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Captain Jack Sparrow's compass is the most special of all his possessions. Jack's compass is featured in the 2003 film Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and its sequels. Among other appearances, in which the compass hangs from Jack's belt, the compass appears in A Pirate's Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas at the Magic Kingdom.
Although it initially appears useless (the needle never points north) Jack's compass has supernatural qualities. The compass cannot be used to navigate in a conventional sense, but it does direct the owner to whatever he or she most desires. Jack acquired the compass from the mystic Tia Dalma.
An unusual compass is the most special of all Captain Jack Sparrow's things. He consults it constantly and is wary about giving his most trusted shipmates even a glance at its gently spinning dial. Although it appears to be useless (the needle never points north), Jack's compass has supernatural qualities thereby giving him a special edge. The compass cannot be used to navigate in a conventional sense, but it does direct the owner to whatever he or she most desires, rather than mere magnetic north. Jack acquired the compass from the mystic Tia Dalma.
Ten years prior to the events of the film, Jack Sparrow showed up in Tortuga, where he had the compass and was going after the treasure of Isla de Muerta. Sailing out aboard the Black Pearl, Jack gave up the bearings to his first mate, Hector Barbossa, who led the mutiny aboard the Pearl. Jack's thrown overboard with the compass and is marooned on an island, though escaped later to retake the Black Pearl and kill Barbossa.
By the time Jack showed up in Port Royal ten years later, Jack would still have the compass in his person. When examining Jack's effects, Commodore Norrington looked at the compass. After the commandeered Interceptor sailed with a buccaneer crew from Tortuga, Jack held the compass while steering the ship to Isla de Muerta to rescue Elizabeth Swann. During the voyage, Will Turner questioned Jack's usage of the compass, saying it doesn't work, but Joshamee Gibbs said that the compass doesn't point north, but they weren't trying to find north either. After arrving to Isla de Muerta, Will asked how Jack got the compass in the first place. Gibbs replied that not much is known about Jack Sparrow before his search for the Isla de Muerta. Commodore Norrington later used Jack's compass to lead them to Isla de Muerta to save Will from Barbossa.
After escaping his execution at Port Royal, Jack Sparrow fell off into the ocean and swims towards the Black Pearl. Having the crew pull him from the water, and appointed him captain of the Pearl once again, Jack pulls out his compass while singing "A Pirate's Life for Me". Captain Sparrow closed the compass as he set a new course.
After escaping the Turkish prison, during which time he acquired a drawing of a key, Jack Sparrow tries to use his compass to find a heading, but fails. Meanwhile, Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann were arrested by Lord Cutler Beckett of the East India Trading Company. While Elizabeth is imprisoned, Beckett makes a deal with Will, who agreed to find Jack's compass in exchange for Will and Elizabeth's freedom. Will would find Jack, with the compass on his person, at Cannibal Island. After escaping the island's cannibal natives, Will confronted Jack about his need for the compass. Jack agreed to give Will the compass, but only if he would help find the key.
While visiting the mystic Tia Dalma, she asked Jack Sparrow why he couldn't use the compass to lead him, but then realized that either Jack didn't know what he wanted or he knew "but are loath to claim it as his own." After finding the Flying Dutchman, Will was press-ganged aboard the Flying Dutchman while Jack was sent by Davy Jones to collect 99 souls in three days. As Joshamee Gibbs was recruiting sailor at Tortuga, Jack tried to use the compass but with no success. It wasn't until Jack met with Elizabeth at Tortuga's docks, accompanied by former commodore James Norrington, Jack decided to use her. Jack convinced Elizabeth to use the compass to find the Dead Man's Chest in order to save Will, a plan which was successful as Jack finally found his next heading. However, throughout the voyage, Elizabeth's use of the compass would have it pointing to Jack.
Arriving to Isla Cruces in their search for the chest, Elizabeth had a misunderstanding on which direction the compass's needle pointed at. Both Jack and Elizabeth were soon able to find the exact spot that the chest was buried. However, after a battle ensued, the chest was ultimately taken by Dutchman's crewmen and the heart of Davy Jones ended up in Lord Beckett's possession by Norrington's hand. Meanwhile, the Kraken attacked the Black Pearl, in which the Pearl was dragged to the depths. During the battle, Jack was rowing away to land, but used the compass while deciding if he should return on board or not.
Because Jack Sparrow was taken to Davy Jones' Locker by the Kraken, the compass went along with him. While being rescued by his crew, led by a resurrected Hector Barbossa, Jack tried using the compass to escape on his own, leaving Barbossa, Will, Elizabeth, Pintel and Ragetti. Unfortunately, the compass only spun in circles, which forced Jack to bring them along aboard the Black Pearl, as Barbossa had navigational charts in his possession.
After escaping the Locker, the Black Pearl was briefly captured in which time Jack Sparrow and Cutler Beckett negotiated aboard the Endeavour. Beckett questioned his use for Jack to find the Brethren Court if Beckett had the compass in his possession. Jack pointed out that the thing Beckett wanted most wasn't the Brethren Court, but to have Jack Sparrow himself dead. Realizing it to be true, Beckett then thought to kill Jack so the compass would lead him to Brethren's meeting in Shipwreck Cove. However, Jack was able to convince Beckett to let him live, so he could lead the Brethren outside. Before negotiations could continue, Jack took the compass and escaped from the Endeavour onto the Pearl.
Later, Jack catches Will leading a trail for Beckett to follow. In response, after a brief talk of Will's conflicting obligations, Jack has Will thrown overboard after giving him his compass. Will was later picked up by the Endeavour, where he made a deal with Beckett and Davy Jones, which allowed them to use the compass to find Shipwreck Cove. During the parley on a sandbar, Beckett returned the compass to Jack, having led his assembled armada for attack.
The compass would remain on Jack's belt throughout the battle between the Black Pearl and the Flying Dutchman, and the destruction of the Endeavour. Jack wore the compass while in Tortuga, upon finding out that Barbossa stole the Pearl once again. Having anticipated Barbossa's treachery, Jack took the map to the Fountain of Youth. Jack pulled out his compass, which pointed to a bottle of rum. As he drank his rum, Jack saw that the compass pointed in the right course and began his search.
Throughout the quest for the Fountain of Youth, Jack Sparrow wore his compass on his belt. Days after being shangheid aboard the Queen Anne's Revenge, Jack Sparrow was forced by Blackbeard to lead the search for the Fountain on the island. Pulling out his compass, Jack sets forth into finding Ponce de León's ship. After happening upon a jungle chasm, Jack told Blackbeard the way to the Fountain before Blackbeard took the compass for himself and forced Sparrow to jump in the chasm so he could retrieve the Chalices.
After returning with the Chalices, with Joshamee Gibbs, Jack and Blackbeard bargain for Jack's confiscated compass and Gibbs' release. In return, Jack vows to give Blackbeard the Chalices and lead him to the Fountain; Blackbeard agrees and takes the Chalices from a now-free Gibbs. Jack gives the compass to Gibbs, saying it will lead him to freedom. Later, Jack finds Gibbs, who used the compass to locate the Black Pearl, now a shrunken ship in a bottle.
In Kingdom Hearts II, the compass reveals the location of the Port Royal world's Keyhole, allowing Sora, the game's protagonist, to move on to the next world.
The compass hangs on Jack Sparrow's belt in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.
The compass hangs on Jack Sparrow's belt until Jack himself holds it at the end.
In the game, Jack's compass guides new pirate recruits on a raid throughout Adventureland to collect valuable treasures.
Behind the scenes
- The exact timeline of when Jack Sparrow bartered the compass from Tia Dalma is unknown. However, it is known that Jack got it at least ten years before the events of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.
- On the Dead Man's Chest DVD commentary, screenwriters Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio note that the compass only points in Jack's "direction" when Elizabeth holds it, not at Jack himself, and on Isla Cruces, continually points at the location of the Dead Man's Chest, despite Elizabeth believing it is pointing at Jack.
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