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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 as he reveals his true nature to his brother Mufasa before murdering him.|
|“||This is MY kingdom!! MY DESTINY!!!||„|
| ~ Scar battles against his nephew Simba.|
Scar is the main antagonist of the 2019 CGI/live-action film The Lion King, a remake of the 1994 animated classic 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 younger brother and killer of Mufasa, and the uncle and archenemy of Simba.
Scar was the younger brother of Mufasa, heir to the throne of Pride Rock. When Scar and Mufasa were young, they both fell in love with a lioness named Sarabi. However, Sarabi chose Mufasa over Scar. This, coupled with his desire for the throne, led Scar to challenge Mufasa to a fight, from which Mufasa emerged victorious as Scar was weaker. While it is unconfirmed, it is heavily implied that it was during this fight that Scar got his namesake injury, which marked him for life and increased his resentment towards his brother.
The novelization of the film also reveals that after Scar got his scar, his father refused to take him on any more hunts as he deemed him ineffectual. This, of course, likely led to Scar's hatred towards his own family to extend in a matter of time because of the feeling of rejection. It might also be what convinced him to go through with his plan of murdering Mufasa.
Despite his victory, Mufasa refused to banish Scar and allowed him to remain in the pride due to them being brothers, but Scar's desire to overthrow his brother and his undying lust for his sister-in-law secretly remained, searching for any ways to get rid of Mufasa to become king and have Sarabi for himself. Unfortunately, Scar's hopes to ever become king were seemingly crushed with the arrival of his nephew Simba.
Plotting against Mufasa and Simba
Scar first appears speaking 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. But Zazu interjects and asks Scar angrily why he did not come to Mufasa's ceremony of Simba's birth. Scar tries to have Zazu slaughtered, but he is interjected 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 going to be the king of Pride Rock one day and that he must obey Simba's orders by the time that he rules the lands. As unperturbed Scar leaves, Zazu suggested to Mufasa that he should have 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 family.
While Mufasa is busy chasing hyenas out of 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. And yet, Simba told him that someday he is going to be the king of Pride Rock, much to Scar's displeasure. 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 fibs that only the bravest lions go there. Simba goes on 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 to convince the Hyena Clan (led by Shenzi) that they should be teaming up to kill Mufasa and Simba.
Taking Over the Pride Lands
Scar meets the hyena clan at the graveyard in the first place. At first, they threaten to eat him as they thought that Scar is just another lion from the Pride Rock. And yet, Scar reveals to them his ambitious plans and promises that they shall get unlimited food as their bellies are never full. Scar sets up a trap for both Simba and Mufasa at long last. 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 meantime, 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 cruelly grabs Mufasa's paws and snarls "Long live the king" before he smacks his older 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 finds Mufasa's corpse and tearfully starts calling for help afterward. Scar shows up and convinces Simba that he is responsible for the death of Mufasa at last. 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. Then, Shenzi orders Kamari and Azizi to confirm Simba's death, but they are too frightened to try to climb down the 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 dead now, he shall be their king from now on and accepts the hyenas to refuge in the Pride Lands. Scar then calls out to Sarabi for a meeting, and asks her to become his queen, and join him so the entire pride will obey him. Sarabi angrily stated that she will never be the queen of such a selfish and ruthless lion. Scar gets mad, 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 afterward. Because of this act of overhunting, the Pride Lands become scarce in food and water, eventually becoming a barren land, much to the lionesses' distraught.
Final Fight and Death
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 prince is ready to fight Scar for the throne. 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 forces Simba onto the tip of Pride Rock afterward, 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. He then lunges towards Simba and grabs hold of his paws before quietly admitting to him 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 and accusing him of trying to kill his uncle, 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 too late that he inadvertently exposed himself, Scar furiously orders his hyena minions to kill the entire pride.
The hyenas are eventually 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 double-crosses 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. Unfortunately for Scar, Shenzi, Kamari, and Azizi overhear this nearby and angrily leave to inform the other hyenas of his treachery. Simba won't have any of it, stating that 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 the monster Scar is. Scar asks Simba what he could do to make it up to him afterward, 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 outraged Simba declaring that he will not let Scar win, only for an angry Scar to declare that it's his destiny to rule the kingdom however he likes. Although Scar proves to be a surprisingly formidable opponent despite his weak appearance, Simba eventually manages to overpower his uncle and slam him to the ground at the edge of the cliff. As Scar begins to slip, he grabs onto Simba’s mane for a brief second before sliding down and falling to his presumed death.
However, Scar survives the fall and slowly gets to his feet after regaining consciousness. Just as Scar is about to leave the Pride Lands in defeat, Kamari, Azizi and several other surviving hyenas arrive and encircle him. Scar pleasingly greets them, saying they will have to spend their time in exile to build a huge army so that they can take down the pride and reclaim Pride Rock. But, his relief turns to horror when the sarcastic Kamari and Azizi reveal they overheard every single word Scar said about them to Simba. Realizing the hyenas have turned against him, Scar desperately tries to talk his way out of the situation, saying he only tried to fool Simba and promising that together, he and the hyenas will rule the Pride Lands. However, Shenzi appears through the smoke and coldly rejects Scar's empty promises by telling him that he was right only about one thing: a hyena's belly is never full. Cornered and outnumbered, Scar furiously attempts to fight off the hyenas as they attack him, but is quickly overwhelmed and screams in agony as he is devoured alive, ending his reign of terror for good.
In contrast to his animated counterpart, Scar has a closer resemblance to Mufasa. He has graying-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 notch in his right ear and several small scratch marks on his flanks. Scar also has amber eyes, a tan muzzle complete with a goatee and a dark stripe down his forehead.
Like his animated counterpart, 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. Among all the lions in the movie, he's the only one who is genuinely evil. He committed unspeakable crimes 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. Though certainly manipulative and deceitful, Scar's not that good of a liar, as proven by the contradictions in his story about Mufasa's death.
He is also shown to be a little braver than his original counterpart, as he was more willing to fight back against his enemies if necessary as shown with his intense fight against Simba for the fate of Pride Rock; he even briefly tried to fight back against the hyenas when they turned against him, but was quickly overwhelmed due to being outnumbered.
Like his original counterpart, Scar is good at bribing others to get what he wants. The best example would be when he offered the hyenas all the food they can eat in return for their services. Unlike his original counterpart, however, Scar keeps his word by overseeing hunts for them to earn their loyalty and lets them eat before the lionesses, resulting in the hyenas becoming loyal to him until he betrays them, which proves this Scar to be more effective than the original.
Like his original incarnation, Scar's primary and most dangerous weapon is his cold, cunning mind and intelligence. He is a devious and manipulative, yet charismatic planner who can easily get inside others' heads and manipulate them into doing what he wants, as well as come up with and execute complex strategies. This is shown when he easily rallies Shenzi and her entire clan to his side with a single speech, and sets up the wildeebest stampede knowing full well that Mufasa will jump in to save Simba. He is less lazy and arguably even more effective than in the original, as he sent Zazu for help instead of knocking him out and made sure to keep the hyenas loyal to him by personally overseeing their hunts and letting them eat before the lionesses.
Also as in the original, Scar is surprisingly strong, fast and agile despite his weak appearance. This is first shown when he sings "Be Prepared", where he performs impressive feats such as leaping long distances and climbing up steep slopes gracefully and with no noticeable effort. His physical strength is again shown in his fight against Simba; although he ultimately loses, Scar manages to put up a considerable fight against his much younger and more powerfully built nephew, striking him twice across the face, briefly knocking him onto his back twice and at one point nearly managing to push him off the cliff while grappling with him. Scar was also durable enough to survive a long fall from a ledge near the top of Pride Rock with no major injuries.
This version of Scar, while constantly compared to the original, is still generally well-received by both fans and critics. For example, many people such as Renaldo Matadeen from CBR Exclusives praised Scar's remake incarnation as being more frightening than the original, for having more motives behind his evil actions instead of a simple jealousy and how Scar is more active in leading the hyenas.
Similarly, Chiwetel Ejiofor's performance as Scar is also well-received. Owen Gleiberman from Variety praised Ejiofor's voice acting, commenting that his Scar raised the film’s dramatic stakes, upping the ante on what Jeremy Irons did as Scar in the 1994 version. Also, Scott Mendelson from Forbes commented that while he preferred Jeremy Irons' Scar, he still praised Ejiofor's performance for making Scar "excellent" and "nuanced".
However, some people criticized Ejiofor's Scar, feeling he lacked the silkiness and humour of Irons' Scar. Also, many fans of the original criticized the new Scar's physical design, with many complaining about his lack of a full black mane, green eyes, prominent goatee and sly facial expressions. However, others considered the redesign to be valid because of the reasons behind it and some praised it as being more sinister, battle-worn and emaciated than the original, believing it better reflected Scar's inner trauma and unhealthy nature.
The remake version of Scar's song Be Prepared has received generally mixed to negative reception. For example, Fuller criticized the remake of the song, commenting "it feels like Scar is merely relaying some information to audiences that could have been delivered in a speech" and felt it would have been better if the song is not included at all. Similarly, Weldon criticized the song for cutting most of the verses, commenting the song sounds more like "if the Boy Scouts imposed martial law" and make Scar's character like "a mere feckless politician attempting to sway a potential ally." However, some people did like and enjoy the new version of the song, praising it as being more sinister and powerful than the original, and for better reflecting Scar's different relationship with the hyenas.
- Unlike other live-action remakes of other Disney Villains, this Scar is the same as his animated counterpart, although there are certain differences between the two versions (listed below):
- 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, however, Scar never shows any kind of effeminate mannerisms, possibly to avoid further controversy. Likewise, rather than acting in a Machiavellian and elegant way like in the original film, Scar acts more animalistic and savage in the live-action film.
- 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 both for the throne and 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 did the same to Mufasa when pushing him to his death in the gorge.
- In the original film, Scar was friends with the hyenas from the start, 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 until he first met them in the graveyard, but made good on his promise to them by personally overseeing hunts for them after taking over Pride Rock, which allowed him to earn the hyenas' genuine loyalty until the end when he tried to pin the blame of Mufasa's death on them. This makes him much more pragmatic than his original counterpart.
- 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. That said, he is also not as good at lying as he ended up contradicting what he said about his brother's death.
- In the original film, Scar was forced by Simba, who threatened to strangle him to death, to admit his role behind Mufasa's murder to the lionesses. In the live-action film, Scar furiously stands his ground by calling Simba a liar, only for his efforts to fall flat when Sarabi revealed that she overheard him saying how he saw the look in Mufasa's eyes, thus exposing himself as the true murderer.
- In the original, Scar cowardly betrays the hyenas by calling them "the real enemy" and lying that all his crimes were their idea. In the live-action film, he blames them more harshly, calling them "revolting scavengers" and even threatens to kill them.
- In the original film, Scar was too cowardly to do anything if cornered; this was shown when he just cowered in fear when the hyenas turned against him and mauled him to death. In the live-action film, Scar is less cowardly, as although he initially begged for mercy from both Simba and the hyenas, respectively, he was more willing to defend himself against danger if necessary; this was shown when he briefly tried to fight back against the hyenas before they overwhelmed and killed him.
- In The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, Scar is shown to have a successor, Kovu, the son of his most loyal follower Zira. In the live-action film, Scar lusts after Sarabi, implying he wants to have children with her along with having her by his side, indicating there are no signs that Scar already has an heir (Kovu is also not Scar's biological son meaning he would not be born). Along with that, there are no signs of any lions who supported Scar, which was presumably to fill in a plot-hole in the sequel where it claims that a group of lions who supported Scar was in the original animated film, despite them not being there, although this has been unconfirmed.
- According to the French, Scar is the only character whose name is not from Swahili, but from English.
- Jeremy Irons, the actor who voiced Scar in the original film, was interested in reprising 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 to and was 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). When deciding to incorporate that subplot on the remake, Jon Favreau agreed that it would be creepy for Scar to try to court Nala so he opted to have Scar try to court Sarabi as it had more sense given that the two were closer in age.
- 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 partly based on the play).
- Because his mane is much thinner than Mufasa's and Simba's, some say Scar looks more like an Asian lion.
- His physical appearance is similar to that of Zira (such as having a notch in his right ear and a stripe down his forehead), the main antagonist of The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride.
- Hugh Jackman was originally rumoured to play Scar, but said rumors were actually false.
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