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I'm getting off this plane!
~ Gibbs' last words before his death.

Agent Gibbs is a major antagonist of the 1997 film Air Force One.

He is a corrupt Secret Service agent. He is the one responsible for letting Egor Korshunov and his band of Russian terrorists hijack Air Force One to have General Ivan Radek released from prison.

He was portrayed by Xander Berkeley, who also played Corey Mills in Superman: The Animated Series, Red John in The Mentalist and Gregory in The Walking Dead.

Biography

Gibbs was once a trusted friend of President James Marshall (the protagonist of the film). However, it wasn't until the arrest of General Ivan Radek, Gibbs secretly plotted with Egor Korshunov and his accomplices to hold Marshall, his entire staff and his family hostage on Air Force One in order to coerce Russian President Petrov into releasing Radek.

As part of the plan, Gibbs secretly assassinates several agents and unlocks the plane's on-board armory for Korshunov and his henchmen (disguising as journalists), using a smoke grenade to signal them. To avoid any suspicion, Gibbs maintained his supposed loyalty to Marshall as the plane is being hijacked by the terrorists.

However, after a game of cat-and-mouse, President Marshall manages to help take down all the terrorists (including Korshunov) and cancel Radek's release, resulting Radek to be shot down as he attempted to escape. However, the plane has taken heavy damage and is unable to land safely, so they call in a U.S. Air Force Rescue HC-130 to rescue the President and his family.

Gibbs's death.

However, as Marshall is able to get his family to safety, Gibbs reveals his true colors by shooting down Major Caldwell and a parajumper, demanding Marshall to give him the remaining emergency strap. Fortunately, Marshall (furious at his betrayal) fought him long enough to prevent him from getting the emergency strap. Marshall escaped to safety while Gibbs was left on board crying in defeat as Air Force One crashes into the Caspian Sea, killing him instantly.

Trivia

  • The reasons for Gibb's treachery are never revealed. However, according to the director Wolfgang Petersen and the script, Gibbs was a former CIA agent who swore revenge against the American government after losing a lot following the end of the Cold War. He knew the terrorists from his CIA days and so they included him in their operation. The scene was considered too long to tell and Petersen deemed it unnecessary to show, necessitating its removal from the film. The director felt it was more suspenseful to keep the audience guessing in the final cut and specifically pointed to the scene in which Marshall gives Gibbs a gun before escorting the hostages from the conference room to the parachutes in the cargo hold.
  • In an initial draft of the script, Gibbs revealed himself as the mole early and joined the terrorists in hijacking the plane.

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