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Laputa will live! I will return it to life! Laputa's power is the dream of all mankind!
~ Colonel Muska
Colonel Muska (real name: Romuska Palo Ur Laputa) is the main antagonist of the 1986 animated Studio Ghibli film Castle in the Sky. He is a government agent who wishes to find and control the lost city of Laputa, in order to take power over it and rule the world. He is also Sheeta's distant relative and Pazu's arch-nemesis.
He was voiced by Mark Hamill in the English Disney version. In the Japanese version, he was voiced by Minori Terada, who won a Mainichi Film Award for Best Actor in The Human Bullet.
At the beginning of the film, Muska and his men have kidnapped Sheeta and are holding her captive in an airship. Muska has taken her volucite/aetherium crystal necklace. When Dola and her gang attack the airship in hopes of taking the crystal for themselves, Sheeta takes advantage of the confusion and knocks out Muska by hitting him over the head with a bottle. She then takes the crystal back from him and escapes.
Throughout the film, Muska pursues Sheeta and her crystal, which can show Muska the way to Laputa and allow him to conquer it. Even though Muska is also descended from Laputan royalty, the crystal shocks him when it is activated and he tries to touch it, so he must have Sheeta's cooperation to use it. He then tells Sheeta that they will be alone together for a long time, hinting that he plans to use her to restart the Laputian royal family.
At first, Muska seems to be working for the government in cooperation with its army, but ultimately, he proves that he is only interested in seizing Laputa for himself. When he corners them, Sheeta and Pazu use the crystal and a spell to destroy Laputa rather than let Muska take control of it. The light of Sheeta's crystal, combined with that of the giant volucite/aetherium crystal in the roots of Laputa's giant tree, blinds Muska, and he stumbles away as Laputa begins to fall apart. When almost all of the human-made structures on Laputa fall into the sea, Muska can be seen falling along with many of the Laputan robots. It can be presumed that Muska was either killed during the destruction of the Laputan ruins or drowned after he fell if the fall itself didn't kill him. Whatever the case, Muska's madness and reign of terror ended with his life.
As a descendant of Laputa's royal line, Colonel Muska believes he is entitled to rule Laputa and use it as a powerful weapon to secure control over the Earth. Unlike Dola and her gang, Muska is uninterested in the treasures of Laputa; he wants to find the island for the power it will give him.
Muska is a duplicitous, cunning and manipulative individual who will turn on his allies once he has used them to attain his goals. At first, he seems to treat Sheeta well, offering her fine clothes and acting somewhat kindly toward her. However, his true objective is to get the volucite/aetherium crystal belonging to Sheeta and, when he realizes that only she can use it, to force Sheeta to take control of Laputa for him.
When Sheeta continues to defy him, Muska reveals his ruthlessness: he kidnaps Sheeta twice, threatens Pazu to force Sheeta to cooperate with him, and shoots off Sheeta's braids in an attempt to frighten her into submission. Muska also betrays General Muoro and the army, then even the other government agents when he no longer needs their assistance.
We'll get what we want, but it will take time.
~ Colonel Muska
Nothing but tree stumps and VINES! Stupid, ugly, dirty, disgusting things!
~ Muska, annoyed by all the plants in the main crystal chamber.
The same technology that kept Laputa airborne also made it a major power that one dominated the entire planet.
~ Muska states just how powerful Laputa's technology is.
I have really had enough of your incredible stupidity.
~ Muska betraying general Muoro.
They simply don't understand: It is useless to fight me.
He bears a striking resemblance to Jean-François from the game Rhythm Thief and the Emperor's Treasure, Vidocq from the game Doctor Lautrec and the Forgotten Knights and Professor Desmond Sycamore from the game Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy: All four of them are male, megalomaniac and well-dressed anime characters with glasses, who use firearms and are (as well as female protagonists of their stories) linked to ancient, advanced civilizations, whose legacies (in all four cases flying castles) they want to achieve.
Like Jean-François, he wears a jabot and uses antique robots to achieve his goal.
Like Vidocq, he wants to rule the world and dies at the end of the story by the power he wanted to achieve.
Like Desmond Sycamore (Jean Descole) whose theme music resembles the one of Castle in the Sky, he travels in an airship.
He is easily the most evil Studio Ghibli villain alongside Lord Cob since he is one of the very few who ultimately has a purely selfish, malevolent goal and absolutely no redeeming qualities.