Short Round
Short Round
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Short Round (Ke Huy Quan), a.k.a. "Kennon Wong" was orphaned when the Japanese bombed Shanghai in 1932, and is a young taxicab driver in Shanghai, who helps Indiana escape from Lao Che. Despite being an eleven-year-old boy, he is able to stick by Indy through his adventures and is even able to drive (since he is "short", he wears wooden blocks under his shoes when driving). He is essential in freeing Indiana and Pankot's Maharaja from Mola Ram's psychic control. The novelization details Short Round was born Wan Li (lang-zh 万丽) in 1927. Despite attending a Christian school, he respects Chinese mythology, and believes the baby elephant that transports him in India is a reincarnation of his brother Chu. He immigrates to the United States with Jones following his adventure.[1] In the film, Short Round is frequently heard speaking the Cantonese dialect of Chinese despite being born in Mandarin speaking Shanghai, as well as English.

Short Round was named after Temple of Doom screenwriters Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz's dog.[2] Lucas's initial idea for Indiana's sidekick was a virginal young princess, but Huyck, Katz and Spielberg disliked the idea.[3] The character's name may also have been a homage to the early Samuel Fuller film The Steel Helmet, in which a young Korean boy of the same name acts as a guide for the protagonist. Around 6000 actors auditioned worldwide for the part: Quan was cast after his brother auditioned for the role. Spielberg liked his personality, so he and Ford improvised the scene where Short Round accuses Indiana of cheating during a card game.[4] Quan had a martial arts instructor to help him on set.[2]

The character cameoed in an issue of Marvel Comics' The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones, rescuing Indiana from a pirate attack in the Caribbean, before he returns to boarding school.[5] The Lost Journal of Indiana Jones, published in 2008, detailed Short Round became an archaeologist and tracked down the Peacock's Eye (the diamond from Doom's opening sequence) to Niihau.[6]

He also appeared in the non-canonical crossover story in Star Wars Tales, where he and Indiana discover the remains of Han Solo in the crashed Millennium Falcon in the Pacific Northwest.[7] A Short Round action figure was planned by LJN in 1984, but was never released.[8] However, an unpainted metal miniature of him was released by TSR that year.[9] He appears in the 2009 Lego sets Shanghai Chase and The Temple of Doom. Empire named Short Round as their sixteenth favorite element of the films, explaining "you could argue that Shortie is the real hero of Temple of Doom — while the titular relic hunter is off searching for fortune and glory, it's Short Round's moral compass that keeps the adventure on the right track".[10] In 2008 a poll conducted by to coincide with the release of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, named Short Round "favorite Indy sidekick".[11]


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  3. Adventure's New Name. Retrieved on April 23, 2008.
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  6. (2008) The Lost Journal of Indiana Jones. Pocket Books, 160. ISBN 1-84739-214-8. 
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  11. Favorite Indiana Jones Sidekick, According to Poll
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