Call me a sentimental fool, but I love father/daughter relationships in movies and TV. They are some of the most complicated, strong and loving bonds to portray, and they never cease to make me a blithering mess.
Well I got pretty intrigued upon reading Michael Singer’s new book, Disney Pirates: The Definitive Collector’s Anthology. In the chapter regarding Dead Men Tell No Tales, Singer writes that the series has always been about “parents and their children” (109). Be it Elizabeth and Governor Swann, Will and Bootstrap Bill, Jack and Captain Teague, or Angelica and Blackbeard, the series has always had a strong focus on parentage, particularly fatherhood. Jerry Bruckheimer elaborated upon these parent-child dynamics as they appear in DMTNT as follows:
In the fifth [movie] both Henry Turner and Carina Smyth are either trying to liberate or searching for their fathers.
So now the question becomes, who is Carina’s father?
Option 1: Jack Sparrow
- AYE AYE! The last name. In one of his very first scenes in Curse of the Black Pearl, Jack Sparrow encounters two Naval officers and reports that his name is “Smith.” Her last name is “Smyth.” COINCIDENCE? Perhaps…
- AYE AYE! She resembles him. Carina and Jack share dark eyes, dark hair, and pronounced cheekbones. This could be a coincidence in casting, but it’s interesting to note nonetheless.
- AYE AYE! Her mother could literally be anyone. Jack’s a promiscuous guy. He has had a ton of liasons…it was bound to happen eventually!
- AYE AYE! She’s the proper age. Carina appears to be a love interest for Henry, who we can assume is 17 – 20 years old in this film. She could be anywhere around that age. While Jack’s age is never explicitly stated, it can be assumed that he’s either the same age or slightly younger than Johnny Depp, who is going on 54.
- AYE AYE! She’s the exact opposite of him. Scodelario has stated that Carina is, “an astronomer and an academic.” That is not Jack in the slightest. From the trailers so far, she appears to be very headstrong, intelligent, and no-nonsense. She tells Jack that she’s “Not looking for trouble,” to which he replies, “What a horrible way to live!” All of these render her the direct opposite of Jack, and could make for an interesting complement.
- BELAY THAT! …ew. Jack’s totally checking her out.
JACK SPARROW, YOU ARE…NOT THE FATHER!
Option 2: Will Turner
- BELAY THAT! Henry too is checking her out. SORRY, GEORGE LUCAS. NOT TODAY!
- BELAY THAT! Pretty sure that given his home life, Henry would know if he had a sister. Elizabeth and Will only see each other once every ten years because of the curse. As Carina and Henry are roughly the same age, they would have to be twins to be brother and sister, and if so, where was Carina in the post-credits teaser of At World’s End, locked in a closet? So no, she’s not a secret Turner… at least not mothered by Elizabeth.
- BELAY THAT! That would mean Will Turner was unfaithful and NO. IT’S TRUE LOVE. HE’S PERFECT, SHUT UP.
Option 3: Joshamee Gibbs
- BELAY THAT! Not enough emotional impact. Sorry, Gibbs. I love ya, but the initial responses to Carina’s character were too positive for her character to have anything less than an impactful presence. The most impact would be a relationship with an established, prominent character, and you’re not it.
Option 4: Captain Teague
- BELAY THAT! Too large of an age gap between Carina and Jack. It’s not impossible, but I just don’t find it super believable.
- BELAY THAT! Keith Richards will most likely not make an appearance. Unless the film has killed Teague offscreen or has a surprise cameo from Richards planned, what would the payoff of having it revealed that Teague is Carina’s father if Teague isn’t even around to react to this revelation?
- AYE AYE! However, a young Captain Teague HAS been cast…
- BELAY THAT! Jack is still checking her out in that scene, and even if he has no idea, that’s still mighty unsettling.
CAPTAIN TEAGUE…PROLLY NOT!
Option 5: Some Rando We Haven’t Met
Carina could very well be the daughter of a new character we haven’t met yet. Maybe we’ll never meet him over the course of the narrative, and the search for him is merely a part of Carina’s character.
- AYE AYE! This might make for a less cliche plot. What are the odds of all these various relationships getting more and more interwoven with each other in the same place in the Caribbean? I know I’m talking about fictional pirates in a Disney movie, but Carina’s interconnectedness might strike people as a bit cliche.
- AYE AYE! A character written independent from the previous films would be far easier to write. By making Carina and her parentage entirely original, it becomes far easier to write a fresh-feeling story that doesn’t need to take precedence from previously established character story lines.
- BELAY THAT! Once again, no emotional connection. Yeah. Who cares if Joe-Blow is Carina’s dad? We need something to connect to, and I think that overrides believability here.
…let’s bring out the big guns, now.
Option 6: Barbossa
- AYE AYE! Carina is of proper age. We don’t exactly know how old Barbossa is, but the dude’s been around. He could have grandkids and I’d believe it.
- AYE AYE! She has a strong, fiesty personality. Just like her dad! Her sharp quips and biting sarcasm could make her a deadringer for Barbossa’s daughter. She’s a sass bucket in the making, and I think that is absolutely genetic!
- AYE AYE! She seems to have a knack for sailing. The newest international trailer shows Carina taking the wheel like a pro…something her dad is also very fond of.
- AYE AYE! She’s the exact opposite of Jack. Just as I said before as a reason why perhaps Jack could be her father could make her a better candidate as Barbossa’s daughter. Barbossa generally loathes Jack and finds him to be an inept nuisance. What if Carina felt the same?
- AYE AYE! It was in the original draft of the script. YUP. THAT FEELS LIKE A BIG INDICATOR.
- BELAY THAT! …exactly. You know what else was in the original draft of the script? James Norrington. But that’s okay, I’m not bitter or anything. The fact that this has been made common knowledge might be a clue that the production has moved on from this concept, as also Carina was intended to be older and a love interest for Jack, yet Scodelario’s age and character seem to be jiving more with Thwaites’ Henry.
- AYE AYE! The book! Okay, here’s the hook: Disney has released a children’s book about Carina’s past written by Meredith Rusu called, The Brightest Star in the North: The Adventures of Carina Smyth. The story opens with Carina being left at an island orphanage as a baby with a notebook and a note that reads, “Her mother died. Her name is Carina Smyth.” But it is the description of the man who delivers her there that alerted me that this might be Barbossa; The man is described as having a large feathered hatand a hobbling gait. Who likes big hats and has a peg leg?
HECTOR BARBOSSA, YOU…ARE THE FATHER! BARBOSSA, HOW DO YOU FEEL?
Until May 26th, my friends!