This week has been one to remember for fans of “Star Trek.” First, the new season of “Star Trek: Lower Decks” began on August 6 — to rave reviews. And second, despite the raging coronavirus Delta variant, many fans gathered at the Rio in Las Vegas to celebrate the 55th anniversary of “The Original Series.”
The fans were treated to many Trek luminaries who showed up to mingle with the fans. These included Chase Masterson (Leeta), Cirroc Lofton (Jake Sisko), Jeffrey Combs (various characters), Armin Shimmerman (Quark), George Takei (Sulu), William Shatner (Kirk) and many others. A complete list can be seen here and includes those who had to cancel their appearances.
Judging by the social media coming out of Las Vegas, fans are having a great time. Through all the fun, some may wonder why the great Avery Brooks is not there. Or, for that matter, why has Mr. Brooks not attended any Trek conventions for the last several years?
Sisko Was Inspiring & ‘Very Human’
Avery Brooks, as most know, truly did go where no man had gone before when he took on the role of Commander Benjamin Sisko on “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.” His serious and bold interpretation of Sisko as a commander, father and Black American man in the 24th century meant so much to so many people.
Managing editor of StarTrek.com Kendra James wrote that Sisko was an inspiration as a leader and a father.
“Even with an intergalactic war raging around them, Sisko was always there for Jake,” James wrote. “They’re often shown having dinner together, and Sisko is always eager to read over and help edit Jake’s stories and articles. He supports Jake’s decision to become a writer instead of going to the Starfleet Academy, even though that’s perhaps what he would have preferred.”
Writer Lawrence Ware mirrored James’ thoughts. Ware wrote on the impact of Sisko’s appearance and role on television. “As a Black father, ‘Deep Space Nine’ holds a special meaning to me,” Ware wrote.
Brooks Is a ‘Private Individual’
Many others feel the same way about Sisko and the man who brought the character to life. But according to fans, Brooks does not appear at the conventions because he is a “private individual.”
Brooks also did not appear in the DS9 documentary “What We Left Behind” but a source told TrekMovie.com that Avery was “very happy” with the way it turned out. Adam Nimoy did try to coax the star into joining the project, according to TrekToday, but it did not work out. Brooks did join William Shatner’s “The Captains” documentary, and he played the piano and sang with Shatner.
In 2013, Brooks appeared in Chicago, and a Trek fan site tweeted that was one of his final appearances, all of which were between 2012 and 2014.
Brooks Thanked Fans
While he was on the circuit, Brooks made a point to thank the fans who supported him and “Deep Space Nine.” In an appearance in Dallas in 2013, Brooks spoke for some time and thanked the audience.
“I have to say ‘thank you,’” said Brooks. “That’s the whole point. Without you, then this relationship does not exist. See what I mean? You did this … not me. You turned me on. But that’s important for you to know. That’s how I feel about it. That’s how I felt about forever.”
Cirroc Lofton’s Update
On a December 2020 Orville Nation podcast, Lofton, who remains close to Brooks, said that the star was willing to return to acting. According to IMDb, Brooks has not been on television or films since the 2001 film “15 Minutes.”
“To say that he’s not wanting to act is actually kind of ridiculous,” Lofton said on the show. On the program, Lofton noted that Brooks had been ‘blacklisted’ even before DS9.