Welcome back for another Theme Thursday! Last week I said that my favorite superhero was Captain America. That got me to thinking (dangerous, yes, I know) – what are some other great captains in media past, present and future? So, without further ado, here are the top five captains in television and movies.
5) Captain H.M. “Howling Mad” Murdock – Did you know that Murdock was a captain? Yep, as part of the “crack commando unit”, Murdock was a captain in the army until he, along with the rest of the A-Team, was sent to a VA hospital while his friends were sentenced for a crime they didn’t commit. It makes sense since Murdock can fly anything that has wings or whirley blades. Is he truly crazy? Is he just pretending? Maybe we should ask his dog “Billy” to find out for sure, but Dwight Schultz was hilariously good in his portrayal of this crazy pilot.
4) Captain Jack Sparrow
– Let’s face it, if it wasn’t for Johnny Depp, the original “Curse of the Black Pearl” would have ended up deeper than Davey Jones’ Locker. The only thing that made this movie based on a classic Disney Attraction better than “The Country Bears” or “The Haunted Mansion” was a better script and a knock out performance by Depp. He not only breathed life into a dead genre of movies (the pirate film), he actually breathed new life into that classic attraction. Not bad for a performance that is one part Keith Richards and one part David Bowie.
3) Captain Malcolm Reynolds
– Alas, Captain Tightpants was with us for far too short of a time. I have a feeling my friend Tim will be addressing the fate of Mal and the rest of Serenity’s crew, but if he doesn’t interview me about Mal, he’s in trouble. Nathan Fillion is a blast to watch and Joss Whedon’s basing the character on another classic captain made Reynolds one of television’s best character’s in a long time. Still, I wonder how much stronger (or what place on my list) he would have had Fox not pulled the plug on this sci-fi classic. One can only guess.
2) Captain Jack Bauer
– Another surprise, eh? But the unstoppable CTU agent was in the Army Special Forces before becoming Agent Bauer and he achieved the rank of Captain. It’s not just the fact that Jack was, well, Jack Bauer, that made the show so good. It was a look at a man who was so driven by what he believed in that he would stop at nothing to ensure that his goals were accomplished – personal or otherwise. It was hard saying “good bye” for now to Jack after 8 incredible days earlier this year and I’m glad that it isn’t permanent as the 24 movie is currently in development.
1) Captain Han Solo
– For those of you who know me, you had to know this one was here. Growing up, most kids my age wanted to be Luke Skywalker. Not me. I wanted to be that “stuck up, half-witted, scruffy lookin’, nerf herder.” Han was cool, rebellious, mysterious but most of all, loyal. With his conscience of Chewbacca guiding him, Han Solo goes from a selfish rogue to a General in the Rebellion. But he also welcomes Luke, Leia and the droids into his life as the extended family he never had. He may not be as powerful as Skywalker or as smooth as Lando Calrissian, he remains the absolute best captain in the history of literature.
Agree with my list? Did I forget someone? Make your case in the comments – just remember the rules!