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NOTE: This article is about the incarnation of Scar from the 2019 movie. The mainstream version can be found here: Scar (Disney).
Long… live… the KING!!
~ Scar's most famous quote before murdering Mufasa, revealing his true nature to him.
This is MY kingdom! MY DESTINY!!!
~ Scar battling against Simba.
Scar is the main antagonist of the 2019 CGI/live-action film The Lion King, a remake of the 1994 animated film of the same name. He is a lustful, envious, ambitious, and megalomaniacal African lion who acts as the temporary king of Pride Rock, as well as the brother of Mufasa and the uncle-turned-arch-nemesis of Simba.
Life's not fair, is it, my little friend? While some are born to feast, others spend their lives in the dark, begging for scraps.
~ Scar's opening line.
Scar first appeared talking to a mouse how unfair life is, since he lived his entire life in the dark and he deserved to rule the kingdom of Pride Rock. Zazu however interrupts and asks Scar angrily why he did not come to Mufasa's ceremony of Simba's birth. Scar tries to kill Zazu, but he is interrupted when Mufasa arrives at his cave and makes an excuse that he did not remember the day of the ceremony. Mufasa tells him that Simba is one day going to be the king of Pride Rock, and that he must obey Simba's orders by the time that he rules the lands. As an unperturbed Scar leaves, Zazu suggested to Mufasa that he should've banished Scar when he had the chance, but Mufasa retorts this by saying that Scar is free to live in Pride Lands since he is still part of the family.
While Mufasa is busy scouting the Pride Lands, Scar tells Simba to go back to his den as he is not a babysitter, thus showing some cold hatred towards the young cub. However, Simba told him that one day he is going to be the king of Pride Rock, much to Scar's disappointment. Scar sarcastically told Simba not to go towards the abandoned areas beneath the light, but he tempted Simba into going there by mentioning it is an elephant graveyard and lies that only the bravest lions go there. Simba goes to a voyage with Nala and they manage to enter and escape the Elephant Graveyard with Mufasa's help. Scar realizes that Simba is still alive, and goes to the Elephant Graveyard in order to convince the Hyena Clan (led by Shenzi, Kamari and Azizi) that they should be teaming up to kill Mufasa and Simba.
Taking Over the Pride Lands
Run away, Simba.... and NEVER RETURN!!
~ Scar banishing Simba after pinning the blame on the latter for Mufasa's death.
Scar first meets the hyena clan at the graveyard. At first, they attempt to eat him as they thought that Scar is just another lion from the Pride Rock. However, Scar reveals to them his ambitious plans and promises that they shall get unlimited food as their bellies are never full. Scar eventually sets up a trap for both Simba and Mufasa. He asks Simba to practice his roar in the middle of a vast gorge, and he tells his nephew he would be back later. In the mean time, he signals the hyenas to drive a massive herd of wildebeests into a stampede. Simba almost gets killed inside the stampede, but Scar calls Mufasa and Zazu for help. Scar orders Zazu to call the pride for help. Mufasa arrives on time and puts Simba onto a rock, before he climbs up to ask Scar for help. However, Scar grabs Mufasa's paws and snarls "Long live the king" before he smacks his brother in the face with his claws, thus causing Mufasa to lose his grip and fall back into the gorge, where he is trampled to death by the stampeding wildebeests.
Simba then finds Mufasa's corpse and tearfully starts calling for help. Scar eventually arrives and convinces Simba that he is responsible for the death of Mufasa. He coldly orders Simba to run away and never return to Pride Rock. As Simba runs away, Scar sends Shenzi, Kamari, Azizi and an unnamed hyena to kill him, but in the ensuing chase Simba and the unnamed hyena fall off a cliff. Shenzi then orders Kamari and Azizi to confirm Simba's death, but they are too afraid to try to climb down the steep cliff and instead lie to Scar and Shenzi that they ate Simba. As the pride and the citizens of Pride Rock gather up together, Scar announces that because Mufasa and Simba are now dead, he shall be their king from now on and allows the hyenas to refuge in the Pride Lands. Scar then calls Sarabi for a meeting, and asks her to become his queen, and team up with him so the entire pride will obey him. Sarabi angrily stated that she will never be the queen of such a selfish and cruel lion. Scar gets furious, and out of anger and frustration, he announces that from now on the hyenas will hunt first and leave the lionesses with little to no food to eat afterwards. Because of this act of overhunting, the Pride Lands become scarce in food and water, eventually becoming a barren land, much to the other animals' distraught.
Simba: My father! Your own brother! HOW COULD YOU?! Scar: First he kills Mufasa, and now he wants to kill me! Simba: YOU killed him! Tell them the truth! Scar: Don't believe his lies! Sarabi: Scar... you told us you didn't get to the gorge in time. Scar: That's true. Sarabi: Then HOW did you see the look in Mufasa's eyes?! (Scar stares speechless, realizing he's exposed himself) Simba: Murderer! Scar: (to the hyenas) KILL THEM ALL!
~ Scar being exposed for the villain he is.
Eventually, an adult Simba returns to Pride Rock, and with the help of an adult Nala, Zazu and his new friends Timon and Pumbaa, the young warrior is ready to fight Scar for the throne. Realizing that Kamari and Azizi lied about Simba's fate, Scar tries to convince the pride that Simba was responsible for Mufasa's death, and asks Simba to tell his secret and admit to "the truth". Simba finally confirms that he is responsible for Mufasa's death. Scar then forces Simba onto the tip of Pride Rock, where a lightning bolt strikes the ground and causes a wildfire. Noticing how similar Simba is hanging just like Mufasa, Scar points out the similarity before quietly admitting to Simba that he was the one who killed Mufasa. Realizing the horrible truth, Simba uses his jaws to grab Scar by the mane to pull himself up, berating him for his actions and ordering him to tell the truth to the other lions. At first, Scar denies by calling Simba a liar, but Sarabi furiously states that she overheard Scar taunting Simba about the way Mufasa looked before he died, which contradicts Scar's previous claim that he didn't get to the gorge in time. Realizing now that he's been exposed, Scar angrily orders his hyena minions to kill the entire lion pride.
The hyenas are defeated, however, and Simba chases after a fleeing Scar until the latter reaches a ledge near the top of Pride Rock where he cannot jump due to the height. Cornered, Scar begs for mercy and even betrays the hyenas in his desperation, lying that they forced him into committing Mufasa's murder and denouncing them as "revolting scavengers" he was planning to kill. Unknown to Scar, Shenzi, Kamari and Azizi overhear this nearby and are enraged by Scar's words. Simba knows that it's all lies as Scar used the hyenas just like he used Simba a long time ago. Scar then asks if Simba is going to kill him to avenge Mufasa's death, to which Simba replies that he won't since he is not a murderer like him. Scar then asks Simba what he could do to make it up to him, to which Simba responds by coldly ordering Scar to run away from the Pride Lands and never return. Scar pretends to agree to that consequence, but then throws burning ash in Simba's face and attacks him while he is blinded. The two lions engage in a fierce duel for the throne of Pride Rock, with an angry Simba declaring that he won't let Scar win, only for an angry Scar to declare that it's his destiny to rule his kingdom whatever way he likes. Simba eventually manages to overpower Scar and slam him to the ground at the edge of the cliff. As Scar begins to slip, he grips onto Simba’s mane for a brief second before sliding down and falling, screaming to his presumed death.
Scar: My friends... it will take some time, but together, we will build our army! Kamari: Friends, huh? I thought you said we were "revolting scavengers". Azizi: Yeah! And you wanted to kill us. Scar: No, no! Let me explain! I was trying to fool him! We will rule together! Shenzi: There's only one true thing you ever said, Scar..... a hyena's belly is never full.
~ Scar's last words before the hyenas make him pay with his life for his betrayal.
However, Scar survives the fall and as he struggles to his feet, Shenzi, Kamari, Azizi and several other surviving hyenas arrive and encircle him. At first, Scar is relieved to see them, saying they will build a huge army to take down Simba, but to his horror, Kamari and Azizi reveal they overheard his attempt to betray them. Realizing the hyenas have turned against him, Scar desperately tries to justify what he said, but the hyenas will have no more of his excuses, with Shenzi telling Scar that he was right only about one thing: that a hyena's belly is never full. Cornered and outnumbered, Scar furiously attempts to fight off the hyenas as they attack him, but he is quickly overwhelmed and screams in agony as the hyenas devour him alive, ending his reign of terror for good.
In contrast to his animated counterpart, Scar has a closer resemblance to Mufasa. He has greying-gold fur and an emaciated frame separating him from the rest of the pride. He has a thin and pale mane until his regime over the Pridelands; by then, his mane is closer to the original's fuller black mane. As his name suggests, he has a long, thin, vertical scar over his left eye, a torn right ear and several small scratch marks on his flanks. He also has amber eyes, a tan muzzle complete with a goatee and a dark stripe down his forehead.
Scar is an extremely manipulative, ruthless, determined, cruel, and sadistic lion who cares about nothing else than the throne and being on top of everyone else. He committed unspeakable crimes in order to achieve his goals. This version of Scar also lusts Sarabi for himself and he desires to be every bit like Mufasa, but does the opposite. He is also shown to be a little braver in combat than his original counterpart as he was willing to fight back against his enemies if necessary; he even briefly tried to fight back against the hyenas when they turned against him.
Scar after manipulating Simba into going to the Elephant Graveyard.
Scar making his scheme with Shenzi, Kamari, and Azizi.
“Run away, Simba,...”
“and never return!”
Scar ordering the hyenas to kill Simba after banishing him.
Scar at Pride Rock while being cornered by the lionesses for his murder of Mufasa.
Scar and Simba's duel during the final battle.
Scar greeting his "friends", unaware they have turned against him.
Scar attempting to fight back as the hyenas attack him.
Scar meeting his death as the hyenas overwhelm and devour him alive.
Unlike other live-action remakes of other Disney Villains, this Scar is basically the same as his animated counterpart. However, there are certain differences between the two versions:
In the original film, Scar was slightly effeminate in his mannerisms, which initially met a mild controversy back when the original film was released. In the live-action film, Scar never shows any kind of effeminated mannerisms, possibly to avoid further controversy.
In the original film, Scar's motivation to become king was because he was upset when Mufasa was chosen by their father to become king. In the live-action film, Scar's motivation was to have Sarabi for himself because she chose Mufasa when they were young, and it was implied that Scar fought against Mufasa for Sarabi's affections and lost; even his voice actor Chiwetel Ejiofor stated that the Scar in the live-action film is far more 'psychologically possessed' and 'brutalized' than the cartoon one for this reason.
In the original film, how Scar got his scar goes unexplained. It has been confirmed in The Lion Guard that he got it after being attacked by a black-necked spitting cobra despite Rob Minkoff's opinion that Mufasa probably gave it to him when they were cubs (whereas the book "A Tale of Two Brothers", which is disregarded from canon, says that Scar got his scar when he was attacked by a large buffalo). In the live-action film, it was implied that Mufasa gave him the scar during their fight over Sarabi's affections, which made it clear why Scar had done the same to Mufasa when pushing him to his death in the gorge.
In the original film, Scar was friends with the hyenas, but neglected them by leaving them and the lions to do the hunting tasks for him due to his laziness, which made the hyenas question his reign (due to shortage of food and water) and contribute to his downfall. In the live-action film, he wasn't friends with the hyenas as he first met them in the graveyard, but made good on his promise for them by personally overseeing hunts for them after taking over Pride Rock, which has allowed him to earn the hyenas' genuine loyalty until the end when he tried to pin the blame on them.
In the original film, Scar was a bit reckless and didn't care in raising any possible suspicions; this was demonstrated when he knocked out Zazu in the gorge before proceeding to dispose of Mufasa. In the live-action film, Scar is more cunning and sends Zazu out for help and while he hurts Mufasa with his claws before pushing him to his death, Simba doesn't notice it due being just a cub.
In the original film, Scar was too cowardly to do anything if cornered; this was shown when he begged for mercy when the hyenas turned against him and mauled him to death. In the live-action film, he shows less fear, as though he initially begged for mercy from both Simba and the hyenas, respectively, he was willing to defend himself against danger if necessary; this was shown when he briefly tried to fight back against the hyenas before they outnumbered and killed him.
According to the French, Scar is the only character who is not from Swahili, but from English.
Jeremy Irons, the actor who voiced Scar in the original film, was interested in reprise the role for the remake much like how James Earl Jones was brought back to reprise the role of Mufasa. However, Irons was never asked out nor contacted by Disney to reprise the role.
Scar's lust for Sarabi in the film is very similar, and was likely inspired, by his lust for Nala in The Lion King Broadway musical (which was originally intended for the original film but taken out when it was deemed that sexual harassment wasn't suitable for a family film). However, unlike the Broadway musical, he doesn't harass Sarabi as he does with Nala in the musical, yet he still threatens her. Scar's lust for Sarabi is also similar to King Claudius' lust for Queen Gertrude in the play Hamlet (since The Lion King is based on the play).
His physical appearance is similar to that of Zira (such as having a notch in his right ear), the main antagonist of The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride.