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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 battling 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 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.
Plotting against Mufasa and Simba
Scar originally appeared 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 an 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 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. 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 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
Scar meets the hyena clan at the graveyard in the first place. At first, they attempt 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 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 afterwards. 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 steep cliff and instead fib 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. Then all of a sudden, Scar calls out to 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 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 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.
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. 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 afterwards, 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 and accusing him of trying to kill his own 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 lion 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 are outraged by Scar's words. 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 a murderer like him. Scar asks Simba what he could do to make it up to him afterwards, 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 he then throws burning ash in Simba's face and assaults 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 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 grabs onto Simba’s mane for a brief second before sliding down and falling, screaming 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, Shenzi, Kamari, Azizi and several other surviving hyenas arrive and encircle him. Scar greets them in a pleasing manner, saying they will have to spend their time in exile to build a huge army so that they can take down the lion pride and reclaim Pride Rock. But to his horror, Kamari and Azizi reveal they overheard Scar's attempt to double-cross 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 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 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.
This incarnation of 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. Though certainly manipulative and deceitful, Scar's not really 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; he even briefly tried to fight back against the hyenas when they turned against him.
Like his other incarnation, Scar is good at bribing others to get what he wants. The best example would be when he offere the hyenas all the food they can eat in return for their services.
Like his original incarnation, Scar's primary and most dangerous weapon is his cold intelligence. He is a devious and manipulative, yet charismatic planner who is able to easily get inside others' heads and manipulate them into doing what he wants, as well as come up with and execute complex strategies. He is less lazy and arguably even more cunning 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.
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 the much younger and more powerfully built lion, striking him twice across the face, 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.
- 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, however, Scar never shows any kind of effeminate 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 both for the throne and 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 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.
- 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 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 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 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.