|“|| Nothing's over while I'm breathing!
- Quaritch speaking to Jake before their battle.
|Behind the Scenes|
Colonel Miles Quaritch was the main antagonist of Avatar and the chief of security of Hell's Gate on Pandora. Having no regard for indigenous lifeforms, especially the Na'vi, and considering them all expendable, he directed the destruction of the Omaticaya Hometree and led the SecOps forces in an attempt to destroy the Tree of Souls. He was killed when Neytiri shot him twice through the chest with her father's bow.
Before Pandora and First DaysEdit
On his first day on Pandora, an encounter with the wildlife dealt him a trio of trademark scars to the right side of his head and face. Given the option to return home for reconstructive surgery he opted to stay on Pandora. With his impressive record, he was eventually chosen as the chief of security of Hell's Gate.
Chief of SecurityEdit
Colonel Quaritch was the chief of security for at least two years.  He was responsible for the security of the Hell's Gate facility and its personnel, which necessitated keeping the Na'vi in check. He had his own Dragon Assault Ship, which was personalized with an orange-colored Chinese dragon painted below the cockpit.
Quaritch impressed Jake Sully deeply and made Jake a bargain that, in return for intel on the Na'vi, he would talk to the RDA corporate executives and get approval for Jake to receive the expensive treatment for his spinal injury, which would return the use of his legs. However, as time passed, Quaritch began to question where Jake's loyalties lay, believing his contact with the native culture to be distancing him from humanity. When Jake, in his avatar form, attacked and damaged a bulldozer after the RDA had destroyed the Trees of Voices, Quaritch personally went to arrest him by force. Quaritch proceeded to use one of Jake's video log entries, in which Jake lamented the hopelessness of convincing the Omaticaya to leave Hometree, along with the report from Lyle Wainfleet that the Na'vi had retaliated for the destruction of the Trees of Voices by burning the bulldozers and killing the squad of troopers on patrol. Furious, he lead an air assault on Hometree under the apparent promise of relatively humane treatment of the natives. First firing gas, then finally incendiary missiles after the Na'vi began launching salvos of arrows. Quaritch used several salvos of rockets to bring the Hometree down, actions which still resulted in the deaths of many Na'vi, including Neytiri's father and clan leader, Eytukan. When Jake, Grace, Norm and Trudy fled, Quaritch was the first to act. Maskless, holding his breath and warning the personnel to put their exopacks on, he kicked the emergency door of the Operations Center open. He marched out of the building, attempting to stop the avatar team from escaping Hell's Gate by emptying an assault rifle and his Wasp sidearm at the fleeing rebels, fatally wounding Dr. Augustine.
Assault on the Tree of Souls and DeathEdit
Quaritch led the Assault on the Tree of Souls against the Na'vi in his Dragon Assault Gunship. While the Na'vi's numbers appeared to give them the advantage, Quaritch's heavily armed soldiers quickly dispatched the lightly-armed Na'vi, despite some losses. During the battle, while pursuing Jake, his gunship was attacked by Trudy's Samson, allowing Jake to escape. Quaritch's gunship was able to outgun and sufficiently damage the Samson before destroying it with a missile, killing Trudy in the process. Advancing unopposed towards the Tree of Souls, the tide of the battle is unexpectedly changed when Pandora's wildlife, seemingly at the direction of Eywa herself, attacked the RDA forces in mass. With all escorts distracted or destroyed, Jake was able to board the Valkyrie shuttle containing two "daisy cutter" bombs, and destroyed it, leaving only Quaritch in his Dragon gunship. Despite Quaritch's best efforts, Jake still managed to inflict catastrophic damage to the gunship, causing it to lose control. Boarding his AMP suit, Quaritch leaped from the Dragon before it crashed, saving himself. Now alone, he advanced to the Tree of Souls. Quaritch stumbled across the module containing the link pod being used by Jake, but was attacked by Neytiri riding a thanator before he could destroy it. He lost his 30mm rifle, but killed the thanator with his AMP suit knife, leaving Neytiri trapped beneath her slain mount. Jake's timely arrival caused Quaritch to focus on him, saving Neytiri in turn. Using the bayonet of the wrecked AMP suit's rifle, Jake was able to deflect Quaritch's attacks in a fierce bout of melee combat long enough to destroy his AMP suit knife and land a piercing blow to the glass canopy.
The damage to the AMP suit canopy reduced visibility to near-zero and allowed toxic Pandoran air into the suit, forcing Quaritch to don an exopack. Realizing Jake's same weakness, Quaritch made a break for the module and managed to smash a window and an empty link unit open before resuming combat. This exposed Jake's human body to the toxic air, interrupting the link between Jake and his avatar, allowing Quaritch to subdue Jake. He picked up Jake by his hair, intending to use Jake's own dagger to cut his avatar's throat in a symbolic act of retribution for his betrayal. However, before Quaritch could do so, Neytiri, who had taken the time to free herself from under the thanator's carcass during the fight between Jake and Quaritch, fired two arrows into the Colonel's chest, ending Quaritch's life.
Personality and traitsEdit
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 regret. He even displayed amusement at the prospect of killing off the Na'vi and took pleasure in attempting to kill those who sided with them.
His long-running military career was representative of his personality. He regularly worked out to off-set the low gravity on Pandora so he didn't 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 and merciless 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 a leader. However, he also acknowledged during an initial debriefing that he would not be able to help all of those under his command. He shows great admiration for the dedication Jake Sully showed by willingly going covert with the Na'vi people.
Quaritch was also a charismatic military leader, as shown by the way he inspired his troops during the meeting before the assault on the Tree of Souls.
Quaritch was an outstanding soldier and warrior and was a deadly opponent in combat. He claimed to have survived three tours of Nigeria without a scratch. Quaritch was an expert marksman, managing to fatally wound Grace Augustine during the avatar team's escape from Hell's Gate. He's also shown to have a high tolerance for pain, easily ignoring his shoulder when it was set on fire.
His prowess in close range combat was also considerable as it took the combined efforts of Jake Sully and Neytiri to finally defeat him. Quaritch was an expert with his AMP suit, which made him even more lethal due to the protection the suit provided. He killed Neytiri's thanator during their encounter, stabbing it several times with his AMP suit knife.
When Jake first arrived on Pandora, Quaritch was very interested in him, as Jake was the replacement in the Avatar Program for Tom Sully, his deceased twin brother. Quaritch soon made an offer to Jake, that if he gained intelligence on the Na'vi, Quaritch would speak to the RDA executives about paying for Jake to have an operation to fix his spinal injury. Jake at first agreed willingly and gave Quaritch information about Hometree and the Tree of Souls. Quaritch was impressed by Jake, and the two shared a mutual respect, only until Jake began to show serious affection for the Na'vi. Quaritch began to question Jake's loyalty after not reporting to him for two weeks. Their relationship fully changed after Jake attacked one of the bulldozers. From then on, Quaritch viewed Jake as a traitor to humanity. During the assault on the Tree of Souls, they faced one another in combat, and Quaritch came close to killing Jake before Neytiri intervened and killed Quaritch with two arrows to the chest.
Quaritch and his boss, Parker Selfridge, appeared to have a good business relationship and a mutual liking for each other. They both planned the destruction of the Hometree, although Selfridge was not as ruthless as Quaritch and was concerned that killing the Na'vi would look bad on the RDA's report on Earth. Quaritch promised Parker that he would destroy the Hometree in a more or less humane way to get his permission. However, scores of Na'vi were killed in the assault, and Selfridge, unlike Quaritch, became more reluctant to proceed with any further attacks on the Na'vi.
Dr. Grace AugustineEdit
Colonel Quaritch and Grace had little to no respect for each other, as both disagreed with the way that communications with the Na'vi should be handled. Quaritch wanted to use force to get the Na'vi to cooperate, while Grace on the other hand was against any form of force. At one point after Jake's betrayal, Quaritch actually threatened to shoot Grace. Grace is later shot by Quaritch while escaping from Hell's Gate with Jake, Norm and Trudy. She dies of her injuries before she can be saved by the Omaticaya.
Quaritch appeared to get along well with Lyle Wainfleet, sending him to examine a squad that had been killed by the Na'vi as revenge for the destruction of the Trees of Voices, and referred to him by his first name while Wainfleet gave the report. Wainfleet was loyal to Quaritch and was in command of the ground forces during the assault on the Tree of Souls while Quaritch commanded the aerial forces.
- His final battle with Jake symbolized the entire conflict; both were fighting with artificial bodies that are different in construction. Quaritch's AMP suit represented the technologically advanced humans, while Jake's avatar represented the organic and natural Na'vi.
- However, as Quaritch himself alluded to, Quaritch's suit and Jake's avatar were both the products of human industrial science. This supported Quaritch's view that Jake was a traitor who is only fooling himself ("You think you're one of them?") when he chose to side with the Na'vi.
- More symbolically, an underlying discourse of the movie is one of industrialization vs nature, but the theme is literally embodied when the Pandoran wildlife attacked the RDA soldiers in response to their incursion. This was consistent with the film's environmental, anti-industrial overtones.
- Miles in Latin (mee-less) means "soldier".
- There are some foreshadowing lines in the film, for example:
- Quaritch at his safety brief: "We have an indigenous population of humanoids, called the Na'vi. They are fond of arrows dipped into a neurotoxin that will stop your heart in one minute..." - He dies through two of those arrows fired by Neytiri in the final battle of the film.
- Quaritch in his AMP suit: "Nothing's over while I'm breathing!" - His death marked the end of the Pandoran War.
- When Grace Augustine is arguing with Quaritch, she says: "Or what, Ranger Rick? You gonna shoot me?", he replies "I can do that". During the avatar team's escape from Hell's Gate later in the film, Quaritch does indeed shoot her.
- Quaritch did not return to Earth for the reconstructive surgery suggested for his scars because it reminded him of the dangers of Pandora.
- In the mobile game, his surname is erroneously spelt "Quarritch".
- On his left arm close to his shoulder, there is a tattoo of an eagle taking flight.
"You are not in Kansas anymore. You are on Pandora, ladies and gentlemen. Respect that fact."
- - Quaritch welcoming his team.
"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."
- - Quaritch explaining Pandora to the newcomers.
"It is my job to keep you alive. I will not succeed. Not with all of you."
- - Quaritch getting the attention of the 'fresh meat'.
"This low gravity'll make you soft. You get soft, Pandora will shit you out dead with zero warning."
- - Quaritch to Jake on their first meeting.
"You crossed the line."
- - Quaritch to Jake after witnessing him disable an RDA bulldozer.
"So, you find yourself some local tail, and you just completely forget what team you're playin' for?"
- - Quaritch to Jake after he attacks a dozer.
"These dumb bastards ain't getting the message. Alright, let's turn up the heat. Switch to incendiaries."
- - Quaritch to Dragon gunner.
"This is Papa Dragon. I want this mission high and tight. I wanna be home for dinner."
- - Quaritch speaking prior to the assault on the Tree of Souls.
"Come on, come to papa!"
- - Quaritch just before stabbing Neytiri's thanator.
"Nothing's over while I'm breathing!"
- - Quaritch speaking to Jake before their battle.
"Hey Sully, how's it feel to betray your own race?"
- - Quaritch taunting Jake during their fight.
"You think you're one of them? Time to wake up."
- - Quaritch's final words before Neytiri kills him.
- ↑ Commander Falco's Pandorapedia entry states that he was second only to Quaritch. Falco died in 2152.