Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Degra

I'm re-watching the third season of Enterprise at the moment and I'm intrigued yet again by Degra, the man responsible for building a weapon that is meant to destroy Earth and for a prototype that already killed 7 million humans.

Screams villain, doesn't it? But things are not so easy...the Xindi, Degra's species, act in what they believe is self-defence since they have proof that the Humans will destroy the Xindi in the future. What would we do in that case? It would be nice to believe that we would try diplomacy, but somehow I'm fairly sure that building a weapon for a pre-emptive strike would be just our reaction.

But that big moral question aside, what I really find interesting about Degra is how very likeable I find him. The first time we really get to see a lot of him, it's very clear that while he believes that the weapon had to be built, he still regrets it. And once Captain Archer has managed to at least make him doubt the proof for the attack on the Xindi, he risks everything to prevent the launch of the final weapon.

So I ask myself, how would I feel if I met him, got to know him, as part of the crew of Enterprise? Would I want him punished for what he did or would I be able to forgive him, knowing that I might have acted just the same? And can the responsibility for so many dead be forgiven? Is it enough to to sincerely regret it and to try to make amends? Does it make a difference that he has acted in good faith, convinced that there was no other way?

I think it does make a difference, but as for the other questions, I don't know. But I like being made to ask myself these questions. For me Degra is the most interesting (guest) character the writers created during all four seasons of Enterprise - and they had quite a few very cool characters (coughShrancough).

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