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Co Bao

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Full Name
Co Phuong Bao
Weapon of Choice
AKM rifle, suppressed MAC-10 submachine gun
Occupation
Freedom Fighter
Goals
Assist Rambo in freeing POWs, marry Rambo and "live the quiet life" in America.
Motive
Desire to live peacefully
Known Relatives
John Rambo (romantic acquaintance), unnamed father (deceased), unnamed mother (deceased, novelization only), Nguyen (son, novelization only), unnamed brother (novelization only)
Nationality
Vietnamese
Classification
Freedom Fighter
Cause of Death
Shot to death by Lieutenant Tay
Portrayed by
"Rambo! You're not expendable."
―Co Bao to John Rambo

Co Phuong Bao was a Vietnamese freedom fighter that assisted John Rambo on his journey to rescue American POWs from the NVA and their Soviet Russian allies in the war-torn jungles of Southeast Asia. She always had something positive to say and talked to Rambo about his problems. After Co saved his life, the two developed a romance, but she was tragically killed before they could go back to America together. She was portrayed by Julia Nickson-Seoul.

BiographyEdit

BackgroundEdit

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Co in the film.

Little is known about Co's background other than that she has always been a formidable fighter with skills her father taught her. When her father was killed, she claims to have taken his place. Rambo: First Blood Part II's Survival Mode suggests that he was likely executed by the Vietnamese communists. But Co hated the carnage, suffering and death she saw each day. She desired a life better than her life in Vietnam, and dreamt of going to America. 

In the novelization of the film, author David Morrell gives more insight to Co's character. She is far different in the book, however. She was said to be an economics major at the University of Saigon and learned very broken English there. Co is also fairly vulgar in the book, whereas in the movie she never utters a single profanity. She mentions in the novelization that she had a son named Nguyen from a previous relationship and a brother. This was omitted completely in the film version.

In the novel, she also attempts to get Rambo to marry her almost as soon as she meets him, simply so she can get American citizenship, intending to divorce him afterwards. In the film version, Co is more sincere. It is fairly strongly implied that she really loved him and wanted to go back to America with Rambo so they could build a new life together, most likely because they both had so much in common with their horrible, war-torn lives and wanted to forget their pasts together and build a new future. 

In the novelization, her full name of Co Phuong Bao is given and it is revealed that Co translates to 'virgin' in English, to which Co sarcastically remarks that her mother was a comedian. However, in the "survival mode" of the Rambo: First Blood Part II Ultimate Edition DVD, it is revealed that "Co" is not her real name, but rather a code name, making her true identity unknown. In the briefing, it is also revealed that her military service, education and date of birth files are all unknown or missing, possibly classified or forgotten. 

Rambo: First Blood Part IIEdit

"My father work for intelligence agency -- He killed, and I take his place -- Too much death here. Death everywhere... I just want to live, Rambo. What you want?"
―Co Bao on her life to John Rambo.
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Co Bao with her AKM after swimming away from the pirate boat.

While John Rambo was inspecting the empty internment camp he was sent to, he heard footsteps behind him and ambushed a person wearing a farmer's hat, as he expected the person to be a North Vietnamese Army soldier. He held his knife on the person, and was surprised when she was revealed to be a young woman of exotic beauty. She at first spoke only in Vietnamese. The script said that she was begging for her life. However, Co then looked at Rambo's face and addressed him by name, mentioning the name Co Bao. Remembering the name because Marshall Murdock had said that would be the name of his guide, Rambo put down his knife and laxed his grip. Co chuckled, saying that Rambo was not expecting a woman, and then stated that she is getting better at speaking English and should practice. She also said that Rambo traveled a long way to see an empty camp, unaware of Murdock's betrayal. Rambo and Co walk to the river and she pays for a ride downriver on a pirate boat headed by Captain Kinh.

Co says that river pirates are the only real reliable form of transportation down the river, but Rambo doesn't trust them. During the boat ride, Co offers Rambo something to eat and they have a discussion about their lives. Much like Rambo's own upbringing, Co revealed that she had a troubled childhood, as her father was killed in the war and she had to learn quickly how to fend for herself. Ever since then, she followed in his footsteps so she could give his death justice. She asked Rambo about his past, but Rambo didn't want to talk about it, saying that it was a long story that would most likely bore her. But Co persisted, stating that it's a long ride. Co intently listened to the story of Rambo's troubled life and the two quickly developed a friendship, most likely because of their shared troubled pasts.

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Co in disguise.

After Rambo said that he thought he was expendable because the government saw him as a piece of meat, Co would later remind Rambo that he is, in fact, not expendable like he thought earlier. The two rescue an American POW despite orders to only photograph prisoners, but on the way back, they discover that the river pirates have sold them out to the North Vietnamese Army. Captain Kinh strikes Rambo and when Co tries to bargain, she is backhanded across the face, and Kinh then calls her a whore. Rambo is furious about this and uses a hidden knife to stab one of the pirates and use him as a human shield. Rambo would later take a shotgun and kill all the pirates, but when a Vietnamese Army boat arrived, Rambo told her to swim to shore. Co was reluctant, but she obliged.

Later on, when Rambo was captured by the ruthless Lieutenant Colonel Podovsky and tortured, she bravely risked her own life by disguising herself as a prostitute to gain entry to the prison camp. From there she used a suppressed MAC-10 submachine gun to kill the Soviet guards and rescue him, saving Rambo's life. After the two escaped, she then took him to a secluded area where he rested while she nursed his wounds by using pieces of her own dress as bandages. Rambo told her that he would never forget what she did to rescue him and thanked her. 

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A mortally wounded Co dies in Rambo's arms.

Co asked what Rambo planned to do after he left Vietnam, and Rambo said that he was going to go through Thailand to get to America. Co asked if she could go with him and they kissed. Rambo said that she could come with, but before this dream could be lived out, she was tragically killed by Lieutenant Tay while Rambo went to retrieve his things from a rock. Rambo killed all the soldiers that were shooting except for the cowardly Tay, who fled the scene. Rambo cradles her body and Co's last words are reminding him that he isn't expendable and asking him that he not forget her. Co dies in his arms and Rambo quietly grieves by sobbing over her corpse.

ImpactEdit

Distraught and infuriated that his only chance at happiness is now gone, Rambo swore vengeance on those responsible and buries her body in the jungle so it wasn't eaten by scavengers. Rambo then rips off a strip of her dress which he uses as a sweatband and puts on her jade Buddha necklace, which she wore for good luck. Rambo brutally killed Tay with an explosive arrow, although this brought him no relief. Rambo told Co shortly before she died that he would never forget what she did to rescue him and then reassured her that he would not forget about her as she died. Indeed, this was true. Rambo would wear Co's sweatband and necklace until the end of Rambo III, four years later, when he gave the necklace to a young Mujahideen fighter, symbolizing what he hoped would be his end to killing and a moving on with his life. However, he didn't move on. Over twenty years later, Rambo is still miserable and distraught over her death, still having survivor's guilt-ridden nightmares about seeing her shot to death. Although Rambo did appear to be infatuated slightly with Sarah Miller, Co is significant because she is the only real love interest for John Rambo, and her death still haunts him. Had Co lived, it is entirely possible that the events of Rambo III and Rambo would most likely have never happened. 

Rambo: The Video Game Edit

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Co Appears in the Video Game, during the sequences taken from the second film. Her role is largely the same as it is in the films. Though her deisgn is significantly different.

PersonalityEdit

Co was a friendly, intelligent and strong woman who always kept a positive attitude despite the horrific violence she saw daily. Co had a connection to Rambo because both of them had hard, violent lives. Co sincerily cared about Rambo's well beling and asked him questions about his life. This was further proven when Co risked her own life to save Rambo from torture at the hands of the Soviets. Rambo was deeply touched by this gesture, as it was likely the best thing anyone had ever done for him. Co also always tried to cheer up Rambo and always stayed positive, no matter how hard things got. This was one of Co's most endearing qualities, and her innocence is likely what attracted Rambo to her, because he saw himself as soiled from his actions and thought that a more innocent person could help him regain his humanity. 

GalleryEdit

Appeared inEdit

FilmsEdit

Video GamesEdit

Trivia Edit

  • Had it not been for Marshall Murdock's betrayal, Co would not have been killed. 
  • Aside from his Colonel, Sam Trautman, Co was likely the most important person in Rambo's life. She was also the only character to be seen or mentioned in all the sequels. She was seen in Rambo: First Blood Part II, her presence was felt when her necklace was seen being worn by Rambo throughout Rambo III, and she was seen in a flashback during Rambo's nightmare in Rambo. 

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