What's your opinion of Gul Dukat?

Discussion in 'Deep Space Nine' started by Charles Phipps, Jun 30, 2013.

  1. nureintier

    nureintier Commander Red Shirt

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    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 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.
     
  2. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  3. nureintier

    nureintier Commander Red Shirt

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    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.
     
  4. dub

    dub Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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.
     
  5. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Captain Captain

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    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.
     
  6. Dale Sams

    Dale Sams Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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.
     
  7. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    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 P├ętain than as a Charles de Gaulle.
     
  8. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Captain Captain

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    I'm inclined to think Dukat would have replaced the Female Changeling with a hologram at some point.
     
  9. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Are we talking about Gul Dukat, or Batman?
     
  10. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Captain Captain

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    Gul Mandred vs. Bat-Sisko!
     
  11. Ln X

    Ln X Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    This, Dukat went on a journey no other villain went on before. For me the character's peak was Waltz, were at last Dukat comes out of his delusion and admits what we all knew and suspected beforehand.

    Dukat went from one nasty conniving man whom you crossed at your own peril, to eventually (right at the end) pure evil. I say pure evil because I think it's highly symbolic that the Pah Wraiths removed Dukat's disguise revealing his true form. It's a point where Dukat can't even disguise, in any possible way, his evil any more (something which happened to Sauron in Lord of the Rings) and his journey is finally complete.

    I guess the religious and Biblical connotations freaked out many people and that's why they had to bash season 7 Dukat, but being spiritual myself I thought it was a great move where this character went.

    The best part of this character arc is how Dukat threw away his ocassional chances of redemption, like the alcoholic who just can't keep away from the bottle, and more than anything else it was almost depressing. I say almost because Dukat deserved almost everything that afflicted him, save the death of his daughter. Ziyal was possibly Dukat's last chance for repentance.
     
  12. bbjeg

    bbjeg Admiral Admiral

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    In TNG's "The Wounded", though it's a different Cardassian played by the same actor as Dukat, the episode sums up what I think of Cardassians. From the start they were devious with an ulterior motive.
     
  13. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    That's an awfully bigoted statement. There are plenty of honest and honorable Cardassians, too -- not the least of whom would be Gul Macet, Marc Alaimo's character in "The Wounded," who clearly realized that he had a lot in common with and respected the Federates aboard the Enterprise, and who was clearly uncomfortable with his government's covert re-arming program.
     
  14. Data girl

    Data girl Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    All I have to say is he had the charm and looks. (I never thought I would thought I would find an alien hot). He must be have done something right if we are still talking about him.
     
  15. Dale Sams

    Dale Sams Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    There should be a law against linking to TV Tropes. At the least I should direct a visit from temporal agents upon you for sucking me into a black hole of time.
     
  16. Dale Sams

    Dale Sams Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    So I just watched "Waltz" for the first time...

    1) Are you s***ting me? What are you Sisko, a 50's damsel in distress? He knocks out his opponent and he doesn't take the phaser??

    2) All that crap at the end is so much spoon-fed nonsense. First, Dukat lies all the time, especially to himself. Second, HE IS INSANE. I'm supposed to believe all the stuff about him being a 'benevolent dictator' is BS he tells himself, BUT the racist, evil rantings are the truth? No. He's insane. I don't disbelieve it but nor do I take it at face-value.

    3) and finally, "I never believed true evil existed until now".....What?? Based on what? HE'S CRAZY. Now you may believe that he fully intends to do whatever he can to wipe out Bajor, (And who drove him to that conclusion?? Way to break it hero) but that makes him crazy, not evil.

    Good job writers....not. But it is a great episode right up until the last second.
     
  17. Mirror Kira

    Mirror Kira Cadet Newbie

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    I think Dukat was one of the more compelling villains in the franchise, and certainly the most complex. He was an egomaniac who wanted devotion from his subjects (including Ziyal) and respect from those he envied. But, he never received either. Unlike some other members, I had no problem with his seventh season character arc. When he failed to defeat Sisko the Starfleet Captain, it was inevitable that he would find a way to attack Sisko the Emissary. Watching him slither around the despicable Winn Adami and eventually trap her in his coils was merely an added bonus.
     
  18. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Captain Captain

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    It's a rare kind of mental illness which diminishes capacity. His crazy came after his atrocities, too.
     
  19. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah sorry. Being crazy doesn't give you a pass on being evil. The crazy guy that thinks the birds talk to him usually isn't hurting anyone. Good and evil are based on what you do.
     
  20. bbjeg

    bbjeg Admiral Admiral

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    I didn't mean to come off as prejudice but with every Star Trek race, there is a fundamental distinction between each, like Klingon honor and Vulcan logic. When it comes to Cardassians, I generally think of the word suspicion. From the beginning, with Picard warning Gul Macet at the end of that episode that he knew of the high-powered subspace field that shielded the cardassian cargo ship from scans (where Picard knew they would be warring if he boarded the ship due to what's on it), to the back-stab of the federation, and later double back-stab of the Dominion. They had their reasons of course, albeit a bit xenophobic. There were good Cardassians but history would paint them as ruthless from the Setlik III massacre, to the Occupation of Bajor. Even in debates, they focus on avoiding saying incriminating statements.