Captain Benjamin L. Willard is the main protagonist of the 1979 film Apocalypse Now. He is based on the character Marlow from the novella Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. He was portrayed by Martin Sheen.
In 1969, Willard was ordered by command to journey up the Nung river and assassinate Col. Walter E. Kurtz. He boards a PBR Street Gang led by Chief George Phillips, and accompanied by Lance, Chef, and Mr. Clean.
Later, Willard rendezvous with Lt. Col. Bill Kilgore to discuss going upriver. Though reluctant at first, Kilgore accepts when he takes an interest in Lance, who is a surfer.
At nightfall, the group approached the Do Lung Bridge outpost where everyone has gone insane.
The next day, Lance sets off a smoke grenade, causing a camoflauged enemy to fire at the group, resulting in Mr. Clean's death. Further upriver, natives attack the group with spears, and Chief is impaled. Willard suffocates Chief when he tries to impale him.
Willard finally arrives at Kurtz's hideout where they find some US Army men who have joined Kurtz's cause.
After being tortured by Kurtz's tribe for several days, Willard enters the temple and hacks Kurtz to death with a machete. After Willard emerges from the temple with Kurtz's belongings, the tribe bows down to him. Willard then gets back on the boat with Lance and they motor away.