|Appeared in|| Batman Begins|
The Dark Knight
|Actor|| Emma Lockhart|
- "Maybe some day, when Gotham no longer needs Batman, I'll see him again."
- ―Rachel Dawes[src]
Rachel Dawes was a character created specifically as a love interest for Batman in Christopher Nolan's film series (similar to the character Chase Meridian in Joel Schumacher's Batman Forever), in the first film of the series (Batman Begins) Rachel was portrayed by Katie Holmes and by Emma Lockhart as a young girl. However, due to other filming commitments Holmes had to be recast and was replaced by Maggie Gyllenhaal in the 2008 sequel The Dark Knight.
Rachel was a childhood friend to Bruce Wayne. Rachel's mother worked for Bruce's parents, and the two would often play together on the grounds of Wayne Manor. After Bruce's parents are murdered by Joe Chill, Rachel's mother seeks other employment and leaves Wayne Manor with Rachel. She and Bruce remain close even after he fell in the batcave, but their friendship was never the same.
Rachel enrolls in law school and gets an internship at the Gotham City District Attorney's office during her first year. After Chill was murdered for testifying against Mafia boss Carmine Falcone, Bruce reveals to Rachel that he intended to kill Chill himself. Rachel was horrified, and tells Bruce that his late parents would have been ashamed of him. Soon afterward, Bruce leaves the United States and Rachel continues her studies in law school. Years later, she becomes an Assistant District Attorney. She also has a brief relationship with her boss, District Attorney Carl Finch.
Rachel dedicates her career to eliminating crime in Gotham City, which makes enemies of Falcone and Dr. Jonathan Crane, Arkham Asylum's chief psychiatrist, who was in Falcone's pocket. Falcone eventually sends two thugs to kill her. She was rescued by Gotham's mysterious vigilante, Batman. Around the same time, Bruce returns to Gotham. Rachel was surprised that he didn't call her, and was later disappointed that he has apparently become a selfish playboy.
Later, Crane drugs her with his fear toxin at Arkham while she is evaluating Falcone, who has suffered a psychotic breakdown. Batman rescues her again, administers an antidote and tells her that Crane was working with a terrorist organization called the League of Shadows. He then gives her instructions for a plan to save the city from the League's attack. Rachel delivers samples of an anti-toxin to Batman's ally, Gotham City Police Department detective James Gordon. The League starts a riot in one of Gotham's slums, and Rachel is trapped. Crane, who has now assumed the criminal alter ego of "The Scarecrow", attacks her again. She defends herself and a boy caught in the riot by firing a taser at the insane doctor. Soon, the city was overrun by Arkham's inmates, whom the League has released, and Rachel and the boy are surrounded by lunatics led by Falcone's henchman, Victor Zsasz. Batman saves them at the last minute, however, and gives Rachel a hint as to his secret identity. As Rachel realizes that her masked savior was Bruce, he leaves to save the remaining innocent bystanders.
One morning after the riot was over, Rachel goes to the ruins of Wayne Manor, which had been burned down by the League, and reconciles with Bruce. Despite their mutual attraction, Rachel decides they can't be together if he was determined to lead a double life. She kisses him goodbye and leaves him to fulfill his destiny, hoping he will come back to her when Batman was no longer needed in Gotham.
Rachel, by this time, was the assisstant DA to Harvey Dent, a man who was challenging the mob in Gotham in a legal way. She has also started dating him, creating a love triangle between herself, Dent, and Bruce.
When the mob hires the Joker to kill Batman out of desperation, the Joker says he will kill people until Batman reveals his identity. Harvey, realizing how important Batman was, says he was the Batman. When Joker tries to kill him, the real Batman and Commissioner Gordon capture him.
But during this time, Joker manipulates two cops into bringing Dent and Rachel to different buildings in the city. There, both of them are tied up with bombs and gasoline surrounding them. Joker reveals the locations to Batman and the police, but swaps the locations, making Batman go after Dent and Gordon go after Rachel. Batman gets Harvey out with half of his face burned, but Gordon was too late to save Rachel, who dies in an explosion.
Earlier, Rachel left Alfred a note to give to Bruce, leaving it unsealed so Alfred could also read it. It said that because she truly loved Harvey and thought that Bruce wouldn't be able to give up Batman, she was going to marry Harvey. When Alfred goes to give it to Bruce after her death, he burns it instead when he hears that Bruce was sure she would've waited for him.
Alfred tells Bruce the truth that Rachel chose Harvey Dent over Bruce before she died.
- Bruce Wayne/Batman - Friend/Ally.
- Alfred Pennyworth - Friend.
- Dr. Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow - Enemy.
- Harvey Dent - Lover.
- The Joker - Enemy.
- Canon (3 films)
- Amy Adams did an screen-test with Christian Bale as a favor for the producers.
- Before Katie Holmes was cast, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Rachel McAdams were considered for the part of Rachel Dawes, also Claire Danes and Reese Witherspoon as backup considerations.
- Katie Holmes decided not to reprise her role as Rachel Dawes. Instead, she opted to co-star with Diane Keaton and Queen Latifah in "Mad Money" that same year.
- Before Maggie Gyllenhaal replaced Holmes, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Isla Fisher, Emily Blunt and Rachel McAdams were all considered.