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Towards the end of the movie when John Carter is sent back to Earth, he goes explaining how he searched for the medallion. Then we see him at some type of mine and the men discover something. Carter puts it in a box, but it is not revealed.

What is in the box?

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As indicated in the prologue and the epilogue, John Carter had spent years searching and digging for Thern artifacts; medallions, another "spider cave", whatever. As Carter also related, he was also aware the Thern agents had him under surveillance.

My takeaway of the discovery at the excavation was Carter finally making his move. Whatever pieces he required were in place (the fancy crypt, Ned being old enough, and who knows what else) and generally his patience finally running out. All he needed was one of his sites to yield up a bit of excitement. What the men found was entirely irrelevant, as long as they were properly exuberant. Carter took the thing, made it into a tantalizing top secret mystery to drive the Thern spies to a fever of curiosity, and he thus put his endgame into motion.

That's how I interpreted events, anyway.

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The box was empty.

After years of searching, and probably so that he would eventually have someone to guard his body on earth, he used the fake discovery of the box was to draw in his watcher who would want to take the "discovered" medallion. But the box was a trick to dar in the watcher and kill him and then take his medalion and return to Mars.

  • Have you got any evidence to back up this bold claim? – Valorum May 13 at 11:12
  • Didn't you watch the ending? You must have missed JC taking the watcher's medallion and using it to return and ERB's ending monologue – Ring May 14 at 12:10
  • That doesn't prove that what he found was a ruse. It just proves that he didn't find a medallion – Valorum May 14 at 12:19
  • Given that his searching ended and he began the whole fake death ploy, I'd bet you a nickel that it was a ruse to draw out the opposition. – Ring May 14 at 18:03
  • Sure, but it would be equally likely that they discovered some other alien artifact. Or just a great big fat diamond. – Valorum May 14 at 18:11

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