The Earl de Darkwood is the main antagonist of the movie Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem. He is the mastermind of the kidnapping of aliens and modifying them to appear human for his personal gain to rule the universe by collecting several golden discs.
The Earl sports a shoulder length, white wavy hair style with a downward widow's peak and has sideburns in each sides and gray eyes. His appearance is based on the classical composer, Ludwig Van Beethoven.
His primary appearance is shown wearing a dark indigo blue tuxedo suit, his jacket had long twin tails and he used black shoes. During the band's concert he was seen in a white tuxedo suit. Later when he is ready to rule before his plan was thwarted by Arpegius and falling to his death, he wears a purple long hooded cloak, though he still wears his blue tuxedo suit underneath.
His dark, spiritual essence, shown in the near end of the movie, is covered in a black-red hue before being dispersed by Shep's spiritual essence.
At the beginning of the film, during Aerodynamic, the Earl was seen in sillouette, watching his humanoid troops successfully capture Stella, Baryl and Octave, and later Arpegius, who briefly evaded capture until he was subdued by one of his elites. As they returned to Earth in Digital Love and Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger, the Earl watched his troops take them to a secret, fully automated facility where he modified the Crescendolls by rewriting their memories, painting their skin and dress them in modern age clothes along with fashinable sunglasses with a mind control device, making them appear fully human and being completely unable to recall their alien origin.
Preparing the band for fame on Earth, the Earl showed a modified video recording of the band playing before they were captured, to an unknown Producer, who asked for a live demonstration of the Crescendolls. After being accepted, the Earl played the role of manager, but unfortunately for the band, they were treaded little better than slaves under his control, being forced to do anything they could to be the very best, most popular band.
In order to further the Crescendolls popularity to make them reach No. 1 top spot in the billboard charts and win the coveted golden disc, the Earl made a concert inside a sports stadium, accompanied by an orchestra and even a huge airship, where the Earl himself directed the orchestra. All went well until the concert was interrupted by Shep, where he managed to destroy the mind control devices from Arpegius, Baryl and Octave's glasses, much to the Earl's surprise, though he managed to block Stella from being freed too. As Shep and the freed members of the band attempted to escape, the Earl orderd his bodyguards after them, leading to an full car chase, on which one his bodyguards managed to mortally wound Shep, however, the bodyguards crashed against a trailer and the band managed to escape.
Retaining hold of Stella, the Earl took her to a fashion parade, and later, they were the only ones to enter the golden disc awards night, where he managed to get the last and final disc, which was the No. 5555. He was, however, too distracted with his immediate victory to realize that Stella had been freed too and made her escape as well.
The Earl's true motives were revealed during the events of Veridis Quo, when the Crescendolls went on to ransack his Manor. His origins are shown to have been during the middle ages, way before the events of the film, as a child to a father that heavily resembled his adult appearance. Inside the Darkwood Manor, his father did what appeared to be some sort of alchemical experiments, until one fateful day, an alien spaceship, with extremely advanced technology, crash landed on the Manor, completely demolished it and also killing the Earl's parents in the process. On the accident's aftermath, the Earl is shown, mourning his deceased parents.
Afterwards, a rapid sequence of the Earl growing up is shown, revealing an elderly Earl at the end. He is revealed to have made incredible discoveries in astronomy, like finding alien life and wormholes for faster than light travel, which was most certainly due to the technology provided by the spaceship, which suffered no damage whatsoever during its crash landing on the Darkwood Manor, and which the Earl claimed as his own.
Later, he gained access to other incredible technologies and sciences, chief among them was immortality, or extreme long life at the very least (as he's been alive since the middle ages), along with robotics and artificial intelligence, creating or repgrogramming a couple of terminator like, bodyguards. He also did rebuild his Manor, making or clearing an underground cave chamber, on which he could perform sacrificial rituals.
Somewhere along the line he made the discovery that, should he claim 5555 golden discs provided by talented alien musicians, he would gain sufficient power so as to rule the universe. How exactly this could be is never revealed. So he went on with his plan, setting out, using his newfound space shuttle to transverse the universe, claiming talented alien musicians everywhere he went, modified them to appear human and presented them to the general human public and gained a golden disc for every alien solo or band (it appears that even Mozart himself was an alien). How exactly he obtained golden discs before vinyl discs were even invented is also never revealed. He did this until at last, he captured the Crescendolls band, which represented the very last, No. 5555 disc and effort for the Earl to finally be able to conquer the universe.
Later, the Earl's robot bodyguards sensed the band and went on to capture them and take them down to the sacrificial chamber which was full of hooded individuals, in worship of the ritual being carried out. Approaching the band, the Earl took hold of Stella and attached her to a machine in the middle of the chamber, apparently draining her of her "life force". While laughing maniacally, he raised his arms and took hold of the final disc. Despite his plans were briefly succeeded, he was soon thwarted by Arpegius, who managed to tackle him, making him drop the disc onto the sacrificial pit below, much to his shock and horror. As he frantically tried to take it back, the Earl accidentally tipped himself over the pit, falling to his death even as Arpegius tried to take hold of him but to no avail. The pit soon began to erupt and the humanoid worshippers (apparenty robotic as well) went haywire, following their master, jumping down the pit and killing/destroying themselves while the band escaped before everything crumbled.
In the end, the Earl's absolute thirst for power to rule the whole universe lead to his own downfall as he had a small, but decisive lapse in judgement, where he blindly jumped down to his own death, leading to his evil schemes being made public by the people of Earth, including The Crescendolls' Producer.
The Earl made a final appeareance as a dark spiritual essence that erupted out of the Manor's ruins, coming out in total rage to taunt the Crescendolls while inside Shep's ship as they traveled back to their home world through the wormhole they originally came. He managed to engulf and terrorize them as everyone were seen to be electrocuted or suffering from some sort of trauma, however, Shep's spiritual essence came just in time and managed to disperse the Earl to free the band and probably vanished him forever.
It could be argued that the Earl's "spiritiual shadow" is some sort of manifestation of what he originally planned to become, but, since he did not properly gain the power of the last disc, his "final form" had nowhere near the power he would otherwise had gained.