Outside of the opening flashbacks, we know that “Dial of Destiny” is mostly set in 1969. The ghosts of the post-WWII era continue to haunt this politically fractious time. In particular, Mangold channeled Operation Paperclip, in which the United States recruited Nazi scientists post-WWII to work for our government in exchange for protection from their war charges. As his enemies become integrated into American society, Indy will encounter a crisis of morality. As Mangold put it:

“Who’s a villain? Who are we working with? Who are we fighting against? Proxy wars, all of that. It’s not as simple as the era around World War II. What happens to a hero built for a black-and-white world, when he finds himself in one that is gray? It’s a problem that produces humor, produces contradictions, produces adjustments that this character’s going to have to make.”

As the director of “Logan,” Mangold knows a thing or two about men finding closure in a changing era. The director explained that in order to explore the reality of Indy’s present, they had to confront his past. “By showing him [at] his most hearty and then finding him at 70 in New York City, it produces for the audience a kind of wonderful whiplash of how they’re going to have to readjust and retool their brains for this guy,” Mangold said. “His past is a live memory for the audience, hanging over a man who is now living with anonymity in a world that no longer cares or recognizes the things he felt so deeply about.”