The Bajorans, or Bajora, were a humanoid species native to the planet Bajor in the Alpha Quadrant. The Bajorans had one of the oldest and richest cultures in the quadrant, though in the 24th century, they suffered greatly at the hands of the Cardassian Union. With their liberation from the Cardassians and the discovery of the Bajoran wormhole in 2369, the Bajorans were thrust onto the interstellar stage.
Bajoran women gestated for only five months, forming an intricate network of blood vessels between the mother and the fetus. During the pregnancy, Bajoran women were frequently afflicted by bouts of uncontrollable sneezing, roughly analogous to Human women experiencing morning sickness during pregnancy. During labor, the focus was on keeping the woman relaxed. (DS9: "A Man Alone", "The Adversary", "Body Parts", "Looking for par'Mach in All the Wrong Places")
In the 24th century, the ancient Bajoran civilization stretched back more than half a million years. The ancient Bajorans were renowned for their accomplishments in science, mathematics, philosophy, and the arts. The greatest of these early Bajoran civilizations was the First Republic, which flourished between 20,000 and 25,000 years ago. During this time, magnificent cities such as B'hala were built.
The next great phase of Bajoran civilization began approximately 10,000 years ago, when the first of the Tears of the Prophets was discovered above Bajor. These artifacts ushered in a new era of spiritual connection with the Bajoran gods, the Prophets.
By the 16th century, the Bajorans had developed sublight space travel and were exploring their home star system with solar-sail spacecraft. Some Bajoran explorers even reached the Cardassian system, several light years away, sailing at warp speed in tachyon eddies.
The Occupation of Bajor (usually simply referred to by the Bajorans as the Occupation) was a period from 2328 to 2369, during which the Bajoran homeworld of Bajor was under the control of the Cardassian Union. During the Occupation, the Cardassians perpetrated a coordinated scheme of strip-mining, forced labor, and genocide across the planet. The Occupation gave rise to the fierce Bajoran Resistance, which used guerrilla and terror tactics to eventually force the Cardassians to withdraw. Many Bajorans also fled the Occupation and settled on planets all over the known galaxy. Almost everywhere, they remained separated from other peoples, living under the poorest circumstances, in refugee camps like those on Valo II.
In 2369, after forty years of terrorism by the Resistance, the Cardassians finally withdrew from Bajor. As the Occupation had left Bajor devastated and politically fragile, the newly formed Provisional Government requested Federation support. Starfleet established joint administration with the Bajoran Militia over the former Cardassian space station Terok Nor, which was renamed Deep Space 9. Bajor also applied for Federation membership, which was accepted five years later, in 2373. However, the Chamber of Ministers voted to defer membership after the Emissary Benjamin Sisko warned that Bajor would be destroyed, unless it stood alone. The Federation remained hopeful that Bajor would one day join. (DS9: "Emissary", "Rapture")
Prior to the beginning of the Dominion War in 2373, Bajor signed a nonaggression pact with the Dominion on Sisko's recommendation, choosing to remain neutral. This saved Bajor from coming under the rule of another foreign power when the Dominion captured Deep Space 9, later in the year. Bajor finally joined the fight against the Dominion in 2374, after the Allies recaptured Deep Space 9 in Operation Return. The Bajorans continued to fight against the Dominion until 2375, when the Treaty of Bajor was signed on Deep Space 9. Following the war, Bajor resumed its attempts to become a member of the United Federation of Planets. (DS9: "Call to Arms", "Sacrifice of Angels", "What You Leave Behind")
Following the Cardassian withdrawal from Bajor, the Bajoran Republic was set up to administer the planet and its various colonies. Bajoran politics is balanced between the secular Chamber of Ministers, led by the First Minister, and the religious Vedek Assembly, led by the kai. It is possible for one individual to be both the kai and the first minister simultaneously, as Winn Adami was for several weeks in 2371. (DS9: "Shakaar", "What You Leave Behind")
Religion and spirituality
See main article: Bajoran religion
Bajorans had a deeply spiritual society, and the Bajoran religion was a major unifying force on the planet; the spiritual leader, or kai, wielded a great deal of moral and political authority, advising and influencing the planet's political leader, the First Minister. The kai was chosen from a council of vedeks, the title given to Bajoran religious leaders. Other religious titles were ranjen and prylar. Male and female Bajorans were equally capable of achieving any level within the religious structure, including kai, and outside their religious duties, were free to have intimate relationships, including marriage and having children, like any other Bajoran. The Bajoran religion was based upon the revelations of the Prophets, who came to be known as timeless beings residing in the Bajoran wormhole, or as it was called by the Bajorans, the Celestial Temple. Since Starfleet officer Benjamin Sisko was the first to make contact with them, he was acclaimed by the Bajoran spiritual leadership as the Emissary of the Prophets. Part of the Bajoran religion involved the use of the Tears of the Prophets, reality-distorting energy orbs produced by the Prophets. Several of these were stolen by the Cardassians during the Occupation, though a number were recovered.
See main article: Bajoran language
Culture and society
Bajoran culture and customs were closely tied with Bajor's religious beliefs.
Bajoran custom placed the surname (or family name) before the given name. Therefore, Major Kira Nerys would have been addressed as Major Kira. Bajorans considered it an honor for off-worlders to address them with the proper use of their names. Despite this, many Bajorans had accepted the distortion of their names in order to assimilate with other cultures. (TNG: "Ensign Ro")
The traditional Bajoran birthing ceremony was attended by the woman's family and a midwife. The objective of the ritual was to induce complete relaxation through a combination of breathing exercises, rhythmic percussion music, and incense, allowing the woman to give birth without pain. However, the birth needed to take place in a certain period of time, or the level of endorphins within the mother's system would build to toxic levels.
The Bajorans generally buried their deceased in graves marked with a decorated arch. Bajoran funeral rites could be quite elaborate; for example, the Bajoran death chant was over two hours long. However, the preservation of the body itself was not of particular significance to the Bajorans, who believed that, after death, a person's pagh joined the Prophets in the Celestial Temple, leaving only an empty shell. To mourn the death of a loved one, Bajorans lit duranja lamps. (DS9: "Shakaar", "Indiscretion", "Ties of Blood and Water")
Holidays and festivals
Food and beverages
- Bajoran shrimp
- Deka tea
- Hasperat souffle
- Jumja stick
- Jumja tea
- Kava juice
- Larish pie
- Mapa bread
- Moba fruit
- Synthale or Bajoran ale
- Tuwaly pie
In the mirror universe, the Bajorans were a race conquered by the Terran Empire. They were liberated by the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance and became leading members. Some, however, joined the Terran Rebellion. (DS9: "Crossover", "The Emperor's New Cloak")
In another quantum reality, the Bajorans had overthrown the Cardassian Union prior to 2370 and had become increasingly aggressive towards the Federation. On Stardate 47391.2, a Bajoran ship destroyed the Argus Array, as the Bajorans thought that Starfleet had been using it to spy on them. The next day, the same Bajoran ship attacked the USS Enterprise-D under the command of Captain William T. Riker, causing damage to the Enterprise's power systems. The warship later disengaged after the appearance of approximately 285,000 near-duplicate Enterprises, which appeared following a series of quantum incursions into that reality. (TNG: "Parallels")
- All episodes
- Star Trek films:
- "Second Contact" (Season 1)
- "Temporal Edict"
- "Moist Vessel"
- "Cupid's Errant Arrow"
- "Terminal Provocations"
- "Much Ado About Boimler"
- "Crisis Point" (hologram)
- "No Small Parts"
- "We'll Always Have Tom Paris" (Season 2)
- "Mugato, Gumato"
- "An Embarrassment Of Dooplers"
- "The Spy Humongous"
- "I, Excretus"
- "wej Duj"
- "First First Contact"
Name and concept
The Bajorans were created to provide lots of conflict and drama with Starfleet. "We wanted to create a new group of aliens which would cause [...] continuing conflict for our people to deal with," explained Executive Producer Michael Piller, who created the species along with fellow Executive Producer Rick Berman. (TV Zone, Special #29, p. 10) The species was therefore set up to present a different perspective that would perplex and often irritate righteous Starfleet officers such as Jean-Luc Picard. Berman and Piller deliberately created the species that way because they were seeking ways to generate conflict in Star Trek: The Next Generation, as TNG creator Gene Roddenberry had decided the Humans in the series would have evolved to a point where conflict no longer existed between them. (Star Trek: The Official Starships Collection, issue 74, p. 12)
The introduction of the Bajorans in "Ensign Ro" seemed to suggest that Rick Berman and Michael Piller, who wrote the episode, sympathized with the plight of the Palestinians. "The Bajorans are the PLO but they're also the Kurds, the Jews, and the American Indians," Piller responded. "They are any racially bound group of people who have been deprived of their home by a powerful force [....] When you talk about a civilization like the Bajorans who were great architects and builders with enormous artistic skills centuries before humans were even standing erect, you might be thinking a lot more about Indians than Palestinians." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 23, No. 2/3, p. 38 & 43) Berman, discussing "Ensign Ro", similarly emphasized that the Bajorans were not modeled on any particular real-life group; "The Kurds, the Palestinians, the Jews in the 1940s, the boat people from Haiti — unfortunately, the homeless and terrorism are problems [in every age]." (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion (2nd ed., p. 178))
Regarding parallels between the Bajorans and real-world cultures, Ronald D. Moore commented, "Depending on the episode, you could also call Bajor Israel, or Iran, or even America and the Cardassians could be Germans, or Russians or several other examples. While these parallels do enter our discussions and sometimes are more overt than others, we don't really try to make Bajor a direct analogy to any specific contemporary country or people. Blending the experiences of many Earth peoples and races into our storytelling allows us to comment on these subjects without advocating a particular political point of view, while at the same time allowing us to view the topics in a different light without the baggage of contemporary politics." (AOL chat, 1997)
As Bajorans are provided with much-needed blankets in "Ensign Ro", Jonathan Frakes jokingly referred to the group as "the people who needed towels." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 23, No. 2/3, p. 43) Kira actress Nana Visitor believed "all Bajoran women" were "very aggressive," "inherently" so, and compared the strong Bajoran women with the Celtic women who fought along with their men. (The Official Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Magazine issue 1, p. 15; The Official Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Magazine issue 2, p. 45; DS9 Season 1 DVD special feature "Crew Dossier: Kira Nerys")
After the Bajoran backstory was originally developed by Rick Berman and Michael Piller while they wrote "Ensign Ro", the depictions of the species continued to evolve on Deep Space Nine. However, Berman and Piller expected the political conflict between the Bajorans and Starfleet would be insufficient for the new series. Wanting there to also be a significant ideological gap between the two cultures, the pair of executive producers decided the Bajorans would be a deeply spiritual society. (Star Trek: The Official Starships Collection, issue 74, p. 13) Noted Piller, "[Without] changing the rules of the Star Trek universe, we're simply exploring the rules of another alien race and what they consider important." (Hidden File 10, DS9 Season 2 DVD special features) Portraying the Bajorans on the series as having a highly religious culture further contrasted their society with Roddenberry's atheistic, secular humanism, whereas the latter attitude was evident in his view of the Federation. Piller explained, "What we have done in creating an environment that will bring conflict to our people, which we want desperately to do, was put them with a group of aliens who are different. Giving the Bajorans a strong spiritual, mystical orb and prophet worship forces our people to deal with another alien race that is as different from us as are the Klingons." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 23, No. 6, pp. 20 & 22) Elaborated Piller, "It was the perfect kind of conflict for us, because Roddenberry had presented us with a godless humanity, without conflict. The Bajorans, however, were fundamentally spiritual to provide the most possible conflict with the humanist side. The Bajorans were emotional, spiritual, independent people who followed their own code [....] They stood for so many different things and brought all sorts of story conflicts to the table [....] What I felt was perfectly justified as a writer was the exploration of spirituality through an alien metaphor, just as Star Trek explored every other contemporary life quality." (Star Trek: The Official Starships Collection, issue 74, pp. 13 & 14) Specifying which members of the species had extreme zeal about their spirituality, Nana Visitor commented, "I think all the Bajora do, not just the women." (The Official Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Magazine issue 2, p. 43)
According to Michael Piller, Gene Roddenberry was aware of and approved of the plans which Rick Berman and Michael Piller had for the Bajorans, understanding that religion and faith would be dealt with very much in science fiction terms. (Star Trek: The Official Starships Collection, issue 74, p. 14) Following Roddenberry's death, Piller explained the idea of the spiritual Bajorans, "I don't think it goes against Gene. He's still with us [mentally] [...] as we think about these conceptual issues. I don't think it would bother him one bit." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 23, No. 6, pp. 20 & 22)
The Bajorans were made the main species aboard space station Deep Space 9. (The Official Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Magazine issue 1, p. 29) In the official reference book Star Trek - Where No One Has Gone Before (paperback ed., p. 156), the Bajorans are likened, by writer Jeanne M. Dillard, to the townspeople of Fort Laramie, with Benjamin Sisko assigned to protect them from metaphorical American Indians: the Cardassians. The prominence of the Bajorans on the space station was despite the fact only one of the lead characters, namely Kira Nerys, was Bajoran. Whereas she was planned as a traditional type of Star Trek character in that she would be used to explore her entire culture in general, there would always be an entire planet of Bajorans very near the station. However, Ira Steven Behr cautioned against assuming that all Bajorans were represented by Kira. (Star Trek: The Official Starships Collection, issue 74, p. 14)
Although it was decided that the construction of Deep Space 9 had involved Bajoran slave labor, their ideas about aesthetics didn't influence the design, in reality, of the facility (unlike with the Cardassians). Nonetheless, the creative staff had made up their minds to turn the Bajorans into a graceful, spiritual people, attitudes expressed in other designs for the species. (The Official Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Magazine issue 3, p. 36)
One of the earliest DS9 details which was revealed to the majority of Star Trek: The Next Generation's writing staff (specifically those writers who weren't involved in the early development of Deep Space Nine) was that the new series would largely focus on the Bajorans. (Star Trek: The Next Generation 365, p. 222)
Ira Steven Behr was pleased with how the Bajorans are developed in DS9: "The Storyteller", approving of the way they are depicted as religiously unusual compared to the Federation. Behr said of the installment, "It [...] gives a nice little feel for the Bajorans." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 24, Nos. 3/4, p. 102)
The nationalism evident in Bajoran characters including Kira Nerys was appealing to Quark actor Armin Shimerman, since he felt this issue was prevalent in Star Trek's production base of Los Angeles. "We had our riots because neighbourhoods felt that they weren't getting a fair share of the wealth of Los Angeles, and there's the Bajorans who are fighting because they're not getting a fair share of what they think they deserve," said Shimerman. "That's very intrinsic to the life we live in Los Angeles, so when it's represented on television, I feel for that." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 55) Similarly, the Bajoran racism exhibited in DS9: "Duet" changed Nana Visitor's perspective, as she had been "familiar with" the issue of racism but had "never had to deal with it in any real way." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. 64))
A basis for much of what viewers later came to understand of the Bajoran political/religious system was established in DS9 Season 1 finale "In the Hands of the Prophets". Writer Robert Hewitt Wolfe suspected that some of that evolved from him having had a Catholic upbringing, though even more came from him having an interest in history. "The system isn't specifically Catholic as we think of Catholicism today," he reasoned. "It's fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Catholicism, when the pope held much more of a political office than now, and when the Medicis and the Borgias and the French kings and every other powerful family in southern Europe was fighting to get their guy to be pope." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. 68)) Ira Steven Behr offered, "We're dealing with the fact that Bajor is a culture where people basically vote for their pope and sleep with their priests. I think it's just fascinating." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 75) Two influential Bajoran leaders were introduced in "In the Hands of the Prophets": Winn Adami and Bareil Antos. Shortly after Louise Fletcher was cast as Winn and not long before she introduced the role in "In the Hands of the Prophets", a verbal guide to the Bajorans was given to her by Armin Shimerman, who was already friends with the actress. (Star Trek Monthly issue 34, p. 49)
The Bajoran characters Bareil Antos and, later, Li Nalas were created in the same mold as each other (in "In the Hands of the Prophets" and second season opener "The Homecoming", respectively). They were both intended to become a recurring, strong, sympathetic Bajoran who could represent the interests of their people and be a counterpart to Sisko, standing up to him in matters of importance to the Bajorans. However, this long-term goal wasn't attained for either of the two Bajoran characters. (Star Trek: The Official Starships Collection, issue 74, pp. 15 & 16)
The DS9 writing staff hoped to continue establishing the Bajorans in the second season of the show. "We're going to do a lot of things with the Bajorans and their spiritual and political sides," Ira Steven Behr promised. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 24, Nos. 3/4, p. 108)
Bajoran politics were featured in a trilogy of episodes which opened season two of DS9 — namely, "The Homecoming", "The Circle", and "The Siege". René Echevarria later cited the length of the trilogy as having made viewers feel they were uninterested in Bajoran politics. (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 97)
A Season 2 episode which demonstrates the plight of the Bajorans was "Sanctuary", in which their argument for refusing the Skrreea a home on Bajor was meant to be portrayed sympathetically. "The Bajorans [....] have a very serious problem," Michael Piller mused about the episode. "They have an economy that is broken and problems of their own, and how do you take care of a whole new group of people when you need to take care of yourself?" (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 66)
In second season installment "The Collaborator", Bareil Antos and Winn Adami were pit against each other, in an election to determine the Kai of Bajor. By having Winn be elected, the writers made it clear she wasn't represented by only a handful of Bajorans but was instead being supported by a substantial collection of the race. "There had to have been many people like her," Ira Behr speculated. (Star Trek: The Official Starships Collection, issue 74, pp. 16-17)
Ira Behr was pleased with the development of the Bajorans in the second season of DS9. At the end of that season, he summarized, "In the course of the year we've made the Bajorans much more interesting than they were in the beginning of the series." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 25/26, No. 6/1, p. 98)
During the final couple of seasons of The Next Generation, the TNG writing staff was encouraged to bring Bajoran characters aboard the Enterprise. This was an attempt to essentially reinforce the reality of Deep Space Nine and help weave the fabric of the Star Trek fictional universe together, though the TNG writers obviously also had to avoid contradicting what was being established on DS9. ("Lower Decks" audio commentary, TNG Season 7 Blu-ray special features)
The Bajorans had to keep being developed on DS9, even after TNG ended, when DS9 Season 3 started. "The Bajorans aren't going anywhere," recognized Ronald D. Moore, who joined the DS9 writing staff in the third season, "so that always has to keep moving along storywise." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 78)
However, intellectual and philosophical stories regarding Bajoran religion and politics were generally not embraced by viewers of DS9. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. 158)) In fact, market research conducted by Paramount indicated that narratives focusing on Bajoran politics were least interesting to fans of the show. René Echevarria observed, "I guess the feeling is that there is so much to read about, do you need to see made-up political situations unfolding? A lot of people just don't have the interest." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 97) As a result of Bajoran politics seeming unpopular, Paramount and the DS9 producers opted to concentrate less on those matters. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. 244))
In the original version of season three episode "Destiny", something miraculous and joyful happened for the Bajorans, as had been prophesied. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. 211); Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 92) Pointing out one motive for producing the installment, Ron Moore stated, "We wanted to do a Bajoran-oriented show." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 92) René Echevarria observed that — by changing the prophecy into one of doom and making it so that Sisko, motivated by his duty to Starfleet, wanted to still proceed with a plan that could trigger the prophecy — the Bajorans were put in conflict with Sisko. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. 211))
Once Hilary J. Bader pitched a story that served as the genesis for subsequent third season installment "Explorers", Ron Moore made the Bajorans a feature of the episode. "After Hilary's pitch," Moore remembered, "I wrote up a memo that said, 'Let's make this about the Bajorans.'" (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 96)
The Bajorans were additionally featured in "Shakaar", two episodes later. In that installment, they were partly based on Mexicans during the Mexican Revolution. (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 97) At one early point of the story's development, the Bajorans were depicted as having recently rediscovered a massive library or museum which they were putting efforts and funds into reopening for the first time since the Bajoran Occupation. (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 97; Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. 244)) "That's prompting the rebellion," explained Ron Moore, "because the farmers are angry that their needs are not being met, but people are putting all this money and effort into raising these old libraries. Who cares about culture when it's food on the table?" However, the writers found portraying the Bajorans with such concerns wasn't working, until the creative team realized they could have the species becoming officially led (temporarily) by Kai Winn. "If it's the Kai and Kira and Shakaar, then the players are all in place finally," Moore related. The writers endeavored to make sure the viewpoints of Kira and Shakaar were comprehensible and acceptable. (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, pp. 97-98) There was also potential for a romance between those two Bajorans, so the episode's script included "a couple little subtle beats to play, just to see if we could gain some chemistry between the actors," recalled Moore. "And it seemed to work." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. 244))
The Bajorans were focused on to a deliberately lessened degree in DS9 Season 4, which Nana Visitor correctly predicted beforehand. "I felt there would [...] probably be less of a focus on Bajoran activity," she admitted, "and I understood that was the point." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. 256)) However, the writers began to feel that they hadn't, for quite a while, updated developments for the Bajorans and some of the issues they were facing on Bajor, a concern that influenced the writing of fourth season outing "Crossfire". (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 113)
In "Crossfire", the relationship between Kira Nerys and Shakaar Edon becomes more intense. Shakaar actor Duncan Regehr cited the deepening of their connection as an example of a Bajoran development that was basically Human. "Bajorans are not Human beings, obviously, but they do have certain Human-like transformations that they tend to go through," he pointed out. "I think you saw the beginnings of that in 'Crossfire', when you could tell there was an attraction between Shakaar and Nerys." ("Warrior Without a War", Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Official Poster Magazine, No. 11)
The Bajoran society was further developed in "Accession", a later fourth season DS9 episode. After the writers thought up the idea of an Emissary of the Prophets who was not pre-established Emissary Benjamin Sisko arriving via the wormhole, the writing group devised many permutations of the story in which they pondered the political ramifications for the Bajorans. The writers decided to have the aliens return to an old Bajoran caste system called D'jarra. "It's [...] the first time in a while that you actually feel that the Bajorans are kind of alien rather than just being people with bumps on their heads," commented Robert Wolfe. "The idea that a whole society would say, 'OK, I'm going to quit my job and do something completely different because this guy says I should,' makes them alien and not human. That was what we were going for." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, pp. 115 & 116) René Echevarria believed a scene which proved especially insightful regarding the Bajorans was one in which Kira Nerys hesitantly applauds the newly arrived Emissary, Akorem Laan, declaring the restoration of the caste system. "That just told you everything you needed to know about the Bajorans," Echevarria said. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. 320))
Nana Visitor was aware of the Bajoran civilization continuing to change. "We're continually discovering things about [...] Bajorans, so it's really the political and religious elements that are in flux," she observed. (The Official Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Magazine issue 16, p. 45)
When portraying the murder of a series of Bajoran former resistance fighters in season five's "The Darkness and the Light", the DS9 writing staff wanted to make the Bajoran victims increasingly significant to main character Kira Nerys, culminating in the deaths of her friends Furel and Lupaza. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. 412))
Ira Behr imagined that, by the time of fifth season installment "Ties of Blood and Water", the Bajorans would have bubble gum cards of space station DS9's senior staff (if not the facility's entire crew) and would hold Kira Nerys personally in high acclaim. "They can't identify with the Emissary," Behr speculated. "He's too mystical. And he doesn't look like one of them, he doesn't have a ridge on his nose. So popular opinion is likely to seize on the Bajoran standing next to him in all the pictures. 'Who's she? She's doing all these great things. She's saved our planet.'" (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. 442))
In an undeveloped DS9 story which was suggested for DS9's sixth season, Bajoran children kept appearing on space station Deep Space 9. During the Occupation, the Bajorans had mistakenly believed a particular Cardassian scientist was performing deadly medical experiments on them, though he had actually been sending Bajoran children into the future; those who appeared on the station did so as the result of his actual efforts. Even though this story didn't go ahead, it preceded the making of sixth season's "Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night", in which Bajorans do appear. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. 548))
During early development of DS9 Season 7 episode "Take Me Out to the Holosuite", Bajorans were considered to be the opponents of the Federation in a baseball game featured in the installment. However, they were replaced by Vulcans. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. 610))
While the story for "Covenant" was being crafted, the idea that a group led by Dukat would be Bajoran was thought up by René Echevarria. Ira Behr initially responded that the idea of making the followers Bajoran was "the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard." Once Echevarria replied by establishing that he intended the group to be the Cult of the Pah-wraiths, though, the idea of them being Bajoran didn't seem as preposterous to Behr and was accepted by all the other DS9 staff writers too. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. 632))
In DS9 series finalé "What You Leave Behind", the show's writing staff wanted to reflect on the Bajorans' hatred of Cardassians, by having Martok speculate that the Bajorans would regard the virtual annihilation of Cardassian civilization as "poetic justice." "That's something we wanted to remind the audience about," noted Ira Behr. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. 709))
Michael Westmore's inspiration for the Bajoran makeup came from Rick Berman, who, after hiring Michelle Forbes to play Ro Laren on TNG, told Westmore, "We've hired a pretty girl and I want to keep her that way. Think of something that we can take and make her look a little alien, and still get the idea she's from another planet, but she's still gorgeous." ("Michael Westmore's Aliens: Season One", DS9 Season 1 DVD special features) Westmore agreed. "Part of the reason the Bajoran makeup's so... spare," explained René Echevarria, "is because [...] he said, 'Well, this is a pretty gal; I don't wanna cover up her face with putting some elaborate prosthetic on her forehead.'" ("Preemptive Strike" audio commentary, TNG Season 7 Blu-ray special features)
Considering how he could give the Bajorans a subtle alien appearance, Michael Westmore thought about adding a prosthetic make-up appliance to either the forehead, the end of the nose, or the cheeks. "The most logical place to have worked this out," he said, "was right down the center [of the face] [...] because from a distance, even, you might not even see [such a small detail there]." ("Michael Westmore's Aliens: Season One", DS9 Season 1 DVD special features) Westmore added, "I ended up sculpting a little nose as something we could possibly use and that's what they went with." (TV Zone, Special #34, p. 12)
The Bajoran nose design was partly "influenced" by Dave Rossi, who had accidentally damaged the original plaster casts by strapping them down on his bicycle while transporting them between Michael Westmore and Rick Berman. Westmore repaired the damage and used some of the indentations caused by the strap to add to the design. (Star Trek Magazine issue 123)
For the Bajorans' introduction in TNG: "Ensign Ro", the wrinkles on the nose prosthetics were relatively very small. In later appearances, the Bajoran nose wrinkles became bigger, especially for the vedeks. ("Michael Westmore's Aliens: Season One", DS9 Season 1 DVD special features) There were intentional variations with the Bajoran nose design at the time Deep Space Nine began. When interviewed during the making of DS9 pilot episode "Emissary", Michael Westmore stated, "I vary the Bajorans by the rings that run across the nose. Some of them have four, five or even six, so I can change that pattern around a bit." (The Official Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Magazine issue 1, p. 29) Regardless of the size of each nose piece, however, the Bajorans still had to look as if they belonged to the same species as one another. "There was a special technique for sculpting these noses [....] and no matter the nose," said Westmore, "whether it was a small nose for a female or a large nose for a vedek priest, they all had the same style of sculpture to them." ("Michael Westmore's Aliens: Season One", DS9 Season 1 DVD special features)
When Nana Visitor was auditioning for the role of Kira Nerys, the idea of the Bajoran make-up was introduced to her. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 23, No. 6, p. 38) She later remembered, "Rick Berman told me, 'At least the prosthetic is one of the least we have.'" (Cinefantastique, Vol. 23, No. 6, p. 38) Visitor was relieved by the news that the Bajoran makeup was one of the most minor in the series. (The Official Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Magazine issue 1, p. 15) "I said, 'What prosthetic?'" she continued. "And he said, 'It's nothing. It's just a small elephant nose that you wear.' He had me going for five seconds." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 23, No. 6, p. 38) Visitor was alarmed, during this short time, by the thought that she would have to wear an elephant's trunk. Despite ultimately not being required to wear one of those, she recalled that her first few weeks of playing Kira nonetheless involved a lot of Bajoran makeup. (The Official Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Magazine issue 1, pp. 15 & 16)
Once Nana Visitor started playing Kira but had an accident that caused minor injury to her back, she was tended to by an ER doctor whose prognosis was influenced by the fact Visitor was in full Bajoran make-up and costume at the time, despite the actress believing her wound wasn't serious. "The doctor said, 'Well, in that case, I think we better get you to X-Ray right away to check out that broken nose.' He was a good emergency room doctor, but didn't know Bajoran anatomy as well as Bashir," quipped Visitor. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 24, Nos. 3/4, p. 103) In fact, the doctor was under the impression that the apparent injury would make medical history. Visitor had to finally tell him her "nose" was a prosthetic one, which dismayed the doctor. ("In the Hands of the Prophets", Deep Space Nine Chronicles, DS9 Season 4 DVD special features)
Because each of the actors cast as Bajorans had to have their individual nose piece applied each day, the DS9 makeup department had to have enough makeup artists to put on all the prosthetic appliances. ("The Deep Space Nine Scrapbook", DS9 Season 1 DVD special features)
Putting on a Bajoran nose piece took "around a half an hour," in the words of Michael Westmore. ("The Deep Space Nine Scrapbook", DS9 Season 1 DVD special features) According to Frances Praksti, the Bajoran nose prosthetic "took about an hour" to be applied, however, and was extremely comfortable to wear thereafter. (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, pp. 51-52) Nana Visitor's usual Bajoran make-up required around an hour and a half or two hours to apply. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. 178); The Official Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Magazine issue 2, p. 43)
The oval-shaped Bajoran symbol was designed by Nathan Crowley and Doug Drexler. "My contribution," offered Michael Okuda, "was that I saw that particular pattern on one of Nathan's set drawings as a floor plan, and I said, 'That will be our Bajoran symbol.' And then Doug took that basic thing and refined it." The emblem subsequently became a hallmark of Bajoran design and was represented many times on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, such as in the architecture of some Bajoran homes and on the Bajoran combadges. (Star Trek - Where No One Has Gone Before, paperback ed., p. 183) Herman Zimmerman referred to the Bajoran symbol as "rather egg-shaped" and "reminiscent of the orbs." (The Official Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Magazine issue 3, p. 36) A large version of the Bajoran symbol was created as a backlit by Denise Okuda, for Deep Space 9's Bajoran temple in DS9: "In the Hands of the Prophets". ("Section 31: Hidden File 01", DS9 Season 2 DVD special features) When John Eaves designed the Reckoning Tablet for DS9: "The Reckoning", the Bajoran symbol provided a basis for it, though Eaves redesigned the tablet as an ancient representation of the usual Bajoran symbol. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. 568))
A crowd of Bajorans had to be depicted in DS9: "The Storyteller", about which David Livingston noted, "We had thirty extras." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 51) He also stated, "There were a lot of people—not enough people, actually." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. 48))
For the foreground of a matte painting of Bajor in DS9: "Cardassians", Illusion Arts, Inc. staff were filmed as Bajorans, strolling along a path. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 25/26, No. 6/1, p. 72) Two similarly miniaturized-on-screen Bajorans, Dekon Elig and Ches'sarro Seeto, were "played" by Visual Effects Producer Dan Curry. For the former role, Bajoran nose wrinkles were digitally added by DS9 Scenic Artist Doug Drexler. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. 25))
Scenes featuring Bajorans were often accompanied by a "Bajoran hand flute," which was actually a custom-made electronic wind instrument (EWI). "I've developed my own theory of the Bajoran culture," announced Composer Jay Chattaway, "and whenever there's a sensitive scene about the Bajorans, the EWI is there." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. 412))
According to the DS9 Pocket Books novel Warpath, the Bajora were an "ethnic subgroup" who "became a nation-state, and eventually dominated the planet culturally and economically, subsuming other ethnic identities. Thousands of years later, despite the persistence of regional and ethnic variation among the people of Bajor, they now share a common identity as Bajorans."
In Star Trek Online, Bajorans are a playable species for Starfleet player characters and bridge officers, with an inherent bonus to heals and regeneration. The game's chronology states that they renewed their application to join the Federation in 2384, and became full members in 2393. A Bajoran candidate, Shad Ona (β), came in third in the 2392 Federation presidential election and was given a post in Aennik Okeg's cabinet.