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What Happened To Short Round After The Temple of Doom?

What Happened To Short Round After The Temple of Doom?

Short Round was a beloved character in the Indiana Jones: Temple of Doom movie. However, he was not in included in the subsequent films in the series. So, what happened to Short Round after Temple of Doom?

Currently, there is no information on what happened to Short Round in the film series. However, there are other materials with various crossovers between Indy and Short Round. The common narrative is that Short Round went on to study in a boarding school. 

Read below to find out more about Short Round and what happened to him after the Temple of Doom.

The Story of Short Round

Before we discuss what happened to Short Round after Temple of Doom, let us have a look at his story.

Early Life

Wan Li was born on February 8, 1926. Wan Li, the eldest child of a steel plant foreman in Shanghai, became an orphan after his family was killed in a bombing raid by the Japanese in January of 1932. A Christian missionary took him in, and there he was taught the fundamentals of English and mathematics.

Li learned English mostly by viewing Hollywood films at the Tai-Phung Theater while working in seedy neighborhoods like the opium dens on Liu Street, where he acquired the nickname Short Round. 

Becoming a Part of Indiana Jones’ Journey

In 1935, Short Round tried to rob a tall North American wearing a fedora at the Gung Ho Bar but was then trapped by Indiana Jones’s bullwhip. Instead of handing Short Round over to the authorities, Indy introduced him to his friend Wu Han. Once, the three of them were attacked by nomadic bandits while riding a yak in the Himalayas. 

Indy introduced Short Round to American baseball and the New York Yankees during their time together, and he also taught Short Round additional survival skills, such as how to drive, even though he was young. 

What Happened to Short Round After The Temple of Doom?

Short Round was an endearing sidekick to Indiana Jones in Temple of Doom. The character of Short Round was a huge hit, but despite that, he was mysteriously absent from the sequels, leading fans to wonder what happened to him. Short Round just vanished from the film screen. But other materials from Indiana Jones suggest that Short Round lives on. 

The character made an appearance in an issue of the 1980s Marvel Comics series The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones. In the comic, he rescued Indiana from a pirate raid while they were on an expedition to the Caribbean in search of Atlantis. After that, he goes back to boarding school.

The 2008 publication of The Lost Journal of Indiana Jones adds to the story that Short Round followed in his adventurous mentor’s footsteps and became an archaeologist, and he later discovered the Peacock’s Eye, the diamond that Indy had misplaced at the start of The Temple of Doom. 

In another Indiana Jones/Star Wars crossover story (Star Wars Tales), Indiana and Short Round find Han Solo’s body in the crashed Millennium Falcon. But one can’t take this story as factual regarding Indiana Jones’s future pursuits because it is plainly not part of the official canon. 

Why Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is Controversial

Indiana Jones and Temple of Doom is controversial for two main reasons, as discussed below.


The racism in Indiana Jones is so pervasive that it is nearly impossible to escape it. The opening scene takes place in Shanghai, which is portrayed as a hub of gangsters and peasants who make their living off of petty crime. 

Indy argues with a crime lord while standing atop the ashes of a late emperor lying in the middle of a modern-looking nightclub; this scene alone is full to the brim with exaggerated cultural appropriations. Later on, the chase that ensues between the crime lord and Indy includes additional clichés such as a rickshaw driver being toppled off the street and crashing into a street vendor’s stall.

Unfortunately, these clichés and exaggerations do not get better when Jones moves to India. Jones visits a haunted palace on his quest to get a holy stone from a nearby village. Hindu characters in the film are shown in contrasting light, sometimes as gullible simpletons and other times as malicious villains. 

The movie depicts a cult of Kali, which is an unsettling distortion of classic Hindu divine entities. This cult is dedicated to human sacrifice and global dominance, and it engages in barbaric rites in the catacombs that are located beneath the palace.

In addition to the famous heart-ripping scene, the film features a “gross-out” feast when Hindu characters are shown gobbling fried insects and monkey brains. 

Almost every character in the movie, even the main ones, adheres to a stereotype, and Jones’ role as white savior is the icing on the cake in an attempt that aged very poorly. 

Excessive Violence

The Temple of Doom suffered allegations of excessive violence from the very beginning of its existence. Following the spectacular success of the film E.T. in 1982, Spielberg was riding a reputation for producing family-friendly films.

On the other hand, the content in Temple of Doom was not at all suitable for children. This includes the scene that became a hallmark of the Temple of Doom, in which Mola Ram tore the beating heart out of the chest of a human before dropping the man into a pool of lava.

Some other examples involve eating a burning kabob while skewering a Shanghai gangster, feeding a Thugee supervisor into an automated rock crusher machine, forcing blood from a mummy’s head into Jones’ throat, and at the end of Temple of Doom, Mola Ram smashing against the edges of a cliff as he falls to waiting crocodiles.

That, however, was overshadowed by what the critics of the period saw as an even more serious issue. The villains in the film subjected Short Round and the army of child slaves to beatings and torture. To Spielberg’s credit, he was the one who proposed the inclusion to the film’s rating.


So, while we may never know what happened to Short Round after Temple of Doom in the film series, the other Indiana Jones materials, such as comic books, have given us a good idea of what his future came to be.