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|“||Look after Mr. Bond, see that some harm comes to him.||„|
|~ Hugo Drax to his henchman Chang.|
|“||At least I shall have the pleasure of putting you out of my misery. Desolated, Mr Bond?||„|
|~ Hugo Drax last words to James Bond, before the latter shoots him in the heart and ejects him into space.|
Hugo Drax is the main antagonist of the 1955 James Bond novel Moonraker and its 1979 film adaptation. He is a wealthy entrepreneur who attempt to destroy all human life on Earth and the second employer of Jaws.
He was portrayed by the late Michael Lonsdale.
People believe Drax to be a hero of the Second World War who worked in Liverpool. However, his true name is Graf Hugo von der Drache, who fought for Germany during the war. When he disguised himself as a British soldier to sabotage a farmhouse, one of his fellow soldiers believed him to be a traitor and attacked him. After destroying his documents before falling unconscious, he was found by Allied forces and brought back tom the farmhouse, where was caught in the explosion he himself caused. Though he was nearly killed, he was nursed back to health, and pretended to be a 'missing soldier' named Hugo Drax. He finally kills a Jewish businessman and steals his money (all £15,000 of it) and moves to Tangier. With this money, he founded his company, Drax Metals, Ltd., which became the sole producer of a metal called columbite.
The British government is interested in columbite, as its strength can enable missiles to use hotter fuels for further range. Drax alleges to fire a columbite test missile into the North Sea; in reality, he arms it with a nuclear warhead, and programs the missile to destroy London, whilst he and his henchmen escape to Russia in a Soviet submarine (the plan is heavily backed by the Soviets, and particularly SMERSH). In the aftermath, Drax plans to profit from the disaster via playing the stock market. Bond eventually reprograms the missile to land in its predestined target (the North Sea, from where Drax would watch England be destroyed). The missile explodes, destroying the submarine and killing Drax and all his henchmen.
When a plane carrying a Moonraker space shuttle on loan to the UK by Hugo Drax crashes, James Bond is sent to investigate what happened to the shuttle. As the shuttle was crafted by Drax Industries, Bond travels to California, where the shuttles are manufactured. There, he is picked up by Drax's pilot Corinne Dufour and flown to Drax's estate, which is from France. Bond is then welcomed by Drax's butler and brought to the drawing room, where Drax is playing Chopin's "Raindrop" Prelude in D flat major (op. 28) on his grand piano. He is then interrupted by the butler, who introduces him to Bond. After his female companions have left, Drax welcomes Bond, believing that his government sent him to apologize for the loss of the space shuttle. Bond tells him that an apology will be made to the American government when the British Secret Service has found out why there was no trace of the Moonraker in the crash site. They are then interrupted by Drax's henchman Chang, who delivers tea. While drinking, Bond asks Drax about the Moonraker. Dufour then returns and Drax tells Bond that she will bring him to Dr. Holly Goodhead, who will show her around. After Bond and Dufour are gone, Drax tells Chang to make sure that some harm comes to Bond.
After having been shown around by Dr. Goodhead, Bonds returns to Drax' office at night and opens his safe. Inside he finds files containing blueprints. He takes pictures of the files and returns them to the safe. This is witnessed by Chang.
The next day, Drax is having a pheasant hunt on the countryside surrounding his estate. He invites Bond, but Bond declines as he is leaving. He stops by to bid Drax farewell and thank him for his hospitality. Drax convinces him to participate, as a pheasant could fly over. Having posted an armed henchman in the trees nearby, Drax intends to kill Bond. When a pheasant flies, Drax points at it and Bond takes the rifle. He shoots, not hitting the pheasant but the sniper that falls to the ground. Not having seen that, Drax tells Bond that he missed but Bond responds "Did I?". Uncomfortable because his man is not shooting Bond, Drax takes his rifle back when Bond gives it to him and watches Bond drive off.
He then turns to see Corinne Dufour arrive. He tells her that he knows that he and Bond were in his office last night and that she showed Bond the safe. Although Corinne denies it, Drax tells her that her employment is terminated and that she will leave immediately. Corinne then turns, but Drax orders Chang to release his doberman pinschers, which follow Corinne into the forest and rip her apart.
After finding out that Drax is manufacturing a highly lethal toxin in his Museum Of Antique Glass in Venice, Bond reports this to his superiors. However, when they arrive at the place instead of a laboratory they only find a vast office. They are greeted by Drax, which forces them to apologize to Drax. Leaving the building, M tells Bond that he has never been so humiliated in his life. Bond then hands him a flask of the toxin which he took from the laboratory.
Expecting to have defeated the MI6, Drax calls an associate in order to employ a replacement for Chang, who was killed by Bond. This leads him to employ Jaws as his new henchman.
Bond is eventually captured by Drax's henchwomen while investigating the Brazilian jungle for the plant Drax uses to create his toxin. He is brought before Drax, who brings him into the control room of the base. He there tells him about his toxin. On a screen, Bond and Drax then witness the lift-off of four Moonraker shuttles, causing Bond to ask for Drax's motivation for stealing the shuttle he lend to the British government. Drax tells him that he needed it as one of his own was faulty.
Claiming that Bond has distracted him enough, Drax tells Jaws to place Bond somewhere where he can get warm after his swim. Bond is brought into the chamber underneath the last Moonraker shuttle, where Dr. Goodhead already awaits him. Drax then enters the shuttle, leaving Bond and Goodhead to die in the fire when the rocket lifts off. By use of his watch, Bond and Goodhead manage to flee into the air vent and escape their fiery demise. To uncover Drax's plan, Bond and Goodhead enter the sixth Moonraker shuttle which takes them to Drax's space base.
On Drax's base, Bond and Goodhead mix with the rest of the pilots, listening while Drax holding a speech. Finally explaining his plan, Drax explains that he, in a scheme similar to that of Karl Stromberg's plan, seeks to destroy the entire human race except for a small group of carefully selected humans, both male and female, which he views as physically perfected specimen to create a super race with. Using chemical weapons created by Drax's scientists, derived from his toxin, he intends to wipe out the remainder of humanity, while keeping all animals on Earth alive. The biological agents were to be dispersed around the earth from a series of 50 strategically placed globes, each containing enough toxin to kill 100 million people. After a period of time, when the chemical agents has become harmless, Drax plans for his master race to return to Earth to reinhabit the planet.
After Bond and Goodhead deactivate the bases radar jammer, the space station appears on the radar of the Americans and a shuttle full of soldiers is sent to investigate. When told about this, Drax orders his men to use the bases laser to destroy the approaching shuttle. He is interrupted when Bond and Goodhead, who have been captured by Jaws, are brought before him. He then introduces to Bond the airlock chamber, intending to eject him and Goodhead into space. Intending for Jaws to hear, Bond inquires whether anyone not fulfilling his ideals of perfection will be exterminated, which Drax confirms. Realizing that neither he or his girlfriend meet Drax's ideals, Jaws switches sides and attacks Drax's men. They are however overwhelmed by Drax's men. To evade the destruction of the approaching shuttle and their own death, Bond quickly moves and pushes the bases emergency stop button, causing the entire facility to violently shake. As the base is no longer rotating, it also has no gravity. Bond, Goodhead and Jaws use this advantage to escape from the main room.
Meanwhile, Drax's men and the approaching US soldiers meet in space and battle each other, with heavy casualties on both sides. One technician also manages to get the station rotating again, however the soldiers have already managed to dock their shuttle and have boarded the station, creating a massive battle in the control room. Bond witnesses Drax running off and follows him, following him near the airlock chamber. There, Drax grabs a gun from a fallen soldier and points it at Bond, claiming that he will at least have the chance to put Bond out of Drax's misery. However, Bond acts first, shooting Drax with a cyanide dart out of his wrist gun. Mortally wounded, Drax stumbles back and Bond opens the airlock chamber to blast the dying Drax into space.
Hugo Drax is a completely determined and ruthless man. He is also extremely cruel and has no mercy to execute his assistants if they ever dare to betray him. In contrast to this element, he's very calm and rarely loses his temper. Although he is often surrounded by young women, Drax does not care about the young age, the beauty and the work provided by his allies, the only thing that matters to him is to achieve his ends. Overall, Drax displays an elegant style but it is only a facade to hide his real personality as a megalomaniac misanthrope who is willing to commit genocide for his own liking.