STAR TREK: VILLAINS Reveals Five Images & The History Of Skrain Dukat Ahead Of September Release (Exclusive)
Titan Comics is releasing Star Trek: Villains in September, which will place a heavy focus on stories, actors, and looks of many of the franchise foes. We've got early exclusive images and excerpts below!
One of the most well-known intergalactic franchises is, without a doubt, the Star Trek universe. Even ignoring comics and animated stories, there are decades of live-action adventures that fans have experienced over the past few decades..
The Original Series, Deep Space Nine, The Next Generation, Enterprise, Voyager, and Picard have chronicled the tales of countless heroes. These are all in addition to the big-screen live-action outings with talented names such as Chris Pine, Zoe Saldana, Zachary Quinto, and Karl Urban to name but a few.
Of course, the villains are just as important, hence the casting of Benedict Cumberbatch in the recent films. Titan Comics is now putting the spotlight on the bad guys from the mega-franchise, and we're lucky enough to have an exclusive look at excerpts from the book as well as five images and a poster.
THE HISTORY OF SKRAIN DUKAT - Words: David Mack
One of the most complex characters created for Star Trek, Gul Skrain Dukat was the epitome of Shakespeare’s “smiling, damned villain.” From the first to last episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, he was never anything less than surprising... Great villains are like onions: they have layers. And no villain in the history of Star Trek has more layers than the Cardassian schemer Dukat.
One reason for Dukat’s complexity was his longevity. For seven years he was the nemesis of the crew of Deep Space 9. For 23 years during the Cardassian occupation of Bajor, Dukat ruled the station – then called Terok Nor – as the appointed Prefect of Bajor. When the Cardassian Union decided in 2369 to withdraw from Bajor, Dukat argued to continue the occupation, not just because he believed in it but because he knew its end would be damaging to his military career. Even after leaving the station, he revisited DS9 often, and he never gave up his desire to reclaim it for himself.
Dukat was never a single-issue antagonist. His motivations ranged from pride to obsession and even love. He was not afraid to contradict himself when doing so was to his advantage. He was a husband and family man with seven children, and also a serial philanderer with several Bajoran mistresses (including Kira Meru, the mother of Kira Nerys). He was hailed as a patriot after he risked his life to defend the Detapa Council (Cardassia’s civilian government) during the Klingon invasion of 2372 – and then he betrayed them by secretly negotiating an alliance with the Dominion, a deal that resulted in Dukat being installed by the Dominion as the head of the Cardassian government.
He was not without virtues. Even those who loathed him admitted he was intelligent, imbued with mordant wit, and could be charming. He was capable of mercy, though it often was motivated more by pragmatism than by empathy. Upon assuming the post of Prefect of Bajor, he sought to pacify the Bajoran resistance by cutting labor camp output quotas in half, abolishing child labor and improving the rations and medical care of the workers (i.e. slaves) under his supervision. When resistance fighters continued to attack Cardassian forces despite Dukat’s reforms, he took it as a personal insult and resented the Bajoran people for failing to show gratitude for his “compassion.”
His faults were just as intriguing as his merits. He had a talent for self-delusion. Dukat believed others shared his lofty opinion of himself. He considered Starfleet officer Benjamin Sisko a friend and equal – sentiments Sisko never reciprocated. Most telling among Dukat’s obsessions was his fixation on Kira Nerys. He often acted as if he was trying to win her approval. A fellow Cardassian, Elim Garak, interpreted Dukat’s interactions with Major Kira as shameless flirting – a prospect that filled Kira with revulsion.
Capable of taking innocent lives with ease, Dukat sought to murder his illegitimate half - Bajoran daughter, Tora Ziyal, to spare himself personal shame and professional censure. After meeting Ziyal, however, he reconsidered and acknowledged her publicly, though it cost him his marriage and children, and resulted in him being disowned by his mother, demoted by the Detapa Council, and shunned by Cardassian society.
Dukat’s decision to sacrifice all he had to be Ziyal’s father was his noblest moment. It might be his only selfless act. That made Ziyal’s murder at the hands of Dukat’s closest friend, Damar, all the more shattering for Dukat. Watching her die in his arms during the Federation – Klingon recaptures of DS9, Dukat, rather than flee with Dominion forces, sank into madness and let himself be captured. Ziyal’s death destroyed the best part of him. Even more tragic, the decency she had inspired in him made his final atrocities all the more terrible by comparison.
After escaping Starfleet custody, Dukat conducted an ancient Bajoran ritual to let a Pahwraith inhabit his body so he could bring it to DS9 and unleash it into the wormhole. In the process, he murdered Jadzia Dax and caused the wormhole to vanish. Transformed by this experience into a true believer, Dukat revived the cult of Bajor’s feared Pah-wraiths and set in motion his most heinous scheme. He had himself surgically altered to appear Bajoran and pretended to be a farmer named Anjohl Tennan. He traveled to Bajor and, with false visions created by the Pah-wraiths, wormed his way into the trust of Kai Winn Adami. After converting her into a disciple of the Pah-wraiths, he enlisted her aid to unleash the Pah-wraiths on Bajor. Her reward was to be murdered by Dukat. In the end, he was stopped by Benjamin Sisko, who sacrificed his life to halt Dukat’s mad plan.
Some say “no one is as bad as the worst thing they have ever done.” While that may be true even in the case of a fiend such as Dukat, his lifetime of casual evil points to an incontrovertible conclusion: the man was a villain to his core.
The Actor’s Testimony – Marc Alaimo on playing Dukat
Originally, I think, the writers thought he was pretty much a one-dimensional, aggressive, workman-like alien. But I was able to instill in him some very interesting sensitivity, intelligence, and reasonableness, and also make him a thinking character. So, they fleshed him out and gave him feelings, gave him a family. That was opposed to most Cardassians you saw before or after that that were pretty one-dimensional.
“I really don’t think of him as a villain. I don’t like the idea of Dukat doing something that can’t be forgiven. He has been responsible for a lot of people dying, but in war, in conflict, it happens all the time. You haven’t seen him do anything vicious or ugly to another being on a personal basis, and I hope you never do.
“Personally, I look at Dukat as an opportunist. He goes with what’s the best choice for himself at the moment. That’s true of a lot of people, and you don’t necessarily have to be a villain to do that. I think the writers were sort of following my cue in putting a human face on Dukat. I think they saw that I was an accomplished actor when I started to play this character. It takes that to flesh a character out. I like moments as an actor. I love to go for the moment, to go for something unexpected or even unpredictable. I watch so many actors who are one-dimensional, who’ve never had any training in the theatre or never spent any time developing characters. I have, and I’ve brought those experiences to DS9.” [interviewed during filming of Season 6 in 1997]
What do you guys think of these images and excerpts? Is Star Trek: Villains something you can see yourselves checking out? Get the full synopsis and official poster below!
Star Trek: Villains - An essential guide to Star Trek's most iconic villains, featuring profiles and interviews.
Over the 50 incredible years of Star Trek TV shows and movies, the franchise has produced many stand - out villains. Collected here are features on some of the very best - or worst - villains and classic interviews with the actors who portrayed them.
Includes the Borg (Alice Krige as the Borg Queen), Khan (Ricardo Montalban, Benedict Cum berbatch), Q (John de Lancie), Shinzon (Tom Hardy) and many, many more.
Star Trek: Villains will be available from Titan Comics this September. In the meantime, you can hear us chat with Worf actor Michael Dorn below. And as always, be sure to share your thoughts in the usual spot!