Beckett organized a search for the mythical island of Kerma, hoping to find its legendary treasure. However, the quest for Kerma didn’t succeed because he was betrayed by Captain Jack Sparrow, the man he trusted enough to place him in charge of his own ship, the merchantman Wicked Wench. Not only Sparrow didn’t bring him the bearings of Kerma, but he also liberated a cargo of slaves which Beckett’s patron Lord Penwallow needed for his plantation in the Bahamas. Since Sparrow’s act ruined his chance to join the British nobility, Beckett ordered his men to burn the Wench and personally branded Sparrow as a pirate.
So you know that scene in ”Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” where Elizabeth kisses Jack so she can chain him to the Black Pearl? She tells Jack the kraken is after him not the ship, and that she’s not sorry for what she’s doing. He smirks and calls her a pirate. I never thought much of it myself besides, you know, the obvious reaction of “ELIZABETH, YOU SAVAGE.”
I just watched Dead Man’s Chest again and that scene hit me in a whole new light. In that moment, with that one word, Jack calls her out on what she has become. “Pirate”
The scene of which I, regrettably, couldn’t find a gif for despite my best efforts.
It is there that we truly witness the shifting of who Elizabeth Swann is, of what she has become. She’s no longer the Governors daughter running around with pirates trying to save herself and Will. She’s a pirate. She’s betrayed her Captain. Committed a man to death. Resigned her code of morals, and picked up a new one. A looser one. And ultimately killed her friend.
She struggles with what she did even though she said she wasn’t sorry for it. She knows it was wrong. That Jack had done nothing to warrant her killing him. In fact, he had even just played the hero. He came back to The Pearl to help his friends. Even if what she did was for the good of the crew she was in the wrong and she knows it.
The Elizabeth of ”Curse of the Black Pearl” wouldn’t have chosen that path. She stood up for him multiple times in that movie. Saved him more than once even while putting herself and those around her at risk. Why? Because it was the right thing to do. She could see Jack wasn’t as bad as he put out. Selfish? Sure, but not worthy of death. Besides telling some lies what was the worst thing Jack had done? Nothing that she’d seen. She couldn’t let them kill him for no good reason.
That person is gone.
The new one is a pirate.
And it’s this character development that makes me love these movies so much.