George Lucas Defends 'Odds of Surviving' Nuked Fridge


Harrison Ford and George Lucas"Famed" (or is it infamous now?) director and producer George Lucas doesn't have much in common with Sarah Palin. NASCAR Dads don't want to screw him. He's actually accomplished things. His meteoric rise lasted longer than a few months -- his ran about six movies or so. But he does share an annoying pretense with the reality star. When both of them say or do something idiotic -- something that you can't possibly believe they would stick by with the benefit of hindsight -- they just double down, they stick behind it more fiercely than ever before.

To wit, we have Lucas defending the now widely mocked nuclear refrigerator scene from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in a profile in the New York Times.

When I told Lucas that [Steven] Spielberg had accepted the blame for nuking the fridge, he looked stunned. “It’s not true,” he said. “He’s trying to protect me.”

In fact, it was Spielberg who “didn’t believe” the scene. In response to Spielberg’s fears, Lucas put together a whole nuking-the-fridge dossier. It was about six inches thick, he indicated with his hands. Lucas said that if the refrigerator were lead-lined, and if Indy didn’t break his neck when the fridge crashed to earth, and if he were able to get the door open, he could, in fact, survive. “The odds of surviving that refrigerator — from a lot of scientists — are about 50-50,” Lucas said.

The fridge-nuking scene has become the quintessential moment in a movie that many feel tarnished the previously impeccable Indiana Jones franchise, and what's worrying here is that Lucas still doesn't seem to care at all about the people actually paying to watch his movies. A fifth Indiana Jones "concept" has already been decided upon, according to Spielberg, so there's a very real possibility that we'll get another movie that could further tarnish the franchise at some point in the future.

Who is Lucas making these movies for anyway? It certainly doesn't seem like it's us -- maybe it's to add a few acres to Skywalker Ranch. Fans of Indiana Jones don't care about what's theoretically possible. We're not on the crew of Discovery's Mythbusters here. (And, by the way, if something requires that many qualifiers, it's plausibility can't easily be explained in a two-hour film and thus should not be included de facto.)

As SlashFilm's German Lussier points out, we've swallowed hearts being ripped out of chests, voodoo dolls, a magical Ark of the Covenant and a Holy Grail with glee over the years. So it's not really about real-world plausibility is it, then? No, of course not. It's about being connecting with great characters and being thrilled by roller coaster plot. Sadly, Lucas seems to have lost touch with those simple concepts a long, long time ago.