- “You know nothing of Hell”
- ―Koehler to Jack Sparrow
Koehler is a supporting antagonist in Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. He is a cursed pirate serving under Hector Barbossa aboard the Black Pearl.
Koehler joined the team of Captain Jack Sparrow to seek Isla de Muerta and served under Sparrow until the night of Barbossa's mutiny. Koehler and the rest of the crew were standing by Barbossa against Jack, who was then boarded while the crew, now serving Barbossa, continued on to the Isla de Muerta. There they took the treasure of Cortes and spent it all on the joys of life. Only then did the crew realize that the treasure was cursed. Koehler was unable to die and could not feel either pleasure or pain. Under the moonlight, he and the crew became skeletons, and the undead people began a quest to recover all eight hundred and eighty-two gold coins in Isla de Muerta.
In the first screenplay draft of The Curse of the Black Pearl, Koehler was planned as a pirate of Dutch origin. Before Governor Weatherby Swann goes to barricade himself in Commodore Norrington's office, he found himself face-to-face with Koehler, who was described as a handsome blond man with gold earrings. In addition, his role was much less than in the original scenario.
Later, however, one of the scriptwriters proposed remaking Koehler, inspired by the appearance of Tia Dalma from the first draft of the script, already directly to the Dead Man's Chest, and his role was expanded.
- “l say we cut her throat and spill all her blood, just in case”
- ―Koehler about Elizabeth Swann
Koehler was a rude and selfish man, which not stop at anything to get, what he wants, and did not be squeamish the methods or instructions of the Pirata Codex, that he had to follow. Additionally, Koehler was very greedy. He joined the team of Jack Sparrow because of the desire to enrich himself on Isla de Muerta and live a beautiful life. However soon Koehler was very disappointed in Jack and without hesitation supported the rebellion against him, and later at all began to show contempt for him, which is shown, when he and Twigg made his way to Fort Charles and saw Jack in the cell, he started taunting him and spat right in front of his cell.
After Jack's overthrow, Koehler was loyal to Hector Barbossa, but when he, like the whole team fell on the Aztec curse, he lost the opportunity to eat, drink and quench his thirst and all other human joys and became very disgruntled with him and the fact that he was a victim to this curse. After this, the loyalty of Koehler to Barbossa began to rest only on his promise to lift the curse. And when the curse wasn't lifted with the help of Elizabeth, he was not afraid openly accused Hector Barbossa and expressed his dissatisfaction to him, prompting others to speak out against him. But, nevertheless, he was careful, since he did not dare to challenge Barbossa, realizing that Barbossa was skilled swordsmanship and this fight, even despite immortality, can be dangerous for him.
Koehler's wickedness, in the main, stems from a curse, about which he directly said (“You know nothing of Hell”): the suffering that he experienced turned him into an aggressive and quick-tempered person, seeking to remove the curse at all costs. And any mention of suffering or a curse made aroused in him anger, which is especially evident, when Jack was sitting in the cell at Fort Charles said that his, like the rest of the team, is waiting for the torment of hell for betrayal, he angrily grabbed his neck.
On the other hand, Koehler was quite ruthless, able to kill without hesitation, and his quote ("l say we cut her throat and spill all her blood, just in case") regarding Elizabeth speaks of his cruel side. However, despite this, he seems was not so merciless as some other members of the Cursed crew. This is evident from the same skirmish with Jack at Fort Charles: despite all the words of Jack about torment for betrayal, Koehler did not kill him but simply left him in a cell, that helps to add some a little bit humanity to his character.
Koehler looks the same as his portrayer Treva Etienne: he has swarthy skin, long black hair with dreadlocks, brown eyes, and black lips. An exception characteristic of Koehler himself as a character is an evil look, stripes of healed scars on forehead and cheeks, and a black beard, similar to the beard of Jack Sparrow.
Throughout the film, Koehler wears a blue worn jacket and a white shirt underneath him. In addition, he has brown worn pants on his feet, which are lined with a black belt, for which his two pistols and his sword are stuck.
Under the influence of the moonlight Koehler looks like a skeleton and his clothes become tattered and full of holes. The only thing that does not change its appearance is its hair.
Power and abilities
As a pirate, Koehler owned a sword and a pistol. He demonstrated quite good skills in swordsmanship and for a long time was able to fight in a duel with such an experienced man as James Norrington, although he could not defeat him.
Like the whole Cursed crew, due to a curse Koehler for a long time was immortal and invincible for weapons such as a sword and a pistol, but he lost his immortality, as Will Turner lifted the curse. What, ironically, what happened at the time when he fought against Norrington, which led to his death.
Koehler first appeared during the attack on Port Royal to get the final coin. He, along with Twigg, made his way to the prisons of Fort Charles. There they encountered the locked-up Jack Sparrow, and joked at the expense of their former captain. Jack responded to the bullying by saying that the deepest circle of Hell was intended for traitors and rebels. Koehler's reaction was to grab Jack's throat through the grate and, thus, to reveal his skeletal appearance through a hole of moonlight. The pirates left, leaving Jack to reflect on this.
Later Koehler helped prepare a dining table for Elizabeth and Captain Barbosa. He and the rest of the crew were carrying exotic food in the captain's cabin. After that he and the other crew members, worked on the ship in the moonlight, which caused their skeletal form. When Elizabeth emerged from the cabin, she was frightened of the damned pirates. Koehler and the rest of the crew laughed when Barbossa frightened Elizabeth and made her run back into the cabin. However, after Barbossa shouted at them to return to work and the work resumed.
When the Pearl later reached Isla de Muerta, Koehler and Twigg escorted Elizabeth Swann, and they brought her to the treasure cave. When the crew found out that Elizabeth's blood was not suitable for lifting the curse, Koehler began accusing the Barbossa of all the misfortunes that happened and, for a short time, supported the idea of overthrowing Barbossa. However, Kohler did not fight with Barbossa for his position, and instead, the hunt began on Elizabeth and Will Turner.
When the Black Pearl eventually overtook the ship on which Elizabeth and Turner were sailing, HMS Interceptor, Koehler, along with Twigg, arranged to explode after his crew was captured and held on board "Pearls". The end result, Turner made a deal with the damned team: he would take part in a blood sacrifice if they released Elizabeth and the captured team. In the end result Turner and the crew were placed in the prison cell, and Jack and Elizabeth were sent to walk on the board. When Jack and Elizabeth were sent to follow the board, Jack told Koehler that he always liked him, but Koehler simply grunted back at him. Then he and the team laughed when they were thrown into the sea.
When the second blood ritual began, this time with Will Turner as a victim, Koehler was shocked when Jack Sparrow appeared and made a deal with Barbossa; he will become the captain of the Black Pearl, while Barbossa will become the Commodore of the fleet that they will build together.
Later, Koehler, like most other pirates from the Barbossa team, attacked the HMS Dauntless and fought against the British Royal Navy. However, when the people of the Commodore Norrington reached the ship, Koehler encountered in battle with Norrington himself. But when Will Turner lifted the curse, Norrington, at that moment, pierced Koehler and the pirate fell onto the deck, dead. After his unexpected death, deprived of immortality pirates surrendered to the people of Norrington.
Like in the movie, here Koehler acts as a pirate with the team of Barbossa. But his role is different: after Mallo was defeated by Jack Sparrow and Will, he steals Will's damned medallion. Jack and Will must defeat Koehler, return the stolen medallion, and get the key to the cell.
Koehler appears in this game as part of the damned team of Hector Barbossa aboard the Black Pearl. He is a playable hero who buys for 10,000 costs.
In the DS version, he was dueling at aboard HMS Dauntless to gain access to James Norrington.
Koehler made a minor appearance in Disneyland Resort, due to the addition of cursed pirates to the show.
In the Disneyland version of Fantasmic!, Koehler and other characters from The Curse of the Black Pearl were added to the show in 2017. He appears here as one of the cursed pirates who perform tricks along with Hector Barbossa, Elizabeth Swann and Jack Sparrow on the Sailing Ship Columbia, which has been transformed into the Black Pearl when the ship makes its pass on the Rivers of America.
- Koehler was born in 1690s.
- Koehler's first line of dialogue was delivered in a Dutch accent, implying the possibility that the character was originally intended to be Dutch.
- A pirate similar in appearance to Koehler is seen in the background of several Disney Adventures comics, set after the character's death. It is unknown if this is an attempt to retcon his death (into merely a wounding), a different character altogether, or a mistake on the artists' part.
- Except of Barbossa, Koehler is the only member of the cursed crew who was shown being killed after the curse was lifted.
- Koehler and Twigg are the only members of the Cursed crew who were called by Barbossa during the film by name.
- ↑ Wordplay: Pirates of the Caribbean first draft screenplay
- ↑ Estimation based on Treva Etienne's age during the filming of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, and the fact that Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides takes place in 1750, approximately twenty years after the events of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, itself a year and a few months after The Curse of the Black Pearl.