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This article is about the friend of Indiana Jones. You may be looking for the city Wuhan.

"I've followed you on many adventures...but into the great unknown mystery, I go first, Indy!"
―Wu Han[src]

Wu Han was a friend of Indiana Jones who joined him on several adventures before being killed by a gangster's bullet in 1935.


Adventures with Indiana Jones[]

Half Chinese, half Dutch,[4] Wu Han was studying political science when his parents and sister died in an influenza outbreak. Their ashes wound up in the possession of the notorious gangster Lao Che, who used the promise of a proper burial to force Wu Han into servitude.[2]

In 1933, Indiana Jones met Wu Han in Shanghai on his way to Mongolia. Upon learning of Wu Han's predicament, Jones stole his family's ashes from Lao Che, thereby securing his new friend's freedom. The encounter inspired Wu Han to return to school, this time studying archaeology.[2]

Wu Han took up the life of an adventurer, spending half of his time away from Shanghai working for various private patrons and universities throughout the Orient. He also made a number of visits to Russia to recover artifacts hidden by exiled White Russian aristocrats.[5] He helped Chinese secret agent Mei Ying, who knew him as a smuggler, on several occasions.[3]

Wu Han as seen in Indiana Jones and The Emperor's Tomb

Wu Han in 1935.

Mei Ying arranged to meet Wu Han at Hong Kong's Golden Lotus Opera House in 1935. When he arrived, however, he found that Mei Ying had been kidnapped and she was working with Indiana Jones on a quest to find the tomb of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China.[3]

Wu Han's rickshaw provided Indy transport in chasing Mei Ying's kidnappers, members of the Black Dragon Triad, and his junk boat ferried Jones to Peng Lai Island, home of the triad's leader Marshal Kai Ti Chang. After Mei Ying was rescued, she and Jones needed a ride to Shanghai. Wu Han came to the their aid once again.[3]

When an orphaned pickpocket calling himself Short Round was caught attempting to rob Indiana Jones, the archaeologist took pity on the boy and introduced him to Wu Han rather than see him arrested. Wu Han gave Short Round—and his fellow urchins—a place to stay at the small home he had bought for himself in Shanghai's International Settlement thanks to proceeds garnered from his past ventures with Jones.[5]

Wu Han and Short Round would also join Jones on a trip across the Himalayas where the three were set upon by nomadic thieves and rogue monks during a yak ride.[6]

Death and legacy[]

Later that year, Wu Han assisted Jones when he was hired by Lao Che to obtain the ashes of Nurhachi, the first Emperor of the Manchu Dynasty, in exchange for the Peacock's Eye, planning to fly the diamond out to London by way of Bangkok.[7] The night before Jones was to meet with the gangster at Shanghai's Club Obi Wan, Lao Che's son Kao Kan attempted to steal the urn from him.[1] While Jones fended him off, he asked Wu Han to be his back up at the club.[7]


Wu Han dying in Indiana Jones' arms.

Armed with a snub-nose revolver, Wu Han disguised himself as a waiter and held onto Nurhachi's urn until Jones called him over during the meeting. Flanked on both sides by Kao Kan and his other son, Chen, Lao Che reneged on the deal and had poisoned Jones's drink to keep the diamond and Nurhachi. Concealed under a tray, Wu Han pulled his gun on the gangster while Jones demanded the antidote Lao Che flaunted in front of him. Sudden celebrations at a nearby table proved enough of a distraction to allow Chen to shoot Wu Han with his own hidden weapon.[1] The loyal[8] Wu Han fell into Jones' arms and succumbed to his wounds.[1]

Enraged, Jones immediately avenged his friend's death by throwing a skewker of pigeon flambé through Chen's chest.[9] Club Obi Wan erupted into chaos and Jones fled the scene along with nightclub singer Willie Scott, who had picked up the vial of antidote during the melee. She would end up taking Wu Han's place on the flight out of China.[1] Jones decided to send money to Wu Han's family due to his sacrifice.[4]

Personality and traits[]

While he possessed a post-graduate level of education in archaeology and a sound book knowledge of Asian antiquities, Wu Han recoiled against the research aspect of the profession as well as archaeological digs. He much preferred recovering artifacts from the black market for which his skills at disguise proved useful.[5]

Wu Han had some martial arts ability in karate and his superstitious nature would see him casting the I Ching before each of his adventures.[5] Indiana Jones, with considered Wu Han to be an excellent shot.[7]

Behind the scenes[]

Wu Han was portrayed by David Yip in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.[1] Alan Drevin provided Wu Han's voice in the Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb video game.[3]

There is inconsistency for when Wu Han and Indiana Jones first meet in the canon. The Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom Sourcebook has their first encounter as teenagers in 1914 while Indy and his father are searching for clues to the location of the Holy Grail.[5] Indiana Jones and the Dinosaur Eggs has the meeting take place in 1933,[2] with which Indiana Jones: The Ultimate Guide agrees,[10] while Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb has the event taking place shortly before Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom in 1935, unless Indy and Wu Han acted like if they had first met to not arise Mei Ying's suspicions.[3]

The novelization of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom states that Jones would send money to Wu Han's family.[4] However, it is unclear which family this refers to because as the Indiana Jones and the Dinosaur Eggs mentions that both of Wu Han's parents and his sister had already passed on.[2]

In LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures, Wu Han's death was changed. Instead of being shot dead by Chen (who neither dies nor is he skewered), he drinks Lao Che's poison with Jones and immediately succumbs to the poison's lethal effects.[11] In the sequel, however, Wu Han is absent from the scene with Indy at Club Obi Wan alone.[12]



Notes and references[]