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|This article is about Blackbeard's zombie crew. You may be looking for the undead species or the human crew of the Revenge.|
|Behind the scenes|
The Zombie Officers were a crew of zombies that served under the infamous pirate Blackbeard aboard the world-renowned vessel of infamy, the Queen Anne's Revenge. Perpetually ill-tempered and devoid of personal free will, these zombies unquestioningly complied with Blackbeard's commands.
Unfeeling and untiring, the Revenge's zombie crew were legendary for their ruthless discipline. Once mere men, Blackbeard used his dark magic and the fiery power of the Queen Anne's Revenge to morph them from beyond the grave into his fearless minions. Their uncompromising allegiance to Blackbeard made them a formidable adversary for any sailor. These obedient supernatural beings were most notably seen aiding Blackbeard during the quest for the Fountain of Youth.
Blackbeard's zombie crew
Some time after he repaired the Queen Anne's Revenge, Blackbeard dabbled into the Black Arts, during which point he gained supernatural powers. He would at some point begin to include zombies as his loyal officers aboard the Queen Anne's Revenge. Once mere men, Blackbeard used the fiery power of the Revenge to morph them into his fearless minions. Perpetually ill-tempered and devoid of personal free will, these zombies unquestioningly comply with Blackbeard's commands. From beyond the grave, the Revenge's zombie crew would perform Blackbeard's cruel deeds and grisly tasks that living beings would refuse to do. One of Blackbeard's zombies, the Quartermaster, was given the ability to see things before they happen. After being reunited with his beloved daughter, Angelica, Blackbeard made Angelica his second in command, giving her the rank of first mate and equal command over Blackbeard's zombie crew.
Quest for the Fountain of Youth
Blackbeard soon learned of a prophecy, foreseen by the Quartermaster, which revealed Blackbeard's death in the hands of a one-legged man. Upon learning of this, Blackbeard wanted to find the fabled Fountain of Youth, which discovered by conquistador Ponce de León in 1523. Around the time of the War Against Piracy, with the help of Angelica, who was able to learn of the Profane Ritual, which was needed for the Fountain to work, Blackbeard began his search for the Fountain. Over the years, Blackbeard encountered the Black Pearl, captained by Hector Barbossa. During a raid on a remote island in the Caribbean, a young missionary named Philip Swift was captured by the crew in the process. Although Angelica stopped Blackbeard before he had a chance to kill Philip, Blackbeard had the missionary tied to the Revenge's mast.
Aboard the Queen Anne's Revenge
The zombies still served as Blackbeard's officers by the time Angelica was able to shanghai Jack Sparrow, who was rumored to have been to the Fountain of Youth, aboard the Queen Anne's Revenge. Prior to this, Angelica was also able to gather a number of sailors and pirates as new recruits to join Blackbeard's crew. Five days later, as the Queen Anne's Revenge sailed through the ocean, the crewmen would work with the zombies. Jack Sparrow, who thought the Revenge's officers were French by looking at Gunner, would be told of Blackbeard's involvement in zombiefying his officers to "make them more compliant" by fellow shipmate Scrum. The zombies continued using ruthless discipline to force the deckhands into following orders while working aboard the Revenge.
Later that night, Jack Sparrow would rally the entire human crew, who were unsatisfied with sailing with Angelica or the zombie officers, to join him in a mutiny against the zombies. The attack went on intensely as the human crew fought against the zombie crew. Shortly after Jack defeated the Quartermaster and ordered him to be tied off, all the zombie officers and Angelica, who joined the fight, were defeated by Jack's crew of mutineers in which Jack claimed that the ship was theirs. However, Blackbeard himself appeared and, bringing fear to the human crew, used his sword to tangle the mutineers with the rigging of the Queen Anne's Revenge. After a brief confrontation between Blackbeard and Philip Swift, who was freed during Jack's mutiny, Blackbeard ordered the Cook, who was said to have stood watch that night, to be sent on a longboat.
The Cook was the one Blackbeard decided to punish as an example for those who had mutinied. Having commanded to his zombie officers, who resumed their positions in control of the ship, Blackbeard had the Cook's punishment prepared. The crew watched as Blackbeard, despite the pleas of Angelica and Philip, had Greek fire unleashed upon the Cook. Shortly afterwards, Blackbeard had a talk with Jack Sparrow in his cabin, in which Blackbeard tried to force Jack to help him find the Fountain of Youth. It was in this discussion that the Cook appeared with the Quartermaster, revealing that he was now a zombie.
Journey to the Fountain
- "We go on. Due north, to the Fountain."
- ―Quartermaster to the crew
The Queen Anne's Revenge soon arrived to the mysterious Whitecap Bay to find and capture a mermaid, as one of the items required for the Profane Ritual was a mermaid's tear. A landing party of Blackbeard's crew quickly rowed to shore, where they deployed fishing nets in the shallow water. Several longboats filled with Blackbeard's crewmen, with zombies presiding them, were sent out into the bay where they served as the bait. In one of the longboats, Gunner pointed his pistol at Scrum, forcing him to start singing to attract the mermaids. After a group of mermaids, led by Tamara, appeared at the edge of the longboat, the mermaid hunt turned to an attack. Shortly after the battle, Blackbeard's crew managed to capture a live mermaid with the help of Philip Swift. The Quartermaster had a net on her as Blackbeard himself looked upon their prize and congratulated Philip on his catch. Blackbeard then ordered the crew to return to the ship, where they would continue their quest.
Later, as the Queen Anne's Revenge was anchored on a protected cove of the island, Blackbeard's crew made their way over the rocky shore with a blindfolded Jack Sparrow, who Blackbeard didn't want knowing the whereabouts of the Revenge. The rest of Blackbeard's landing party consisted of his human crew, while the zombies, Quartermaster, Gunner, Yeoman and Master-at-Arms carried the captured mermaid in a glass coffin, half-filled with water. Blackbeard took off Jack's blindfold so he could lead the crew through the island to the Santiago, the lost ship of Ponce de León, which was where they would find the Silver Chalices of Cartagena, another item needed for the Profane Ritual. And so Jack led the crew in their search, making their way through the thick jungle growth and a murky river. Arriving to a broken bridge at the edge of a chasm, which had a vast drop down to a rocky river, Jack Sparrow made the jump to find the Chalices as the rest of the crew continued on with their journey.
The crew forged ahead in their quest, with the zombies carrying the glass coffin until it breaks, releasing the captured mermaid who then transforms to human form as her tail turned into a pair of human legs. Blackbeard, Angelica, and the rest of the pirates stared as Philip gave the mermaid his shirt to cover her as Blackbeard ordered her to walk. But as she couldn't stand up, Philip decided to carry her. After resting near a fig tree, Blackbeard ordered his men to bring the mermaid, referring to her as "the creature", after which Philip demanded she'd be called "Syrena". Arriving to the Jungle Pools where mermaids were previously harvested of their tears, Blackbeard tried to force Syrena to cry. But the mermaid would not yield. Upon learning that Syrena and Philip fancy each other, Blackbeard had the Quartermaster kill Philip, although in reality he only sedated him with a voodoo dart. Syrena was seemingly left to die while Philip's body was dumped nearby by Master-at-Arms and Yeoman. After waking up with the dart on his chest, Philip ran to free Syrena, who smiled with tears in her eyes. Blackbeard's crew then appeared to retrieve Syrena's tear. Though Philip told Blackbeard to let her go, Blackbeard had Syrena left to die with the other mermaids.
Finding the Fountain
The next day, while holding Jack Sparrow's compass, Angelica led Blackbeard's crew as she made her way through the jungle until they met with Jack Sparrow himself. Jack presented the Chalices, which tied onto a wild boar held on a leash by Jack's loyal first mate, Joshamee Gibbs. However, Jack wasn't willing to hand them over without a few conditions, which Blackbeard impatiently considered it done. After Blackbeard received the Chalices from Gibbs, Jack gave Gibbs his compass as Blackbeard's crew continued towards the Fountain of Youth. After finding the cave entrance to the Fountain, the Quartermaster led the crew as they climbed down a steep incline to the cavern. Going much deeper inside, the Quartermaster waved his torch across a wall—a dead end. After reading "Aqua de Vida" from the Chalices, Jack Sparrow was able to gain entrance to the Fountain of Youth.
Jack Sparrow continued towards the Fountain, followed by Angelica, Blackbeard and the rest of the crew. As Jack reached to touch the water, Blackbeard immediately stopped him, stating that he'd be the first to drink from it. However, Angelica turned to see unwanted visitors appearing out of the mist, and Blackbeard knew exactly who it was: Hector Barbossa, the one-legged man destined to kill him. Barbossa, a privateer in King George II's court, stepped forward with his British crew to challenge Blackbeard in a duel. Vowing that he would have one last fight, Blackbeard ordered his crew to fight Barbossa's men. After a brief interruption from Jack Sparrow, who questioned the crews fighting each other when the quarrel was only between Barbossa and Blackbeard, the battle between the two crews inevitably ensued with the two captains engaged in a duel. While Philip Swift was able to escape to help free Syrena at the Jungle Pools, both human and zombie crewmen fought fiercely against the British.
The Spaniard's crew later arrive and, after forcibly taking the Chalices from Angelica and stomping on them, the Spaniard ordered his men to destroy the Fountain of Youth. As the Spanish began destroying the Fountain, Blackbeard confronted the Spaniard, until Blackbeard himself was fatally wounded, stabbed by Barbossa with his poisoned sword. Angelica tried to help her father, but, despite Jack's attempt to warn her, cuts her hand, poisoning herself as well. Barbossa picked up Blackbeard's sword and claimed it along with Blackbeard's ship and crew as his own. Members of Blackbeard's human crew made their choice, joined him. They left with Barbossa as their old captain was certainly facing death, while the Spanish continued destroying the Fountain of Youth. One of the pillars the Spanish pulled down, which would crush Gunner and Quartermaster. After the Spanish leave, Jack was able to perform the Profane Ritual to save Angelica. But this led with the cost of Blackbeard losing his years of life, which infuriated Angelica. After Blackbeard's death at the Fountain, all the zombie officers died along with him.
From beyond the grave they have returned, empty vessels stirred to life. When a dead body had given up the part of its spirit that contained its will, someone else could provide that driving force—in this case, Blackbeard. Perpetually ill-tempered and devoid of personal free will, the zombie officers unquestioningly comply with Blackbeard's commands, and were legendary for their ruthless discipline. Once mere men, Blackbeard used Greek fire, which was part of a voodoo ritual, to morph them into his fearless minions. Unfeeling and untiring, the zombie crew of the Revenge would perform Blackbeard's cruel deeds and grisly tasks that living beings would refuse to do. Their uncompromising allegiance to Blackbeard made them a formidable adversary for any sailor.
As undead beings, these zombies were immune to almost all sorts of conventional weapons. Sword stabs and pistol shots had no effect on them; this was shown from the Quartermaster being stabbed by a pirate during Jack Sparrow's mutiny. Since they were technically walking dead, some of them were more or less decomposed. People who were brought to life as zombies shortly after their death looked similar to normal human beings. Some zombies retained more of their original personality than others.
Devoid of feeling, efficient, and enduring like machines, these zombies made ideal slaves for any form of tough physical labor. Some zombies can be given supernatural visions or scars forming mystic symbols. Sewn-up lips were one of the telltale signs that dark magic was at work, as some believed that the soul can escape the body through the mouth, so this precaution was taken to keep the spirit enslaved.
Behind the scenes
- The name "Zombie Officers" was used in the On Stranger Tides screenplay, the film's junior novelization, and The Art of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, as well as being referred to as officers in the film and director Rob Marshall in an interview. The zombies were also referred to as the "Zombie Crew" in the film's visual guide.
- For making On Stranger Tides, Miles Teves's designs for the zombie officers were refined and then implemented by Academy Award-winning makeup department head Joel Harlow. Harlow, and his team of eager artists, were responsible for creating much of the look of Blackbeard's eerie zombie crew, with quite a bit of R&D preceding the final results. "A concept illustrator named Miles Teves did several drawings," recalls Harlow, "which we then had to translate to three dimensions." Harlow continues, "The idea was that the zombies don’t contain muscle and flesh, but moss, stones and fiber, like they're devoid of blood, sinew and anything that makes us human, with lots of stitching. We did a lot of research into Santeria symbols, voodoo lore, classic zombie movies, as well as shrunken heads. We did an initial battery of testing in L.A. before filming began, sent them to Jerry and Rob, and got their feedback. Then, just before we started shooting in Kauai, we lined up about 14 zombies in front of Jerry and Rob, and they made changes then as well. Finally, the makeup on each zombie took an average of three-and-a-half hours every day they worked."
- In the real-world history, zombies were never part of Blackbeard's crew.
- In the On Stranger Tides film, the Cook never appeared as a zombie onscreen, as he was last seen being fired upon by Blackbeard's Greek fire cannons. However, On Stranger Tides: The Visual Guide stated that the Cook returned as a zombie. A scene of the zombiefied Cook appearing in Blackbeard's cabin was in the film's screenplay as well as being included in the On Stranger Tides junior novelization.
- The Sword of Triton was believed to be how Blackbeard brought men back to life as his zombie officers (particularly in LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game). However, it was confirmed otherwise that the rituals required and practiced to create zombies, most likely from Dark Magic, are separate from the sword.
- Blackbeard had a crew of zombies in Tim Powers' novel On Stranger Tides, the basis for the fourth Pirates film. In the novel, the zombies are mindless walking corpses, but in the film, they look and act almost like normal people.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (First appearance)
- LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game (Non-canonical appearance)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
- Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (junior novelization)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides: The Visual Guide
- The Art of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (junior novelization), p.81
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 In the Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides screenplay, the zombies decomposed as Blackbeard died at the Fountain of Youth. But as that scene was altered, it is unknown of the fate of the zombies, though it is assumed that the zombies died as there were no zombies under Barbossa's command.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides | Characters | Zombies | Disney
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides: The Visual Guide, p36-37: "Zombie Crew"
- ↑ 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
- ↑ Angelica traded her ring for information regarding the Profane Ritual. Because Jack Sparrow stole that very ring from Tia Dalma in Dead Man's Chest, it can be assumed this all happened prior to the events of Dead Man's Chest.
- ↑ Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (junior novelization), p.49
- ↑ Blackbeard, Zombies, Mermaids - Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
- ↑ The Art of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
- ↑ Pirates 4 Press Kit
|v • d • eCrew of the Queen Anne's Revenge|