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Johnny Depp Jack Sparrow

OpEd: Don’t Worry, Johnny Depp, Captain Jack Sparrow Got His Proper Ending

In the midst of his ongoing defamation battle with ex-wife Amber Heard, Johnny Depp reflected on his sudden departure from Disney and his role as Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise before he could give the beloved anti-hero a proper ending.

He said, in part:

“It was like somebody hit me in the back of the head with a 2×4
 Captain Jack Sparrow was a character I built from the ground up and was something that I, of course, put a lot of [myself] into the character and also having worked on these films with these people and added much of myself, much of my own re-writing of the dialogue and scenes and jokes…My feeling was that these characters should be able to have their proper goodbye, as it were. A franchise can only last for so long and there’s a way to end a franchise like that and I thought that the characters deserved to have their way out, to end the franchise on a very good note.” 

Johnny Depp Jack Sparrow

Read More: Johnny Depp Won’t Get to Give Captain Jack Sparrow a ‘Proper Goodbye’

But after rewatching the series over again and returning to the Magic Kingdom in Central Florida, I realized something.

Mr. Depp, you do not need to feel remorse or regret for not giving Captain Jack Sparrow a proper ending because you have already done so: it is the ending of Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resort.

Pirates of the Caribbean Ride

Photo Credit: Disney

Related: Video: Pirate Ship Spotted Supporting ‘Justice for Johnny Depp’

Sparrow is a rum-soaked scallywag who runs towards treasure and away from death, right? Through all five Pirates films, those seem to be his two biggest concerns: get the treasure and live forever. What do Disney Park Guests find at the end of the famous Pirates attraction? Captain Jack Sparrow, lounging in a treasure hall, singing, and drinking rum out of a golden goblet forever and ever.

Mr. Depp, Walt Disney Imagineers have done you, your masterpiece character, and your fans a favor. They have inserted Captain Jack into the franchise’s foundational ride material in a way that makes it the final story of the saga. We fans do not need a sixth movie because we can go ride it for ourselves.

We have our ominous opening with storms, mermaids, and ghosts. Then, we are swept right into the pirates’ world where Captain Jack Sparrow is once again on his own, without a ship, and on the hunt for treasure as others hunt him. He infiltrates an enemy gang to secure the treasure map, and while other pirates continue to squabble among themselves and end up behind bars due to their own drunken stupidity, we find the best pirate of all sitting victoriously among his treasure.

Captain Jack Sparrow, Walt Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean

Credit: Disney

Related: Cancel Culture Sunk Pirates of the Caribbean Before It Came For Johnny Depp

There is something mystical about Captain Jack Sparrow. The idea of him dying does not make sense to me. In my opinion, that last scene of Walt Disney’s attraction should be the lasting “happy ending” frame we have of him: rum-soaked and treasure coated for all eternity.

Do not get me wrong, it is still terribly heartbreaking to see the beloved franchise end in such a devastating way. It is clear to me that Dead Men Tell No Tales was two movies hurriedly condensed into one. But no matter what movies come next and no matter how Disney tries to carry on the franchise, the nautical tale of Captain Jack Sparrow is found at the end of the Theme Park Ride that started it all.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer and may not reflect the sentiments of Disney Fanatic as a whole. 

About T.K. Bosacki

TK is a writer and editor based in Tampa, FL with a passion for all things Disney, and adventure.