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Colonel William Stuart

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Happy landings, asshole!
~ Colonel Stuart to John McClane, which turned out to be his last words

William Stuart (also known as Colonel Stuart) is the secondary antagonist of the 1990 action film Die Hard 2. He is a former senior US military colonel who went rogue and became a terrorist leader bent on freeing General Ramon Esperanza from prison and escaping the US.

He was portrayed by William Sadler.


Stuart is a former army colonel who was once trained by Major Grant, and he plans to betray his country and free General Ramon Esperanza from confinement in America. This all starts when Stuart and his men take over a church and tamper with Dulles Tower's controls, making replicas of them. When Dulles Terminal police try to get to an antenna, Stuart retaliates by crashing and blowing up a British plane with 230 people on board, much to the horror of John McClane. Stuart and some of his henchmen later try to kill McClane with hand grenades, and Grant leads his team in joining forces with Stuart.

At the end of the film, Stuart, Grant and Esperanza board a getaway plane along with the other terrorists, preparing to retire to paradise. McClane, however, is dropped onto the wing of the plane from a helicopter and prevents the plane from taking off. Stuart and Grant investigate and McClane battles Grant on the wing, eventually kicking him into the jet engine. Furious at McClane for killing his mentor, Stuart attacks him and easily gains the upper hand. He manages to kick McClane off the plane but not before McClane is able to open the fuel hatch. This sends fuel spilling out onto the runway which McClane then ignites using a lighter. As the plane soars into the air, the flames follow the trail of fuel back to the plane and cause it to explode, killing everyone on board, including Stuart and Esperanza.



  • Though Esperanza was the true main villain, Colonel Stuart served as the Big Bad because his quest to free Esperanza drove the plot. In this manner, he is similar to Egor Korshunov from Air Force One.

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