|“||Laputa will live! I will return it to life! Laputa's power is the dream of all mankind!||”|
Colonel Muska is a government special agent and the main antagonist of the movie Laputa: Castle in the Sky. His goal is to seize control of Laputa's superior technological power by using the Aetherium crystal. It is also revealed that he is biologically related to Sheeta and a descendant of the royal line of Laputa, as his full name is Romska Palo Ul Laputa. He was voiced by Minori Terada in Japanese, Jeff Winkless in the Streamline English version, and Mark Hamill in the Disney English version.
Muska has light brown hair and hazel eyes. He wears tinted glasses, a brown suit, a white shirt and a pale yellow cravat. He is armed with what seems to be a Webley Mk VI revolver. His design is similar to that of David in Katushiro Otomo's Steamboy.
As a descendant of Laputa's royal line, Colonel Muska believes that he is entitled to rule Laputa and use it as a powerful weapon to bring the Earth under his control. Unlike Dola and her gang, Muska is uninterested in the treasures of Laputa; he wants to find the island for the power it will give him.
Muska is cold, calculating and duplicitous, and will turn on his allies once he has used them to attain his goals. At first, he seems to treat Sheeta well, offering her fine clothes and acting somewhat kindly toward her. However, his true objective is to get the Aetherium crystal belonging to Sheeta and, when he realizes that only she can use it, to force Sheeta to take control of Laputa for him. When Sheeta continues to defy him, Muska reveals his ruthlessness: he kidnaps Sheeta twice, threatens Pazu to force Sheeta to cooperate, and shoots off Sheeta's braids in an attempt to frighten her into submission. Muska also betrays General Mōro and the army, then even the other government agents when he no longer needs their assistance, and seems to have at least something of a sadistic side, as he reacts with a sort of triumphant glee to the destruction of Air Destroyer Goliath.
Role in the Film
In the beginning of the film, Muska and his men have kidnapped the young farm girl Sheeta and are holding her captive aboard a civilian airship. When Dola and her gang attack the airship, hoping to seize Sheeta's mysterious crystal for themselves, Sheeta takes advantage of the confusion and smashes a wine bottle over Muska's head, rendering him unconscious. She retrieves her crystal and escapes along the exterior of the airship, but ultimately loses her grip and falls.
Muska and his agents pursue her and, not long after, Sheeta is recaptured just outside the mining town of Slag Ravine, along with the boy, Pazu, who saved her. The pair are taken to the coastal fortification Tedus, where Muska shows Sheeta a deactivated Laputian robot, explaining that the government has put him in charge of finding the kingdom of Laputa, and attempts to persuade her to tell him how to locate it. After Sheeta tearfully insists that she doesn't know anything, Muska indirectly threatens Pazu, telling her that he might not be able to control what the military does to him, in order to get her to cooperate. Sheeta relents and sends Pazu away, after which Muska returns her crystal to her and promises her her freedom if she keeps her end of the deal. The next morning, Sheeta remembers a spell her grandmother taught her, and ends up activating her crystal. The crystal recognizes Muska as a threat under Sheeta's protection spell, shocking him when he tries to touch it. He angrily demands that she tell him the words she used, but the Laputian robot, summoned by Sheeta's spell, intervenes, allowing Sheeta to reunite with Pazu - now working with Dola's gang - and escape, though she loses her crystal in the chaos.
With the crystal in his possession, Muska and the military head for Laputa. The power of the crystal disintegrates the storm surrounding the kingdom, allowing them to land safely. While the army is busy hoarding the castle's treasures, Muska and his agents recapture Sheeta and head for the center of the kingdom, where all of Laputa's technology is held and controlled. However, it is at this time that Muska reveals his true intention, declaring himself King of Laputa and dropping the General and his men to their deaths before unleashing a horde of Laputian robots on the remaining soldiers.
Sheeta manages to wrestle the crystal from him and runs. When Muska corners her, Sheeta states that a king without compassion such as Muska does not deserve a kingdom and that, because of this, he will never truly possess the crystal. She explains why the original peoples of Laputa vanished, having fallen out of touch with the ground they came from and lost themselves to ruling through technology rather than love for their people. Muska, however, insists that Laputa's power is mankind's shared dream, and demands that she hand over the crystal. Pazu arrives, revealing that Sheeta gave him the crystal and he hid it, threatening never to disclose its location if he harms Sheeta, and asks to be able to speak with her. Muska gives them one minute, but the pair use the crystal and a spell to destroy Laputa. The light of Sheeta's crystal, combined with that of the giant Aetherium crystal in the roots of Laputa's giant tree, blinds Muska, and he stumbles away as Laputa begins to fall apart. When almost all of the human-made structures on Laputa fall into the sea, Muska can be seen falling along with many of the Laputan robots. It can be presumed that Muska was either killed during the destruction of the Laputan ruins, or drowned after he fell.
- Mr. Miyazaki described Muska as "not quite finished". He is a man who joined the military because he has ambition, but who "also has a serious complex about something". With these traits in mind, it made sense to Mr. Miyazaki to have him be a younger man, but one with a natural sort of intellect.
- ↑ The Art of "Castle in the Sky". Viz Media, 2016.