Juan Sánchez Villa-Lobos Ramírez
|Juan Sánchez Villa-Lobos Ramírez|
|Portrayed by||Sean Connery|
|Born||898 BC, Egypt (Highlander)
896 BC, Egypt (Highlander II)
Other than James Bond, Ramírez is the only character that Connery has played in more than one film.
Ramírez was born Tak-Ne in Egypt in 896 BC, and became Immortal after being run down by an out-of-control cart in the streets of his city. The fearful populace, upon learning of this, banished him, and he began to wander the world, encountering many other Immortals, good and evil alike. Among the most powerful of all the Immortals on Earth was the Kurgan (Clancy Brown), whom Tak Ne battled a number of times throughout early history, including encounters in Babylonia, Greece, and ancient China, including the Battle of Plataea, where he fought under the Spartans, and managed to shatter the Kurgan's blade.
Ramírez married three different times, until he finally decided having loved ones was no longer worth the resulting emotional pain of their inevitable deaths. His last wife was Shakiko, a Japanese princess, whose father, the great swordsmith Masamune, gave Ramírez a "dragon head" katana in 592 BC, a sword originally intended for Masamune's adopted, pre-Immortal son, Ren. The resulting grudge would be carried by Ren against Ramírez for the next 2,500 years. During this time, he also trained with the ancient Immortal Nakano (portrayed by Mako Iwamatsu), from whom he learned the arts of metallurgy.
By 1541, he was living in Spain, working as the Chief Metallurgist to King Charles V under the name Juan Sánchez Villa-Lobos Ramírez. He sought out the Highlander, Connor MacLeod, and took him under his wing, teaching him the rules of the Immortals. Most importantly, he warned him of the Kurgan, who gave him his first death. In 1542, while Connor was away hunting, the Kurgan returned. Though Ramírez had not been his intended victim, the Kurgan was not fussy, and a battle ensued, and while Ramírez nearly managed to decapitate his foe with a neck wound the Kurgan would bear a scar from for the rest of his life, he ultimately lost both the fight and his head. Connor buried Ramírez next to his home in Glencoe and, after his wife Heather (Beatie Edney) died, he started using his mentor's katana, placing his own claymore as Heather's grave marker.
Even though he has 3 surnames, he would usually be referred to as "Sanchez" in Spanish custom, not "Ramirez", since in Spanish, the first surname is the main one.
In 2024 AD, Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert) was an aging old man who had won The Prize, killing the Kurgan along the way. He had also learned the origin of the Immortals. They had been exiled from the planet Zeist, becoming Immortals on Earth. The one that had exiled both Ramírez and Connor was the tyrannical ruler of their society, General Katana. To avoid the risk of MacLeod returning to his world (as was his right for winning 'The Prize'), Katana (portrayed by Michael Ironside) sent two henchmen, Reno (Peter Bucossi) and Corda (Pete Antico) to kill MacLeod. They failed, which resulted in Connor's rejuvenation through the Quickenings that ensued. Also, during the Quickenings, Connor summoned Ramírez, who was resurrected, now fully aware of his and all of the Immortals' origins. He tracked MacLeod down to New York, and helped him and Louise Marcus (Virginia Madsen) in their fight against Katana and the corrupt Shield Corporation. Ramírez eventually gave his life again to allow Connor and Louise to escape a deadly trap.
TV series continuity
Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramírez was referenced in Highlander: The Series, in that two individuals encountered by Duncan MacLeod (Adrian Paul) had also previously known Ramírez. The first was Graham Ashe, an Immortal who had been Ramírez's mentor. The second was Otavio Consone, an Immortal who was one of Ramírez's other students.
In other media
- Robot Chicken features a parody of Highlander, which is also mentioned at the beginning of the skit with Ramirez saying, "As you may have noticed, this is a Highlander parody." In place of Connor, he is training Lindsay Lohan and in place of the Kurgan is Hilary Duff. He is voiced by Fred Tatasciore.
- The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack episode "Highlandlubber", features a parody of Ramirez partially based on Ponce De Leon who is an escaped insane asylum inmate who thinks Captain K'nuckles is a fellow immortal and has him join his mad adventures, the episode concluding with him jumping into a volcano.
- In the book Ready Player One, the protagonist Parzival introduces himself as Ramirez as a joke while incognito.
- In Paradox Development Studio's newest expansion for the computer game Crusader Kings II, your Immortal ruler can encounter a character named Ramirez, a 1500 year old Spanish-Scotsman who attempts to end your life in personal combat via decapitation.
- Gregory Widen, Peter Bellwood, and Larry Ferguson, Highlander film screenplay (1985); J.T. Krul, Highlander: Way of the Sword comic book series (2008), Dynamite Entertainment, Issue #4, pp. 1-5. Ramirez's ancient past is revealed in both sources, including his original Egyptian birth name.
- Highlander film screenplay; Highlander: Way of the Sword comic book series (2008), Issue #3, pp. 2-6.
- J.T. Krul, Highlander: Way of the Sword comic book series (2008), Issue #3, pp. 3-4.