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 North Korean Colonel 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. He also set up a new identity: Gustav Graves.

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 Zao007 was sent to assassinate Moon by intercepting and replacing a diamond smuggler; but finds that his cover has been blown by Frost, who was now a mole within MI6. After a firefight and a protracted chase by hovercraft, Bond eventually overcomes Moon, sending his hovercraft hurtling over the edge of a waterfall - apparently to his death.

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.


Bond and Graves meet at Blades

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

Bond - unaware of his true identity - was introduced to Graves and Miranda Frost by Verity when he visits a London fencing club, having determined some connection between Graves and Zao after determining that Zao's gene therapy had been paid for with Graves' diamonds. After an aggressive fencing duel, Graves admits defeat and as a token of good sportsmanship invites Bond to his Ice Palace in Iceland to see the Icarus demonstration.

After revealing his identity to Bond in Iceland, Moon and Zao attempted to murder him using Icarus. Bond was able to fake his death, prompting Graves to leave on his private Antonov An-124 aircraft and sets his plans for Korean unification in motion. On-board the aircraft, surrounded by North Korean collaborators, Graves finally reveals his true identity to his father. Disgusted by what his son had become, General Moon refuses to have anything to do with the conspiracy - leading to his execution.

The Death of Gustav Graves

Die Another Day - Graves is Electrocuted

Graves electrocutes himself & loses his grip.

Unbeknownst to Graves, Bond had not only survived their encounter in Iceland, but had covertly boarded the plane in North Korea. Following the murder of General Moon, Bond's attempt to shoot Graves is foiled by a henchman whose interference leads to him shooting a window; causing the plane to depressurize. Donning mechanical armor, Graves and Bond fight hand-to-hand as the aircraft spirals out of control. After seemingly defeating Bond by electrocution, Graves attempts to evacuate the plummeting aircraft by parachute.

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.

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.


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).


  • 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.


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