Gustav Graves / Col. Tan-Sun Moon

Sir Gustav Graves (formerly known as Colonel Tan-Sun Moon) is a fictional character and the main antagonist in the James Bond film Die Another Day, played by Toby Stephens. He is loosely inspired by the original version of Hugo Drax in Ian Fleming's Moonraker, a villain who changed his appearance to infiltrate the society he intended to destroy.[1] He shares the surname of another Korean: Reverend Moon, founder/leader of the Unification Church.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Graves was born Tan-Sun Moon, son of General Moon. When first seen, he is a Colonel in the Korean People's Army. He studied at Oxford and Harvard and was intended to become a bridge between the West and North Korea. Instead, he became a radical and a weapons smuggler, exchanging state of the art hovercraft weapons (that he developed for use in the mine-infested DMZ) for conflict diamonds from Sierra Leone, intent on the invasion and conquest of South Korea. MI6 becomes aware of his activities, however, and dispatches three agents, including James Bond, to shut him down. The mission is a success, and Moon is believed to have died when his hovercraft falls off a cliff.

Moon survives, however, and flees to Cuba, where he undergoes DNA replacement therapy to alter his appearance. He then reinvents himself as Gustav Graves, a British billionaire adventurer who works in diamond mines in Argentina and later discovers a great mine of diamonds in Iceland. In reality, the mine is just a laundering front for conflict diamonds, which he had been dealing with originally. He assumes a new personality modeled on James Bond due to the distinct impression the other man made on him during their brief confrontation: sophisticated, suave and, by Graves' own admission, arrogant. With his new wealth, he builds the Icarus, a huge artificial satellite capable of harnessing solar energy and focusing it on any part of the world in the form of a laser.

Graves' official reasons for the construction of Icarus are ending weather inconvenience and poverty and helping the harvests. His real reasons are more sinister, however; he is still intent on conquest of South Korea, and plans to use Icarus to create a pathway in the mined demilitarized zone between North and South Korea, then use Icarus to destroy any ballistic missiles or nuclear warheads launched against North Korea, so that the North Koreans could cross the DMZ and easily invade South Korea and the next step, Japan. Graves has the controls for Icarus built into an armored suit with an additional electroshock weapon for self-defense.

Moon puts his plan into action when he and his fellow North Korean hard-liners stage a coup to take control of the country, placing his father under arrest. He takes off in an Antonov An-124 with General Moon, and unbeknowst to him, James Bond, onboard to watch the scene. When General Moon tries to stop the plan, Graves murders his own father. Bond then attempts to kill Graves, but his shot misses and breaks a window in the plane, sending all other passengers except himself and Graves in the room flying out. The two fight until Bond uses Graves' parachute and the electroshock function of his suit to forcibly eject him, and Graves is sucked into the blades of the Antonov's jet engine, killing him and destroying his suit, rendering the Icarus harmless.

Last words: "Time to face destiny", to which Bond retorts (After knocking him out of the plane without a parachute): "Time to face gravity".

Henchmen[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

  • Colonel Sun (novel) - The name Colonel Tan-Sun Moon is an homage to the first official James Bond novel written after Ian Fleming's death.
  • Bouzerau, Laurent (2006). The Art of Bond. London: Macmillan Publishers. p. 173. ISBN 0-7522-1551-5. 
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