Ch’rell (also known as Torrinon, Kako Naso, Duke Acureds, Oroku Saki, and the Utrom Shredder) is the main antagonist of the 2003 TV series. He was the main Shredder; he has the most history with the Turtles and Splinter. He is called the Utrom Shredder as he is not truly human, but an evil Utrom who uses an Utrom exo-suit (a humanoid vessel). He is a notorious intergalactic war criminal, who has adopted numerous aliases. He is the only known blood-red Utrom (as opposed to the species' normal pink appearance), has a purple scar over his left eye and three horn like protrusions on each side and the center of his head.
Ch'rell is a sadistic member of the Utroms, a technically very advanced and peace-loving alien race. Unlike his peers, however Ch'rell was hungry for power and psychopathic; he tried to expand his power base by war, and went from planet to planet, unleashing war and destruction or spreading terror and crime, which made him an enemy of the other Utroms. Ch'rell became a very dangerous enemy of the Utroms and the greatest criminal of the universe, the cause of confirmed millions, if not billions, of deaths. It wasn't until after three centuries of searching and considerable effort, that the ship under Mortu's command captured him and took him into custody and prepared to transport him back to the Utrom homeworld to put him on trial.
En route to home, just above the Earth, Ch'rell escaped and sabotaged the propulsion systems of the transport, causing it to crash-land on Earth. Specifically, they landed in the Sengoku period of feudal Japanese history. In the confusion that followed the crash, Ch'rell escaped out into the wilds of Feudal Japan. When the other Utroms realized the position in which they were now in, they took the remaining technology from the shipwreck to create robot bodies so they could hide amongst the humans. The aliens realized that Earth technology is too primitive to be of any value in getting them home, thus they decided that they would just have to wait for technology to develop… no matter how long it takes.
During the test of an exoskeleton prototype, Ch'rell succeeded to overwhelm its operator and to steal the suit. Now able also to move undetected among men, he learned the martial arts and placed a coat of samurai armor around it. Ch'rell took on the guise of the Shredder, inspired by the legends he'd heard about a feared warrior from ancient times – namely, the very first Shredder. Using the flipped three-toe sign of the dragon of the Ninja Tribunal, used by the original human Oroku Saki, and in the course of time he proceeded to create the Foot Clan, a band of his own loyal ninja to seek vengeance on his fellow Utroms and continue his plans of conquest. In doing so, he became the Tengu Shredder's unofficial successor.
But Ch'rell's plans could not be fully realized, because the other Utroms were not idle. To protect themselves and the innocent people from Ch'rell, they in turn founded a secret society, the Guardians. The Shredder planned to secretly fight the Utroms and their human Guardians for a thousand years. He commanded some humans to forge the Sword of Tengu out of Utrom metal. When it was done, he killed its creators, fabricating the tale that it "fell from the heavens" and was made by the goblins, but he lost it at some time in the past.
Years after World War II, the Shredder learned of the Utroms' Japanese base from their unsuccessful Guardian, Yukio Mashimi, who ultimately betrayed the Utroms to Ch'rell. The Shredder had his Foot Ninja attack the compound but was unprepared for the secret escape pods. It wasn't until a Guardian and Yukio Mashimi's former friend Hamato Yoshi came to take revenge on Mashimi for the death of his girlfriend. The Shredder ordered Mashimi to fight Yoshi alone. However, Yoshi ultimately won the fight and escaped. The Utroms succeeded just in time to escape from Japan. The Shredder would later follow a lead that the Utroms were in New York. By the 20th century, Ch'rell's established his human alias as Oroku Saki, an influential billionaire businessman secretly leading a massive underground criminal empire with the Foot. At the same time he created important links with the New York underworld, especially with the Purple Dragons, their leader Hun became one of his most loyal henchmen.
Sometime before or after this, Ch'rell found an abandoned human girl named Karai. He adopted Karai and raised her as if she was his own. He taught her everything he knew about ninjutsu and leadership, explaining to her that the Utroms were wrongfully hunting him (and in his mind they were). Outside of the Utroms, she is the only one initially to know the truth about him. Despite not being the demonic version of the Shredder, Ch'rell is shown to have control of some of his minions, due to the fact he holds the Heart of Tengu. Throughout it all, Shredder hunts for the Utroms to exact his revenge and prevent them from re-capturing him. He took a contingent of his ninja to New York City, to establish a branch of the clan there and leaving his adoptive daughter Karai in charge of the Japanese division, until she would catch up to him in America.
Since Yoshi accompanied the Utroms to America and Ch'rell followed them there, he located Hamato Yoshi, one of the Utroms' foremost guardians, and demanded to know the Utroms' location but the Guardian refused to answer and the Shredder murdered him in front of his pet rat, Splinter. During the struggle, Splinter escapes and winds up in the sewers, where he and four baby turtles are accidentally exposed to mutagenic ooze created by the Utroms and consequently mutate into sentient humanoid forms. Splinter teaches them the art of the Ninja which he had learned through mimicry of Yoshi.
First Battle with the Turtles
Fifteen years later, Shredder continued to rule New York’s underworld until, the Turtles begin encountering the Foot Clan and unknowingly foil several of Shredder's plans. The Ninja Turtles stopped a group of Purple Dragons who tried to steal an armored car full of money. Next they stopped Baxter Stockman’s Mousers from robbing banks in New York. Finally Shredder managed to retrieve the Sword of Tengu, along with one of the Utrom’s exo-suits, so he knew they were still around. But then the Turtles got their hands on it and Shredder decided he had to get rid of them, assigning Hun and Stockman to find some way to deal with them. Hun managed to capture Raphael, then let him go so Stockman’s Foot Tech Ninjas could follow him. The plan failed, but from what Hun did find out from Raphael, Shredder learned the Turtles did not know about the Utrom, so they could be of use to him.
Ch'rell became intrigued with the strange creatures that constantly interfered in his operations. He wanted to meet with these creatures, hoping to bring them to his side. He invited Leonardo to his home as Oroku Saki, telling him that there was a great evil that his Foot Clan fought and that they should join forces to stop it. However Splinter told Leonardo and the other Turtles what Oroku Saki really was. When the Turtles found out about his evil nature (though Splinter was hardly an unbiased witness), they they went to confront him and refused to join them. After they refused to join Shredder, a fight started and though they managed to fight off his Foot Ninjas and Hun, the Shredder reveals himself to the Turtles but more skilled than them and was able to send them running. Splinter managed to help them regroup and they faced the Foot Clan again, but Shredder took them down one by one nearly killing them. However when Splinter tricked him into cutting the support for a water tower, which was then kicked onto him. The water swept Shredder off the building, before the water tower itself fell on him. Ch'rell was unharmed by this, but it did delay him long enough for the turtles to get away.
Thinking they'd heard the last of him, the Ninja Turtles left with Splinter, but Shredder was far from done. However immediately afterwards, Leonardo, who’d accidentally ended up in the past, came across Shredder, but beat him. Shredder and the Foot Clan followed Leonardo through time portals, ending up on Sh'Okanabo's space ship. They tried to take the technology, but with Sh’Okanabo and the Turtles to deal with, Shredder and his Foot Clan were defeated, ending up in their normal time.
With the Turtles beginning to mix gradually into his affairs, Ch'rell developed a pathological hatred of them and became their bitter enemy, which often resulted in his plans more quickly being doomed to failure. While he lost his first major battle against them and Splinter, he later deals them a crushing defeat. Ch'rell had his ninja search the sewers to draw out the Turtles. Months later, Leonardo was attacked and almost beaten to death by the Foot Clan, along with Shredder who snapped his swords in half. After tossing Leonardo through the window of April O'Neil’s Second Time Around shop, Shredder led the Foot Clan to attack it.
Eventually, the Turtles, along with with Casey Jones and April were forced into a walk-in freezer (since the store used to be a supermarket). As the police showed up, Shredder barred the door, cut a gas pipe, and dropped a firebomb, which caused an explosion. The antique shop is burned to the ground and everyone is presumed dead. However, the Turtles, Splinter, Casey, and April escaped the explosion, retreating to a farmhouse in North Hampton that belonged to Casey's grandmother. But Ch'rell had to be absolutely certain that his enemies were dead and Baxter Stockman "confirmed" they were dead. After recovering out of town this distraction allowed the Turtles to Return to New York. Leonardo leads his brothers and Splinter in an assault on Foot headquarters, slowly making their way through the building floor by floor encountering the many minions of the Shredder. They fought their way through the Foot Ninjas, Hun, mutated Shredder clones, and Foot Mystics. The Turtles eventually reaching Shredder’s location at the top, where they faced the Foot Elite. Just they were about to have their final confrontation, Stockman, augmented in cyborg armor that he’d reverse-engineered from the Utrom exo-suit Shredder let him study, interrupted, intent on getting revenge on all of his enemies. Shredder and the Turtles were forced to team up to fight him and after Stockman was defeated, they took the fight out to the balcony of the building resulting in an epic showdown leaving Splinter wounded. However the Utrom Guardians showed up to help the Turtles take down the Foot Ninja and though The Shredder regained the Sword of Tengu, he then lost it to Leonardo. With the Sword of Tengu, Leonardo faces the Shredder one-on-one. Shredder grabbed the latter's katana and they struck each other in one final clash, culminating in Leo beheading the Shredder.
Unaware of his Utrom nature, the Turtles believed that he was dead. After they left, the Shredder just picked up his robotic head and walked away planning his next move. He salvaged Stockman, who had nothing but a head left, and attached him to a robotic spider which electrocuted him as punishment. After the battle, Splinter was missing and the Turtles found him at the T.C.R.I. building, but Shredder was following them.
When a mysterious light from a building was sighted, Ch'rell recognized that the Utroms were hiding there. He had Stockman infiltrate the compound, to open the sub doors and sabotage the VR technology that the Utroms were using to show the Turtles their history, leaving the Turtles trapped. This forced them to fight a feudal version of Shredder and the Foot Clan, but they managed to get back to reality, but not before the Shredder and his minions infiltrate the building intent on revenge upon the Utroms. Shredder faced the Turtles and Splinter again. He found the Utroms' transmat, which they intended to use to return home. But Ch'rell planned to use the device to conquer his homeworld. Despite the Turtles' efforts, an unconscious Shredder dropped an implosion timebomb, set to blow up the T.C.R.I. the building, intent on destroying all of his enemies at once, forcing the Turtles to help the Utroms escape using the Transmat. Near the end of its countdown, the Shredder awakened, determined to take down the Turtles himself. He attacked the Turtles, and in the ensuing battle his armor was damaged by the Turtles and electrocuted by Donatello, disabling it. Ch'rell was then forced to reveal his Utrom form by abandoning his suit, intent on taking his enemies down with him. He attacked Raphael by attaching himself to Raphael's head but is forced off by Splinter. Donnie managed to power up the Transmat through which the Turtles escape. Though the Turtles use the Transmat to escape the bomb, Ch'rell tries to make it onto the Transmat but it is too late, the explosion went off before Shredder could get to the Transmat to get away and the building implodes. Ch'rell presumably perished in the implosion.
Return and Future Battles
However, somehow Ch'rell survived, but was gravely injured and was retrieved by Karai, who brings him to a secret medical facility inside Foot Headquarters, where he is placed in a capsule where he is healed by worms while Karai watched over him. With his supposed demise, the mob, the Purple Dragons, and the Foot, under the leadership of the Foot Elite, began a power struggle. As his body is healed Karai and the Foot, with help from the Turtles in exchange for a truce, managed to get back control of the city. Karai assumed leadership of the Foot Clan, ending an ensuing war for control of New York City and supposedly making peace with the Turtles. Once his recombination is complete, the Shredder is reborn. But after being revived, he vowed to destroy the Turtles by any means necessary. The Shredder’s first order of business was to reap vengeance on the Turtles. He found out that Hun had reduced Stockman to nothing more than a brain and recruited them again.
Hun had managed to recover a number of Utrom devices to create more advanced robots. At that point, Stockman had created the Foot Mechs, mainly in the form of armored ninja robots, but also versions of the U.S. President, English Prime Minister, and Splinter. But the Turtles along with the delusional Triceraton Zog located his barge hideout. However, the Shredder lost again to the Turtles with help from the Triceraton, Zog, as well as the fact that Karai was questioning her loyalty. The Shredder was defeated after Zog sacrificed his life to keep him on his freighter when it exploded, but Karai rescued him on a helicopter. The Shredder had survived once again. Soon afterward, the Triceratons launched an invasion of Earth. After the Turtles help repel the Triceraton invasion, New York City is heavily damaged and the Shredder used it to gain favor in the city.
In the aftermath of the Triceraton invasion, in his Saki persona, Ch'rell used his wealth to help rebuild New York, spending millions, but his reconstruction was actually a cover to salvage Triceraton technology that was left behind to construct a large spaceship to return to the stars in the hopes he could destroy the Utrom, as well as other planets before the Utroms return for him. The Shredder would also make changes to the Foot Clan such as Karai being his new second-in-command, above Hun, and Dr. Chaplin getting hired as a higher-ranked engineer than Stockman. However, while the Shredder was involved in the city’s politics he held a good-bye party, saying that he would be leaving New York and that he would return someday to his "adopted" home, indicating he later planned to come back to conquer. With his ship finished, the Shredder left Karai in control of the Foot Clan, but he had to launch prematurely, for Splinter, the Ninja Turtles, Leatherhead, and the EPF attacked his new mansion. In the ensuing fight, Ch'rell's exo-suit was badly damaged again, revealing his true form to Hun. Despite numerous complications, including Stockman sabotaging his ship and an attack by Agent Bishop and his men, the Shredder managed to get on board the ship with Karai and Chaplin. The ship was launched, but the Turtles and Splinter managed to sneak aboard.
His ship launched, with only him, Karai and Chaplin aboard, leaving many of his troops and weapons back on Earth, but he was confident he could contact his other forces elsewhere. Ch'rell installed himself into a larger, more powerful four-armed exo-suit and went to finish off the Turtles, who had stolen aboard. As he entered a final battle with the Turtles, Ch'rell proceeded to defeat both them and Splinter easily. He nearly succeeded in finishing them all off, but Karai's last-minute interference prevented him from doing so. However, the Shredder was forced to fall back after EPF missile launches made things difficult and the Turtles attempted to overload the core as their last resort. They used the Fugitoid Program to overload the ship’s core, which would destroy everything including themselves, so as to stop Shredder. Luckily, however, an Utrom ship came by and placed the ship in a time stasis field, evacuating everyone before the explosion where Ch'rell, Karai, and Dr. Chaplin were sent to the brig.
On the Utrom homeworld in the Theta Galaxy, Ch'rell was placed on trial before the Utrom High Council for his actions where he is extracted from his armor and his aliases were given. With Karai and Dr. Chaplin also arrested, the recuperating Turtles and Splinter alongside the Figutoid (whose conscious was placed in another robot body) watched the trial. The Utrom High mention the testimonies of the other aliens:
- Dolphette's testimony had mentioned that Ch'rell launched an attack on the planet Enethone where over 1,000,000 innocent inhabitants perished.
- Wan-ran Otho's testimony had proved that Ch'rell incited and funded a civil war on Eno II in an effort to mine their raw minerals without restriction. 3.2,000,00 lives perished in the civil war.
- The final mentioning was that Ch'rell tried various attempts to take over the Utrom government through an illegal and violent coup.
Upon being found guilty for all the chaos and destruction he’d wrought throughout the universe, the Utrom High Council members ultimately sentence him to eternal exile on the ice asteroid Mor Gal Tal. As Ch'rell is teleported away, the Utrom High Council leader quotes "May your actions haunt you forever." Mortu states to those watching the trial that Ch'rell's accomplices will be returned to Earth and handed over to the authorities. With Ch'rell gone, Hun would turn the Purple Dragons into an organized crime syndicate and Karai would take over the Foot Clan as the new Shredder with Chaplin at her side.
Cody Jones keeps his armor in a hall where other things from the Turtles' lives are being kept. In the episode Clash of the Turtle Titans, Ch'rell appears in the story at the beginning that Michelangelo is telling.
In the episode Timing is Everything, when trying to find a way to bring the Turtles back to the present day, Cody and Sh'Okanabo's devices accidentally opened portals from different points in time all over the city. One of them sent Leonardo and Cody back to the exact point where Ch'rell was first defeated by having the Water Tower fall on him. Before returning to 2105, Leonardo briefly battles him and Shredder notices "something different" about his foe. Later Shredder and several Foot Ninjas would follow them through the portal and are transported to 2105. They are, however easily defeated by their more advanced foes and sent back by the Fast Forward TMNT and Sh'Okanabo. Raphael couldn't help making a time travel joke at the Shredder as they got rid of him. Oddly, he referred to Sh'Okanabo's technology as magic despite being an alien himself. However, the strange environment may have made him think that magic had been used.
Back to the Sewer
In Viral into the not-so-distant future, they encountered three Shredders fighting: Oroku Saki, the Tengu Shredder, Ch'rell, the Utrom Shredder, and a new Cyber Shredder, in a war presumably for control of the city. Around them, the Foot Ninja loyal to Utrom Shredder battled those loyal to the Cyber Shredder. He attacked them a couple of times until the Turtles use part of this Shredder's exo-suit to help repair android Serling and return to their own time, where Viral followed them and escaped to the internet. This future would have happened in the next season of "Back to the Sewer", but because it got cancelled this was never shown. While searching for a source to recharge herself, Viral draws the power from a data vault belonging to the Foot, accidentally transforming herself into the Cyber Shredder who is a cybernetic engram of Ch'rell.when the Turtles are sent by
He also appears in a flashback while the Cyber Shredder is telling how he got into Cyber space.
He also appears in a flashback in Leonardo's memory.
Ch'rell made his next appearance in this 25th anniversary special Turtles Forever as the main antagonist. After the Shredder from the universe of the 1987 TMNT show ended up in that of the 2003 show, he began looking for his counterpart. He eventually located Ch’rell, frozen in exile and teleported him to the Technodrome, where he revived the Utrom, hoping to gain Ch'rell's support in whatever field of battle they would fight on. However it didn’t work out as the 1987 Shredder had hoped, since the Utrom Shredder proceeded to take de facto control of the Technodrome with help from Karai. He used technology from Krang’s body’s to construct a more powerful exo-suit for himself and upgraded the Technodrome with Utrom science to make a new ultimate weapon.
Utrom Shredder also created more advanced versions of the Foot Soldiers, as well as an army of mutants from his human soldiers. He proceeded to view all other dimensions using the Technodrome’s dimensional portal, but what he saw shook him. Utrom Shredder saw that there were Ninja Turtles heroic in every dimension. Upon discovering the extensive nature of the Turtles' many incarnations, he realized that he would never be able to fully conquer the multiverse so long as a team of Turtles existed, and resolved to destroy each version. He used the Technodrome to attack New York along with his army of advanced Foot Soldiers and mutants. So in a clever perception when the 1987 turtles and 2003 Turtles confronted Utrom Shredder, he managed to capture both the Ninja Turtles and the Turtles of 1988 and revealed his full plan.
He told them that each dimension branched off of one original dimension, “Turtle Prime”, which was the dimension of the original TMNT comics. Utrom Shredder proceeded to scan both groups of Turtles for the DNA he needed to find Turtle Prime and destroy it, thus destroying Ninja Turtles in every dimension. With this done, Utrom Shredder headed to Turtle Prime to destroy it, but the 1988 and 2003 Turtles managed to follow him. After meeting and joining forces with their comic book incarnations, they went to deal with Utrom Shredder in the Technodrome as he continued destroying the dimension. The comic Turtles managed to taunt Utrom Shredder into coming out to face them, but he soon found himself confronted by The Mirage Turtles, the 1988 Turtles, and the 2003 Turtles, 2003 Splinter, 1988 Shredder, and Krang along with Karai, who’d realized his actions would destroy them all. He seemed to care little that he risked destroying himself in the process, as long as the Turtles were destroyed. This hate for the Turtles would fatally be his undoing.
However Utrom Shredder grew his exo-suit to giant size and proceeded to overwhelm them all with his suit’s new technology. He eventually had the original Turtles in his grasp, almost crushing them to death, but failed to finish them. Utrom Shredder was forced into the laser of the Technodrome, apparently destroying him, all because of the bumbling help of Bebop and Rocksteady who unplugged and replugged the laser (which was apparently powered by a power outlet). When 1988 Donatello mused aloud if Ch'rell was really gone for good this time, 2003 Splinter remarked that he was seldom gone for long and Karai agreed that he shall rise again.
Ch'rell is an embodiment of the stereotypical megalomaniac: bloodthirsty, insane, selfish, wrathful, sadistic, and relentless. He hates anyone who challenges, impedes, or otherwise wrongs him, holding grudges long after the fact - in some cases, this can even become an almost pathological hatred against them. After Ch'rell had assumed the identity of the Shredder, his megalomania became even stronger, to the point of calling himself the "one true Shredder".
In the Ninja Tribunal storyline, it's revealed that anyone who claims the identity of the Shredder for themselves develops an unconscious mystical connection with the original Shredder. Consequently, Ch'rell's growing madness and hunger for power may be attributed at least in part to the influence of the Tengu Shredder; a theory given more weight by the fact that his human disguise is identical to the Tengu Shredder's human appearance.
Uncharacteristically, Ch'rell did take some pity on the orphaned Karai and raised her as his own daughter. He saw strength in her that could prove useful to him but as he trained her, he grew to feel a closeness to Karai which was as close to love as he was capable of getting. Ch'rell also trained Hun personally and appeared to be somewhat fond of him too, but never showed him the same degree of affection that he showed Karai.
Also, in situations where others would benefit as much as him, he wants to be the only beneficiary. This is best seen in Tales of Leo where Baxter Stockman offers to provide Ch'rell with evidence as to whether the Turtles survived or perished in their assault in exchange for full access to a technologically-advanced suit of armor to improve upon the Foot's forces (as a brief glimpse allowed him to create the Foot-tech Ninjas) in what he deemed a win-win situation. Instead, Ch'rell altered the deal: if Stockman provided evidence the turtles perished, he would be rewarded with what he desired, but if he didn't his next punishment would've been his final punishment, showcasing his ruthlessness, as he is gleefully willing to torture, kill, or maim to get his power. Unfortunately this trait means that his followers sometimes betray him.
Powers and Abilities
On his own, Ch’rell isn’t the most dangerous enemy, given his small size and body design. However he has demonstrated great craftiness, speed, and strength, successfully knocking around his 1988 counterpart and Krang. When Ch'rell is in his exo-suit as the Shredder, he has demonstrated great skill at martial arts, out-fighting all of the Turtles and his primary weapon is the claws on his armored hand. He is quite capable of taking on almost any enemy in close combat. Shredder is extremely technologically and scientifically knowledgeable due to being an Utrom and has numerous forms of advanced technology at his disposable. Aside from his usual exo-suit Shredder has used a few other versions that are more powerful, such as the one he made based on Krang’s suit. This version can grow to giant size and has a number of weapons built into the hands.
Behind the scenes
- Peter Laird and Lloyd Goldfine both had direct involvement in creating this new "Evil Utrom" twist on the classic villain Shredder in pre-production. In 2003, several concepts of what the 'Saki' Utrom, Ch'rell could/would look like were created by Laird himself. Specific 'tweaks' by Peter were also made on the final look of the restraining helmet used to shackle Ch'rell in Mortu's prison aboard the Utrom's ship.
- No official toy of the actual physical Utrom form of Ch'rell was produced. However, one was almost released. Steve Murphy revealed some concept art on a never made Ch'rell figure that would have been released in late 2008. The visual (shown in the gallery below) shows a take off of Ch'rell's restraining helmet that was attached to a scorpion-like, mechanical bio-suit complete with firing missiles and bladed pincers.
- An abandoned idea for Fast Forward would have featured Ch'rell surviving into the year 2105 and taking over the body of a Triceraton, thus becoming the TriShreddaton.
- Peter Laird's Blog Post regarding the SAKI Utrom concepts.. Retrieved on Error: Invalid time..