With a new James Bond movie arriving late 2015, the mystery and intrigue of the British spy surfaces, and the recently released trailer raises more questions about his strange and questionable past.
It would appear as though Mr. Bond, consistent with the previous movie, SKYFALL, is being forced more and more to delve into his origins. This origin story, not previously revealed in any of the other movies, has gained increased awareness and question, and more people wish to discover who indeed this mystery man is.
Origins- Comical Spy or Trained Killer?
The character of James Bond has been played by several actors, most recently by Daniel Craig, but a few common denominators remain, even though each actor has taken a slightly unique approach to the role. He is depicted as a well-dressed, suave gentleman who is skilled in the arts of both love-making and war. But one more factor that ties them all together, and that truly arises the most mystery, is the lack of origin for the character. Many believe that the changing of roles and acting style amongst the actors was unintentional, and was the result of personalities reflecting into the role. While this may be true, a more likely solution arises. Yes, each man above is James Bond, but they are still different individuals, all taking the mantle of 007 after the previous owner's death.
This hopefully shouldn't come as a shock to most of you. How else can the distinct personalities of each Bond be explained? This theory is heavily supported by the subtle hints in the movie Skyfall.
The Skyfall estate played a large role in the movie's plot, as it acted as a safe haven from the antagonist, Silva, who is determined to seek revenge against the closeted sins of MI6's leader, M. But what is exhibited as the home for James, hinting that he grew up and was evidently orphaned there, can also act as the primary focus for the theory that James Bond isn't one person, but merely a code name, similar to the number 007.
One large hint that can support this claim is when James is being psychologically evaluated in order to determine his readiness for field work, after returning from self-induced anonymity. During a word association test, he is asked a number of question of unimportant origin, but two questions in particular raise many questions. When asked to associate a word with murder, Bond unblinkingly replies with, "employment". This blatant nonchalant attitude with the concept and action of murder grant the audience to believe that Bond is not unfamiliar with death, and the action of taking another person's life. This would come as no shock to audiences, however, as throughout the movie, he is seen taking lives without a second glance, and with great ease. But such skill and control over emotional impulses is not a talent learned quickly, but one nurtured and instilled into Bond from a very young age.
As the interview draws to a close, the final question brings immediate distress and astonishment to the otherwise stoic Bond. When asked to associate the word Skyfall, James is taken aback, and takes an extended period of time to answer. This breaks his cycle of previously quick responses, and disrupts his mocking tone taken to the test that he believes to be mundane and of little importance. The long pause even prompts the psychiatrist to ask again, thus reigning in the clearly wandering mind of Bond, only to be met with a characteristically stoic, "Done". His reaction can be seen in the interview video below:
But what sort of mental association would Bond have for this word, "Skyfall"? As we learn later, this is the estate on which he grew up, supposedly with his parents. But such a development wouldn't be immediately associated with distress, but of remembrance and happy recollection. The fact that Bond is so disturbed by the mention of his home, leads one to believe that a darker past was lived, and that Bond carries more secrets than he cares to commonly divulge.
Skyfall vs. Spectre - Good vs. Evil
We have established that James Bond has had a long past with the term Skyfall, but why does this have such a lasting effect on him, even after all of his exploits as a British agent?
First, we must speculate what the true history of Skyfall is.
Not much is mentioned or revealed about Skyfall, only that it was supposedly the home of James, and where his parents died and were laid to rest, as can be seen in the screenshot of their tombstone:
But does this truly provide conclusive evidence that this indeed was Jame's childhood home? Or does it act for an elaborate facade for a secret government organization code named "Skyfall", meant to rival the terrorist organization, "SPECTRE" (Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion). A very possible theory, that would indeed explain the many irregularities already pointed about previously, would be that Skyfall acted as an agency who, upon the graduation of a newly trained "James Bond", adopted and recruited a young boy, specifically an orphan, to be trained and molded in to a master assassin and espionage extraordinaire. Thus, when the previous Bond was either killed or retired, the newly trained individual would pick up the mantle, and resume working for MI6, adopting the name, lifestyle, and 007 code name associated with the British agent.
So if this is true, what is the connection to the SPECTRE organization?
Well, if we assume that the Skyfall program was built to rival Spectre, and that one is inherently good, and the other inherently bad, respectively, then it would make sense for their to be conflict between the two. In the movie titled, Spectre, Christoph Waltz is set to play Oberhauser, the supposed villain and leader of Spectre, the organization. Now, based on the trailer of the movie, and on educated speculation, Oberhauser and Bond have a history, and are possibly co-participants in what can be dubbed, "Project Bond", or the training of agents to take up the James Bond identity. This claim can be supported by the familiarity shown by Oberhauser to Bond, and by the mysterious picture found in the personal affects box recovered from Skyfall, and given to Bond:
Although the image is grainy and distorted, it is apparent that the boy on the left is Bond, but the identity of the other two individual's is uncertain. Based on this relationship between Oberhauser and Bond, however, we can thus assume that it is indeed Oberhauser's face that has been blotted out by fire damage. Because of this assumption, the man in the middle, who is embracing both boys, is most certainly their primary handler, and possibly the program's leader. There is a familial feeling to the image, and it is possible that the boys grew up very close to each other, but it appears as though Oberhauser is the elder of the two, based on the larger stature in the picture.
Okay, so now that we have determined that the two have a history, possibly grew up together, and were both trained under Skyfall, then we can make some educated assumptions on why the two are now rivals, and are clearly in an iconic struggle for good and evil.
One very likely reason for this conflict is the possibility that James proved to be a more worthy candidate to adopt the Bond mantle, while Oberhauser, even with his age superiority, was considered not ready. This is quite troublesome, though, as we have established that James grew up to be a stoic man who shares no visible remorse for murder, or other such untoward actions. To consider that even with these traits, he was a more worthy candidate, begs the question: How evil is Oberhauser that an assassin organization turned him down? It is very likely that while Oberhauser may have been a overall good choice for the job, having been undoubtedly nurtured from a young age to fill Bond's shoes, he may have failed the psychological requirements, not having the necessary mannerisms and self control needed to operate for such an organization as Skyfall and MI6. It is possible that, after learning of James being chosen over him, Oberhauser left Skyfall, and approached Spectre to become a agent of destruction and terror, quickly rising through the ranks, and becoming the leader of the infamous organization.
Perhaps, after James became Bond, and was adopted into MI6 as 007, Skyfall was attacked and shut down, possibly out of anger and revenge by Oberhauser. Thus, after the events of Skyfall, Oberhauser baited Bond into confronting him, in hopes of proving the unknown leader of Skyfall, and more than likely primarily to himself, that he was indeed superior, and always deserved the mantle of James Bond.
As The Story Unfolds...
This version of James Bond's origins is shrouded in mystery and intrigue, but it asks more questions than it does provide answers. With the move Specter's release will undoubtedly come more answers, and will hopefully shed light on the endless struggle between good and evil, embodied between two men, Bond and Oberhauser. But this time James will be fighting on his enemy's terms, and will not be meeting a battle he can win alone. The secrets from his past are coming to haunt him, and if not confronted, will destroy him at his weakest moment. Spectre, the organization led by a man steeped in long-held anger and an unquenchable thirst for revenge, will finally confront James Bond in a battle that will change his life, and alter the course of the world.
Truly we must all face our demons, before the past alters the future, and ultimately, destroys us.
Please, feel free to leave your opinion of my origin story in the comments below, and I hope that, if this is well received, I may have the opportunity to delve into the secrets of more characters.