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You are not in Kansas anymore. You are on Pandora, ladies and gentlemen. Respect that fact every second of every day. If there is a Hell, you might wanna go there for some R & R after a tour on Pandora. Out there beyond that fence every living thing that crawls, flies, or squats in the mud wants to kill you and eat your eyes for jujubes. We have an indigenous population of humanoids called the Na'vi. They're fond of arrows dipped in a neurotoxin that will stop your heart in one minute - and they have bones reinforced with naturally occurring carbon fiber. They are very hard to kill. As head of security, it is my job to keep you alive. I will not succeed. Not with all of you. If you wish to survive, you need to cultivate a strong, mental attitude. You got to obey the rules. Pandora rules.
~ Colonel Miles Quaritch addressing his troops.

Colonel Miles Rick Quaritch, simply known as Miles Quaritch, is the main antagonist of the 2009 science-fiction blockbuster film Avatar and will return again as the main antagonist in its upcoming 2022-2028 sequels.

He is the brutal and fearless head of the RDA (Resources Development Administration) corporation's security detail, being depicted as a fierce colonel that follows almost obsessively his military code. Under the subsequent orders of the RDA's president Parker Selfridge in the organization's militant tactics, Quaritch is willing to do whatever he needs to harvest the Unobtanium from the planet Pandora even if it means destroying its wildlife. Therefore, he became Jake Sully's archenemy.

He was portrayed by Stephen Lang, who also played Increase Mather in the TV series Salem, Norman Nordstrom in Don't Breathe, Percy "King" Dimplewade in The Nut Job, The Party Crasher in The Hard Way, Khalar Zym in Conan the Barbarian and Shrike in Mortal Engines.

Personality

Quaritch looked and acted like a lifelong military man. He wore his hair short and was covered with battle scars, most notably a trio of claw marks on the side of his head which he sustained during his time on Pandora. He only respected brute force and dominance, and showed little respect for the Na'vi or their home. He destroyed their Hometree, killing numerous Na'vi in the process, without hesitation - seeing it as merely a mission and remained mostly indifferent about the destruction.

His long-running military career was representative of his personality. He regularly worked out to offset the low gravity on Pandora so he did not get soft. He was in outstanding physical condition, despite being middle-aged, and he was known to leave his exopack back in his base for short periods when entering combat in the poisonous atmosphere of Pandora when he felt the situation demanded it. An expert with his AMP suit, he was still familiar with combat techniques as demonstrated by his marksmanship, hand-to-hand and melee combat skills.

Despite being a fierce, merciless, bloodthirsty and aggressive warrior, Quaritch claimed to "take care of his own" and appeared to have good relations with his men - who all seemed to respect him as an authoritative leader. However, he also acknowledged during an initial debriefing that he would be unable to help all of those under his command. He also shows great admiration for the dedication Jake Sully showed by willing to go covert with the Na'vi people and rewarded him greatly by promising him an operation that would give Jake his legs back.

Quaritch was also a charismatic and persuasive military leader, as shown by the way when he inspired his troops during the meeting before the assault on the Tree of Souls.

Biography

Miles Quaritch was the headstrong leader of the RDA security force. The government has gone through even more searches of valuable resources in the year 2154. He sent Marines and soldiers to the planet Pandora. In the universe of the movie, humans have advanced technology allowing them to even travel farther into space, even outside the solar system, despite not reaching the level of faster-than-light yet. They find Unobtainium, a valuable resource costing $20 million per kilogram, which is found only on Pandora, the home planet of blue-skinned humanoid aliens called the Na'vi who are taller than the humans.

Two years ago, Quaritch revealed the company's actual hostility toward Na'vi by tries to wipe out Na'vi children whom responsible for setting one of their bulldozer ablaze and destroyed Grace's school for Na'vis. Though Grace managed to save most of the children, Sylwanin and few children were killed during the gunfire and thus, Quaritch had the school closed for good.

One of the marines who came to Pandora was Jake Sully, whose legs were paralyzed. His organization created scientific technology that allowed troops to go into new bodies mixed with human DNA and Na'vi DNA called Avatars (which is what the movie is named after). He ordered Jake Sully, female scientist Grace Augustine, and xenoanthropologist Norm Spellman into the Avatar operation, where Quaritch planned the three to trick the Na'vi to move out of the area where Unobtainium is found. Quaritch also promised to have Jake's legs restored should he gather intel to him.

However, Jake, Grace, and Norm believed that stealing the land of the Na'vi was wrong, and tried to persuade the RDA to close the operation, but RDA's president Parker Selfridge had no feelings for the Na'vi, ordering almost all of his troops using large helicopter-like vehicles to destroy the Hometree of where the Na'vi clan, the Omayatica, lived when he and Quarith learned from one of Quaritch soldiers Lyle Wainfleet that the Omaticaya had destroyed their bulldozers to prevent them from cut down the jungle. Quaritch later imprisoned Sully, Augustine, and Spellman into a cell chamber after releasing them from the Avatar system chambers. Later, two other humans named Trudy and Dr. Max Patel also decided to help the Na'vi by releasing the three in the cell chamber and escaped in one of the flying helicopter-like vehicles. Miles Quaritch noticed this and used a gun trying to shoot them, but was only successful at shooting Grace Augustine.

Grace slowly died, which left Jake, Norm and Trudy left, while Max stayed at the home base where the humans had landed their vehicles on Pandora. Jake later formed an alliance with the other Na'vi, along with the leader's daughter, Ney'tiri. The next day, Quaritch and all of the soldiers came up ready for the war.

A conflict/war started between the RDA human squad and the Na'vi clans. The RDA squad had AMP suits that soldiers control with a large gun, giant flying vehicles that shoot missiles, several soldiers were on the ground with guns and a few giant flying battleship vehicles. The Na'vi clans rode on bird-like animals called Banshees, including a giant bird-like animal named Toruk Macto, horse-like animals named Direhorses, and were prepared with bows and arrows. While Quaritch and his soldiers managed to kill off Trudy and Tsu'Tey, one of the Na'vi, all of the soldiers were killed off except for Quaritch. He was on a giant flying battleship, which Jake destroyed by destructing the ship's flying generator, despite Quaritch's best efforts to stop him. Quaritch then quickly went onto an AMP suit and jumped out of the battleship before it crashed, saving himself. Now alone, he advanced to the Tree of Souls to destroy it himself once and for all.

Neytiri attacked and fought Quaritch by dispatching a giant panther-like animal called the Thanator. Quaritch lost his missile gun, but found a knife and quickly killed the Thanator by stabbing it with the knife. Before he could do the same to Neytiri, Jake came in his avatar body, declaring it all to be over and having him stand down.

Quaritch did not agree with the answer ("Nothing's over while I'm breathing!"), and attacks Jake with his knife while Jake used a broken part of the missile gun to shield himself from the knife. An intense fight to the death erupts between the two marines, in which they appear evenly matched. Quaritch also lost the blade of the knife, the only weapon he had. He then tries to destroy the avatar body system chambers to disable Jake in his avatar body but does not get the chance to when Jake almost stabs him with a knife at his right shoulder. Soon, Quaritch held Jake on his hair and was about to kill him in his Avatar body with the new knife.

However, Neytiri managed to aim two arrows at Quaritch, which killed him and caused his AMP suit to fall to the ground, ending with his menace and avenging the deaths of Grace, Trudy and all of the Na'vi who were killed by Quaritch and his soldiers. Jake and Neytiri united, with the Na'vi winning the war after Quaritch died. The RDA surrendered and returned to Earth, while Norm and Max also stayed on Pandora with Jake Sully, who had his consciousness transferred into his Avatar body permanently, proving that Quaritch was wrong when he told him that he would never be a Na'vi.

Quotes

This low gravity'll make you soft. And when you get soft, Pandora will eat you and shit you out dead with zero warning. I read your file, Corporal. Venezuela, that was some mean bush. Nothin' like that here, though. You got some heart, kid, showing up here.
~ Quaritich commenting over Jake's paralysis.
A recon gyrene in an Avatar body... that's a potent mix! Gives me the goosebumps!
~ Quaritich commenting over Jake's new Na'vi avatar.
Son, I take care of my own. You get me what I need, I make sure that when you rotate home you get your legs back.... your real legs.
~ Quaritich offering a deal with Jake.
You crossed the line.
~ Quaritch's last line before his friendship with Jake is over
Everyone on this base, every one of you, is fighting for survival, and that's a fact. There's an aboriginal horde out there massing for an attack. These orbital images tell me that the hostile numbers have gone from a few hundred, to well over two thousand in one day. And more are pourin' in. In a week's time there could be 20,000 of 'em. At that point they will overrun our perimeter. That's not gonna happen. Our only security lies in preemptive attack. We will fight terror with terror. The hostiles believe that this mountain territory is protected by their... deity. And when we destroy it, we will blast a crater in their racial memory so deep, that they won't come within 1,000 clicks of this place ever again. And that, too, is a fact.
~ Quaritich ordering for the destruction of the Tree of Souls.
Nothing's over while I'm breathing!
~ Quaritch to Sully before their fight.
Hey, Sully... how's it feel to betray your own race? You think you're one of them? Time to wake up!
~ Colonel Miles Quaritch's last words.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Though Parker Selfridge is the head of the RDA, Colonel Quaritich is the main antagonist of the film as he had bigger plans than anyone else, even proving to be far more ruthless than Selfridge.
  • Miles Quaritch serves as an allegory of Western land explorers' quest for capturing natural resources in modern United States history, while the Na'vi are an allegory of Native American tribes.
  • One of the main criticisms Avatar received was its many similarities with several movies, such as Dances with Wolves, where critics have compared Quaritch to Sergeant Bauer. Both wanted to conquer a native tribe on foreign lands (The Na'vi in Quaritch's case and the Sioux in Bauer's case). However, unlike Quaritch, who admired Jake Sully, Bauer took sadistic delight in tormenting John Dunbar.
  • It is likely that Miles Quaritch will appear in the 4 sequels of Avatar due to the fact that when Stephen Lang was asked if his character was returning he stated 'Nothing's over while I have DNA', which may suggest that enough though he's dead, he may be revived through cloning.
  • His duel with Jake Sully is the ultimate display of the constant battle between human technology and mother nature, in which there is no decisive winner as both combatants were evenly matched and there was no official winner (Quaritch only lost because Neytiri interfered).
  • Cyrus Temple's design seemed to be heavily influenced by Quaritch. In fact, both men's attitude, the way they carried themselves, their body armor and facial structures all have strong resemblances.
  • Despite his death the character has been confirmed to return in Avatar 2, 3, 4 and 5. Stephen Lang will reprise his role.
  • If Jake would've told the Na'vi to relocate peacefully before the RDA could attack, Quaritch would've put him in a shuttle sent back to Earth so his legs will be restored, while he launched an attack on the Na'vi, and Dr. Grace Augustine and Norm Spellman would've prevented it from happening instead of Jake.
  • His actor, Stephen Lang, also played other characters who had experience with the military:
    • Major General George Pickett in the 1993 film Gettysburg.
    • General Stonewall Jackson in the 2003 prequel Gods and Generals, which was about the early days of the American Civil War. Also in the film, Stonewall even gives a speech to Confederate troops in a similar way Quaritch did in Avatar.
    • Elias T. Walker in the video game Call of Duty: Ghosts, who was a former U.S. Army Captain before being acting Commander of the Ghosts. Elias T. Walker was also the father of the protagonists, Logan and Hesh Walker in the game.
    • Norman Nordstrom in Don't Breathe, in which his character was a former U.S. Army veteran in the Gulf War who became blind during a shrapnel attack, and is now known as "The Blind Man" to the main characters of the film due to his talents in killing intruders in his house.

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