As long as I remember the name is Henry Walton Jones Jr, but I have never read why the Indiana nickname. Is there any background info of this?

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    IIRC the third movie mentions that Indiana was the name of the family dog. Let's see if somebody locates the source for that. Mar 15, 2018 at 19:54
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    It would be interesting as well!
    – riccs_0x
    Mar 15, 2018 at 20:27
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    Real-world answer - Indiana was George Lucas' dog. starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Indiana Mar 15, 2018 at 20:32
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    Glib answer: because "Indiana" sells more movie tickets and merchandise than "Henry". Mar 16, 2018 at 19:28
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    I always thought it was a result of the complicated relationship with his distant father. He didn't want to constantly be under his fathers shadow by sharing the name "Henry" with the diminisher "Junior". So he chose to go by something, anything, else. Hence "Indiana" because of his beloved former dog. Mar 16, 2018 at 20:46

1 Answer 1


This final clip from The Last Crusade says it all.

I got a lot of fond memories of that dog.


At the beginning of the movie we see Indiana Jones as a teenager, and his fellow scout calls him 'Indiana.' So perhaps as an assumed only child with a strict father his best friend was his dog Indiana, and when it passed away, he decided the best way to remember it was to take the name for himself.


Indiana Jones likes dates.

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    Or maybe he liked the way his father treated Indiana (the dog) better than the way he treated him as Junior, so he wanted to be treated as Indiana.
    – Bergi
    Mar 15, 2018 at 22:44
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    @Bergi well, he does go fetch a lot (of artifacts) ^^ (which probably doubles as a subconscious way to also be better loved by his "obsessed with ancient history and artifacts" father....) Mar 16, 2018 at 6:39
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    Does it answer the question, why is he using this nickname? I got fond memories of my pets and I don't use their names. In addition, as a teenager in the beginning of the Last Crusade, he's already called Indiana by his friend, and the dog is still alive.
    – Neow
    Mar 16, 2018 at 8:15
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    @Neow That must have been a confusing household, where the kid and the dog are called the same. Yeah, maybe the dad never called Junior by his 'self-chosen' pet name (pun intended), but what about his friends? If Junior brought the dog along when hanging out, and someone yelled "Indiana!", both would respond. That image is somehow funny, now that I think about it.
    – xDaizu
    Mar 16, 2018 at 8:29
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    @OlivierDulac dogs fetch stuff too :p
    – J_rite
    Mar 16, 2018 at 15:32

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