hook movie

(Welcome to /Response, the companion piece to our /Answers series and a space where /Film readers can chime in and offer their two cents on a particular question.)

Earlier this week, the /Film team wrote about our favorite pirates from film and television. We then opened the floor to our readers: who is your favorite onscreen pirate? And you let us know!

We have collected our favorite answers (edited for length and clarity) below. Next week’s question, in honor of Wonder Woman: who is your favorite female badass from the movies? Send your (at least one paragraph, please) answer to slashfilmpitches@gmail.com!

Captain James Hook in Hook

One of the things I genuinely love about Steven Spielberg’s polarizing Peter Pan film are the “What if?” scenarios that it proposes. What if Pan grew up and forgot who he was or what he could do? What if the Lost Boys couldn’t accept Peter because he was no longer a child at heart? Or, my absolute favorite aspect: what if you have an iconic villain that has lost his will to fight? Or better yet…live?

Even as a child, I was able to empathize with Hook. An adult, stuck in a world where children never age and the only other adults are pirates, has but one goal: to fight Peter Pan. The very boy who cut off his hand! And yet…he leaves. For years. So Hook kidnaps his children to try and draw him back and when he finally shows up, he’s an old, out of shape attorney. You see this depiction of a man who is trying to make sense of his purpose, and has nothing but hopelessness. You even hear Smee say “Oh, not again…” as he places the gun to his head to infer that he’s had to witness his captain go through this multiple times. It’s heartbreaking, and gives weight to a cheesy villain who literally twirls his mustache.

That’s why it is so much fun to root for Robin Williams’ Peter. You want him to get back to his childhood heroism. You want him to fly. Because the second that outline of Pan is cut out of the sail and falls down on the ship, and Hook looks up to see a man in green flying overhead, that smile says it all. There is purpose. The Great War is back on. Death is the last great adventure, and he, the titular Captain James Hook, can’t wait to go out fighting. (Chase Dunnette)

Malcolm Reynolds From Firefly and Serenity

Malcolm is from the Han Solo mold with a Joss Whedon twist. Sure he’s a space captain, but has all the makings of a “pirate”. He takes what he can and gives nothing back. He does right by him and his crew, and doesn’t get angry when someone else does the same – even when it is against him. He would never fight fair if he could win by fighting dirty. Mal, as he is known, fractured an occasional law or two, but always for the betterment of himself or (like Han Solo) the betterment of the Independents against The Alliance (akin to the Rebels against the Empire).

Mal despised the Alliance, though he didn’t mind using them to make money or gain an advantage over others – that’s pure pirate! Mal had a good heart, like Captain Jack Sparrow and Han Solo, but could have a dark side to him. However, he was compassionate and had somewhat of a moral compass. Most well-written, deep, three dimensional pirates do.

It’s a shame we didn’t get more of him and his adventures, but those we did get fully fleshed him out and made him one of the most beloved and iconic space pirates ever. (Matt Vernier)

One-Eyed Willy From The Goonies

My favorite pirate is not even alive in the movie. He is “One-Eyed” Willy from The Goonies. Named by Mikey as the first “Goonie,” we see his skeleton at the end of the kids’ journey. He created a labyrinth of traps to ensure that only the worthy would get to his treasure (and only if you don’t forget to leave your tribute at his table). And in the final scene, he breaks the cave’s wall and sails out into the sunset. Not bad for a captain who has been dead for centuries. (Rafael Gonzalez)

Dr. Tobias Fünke From Arrested Development

When it comes down to who is the best pirate from a movie or TV show, there is only one correct answer: Dr. Tobias Fünke, from Arrested Development. It was a short-lived career path bred from an extraordinary amount of confusion and misunderstanding, but it was magnificent. Inspired by words from his brother-in-law, Tobias set out to become a pirate after losing his medical license. He did borrow his outfit from his wife, Lindsey, but he was yet a formidable sight to behold. His ship was barely a skiff, yet it struck fear into the heart of his mother-in-law. Tobias Fünke was truly the best pirate on TV. (Alex Johansson)

Cool Posts From Around the Web: