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Review: The History of Jack Sparrow highlighted in ‘Dead Men Tell No Tales’

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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is the fifth installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean movie series and was released to theaters on May 26. The fifth film explores Captain Jack’s backstory while introducing a few new characters into the epic narrative.

Johnny Depp has played many different characters over the years, including performances as Willie Wonka and the Mad Hatter, but his most popular role must be that of Captain Jack Sparrow from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise. The fifth and newest installment, “Dead Men Tell No Tales,” is in theaters now, returning the popular character to the screen and prompting the question: What makes Captain Jack such a legendary character?

Sparrow never knew his father well and grew up trying to make a name for himself on his own. In his early twenties, he learns of a warship captain named Salazar who was laying waste to other pirate vessels. Sparrow confronted him, eventually destroying his ship in the Devil’s Triangle, with the Spanish captain falling to a fiery death. Salazar and his crew rose from the dead, however, only to be trapped in the triangle — vowing revenge on the young Jack Sparrow.

After that defining event, Sparrow began a life of sailing the seas, developing a quick wit and a thirst for adventure. His arrogance and fearlessness made him well-suited to a pirate’s life.

Depp fashioned a swaggering and carefree personality for Captain Jack — one who is seemingly unfazed even during the most perilous of situations — and created a pop culture icon in the process. The Daily Wildcat sat down with UA physiology junior David Ferrero to get his take on Depp’s portrayal of the popular pirate.

“The character, Captain Jack Sparrow, is mostly known for his humor, and for his ability to be clever and tough,” Ferrero said. “Sometimes, what I find most interesting about this character is how he is able to get out of difficult situations using his skills of persuasion.”

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Captain Salazar is eventually freed from the Devil’s Triangle, and teams up with Captain Barbossa, another pirate from Sparrow’s past, to get their revenge on Captain Jack by ending his life.

Down on his luck, Sparrow teams up with the son of Will Turner and an astronomer named Carina Smyth to locate the Trident of Poseidon, which has the power to end all curses of the sea. The group races toward the trident as Salazar and Barbossa attempt to destroy them along the way.

Depp exhibits terrific character development throughout the “Pirates” series of films. Ferrero observes that the actor always maintains a strong sense of personality as Captain Jack.

“He is always sarcastic and fooling around. Sometimes, he would be selfish so that he could achieve his own goals and motives,” Ferrero said. “However, throughout the franchise I do believe that there was some growth in his heart and as a captain due to his experiences.”

The films have taken the audience on a journey alongside Sparrow, documenting his time as a young pirate who was not so well-known — “you are without doubt the worst pirate I’ve ever heard of…” to later in life when his name was legend across the seas — “but you have heard of me.” Fans of the movies have watched Captain Jack become one of the most famous pirates of all time.

“In every movie, Captain Jack Sparrow is the center of attention,” Ferrero said. “He is the main character and he’s always well developed; he is a character that drives the plot.”

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Although Depp has experienced tremendous success as an actor, he has also had his share of criticism. Ferrero said that although Sparrow is not the traditional captain of a pirate ship he is an unforgettable character and Depp has done an admirable job of portraying his unique personality.

With an armada of undead after him again, who knows the fate of Captain Jack Sparrow? To find out, catch “Dead Men Tell No Tales,” in theaters now.


Follow Mike Gonzalez on Twitter.


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