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Monday Mouse Watch : Meet the Pirate Lords from "At World's End"

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Monday Mouse Watch : Meet the Pirate Lords from "At World's End"

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I said it in the sub header for today's article. And I'll say it again here: If you don't want certain aspects of "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" spoiled for you, please exit this article NOW. Because I'm about to got into great detail about a particularly cool sequence from this Gore Verbinski film.


Copyright 2007 Disney Enterprises, LLC / Jerry Bruckheimer Films

Okay. By now, I'm assuming that you're aware of the basic plot line of at least the first half of "At World's End." During which Barbossa captains a ship that literally sails off the edge of the world. So that he and his crew can then " ... find a place as can't be found" ...


 Copyright 2007 Disney Enterprises, LLC / Jerry Bruckheimer Films

... Which is Davy Jones's Locker. Which is where we find Captain Jack Sparrow at the start of the third film in Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean" series. Stranded in the middle of this seemingly unending desert. With only his ship and some "unusual crabs" for company.


Copyright 2007 Disney Enterprises, LLC / Jerry Bruckheimer Films

Now doesn't it seem odd that Barbossa would agree to take part in a rescue mission for Captain Jack ? As you may recall, he was actually killed by Sparrow back in "The Curse of the Black Pearl." Shot in the treasure cave on Isla de Muerta all because Barbossa had led a mutiny against Captain Jack, stolen away the Black Pearl and then marooned Captain Jack. Twice.

So -- given their personal history -- why would the second captain of the Black Pearl now go out of his way to save that ship's first captain ? It's simple, really. Barbossa needs Sparrow. For -- without Jack -- he then won't be able to convene the Brethren Court.

"And what is the Brethren Court ?," you ask. It's that piratical governing body that's overseen by the nine Pirate Lords.

"And who exactly are the Pirates Lords ?," you continue. Well, truth be told, they've always been part of the mythos of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies. But -- up until now -- the Lords have been referred to as the Brethen. Perhaps you remember -- in the first movie of the trilogy -- how Elizabeth invoked the right to Parlay by saying:

" Parlay ! I invoke the right of parlay ! According to the Code of the Brethren, set down by the pirates Morgan and Bartholomew, you must take me to your Captain ! "

This Code (that all pirates keep to) was what the Pirate Lords originally hashed out at their very first meeting. Which was back at the dawn of the great age of piracy.

Mind you, that wasn't the only thing that the Brethren did at their very first gathering. These nine fabled captains also used their guile & cunning to capture the sea goddess Calypso. So that the oceans could then be tamed and all the ships that sailed these waters were ripe for the plucking.

And then the Pirate Lords literally carved up the globe. Each of them taking a sea to serve as their own exclusive territory to plunder and loot.

Of course, that was before the events that we all witnessed in "Dead Man's Chest." When James Norrington handed over Davy Jones's heart to Lord Cutler Beckett. Thereby putting the Flying Dutchman under the control of the East India Trading Company. Which then made that merchant organization (And its mission to rid the seas of all pirates) virtually unstoppable.

And now that Davy Jones is doing Cutler Beckett's dirty work, it looks like the great age of piracy is about to come to an end. Unless -- of course -- someone can come up with a way to defeat the Flying Dutchman.

Well, Barbossa thinks that he has indeed come up with such a plan. Which is why -- after rescuing Captain Jack Sparrow and his ship from Davy Jones's Locker -- he then sails the Black Pearl to Shipwreck Island. Where -- after safely navigating his way through those treacherous waters found in the Devil's Throat (I.E. The secret sea tunnel that leads to Shipwreck Cove) ...


Copyright 2007 Disney Enterprises, LLC / Jerry Bruckheimer Films

Barbossa, Sparrow and their crew then arrive at Shipwreck Island. Where the Brethren Court is now slated to meet for the first time in a generation at Shipwreck City.


Copyright 2007 Disney Enterprises, LLC / Jerry Bruckheimer Films

As you might imagine (Given that it's housed in Shipwreck City), the super-secret home of the Brethren Court is built entirely out of the hulls of the many ships that weren't able to successfully make their way through the Devil's Throat. Built on Soundstage 2 on the Disney lot in Burbank (Which had previously housed Isla de Muerta's treasure cave from "The Curse of the Black Pearl" as well as Tia Dalma's swamp from "Dead Man's Chest"), this is easily "At World's End" 's most impressive & elaborate set.


 Copyright 2007 Disney Enterprises, LLC / Jerry Bruckheimer Films

But trust me, folks. As amazing as it may be to see the interior of the Brethren Court (Not to mention the 150 or so pirate extras that will be milling about in the background to help create just the right atmosphere), that's not what people are going to be talking about after they see "At World's End." When moviegoers do discuss this particular sequence in the film, I can almost guarantee you that they're going to be talking about the Pirate Lords themselves. Who are perhaps the most bizarre set of characters to ever do an extended cameo appearance in a Walt Disney Pictures production.

 
Copyright 2007 Disney Enterprises, LLC / Jerry Bruckheimer Films

Some of the members of the Brethren Court, you already know. Let's start with those you don't.


Copyright 2007 Disney Enterprises, LLC / Jerry Bruckheimer Films

First up is Ammand the Corsair (Played by Ghassan Massoud), the Pirate Lord of the Black Sea. Also known as the Scourge of the Barbary Coast.


Copyright 2007 Disney Enterprises, LLC / Jerry Bruckheimer Films

Next up is Sri Sumbhajee (Played by sitcom vet Marshall Menesh), the Pirate Lord of the Indian Ocean.


Copyright 2007 Disney Enterprises, LLC / Jerry Bruckheimer Films

Then comes Capitaine Chevalle (Played by Marcel Iures), the Pirate Lord of the Mediterranean Sea.


Copyright 2007 Disney Enterprises, LLC / Jerry Bruckheimer Films

Followed by Mistress Ching (Played by Takayo Fischer), the Pirate Lord of the Pacific Ocean (Who -- it's said -- is the most dangerous member of the Brethren).


Copyright 2007 Disney Enterprises, LLC / Jerry Bruckheimer Films

Now come Gentleman Jocard (Played by Hakeem Kae-Kazim), the Pirate Lord of the Atlantic Ocean.


 Copyright 2007 Disney Enterprises, LLC / Jerry Bruckheimer Films

Followed by Captain Villanueva (Played by Sergio Calderón), the Pirate Lord of the Adriatic Sea.


Copyright 2007 Disney Enterprises, LLC / Jerry Bruckheimer Films

Then -- of course -- comes Barbossa himself (Played by Geoffrey Rush), who is the Pirate Lord of the Caspian Sea.


Copyright 2007 Disney Enterprises, LLC / Jerry Bruckheimer Films

Followed by Captain Jack Sparrow (Played by Johnny Depp), who (appropriately enough) is the Pirate Lord of the Caribbean.


Copyright 2007 Disney Enterprises, LLC / Jerry Bruckheimer Films

And then there's Captain Sao Feng (Played by Chow Yun-Fat), who's the Pirate Lord of the South China Sea.


 Copyright 2007 Disney Enterprises, LLC / Jerry Bruckheimer Films

But when circumstances force Sao Feng to "fall behind," his captaincy and his Pirate Lordship are assumed by none other than Elizabeth Swann (Played by Keira Knightley).


Copyright
2007 Disney Enterprises, LLC / Jerry Bruckheimer Films

Anyway ... As each of the Pirate Lords enter the Brethren Court, they must first stick their sword into the globe of the Earth. Which -- according to "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Complete Visual Guide" (DK Children, April 2007) -- symbolizes ...

" ... the pirates' right to plunder the world and also marks a desire to put away the sword while they are gathered together to Parlay."


Copyright 2007 Disney Enterprises, LCC / Jerry Bruckheimer Films

Barbossa then calls the Brethren Court to order by hammering a cannon ball down on the huge carved table around which all of the Pirate Lords are seated. He then tells the Brethren his plan. Which is -- since the East India Trading Company has become virtually unstoppable now that the Flying Dutchman has come under their control -- that they must fight magic with magic. Which is why Barbossa now thinks it's time to release Calypso with the hope that -- once she's freed from her prison --  this angry goddess sweeps Cutler Beckett's vast fleet of ships from the sea. Rather than turning her wrath on the Brethren.

Do the Pirate Lords actually opt to follow Barbossa's plan ? Or -- for that matter -- where has the Brethren kept Calypso locked up for all these many years?


Copyright 2007 Disney Enterprises, LCC / Jerry Bruckheimer Films

For the answers to these questions, I'm afraid that you're going to have to buy a ticket to "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End." Which opens in cinemas nationwide on Friday, May 25th. Though selected theaters around the country will actually begin showing this Jerry Bruckheimer production on Thursday, May 24th starting at 8 p.m.

Your thoughts?

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  • calypso=tia dalma duhhh i knew that from the end of the 2nd.

    Great Article! Though having already picked up the junior novel and other AWE books, i knew all this.

    Also navigating the disney pirates website would show you the pirate lords.

    As a costumer, i must marvel at the indivduality of each costume. Love it

  • "AWE"-some! What a juicy set of teasers, Jim! Fascinating to learn about the Brethren, though I do regret learning about Elizabeth's promotion to a pirate lord, but such is the nature of spoilers! Tia Dalma as Calypso would be... interesting. But would that really be an "imprisonment"?

  • I have to wonder why you let people spoil the movie for yourself?  I guess it's a small price to pay for our entertainment.  Besides, knowing the movie doesn't ruin the fun of the movie anyways, but it might take away from the experience.

  • When the moon gleams like an evil eye,

    when swords of lightning pierce the sky...

    when thunder booms like a cannon's crack

    and the sea boils dark as the devil's back...

    Beware! The Brethren have heard the call

    and now they gather--one and all.

    From depths where blood runs thick and cold.

    Past monsters from fathoms below,

    through ancient passages they know,

    and over each ship's battered hull

    a flag flies with its grinning skull!

    so man the walls, sound the alarm,

    but nowhere will you find the charm

    to fend off cannon, gun or blade--

    all forged in fire with the devil's aide,

    and now their cry screams through the night

    "Show your colors and join the fight!"

    the brethren come, and their battle will rage

    to bring back the glory of their golden age.

  • While I am getting more and more excited for AT WORLD'S END, I'm still struck by the fundamental absurdity of the Pirate Lord/East India Company arc.

    Granted that the East India Company aren't nice guys... it actually even changed my perception of Jack Sparrow quite a bit to learn what his past with the Company even is... but I don't think we should forget that the pirates are a gang of criminals. The Pirate Lords are like a mafia carving up a territory. When I hear the line about how "a pirate was free to make his way in the world" and how they have to protect their way of life, all I can think is that, well, yeah, pirates SHOULD be wiped out.

    But that's the inherent contradiction of the cinematic "shwashbuckling rogues", up to and especially the Pirates ride. While the new ride with the Jack Sparrow additions as fussed up the story something fierce, the origial ride allowed us both to enjoy the guilty pleasure of being "pirates" (at least the scenic rogues of movies) while at the same time giving us sufficient moral lesson about the evils of piracy to absolve us.

  • I'm just really disappointed there wasn't a spoiler warning for the biggest shock of the movie...that Elizabeth Swann gets gonzo implants that give her cleavage like Dolly Parton...

  • Necklace.

    That's all I have to say.

  • Sweet lordy was Elizabeth's outfit boobtacular! I'm glad someone else noticed it!

    AH! I can't wait for this movie. I love the "Pirate Lords" idea.

  • minderbinder said:

    I'm just really disappointed there wasn't a spoiler warning for the biggest shock of the movie...that Elizabeth Swann gets gonzo implants that give her cleavage like Dolly Parton...

    There was a lengthy discussion about this the first time Jim posted the picture...in fact, I think nearly all of the comments were about the "artistic liberties" of that drawing.

  • I take it nobody heard about the Potter Imax poster.  http://posterwire.com/image.php?img_full=/wp-content/images/imax_order_of_phoneix.jpg&img_title=Harry%20Potter%20and%20the%20Order%20of%20the%20Phoenix

  • I liked the first film - it was a fun romp.

    The second film was just a muddled mess where I could barely follow all the meandering subplots. (Who is after what and why do they want it?!)

    This third film sounds even worse, what with too many characters with unpronouncable names and a confusing plot - I think I'll give it a miss, thanks just the same...

  • One man's confusing is another man's depth and complexity.  I found even the first one a bit confusing...on first watch.  In my opinion, one of the biggest strengths of these movies is that they hold up so well on repeated viewings.  To some degree they're like a puzzle to be figured out, not something simple and obvious on the first viewing.

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