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NOTE: This article is about the incarnation of Knuckles the Echidna from the Sonic the Hedgehog Live-Action movies. The mainstream version can be found here: Knuckles the Echidna (Sonic).
|“||Do I look like I need your power?||„|
|~ Knuckles' most famous quote.|
|“||You’re unskilled, untrained and… UNWORTHY!!!||„|
|~ Knuckles underestimating Sonic the Hedgehog.|
|“||Porcupine? I am an echidna. Trained since birth in all forms of lethal combat, destined to restore honor to my tribe and willing to destroy anything that gets in my way.||„|
|~ Knuckles meeting Agent Stone.|
Knuckles the Echidna is one of the main characters in the Sonic the Hedgehog Paramount film series, appearing as the anti-heroic tritagonist of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and as a protagonist of the upcoming Paramount+ series Sonic the Series.
He is a powerful red extraterrestrial echidna with incredible strength who formerly worked with Dr. Robotnik to find the Master Emerald and defeat Sonic only to be betrayed by Eggman and allied with Sonic against Eggman. He is also the sole survivor of the echidna tribe after they were wiped out by the owl tribe.
He is voiced and motion-captured by Idris Elba, who also played Heimdall in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Roland Deschain in The Dark Tower, Bloodsport in the DC Extended Universe, and Stacker Pentecost in Pacific Rim, and also voiced Truck in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Chief Bogo in Zootopia and Fluke in Finding Dory. In the Japanese dub of the film, he is voiced by Subaru Kimura, who also voiced Vice in Kamen Rider Revice.
|“||I am not mixed up! I have steely focus. And I'm complex. And that's a lot for some people.||„|
|~ Knuckles about himself.|
A confident, hardened, solitary, proud, aggressive, determined, gruff, and quite tough echidna, Knuckles is more than proud of his echidna heritage. His judgment is quite low, as shown by his quick alliance with Robotnik when he barely knows him and his determination to destroy Sonic just for his affiliation with Longclaw, for whom Knuckles holds deep grudge ever since the owls slaughtered his clan. Knuckles' main flaws are his gullibility, naivety, and impulsiveness, being manipulated by Robotnik throughout the film, unsuspecting the Mad Doctor's true plans, and jumping quickly to over-the-top guesswork. To achieve his ends, he does not hesitate to destroy everything without worrying about the damage he leaves behind. He also doesn't understand the second degree, can take everything at face value, and dislikes Sonic's jokes, finding them mostly insulting.
Knuckles is also overconfident of his abilities and can be dismissive of his opponents, finding Sonic pitiful when they first meet and judging most people he meets quite coldly. His cynical nature actually hides his deep sadness at the loss of his people whose honor Knuckles has long sought to restore. His contempt for Sonic briefly faded when he learned that the hedgehog had also lost everything on that cursed day, but Tails' sneak attack made him believe that Sonic was trying to fool him. During their final confrontation, Knuckles showed more than immense determination against Sonic even when he was losing the advantage against him.
After Robotnik's betrayal and Sonic saving him from drowning, Knuckles in turn saves the swimming-less hedgehog, showing that he possesses some sense of honor. Afterwards, Knuckles began to question himself, not really knowing what he wanted until Sonic convinced him to help him stop Robotnik. Following Robotnik's defeat, Knuckles was accepted as a friend of the Wachowski family despite his previous deeds and was shown to be able to have a good time though he remained socially awkward and cocky but did indeed have a good heart.
Knuckles was born into a clan of echidna warriors on an unnamed forest planet. When he was just a child, the young echidna learned of the very old conflict between his people and the Owl clan for the Master Emerald. The day his people went to hunt down the last of the owls, Longclaw, Knuckles wanted to join them despite still being a child, but his father stopped him from joining them and told him that he will have his moment to honor his tribe, but that moment was not here yet. That was the last thing Knuckles heard from him. The echidnas then left and they never returned, leaving Knuckles alone and last of his kind.
Growing up Knuckles would discover his ability to naturally use Chaos energy and spent many years training to fully master this power. Meanwhile, he learned of the existence of Longclaw's adoptive son who also possessed Chaos energy, Sonic The Hedgehog.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2
When Robotnik uses Sonic's quill he still possessed to send a signal from the Mushroom Planet, three scavengers arrive on this world through a Ring portal and are trapped by the mad scientist, who tries to escape through the portal, just to stop dead at the sight of Knuckles. Noticing the energy-soaked quill, Knuckles asked Eggman where he found it. Eggman then agreed to give him Sonic's position on Earth, while offering him a partnership to help him get off the Mushroom Planet.
Later, Robotnik bursts into Green Hills and Sonic tries to attack him when he threatens his foster family, but quickly gets punched through a wall by Knuckles. Judging the hedgehog as weak, the echidna quickly engaged in combat and dominated his opponent with his strength and superior experience. Before he can finish off Sonic, Knuckles is hit by Tails the fox driving a police cruiser and crashes into the garden shed. Quickly recovering from the impact, he chases the car, jumps on it, breaks off the light bar, rips off the right front passenger-side door, and nearly grabs the runaways until the car falls off a cliff, allowing Tails and Sonic to flee through the air. His fists driven into rock, Knuckles comes back up, only for Robotnik to appear to turn on him, but ultimately helps him back up faster and renew their alliance to find the Master Emerald, Robotnik offering to shake hands, to which Knuckles squeezes too hard. The duo then depart aboard the Egg Mobile.
The echidna and the mad scientist go to see Robotnik's faithful minion, Agent Stone, at the Mean Bean Café in Green Hills where Robotnik's equipment is stored. Knuckles takes offence when Stone mistakes him for a porcupine, to the point that he goes into a monologue before nearly breaking Stone's hand by squeezing too tightly. When Robotnik hacks Sonic's phone to learn of his whereabouts, Knuckles reads every text aloud, including the charging points until another message tricks him into thinking Sonic has gone home, but Robotnik contradicts him by taunting a small hologram of Sonic that Knuckles literally crushes. Once Sonic is discovered to be in Siberia, Knuckles and Robotnik go there, leaving Stone behind.
Inside an ancient owl temple, Sonic and Tails obtain the magic compass that can take them to the Master Emerald only to be ambushed by Robotnik and his drones. Knuckles briefly finds himself buried under rock after Sonic deflects a missile, but the Red Echidna quickly breaks free and breaks a drone to use as a snowboard and pursue the blue hedgehog across the snowy mountain. Knuckles first hits Sonic against a rock, but misses his second attack and crashes into the trees, then claims he will win as he has been training his whole life, only for Sonic to taunt him over it. Knuckles' third hit against a large boulder sends Sonic spinning and pinning him on the edge of a cliff, losing his Rings in the process so he can't open any portals to escape. The two rivals then begin to argue as when Sonic declares that the echidnas ruined his life, Knuckles replies that it was Sonic who ruined his existence then begins to recount the tragedy of his childhood, when his father and his clan left to hunt down Longclaw and never came back. Sonic sadly realizes that they both lost everything that day, leaving Knuckles pensive until Tails throws electrical harnesses at him from behind, resulting in the Echidna believing a deception before breaking free. Robotnik then grabs the compass and wounds Tails with missiles. Knuckles is confused seeing Sonic helping his friend instead of taking the compass back, to which Robotnik gives a cynical remark that Knuckles doesn't appreciate and then retreats when an avalanche begins to fall, triggered by the explosion of Robotnik's missiles against Tails.
Arriving on the island that the compass indicated, Knuckles claims that the owls made a big mistake by hiding the mystical object on Earth before discovering a secret temple hidden under the sea by embedding the compass in a base, leading to the water receding to reveal the temple, along with a path to it. The duo navigate the massive, trap-laden maze inside the temple until they finally come into sight of the Master Emerald. Knuckles is delighted to have succeeded with the help of Robotnik, to which the mad scientist is on the verge of responding by electrocuting Knuckles from behind until Sonic falls from the ceiling after racing his way through many traps. Knuckles becomes frustrated that Sonic keeps interfering with his destiny and an angry Sonic retorting back at risking Tails' life, tells his rival that if he wants the emerald he will have to fight him.
Sonic then tries to reach the Master Emerald. Knuckles catches up to him by moving on the walls and the two charge up their respective Chaos energy before colliding in a titanic fight. Knuckles briefly believed to have defeated Sonic by kicking him into the water but the blue hedgehog comes back to the charge with full power and rage, getting so fast that Knuckles can't defend himself and violently crashing down the stairs. However, he recovers quickly and tries to hit Sonic several times without succeeding in hitting him until Knuckles' frustration increases his power enough for him to hit Sonic at the other end of the room. Grabbing a boulder, Knuckles is about to finish off Sonic until the latter warns him that Robotnik is about to grab the Master Emerald. Knuckles turns around and much to his shock, he doesn't understand Robotnik's act since they believed themselves to be like friends, to which Robotnik cruelly reveals that he has been using the echidna all this time, while calling him naïve and foolish for actually believing that they were friends. After fully betraying Knuckles, he then seizes the Master Emerald, becoming all powerful and teleports out of the temple, which begins to collapse as the ocean begins to flood the ruins to bury them under the sea again.
Knuckles finds himself trapped under a stone column before being submerged by water, knocking him unconscious from the lack of air. Refusing to let him die, Sonic jumps into the water and tries to move the heavy rock. Knuckles regains consciousness and with Sonic's help, he manages to free himself and rises to the surface, but turns back when Sonic nearly drowns and brings him back to the island. Sonic thanks him, but Knuckles doesn't feel like talking to him and then sits down in depression. Sonic throws sand at him to explain why he saved him. Knuckles responds by throwing a bigger pile of sand at the hedgehog and claims he only saved Sonic because he saved him first, which he doesn't understand since he tried to kill him multiple times, after foolishly believing he was his enemy. Sonic then tells Knuckles what Tom told him earlier on their boating trip on what it really means to be a hero, caring more about others than yourself. When Tails arrives on the Tornado, a skeptical Knuckles asks Sonic how he was able to stay so free and hopeful after that tragic day so many years ago when Knuckles lost his clan and Sonic lost Longclaw. Sonic replies that he has found a family and encourages Knuckles that he doesn't have to be alone anymore. The hedgehog then reaches out to the echidna and offers his hand in friendship, and Knuckles once again squeezes too hard like he did with Robotnik and Agent Stone, much to Sonic's annoyance.
Back in Green Hills, the three animals see Robotnik tapping into the power of the Master Emerald from afar. Tails voices his doubts to Sonic regarding Knuckles, to which the red echidna, who has heard their undertones very well, remarks that he's just a complex person, while warning Tails that he will eventually get his revenge for the time the fox hit him in the car. The gigantic robot created by Robotnik's powers gets into motion, but Knuckles deliberately jumps out of the plane and lands in the forest. Later, he rushes at the giant robot, yelling at Robotnik for his betrayal and punches the robot's left fist hard. Knuckles, Sonic, and Tails then join forces against the attacks of the amplified drones while Tails suggests finding Robotnik's weak point, to which Knuckles replies that the worst weak point is his crotch, much to Sonic's discomfort. Ultimately, Sonic uses Robotnik's obsession with him to distract him while Knuckles and Tails infiltrate the robot. Robotnik nearly finishes off Sonic at the city border, but Tails makes a diversion, allowing Knuckles to punch the mad scientific in the stomach, knocking away the Master Emerald, but causing the robot to fall and render both animals unconscious.
Despite their efforts, Robotnik had built a back-up battery into the robot and crushed the helpless Sonic, Maddie and Tom, under the horrified eyes of Tails and Knuckles. Fortunately, the Chaos Emeralds hidden inside the Master Emerald transform Sonic into Super Sonic and he single-handedly destroys the robot with Robotnik still on it. With this victory, Knuckles stops Maddie and Tom from joining Sonic, fearing that the power of chaos has permanently changed him, but when he receives a chili dog created by Super Sonic on his head, Knuckles realizes that Sonic is always the same. After Sonic renounces the Chaos Emeralds, Knuckles successfully re-forges the Master Emerald. Now that his life's quest has finally been over, Knuckles agrees with Sonic and Tails to protect the Master Emerald at the risk of their lives, forming a new tribe and concluding this pact with a power-bump.
Afterwards, Knuckles is accepted with Tails as a member of Wachowski family and move in with them in Green Hills. On a sunny day, Knuckles and his new family are playing baseball, the echidna having a little trouble grasping the rules. When Tails throws the ball, Knuckles hits it with his fist instead of the bat and makes a home-round that makes him so happy about his assured victory that he gloats at each base he crosses until making a complete turn. Maddie then offers the trio a break for some ice cream, which Knuckles can't wait to taste if there's are grapes in it. He then climbs into the back of Tom's pickup truck with Sonic and Tails, while continuing to proclaim his victory, much to the annoyance of his two friends.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2: The Official Movie Pre-Quill
In the official prequel comic to the 2022 film Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Knuckles is investigating the most desolated corners of the galaxy in his search for Sonic the Hedgehog. However, as he explores the landscape of an unknown planet, a volcanic eruption causes the echidna to lose his footing and falls into a deep chasm. Although he survives the fall, the landing weakens him enough for a trio of scavengers to restrain him before taking him through a ring portal to a place called Casino Night, where arena fights are held for gambling purposes.
Knuckles is shackled inside the arena where he is forced to fight against a gigantic, two-headed, lobster-like beast for his freedom. Because he is chained down, Knuckles is barely able to avoid the beast's first strike and then gets irritated when his chains get stuck in the creature's grip. He soon becomes infuriated enough to break free of his restraints and knock out his opponent with a single punch, winning the fight.
Afterwards, Knuckles approaches the three scavengers that captured him and recognizes their tracking skills as he asks them to help him locate Sonic. The scavengers eventually begin tracking a electronic signal of someone they believed to be the hedgehog. However, after numerous failed attempts to find the individual, Knuckles decides to travel to one more place that he believes they could find a lead.
Powers and Abilities
- Superhuman Strength: As an echidna, Knuckles naturally possesses colossal superhuman strength. He can easily break through large rock structures, perforate metal and blow up Robotnik's robots with one punch. Throughout the movie, Sonic was never able to best Knuckles in terms of strength. Knuckles' strength can also be further increased by Chaos energy. Because of this immense strength and Knuckles himself is aware of his own strength in addition to his own simplicity, he tends to smash through obstacles before him instead of evading them like Sonic or Tails do. By applying pressure with his hands, Knuckles was able to reconstitute the Master Emerald from the shards.
- Superhuman Durability: Knuckles is capable of taking heavy blows that would cripple or kill an ordinary human such as a high speed car impact. He also took the full brunt of Sonic's attacks without suffering any major damage. During the fight in the Master Emerald's temple, Knuckles took the Sonic's full power attacks while being punched through the rock but quickly recovered.
- Chaos Energy Empowerment: As one of the few beings possessing this power, Knuckles is able to manifest a form of bio-electromagnetic energy that can increase his natural abilities and accumulate enough energy to produce explosions and shock waves. Like Sonic, Knuckles can generate a lot of energy related to his emotions such as anger.
- Skilled Digger: Thanks to his strength, Knuckles is able to dig very deep and move underground.
- Enhanced Speed: Although not as fast as Sonic, Knuckles can run very fast, at least faster than a human and fast enough to catch onto a running car. Using Chaos Energy also allows him to increase his speed for both running and moving. While running bipedal, Knuckles is shown to run on all fours quite ably. He was also shown to be able to track Sonic's movements when the latter was moving at supersonic speed.
- Agility: Knuckles is very agile, as shown by his ability to jump far and move quickly. By using his Chaos energy, his agility is enhanced.
- Determination: Knuckles is A very determined echidna when it comes to achieving his goals (however it can also be a weakness).
- Skilled Fighter: Trained from an early age, Knuckles is a qualified hand-to-hand combatant, even after he had to learn to fight on his own as a child. His combat experience proved superior to that of Sonic. According to Tails, Knuckles is the most dangerous warrior in the galaxy.
- Simple-mindedness: Perhaps Knuckles' greatest foible. With a bit of generous treatment and smooth-talking Knuckles trusts others to a fault, not understanding the concept that others are perfectly content with manipulating him. When Robotnik betrayed Knuckles was so stunned that he didn't know what to do at first.
- Arrogance: While he is a skilled fighter, Knuckles is very arrogant when it comes to his goals.
- Anger Issues: While Sonic said this as a joke he is actually correct as Knuckles does have serious anger issues.
- Before Idris Elba was confirmed to voice Knuckles, it was reported in February 2021 that the studio was originally considering Jason Momoa for the role.
- Italian is the only language where Knuckles shares his voice actor with his video game counterpart.
- Juan Carlos Gustems, voice of Knuckles for the film in Spain, previously participated in the Sonic franchise as the announcer in Team Sonic Racing.
- Like in the video game and Sonic X, Knuckles was used by Eggman/Robotnik as a pawn when he lied to him. Another commonality he shares with Sonic X but not from the video games is that Knuckles is not from Earth.
- Similar to his video game counterpart, Knuckles' favorite food is grapes and unlike Sonic, Knuckles is able to swim.
- A running gag throughout the film is Knuckles shaking hands with someone and indirectly crushing them with his immense strength.
- Knuckles mistaken for a porcupine by Stone is similar to the Knuckles from Sonic X where the French Dub mislabeled him as a porcupine instead of an echidna.
- Unlike his video game counterpart, Knuckles didn't show the Glide ability. Also, Knuckles does not live on Angel Island, was not the sole guardian of the Emerald Master as in the films he shares the position with Sonic and Tails, additionally his childhood is shown while that of his game counterpart’s is a mystery.
- Also, much like his video game counterpart, he is able to climb walls.
- Knuckles never addresses Tails by his actual name in the film, instead referring to him as "Fox".
- However, in the short film "Sonic Drone Home", he does refer to Tails by his name.