|“||You're gonna go live it up like there's no tomorrow, which is gonna make sure there's no tomorrow. I can guaran-damn-tee you'll have one last regret, as the Union nano hits where you've been partying at. You'll think, maybe I could have changed this, and I didn't.
|–Julian Chase, "Second Birthday"|
Julian Chase is the main protagonist of gen:LOCK. He was born and raised in New York and is a former fighter pilot in the Vanguard, the military arm of the Polity. After a crippling injury during a battle against the Union, Julian was rescued from death by Doctor Weller and brought into the gen:LOCK program as part of a last resort to save the Polity from annexation.
Julian was first introduced by Gray G. Haddock at the end of the NYCC RWBY panel on October 6th, 2017 in a sneak peek available only for attendees of the panel. On November 18, 2017, it was revealed that Julian is from Brooklyn, New York. He is voiced by Michael B. Jordan.
Julian is a tall, athletic man with dark skin. He has amber eyes in their natural state and blue in his Mixed Reality overlay, a somewhat broad nose and dark brown hair. On the sides of his hairline are what appear to be glowing blue lines. His primary attire consists of a full-body suit in shades of blue, black and gray.
Casually, Chase wore brown trousers, a black shirt with white squares on it and a gray hoodie that was cyan on the inside. His Ether avatar is largely the same, but the blue parts of his appearance are more neon and prominent.
Following the Union's attack on New York City, Chase managed to disable their Nanotech during the chaos. However, the resulting crash and Nanotech infection left him in critical condition while at the same time allowing him to survive long enough to be put on life support. He lost his right arm and the entire lower half of his body, and the back of his skull has since been plated with metal. He is only able to interact with others outside of his life support capsule via Mixed Reality holographic projection and his Holon. It is currently unknown if he will ever be able to leave his life support tank.
Julian is described as an "All-American guy" by Gray G. Haddock, who continued to describe Julian as "charming, funny and the first guy to break the ice to make sure people are doing OK." Michael B. Jordan has described Julian as "a very selfless person who wants to do the right thing and would sacrifice himself in order to protect the world and the people he loves." Julian also has the leadership skills to help form the show's main team. His current struggle entails adjusting to life after personal tragedy.
He regrets having to keep his survival a secret from his girlfriend, Miranda Worth, for the four years since his crash. Despite having had no choice in the matter, Julian is not happy for having had to deceive her and keep his crippled state hidden from her for so long. In spite this however, he is very willing to give his all for the gen:LOCK program, believing it is better to spend his time doing something worthwhile instead of living out his final days just waiting for death to come to him, contrasting with Valentina Romanyszyn's more apathetic, self-centered worldview.
Julian possesses a very sly sense of humor, commenting to Kazu Iida how he needs to choose his words wisely and meeting the former sergeant's challenge by mentioning how Yasamin Madrani will "kick his ass." Julian's sense of humor is instrumental in keeping everyone around him calm in the face of extraordinary circumstances without distracting them from the matters at hand, displaying Chase's cool leadership in the face of fire.
The following information accompanies Chase's profile in the Character Reveal Teaser #1:
NAME: CHASE, JULIAN
RANK: O-2 1LT
PILOT QUAL: ADVANCED STRIKE
CURRENT ASSIGNMENT: TOP SECRET//GL
PREVIOUS ASSIGNMENT: DUTY VB110 AEIRE VAP
FITREP: XREF 12898211134
OMAs: V-AMN 141/08; ICM 32/2; TEM 287/1
PILOT TRAINING: IFS API T-72 T-88 F-66
Information from a fragment of the script shared on Twitter by Gray Haddock suggests Julian was 21 years old before his crash.
After Julian was declared dead after the Union's attack on New York, he was honored on a memorial wall inside the Anvil with the following commemoration:
V-183 READY ALERT SQUADRON
WHOSE BRAVERY AND VALOR
WILL LIVE ON IN OUR HEARTS
BATTLE OF NEW YORK
Julian is one of the few people in the world capable of undergoing gen:LOCK. By having his mind digitized, he can be placed inside a Holon and operate it as if it were his own body, giving him a much greater degree of control than traditional pilots.