TPOF Question 7 ~ Christophe

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TPOF Question 7 ~ Christophe

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Fri Aug 12, 2011 11:03 am

Let's discuss Christophe. Were you surprised that he double crossed Jack? (I'm referring to Jack's flashback in Chapter 10 but also in general.)
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -
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Re: TPOF Question 7 ~ Christophe

Unread postby nebraska » Fri Aug 12, 2011 1:35 pm

After our discussion of pirate codes and rogue pirate flags and all of that the other day, I suppose I should have expected his treachery, and I think at one point I did have a clue his betrayal was coming. But I was seeing much of the story through Jack's eyes and at that point I think he was still a bit of an innocent trusting soul.

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Re: TPOF Question 7 ~ Christophe

Unread postby gemini » Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:01 pm

For some reason, even though he turned out to be a villain, I liked Christophe. His easy camaraderie even after he had turned on Jack and his perfectionist appearance and good looks. Somehow he seemed to me what a real pirate captain might be like, flamboyant and egotistical. It takes a rebelliousness and lack of fear for authority to become a pirate and It’s not much of a leap to be that way about all your life. I didn’t like that he mistreated women or killed other pirates but he must have set his allegiances to his own crew because they stuck together in the prison break and followed him. There was something about the way he continued to speak to Jack like his friend, even while they were trying to kill each other, that reminded me of Errol Flynn’s pirate films. Even his perfection in sword fighting as if he knew he was superior and could not loose. The way he talked to Jack was like, after all what did you expect, we are pirates?
He and Jack, after all, had much in common in their zeal for the same treasure.
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Re: TPOF Question 7 ~ Christophe

Unread postby fireflydances » Fri Aug 12, 2011 3:30 pm

Now this kind of thing usually doesn't happen to me but from the point we readers met Christophe I thought he was bad news. He struck me as extremely self-centered, insincere, out for numero uno if you will. I remember mentally yelling at Jack that Christophe was bad bad bad and why didn't he see it. I don't have my book with me (heavens forefend!) so I can't quote chapter and verse right now about the specifics that tipped me to his basic evil to the coreness. If I can later, will come back.
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Re: TPOF Question 7 ~ Christophe

Unread postby nebraska » Fri Aug 12, 2011 4:07 pm

fireflydances wrote:Now this kind of thing usually doesn't happen to me but from the point we readers met Christophe I thought he was bad news. He struck me as extremely self-centered, insincere, out for numero uno if you will. I remember mentally yelling at Jack that Christophe was bad bad bad and why didn't he see it. I don't have my book with me (heavens forefend!) so I can't quote chapter and verse right now about the specifics that tipped me to his basic evil to the coreness. If I can later, will come back.

You see him more like I do, then - just Beckett in different clothes and smile.

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Re: TPOF Question 7 ~ Christophe

Unread postby SnoopyDances » Fri Aug 12, 2011 9:09 pm

gemini wrote:For some reason, even though he turned out to be a villain, I liked Christophe. His easy camaraderie even after he had turned on Jack and his perfectionist appearance and good looks. Somehow he seemed to me what a real pirate captain might be like, flamboyant and egotistical. It takes a rebelliousness and lack of fear for authority to become a pirate and It’s not much of a leap to be that way about all your life. I didn’t like that he mistreated women or killed other pirates but he must have set his allegiances to his own crew because they stuck together in the prison break and followed him. There was something about the way he continued to speak to Jack like his friend, even while they were trying to kill each other, that reminded me of Errol Flynn’s pirate films. Even his perfection in sword fighting as if he knew he was superior and could not loose. The way he talked to Jack was like, after all what did you expect, we are pirates?
He and Jack, after all, had much in common in their zeal for the same treasure.

:highfive:

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Re: TPOF Question 7 ~ Christophe

Unread postby fireflydances » Fri Aug 12, 2011 10:53 pm

nebraska wrote:
fireflydances wrote:Now this kind of thing usually doesn't happen to me but from the point we readers met Christophe I thought he was bad news. He struck me as extremely self-centered, insincere, out for numero uno if you will. I remember mentally yelling at Jack that Christophe was bad bad bad and why didn't he see it. I don't have my book with me (heavens forefend!) so I can't quote chapter and verse right now about the specifics that tipped me to his basic evil to the coreness. If I can later, will come back.

You see him more like I do, then - just Beckett in different clothes and smile.


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Re: TPOF Question 7 ~ Christophe

Unread postby Liz » Fri Aug 12, 2011 10:59 pm

Well, I find it more interesting when we disagree. :grin: :cool: A film professor I listened to recently told me (and everyone else in the room) that a key element of script writing is CONFLICT. I know we're talking about a book here.....but it's not far off from a few screenplays we know and love.

I didn’t like Christophe from the beginning, but I think that is because I was rooting for Jack. And then once he forced himself on Esmeralda, that was it for me. And it bothered me somewhat that Jack was still loyal to him after that, to the point of defying Teague. But Jack is a man and a pirate. What else should we expect?
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Re: TPOF Question 7 ~ Christophe

Unread postby fansmom » Sat Aug 13, 2011 12:34 am

Yep, Liz, conflict is an essential part of any plot, whether script or novel. When my daughter was little she enjoyed the Raggedy Ann series of children's books, which were written so as to not over-excite invalid children. (My daughter wasn't an invalid; she just liked the books.) I would invariably start yawning three sentences into each story because there was no conflict and to me they were utterly boring. Think, too, of Tolstoy's Anna Karenina: happy families aren't worth writing or reading about. Conflict makes a story.

Regarding Christophe: did anyone other than me and my husband watch the short-lived TV show "Reaper"? One of the characters was literally the Devil. Other characters would be surprised when he lied to them or betrayed them, and he would just remind them, "Devil."
I don't know why Jack ever trusted Christophe.

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Re: TPOF Question 7 ~ Christophe

Unread postby ac crispin » Sat Aug 13, 2011 5:08 am

Christophe first started out as Jean-Baptiste, then, when another Disney Dept. pointed out there was a "Jean" in the "Young Jack Sparrow" books, I was told to change his name. I changed his name to Phillippe. Then, when TPOF was like 2/3 of the way done, my editor discovered that the script for OST under development featured a character named Phillip (we knew nothing about him) and we again had to change the name.

In developing Christophe, I had several conversations with a friend who is a Dr. in Psychology, and a well-respected therapist. We talked about sociopaths and how they can be charming but treacherous. I've also had some exposure to sociopaths by working with Writer Beware (http://www.writerbeware.com) because most con artists turn out to be sociopaths. It's part of their "profile," in most cases.

Sociopaths lie about nearly everything, and exhibit extreme narcissism. They can also be sadists, like Christophe. Here's a pretty good definition of their traits:

http://www.mcafee.cc/Bin/sb.html

In writing Jack's younger character, especially when he was only 20, I deliberately made him more trusting, more vulnerable. I based this partly on Gibbs's comment in "Curse of the Black Pearl" where he said something along the lines of, "In those days Jack didn't play things as close to the vest as he does now."

I also raised a son myself, so I know what 20 year old young men are like. A couple of times I warned my son against loaning buddies money, trusting too much, etc., when I could see that the kids in question had shady aspects to their characters. (And I was right...the couple of kids I warned about later ended up in jail!)

With his strained relationship with Teague, Jack was hungry for approval and affirmation. Christophe appeared to the young Jack to be everything he admired -- wealthy, good sailing skills, excellent swordsman, well-dressed, good teeth, handsome and debonair. And Christophe, like most sociopaths, was looking for someone he could impress and ensnare, then victimize and abuse.

The other facet of Christophe was that he was French. In making him French, I was giving a tip of the hat to Sabatini's great pirate novel, Captain Blood, and the character of Levasseur.


-Ann
-Ann C. Crispin
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Price of Freedom
Published by Disney Editions, an imprint of Disney Book Group
Release date: May 17, 2011

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Re: TPOF Question 7 ~ Christophe

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:35 am

Thanks for the great explanation, Ann! :cool: Love him or hate him, he was an interesting character who helped get us involved in the story!
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

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Re: TPOF Question 7 ~ Christophe

Unread postby Buster » Sat Aug 13, 2011 11:34 am

In making him French, I was giving a tip of the hat to Sabatini's great pirate novel, Captain Blood, and the character of Levasseur.

Yep - that's exactly who he reminded me of, Basil Rathbone playing the oily but charming Levasseur. I just finished re-reading (for the umpteeth time) Captain Blood, and highly recommend it to all.

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Re: TPOF Question 7 ~ Christophe

Unread postby bluebird » Sat Aug 13, 2011 1:25 pm

Buster wrote:
In making him French, I was giving a tip of the hat to Sabatini's great pirate novel, Captain Blood, and the character of Levasseur.

Yep - that's exactly who he reminded me of, Basil Rathbone playing the oily but charming Levasseur. I just finished re-reading (for the umpteeth time) Captain Blood, and highly recommend it to all.

Thanks for the recommendation. Just downloaded it (free) to my Kindle Ap on my iPod Touch.
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Re: TPOF Question 7 ~ Christophe

Unread postby Jackslady » Sat Aug 13, 2011 2:14 pm

I'm a little late to the discussion, - thank you for the background on the character, Ann.

I too was slightly surprised that Jack trusted Christophe but I can see that the Jack of 20 years old was probably a very different person to the Jack we all initially met in Curse of The Black Pearl. What I love so much about POF is that it fills in many of the blanks and this has only added to my enjoyment of the films.

Real life pirates were pretty desperate characters - they had to be in order to survive. Christophe provides a balance for Jack - and what makes Jack so interesting is that he is constantly at war with his own character, having both a good and bad side to his nature. As Johnny once said "Captain Jack is a little bit slippery...a good guy, or maybe not". Christophe I saw as equally complex, but with his nature much darker and selfish.

The nod to Captain Blood is a delight. It is my favourite of the classic pirate movies.
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Re: TPOF Question 7 ~ Christophe

Unread postby ladylinn » Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:24 pm

When I first read of Christophe - he seemed like a fella that Jack looked up to - handsome, rich and smooth. But I am with you Liz, when he came on to Esmeralda that was it for me. Jack was very trusting and felt that Christophe was one he could trust. Guess he was wrong on that.
Thanks for the background on Christophe, Ann.


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