- Not to be confused with Edgar.
- “You ever pulled the wings off a fly? You care to see a fly get even?!”
- —Edgar to Kay and Jay
Edgar the Bug (or just The Bug) is a Bug alien and the main antagonist of the first Men in Black film. His appearance is that of a giant cockroach though while on earth, he adopts the disguise of a human farmer. He hates it when any bug (especially cockroaches) is killed. Edgar in human form and his animated series appearance are both portrayed by Vincent D'Onofrio.
Powers and Abilities
- Heightened Intellect - Edgar possessed a sharper and more advanced level of intelligence than his earth relatives.
- Super Strength - Edgar was shown to possess limitless strength, but within his human suit, it seems somewhat inhibited it to an extent.
- Super Flexibility - He was extremely flexible, being 11 feet tall he was able to awkwardly fit into the skin and clothing of a 6'3" male human.
- Super Leaping - Edgar the Bug was agile and nimble, able to hop extremely high in the air.
- Vocal Camouflage - Edgar is able to change the sound of his voice. Yet once inside the skin, it still sounds inhuman.
- Slime Secretion: Is able to secrete a slime like substance as a restraining weapon.
Edgar's appearance is that of an 11 ft tall insect, complete with two antenna hanging over his head, six limbs, and fearsome set of razor-sharp fangs. While he primarily resembles a cockroach, his features also mimic those found on several other insects native to planet Earth. His body frame and eyes are comparable to those of a Praying Mantis, his hind legs resemble those of a Grasshopper, and his Scorpion-like tail features a stinger similar to that of a Hornet.
When inhabiting the skin of Edgar, he looks remarkably like the farmer except for his ragged appearance, as his skin is noted to hang off his bones on several occasions. In addition, Edgar bug's left eye is slightly discolored and pale in comparison with his right eye. Over time in the movie the skin of the dead man slowly flakes and decomposes becoming worse each time he's seen.
Men in Black
He is first alluded to by a Cephalapoid criminal that then-NYPD officer James Edwards had pursued, where he mentioned that he would kill him for the failure, and ominously warned that once he arrived, Earth is going to be destroyed before committing suicide.
In the beginning, the Bug crashes on Earth by flying saucer. He crashes on the truck of Edgar, an abusive farmer. When Edgar goes out to investigate with his shotgun, the unseen insect demands Edgar to put down his gun, but Edgar refuses, threatening the bug instead. However the bug grants his "proposal," reveals himself, and kills him by flaying him, eating his body, and uses his skin as a disguise. He goes back inside the house where Edgar's verbally abused wife Beatrice awaited him. She asked him what happened, but the awkward alien instead asked for sugar water. She notes his "skin is hanging off his bones." Looking in a mirror, he agrees and pulls his face back past his skull, causing her to faint. The next morning, a bug extermination truck, ordered by Edgar when he was alive before then, arrives to the farm to exterminate some cockroaches in Edgar's barn. However, the bug arrives and is angered by his intentions. He kills the exterminator and steals his truck in his aid to hunt. His arrival also spooked several of the alien residents into trying to evacuate the planet, some even risking violation of going into places their alien licenses forbade them from accessing just to get away. Meanwhile, he searches and spots Gentle Rosenberg leaving his jewlery shop to meet with a fellow Arquillian at a local diner, where the Arquillian warns him of the bug. However, the bug already traps them before they can escape, and kills them by stabbing them in the neck with his sharp tail. Arquilian Galaxy. Throughout, he is chased by Kay and Jay of the MiB (who learned of his arrival after talking with an evacuating alien family who was illegally accessing the Manhattan area), who are always one step behind. Edgar finally gets the Galaxy, and attempts to leave a hidden ship, also abducting Laurel (at the time a mortician) in order to deter pursuit, although he becomes more eager to kidnap her when she, in an attempt to convince him to let her go, implies that Earth will declare war in response due to her being its ruler, since it meant ensuring that he can feed his family's mouths. But, the ship is shot down by Jay and Kay.
After the ship crashes, Edgar emerges and, complying with J's demand to put his hands on his head, pulls his skin off, revealing his true self. He eats the agents' guns and Kay purposely gets eaten as well. Jay is able to distract the Bug by throwing things at him, jumping on him, and stepping on cockroaches, and Kay is able to get his gun and blows the Bug in half from the inside. They finally have the Galaxy, but half the Bug starts coming back behind them with the clear intent of trying to kill them in revenge, when Laurel, a morgue worker who was kidnapped by the bug, shoots the bug with J's gun just as it was about to chomp on J's head, finally killing him.
Men in Black: The Series
In "The Big Bad Bug Syndrome", a select few of Edgar's brothers appear, including his identical twin, Edwin. They attempt to capture Elle for their queen who desires revenge upon her for killing Edgar. Edgar is only seen in a flashback.
Behind the Scenes
The "Edgar Bug" character was inspired by the insect-like aliens which are the central focus of the second issue of The Men in Black. Initially, the character was to be portrayed by practical effects via a full-scale animatronic puppet, designed by Rick Baker Studios. The appearance of the puppet differed greatly from the finalized look of the creature seen in the film. As such, the final battle in the film was originally intended to be much more low-key, which would have involved exchange of witty banter between the villain and the protagonists with The Bug ultimately meeting his end upon being blasted away by the two agents. After initial shooting commenced on the scene, it was decided that the sequence felt way too anti-climactic and a more action oriented finale was quickly re-written.
With the new fast-paced final fight, the original puppet was discarded in favor of a new CGI creature. To accommodate the new scene, The Bug was redesigned. Initially, the look of the bug was conceived as something of a cross between a bipedal praying mantis and a cobra with a bird-like face. While being fundamentally the same concept as Baker's original design, the new look featured several aspects which were re-tooled. These changes included increasing the creature's size to be large enough to swallow a 6' human, restructuring the face to look more vicious and monstrous, including a pair of hanging antennae, and adding a second pair of legs.
Due to the abrupt change, several promotional materials and tie-ins, such as action figures and the comic adaptation, all feature The Bug portrayed in his original design. Interestingly, the only piece of merchandise that managed to capture The Bug's new look was the Micro Machines mini figure, albeit while still retaining the cobra-like hood. As an Easter Egg, the opening credits of Men in Black: The Series feature a mugshot of the character's action figure in the MIB criminal line-up.
Keeping in line with the designs of the principal cast of MIB: The Series, the creative team deliberately chose not to have Edgar resemble the look of his on-screen counterpart. As such, The Bug's design in the cartoon was an amalgamation of elements from the initial and final designs of the movie Edgar.
Men in Black
Tie-Ins and Other Media
- The character is never actually given a formal name in the film and is simply referred to as The Bug. Almost all external material, including production material, simply reffers to him as "Edgar", the slaghtered farmer whom he poses as. In the novelization of Men in Black, the Bug's actual name is identified as Kerb.
- According to Edwin the Bug, Edgar is the younger brother of the two (though all Bugs are related).
- In The Big Bad Bug Syndrome, Frank insinuates that The Queen's grievance over his murder at the hands of Elle is indicative of Edgar being one of her more favored children.
- In Star Fox Adventures, the boss Galdon looks similar in appearance to Edgar. Also, Fox is eaten by Galdon in a similar manner to Kay (after eating an important item), and attacks him from the inside.