Scar during Be Prepared
|Meaning||Want or Dirt|
|Close Relations||Husband of Zira, Brother of Mufasa, Uncle of Simba, Brother-in-Law of Sarabi, Great-Uncle of Kiara|
|Appearances||The Lion King, The Lion King II: Simba's Pride (Flashback Only), The Lion King 1½, The Lion King's Timon & Pumbaa, A Tale of Two Brothers|
|Voice Actor(s)||See Below|
Scar has dark brown-red fur, a coal-black sleek mane, heavy-lidded, sinister green eyes, and arched eyebrows. He is long and lanky to the point of being thin and weak, with a scar across his left eye, which was given to him by a cape buffalo in Boma's herd.
Scar is highly intelligent and charismatic, able to rally the hyenas to his cause and gain fanatical loyalty from Zira and her pride of lionesses. Scar is a Machiavellian individual who is mainly concerned with gaining power and will kill anyone he sees as competition. Despite his ruthless nature, he is a somewhat cowardly individual. He is more likely to run away from violence than confront it. When pressed though, he is portrayed as a fierce fighter who holds his own against Simba at the movie's climax.
Due to him being able to plot the murder of his own brother and nephew and execute said plot without little remorse, it could be said that he doesn't care much for family relations, however, not much is known about the relationship he had with Zira or any offspring they may have had before he died.
Scar's lyrics in the song Be Prepared ("meticulous planning, tenacity spanning, decades of denial, is simply why I'll be King undisputed, respected, saluted and seen for the wonder I am") and his inability to take criticism either from Shenzi or Sarabi establish him as being a narcissist.
Scar's creators, as in the first The Lion King film's makers, have never revealed their official backstory and birth name for Scar. The only background story and birth name he has in the entity of the official The Lion King universe, is in the book universe but it was not created by Disney at all. It was written by Alex Simmons, who - according to his personal web site - isn't part of The Walt Disney Company, and the story is his original story based on the hit film. And thus, apart from publishing it, Disney has nothing to do with it except the film the story bases on. Scar's creators have even denied that story's main character, Kopa, from existing in their movie, and thus naturally also Scar's part from the novel is not in the backstory of the movie's Scar.
The novel series The Lion King: Six New Adventures, visions that Scar's real name is Taka, which is Swahili for "dirt", "trash", or "want". In A Tale of Two Brothers, one of the books in the set, teenage Taka is angry that Mufasa is chosen to be the heir to the throne. He gets even angrier when his father, King Ahadi, breaks his promise to go hunting with him, choosing to solve the drought problems in the Pride Lands instead. Taka wanders off to talk to Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed the hyenas, who tell him that if Mufasa were to be made to look like a failure to their father, Ahadi, and the rest of their pride, then he, Taka, will look good in comparison and take the throne.
Taka then tricks his brother into going down to the waterhole, where a Cape buffalo named Boma is refusing to share the water. The Pride Lands is in a terrible drought and any water there is precious. Mufasa begins reasoning with Boma, when Taka roars and says that Boma must move by order of the Lion King, or Mufasa will face Boma in combat. Boma charges out of the water at Mufasa. Mufasa escapes to safety with Rafiki, but Boma says that his herd will get Taka. Mufasa runs back to find Taka being attacked by Boma's herd. The largest of the buffaloes slashes Taka with his horns, knocking him unconscious. Mufasa leaps in to save his brother and the buffaloes ready themselves to attack again.
Before they can do so, however, Ahadi appears with a large herd of animals. The herd surrounds the buffaloes and ends the fight. Later on, Rafiki examines Taka and finds a deep cut on his left eye, which will never fully heal. Taka then requests that he be called "Scar" from now on, as a reminder of how he foolishly allowed his anger to rule him.
The Lion King
- Zazu: "Yes, well as slippery as your mind is, as the king's brother, you should have been first in line."
Scar: "Well, I was first in line... until the little hairball was born."
- —Zazu and Scar, talking kings and succession
Scar is the younger brother of Mufasa, the uncle of Simba, and second in line to the throne after Simba is born. Scar is jealous of Simba's position as the next king of the Pride Lands, so he plots to kill his brother and nephew, in order to seize the throne.
To carry out his plans, Scar recruits three spotted hyenas; Shenzi, Banzai and Ed — who gladly do his bidding in exchange for food. At first, there seem to be only three hyenas, but eventually it becomes apparent that he has influenced an entire army of them. Mufasa foils their first attempt to kill Simba, so Scar calls up his troops and promises that when he is king the hyenas will "never go hungry again".
With the help of the hyenas, Scar triggers a wildebeest stampede meant to kill both Simba and Mufasa. Mufasa manages to save his son, but is badly injured in the process and as he tries to escape by climbing up the gorge, Scar is waiting and grabs his paws. Maliciously taunting him with "Long live the king", Scar throws Mufasa from the cliff into the stampede, where he is trampled to death. Scar then makes Simba believe that the young prince caused the stampede (he had let out a loud yowl, while practicing roaring, seconds before the stampede began, and had not seen Scar throw his father to his death) and in turn killed Mufasa. Simba is guilty, and doesn't know what to do. Scar says "Run. Run away, and never return.", and Simba does run away.. Scar then orders the hyenas to chase the cub and kill him. Unknown to Scar, however, the hyenas do not succeed because of a thorn bush, as Simba evades them and escapes into the desert. Scar then returns to Pride Rock and assumes the throne, letting the hyenas in the Pridelands and leading the pride to believe that both Mufasa and Simba died in the gorge.
During Scar's reign, the kingdom rapidly declines as droughts hit and food becomes scarce. Years later, to Scar's surprise, Simba returns to challenge his uncle for the throne. Scar forces Simba to reveal the "truth" about Mufasa's death and backs him towards the edge of Pride Rock's promontory. Scar taunts Simba by admitting that he killed Mufasa, and prepares to kill Simba before the rightful heir can tell anyone. As lightning starts a fire on to the parched plains, Simba leaps upon Scar and forces him to admit his guilt. A fierce battle ensues between Scar's hyenas and Simba's friends and family while Simba alone goes to fight Scar.
Eventually, Simba traps his uncle on Pride Rock's summit. Terrified, Scar pleads for his life, blaming his crimes on the hyenas; unaware that Shenzi, Banzai and Ed have followed him and can hear Scar's condemnation. Simba, not willing to sink to Scar's level, spares his uncle's life and banishes him from the Pride Lands. Believing that Simba would pull the same trick on him, Scar begins to walk off, but then suddenly flings some burning embers into his nephew's eyes, temporarily blinding him. The battle continues, but after Scar leaps in to finish Simba, the younger lion finally defeats him by flipping Scar over the cliff where the hyenas are waiting.
The hyenas, determined to get revenge on Scar for denouncing them as "the enemy", surround their fallen leader. Scar, pleading for his life, tries to explain to the hyenas that he didn't really mean what he said about them, but his pleas fall upon deaf ears. Fueled with anger at Scar for his betrayal (as well as, presumably, hunger, from his broken promise of them never going hungry again), the hyenas leap upon Scar and begin to maul him alive shortly before they are all surrounded by the blazing flames.
Scar isn't seen again in the movies, but he is shown in a dream of Simba's.
The Lion King II: Simba's Pride
- Simba: "Scar couldn't let go of his hate, and in the end, it destroyed him."
Kovu: "I've never heard the story of Scar that way. He truly was a killer."
- —Simba and Kovu, as they go out for a walk
Scar does not return as the villain in the direct-to-video sequel The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride, but it is revealed that Scar had a group of lionesses loyal to him whom Simba exiled to the Outlands after he became king. They are led by Zira who is still fiercely loyal to him (their exact relationship is not clear, but implied to be romantic as in a deleted scene Zira claimed to be Scar's queen) who has three offspring: Nuka and Vitani, and, Kovu. In the film, Zira attempts to use Kovu, who was selected to be Scar's heir, to kill Simba and become king. Kovu, however, is not Scar's son, as he later explains to Kiara.
Scar only appears twice, the first time in Simba's nightmare. In the nightmare, Mufasa clings to the cliff above the stampede as in the first film, and Simba tries to reach down to help his father. However, Scar appears on the ledge and grabs Simba's paw, preventing him from reaching Mufasa. Scar laughs, suggesting Simba trust him and let Mufasa fall. Mufasa falls into the stampede and the cackling Scar morphs into Kovu. Kovu flashes an evil grin and throws Simba into the stampede, as Scar had done to Mufasa in the first film. He appears again when Simba banishes Kovu from the Pride Lands. As Kovu looks into a stream, he sees Scar's reflection rather than his own. Given that Kovu had rejected defending his legacy, the young lion flees the vision in panic.
In the Broadway Musical
In the Broadway musical based on the original film, Scar is portrayed by a human actor in an African-style costume with a lion-face headpiece that comes down over the actor's face using a hidden remote control. Scar also uses a cane. Scar was originally portrayed in the Broadway production by John Vickery, and is currently played by Patrick Page. Dan Donohue portrays this character on the Broadway tour.
Scar's role is expanded upon with the song "The Madness of King Scar." In it, Scar begins doubting his reign, fearing that he might be losing the respect of the lionesses and that he needs a queen. He tries to seduce Nala, who rebukes him by scratching his face.
The Lion King 1½
In the direct-to-video "midquel" The Lion King 1½ (2004), Scar makes a few brief, non-speaking appearances in the scenes for which he was present in the original film. However, his role as the villain was taken by Shenzi, Banzai and Ed.
Scar in Kingdom Hearts II
Besides appearing in various The Lion King video games, Scar (スカル, Sukāru?) also appears in the Disney and Square Enix game Kingdom Hearts II as the primary villain of the Pride Lands world, voiced by James Horan. Much like in the film, Scar murders Mufasa to become king, and under his reign the Pride Lands suffers a drought and food becomes scarce.
Prior to the game's main protagonists' (Sora, Donald Duck, and Goofy) arrival at the Pride Lands, Pete (in the form of a lion) offers Scar use of the Heartless to maintain his hold on the throne. Sora (in the form of a lion cub, a change brought on by his magical clothes) attempts to confront Scar in order to save the world, but is turned down by Rafiki due to the latter's prophecy. Soon afterwards, they are confronted by Scar. Scar attempts to persuade the lionesses to hunt and kill Sora, Donald, and Goofy and nearly attacks them, but is pinned down by Nala in order to allow Sora and friends some time to escape. Later, Sora locates Simba and brings him back to the Pride Lands so he can challenge his uncle for the throne. The confrontation between Scar and Simba that follows is almost identical to that in the original film, the only noteworthy exceptions being no hyenas for most of it and Sora and his group replacing the lionesses. Sora's group saves Timon and Pumbaa from Shenzi, Banzai and Ed, while Scar and Simba fight. As in the film, Simba eventually triumphs over his uncle; even though Donald initially wants to help him, Sora prevents him from doing so, believing that it is Simba's fight, and they should not interfere.
Thinking that Scar is defeated, the protagonists are surprised when, as Pete explains, Scar returns to fight once again as a Heartless. Scar's anger and jealousy were so strong they lingered after death and consumed him. During the fight, Scar uses a series of swift and strong physical attacks and powerful magic against Sora and company. Sora and his friends defeat Scar again.
Scar is the only character in the Kingdom Hearts universe - excluding Xehanort - to keep his original form as a Heartless. Whether or not, a Nobody will be fleshed out in Kingdom Hearts continuity is debated.
By the time Sora returns to the Pride Lands to see how Simba's faring, rumors of Scar's ghost haunting the Pride Lands have driven Simba into doubt. But once he overcomes this problem, the "ghost" is revealed to be the interaction of Simba's lack of confidence and Scar's spirit. Multiple copies of Scar's "ghost" then combine to form a gigantic Heartless that is eventually killed by Simba and Sora.
Scar in Relation to Adolf Hitler and King Claudius
Scar is most likely based off the villain from the Shakespeare's play "Hamlet," King Claudius, and the real-life dictator Adolf Hitler. In the song Be Prepared, in which Scar sings to the Hyenas about how he will kill Mufasa and become King, there is a scene where Scar sits on a high up rock, watching the Hyenas march along. This is very similar to a video of Hitler, watching the Nazis march along.
In the play "Hamlet," Claudius poisoned the old king in his sleep in order to take both the throne and queen, whereas Scar murdered Mufasa in order to become king, but not necessarily have Sarabi or any of the other lionesses. However, in the Broadway version of The Lion King, Scar tries to seduce Nala.
The Lion King
- Jeremy Irons (speaking and singing). Irons damaged his vocal cords after screaming the line "You won't get a sniff without me!" in the song "Be Prepared." This led to Jim Cummings being brought in to finish the end of the song.
- Jim Cummings (additional singing). After Jeremy Irons damaged his vocal cords after screaming "You won't get a sniff without me!," Cummings was brought in to finish the song for Irons.
- Tony Jay (speaking and singing).