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Before going On Stranger Tides

J Fan November 6, 2012 User blog:J Fan

Ok, admittedly, this blog was partially inspired after playing LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game.

We all know the story. After the big battle in At World's End, Captain Jack Sparrow began his search for the Fountain of Youth, which continued several years later into the events of On Stranger Tides, where he's forced to help Blackbeard and his daughter Angelica find the Fountain, followed swiftly by the Barbossa-led British Navy and the Spanish Armada. But what happened in between the movies?...or maybe even before them?
Here is what we (should) know, besides the most important fact that several years had already passed...
  • Captain Jack had likely spent much time trying to find the Fountain, going so far as memorizing the route to the legendary spring. It is not known how, but we can only my opinion, I believe Jack had been searching for the Fountain on the island before - because Sao Feng's navigational charts, while useful, probably wouldn't have ALL the details that could only be seen if you were there.
  • Hector Barbossa became a privateer serving under King George II. Prior to this, he lost the Black Pearl and his right leg after running afoul of Blackbeard. SPOILER ALERT: Barbossa's real goal was to have his revenge on Blackbeard, who was the reason his leg was sacrificed and the Pearl was sunk...or so Barbossa believed.
  • Joshamee Gibbs, Jack's first mate, would listen for news of the Black Pearl until he heard a rumor that Jack Sparrow himself was in London, with a ship, and looking for a crew. Finding it odd, Gibbs set sail to London. Why go further in this particular tale when you can see it for yourself. ;)

Now these last points may draw questions of what happened before the movies...

  • Blackbeard had been sailing the seven seas for many years, with zombies serving aboard his ship Queen Anne's Revenge. At some point, Blackbeard reunited with his beloved daughter, Angelica, who was conceived and decades prior(way back before she lived most of her life in a Spanish convent). To some, Blackbeard is associated with two things regarding the supernatural came in his life: Dark Magic and the Sword of Triton - both of which came into his life through unknown circumstances.
  • Angelica, unlike her infamous father, is a mysterious figure. Prior to the quest for the Fountain of Youth, all that is known of Angelica is that she is a woman from Jack Sparrow's past - where they had a relationship that didn't quite end well. To this day, whether Angelica broke Jack's heart of Jack smoted Angelica's is the subject of endless debate between the two pirates. By the time she sailed aboard the Queen Anne's Revenge, Angelica wanted to redeem her father's soul.

Also something to put on record, a snippet of Jack's activities and journeys between the two films(ending practically where he was in On Stranger Tides) was chronicled in the Disney Second Screen feature:

It weren't the lure of charmed waters that first sent Jack Sparrow on a course for the fabled Fountain of Youth. Nay. Rather, Captain Jack set off in pursuit of his beloved ship, the Black Pearl, after it was taken by that blackguard Hector Barbossa when the two last found themselves in Tortuga (after that ungodly row with Beckett, the E.I.T.C., and Davy Jones and his barnacled brethren). Jack never made it to the Fountain on that voyage, forced to turn back after complications arose, ensued, and, unfortunately, were not overcome. Fortune sent Jack east across the Atlantic, and it was then he heard tell of Gibbs' dire encounter with the authorities. So Jack charted a course to London to effect the rescue of his devoted First Mate.

Now you all must be wondering...What is the point of all this? Well, first, you now have the need-to-know knowledge, which was mostly taken from official POTC sources, including the film itself. And second, this is for those who want to give their opinion on one or two plot holes, such as...

  • How did Jack get his new look? (i.e. the new trinkets, vest, and of course the "X" on his cheek)
    According to an interview with Johnny Depp in two pages of the May 2011 issue of Entertainment Weekly magazine(though I think only the P4 info is on Page 2):
    • Golden Tooth: "In the third film, when all the pirate lords had to release their pieces of eight, mine was the dingle hanging off my bandanna. So it was gone at the end of 3. I thought it would be interesting if Jack had reason to put another one on there. He found some beads on adventures, and they all tell a story. But there's also a gold tooth at the bottom. He lost one of his gold teeth - it fell out, and he swallowed it. And then...well, he waited for it!"
    • Mystery Scar: "He's got a new scar on his cheek. An X. If you end up with a cut on your face, it's just a cut. Maybe from a fight. But an X? He must have woken up and found that someone made a deliberate X on his face. I kept waiting for someone to ask me, 'Where did it come from?' But no one did."
    • Vest Upgrade: "He has a new waistcoat in this one. I reckoned that at a certain point, he just probably couldn't take the stench of the old one anymore. So he dropped his off with someone and took theirs, probably in a bar somewhere."
Everything else, I believe, was already answered as of interviews for Pirates 2 and 3. But take all that info as you will...depends if you either take Depp's word or not; I'm sure some might prefer it to be confirmed in officially-licensed Pirates material(a movie, book, etc)
  • How did Barbossa become the apparent most trusted privateer of King George himself? He had (maybe) a year or two to earn his trust...but how?
  • What was Gibbs doing aside from listening for news.
  • Blackbeard and Angelica's past...? What were they doing in the decades past? How did they reunite? *DISCLAIMER: I'm sure someone will mention that it was semi-revealed in LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game. However, aside from the fact that LEGO games are considered non-canonical, it showed a brief clip of a younger Angelica with Blackbeard...which kinda contradicts what's established on the characters and storyline...particularly the stuff about the Spanish convent and Angelica "wanting a father".*

Anywho, that's what I expect every poster to try and have their say on...what they believe happens between films. Here's the one, small rule: you have to try and keep canon info in.(ex. don't say that Jack didn't get his new bone trinket until he was aboard the Queen Anne's Revenge; it was obviously there beforehand) Other than that, you pretty much free to have your view on what happened...unless if there is an official source that says otherwise.

ETA: (as of December 28, 2012)
Well, I can't believe I didn't notice this until months after making this blog, but I forgot an important thing to show. Regarding the subject of Jack's new look, I forgot to mention that Johnny Depp himself was interviewed about the costume on the May 2011 issue of Entertainment Weekly magazine; this does answer several questions about Jack's look. So as of now, it's updated into that part of the blog.

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