- "Captain McQuarrie, stand by to report!"
"We've confirmed the substance to be soil from the Moorja badlands, Admiral. It's an electrostatic compound with photoreactive properties."
"In plain Basic, Captain?"
"The material clings to the shields like filings to a magnet."
- ―Captain Pharl McQuarrie briefs Admiral Dron on the Separatist attack on Ukio
Pharl McQuarrie was a Human male captain in the Galactic Republic Navy during the Clone Wars and later a general with the Rebel Alliance during the Galactic Civil War. A native of the Core Worlds planet Ralltiir, McQuarrie's Clone Wars service saw him command a Consular-class cruiser in the Republic defense of the vital agricultural planet Ukio. Although the Republic repelled the enemy Confederate incursion from Ukio, Separatist interests ultimately captured financial control of the planet nonetheless.
McQuarrie went on to serve as a respected military advisor for many years on his homeworld, until the Galactic Empire's subjugation of Ralltiir just weeks before the Battle of Yavin. After fleeing his home planet to seek assistance from the Rebel Alliance, McQuarrie returned to take command of the Ralltiiri Rebel resistance movement, helping to deliver information concerning the existence of a secret Imperial superweapon, the first Death Star battlestation, to Princess Leia Organa.
McQuarrie's efforts led directly to the subsequent Rebel capture of the Death Star plans and the destruction of the battlestation shortly thereafter. General Carlist Rieekan later handpicked McQuarrie to serve as his second-in-command at the Rebellion's new Echo Base on the planet Hoth, where McQuarrie was instrumental in the facility's construction. He went on to serve in the Rebel defeat at the Battle of Hoth in 3 ABY.
Clone Wars serviceEdit
Captain of the RepublicEdit
- "Is it doing any damage to the shields? Creating a weak point, perhaps?"
"No, General. It has absolutely no effect on the shield strength. But it is moving. As I said, photoreactive. It's staying aligned with the sun's path, regardless of the planet's rotation."
- ―Jedi General Keelyvine Reus and Captain Pharl McQuarrie
Pharl McQuarrie hailed from the prosperous planet Ralltiir, in the Core Worlds, and served in the Republic Navy during the Clone Wars between the Galactic Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems. Early in the war, McQuarrie captained a Consular-class cruiser as part of a Republic mission to prevent the politically divided agricultural world of Ukio, a major food-producer for the Republic's armies, from falling to the Confederacy.
Joining a task force consisting of a Venator-class Star Destroyer and another Consular-class cruiser under the overall command of Jedi General Keelyvine Reus and Admiral Dron, McQuarrie helped form an orbital patrol of Ukio in response to intelligence suggesting that the Confederacy was targeting the planet. Although Ukio boasted a powerful planetary shield system capable of preventing any sizable invasion or bombardment from enemy forces, the Separatists nevertheless concocted a plan to breach its defenses. The Republic task force soon detected on the far side of the planet a single Confederate Lucrehulk-class battleship that was releasing into the atmosphere a series of seismic tanks, which in turn were dropping a strange dark cloud over Ukio's shields.
Dustup over UkioEdit
- "Captain McQuarrie. What would happen to this material if the shields were deactivated?"
"Without a surface to cling to, it would simply dissipate into the atmosphere. The winds would scatter it."
- ―Jedi General Keelyvine Reus and Captain Pharl McQuarrie
At Dron's prompting, McQuarrie reported to Reus and the admiral that his cruiser had identified the cloud to be an electrostatic soil compound with photoreactive properties from the badlands of the planet Moorja. The compound adhered harmlessly to the shield yet moved in concert with the system's sun, regardless of Ukio's rotation, thus creating an effective means of blocking out any sunlight from reaching the planet's crops. The Confederacy thereby succeeded in using Ukio's shield system against itself—as McQuarrie noted to Reus, the native Ukians would need to lower their shields for the cloud to simply dissipate into the atmosphere and save their crop fields, but by doing so they would open the planetary surface to Confederate attack.
Reus quickly conceived a plan to save Ukio. The Ukians would create an opening in their shield around the cloud just long enough for the disturbance to dissipate, while McQuarrie and the Republic task force would engage the Lucrehulk battleship to keep it preoccupied and unable to launch any vessels through the shield gap. However, the Republic attack would need to be carefully coordinated so as to counteract any complications from the Lucrehulk's powerful jamming signal.
The ensuing attack from McQuarrie and the Republic task force succeeded in destroying the Confederate battleship, while the Ukians lowered their shields to rid themselves of the disruptive cloud. Although the Republic earned a tactical victory by eliminating the enemy presence from Ukio, negative market reports of the turbulence there caused Ukio's stock prices to plummet, allowing the Confederate-allied Commerce Guild to purchase a controlling interest in the planet.
Against the EmpireEdit
Following his active duty in the Clone Wars, McQuarrie served as a respected military advisor for many years on his homeworld of Ralltiir, but the escalating Galactic Civil War once again forced the former Republic officer into action. In 1 BBY, three weeks before the Battle of Yavin, McQuarrie watched as the Galactic Empire enacted a brutal subjugation of Ralltiir to clamp down on the growing number of Ralltiiri Rebel sympathizers. The Imperial occupation force devastated Ralltiir and its 10 billion inhabitants, even barring relief organizations by sealing off the entire Ralltiir system. In response, McQuarrie fled his home planet to seek aid from the Rebel Alliance.
Coincidentally, the Alliance had just learned that a Ralltiiri Rebel cell had come into possession of information concerning the existence of the Empire's new secret superweapon, the first Death Star battlestation. Working in tandem with his close friend and fellow Ralltiiri Jeroen Webb, McQuarrie returned home, sneaked past the Imperial blockade of the planet, and took command of the local resistance. He staged a diversionary raid that allowed the Death Star information to reach Rebel leader Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan.
The success of the Ralltiir mission led directly to the subsequent capturing of the Death Star plans at the Battle of Toprawa as part of the Rebellion's Operation Skyhook. Thanks in part to McQuarrie's contributions, the Rebel Alliance proceeded to utilize the Death Star schematics to formulate an assault that ultimately destroyed the battlestation at the Battle of Yavin. Following his action on Ralltiir, McQuarrie joined the Alliance as a general.
Echo Base's second-in-commandEdit
General Carlist Rieekan later personally selected McQuarrie to serve as his second-in-command at Echo Base, the Alliance High Command's secret headquarters on the Outer Rim Territories ice planet Hoth. Once more working closely with his friend Jeroen Webb, McQuarrie was instrumental in the establishment of the new Rebel base, which was completed in 2 ABY.
Echo Base had barely become operational when Commander Tamizander Rey, the facility's senior deck officer, suggested to McQuarrie that no ship be allowed to leave Hoth until the base's energy shield was activated, a plan ultimately approved by Rieekan. McQuarrie went on to serve in the staggering Rebel defeat at the Battle of Hoth in 3 ABY.
Both the Rebel Alliance and Galactic Empire maintained personnel dossiers on McQuarrie, documenting his military service from the Clone Wars through the Galactic Civil War. In particular, the Imperial Intelligence database reframed McQuarrie's actions at Ukio as "stirring up trouble" in opposition to the "orderly doctrine of Supreme Chancellor Palpatine," while noting that he had been routed at Hoth with his Rebel confederates. McQuarrie was also listed as a known associate of General Rieekan on the latter's Imperial wanted poster.
Personality and traitsEdit
General Pharl McQuarrie was a respected military advisor for many years on his homeworld of Ralltiir, having previously served as a captain in the Republic Navy during the Clone Wars. When the Empire subjugated Ralltiir shortly before the Battle of Yavin, McQuarrie took command of the local resistance and orchestrated a diversionary raid to deliver data concerning the Death Star to Princess Leia Organa. McQuarrie's ongoing military efforts resulted in the capture of the Death Star technical readouts and ultimately the battlestation's destruction.
McQuarrie fought with the Rebel Alliance to save the galaxy from the Empire. He eventually earned assignment to the main Rebel base on Hoth as General Carlist Rieekan's second-in-command, where he helped establish the facility in a frozen environment that refused to cooperate. Nevertheless, Imperial Intelligence derided McQuarrie as "a Rebel general of little distinction."
Skills and abilitiesEdit
Pharl McQuarrie was highly intelligent and possessed strong diplomacy skills. He had an advanced fighting ability with above-average strength and moderate speed. McQuarrie was weak in Force ability.
As a Republic Naval captain serving in the Clone Wars, McQuarrie wore the standard Republic officer's uniform, sans cap, during the battle of Ukio. Later, during his time on Hoth, McQuarrie wore the insulated Rebel uniform jacket, which was reserved for Echo Base's command staff, including General Carlist Rieekan and Major Bren Derlin. Additionally, he donned other articles of the Rebels' standard-issue cold-weather armor, including the set's headgear, anti-glare goggles, scarf, command gauntlets, belt, leggings, and boots.
Behind the scenesEdit
- "They got the artists together to do a scene which was played out over a matte painting that I had done of Rebel ships parked in the ice cave. And we were going to be Rebel soldiers. I was a general (laughs) who walked by, you know, sort of crossed from screen right to screen left. You can see me if you know what to look for. Joe Johnston, and Harrison Ellenshaw, and Mike Pangrazio, the matte painters, stood in the foreground and had a few lines. They didn't trust me with lines (laughs). They knew I would flub up."
- ―Ralph McQuarrie discusses his role in Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
Pharl McQuarrie first appeared in the 1980 original trilogy film, Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back. The character is portrayed by none other than Star Wars conceptual artist Ralph McQuarrie, who makes a brief cameo as an unnamed Echo Base general, barely visible as he moves from right to left across camera with his sketch clipboard in hand.
Accordingly, McQuarrie passes in front of a large self-created matte painting of several Rebel transports in the base's hangar. In fact, all of the extras appearing in McQuarrie's scene are fellow Star Wars matte artists, including Joe Johnston, Harrison Ellenshaw, and Michael Pangrazio.
The Pharl McQuarrie character was originally developed through the November 1998 Special Edition Limited expansion set of the Star Wars Customizable Card Game from Decipher, Inc. The set's "General McQuarrie" card first provided the character with a name and brief backstory as a commander from Ralltiir. The 2004 Star Wars Insider 74 article "Who's Who in Echo Base," written by Josh Radke, further expanded the character's lore by coining the first name "Pharl"—an anagram of "Ralph"—and detailing his involvement in the Imperial subjugation of Ralltiir.
The Star Wars: The Clone Wars webcomic Act on Instinct, written by Pablo Hidalgo and published serially on StarWars.com between 2009 and 2010, also briefly featured Pharl McQuarrie, establishing the character as a one-time Republic Naval captain during the Clone Wars.
"Who's Who in Echo Base" from Star Wars Insider 74 mistakenly claims that General McQuarrie is not seen in The Empire Strikes Back and that Decipher featured the character in its Star Wars Customizable Card Game as a nod to the conceptual artist. However, McQuarrie himself later confirmed his appearance in the film in an online interview. Lucasfilm Ltd. did not officially confirm McQuarrie's film cameo until the 2007 Star Wars Insider 94 article "The Empire Strikes Fact!"
Although Ralph McQuarrie had brown eyes in real life, artist Thomas Hodges illustrated the character Pharl McQuarrie with blue eyes for the Star Wars: The Clone Wars webcomic Act on Instinct. The character is alternatively shown with brown eyes via Ralph McQuarrie's set photos from The Empire Strikes Back as well as the General McQuarrie action figure from Hasbro's Star Wars: 30th Anniversary Collection line. This article therefore asserts that the character had brown eyes.
- Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back (First appearance)
- Star Wars Customizable Card Game – Special Edition Limited (Card: General McQuarrie) (First identified as McQuarrie)
- "Who's Who in Echo Base"—Star Wars Insider 74 (First identified as Pharl)
- "The Empire Strikes Fact!"—Star Wars Insider 94 (Picture only)
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- "Ralph McQuarrie: Dreamer & Visionary"—Star Wars Insider 134
- Star Wars: The Ultimate Action Figure Collection
- "The Art of Harrison Ellenshaw"—Star Wars Insider 140 (Picture only)
- Star Wars: Galactic Files Series 2 (Card: General McQuarrie – Rebel General)
- Star Wars Chrome Perspectives (Card: Pharl McQuarrie – Alliance General)
- Star Wars Chrome Perspectives (Card: Pharl McQuarrie – Rebel Conspirator)
- Star Wars Chrome Perspectives (Card: Wanted Poster: General Rieekan)