In the Pirates of the Caribbean movie franchise, the movie begins with Jack Sparrow facing a mutiny from his first mate and coming to Port Royal to commandeer a new ship with the hope of going to Tortuga. My question is,

How did Jack Sparrow become the captain of Black Pearl?

  • 4
    Have you even watched the second movie?
    – Annatar
    Jun 19, 2017 at 13:36
  • 2
    yeah, i did. why?
    – Vishwa
    Jun 19, 2017 at 13:52
  • 1
    You might find your answer here.
    – Mr Pie
    Aug 20, 2018 at 7:54

3 Answers 3


In the POTC movie universe, we only know that Davy Jones raised The Black Pearl from the depth of the sea. There was a deal between Davy Jones and Jack Sparrow that Jack will be captain of The Black Pearl for 13 years.

A transcript of POTC: Dead Man's Chest, when Bill visits Jack to warn him,

Bill Turner: You made a deal with him too, Jack. He raised the Pearl from the depths for you. 13 years, you've been her captain.

Jack Sparrow: Technically...

Bill Turner: Jack. You won't be able to talk yourself out of this.

When Davy Jones boards on Black Pearl after Jack sends Will on the broken ship,

DAVY JONES: You have a debt to pay. You've been captain of the Black Pearl for thirteen years. That was our agreement.

JACK SPARROW: Technically, I was only captain for two years, then I was viciously mutinied upon.

In POTC universe, as explained on this page, Black Pearl was originally named as Wicked Wench and was destroyed by Cutler Beckett. That's when Jack made a deal with Davy Jones. Though the ship was raised from the depth of sea by Davy Jones, it was redesigned by Jack.

The Wicked Wench turned into an inferno, then sank, taking Jack with her. But, while dying, the resourceful Sparrow called upon Davy Jones, and struck a bargain with him...his soul and one hundred years serving aboard the Flying Dutchman in return for a continued human existence of thirteen years as captain, plus saving the Wicked Wench and transforming her into the fastest, most dangerous pirate ship sailing the seven seas. Jack christened his resurrected Wench, now a black vessel with an angel figurehead, The Black Pearl.

  • 19
    And now the question becomes, how did Jack become captain of the Wicked Wench?
    – BlueMoon93
    Jun 19, 2017 at 11:23
  • 1
    @BlueMoon93 was he captain of the Wicked Wench, or just part of its crew?
    – sch
    Jun 19, 2017 at 12:48
  • 1
    @BlueMoon93 This would make for a good new question. I believe the answer is contained in the new movie (Dead Men Tell No Tales)
    – Sabre
    Jun 19, 2017 at 13:12

This is revealed in POTC 5.

Spoiler !!!!

The previous captain dies and hands him the legendary compass. The compass shows him a way to kill salazar, the killer of the previous captain. Upon victory he is tributed by the members of the ship and gets his hat, he is implicitly declared captain of the ship by the crew for killing the enemy of all pirates and the killer of the previous captain.

  • 1
    Didn't get the chance yet :)
    – Vishwa
    Jun 19, 2017 at 14:02
  • Are you sure that that ship was Black Pearl? Add citations and sources to support your answer. Jack's being on that ship is not a guarantee that it is Black Pearl. It wasn't named in that movie and all Jack got was the Compass. Your answer doesn't mention it at all.
    – A J
    Jun 19, 2017 at 14:29
  • Agreed that it's not clear that ship was the Black Pearl/Wicked Wench. Since in POTC 5 we see young Jack being made captain of whatever ship it is, it wouldn't seem necessary that he later make a deal with Davy Jones to be captain of it, even if he needed Jones to resurrect it.
    – ArrowCase
    Jun 19, 2017 at 16:29
  • That scene only shows how he rose to the rank of Captain. It was a different boat.
    – JK.
    Jun 19, 2017 at 22:01
  • So it seems jack was a captain for more than one ship right? more than the pearl?
    – Vishwa
    Jun 20, 2017 at 5:06

Jack Sparrow becomes the owner of the Black Pearl due mainly to the fact that he stole it from Barbossa. In the first movie, The curse of the Black Pearl, Jack and Will try solely to get Elizabeth back, and also get the chance to take the ship, and the crew.

  • 2
    The same movie also explains that Jack was the captain of the Black Pearl originally (Barbossa being his first mate) and he only ever came along to take it back after he lost it due to a mutiny, not so much for Elizabeth.
    – Cubic
    May 20, 2019 at 17:31

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