or rob them.
Around 1935, 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. 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.
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. 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. > 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. 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.
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 withheld the whip from Jones, demanding the idol with the promise he would throw him back the whip.
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, said goodbye to him and continued his flight from the temple.
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.
Personality and traits
Satipo was furtive and a swindler. He had no qualms about being entrusted by adventurers to serve as their guide only to then rob or murder them at the jungle. Greedy and materialist, Satipo didn't show any remorse in leaving Indiana Jones–his own employer–to die even after he 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 Jones had navigated upon entering the temple.
Aside from money, both Satipo and Barranca followed sports and had some national pride. They were enraged when Peru's president announced that the Peru 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 country's loss by claiming any treasure they could found for themselves.
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. Joe Moranz played Satipo during the film's title sequence. The character was erroneously called "Sapito" in the video game Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine, 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.
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).
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. When the spiders started to run across his body, 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.
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. 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. In LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues, the Peru sequence is omitted despite Satipo being a playable character.
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. 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.
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.
- Raiders of the Lost Ark novel (First appearance)
- Raiders of the Lost Ark
- Raiders of the Lost Ark comic
- Indiana Jones' Greatest Adventures
- Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine (Remains) (As 'Sapito')
- LEGO Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Brick (Non-canonical appearance)
- LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures (Non-canonical appearance)
- LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues (Non-canonical appearance)
- LEGO Star Wars: Bombad Bounty (Non-canonical appearance) (On television)
- Raiders of the Lost Ark trading cards (Card: Valley of Mystery)
- Raiders of the Lost Ark trading cards (Card: Temple of the Warriors)
- Raiders of the Lost Ark trading cards (Card: Victim of the Gods)
- Raiders of the Lost Ark trading cards (Card: Removing the Idol)
- Raiders of the Lost Ark trading cards (Card: Fearsome Hovitos Indians)
- Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Illustrated Screenplay
- Raiders of the Lost Ark Sourcebook
- Indiana Jones Heritage (Card: The Quest of Indiana Jones)
- Indiana Jones Heritage (Card: Danger Everywhere!)
- Indiana Jones Heritage (Card: A Game of Chance)
- Indiana Jones Heritage (Card: The Trap Is Sprung!)
- Indiana Jones Heritage (Card: Alfred Molina)
- The Complete Making of Indiana Jones
- Indiana Jones Masterpieces (Card: Adventure Has A Name)
- Temple Escape
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Raiders of the Lost Ark
- ↑ Raiders of the Lost Ark comic
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Raiders of the Lost Ark novel
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Raiders of the Lost Ark Sourcebook
- ↑ Indiana Jones: The Ultimate Guide
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark junior novelization
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 The Complete Making of Indiana Jones
- ↑ Raiders of the Lost Ark Release Dialogue Script
- ↑ Indiana Jones' Greatest Adventures
- ↑ LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures
- ↑ LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues
- ↑ Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!
- ↑ LEGO Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Brick
- ↑ SEE CONCEPT ART FOR CANCELED INDIANA JONES TOYS FROM 1980'S KENNER at The Week In Nerd