Leaving The Indiana Jones Franchise Behind Was A Tough Choice For Sean Connery

Following the release of the darker and more intense "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom," Director Steven Spielberg and producer George Lucas would take a step back and go back to basics with the third installment in the series. The end result is "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade," a film reminiscent in its tone and sense of adventure to "Raiders of the Lost Ark." One key difference, though, would be that Indy wouldn't be going it alone. Instead, "Last Crusade" featured the introduction of another Dr. Jones, that being Indy's father, Henry, played by the legendary Sean Connery. 

Connery's involvement in the franchise would be a full circle moment for Spielberg, as his decision to direct the "Indiana Jones" movies famously stemmed from his desire to make a James Bond film. The resulting chemistry between Ford and Connery as the two Joneses' would make "Last Crusade" an incredibly high note for the franchise to end on until Spielberg and Lucas eventually made a fourth Indy film 19 years later with "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull." When it came time for this fourth film, Sean Connery decided not to reprise his role as Henry Jones Sr. However, according to the actor, it wasn't a decision he made lightly.

Not finding a good story

In a profile of the actor published on the GQ website, Connery was asked why he didn't return to play Indy's father again for the fourth film. As classy as ever, Connery gave the perfectly logical response that, as hard as the decision was, he didn't see a compelling enough reason to bring Henry Jones Sr. back:

"I adored working with Steven [Spielberg], so it was a hard decision. There wasn't really a good story to tell about the father this time around. It was great to see [Harrison Ford] in action again, and the movie had some wonderful effects. I don't think Steven can make a bad film."

"Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" could arguably be considered as much of a departure from the franchise as "Temple of Doom" was, with an odd sci-fi angle and over-the-top physical feats performed by an already-aged Indy. Given the nature of Spielberg's last "Indiana Jones" film, it's hard to imagine a place for Henry Jones Sr. in all of the madness and jungle hijinks of "Crystal Skull."

Connery's difficult decision not to reprise the role of Indy's father was probably for the best. If anything, Connery's single appearance in the franchise makes "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" that much more special a film in the series. When looking at the four films as a whole (with a fifth one on the way), each has a unique trait that helps make the series special in the filmography of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas.