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Prince Barin is an exiled ruler of Mongo, banished from his rightful place by Ming. His fierce opposition to Ming's rule is tempered by his growing love for Ming's daughter, Princess Aura. As Flash Gordon was an inspiration for Luke Skywalker, Barin was also one of the inspirations for Han Solo.
When Prince Barin is introduced in the comic strip, he is the leader of a group of rebels, who are hiding in caves and conspiring against Ming. ("The Monsters of Mongo") Barin befriends Flash Gordon and Dr. Hans Zarkov, and they work together to overthrow Ming.
Flash then participates in a "Tournament of Death", to fight for a kingdom and the right to marry Dale Arden. Before the tournament begins, Barin sees Princess Aura fall into the path of King Jugrid's lions, and he leaps to her rescue. He gallantly declares that he saved her because "you are a woman and beautiful -- because I can no longer deny the fact that I love you!" ("The Tournaments of Mongo")
Barin decides to participate in the tournament, to win the right to claim Aura as his bride. He enters as "the Masked Champion", and advances in the contest. However, he soon realizes that in order to win, he has to battle his best friend, Flash, to the death. Regretting his decision but determined to go on, he fights through to the final round. At the last moment, as he struggles with Flash over a pool of flaming liquid oxygen, Flash kicks off his mask, revealing him as the exiled prince. The crowd immediately jumps to his defense, demanding that Ming declare both Barin and Flash the winners of the tournament. Barin takes Aura as his beloved, and Ming rewards him with a kingdom of his own, the forest kingdom of Arboria. ("The Tournaments of Mongo")
Aura and Barin have a son, Prince Alan. Ming plans to take his grandson away from Barin and Aura, and raise him as a worthy successor to the throne. ("The Tyrant of Mongo")
In the 1934 radio serial Prince Barin is first encountered after Princess Aura and Flash Gordon, escaping the Shark Men, become entangled with a tentacular plant. After being freed they are lowered down a cliff to a secret door where Tree People, Barin's race, are waiting for them. Shortly after, they meet Prince Barin for the first time, who promptly pits Flash against another "white earthling" whose face is hooded and concealed. This hooded figure proves to be Dr. Hans Zarkov.
Prince Barin approaches Dr. Zarkov in the serial and introduces himself, explaining that he should be the rightful ruler of Mongo. Ming killed Barin's father when Barin was a child. Barin asks Zarkov to help him overthrow Ming, and they rush to rescue Flash and Dale from the Hawk Men. ("Chapter 105: The Destroying Ray")
Barin, Flash, Zarkov and Thun are put to work in the Atom Furnaces, and are freed when Zarkov saves the Sky City. Flash has to fight for his freedom in a "Tournament of Death", and battles Barin, cloaked as "the Masked Swordsman". When he's beaten, he tells Flash that he was forced to fight, and that he was hoping to be killed -- he loves Princess Aura, and has no hope of winning her. Flash forgives Barin. ("Chapter 108: Tournament of Death")
When Aura endangers Dale in the catacombs by setting a Tigron on her, Barin scolds Aura. "I've won the friendship of the Earth people by helping them," he explains. "You should do the same." Aura realizes Barin is right, and agrees to help them. ("Chapter 112: Trapped in the Turret".)
When Flash, Dale and Zarkov leave Mongo in the final chapter, Aura is left behind as the ruler of Mongo, with Barin as her partner. ("Chapter 113: Rocketing to Earth")
Sci Fi Channel
Barin appeared as a recurring character in the Flash Gordon (Sci Fi Channel) series, beginning in the seventh episode, "Episode 107: Alliances". In the new show, Barin is played by Steve Bacic, who is familiar to science-fiction fans for his roles in "Andromeda" and "Stargate SG-1". Ming forces Barin and Flash Gordon to fight for Princess Aura. The plan backfires and Ming is hit but is put to sleep and does not die.
Sci Fi Appearances
- "Episode 107: Alliances"
- "Episode 108: Revelations"
- "Episode 109: Til Death"
- "Episode 114: Stand and Deliver"
- Richard Alexander: Flash Gordon (1936), Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars (1938)
- Roland Drew: Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1940)
- Robert Ridgely: Flash Gordon (1979)
- Timothy Dalton: Flash Gordon (1980)
- Robert Douglas: Flash Gordon: The Greatest Adventure of All (1982)
- Steve Bacic: Flash Gordon (2007)