With all of the announcements made at San Diego Comic-Con, there were a few quiet words said about “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” that seem to have slipped under the radar. It must have been easy to glance over what “Star Trek” executive producer Alex Kurtzman said about the beloved version of Trek.
During SDCC, fans learned about a new crossover event between the crew of the animated “Star Trek: Lower Decks” and “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.” Many fans wondered what that would look like, while others hoped it might not come to pass.
Lower Decks in the Flesh
Then there was the teaser trailer for the third and final season of “Star Trek: Picard.” This trailer — which Heavy wrote about extensively — gave fans a glimpse of Picard (Patrick Stewart) and his crew as they will look on the new show. People were excited about Old Worf (Michael Dorn), Dr. Crusher (Gates McFadden), and Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton) returning to the franchise.
So it might not be a surprise to note that what Kurtzman said did not get a massive amount of attention. As reported by Mick Joest of CinemaBlend, Kurtzman noted the following during one of the SDCC sessions:
“I’m trying to answer your question without revealing anything,” said Kurtzman. “I think we’re always having conversations about the history of Star Trek, and obviously, Sisko is a critical, critical figure for everybody. Conversations definitely have been had.”
While this might have been swept under the rug because of another announcement made earlier in the weekend, which was that the crew of “Lower Decks” would visit DS9 in their upcoming third season (as reported by Ryan Britt from Den of Geek), Kurtzman couldn’t have been talking about that.
Picard: Season 3
Since “Lower Decks” takes place after the events of “Star Trek: Nemesis,” by that time, the crew of DS9 would have been broken up. Captain Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks) was already living with the so-called wormhole aliens, Chief Miles O’Brien (Colm Meaney) went to teach at Starfleet Academy on Earth, Jadzia Dax (Terry Farrell) was dead… and so on.
Even if Ensign Mariner (Tawny Newsome) and Boimler (Jack Quaid) spend some time at the station, things just won’t be the same. It will probably be like visiting Graceland with no Elvis — a fantastic trip, but they should have visited a few decades earlier.
What Kurtzman said is quite significant and could mean the return of “Deep Space Nine” in some way. Perhaps it could be in a movie (which could stream on Paramount+), or perhaps in an animated format. Armin Shimerman (Quark) told Trek Report in 2020 that animation would be the “best way” for him to don the ears again.
If “Deep Space Nine” returns, what would it look like? Would the characters be back at the station? Would Sisko return from the wormhole to interact with his old friends? Would Jake (Cirroc Lofton) forgive his father for leaving?
Those are undoubtedly logical questions to ask. But thanks to a whiteboard brainstorming session led by DS9 showrunner Ira Steven Behr, fans might know precisely how the characters could return.
‘What We Left Behind’
This conversation, which took place between Behr and some of the team who helped create DS9, was included in the documentary “What We Left Behind.” Produced by filmmaker David Zappone, “What We Left Behind” looked at DS9 and what it meant to fans and those who made the show. It featured interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, and lots of singing by Casey Biggs (Damar), Jeffrey Combs (Weyoun), Shimerman, Max Grodénchik (Nog), and Andrew Robinson (Garak).
For the last 15 minutes of the documentary, Behr and Robert Hewitt Wolfe, Hans Beimler, Rene Echevarria, and Ronald D. Moore mapped out the return of Sisko and the rest of the crew.
The team of writers cooked up a story featuring Major Kira (Nana Visitor) under pressure aboard the station, as she is concealing her relationship with the Jem’Hadar. Meanwhile, Section 31 plans to shut down the wormhole, which would cut Bajor off from their gods, causing Bajor to join the Federation.
Wolfe speculated that Dr. Julian Bashir (Alexander Siddig) would be running Section 31. Echevarria noted that this change would have meant that some of the DS9 characters had “really lost their way.”
The writers did bring Sisko back to the station, where he apologized to a now-fully grown Jake. Then the team ended their session, and the film cut to black. Fans were then instructed to use their imagination.
Will Kurtzman use this draft story to restart DS9? Only he knows. But the exercise shows that these characters certainly have more stories left in them.