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Deep Space Nine What We Left Behind, we will always have here.

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Old July 1 2013, 03:22 AM   #16
JirinPanthosa
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Re: What's your opinion of Gul Dukat?

Charles Phipps wrote: View Post

Gul Dukat came to Bajor (just going off the show) wanting to be the savior who made the occupation bearable for the Bajorans, fully expecting them (or maybe just hoping) being less brutal would make things better. As in real life, this just embolded the resistance, though.
Whoa, easy there Mr Bush.

Dukat never wanted to make the Occupation bearable for the Bajorans. He wanted to be known as the guy who made the Occupation bearable for the Bajorans, placing them firmly in the position of gracious inferiors giving loving tribute to the cult of him.

It is not Dukat's lenience that 'Embolded the resistance'. Any sort of Occupation power being there is seen as equally offensive.
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Old July 1 2013, 03:30 AM   #17
Captain Kathryn
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Re: What's your opinion of Gul Dukat?

Gul Dukat is...many things.

I think, somewhere deep down, he must have known that he was doing something unethical, yet since he was a psychopathic lunatic it never reached his brain.

He started as just your average Cardassian egomaniac and then just reached new levels of insanity each season whenever something didn't go his way. He reminded me a cult leader that truly believed he was right. I don't think he understood that he was wrong. However, the stuff he was doing was CLEARLY ridiculous and horrible...so to NOT know that...you'd have to be crazy.

Love him though! <3
Even so, I was super happy when he plunged to his death in What You Leave Behind.
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Old July 1 2013, 03:38 AM   #18
R. Star
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Re: What's your opinion of Gul Dukat?

Captain Kathryn wrote: View Post
Gul Dukat is...many things.

I think, somewhere deep down, he must have known that he was doing something unethical, yet since he was a psychopathic lunatic it never reached his brain.

He started as just your average Cardassian egomaniac and then just reached new levels of insanity each season whenever something didn't go his way. He reminded me a cult leader that truly believed he was right. I don't think he understood that he was wrong. However, the stuff he was doing was CLEARLY ridiculous and horrible...so to NOT know that...you'd have to be crazy.

Love him though! <3
Even so, I was super happy when he plunged to his death in What You Leave Behind.
Say what you will about Dukat, he was able to come back from every single reversal he experienced.

So he has to withdraw from the Occupation of Bajor? Well he still remained a fleet commander.

So he was blamed for the Maquis and blackballed? Well he backs the civilians when they overthrow the Central Command.

So he's demoted because of his half Bajoran daughter? He manages to captured a Klingon warship and remain a hero.

So his people are a defeated power too weak to stand on their own? So he negotiates their entry into the Dominion and instigates the largest war in Trek history.

So he loses his leadership and a major battle in that said war? So be finds the evil gods of Bajor, is named their anti-christ and comes back for revenge.

Being exiled to the Fire Caves with the Pagh Wraiths seems rather small compared to the rest.
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Old July 1 2013, 03:57 AM   #19
sonak
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Re: What's your opinion of Gul Dukat?

Gul Dukat was an interesting and complex villain, one of the best characters on DS9.


... until season six onwards, when the writers made a deliberate decision to strip him of his complexity and turn him into a one-dimensional comic book villain, because they apparently thought the viewers couldn't handle complexity.
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Old July 1 2013, 04:01 AM   #20
Captain Kathryn
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Re: What's your opinion of Gul Dukat?

R. Star wrote: View Post
Captain Kathryn wrote: View Post
Gul Dukat is...many things.

I think, somewhere deep down, he must have known that he was doing something unethical, yet since he was a psychopathic lunatic it never reached his brain.

He started as just your average Cardassian egomaniac and then just reached new levels of insanity each season whenever something didn't go his way. He reminded me a cult leader that truly believed he was right. I don't think he understood that he was wrong. However, the stuff he was doing was CLEARLY ridiculous and horrible...so to NOT know that...you'd have to be crazy.

Love him though! <3
Even so, I was super happy when he plunged to his death in What You Leave Behind.
Say what you will about Dukat, he was able to come back from every single reversal he experienced.

So he has to withdraw from the Occupation of Bajor? Well he still remained a fleet commander.

So he was blamed for the Maquis and blackballed? Well he backs the civilians when they overthrow the Central Command.

So he's demoted because of his half Bajoran daughter? He manages to captured a Klingon warship and remain a hero.

So his people are a defeated power too weak to stand on their own? So he negotiates their entry into the Dominion and instigates the largest war in Trek history.

So he loses his leadership and a major battle in that said war? So be finds the evil gods of Bajor, is named their anti-christ and comes back for revenge.

Being exiled to the Fire Caves with the Pagh Wraiths seems rather small compared to the rest.
All true! I wasn't dissing him...he's great at reinventing his evilness no matter how things turn out haha.
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Old July 1 2013, 05:54 AM   #21
nureintier
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Re: What's your opinion of Gul Dukat?

Unlike some Cardassians (Gul Dar'heel, Crell), he doesn't seem to have been a sociopath of mentally ill. Gul Dukat is perfectly capable of love, affection, and (IMHO) a degree of remorse.
I disagree that he isn't mentally ill. Also, mental illness doesn't mean a person isn't capable of love, affection, remorse. I think he pretty neatly fits the definition of narcissistic personality disorder, actually, among other things.

I think if the show had been suddenly, shockingly canceled after the 6 ep opening arc of Season 6, I would've called Dukat the best villain in Star Trek history.
I agree very much. Well, I still think of him that way, but I'll feel that way even more then.

My major complaint is how cartoon-villainish he became at the end, which didn't quite feel right for me, despite the whole going nuts thing.
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Old July 1 2013, 07:02 AM   #22
Sci
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Re: What's your opinion of Gul Dukat?

Charles Phipps wrote: View Post
The attempt to re-label sociopath "bad people" is one of my chief problems with psychiatric medicine today and I say this as someone whose studied it. It's a program with an agenda and ignores the very real difference between the mentally ill versus those who do criminal actions for gain, social stratification, or ideology.

Labeling the majority of human history's killers, conquerors, slavers, and so on as sociopaths may make good copy but I don't believe it. There's no "evil gene" that can magically be made to go away.

I think of Gul Dukat as a man who voluntarily IGNORED his conscience and the chief source of his torment is the fact that it existed despite his efforts to do so. If he was mentally ill, he wouldn't NEED to. That last little lingering flame of good inside him actually makes him a worse person, IMHO, because he could have listened to it long ago.

Just saying, "oh he was all about being adored and his motivations are 100% pure selfish" undermines him and his role in the story. They were just 90% sociopath and comfortably lies to us by saying that another "normal" person (Cardassian or otherwise) wouldn't do the same in his place.

Human history says otherwise.
I completely agree with you that society is in part built so that normal people can be compelled to do or at least to ignore terrible atrocities, and that normal people are capable of some pretty awful stuff.

But I just don't see this supposed conscience or sense of torment in Dukat, at all. I see it in Damar; I see it in Garak; I see it in Madred; I see it in numerous other Cardassian characters. But I don't see it in Dukat.
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Old July 1 2013, 08:20 AM   #23
nureintier
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Re: What's your opinion of Gul Dukat?

Sci wrote: View Post

But I just don't see this supposed conscience or sense of torment in Dukat, at all. I see it in Damar; I see it in Garak; I see it in Madred; I see it in numerous other Cardassian characters. But I don't see it in Dukat.
I agree with this. I don't think Dukat is all that conflicted, and I don't think he has empathy for other characters. I think he thinks he's right, and great, and fabulous and is only upset that others don't see him that way, too. I don't think it's so much that he rewrites things in his head to justify things he's done so much as he believes he's completely in the right to begin with. He acts like a good guy when it serves his purposes. From any point of view except his own, he seems to flip flop. From his own, I don't think he does, I think he sees his actions as consistent (at least up until Waltz).

To clarify, I don't think he has pangs of conscience and that's what makes him sometimes do good things. I think he thinks he is doing the right/good thing all the time, so he doesn't feel anything needs justified. I think he has a different point of view than the other characters, and this is why I described him in my post above as perhaps having a personality disorder rather than being morally inconsistent.
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Old July 1 2013, 05:56 PM   #24
dub
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Re: What's your opinion of Gul Dukat?

A lot of people say Dukat was a great character until he became one-dimensional.

From my perspective, he was a complex character from beginning to end who had the most dramatic arc of all. He started as a guy who was in love with himself, confident in his choices and felt just fine in his own skin. At least that's how it appeared. As the series progressed, he became a man who had lost power, lost any respect he had from his fellow Cardassians, and didn't get any "thanks" from the Bajoran people for his (in his view) kinder and gentler leadership during the occupation (I think he actually expected the Bajorans to be thankful in retrospect). Things slowly fell apart for him, and then his daughter's death drove him to madness. He never escaped his madness. Toward the end, he was truly a madman who still longed for power, still loved himself and still sought the admiration of the Bajoran people. This led him to the pah wraith cult, which gave him the power he desired, and for a time the admiration of a select few Bajorans. And then there was Sisko, who still had the office Dukat once proudly occupied. Dukat actually respected Sisko, but he did not get Sisko's respect in return, and I believe that's why he hated him so much. The writers managed to keep me sympathetic toward Gul Dukat for most of the series, even though I was often disappointed in his choices. At the very end, he was a power-hungry madman who had finally been abandoned by everyone he knew, he had no hope of gaining anyone's admiration and he knew it, and was being controlled by creatures who were equally mad = a scary combination. Yes, madmen are often one-dimensional in their actions. But the series showed us this man's very complex, very deep path to madness. The arc itself was fascinating, scary and at times uncomfortable to watch. Nothing simple about it. A great character all the way through if you ask me.
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Old July 1 2013, 06:42 PM   #25
Charles Phipps
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Re: What's your opinion of Gul Dukat?

My take on the subject was Gul Dukat was driven mad at the ending by his own guilt and refusal to face it--and when he did, decided to become a self-aware monster.
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Old July 1 2013, 07:06 PM   #26
Dale Sams
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Re: What's your opinion of Gul Dukat?

Also, Dukat wouldn't have allowed the Cardies to lose so much ground as the weak Damar did. He'd either have held ground through charisma/force of will or just started a revolution that much sooner.

And there are Gods/extremely powerful aliens preventing the Dominion from winning. What do the Vorta do about it? They barely acknowledge the situation. What does Dukat do about it? Single-handedly he tries to take them on.
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Old July 1 2013, 08:18 PM   #27
Sci
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Re: What's your opinion of Gul Dukat?

Dale Sams wrote: View Post
Also, Dukat wouldn't have allowed the Cardies to lose so much ground as the weak Damar did. He'd either have held ground through charisma/force of will or just started a revolution that much sooner.
Maybe. Or maybe his arrogance and powerlust would have led him to be perfectly fine presiding over Cardassia's oppression at the hands of the Dominion, so long as he got to be part of the Dominion elite.

And I don't buy for one second that the man who overthrew the previous government and brought the Jem'Hadar armies to Cardassia Prime would be able to inspire a popular revolution against the Dominion. Dukat's entire power base depended on Dominion military might.

Skrain Dukat would be more likely to end up as another Vidkun Quisling or Philippe Pétain than as a Charles de Gaulle.
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Old July 1 2013, 09:01 PM   #28
Charles Phipps
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Re: What's your opinion of Gul Dukat?

I'm inclined to think Dukat would have replaced the Female Changeling with a hologram at some point.
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Old July 1 2013, 09:40 PM   #29
Sci
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Re: What's your opinion of Gul Dukat?

Charles Phipps wrote: View Post
I'm inclined to think Dukat would have replaced the Female Changeling with a hologram at some point.
Are we talking about Gul Dukat, or Batman?
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Old July 1 2013, 10:14 PM   #30
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Re: What's your opinion of Gul Dukat?

Gul Mandred vs. Bat-Sisko!
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