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I saw this movie in probably 1983. It was a fantasy adventure. The protagonist was a teenage boy (think Atrayu from Neverending Story). There is a scene where they must cross a bottomless pit using a giant cargo net or maybe a spiderweb. There is a scene where they are traveling by horseback through the desert where he takes out his trinket/locket, shakes it, remarks "There's something inside it," gets it open to find an arrowhead-like object, places that on the ground, and the thing shimmies and spins around then points him where to go. Earlier in the desert he gets hot and dumps a full canteen of water over his head and one of the adult guides/natives (whom in my head looks like Ghengis Kahn) says something like "a dozen men could drink from what you spill on the ground." I believe there to be a giant in this movie, but what fantasy would be complete without a giant?

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Parts of what you describe are definitely from The Ewok Adventure (also known as Caravan of Courage). The film is availabe here on Youtube.

There are desert scenes on Endor, and during the band's approach to the lair of the giant gorax (an ugly giant, seen at about 1:20 in the linked video.), they do indeed cross a vast charm using a spider web (beginning at 1:11).

The most distinctive item though was the scene where one of the human protagonists (the teenage male Mace) breaks open the rock talisman that he received at the beginning of the adventure to reveal an arrowhead. The arrowhead spins around in the sand, they shows them the way into the gorax's lair. Mace has to use all the remaining power in his blaster to blow up a rock that's blocking the way. The scene can be found at 1:07 in the Youtube version.

I don't remember a scene with a canteen, and (since the story takes place on Endor) there would not have been any humans looking like Genghis Khan. So there is something you are probably misremembering slightly. Perhaps the mongols are from a different film.

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Possibly Time Bandits from 1981? The protagonist is eleven years old. It includes a giant (see the movie cover in the link), travel through a desert (where they discover the Invisible Barrier), and at one point the group is trapped in cages (linked by ropes) over a bottomless pit. They visit several eras of history, and the adventure party is dressed in a wild motley of costumes from all throughout time. That could be where the Genghis Khan visual comes from.

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  • It's the Ewok adventure. Thanks! It seems I inserted some other memories in there, but that movie is what I was trying to recall. The link above didn't work (blocked), but I found a "Dr Wolfula" film review @ youtu.be/FelGGB8AHqo the review is horrible, but I think a few notches better than the actual film. But now I know!
    – Paul
    Jan 4, 2017 at 22:47

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