A Nazi soldier was present at the Tanis digsite for the Ark of the Covenant outside Cairo, Egypt in 1936, under the orders of Colonel Dietrich and a Sergeant, and after the Ark was found he was among five other soldiers who, with the Sergeant, loaded onto a cargo truck driven by this soldier which contained the ancient relic in order to defend it from American archaeologist Indiana Jones and his comrades. During a chase which ensued as a result of the arrival of Jones, this soldier and his fellow men all ended up falling out of the truck after it was hijacked by the American.
Tanis, Egypt Edit
In 1936, this German soldier was among the men who made up the Nazi party who attempted to unearth the Ark of the Covenant from the Well of the Souls at Tanis outside Cairo, Egypt under the orders of Colonel Herman Dietrich, Major Gobler, French archaeologist René Emile Belloq and Gestapo agent Major Arnold Ernst Toht. The Ark was secretly dug up overnight by American archaeologist Indiana Jones and his associates, including Arab excavator Sallah Mohammed Faisel el-Kahir, but Dietrich and Belloq confronted them, took the Ark, arrested Sallah and his men and sealed Jones and Marion Ravenwood inside the cave. However, the two soon managed to escape, and ended up blowing up the Flying Wing, the jet plane meant to transport the Ark to Berlin, Germany.
Following the Flying Wing's destruction, Colonel Dietrich decided that the Ark would instead be transported from Tanis to Cairo by truck. With Jones' location unknown, this soldier boarded the front of the truck with another and drove the vehicle to the centre of the digsite as four of his fellow men carried the Ark into the back of a Mercedes-Benz LG3000 cargo truck, before getting inside themselves to protect the relic along with two other men and a Sergeant, with this soldier driving the truck. The vehicle was protected by a Mercedes-Benz G5 troop car driven by Major Gobler and two officers and a motorcycle and sidecar helmed by a driver and his passenger.
The Desert Chase Edit
Soon, the truck, jeep and sidecar began moving, following a 1937 Mercedes-Benz 320 carrying Colonel Dietrich, Major Toht, Belloq and their driver. All seemed to be going well as the convoy's journey through the desert began, but Indiana Jones promptly appeared behind the truck riding an Arabian stallion. Gobler's gunner began peppering Jones with gunfire, but both he and his horse made it to the truck and the American leapt onto the vehicle. Opening the door at the front of the truck, he hurled its front passenger out into the desert, before hopping inside and wrestling the driver, fighting with passion for the wheel.
Their brawl caused one soldier to fall out from the back of the truck into the troop carrier's windshield, smashing it. The driver struggled to remain inside the truck as it rocked back and forth from the fight, even going right through a construction site and destroying it, sending Arab workers flying over the truck onto the sandy road. When one man landed on the truck's engine, the event provided a distraction allowing Jones to toss the driver out of the vehicle and onto a cliffside, over which he rolled to an unknown fate.
Behind the scenes Edit
The Truck Driver, as named in Lawrence Kasdan's original script, was played by stuntman Terry Leonard in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Leonard also served as Harrison Ford's (Indiana Jones) second stunt double.
It remains unclear whether or not the the Truck Driver survived the Desert Chase as he rolls offscreen to an uncertain future. However, the man's comeuppance has been represented in different ways in other Indiana Jones media:
- In the Read-Along Adventure adaptation of the film, he simply gets kicked out from the truck by Indiana Jones rather than getting punched out like in the film.
- In the LEGO short film LEGO Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Brick, the driver is depicted with a gray mustache and is pulled out from the cargo truck by Jones and falls to the road, whilst complaining about what happened.
- In the video game LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures, the Truck Driver leaves the still moving cargo truck to climb up to the roof for a fight against Indiana Jones and Sallah only for them to cause his fall into the road and take control of the vehicle. In the portable versions of the game, he is simply kicked out by Jones from the truck to the road.
- In LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues, the Truck Driver fights against Jones and Sallah after the pair destroy a number of Enemy Soldier vehicles. After Jones and Sallah manage to damage his truck, the driver suddenly dies, allowing either of them to take control of the cargo truck to face René Emile Belloq, Arnold Ernst Toht, Herman Dietrich and their driver.
- Raiders of the Lost Ark novel (First appearance)
- Raiders of the Lost Ark
- Raiders of the Lost Ark comic
- Raiders of the Lost Ark storybook
- LEGO Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Brick
- LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures
- LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues