Ke Huy Quan and Harrison Ford reunite at the 2023 Oscars 39 years after Indiana Jones
It's just one of the handful of times that the pair have reunited since Quans' screen debut 39 years ago as Short Round in the iconic Indiana Jones film. An initial reunion back in September has been a touchpoint in the ‘it's Ke Huy Quan's moment and we're just living in it' narrative, because there's simply nothing we love more than both a redemption arc and being reminded of the passage of time since our childhoods.
At this point, Quan's road to the echelons of Oscar glory is well-traced but never less impactful. Despite a string of parts in iconic films like The Goonies and Encino Man (alongside fellow Oscar winner Brendan Fraser) after his Indi debut, he transitioned out of acting and into film production because there weren't enough opportunities for Asian actors to keep him going Everything Everywhere All At Once, therefore, has been a comeback story for the ages, not just because it gave Quan the opportunity to step back in front of the camera but to reunite him with the Hollywood stalwarts he shared the screen with 30-odd years ago.
As one Twitter user wrote “Ke Huy Quan ain’t sat down this whole award season”, such is the amount of exuberant passion he has at being a part of the Hollywood machine again. The fact he seems to have had such a genuinely wonderful time rubbing shoulders with celebrities, despite himself being one of the undisputed stars of the season, has endeared him with such bountiful goodwill, you could reasonably argue Ford's involvement in the Oscars was orchestrated purely to make sure Quan had an even better time than he was going to.
And we don't blame them. 2020s culture can more-or-less be summed up by the incessant mining of our past for nuggets of collective cultural warmth and regurgitating them into something trying to resemble that once-held joy. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but Ke Huy Quan's road to glory has been a once-in-a-lifetime moment of nostalgic nourishment, a lightning-in-a-bottle instance of a good thing happening to a good person who's here to have a good time with the people who helped him along the way. And hey, if it makes Harrison Ford smile, it's got to be right.