The Earl de Darkwood was the main antagonist of the movie, Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem. He was 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 sported a shoulder length, white wavy hair style with a downward widow's peak and had sideburns in each sides and gray eyes. His appearance was based on the classical composer, Ludwig Van Beethoven.
His primary appearance was 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 was ready to rule before his plan was thwarted by Arpegius and falling to his death, he wore a purple long hooded cloak, though he still wore his blue tuxedo suit underneath.
His dark, spiritual essence which was shown in the near end of the movie was 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 silhouette, watching his humanoid troops successfully capturing 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 (the spaceship morphing into a huge jumbo jet) and Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger, the Earl watched his troops taking them to a secret, fully automated facility where he modified the Crescendolls by rewriting their memories, painting their skin and dressing them in modern age clothes along with fashionable sunglasses with a mind control device in them, making them appear fully human and becoming docile and utterly unable to recall their alien origin.
Preparing the band for fame on Earth, the Earl showed a modified video recording (to make the Crescendolls appear as if they were human all along) of the band playing, to an unknown Producer who asked for a live demonstration of the Crescendolls. After being accepted, the Earl started playing the role of the manager, using the band members as little better than slaves under his control, being exploited into exhaustion, doing all they could to be the very best, most popular band.
In order to further the Crescendolls' popularity and make them reach No. 1 top spot in the billboard charts and win the coveted golden disc, the Earl made a massive concert inside a sports stadium, accompanied by an orchestra and even a huge airship, with the Earl himself directing an orchestra. It all went well for Earl 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 and irritation, though he managed to block Stella from being freed as well. As Shep and the freed members of the band attempted to escape, the Earl ordered his bodyguards after them, leading to a full car chase in which one his bodyguards managed to mortally wound Shep. However, the bodyguards crashed against a trailer and the band managed to escape, revealing them for what they truly were, humanoid robots.
Retaining his hold of Stella, the Earl took her to a fashion parade, after which they entered the golden disc awards night, where the Earl managed to get his lifelong coveted, last and final disc, the No. 5555. However, he was 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 actually happened way before the events of the film, as far back as the Middle Ages, being born 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, a huge alien spaceship (the size of the Manor itself), with extremely advanced technology, crash landed on the Manor, completely demolishing it and also killing the Earl's parents in the process. On the accident's aftermath, the Earl was shown a heartbroken child, mourning his deceased parents.
Afterwards, a rapid sequence of the Earl growing up was shown, revealing an elderly Earl at the end. It was revealed that he made incredible discoveries in astronomy, such as finding alien life and wormholes for faster than light travel, discoveries most likely product of the technology provided by the spaceship (which suffered no damage whatsoever during its crash landing on the Darkwood Manor), which the Earl claimed as his own.
Later, he gained access to the other incredible technologies and sciences, chief was amongst them were immortality (or an extremely long life at the very least, as he was alive since the Middle Ages), along with robotics and artificial intelligence, creating/reprogramming a couple of terminator like bodyguards (the ones that chased Shep and the band). He also rebuilt his Manor, expanding its quarters by clearing a huge underground cave chamber, in which he could perform sacrificial rituals (for his abducted aliens).
Somewhere along the line, he also made another great discovery: should he claim 5555 golden music discs provided by talented alien musicians, he would gain sufficient power to rule the entire universe (how exactly this could be was never revealed). Armed with this knowledge, the Earl went on with his new plan, setting out to the stars by using his newfound space shuttle, claiming talented alien musicians everywhere he went, modified them to appear human and presented them to the general human public (also exploiting and dominating them in an equal manner to the Crescendolls), gaining a golden disc for every alien solo or band (it appeared that even Mozart himself was an alien). He stayed true to his objective 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.
After finishing reading the Earl's story and origins, the robotic bodyguards sensed the band and went on to capture them and take them down to the sacrificial chamber, which was full of hooded figures in worship of the ritual being carried out. Approaching the heroes, 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 experiencing an episode of maniacal laughter, he raised his arms and took hold of the final disc. Although coming dead close to accomplishing his ambitions, he soon found himself thwarted by Arpegius, who managed to free himself and tackle the Earl, making him drop the disc into the sacrificial pit below, much to his shock and intense horror. As he frantically tried to take it back, the Earl lost his grip and accidentally tipped himself over into 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 worshipers (apparently robotic as well) went haywire, following their master and jumping into the pit as well, killing/destroying themselves while the band made its escape just before everything crumbled.
In the end, the Earl's absolute thirst for power to rule the whole universe led to his own downfall as he had a brief, but decisive lapse in judgment where he blindly jumped down to his own death, leading to the band blowing his milennia long cover, wide open, ending in the revelation of his evil schemes to the people of Earth, along with mankind's realization that it was surrounded by alien life all along.
However, this was not to be the last of the evil man, as th Earl made a final appearance as a dark spiritual essence that erupted out of the Manor's ruins, coming out in total rage to taunt and assault the Crescendolls while inside Shep's ship as they traveled back to their home world through the wormhole that they originally came from. He managed to engulf and terrorize them as they are 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, vanishing him (possibly) for good.
It could be argued that Earl's "spiritual shadow" was some sort of manifestation of what he originally intended to become, but, since he didn't manage to gain the power of the final disc (with his last ritual being sabotaged), his "final form" had nowhere near the power that he would have otherwise gained.