Scar is probably my favorite Disney villain. Voiced by the amazing Jeremy Irons, he’s got everything a great villain needs. He’s intelligent, motivated and ruthless. He knows what he wants and he is willing to do anything to get it. And, unlike many villains, he’s actually smart enough to pull it off.
But, like all villains, he has a fatal weakness: he doesn’t really want to be king.
How can that be? That’s what he’s obessed with from the very first scene! He talks and works for nothing else than becoming king.
But I really think that he doesn’t really want the job. In fact, I think he doesn’t know what he wants.
To be king means to take responsibility for a kingdom. It means having your citizens rely on you for their needs. Scar definitely doesn’t want that; we can see it clearly by the way he runs the kingdom when he finally gets it. It’s not that he’s unintelligent. He was wiser than Mufasa, in a lot of ways, and I bet if he had put his mind to it he’d be able to run the kingdom admirably. Shoot, I wouldn’t be surprised if he improved on Mufasa’s methods. So why did the kingdom plunge into a depression when he took over?
Because he didn’t want to be king. I think he wanted what most of us want: vague sense of power, authority and control.
And when he got it, it turned to ash in his mouth.
Scar at the end of the movie, clothed in all his glory, is no happier than Scar at the beginning. He reached the top, took all the power and control he could, and it did nothing for him.
I wonder, sometimes, what I’m chasing. Am I chasing a vague sense of control over my life like Scar did? I hope not. Because Scar not only lost that control in the end. It turned on him and tore him apart.
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