A Different Trek

Radical Geographies of Deep Space Nine

The only Star Trek not set on a ship, Deep Space Nine is in many ways a radical departure from both its antecedents and its successors. Led by a reluctant Black commander and a former revolutionary, taking place on a station that resembles an old oil refinery and features a popular Ferengi bar, and orbiting a planet that has only very recently emerged from decades of settler colonialism—its orientation to the Star Trek universe and to the politics of the late twentieth century make it unique. Here, Seitz digs in to the series’ many transgressions, rooting his commentary in the parallels between Sisko’s world and our own racial capitalism. Seitz quotes Avery Brooks, who played Sisko, in an epigraph: “People have referred to Deep Space Nine as this darker thing, in my mind it resembles us….Deep Space Nine was talking about homelessness and terrorism and all of these things. Gender identity. That’s us.” Yes, yes it is.