Free Captain Will Turner
Disney, Ted Elliot, and Terry Rossio
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This past summer, the third of the Pirates of the Caribbean films was released in theaters. Many fans were thoroughly pleased with the film although quite a number of us became incredibly confused about the outcome of Will Turner, captain of the Flying Dutchman. Pirates of the Caribbean fans were again thrilled when Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End was released on DVD, and quite a few of us had hoped for extras, deleted scenes, and additional information about the film that would help to clarify our questions. We immediately noticed the Questions and Answers section of the DVD pamphlet entitled Pirates Secrets Revealed: Top Questions Moviegoers Had about Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End; one of the questions and its answer in the pamphlet is shown below:
Since Will honoured his destiny on the Flying Dutchman, in 10 years does he get to return to land for good, thereby freeing his father and crew?
Every 10 years, Will may step on land for one day. He is bound to the Flying Dutchman forever.
This statement has caused much distress throughout the community of Pirates of the Caribbean fans, especially those of Will Turner. For various reasons, we, the fans, feel that this announcement of cursing Will by binding him to the Dutchman for eternity is unnecessary to the plot and that it is a terrible way to end the story of Captain Will Turner.
To begin, the Question and Answers page of the Pirates 3 DVD pamphlet directly contrasts with what the scriptwriters of Pirates of the Caribbean told the public about the conclusion of Will Turner. In a comment posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2007, at 12:31 in the afternoon on Ted Elliot and Terry Rossios official website, Wordplay, the Pirates scriptwriter Terry Rossio posts the following (http://wordplayer.com/forums/moviesarc08/index.cgi?read=98721):
I don't know that I would say, "forbidden." There might be some story to be told where Elizabeth manages to make a trip to the land of the dead, with the help of someone, etc., etc., to find Will, etc.
But the basic requirement is that Will agrees [to] captain the Flying Dutchmen (in return for what the film reveals) and that he can step on land but once every ten years, and that at any time, if he finds a love that is true (this is part of the original Flying Dutchman opera by the way) then his attachment to the ship is broken.
By taking this official statement to Pirates of the Caribbean fans by the Pirates of the Caribbean scriptwriters into account, it is illogical that the pamphlet of the Pirates 3 DVD would so dramatically, drastically, and acrimoniously alter the resulting fate of Captain Will Turner by constraining him to the Flying Dutchman until the end of time when the scriptwriters have already declared that Will would be freed from the Dutchman and his cursed duty in the nonliving world if he succeeded in finding true love. Will accomplished this feat because he truly loved Elizabeth Swann and because she waited faithfully for Will to return from the world of the nonliving, thus, expressing her true love for him; therefore, Will Turner should have been freed from the Dutchman and his curse broken.
In addition to all of this, one scene was cut from the film in an effort to shorten the movie, and many Pirates fans were looking forward to viewing it on the DVD when the DVD was released. This is the scene between Davy Jones and Tia Dalma, also known as the Calypso, where the two converse, and it is revealed that if Calypso had waited for Davy Jones to return from his decade of ferrying souls to the afterlife, he would have been freed from the ship, duty, and curse to spend the rest of his life with her.
Clearly, this scene was not released to the public because it would have generated even more confusion about Wills fate on whether or not he was freed after ten years. However, the fate of Will as described in the Questions and Answers segment of the Pirates 3 DVD pamphlet was, again, uncalled for and needless. Though cut from the final length of the movie, fans would have been quite pleased if Disney had released this scene on the DVD as a deleted scene, restoring a glimpse of hope for Wills freedom.
As an added note, one can compare the period of time that Will is in the nonliving world and, thus, away from Elizabeth to the service of the armed forces. Like Captain Will Turner, those in the army and such are often away from their families and friends for extended lengths of time, and they often keenly wait for the day that they may return home to their loved ones. However, when one returns from service in the armed forces, he certainly receives more than one day to spend time and relax with his family while Will is allowed just one day to spend on land in the living world with his wife and son.
I ask you now, What did Will ever do to deserve such a fate? Concerning his first ten years of service, it is acceptable and understandable that he must ferry souls in the nonliving world, but Will does not deserve to be away for so long and have only one day to spend with his loved ones forever. In the first Pirates movie, Will courageously defends the city against pirates when Port Royal is invaded, lovingly risks all that he has to rescue Elizabeth, and risks his neck more than once to save Jack Sparrow. In the second Pirates movie, Will determinedly ventures to find Jacks compass to save Elizabeth, loyally pledges to his father that he will liberate him from the cruel conditions in which Bootstrap endures on the Flying Dutchman under the captaincy of Davy Jones, and agrees to help with the daunting task of freeing Jack Sparrow from Davy Joness locker. In the third Pirates movie, Will repeatedly risks his life to save others, finally dying for Elizabeth when stabbing Davy Jones to stop him from killing her and when Davy Jones chooses to kill Will instead of Elizabeth. Afterwards, Will soon returns as captain of the Flying Dutchman, fulfilling his word and freeing his father, teaming up with the Black Pearl, and destroying the Endeavour in order to kill Beckett and stop the East India Trading Company from slaughtering all pirates.
Will has acted courageously, selflessly, and heroically in addition to being fiercely loyal to those close to him throughout the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy. After all this time of working to help those for whom he cares, Will deserves to be freed from his cursed attachment to the Dutchman and to be able to spend the rest of his life with those he loves in the living world.
Additionally, when Wills father and Will talk during the aftermath of the maelstrom, Bootstrap expresses that Wills obligation to the duty of ferrying souls for ten years before being able to see Elizabeth again was a steep price for the victory of the battle. Will, smiling a little, replies, Depends on the one day. This quote by Will Turner would have much more meaning behind it if it meant that Will would be freed and his one day would extend to a lifetime in the company of his family rather than an endless cycle of ten years at sea, one day on land, ended with a farewell to his wife and son before seeing them again in ten years.
As a final thought, I would like to point out how Disney movies are well-known for their happy endings. A Disney princess always lives happily ever after with the prince of her dreams, a young man becomes a hero and survives to tell the tale to a vast group of supporters, and evil forces perish and are defeated on every occasion. Why not end the stories of two of the trio of main characters in the Pirates films, Will and Elizabeth, in a permanently happy manner? There is no harm in doing so. Therefore, why not liberate Will Turner from his cursed attachment to the Flying Dutchman? He and Elizabeth found true love in one another and each waited faithfully for ten years to pass in order to see each other again. No rules were broken, and the entire Turner family, meaning Bootstrap, Will, Elizabeth, and Will and Elizabeths young son deserve to live together in the living world as one family. Both Wills and Elizabeths mothers died when their two children were young, and, while Will finally found his father in Pirates 2, Elizabeth lost her father in Pirates 3. In addition, it would be unfair to Will and Elizabeths innocent, young son to have to grow up and into an adult with just a day or two of seeing his father. Young Will Turner should not have to grow up missing a parent as each of his parents did.
The strongest connection between two humans is love, and love conquers all. There is nothing that can break the bond of love, and Will and Elizabeths true love for one another should be able to break his attachment to the ship, as indicated by the legend and opera. Even in Disneys animated movie Beauty and the Beast, the Beast returns, despite his death, and he and Belle marry to live together happily ever after.
This is why we implore that Disney, the scriptwriters of Pirates of the Caribbean, and any others who may hold the power to alter the fate of Will Turner to act and liberate Will from his attachment to the Dutchman once his ten years of service is over and when he sails home to enjoy his time on land with his beloved wife and son. Please take action and create a way of reuniting Will with his wife and child in the next movie or coming films so that they may stay together in the living world for the rest of their lives, preferably by liberating and unshackling Will from his ship. If there will not be another Pirates of the Caribbean movie or if Will, Elizabeth, and their son are to be cut entirely from the next film or films, we beseech you to issue an official declaration to the public, such as through the Official Pirates of the Caribbean Website (http://disney.go.com/disneypictures/pirates/), stating that Will was indeed freed because true love breaks Wills cursed attachment to the Dutchman, or through another means of a press statement that would be easily accessible to all Pirates of the Caribbean fans.
If Disney and the like choose to keep the unnecessary ending that Will must ferry souls for eternity and that he and his family only have a handful of days left together even though Will and Elizabeth found true love in one another together, then they choose to express the idea that love is not strong enough to break barriers and, apparently, the dividing power of death, meaning Wills death and his duty-bound captaincy of the Dutchman, is stronger than true and everlasting love.