Ward at Mod-Blog takes a thoughtful look at Moral Complexity in Sci-Fi:
It’s always struck me that considering that science fiction is supposed to be morally complex and supposed to point us to our own humanity, it is often times terribly shallow. And no where does this show up more frequently than in the ‘bad guys’ in science fiction. Having a cardboard cutout baddie might be sufficient for a summer action flick. But when it comes to science fiction, it always struck me that the evil characters should really drive a lot of the moral issues. But this hasn’t been the case, by and large. Instead, they are often times virtually just parodies. They are mostly corporate leaders of some massive conglomerate of the future, or alien invaders simply bent on taking over earth, or some other cheap and easy story.
He then goes on to show how the sci-fi has taken a turn for the better and cites villains from Farscape, BSG, Heroes and Flash Gordon. (Ah-Aaaaah!)