Benjamin Sisko

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Template:ST Character

Benjamin Lafayette Sisko is a character in the fictional Star Trek universe, played by Avery Brooks. He was the commanding officer of the space station Deep Space Nine and the starship USS Defiant in the science fiction television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. He began his time on the series as a Commander, and was later promoted to Captain.

Contents

Character overview

Throughout the series, Ben Sisko is in charge of the Bajoran sector, a new frontier for the Federation. As the series begins, Captain Jean-Luc Picard briefs Sisko, telling him that Bajor needs help to regain what it had lost during the Cardassian Occupation of their planet. By chance (or so it was thought at the time), Sisko and his crew discover a stable wormhole to the Gamma Quadrant, and the aliens living therein—the Bajoran Prophets. This discovery leads the Bajorans to acclaim him as the Emissary of the Prophets, a role about which Benjamin is decidedly ambivalent through at least the first part of the series.

As the storyline evolves, however, Sisko comes to accept his role, and discovers the part the Prophets are to play in his life, particularly as the Prophets intervene in the Dominion War and gradually reveal his destiny as being integral to that of Bajor. In fact, it is finally revealed that his mother, Sarah, was the incarnation of a Prophet—he was born to serve as the Emissary.

In the end, his destiny comes to fruition as he confronts Gul Dukat, possessed by a Pah Wraith—the antithesis of the Prophets—and destroys him by pushing both Dukat and the text of the Kosst Amojan into the fire pits. Shortly afterwards, Sarah informs him that it is his time to live with and learn from the Prophets; Ben says a final goodbye to his wife, Kasidy, implying that, since time is not linear with the Prophets, it may not actually be such a long time before she sees him again.

Throughout the series, Benjamin distinguished himself as a brilliant military commander over the course of the Dominion War, as well as before the war against threatening forces as varied as the Dominion, the Breen, the Klingons, the Romulans, and the Cardassians.

Benjamin was the son of Joseph Sisko, a chef in New Orleans. Ben is the father of Jake Sisko and the widower of Jennifer Sisko, who was killed at the Battle of Wolf 359 while Benjamin was the first officer of the USS Saratoga. During the last season of the series, Benjamin married Kasidy Yates, who at the end of the series was carrying his child.

For several years Sisko maintained a slight hatred towards Picard due to Picard's role as Locutus of Borg in the Battle of Wolf 359. The novelization of "The Emissary" says that Sisko let go of that hatred and learned to see that Picard was just as much of a victim as Sisko was, if not more so. But on television, it's not clear if Sisko continued to blame Picard or not.

A minor but persistent character trait of Sisko's is his love for baseball, a sport which no longer exists in the 24th Century; he keeps a baseball in his office, and is often seen clutching it in times of deep thought.

Alter egos

Benjamin Sisko is identified with two characters in the Star Trek universe, one possibly imaginary, the other real.

Benny Russell

In the episode Far Beyond the Stars, alien interference results in Sisko briefly living the life of "Benny Russell", a writer of science fiction stories in the United States of the 1950s. Every day, Russell, an African American, faces the prejudices of his world, and his publisher won't even allow his photograph to be made public. Russell comes up with a story called Deep Space Nine in which he envisions a universe in which prejudice and bigotry are a thing of the past. But, because he makes the commander of a space station a black man, his publisher refuses to release the story. This eventually drives Benny insane, and soon after, Sisko finds himself back in the 24th century, questioning the nature of reality. At the start of the final season, Sisko experiences flashbacks to his "life" as Benny, who is now in a mental institution, obsessively writing Deep Space Nine stories. It is left ambiguous as to whether Benny was real or a creation of the Prophets.

Gabriel Bell

Due to a time travel incident (depicted in the two-part episode "Past Tense"), Sisko takes the place of Gabriel Bell, an important figure in early 21st century America and the instigator of the Bell Riots which helped change the course of human history. The real Bell dies as a result of Sisko's presence at a crucial time in history, so Sisko takes his place (fortunately he and Bell have a similar appearance). Although Sisko is successful in fulfilling Bell's destiny, history is still changed so that all records of Gabriel Bell now show Benjamin Sisko's image.

Trivia

Initially, Sisko had hair — some fans have said that this was in order to distinguish him from Captain Picard (actually, the producers of the show asked him to retain his hair in order to distinguish Sisko from a previous role Avery Brooks had played - that of Hawk from Spenser: For Hire). In the fourth season a number of changes were made to Deep Space Nine, including the decision to allow Sisko to shave his head and grow a beard; this coincided with Brooks' appearance as Hawk in several Spenser reunion telefilms.

External links

sv:Benjamin Sisko

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