- “The pirates have infected the seas for generations. That's why I'm here to eliminate them all...”
- ―Captain Salazar
Captain Armando Salazar is the titular main antagonist of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. He is an evil and crazy pirate hunter and a monstrously amoral man obsessed with revenge against the hero who defeated and killed him and inadvertitely turned him into a ghost: Captain Jack Sparrow.
Before his first death and resurrection, Armando Salazar sailed the high seas for years, during which time he earned himself a fearsome reputation. He quickly became a legend in his own right, albeit a terrifying one at that. Ruthless but also noble, he had devoted his military career in the Spanish navy to eliminating all pirates from the Caribbean due to the deaths of his father and grandfather by buccaneers. His hatred for pirates was so great that he didn't even consider them men and instead described them as an "infection". Salazar was also not a man to show mercy to his enemies, even if they did surrender to him, as shown when he killed pirates who attempted to surrender to him under a white flag.
His obsession with killing all pirates eventually led him to fall for Jack Sparrow's trickery and led him to his untimely death and subsequently becoming a ghost. Following his first death, Salazar was consumed with an uncontrollable rage due to having been resurrected by the supernatural powers of the Devil's Triangle and his obsession with killing Jack Sparrow. He always left one of his victims alive to spread word of his terror, and upon being resurrected as a human one more by the Trident of Poseidon, his desire for revenge was still strong enough that he tried again to kill Jack and his companions, only to die for good when Hector Barbossa sacrificed himself to stop Salazar from killing his daughter, Carina Smyth.
Powers and Abilities
- Ghost Abilities - After being killed by Jack Sparrow's trickery, Armando Salazar was granted supernatural abilities, including being able to withstand most physical harm. He could walk on water and through most solid objects. He also had complete mental control over the Silent Mary, and could use his wrecked ship to slice through solid objects and protect him by bringing the bow's figurehead to life. However, this power had one major weakness: Salazar could never set foot on dry land as it would destroy him unless he was wielding the Trident of Poseidon or possessing a living person.
- Possession - Salazar could possess and control living people, as he did to Henry Turner. This could be used to overcome his weakness of not being able to set foot on land.
- Master Tactician/Strategist - Captain Salazar was a terrifyingly brilliant strategist, as he successfully hunted most pirates in the Caribbean to near-extinction. He was also not above hostage negotiation and using others such as Hector Barbossa as pawns to achieve his goals of vengeance.
Armando Salazar was once an evil captain of the Spanish Royal Navy, who dedicated his life to eliminating pirates worldwide after seeing his father and grandfather murdered by pirates at some point in his life. In his quest to exterminate the threat of piracy, Salazar became worse than those he hated, as he slaughtered pirates without mercy and saw them as little better than animals instead of seeing them as people. Such was the case when he and the crew of his ship, the Silent Mary, were ambushed by a fleet of 10 pirate ships. Though outnumbered, Salazar and his crew slaughtered the fleet of brigands, before killing the survivors, even after they had raised a flag of surrender.
In the chaos that followed, Salazar's lieutenant noticed a young Jack Sparrow and his ship, the Wicked Wench, trying to escape the carnage. Jack led him into a cave at the Devil's Triangle, which destroyed his ship, killed Salazar and cursed him and his crew while also transforming them into undead ghosts. For years, Salazar was forced to remain in the Devil's Triangle, trapped there by its supernatural powers, learning during his imprisonment the name of the man who defeated him.
Several decades after their imprisonment in the Devil's Triangle Salazar and his men spotted a pirate ship entering their cave, followed by a British Royal Navy ship called the Monarch. After killing the pirates, Salazar and his men attacked the British crew, killing and immolating all but one man; Henry Turner. When Salazar noticed the many wanted posters of Jack Sparrow, he spared Henry to tell Sparrow that Salazar was coming for him, waiting to seek his revenge.
Sometime later, the Devil's Triangle began sinking into the sea, thanks to Jack Sparrow giving away his compass, and Salazar was freed from his purgatory. Even though his ship was now but a wreck, the Silent Mary was magically kept afloat as a ghost ship. Salazar's crew celebrated their liberation, which ended when when Armando decided to continue his mission and kill all the pirates in the world, starting first and foremost with Jack Sparrow.
Salazar then began attacking ships, hunting down, and destroying pirates, but always leaving one man alive to tell of him, word of which eventually reached Hector Barbossa. Upon confronting Barbossa aboard his flagship, Salazar initially intended to destroy him and his ship, the Queen Anne's Revenge, but instead took him captive, alongside his crew when Barbossa agreed to help Salazar find Jack. Barbossa later was set free by Armando to catch Sparrow, but subsequently betrayed Salazar when he found out his daughter, Carina Smyth, Jack's newest ally, was seeking the Trident of Poseidon; the one thing that could break the curse on Salazar and destroy him.
In a battle that followed, Salazar was thwarted in killing Jack, but still managed to capture Henry Turner, before giving chase once more.
After Sparrow, Smyth, and Barbossa arrived at Black rock Island, where Poseidon's Trident was hidden, the trio found the Trident of Poseidon in Poseidon's Tomb underwater. Salazar then decided to possess the body of Henry Turner, knowing that later he could return to normal with the trident, since this artifact had the power to break all the curses of the sea. Salazar then took control of Turner's body and went down after Sparrow and Smyth, where he began to fight against them while the crew of the Silent Mary saw them from within the parted sea, the result of the trident's power being unleashed. After grabbing ahold of the trident, its energy released Salazar from Henry's body, and he began to throw Sparrow through the water, where Salazar's crew attempted to grab Jack and try to drown him. After toying with Sparrow, Salazar pierced Jack through the chest with the trident in an attempt to kill him. In the melee, Jack, realizing the trident had stabbed a book in his jacket instead of him, ordered the freed Henry to break the Trident. Henry then grabbed his sword and sent it crashing down on the Trident, breaking it in half, and breaking all the curses of the sea, including Salazar's and that of his father, Will Turner.
Salazar was rendered human again, as were his crew, but their joy was short lived, for the walls of water raised by the trident's magic closed in on them. As Barbossa, Jack, Carina, and Henry attempted to escape by climbing the Black Pearl's anchor, Salazar's now mortal crew drowned. As Salazar began to climb the anchor, he drew his sword, not satisfied with being human again and still eager to kill Jack and his comrades. He then attempted to reach Carina and murder her first. However, it was not to be, as Barbossa, in a valiant and gallant attempt to protect his daughter, attacked and impaled Salazar through the back with his sword, causing him and his attacker to fall to the bottom of the sea, screaming before Salazar landed on the anchor below. Both, he and Barbossa were subsequently swallowed up by the sea, and Armando Salazar's threat was ended once and for all.
- Salazar and Lord Cutler Beckett from Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End are the only main-antagonists from the Pirates of the Caribbean film-series to not have been integrated into the original Pirates of the Caribbean ride.
- Captain Salazar is played by Javier Bardem, husband to Penélope Cruz, who played Angelica in the previous Pirates of the Caribbean movie.