I don't hate the ~twist~ in "Pirates," but I do have roughly a thousand questions about it
Ahoy mateys, hopefully you’ve seen Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, because otherwise I am about to spoil it for you.
There’s a twist in the third act of Pirates. I don’t even know if it’s cool to call it a ~twist~, but it is something that kind of suddenly happens, without warning, and it took me by surprise. The movie didn’t necessarily need this twist, but it happens anyway. At first I was like. “Oh hell no,” but as the movie wrapped up, I found myself perfectly fine with the twist. Sure, it’s something we’ve seen done a thousand times before. But TBH, the brightest star of Pirates, Kaya Scodelario’s Carina Smyth, really sells the twist. I believe it and I feel for her.
And what, exactly, is this twist? In a maybe-not-so-shocking turn of events, Carina Smyth is actually Carina Barbossa.
As in, the daughter of Captain Barbossa, Jack Sparrow’s favorite frenemy.
When we first meet Carina, we learn a few things about her: She’s an orphan, she’s very smart, and also everyone thinks she’s a witch. Her story is very much driven by the fact that she’s determined to make her late, unnamed father proud. All she does for half the movie is drone on about how her dad was a great man, and super smart, and left her a diary that once belonged to Galileo. Carina’s convinced that if she can decode the stars in this diary (don’t ask), she’ll find Poseidon’s trident (for reasons that aren’t that important, don’t think too hard about it). And don’t worry, she decodes the journal and finds the trident. She also finds her dad!
In-between epic battles on the high seas, Carina and Barbossa have like, a 30 second conversation where she shows him Galileo’s journal and mentions she’s an orphan. Barbossa recognizes the diary and is like, “Oh shit, this was my diary, and this is my daughter, and oh no. I left this diary with her many years ago, when I abandoned her.” Barbossa then explains to Jack that Carina mom died, and Barbossa abandoned the baby…but left her with this diary, because like yeah, babies love dead astronomer’s diaries.
Barbossa doesn’t want Carina to know he’s her dad, but the truth comes out in the end. After Barbossa saves Carina, Jack, and Henry, Carina asks him, “What am I to you?” to which Barobssa replies, “TREASURE.” Barbossa then falls into the sea, probably dies, but you know what we’ll talk about that later.
At the end of the movie Henry calls Karina “Miss Smyth” and she corrects him: Her name is Carina Barbossa, and aww.
Now you know what happens. I have some questions.
1. How old is Carina? If she’s roughly Henry’s age, that makes her 19-21-ish. Well, we’ve known Barbossa for these last two decades years — even longer actually, all the way back to the first Pirates — so when did he wash up on land and HAVE A BABY?
2. Very early reports about Dead Men Tell No Tales describe Carina as in her 30s. Is she?
3. These early reports also directly name her as Barbossa’s daughter. Like, not even trying to hide it.
4. Does Disney know that the PotC Wiki already leaked this information before the movie was even out? I looked.
5. Why didn’t anyone even try to tiptoe around the “Carina is Barbossa’s daughter” thing during early press for the movie?
6. Who was Carina’s mom, Margaret?
7. Is the fact that Uncle Jack (Paul McCartney) is singing “Maggie Mae” in his jail cell a nod to Carina’s mom? Is there more there that we don’t know? Or am I just so used to coming up with insane fan theories, this is another one?
8. Where was Carina abandoned? She mentions London like she knows it. But uh…was Barbossa in London?
9. Where did Carina LEARN EVERYTHING?
10. When did Carina learn everything? In the sense that she’s claiming to be a horologist and an astronomer and she’s maybe…20.
11. And getting back to her age, when did she find time to attend school and learn how to be a horologist?
12. Why doesn’t Carina get custody of Jack the Monkey?
13. Has Barbossa really loved astronomy this whole time, because that is news to me!
14. Since they were looking for this long, lost island (tbh, I cannot remember the name of the island, I’m so sorry) shouldn’t Barbossa have *immediately* known where it was?
15. Is Carina going to become a pirate now? CAN she become a pirate? Hello, I’d watch that movie.
16. Is Barbossa really dead? During a press junket for Pirates, the directors of the movie — Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg — revealed that originally, when Barbossa fell, Jack quipped, “He’ll be back.” The line was changed because it was too lighthearted for the intense scene.
17. When Barobssa had Jack’s compass, and it was pointing at “what he desired most” was it pointing at Jack, OR WAS IT POINTING AT CARINA?
18. Did Barbossa literally forget he had a daughter? It’s fine if he did, just tell the truth.
19. When did Barbossa get that cool star tattoo?
21. Are any of these movies ever going to make sense, or should I just give up now?
Feel free to try and help me figure out one, or all, of my pressing questions!!