Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: The Big Island!

For the fourth film of the blockbuster “Indiana Jones” series, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas returned to the island where their dream began. They conceived “Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark” while vacationing on the Big Island. This film is special to me because a mentor was the production supervisor on it (the Hawai‘i portion).

It had been nearly two decades since the last Indiana Jones movie. I believe expectations were a bit high. Aside from the loss of cast member Sean Connery (“The Untouchables”), “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” was envisioned as the introduction of a new character set to replace Harrison Ford (like that’s possible?).

This movie was shot in 2007 and was filmed in New Mexico, New Haven Conn., and Fresno, Calif. — in addition to the Big Island.

To maintain aesthetic continuity with the previous films, the crew relied on traditional stunt work instead of computer-generated stunt doubles. The first movies spanned 1980 to 1990, so it goes without saying special effects have changed.

The film made an astounding $786 million (pennies to George Lucas). I was in a bar in Hilo and was talking to a guy who was Harrison Ford’s private chef. He told me, “Ford left me a $700 bottle of champagne as a thank you.” We must never forget, movies are an illusion. The humility is what we must appreciate on and off the screen.

If you haven’t seen them, watch all four of these movies. (Be prepared. The second one is not for kids.)

• Paul Booth of Lihu‘e is a Kaua‘i Community College graduate, film producer and consultant. He can be reached at


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