Thursday, March 15, 2007

A rich, emotional backstory

Although I've always enjoyed the character of "Jaws" (as played by Richard Kiel) in the James Bond films "The Spy Who Loved Me" and "Moonraker," I did feel he was a bit one-dimensional - you know, just another variation on the seemingly unstoppable henchman / brute that we've all seen a million times before. But that was before I unearthed this info on the web, as culled from the novelization of "The Spy Who Loved Me" by Christopher Wood:

"Jaws's real name is Zbigniew Krycsiwiki and he was born in Kraków, Poland. Krycsiwiki was arrested by the secret police for his part in the "1972 bread riots". Whilst he was imprisoned the police "beat him with hollow steel clubs encased in thick leather" until they thought he was dead, leaving his jaw broken beyond repair. Krycsiwiki later escaped and stowed aboard one of villain Karl Stromberg's vessels. Eventually he was caught, but instead of turning him in, Stromberg hired a prestigious doctor to create an artificial jaw. After 14 operations Krycsiwiki's jaw was restored using steel components that created two rows of terrifying razor-sharp teeth."

Seems more fleshed-out now, yes? Even a bit tragic. Jaws isn't bad; he was just trying to get some bread. And he's not really trying to bite Bond - 007 is really just a metaphor, a substitute if you will, for the delicious, aromatic loafs he was arrested for trying to get his giant paws on in Poland lo those many years ago.

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