Bootstrap Bill Turner: Wikis

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Pirates of the Caribbean character
William Turner, Sr.
Bootstrapbillturner500px.png
Stellan Skarsgård as Bootstrap Bill in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Gender Male
Profession The Flying Dutchman crew member, formerly crew member of the Black Pearl
Weaponry Cutlass, Knife
Family Will Turner (son)
Elizabeth Swann (daughter-in-law)
William "Will" Weatherby Turner III (grandson)
Mrs. Turner (wife)
Appearance(s) The Curse of the Black Pearl (mentioned only)
Dead Man's Chest
At World's End
Portrayer Stellan Skarsgård

William "Bootstrap Bill" Turner Sr. is a fictional pirate in Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean film trilogy. Although he is only mentioned in the first film, he appears in both of the sequels, portrayed by Stellan Skarsgård.[1][2]

Marine flora and fauna encrust Bootstrap as he is gradually transformed by the aquatic environment in which he now lives. The longer anyone serves aboard the Flying Dutchman, the more his human-like features become extinguished as they are replaced by sea life. Bootstrap's humanity remains more visible than those of the other crew members; presumably he is one of the most recent additions to Davy Jones's crew.

"Bootstrap Bill" Turner was the only member of Jones' crew that was not created digitally.[3] His gruesome appearance was achieved with prosthetics and makeup.

Contents

Biography

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Before Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

William Turner Sr. was an Irish seaman who left his wife and son, William Jr., in England to seek his fortune in the Caribbean. Through unknown circumstances, he became a pirate, although young Will grew up believing him to be a "respectable merchant seaman". He was once heard to remark that he would be lying if he said pirating was not what he had wanted to do.

"Bootstrap Bill" served aboard the Black Pearl when it was captained by Captain Jack Sparrow. When First Mate Hector Barbossa staged a mutiny during their search for Isla de Muerta and the Aztec gold, Bootstrap Bill Turner was the only crewman who did not side with the mutineers, believing it to be a violation of the Pirate's Code; but his loyalty was not enough to save Jack from being marooned on an island. When the gold was discovered to be cursed, preventing death and providing physical limitations to life, Bootstrap believed they deserved to remain cursed for betraying Jack. He therefore sent one of the coins to his son in England as a medallion necklace to thwart the pirates' attempt to lift their curse. In retaliation, Barbossa had Turner tied to a cannon by his bootstraps and had the cannon thrown over-board. It was only after this that Barbossa learned that the blood of every man who had taken the Aztec gold was needed to break the curse, including that of Turner, to which Ragetti jokes, "And that's what you call ironic". Thus began the search for the missing gold medallion and the next member of the Turner blood-line.

Though Bootstrap Bill is not seen in the first film, Bootstrap's son Will is twice described as the "spitting image" of his father. The second and third films seem to contradict this, as Bootstrap is shown being larger than his son and having a different facial structure, and his lack of resemblance to his son may be his aging.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

Bootstrap Bill was tied to a cannon and sent to the bottom of the ocean by Captain Barbossa. Being immortal, he was condemned to spending eternity beneath the crushing sea. Found by Davy Jones, he swore an oath to serve aboard Jones's ship, the Flying Dutchman, for one hundred years in exchange for his freedom. Thus, when the curse on Barbossa's crew was lifted in the first movie, Bootstrap Bill had already sworn to serve Davy Jones and could not be killed by its removal.

In the beginning of the second film, Bootstrap is first seen when he visits Jack Sparrow aboard the Black Pearl, which Sparrow had retrieved from Barbossa in the first film. Although happy to see his former captain, Bootstrap reveals that Davy Jones sent him to remind Jack of his debt due to him. Jones had raised the Pearl and given Sparrow command for thirteen years as its captain in exchange for Sparrow becoming a crewmate aboard the Dutchman. Jack refuses to do so; therefore Bootstrap plants the Black Spot on Jack, signaling Jones' pet monster the Kraken to chase after him and send him to the Locker. Bootstrap was reunited with his son, Will Turner, when Will was taken captive aboard the Flying Dutchman, though Will did not recognize him at first. When an order was addressed to "Mr. Turner", both of them responded without knowing of the other's presence. The resulting confusion caused the task to fail. When all the crew gathered to punish the offenders, Will appeared to be the one at fault and stood accused. Bootstrap Bill, recognizing his son, offered to take the punishment but was instead ordered by Davy Jones to administer it. Because the Bosun (boatswain) was known to perform especially great violence to those he whipped, Bootstrap Bill carried out the order so that Will would suffer less pain.

Since his swearing of servitude into Davy Jones's crew, Bill's body has been slowly covered with marine life such as coral, barnacles, mussels and a single starfish stuck beside his right eye. Throughout the movie, his condition begins to slowly worsen, with more and more small barnacles appearing on his face. During his final scene in the movie, a whole cluster of barnacles is seen erupting from his left cheek. His skin is also pale and clammy and his lips blue, possibly from being underwater for so long at low temperatures.

When Will challenged Davy Jones to a game of Liar's Dice, Bootstrap joined in, betting eternal servitude against the key to the Dead Man's Chest. He deliberately lost the bet so that Will would go free. Will had actually not intended to win (though he might have if not for his father's losing bid and if they were playing by traditional Pirate's Liar's Dice rules, meaning Will's single one dice roll would be a wildcard), but knew that mentioning the key would trick Jones into revealing its location. Will successfully stole the key, and Bootstrap helped him escape. Will promised his father he would find a way to free him as he departed. When a furious Jones sent the Kraken after Will, Jones forced Bootstrap to watch as the Kraken destroyed the ship that rescued Will, ignorant that Will managed to escape.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

While in the brig, Bootstrap Bill continues to lose his humanity. He stands against the wall and coral grows around him, giving the impression that he has become a part of the ship. Since he believes Will to be dead, Bootstrap's grief seems to have accelerated his transformation, and he has grown delusional. Elizabeth Swann speaks to him, telling him that Will survived and reminding him of Will's promise to rescue him. Upon realizing who she is, Bootstrap concludes Will must not rescue him, for to do so is to lose Elizabeth. He requests that she tell Will not to come, but immediately forgets their entire conversation when he re-enters the wall.

Later, when Admiral James Norrington frees Elizabeth and the other prisoners from the ship, Bootstrap wanders numbly out of the brig and confronts Norrington, who cuts the escape line to save Elizabeth. Having already forgotten Elizabeth and her relationship to Will, he madly chants, "Part of the crew, part of the ship," in reference to his speech to Will in Dead Man's Chest. Bootstrap yells an alarm to stop the escape, and then impales Norrington with a harpoon. Bootstrap's actions seem to have won back Davy Jones' favor and acceptance back with the crew, as he is not taken back to the brig and is among them in the battle at the film's climax.

During the epic battle at the maelstrom, Bootstrap fights his own son, whom he has now forgotten and does not recognize, but Will subdues him and leaves to fight Jones. The knife Will leaves in the ship's railing makes Bootstrap realize that the person he was fighting was his son. When he sees Will stabbed by Jones, Bootstrap snaps out of his delusions and attacks Jones in a frenzy, who quickly defeats Bootstrap and vows "judgment" upon him. Before he can kill Bootstrap, however, Jack Sparrow helps the dying Will pierce Davy Jones's heart, killing Jones.

With Bootstrap and all the remaining Dutchman crew now repeating the chant, "Part of the ship, part of the crew", and then adding that "The Dutchman must have a captain...", Bootstrap cuts out Will's heart and places it into the Dead Man's Chest, making his son the new captain. With Will as the new captain, the crew are freed of their transformations, which had occurred because Davy Jones had neglected his duty. Will reminds Bootstrap that he is now free; however, Bootstrap, having left his son as a child, still feels that he has a debt to pay. He is directed to take the wheel and the position of helmsman.

Merchandise

Action figure

"Bootstrap Bill" Turner was made into an action figure in 2006. He appeared in the second series of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest figures produced by NECA.[4]

Other media

  • He has a mention in Square Enix's Kingdom Hearts II; Bootstrap is mentioned by his son Will Turner when talking to Elizabeth inside of the Interceptor after leaving Isla de Muerta, and when threatening to commit suicide.
  • Bootstrap Bill Turner is also seen in a Disney online game.

References

External links


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