#pirates of the caribbean was kind of a formative influence #so here’s the thing #after years of chasing curses and hearts and fountains; losing the pearl and winning her back and losing her again #after rum enough to drown his sins and sorrows both#captain jack sparrow wakes up one morning and he’s immortal #just like that #no deals with calypso (he hasn’t been able to find her since the brethren court broke her chains) no desperate double-dealing #one morning he just…stops #stops aging stops dying #he gets the seas forever—except #except #the edges of the map are closing in #the lure of undiscovered treasures is waning and merchant ships are becoming better defended #the day that the East India Company takes Shipwreck Island; Jack feels a great chapter in the world’s history close #(he flees to the Barbary coast with the rest of his ilk; but the romance has gone out of it—the is too much desperation #too much hunger too much blood to it nowadays #the age of the swashbuckler won’t live out the decade) #I imagine this thing he’s chased all his life would crumble through his hands as he bounced from ship to ship #he never gets used to the square rigging on the clippers; though they lead to some good work running tea from china #but the first time he sees a steamship he nearly walks off the dock out of shock #of all the ways sailing would have changed; who thought you’d get rid of the /sails/ #(he swears he’s never getting on one of those monstrosities; let alone sailing on one) #(he manages to hold out until 1893 when the longing for the sea overwhelms him and he decides that even #that ghastly smog and the humming of the engines can be endured) #sometimes he’ll see calypso out of the corner of his eye—leaning on the deck railing; darting alongside the ship with the dolphins #(someone in the early 20th century tells him they’re not fish and he nearly busts a gut laughing) #he wears a hundred names and a hundred looks; cuts his hair short or grows it long #calls himself american; spanish; english (british); caribbean #he has two dozen different copies of Stevenson’s Treasure Island—it reminds him of something gone and half-forgotten #and in 1920 when Seitz comes out with Pirate Gold; Captain Jack Sparrow is in the first row (x)
And then in the future, everything changes. He’s been through it all, of course-watched humanity rediscover the heavens above them, watched them begin to wonder what’s out there. He cheered with the rest of the world when they landed on the moon, cheered as if he’d found Isla de la Muerta all over again, because there was something new. New treasure, a new horizon. But then they stop going, stop exploring, and he goes back to riding tankers across the rising seas. So he’s surprised when one day he wakes up from a night with his bottle of rum (his truest companion), and hears that there’s colonies on Mars now, and they need ships to supply them. He spends the next decade crafting new identities, learning all he can to qualify for the job, and after several tries (and even more faked deaths-this immortality thing isn’t all it’s cracked up to be in the age of the inerasable digital self) he gets it. The ships go nearly constantly now, the needs of the terraforming project creating an unbroken line of vessels from Mars to Earth and back again. “Show me that horizon,” he whispers to himself, his personal prayer of thanksgiving, each time they leave orbit, because the worlds, the stars are in motion and it’s never the same, with nearly three years for a round trip the ports are always different, even if they keep the old names. And finally one trip something goes wrong with the reactor, they’re too low on power and have to deploy the backups, and Jack (Lucky Jack, they call him, for he survives too many things he shouldn’t but science has yet to accept that maybe some things weren’t old wives’ tales after all) goes out for the spacewalk to bring up the solar panels. And as they rise, geometric patterns black against the sun’s glare, he’s struck by a powerful sense of déjà vu, because it’s all here-wind and sails, a ship beneath his feet and stars above his head, horizon in all directions. He wonders, for a moment, if the reason he’s still here is because the universe wanted a witness, to mourn the end of one age of exploration, and rejoice in the birth of the next.
Thank you for writing this. It made me cry, but oh I am so relieved to see the yearning for the stars.
That shouldn’t have given me as many feels as it did…
'The world is still the same, just less in it'
nothing is impossible when the pirates of the caribbean theme plays in the background
#ahahahahaha NO#because potc is about the ways people become pirates—and it’s always wanting that drive them there#that’s what piracy is about—the chance to chase that wanting; to cut corners and simply aim yourself at what you desire#but you have to want; you have to want so badly and relentlessly that you will get blood and tar beneath your nails and forsake all claim to #land and family and sanity and safety #and elizabeth’s arc is the story of her slowly cutting those ties; of discovering and becoming this creature who can simply chart her way to #the horizon; who can aim herself at her desires and take and damn all else #she wants Will and so she marries him; dresses up as a man to go after him; offers herself to barter him back #she wants to live; to survive; and so she chains Jack to the mast because there is no other way #and when she wants a war—when she wants to challenge the might of the East India Company for the freedom of the seas—then she becomes a Pirate King and orders her men into battle #the governor’s daughter who was choked by a corset in the first movie leads an army against the mighty economic and social power of the British Empire in the last #the movies are her journey; not Jack’s or Will’s #they are her learning to say ‘bring me that horizon’ #(also I love that Jack always saw her for what she was; her capacity for wanting and destruction) #(also guess who cut her out of the corset in the first place?)
I’ve always loved Will’s split second face of “Barbossa? What the fuck? When was he an option?!”
and then there’s Barbossa’s reaction. omg
“What the fuck? Elizabeth? Barbossa? Elizabeth, what- oh. OH. Oh, I get it now!”
But really, let’s imagine Elizabeth telling Will no, and just going off with Barbossa to run a badass pirate armada.
i love barbossa he just??? he started out as whoa scary intimidating bad guy trying to kill will and elizabeth so scary but by the third film will and elizabeth are like yo barbossa ‘sup you should totally marry us we’re buddies now and he just??? does
i lov e barbossa he went from villain to like weird uncle
Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me…
Did you know that this scene was entirely unscripted? Johnny Depp just kinda went with this and no one stopped him, so the reactions’ on the other actors’ faces are their actual reactions to Depp’s shenanigans.
makes the scene 100000 times better omfg
you can even see orlando glancing at the people behind the camera as if asking what is going on
johnny depp is my spirit animal
This is gold