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Gustav Graves

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Gustav Graves: "You see, Mr. Bond, you can't kill my dreams. But my dreams can kill you. Time to face destiny."
James Bond: "Time to face gravity."
―Gustav Graves and James Bond[src]

Sir Gustav Graves, formerly Moon Tan-Sun, is the primary villain in the twentieth James Bond film Die Another Day. He is the first Bond villain to be portrayed by two different actors in the same film: Graves is played by Toby Stephens, while his alter-ego Colonel Moon is portrayed by Will Yun Lee.

Film biography

Colonel Tan-Sun Moon

Tan-Sun Moon was a Colonel (Sangchwa) in the North Korean People's Army and was the son of General Moon. In a hope that a Western education would help bridge the gap between East and West, General Moon sent his son to study at Oxford and Harvard. It was an experience which would prove formative on the young Moon, providing him with the contacts which he would later use; including Miranda Frost who was on his fencing team. He was able to bring Frost to his side by arranging her to win the Olympic Gold Medal in fencing by implicating her competitor for using steroids. General Moon would later regret the decision, coming to believe that his son had become corrupted by the ideas and greed of the West.

A radical and a dealer in hi-tech weaponry, Moon conducted various illicit operations in diamond  smuggling to fund his private army and ambitions to forcibly unite the two Koreas. He had his base set up in the middle of the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea. He also had assistance from a fellow Korean officer named Zao. MI6 becomes aware of his activities, however, and dispatches three agents, including James Bond, to assassinate Moon by intercepting and replacing a diamond smuggler.

When Zao finds out that Bond is in truth a British spy sent to kill him, Moon uses to destroy Bond's helicopter with one of his hightech weapons, called Tankbuster, killing the two remaining agents. Before he can kill Bond too, Moon is told that his father, general Moon, is about to arrive at the base. Moon and his men then quickly leave the base with the hovercrafts and weapons, so that his father doesn't find out about his weapon dealing. He leaves Bond to be shot by his men but the agent escapes by blowing up the diamond suitcase, having implanted a bomb earlier, and fleeing with the last remaining hovercraft. Pursuing Moon, Bond has to fight off many korean soldiers while being shot at by Moon with his Tankbuster and a flamethrower.

Eventually jumping onto Moon's hovercraft, Bond attacks the young colonel and the two fight long enough for the hovercraft to reach a cliff. Without a pilot to steer it the hovercraft drives right over the cliff into the river far below. Bond is able to jump off in time, but Moon is dragged over the cliff and presumed deceased. Right after, Bond is arrested by Moons father, and brought to a North Korean torture camp where is is brutally interrogated for before being exchanged for Zao, who had been arrested by the British.

Sir Gustav Graves

Die Another Day - King of Diamonds (Magazine Article)

Bond reading an article about Gustav Graves in the High Life magazine.

Unknown to the rest of the world - including his own father - Moon survived the incident and changed his identity by way of painful gene-replacement therapy in Cuba, replacing his DNA to give him the appearance of a British Caucasian male. Emerging from the therapy, he completed his transformation by adopting the name Gustav Graves.

Sir Gustav Graves was seen as a sophisticated, sarcastic, rude and arrogant business man. In a conversation with Bond later in the film, he admits that he modeled this new - disgusting - identity after him. He portrays himself to the world as an ecologist, fencing champion and adrenalin-junkie, with a penchant for speed. Activities which he has plenty of time for, given that the gene therapy has robbed him of the ability to sleep.

"We only met briefly, but you left a lasting impression. You see, when your intervention forced me to present the world with a new face, I chose to model the disgusting Gustav Graves on you. Oh, just in the details. That unjustifiable swagger, the crass quips, the self-defense mechanism concealing such inadequacy..."
― Graves taunts Bond.[src]

His official story was that he was an orphan who worked in diamond mines in Argentina; from there, he discovered a great mine of diamonds in Iceland and made a huge fortune. With that fortune, Graves developed Icarus - a satellite which harnesses solar energy and focuses it, "gently", over the Earth, supposedly putting an end to famine and poverty. In reality, his fortune was made using a fake diamond mine as a front for laundering African conflict diamonds and his Icarus satellite is a super-weapon. The main purpose of Icarus was to blast its way through the heavily-fortified demilitarized zone, providing a pathway for the invading North Korean forces and bringing about Korean unification.

Fighting Bond at the club

Bond and Graves meet at Blades

Bond and Graves are introduced to each other at Blades fencing club.

Brought on Graves' trace through blood diamonds he found with Zao, Bond  -unaware of Graves' true identity - travels to London, where he witnesses Graves arriving at the Buckingham Palace by parachute before he is knighted by the Queen. Later that day, Bond visits the fencing academy where Grave's is training and manages to persuade the fight trainer Verity to arrange a match with Graves. Bond was introduced to Graves and Miranda Frost by Verity. When being introduced to Graves, Graves asks whether they have met before, to which Bond responds by stating he would remember. Graves admits that he is mistaking. Driven by their arrogance, both men then engage in their training match, betting money on the outcome. When Graves asks Bond if he still wants to continue, Bond proposes to up the wager, showing him one of the blood diamonds he got from Zao.

When continuing their fight, Bond cuts Graves at the hand, pausing their fight to continue. When Bond mockingly-affably asks Graves whether he wants to continue, Graves responds that of course he wants to "bloody continue", but proposes that they use real swords and fight till first blood drawn from the torso. They engage in a furious duel, where both men are cut multiple times. Fighting their way through the club, changing their weapons multiple times. Eventually hammering at each others with medieval claymores, they continue their fight in the outer parts of the club, with Bond finally cutting Graves at the stomach, thereby throwing him into a fountain. Graves emerges furiously but before he can continue the fight, Miranda Frost stops them. Graves laughs and admits that Bond beat him and the men shake hands. Before they leave, Graves, as a token of good sportsmanship, invites Bond to his Icarus demonstration in Iceland at the next weekend.

Icarus at Iceland

When Bond arrives at Grave's Ice Palace at Iceland, a palace made from pure ice only built for the demonstration of Icarus, he is greeted by Graves. While the guests entertain themselves inside, Graves is using his dream machine. He is interrupted by a man who is revealed to be Zao. Seeing his old friend for the first time after Zao's departure, Graves looks at his unfinished face and asks him who did that. Zao responds that it is Bond's work and Graves gleefully tells him that he has met Bond and Bond did not recognize him at all. Graves then asks Zao of news of his father and Zao tells him that General Moon still mourns his death.

The guests are then called for the presentation. Graves then presents Icarus, telling them that it will be used to bring light to the darkest places on earth and is able to warm even the coldest places to grow crops, therefor being a mean to end world hunger. He then uses Icarus to illuminate the entire palace, causing giant applause from the guests.

When NSA agent Jinx, who has also reached Island, breaks into the complex where Graves' chambers are located to kill Graves, she expects to find him under the dream machine's mask. However, when she takes the mask off, Zao looks at her and Graves attacks her from behind, wearing the prototype of his Icarus suit.

Unleashing Icarus

After saving Jinx from Zao, Bond heads to Graves' office where he waits for his old enemy. When Graves arrives, Bond tells him that he knows his true identity, based on Zao's presence and the lack of alternative explanations for the dream machine's presence. Graves mocks him, telling him he thought that Bond would never get it. He then reveals to Bond that while they only met briefly, Bond had made a lasting impression on him, causing him to model his new identity Gustav Graves after the MI6 agent. Miranda then arrives, holding her weapon at Graves. Graves remarks seemingly defeated that Miranda seems to be not the one she claims to be. Bond agrees, but then Graves asks whether he has found out who betrayed him in North Korea and if it never occurred to him to look inside MI6. Miranda then aims her gun at Bond, revealing herself as the traitor. Graves also reveals that he knows of Jinx and says that a tragedy will befall her soon.

When Bond is about to be killed, Bond goads Zao into hitting him into stomach in order to allow him to fall to the ground. Using a special ring he got from MI6's quartermaster, he breaks the glass panel that covers the entire floor in order to fall into the lower floor. As Bond runs off, Graves orders Zao to follow and kill him but Bond escapes with Grave's speeder, driving off into the ice plains at insane speed. When Zao returns and tells Graves that Bond escaped, Graves decides to unleash Icarus.

He orders Zao to bring the three North Korean generals that were underneath the guests and tells them that he will demonstrate them the full power of Icarus. He then has Icarus produce a gargantuan heat beam, which Bond can only escape because of his vehicle's enormous speed. When Bond drives off a cliff, hanging there only on the breaking hook of the speeder, Graves has Icarus cut off the entire cliff. Though Bond survives, Graves believes him to be dead.

Preparing to return to North Korea, Graves leaves Zao at the palace to oversee the final preparations. He, Miranda and most of his men then leave the palace, leaving Zao only with a minimal force. Returning to the palace for Jinx, Bond sees their escape plane arrive. On the plane, Graves uses Icarus to destroy his ice palace, destroying any evidence left. After this, he tells his engineer to complete the Icarus suit.

Return to Nort Korea

Having fled to a North Korean airbase, Graves plans to use Icarus to destroy the minefield in the demilitarized zone, allowing North Korean forces to attack the South. As General Moon wouldn't allow this war, the hardliners staged a coup and put the general under arrest. Bond and Jinx are sent to stop Graves.When the USA sends a missile to destroy Icarus, Graves uses the satellite's power to disintegrate it mid-air.

Unable to assassinate Graves at the airbase, Jinx and Bond are forced to board Grave's plane. On-board the plane, Graves and the generals are inside a planning room, where Graves admires the finished Icarus suit. He tells his men to have his father brought down. When General Moon arrives, Graves addresses him, but as his face is changed General Moon does not recognize him. When Moon tells him that he does not now him, Graves says that Moon always found it difficult to accept him, which made his exile easier to bear. He then quotes his father, which makes Moon realises that the man next to him is his son. However, he is deeply shocked, asking what his son did to himself. Graves then tells his father to watch the rising of his son and activates Icarus to destroy the minefield. However, opposed to Graves, Moon is disgusted by the heat beam as he knows this would mean war, with the Americans presumably sending nuclear warheads.

Finally truly realising what his son has become, Moon grabs a gun from General Han and points it at his son's head. Graves asks his father whether he would kill his own son. When Moon claims that his son died long ago, Graves disarms him with the electricity glove of his Icarus suit and shoots him. He then sees Bond walking towards him and about to shoot him, but a henchman intervenes and the bullet hits the plane's window instead, causing it to break, sucking out everyone except Bond and Graves.

The death of Gustav Graves

Graves and Bond then fight in the remains of the room, with Graves eventually overpowers Bond with his shock glove, Graves takes the plane's two parachutes and throws one out of the window. Intending to leave Bond to die in the planecrash, Graves kneels down next to Bond for one last gloat.
Graves: "You see, Mr. Bond, you can't kill my dreams. But my dreams can kill you. Time to face destiny."
Bond: "[007 pulls Graves' parachute cord] Time to face gravity."
―Graves' final confrontation.
Die Another Day - Graves is Electrocuted

Graves electrocutes himself & loses his grip.

 As he leans over the fallen spy to gloat, 007 reaches out and yanks the parachute's release cord; causing Graves to be pulled through a hole in the fuselage. As Moon desperately clings onto the edge of the chassis, Bond reaches out and activates the suit's electric defenses causing Moon to shock himself. He loses his grip and is sucked - along with the controls for the Icarus - into the Autonov's jet engine. With the destruction of his suit, Icarus is rendered harmless.

Henchmen

Game appearance

Gustav Graves also appears in 007 Legends in the Die Another Day mission. He has the likeness of is and voiced by Toby Stephens, but no reference is made to his past as Colonel Moon, implying that he was born Gustav Graves. Although he is shown wearing his North Korean uniform underneath his armor, his collar cuffs are absent.

Behind the scenes

While an original character, the character of Gustav Graves incorporates a number of elements from Fleming's original novel Moonraker . In that novel, a Nazi adopts a new identity and becomes a popular British multi-millionaire. He then donates millions to create a "Moonraker" missile which is supposed to be for Britain's protection but is actually meant to destroy London. In addition, the club called Blades, a fencing club in this film, was featured as a gentleman's club in Moonraker. The name Colonel Tan-Sun Moon is a homage to the first official James Bond novel written after Ian Fleming's death, Colonel Sun by Robert Markham (Kingsley Amis).

Trivia

  • An unusual feature of this villain is that Graves appears to be younger than James Bond. In general, Bond villains are roughly the same age or considerably older than Bond (with Elektra King in The World Is Not Enough a notable exception).
  • A ruthless man, Moon is seen kicking and vigorously attacking a punch bag revealing one of his own men inside when the bag is unzipped (The man is subsequently implied to be his anger management therapist).
  • Graves is one of very few villains to insult Bond as a person to such an extent, and perhaps the most vicious in doing so. A similar example would be Alec Trevelyan.
  • His character and death are both strikingly similar to that of Damian Cray's from the Alex Rider story Eagle Strike. It is also how Major Grant from Die Hard 2 is killed.

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