(covers information from several alternate timelines)
Benjamin Lafayette "Ben" Sisko was a well-known Starfleet officer best remembered for his seven-year assignment commanding station Deep Space 9 in the Bajor sector. After discovering the Bajoran wormhole, he became known to the Bajoran people as the Emissary of the Prophets. He played a critical role as a Starfleet strategist and front line commander in the Dominion War. (DS9: "Emissary", "In the Hands of the Prophets", "Accession", "The Search, Part I", "Favor the Bold", "The Siege of AR-558", "What You Leave Behind")
Sisko was born in 2332 in New Orleans, North America, Earth, to Joseph and Sarah Sisko. Sarah, however, had been possessed by a Prophet – a non-linear alien species which lived in the then-undiscovered Bajoran wormhole – in order to ensure the birth of Benjamin, who would later become the Emissary of the Prophets.
A year later, the Prophet returned control of Sarah's body, and she soon left her son and husband. Joseph soon remarried, and his new wife raised Benjamin as her own. (DS9: "Image in the Sand") She later gave birth to his younger half-sister Judith and two half-brothers. (DS9: "Past Tense, Part I", "Homefront", "Paradise")
During his childhood, Sisko and his siblings were taught to cook by their father, who believed that replicated food was lacking. Joseph owned his own restaurant, Sisko's Creole Kitchen, where his children worked in the summers. (DS9: "Homefront") Joseph called his children his "taste-testers", and insisted that they all eat dinner together. (DS9: "A Man Alone")
Sisko joined Starfleet Academy in 2350, where he studied to be an engineer. During his first week there, he became homesick to where he would beam back home to New Orleans every night for dinner with his family, but he eventually got over his homesickness. (DS9: "Explorers", "Homefront", "Paradise Lost")
Sisko also became the captain of his Academy wrestling team in 2351. (DS9: "Q-Less", "Apocalypse Rising") He once challenged a Vulcan, Solok, to a match after a few drinks in The Launching Pad. He lost, was humiliated, and resented Solok for decades. (DS9: "Take Me Out to the Holosuite")
On their graduation day from the Academy – the first day they donned their officers' uniforms – Sisko and Hudson both swore that they would be starship captains by the time they were thirty, and admirals by forty. (DS9: "The Maquis, Part II") Sisko did not, in fact, attain rank of captain until he was thirty-nine, the same year he also became a starship commander. (DS9: "The Search, Part I", "The Adversary"
After graduation in 2354, while waiting for his first assignment, Benjamin met a woman named Jennifer at Gilgo Beach. As the year pressed on, the two fell in love, were married and moved to Benjamin's new posting at New Berlin. Together with Cal and Gretchen Hudson, they attended the local Mazurka Festival where Benjamin was remembered for dancing in lederhosen. (DS9: "Emissary", "The Maquis, Part I")
While he was still "a raw young ensign", Sisko first met Curzon Dax at Pelios Station, and thereafter, Curzon took Sisko "under his wing" and became the young officer's mentor. Years later, Sisko recalled that Curzon "taught me to appreciate life in ways I'd never thought about before. He taught me about art and science and diplomacy," adding that "whatever sense of honor I might have today, he nurtured." (DS9: "Dax")
Curzon's next host, Jadzia Dax would recall in 2371 during the construction of Sisko's lightship that the last time she had seen Sisko so excited and caught up in something was when the Siskos decided to have a baby, and he busied himself with creating a nursery for their future child which turned out well, including a starscape on the ceiling. The child, Jake, would be born in 2355. (DS9: "Explorers")
Later in their careers together, Jadzia once reminsced in 2374, "whatever happened to that young, callow ensign I used to know? The one who used to turn to me for advice all the time? You know, the one with hair?" His response was "I grew up." (DS9: "You Are Cordially Invited")
The following year, Ezri Dax told Kira Nerys to remind her to tell the story about a drunken ensign she once escorted home, specifically, following a visit to "a bar on Bolarus and a certain young Mister Sisko." (DS9: "Field of Fire")
Curzon had to deal with Sisko's temper at times, including when Sisko was in an argument with an Argosian lieutenant, during which a drink was thrown in his face. Sisko intended to finish the fight, but Curzon held him back, eventually punching him in the jaw just to restrain him. He wore a ring which left a scar he held for many years later. (DS9: "Dax")
As Sisko continued to serve with Curzon, he later recalled how his mentor "used to take perverse pleasure in assigning me to take care of VIP guests." According to Sisko, he "graduated" from those assignments after he hit one of the guests, during "a simple misunderstanding over [the VIP's] attempt to coax a young female ensign to his quarters against her will." (DS9: "The Forsaken")
Sisko later served on the USS Okinawa during the Tzenkethi War. (DS9: "The Adversary") At the time, he was more interested in engineering and ship design than command. However, Captain Leyton noticed potential in young Sisko, and promoted him to lieutenant commander, making him the ship's executive officer. Leyton later recalled Sisko's being "a damn fine [executive officer]." (DS9: "Homefront", "Paradise Lost")
During one encounter with three Tzenkethi raiders, while aboard the Okinawa, the enemy vessels fled into a nearby asteroid belt. Commander Sisko told Captain Leyton it was risky to pursue them, but was overruled by his commanding officer. Years later, Sisko admitted that going after the Tzenkethi was the right thing to do. (DS9: "Paradise Lost")
Sisko later transferred to the USS Saratoga, where he also served as the first officer. Both Jennifer and Jake lived with him aboard the vessel.
In early 2367, the ship was operating close to Earth, and was called to join a fleet at Wolf 359 to defend the Sol system from a Borg attack. The Battle of Wolf 359 became a disaster for Starfleet, with thirty-nine of the forty starships assembled there destroyed. The Borg damaged the Saratoga, forcing the crew to abandon ship. Sisko found his son and wife, but his wife had been killed in the attack. He was forced to leave her as the ship suffered a warp core breach.
Sisko was faced with the loss of his wife and raising his son alone. This left Sisko on the verge of resigning his commission. He intended to work on Earth, constructing orbital habitats, but struggled with the decision to leave. (DS9: "The Way of the Warrior")
He eventually found an outlet for his pain in a new posting at Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards on Mars. (DS9: "Emissary") There, Sisko worked on the prototype USS Defiant – the first in what was to be a fleet of warships to defend the Federation from the Borg. After work on the project slowed, and design flaws became apparent, the project was mothballed. (DS9: "The Search, Part I", "Defiant") It was also around this time, in 2367, that Sisko attended a Starfleet briefing on Q. (DS9: "Q-Less")
As he was contemplating his next move, his former captain, Leyton, nominated Sisko for a command position. Promoted to commander, he was assigned to Bajor, original home to the Prophets who had caused his birth. There, Sisko was to command the old ore processing station Terok Nor, built by the Cardassians during their Occupation of Bajor, then abandoned as part of their recent withdrawal from the system. Under Federation control, the station was newly christened Deep Space 9. It was to be Sisko's responsibility to help prepare the Bajorans for entry into the Federation.
Arriving on DS9 in early 2369, Sisko was briefed by Jean-Luc Picard, whom he still blamed for his wife's death. At this point, Sisko told Picard he intended to resign and that Starfleet should probably look for a replacement. However, for the time being, he continued his work, and assumed command of the station. Sisko's crew slowly arrived, and it was then that he met his future friends, Bajoran liaison and second-in-command Kira Nerys, security chief Odo, Doctor Julian Bashir, and Chief of Operations Miles O'Brien. He was also reunited with his old friend Dax, living in a new host, Jadzia.
The situation on Bajor was hostile, as factions vied for control in the new Bajoran Provisional Government. Sisko learned that the only way to unite them all was to call on the Bajoran spiritual leader, Kai Opaka. Sisko met with her in a secluded area of Bajor, and she told him that he was to be the Emissary of the Prophets and was destined to discover the Celestial Temple, home of the Prophets.
Sisko returned to the station and with the help of Dax, began studying everything known about the Celestial Temple. Eventually, they discovered an unusual area in the Denorios belt. Traveling there, they were surprised to discover a stable wormhole. Dax was sent home by the Prophets, but they met Sisko, who explained linear existence to them.
While talking with the Prophets, Sisko was forced to come to terms with his wife's death, and he returned to Deep Space 9. Sisko forgave Picard for his actions as a Borg, and informed him that he would stay in Starfleet. Sisko now had the difficult task of commanding a station with a large Bajoran staff, many of whom revered him as a religious figure – their prophesied Emissary. (DS9: "Emissary")
Deep Space 9
Life on the frontier
Deep Space 9's position at the mouth of the Bajoran wormhole made it a key location. Exploration and business opportunities were opened to the distant Gamma Quadrant, and DS9 became a wayport for ships and people from all over the quadrant. Sisko began encouraging Bajorans and merchants on the Promenade to stay on the station, in order to shape DS9 into a thriving community. (DS9: "Emissary") He even approved the formation of a school on the station. (DS9: "A Man Alone")
Sisko had to put all his training and skills to use, as he was forced to balance command, diplomacy, his home life, and his new position as a Bajoran religious icon. Sisko made first contact with the first species to come through the wormhole from the Gamma Quadrant, the Tosk, in 2369. (DS9: "Captive Pursuit") He acted as defense in the extradition trial of Dax to the Klaestron government, and proved her innocent. (DS9: "Dax") He fought in the war between the Ennis and the Nol-Ennis on the planet where Kai Opaka was stranded. (DS9: "Battle Lines") Constantly dealing with Jake's friendship with a Ferengi boy, Nog, proved to be a challenge. (DS9: "A Man Alone", "The Nagus") But his most difficult tasks were preparing Bajor for life in the Federation, and dealing with his title as the Emissary.
During late 2369, tensions on the station rose between Bajoran and Starfleet personnel. Scientific teachings about the nature of the Bajoran wormhole conflicted with the religious beliefs of much of the Bajoran population. Sisko struggled to keep the peace, and in the process had his first meeting with Vedek Winn Adami. (DS9: "In the Hands of the Prophets")
Months later, internal pressures on Bajor exploded. A terrorist group called the Alliance for Global Unity – also known as the "Circle" – tried to seize power, under disguised support from the Cardassian Union, and sought to break off relations with the Federation. Starfleet was forced to abandon the station, but Sisko stayed behind, eventually proving the Cardassians' involvement with the Circle, which allowed power to quickly return to the Bajoran Provisional Government. (DS9: "The Homecoming", "The Circle", "The Siege")
Sisko was also forced to deal with internal pressures within the Federation as well. When the Federation-Cardassian Treaty of 2370 caused several colonies in Federation space to come under Cardassian rule, many colonists felt the Federation had abandoned them. They formed the Maquis, a terrorist group operating out of the Badlands. Sisko's old friend Calvin Hudson was assigned as the Starfleet attaché to the colonists in the Demilitarized Zone but became a Maquis leader. Several other Starfleet officers resigned to take up the Maquis cause. Sisko felt angered by the actions of these officers, and felt the pain of personal betrayal by Cal Hudson. (DS9: "The Maquis, Part I", "The Maquis, Part II")
The Maquis continued their private war for the next three years, and gained more support among Federation citizens. Deep Space 9's chief of Starfleet security, Lieutenant Commander Michael Eddington, and a woman with whom Sisko had become involved, Kasidy Yates, began to aid the Maquis in their activities. When Sisko discovered this, he felt betrayed by both people. He was forced to arrest Yates, but Eddington escaped. Sisko felt that Eddington had betrayed his oath to Starfleet the same way Cal Hudson had and vowed to capture him. (DS9: "For the Cause")
After eight months of tracking Eddington unsuccessfully, Starfleet took Sisko off the mission. However, he had become obsessed with finding his former officer, and continued his work to bring Eddington to justice. Sisko managed to force Eddington to surrender after he poisoned Solosos III, threatening to wage a campaign to poison every Maquis colony in the Demilitarized Zone. (DS9: "For the Uniform")
Several months later, Sisko and Eddington were involved in attempting to prevent a force of cloaked missiles from reaching Cardassia, launched by the Maquis as retaliation for their losses to the Dominion. The missiles were a ruse, however, propagated by Rebecca Sullivan in order to let Eddington know that the Maquis survivors had reached Athos IV for evacuation. Sisko was able to get the Maquis off the planet in a runabout despite coming under fire from the Jem'Hadar. (DS9: "Blaze of Glory")
Contact with the Dominion
In late 2370, Sisko made first contact with the Dominion in an encounter with the Jem'Hadar. This launched Sisko on a path that would define his career. The Dominion declared the Gamma Quadrant off-limits to Alpha Quadrant species, and destroyed several Starfleet ships, along with the colony on New Bajor. Sisko returned to DS9 with the realization that he had discovered a powerful and dangerous new enemy. (DS9: "The Jem'Hadar")
Sisko returned to Earth to brief Starfleet on the Dominion situation. Realizing that Deep Space 9 was to be the first line of defense from a Dominion attack, Sisko convinced Starfleet Command to finish work on the mothballed USS Defiant. Sisko returned to DS9 with the new warship, and entered the Gamma Quadrant on a mission to find the Founders. (DS9: "The Search, Part I") During the mission, the Defiant and crew were captured by the Jem'Hadar and placed in a simulation, testing their reaction to a Dominion incursion in the Alpha Quadrant. It was discovered that the Founders were in fact Changelings, the same species as Sisko's security chief, Odo. Odo forced the Founders to release the Defiant crew, and they returned to the station. (DS9: "The Search, Part II") Based on his experiences with the Dominion, Sisko's psychological evaluation became required knowledge for Vorta operatives in the Dominion. (DS9: "To the Death")
Following three years of commanding Deep Space 9, Sisko was given a promotion, finally attaining the rank of captain in late 2371. Soon afterward, Sisko discovered that the Founders had begun infiltrating the Federation, posing as high-ranking officials. One Founder, disguised as an ambassador, ordered Sisko on a mission to the Tzenkethi border, and then tried to provoke a new Tzenkethi war. Sisko and crew were successful in stopping the Founder's attempt, but it became apparent that there were now Changeling infiltrators throughout the Alpha Quadrant. (DS9: "The Adversary")
Fears of Dominion infiltration swept the quadrant, and when the Cardassian government was overthrown by the civilian Detapa Council in 2372, the Klingon Empire feared Changeling involvement. A large Klingon task force docked at Deep Space 9, bound for Cardassian space. Klingon Chancellor Gowron asked Sisko for Starfleet's help in invading Cardassia Prime. Sisko rejected their call for help, and the Klingons withdrew from the Khitomer Accords, ending decades of peace. Sisko now had to help the new Cardassian government survive the Klingon attack. He contacted his long-time adversary, Gul Dukat, and arranged to rescue him and the new Council. He made sure, however, to test the members for possible Changeling impostors. Sisko then faced a Klingon fleet in the First Battle of Deep Space 9 until Starfleet reinforcements were imminent. Faced with a war on two sides, the Klingons backed down. However, the balance of power in the Alpha Quadrant was changing, which played right into the Dominion's hands. (DS9: "The Way of the Warrior")
On Earth, video footage linked the bombing of the Antwerp Conference to Changeling infiltration. Sisko's knowledge of the Founders led to his brief promotion to Chief of Starfleet Security on Earth. Using Odo as a test subject, Sisko implemented many new security measures on Earth such as automated low-level phaser sweeps throughout Starfleet Headquarters. Unfortunately, his promotion was part of Sisko's former captain, now Admiral Leyton's plan to overthrow the Federation government. Leyton misjudged Sisko's loyalties, and the coup d'état failed when Sisko and Odo exposed the plan. (DS9: "Homefront", "Paradise Lost")
Changelings also infiltrated a high position within the Klingon Empire. In 2373, Sisko and crew were ordered to expose the impostor. Undergoing cosmetic alterations to appear Klingon and taking the Klingon name Jodmos, son of Kobor, Sisko took Worf, Odo and O'Brien to the Klingon outpost Ty'Gokor to expose Chancellor Gowron (whom the Founders had led Odo to believe was a Founder). It was later discovered that General Martok was the Changeling. The mission was a success, and it brought the two powers closer to reconciliation. (DS9: "Apocalypse Rising")
During a trip to the Gamma Quadrant that same year, Sisko took possession of a Jem'Hadar attack ship and returned the ship to Starfleet Intelligence. (DS9: "The Ship") Soon afterward, the Dominion formed an alliance with the Cardassian Union, gaining a foothold in the Alpha Quadrant. They attempted to destroy Deep Space 9 and Bajor and cripple the Klingon and Federation fleets in one action, but Sisko discovered their plan and thwarted it. This new turn of events convinced the Klingon government to reinstate the Khitomer Accords, and Sisko allowed a permanent Klingon presence on the station. However, with the new Dominion presence in the Alpha Quadrant, war was inevitable. (DS9: "By Inferno's Light")
The Dominion War
As Dominion fleets began coming through the wormhole on a weekly basis, Starfleet made the decision to mine the entrance to the wormhole. Sisko commanded the station during the resulting Battle of Deep Space 9, the opening strike of the Dominion War. During the final moments of the battle, Sisko gave a speech to the station residents, telling them of his fondness for commanding the station, and promising to return. The Dominion took control of the station, but Sisko implemented a computer program which completely destroyed DS9's main computer core. Sisko retreated aboard the Defiant, leaving his prized antique baseball behind; the station's new commander, Gul Dukat, knew this was a sign from Sisko that he would eventually return. (DS9: "Call to Arms")
Sisko commanded the Defiant for the next three months, engaging in numerous battles with Jem'Hadar and Cardassian forces. Ordered to fall back to Starbase 375, Sisko was placed in command of a mission behind enemy lines to destroy a ketracel-white storage facility. Sisko and crew traveled aboard the stolen Jem'Hadar attack ship he had acquired the year before, and completed the mission. (DS9: "A Time to Stand") However, their ship was destroyed and they were stranded on a planet in Dominion space along with Jem'Hadar forces. Knowing he was beaten, the commanding Vorta, Keevan, gave Sisko his force's attack plans. Sisko was forced to massacre the Jem'Hadar troops, despite his personal objections. (DS9: "Rocks and Shoals") Sisko's crew was soon rescued by General Martok and Worf aboard the IKS Rotarran. (DS9: "Sons and Daughters")
Having completed his mission, Sisko was promoted to adjutant for Vice Admiral William Ross at Starbase 375, while command of the Defiant passed to Lieutenant Commander Dax. (DS9: "Behind the Lines") Using his new influence in Starfleet, Sisko created a plan to retake Deep Space 9, Operation Return, and convinced Starfleet to commit its forces. After learning that the minefield around the wormhole was about to be neutralized, Sisko ordered the operation to commence immediately. (DS9: "Favor the Bold") He commanded the Starfleet forces during the battle from the Defiant, and made his way to DS9. Faced with an armada of Dominion ships as the minefield fell, Sisko ordered the Defiant to go down with guns blazing. In a vision from the Prophets, Sisko convinced them to stop the invading fleet, and he returned to retake the station. (DS9: "Sacrifice of Angels")
Following his defeat during Operation Return and the death of his daughter, Ziyal, Gul Dukat descended into madness and was captured. He was forced to stand trial for his crimes. Captain Sisko was to testify at his trial, but their transport, the USS Honshu, was destroyed by Cardassian forces. They escaped in a shuttlecraft and crashed on a nearby planet. There, Dukat's madness intensified, and he attempted to kill Sisko. Vowing to kill every Bajoran, Dukat escaped as the Defiant rescued Sisko. Following the ordeal, Sisko vowed that from then on, "it's him or me." (DS9: "Waltz")
Soon afterward, Sisko hired Elim Garak to fabricate a recording designed to bring the Romulan Star Empire into the war. This plan was approved by Starfleet. Sisko struggled with the ethical implications of his actions, but in the end decided it was worth it. With the help of a few of Garak's sources, he was able to fabricate a holo-recording of the Dominion and Cardassians planning to invade Romulan space violating their nonaggression pact. He secretly invited Senator Vreenak over to DS9 to "show" him the evidence. However, Vreenak later found it was a fake and was prepared to expose this "vile deception" to the entire quadrant. A few days later, it was reported that the senator's shuttle was destroyed. Sisko confronted Garak on what he had done, but the former Obsidian Order agent pointed out that it was the only way to make the Empire think that the Dominion was responsible, with the acceptable losses of one convict, one senator and the self-respect of one Starfleet captain. As a result, the Romulans entered the war, attacking several Cardassian outposts along the Cardassian-Romulan border, and turned the odds in the Federation's favor. Sisko later recorded what happened into his personal log before deleting it. (DS9: "In the Pale Moonlight")
Sisko was chosen to command the first offensive into Dominion space in late-2374. The First Battle of Chin'toka was a success, but while Sisko was away, Gul Dukat managed to close the Bajoran wormhole, cutting off Bajor from the Prophets, after having killed Jadzia Dax. Sisko felt responsible, and decided to take a leave of absence to find a way to restore the wormhole. Sisko and Jake returned to New Orleans, not knowing if they would ever return to DS9. (DS9: "Tears of the Prophets")
After three months on Earth, Sisko was given a vision of a woman's face in the sands of Tyree. He reconstructed her face on a PADD, and Jake recognized her from a photo in which she appeared with his grandfather, Joseph, who reluctantly identified her as Sarah Sisko, Sisko's biological mother. Joseph finally told his son about his true mother, prompting Benjamin to travel to Tyree to find the meaning of his vision. He departed along with his father, Jake, and Ezri Dax, the new Dax host. (DS9: "Image in the Sand") While on Tyree, Sisko discovered the Orb of the Emissary, which restored the Bajoran wormhole. He also communicated with the Prophet who had possessed his mother, and learned of her true identity. Following the reopening of the wormhole, the tide of the war turned back to the Federation's favor, and Sisko returned to the station. (DS9: "Shadows and Symbols")
Later that year, Sisko commanded the Defiant in the Second Battle of Chin'toka. The ship was destroyed by the Dominion's new allies, the Breen Confederacy. (DS9: "The Changing Face of Evil") Sisko was then given command of the USS Sao Paulo, in late 2375, which was renamed to USS Defiant. (DS9: "The Dogs of War")
Sisko then helped command the final assault into Dominion territory. The Battle of Cardassia was a success, with the help of the Cardassian Rebellion. Afterward, Sisko, Admiral Ross, and Chancellor Martok gathered in the ruins of Cardassia to celebrate. Faced with the destruction the Dominion had wrought in retaliation for the Cardassian uprising, Sisko did not feel like celebrating. He returned to the station to bid farewell to his crew before their reassignment. (DS9: "What You Leave Behind")
When Sisko first met with Kai Opaka in 2369, she surprised him by proclaiming that he would be the long prophesied Emissary to the Prophets. He was at first skeptical of her assessment, and immediately tried to dismiss her, stating that he was simply a Starfleet officer. Any religious role in another culture would directly clash with his oath to uphold the principles of Starfleet. However, when he discovered the Bajoran wormhole and made first contact with the non-linear lifeforms the Bajorans knew as the Prophets, he became slightly less skeptical. He still rejected the role, but realized that the Prophets' ability to see outside of time must have allowed them to communicate certain information to the Bajorans. Sisko taught the Prophets about linear existence, and became very important to them. They began referring to him as "The Sisko." (DS9: "Emissary") The Bajorans began celebrating the arrival of the Emissary each year during their Ha'mara festival. (DS9: "Starship Down")
Later that year, Sisko met Vedek Winn Adami for the first time during a Bajoran-Federation ideological conflict on the station. The Vedek, an ultra-conservative, was not sure that she believed Sisko was the Emissary. (DS9: "In the Hands of the Prophets")
In 2371, Sisko was confronted by Vedek Yarka, who told him that he had discovered a prophecy in which the Emissary was involved in the destruction of the Celestial Temple. After reviewing Trakor's Third Prophecy, Sisko ignored the Vedek's warnings. He continued work on a subspace communications relay through the wormhole into the Gamma Quadrant. However, Major Kira Nerys was slowly convinced that Yarka was correct. She interpreted the prophecy as referring to three Cardassian scientists aboard the station, and a comet which was discovered near the wormhole. The comet was on a course leading it into the wormhole, causing it to collapse. Sisko stopped the comet, but inadvertently released trace amounts of silithium, which caused the wormhole to constantly remain slightly open. In the end, this chain of events actually fulfilled Trakor's prophecy, without the destruction of the wormhole as the final outcome. Sisko began to take an interest in other Bajoran prophecies, but continued his skepticism about his role as the Emissary. (DS9: "Destiny")
Following destiny's path
Sisko continued walking the fine line between acknowledging the Bajoran beliefs and rejecting their admiration for him. In 2372, an ancient Bajoran lightship emerged from the wormhole carrying famed poet Akorem Laan. Akorem had apparently discovered the wormhole centuries before, and had been inside it ever since. Finally able to relinquish his title, Sisko jumped at the chance to allow the poet to become the Emissary. However, when Akorem began guiding Bajor down a road incompatible with joining the Federation, Sisko decided to challenge his title. He began studying the ancient texts, and realized that many of the prophecies applied to him, and not to Akorem. The two men traveled back into the wormhole and met with the Prophets, who confirmed that Sisko was in fact intended to be the Emissary. They returned Akorem to his own time, altering the timeline, but preserving everyone's memory of the previous events. Following this, Sisko slowly began to embrace his role as the Emissary. (DS9: "Accession")
In mid-2373, Sisko experienced a series of pagh'tem'fars in which the location of the lost city of B'hala was revealed to him. He was also shown the destruction of Bajor after its entrance into the Federation. Following his visions, he recommended that Bajor not join the Federation at that time, which angered Starfleet Command. Sisko was forced to undergo surgery to stop the visions when they became life-threatening. (DS9: "Rapture")
When Sisko entered the wormhole facing a Dominion fleet following Operation Return, the Prophets communicated with him once again. They refused to allow Sisko to die, and granted the destruction of the Dominion fleet. Referring to his life as "the game", they enacted a penance and told him that though he was "of Bajor" he would find no rest there. (DS9: "Sacrifice of Angels")
Sisko's morale slowly fell, and a few months later, after losing his friend Quentin Swofford, he was thinking of resigning his post. Knowing he had much work left on Bajor, the Prophets sent him another series of pagh'tem'far, in which he was shown the life of Benny Russell, a black writer on Earth in the 20th century. The trials endured by Russell allowed Sisko to reevaluate his problems, and he decided to stay on the station. (DS9: "Far Beyond the Stars")
Later that year, Sisko inadvertently instigated the prophesied Reckoning, the battle between the Prophets and the Pah-wraiths. His son was possessed by a Kosst Amojan and Major Kira was taken over by a Prophet. The outcome of the battle was indefinite due to interference by Kai Winn. (DS9: "The Reckoning")
Following the release of a Pah-wraith by Dukat into the Orb of Contemplation in 2374, Sisko was confronted with visions of his biological mother. He traveled to Tyree and discovered the Orb of the Emissary, which reopened the wormhole and the Orbs. (DS9: "Image in the Sand", "Shadows and Symbols")
Sisko was led to the Bajoran Fire Caves following the victory at the Battle of Cardassia, where he engaged in a final showdown with the Pah-wraiths, in the form of Dukat. Sisko destroyed the evil Book of the Kosst Amojan and trapped Dukat, along with the Pah-wraiths, in the Fire Caves forever. He was taken to the Celestial Temple, where according to the Prophets, his work had only begun.
Sisko enjoyed cooking instead of just using the food replicator, thanks to his father (a renowned chef whose specialty was Creole food). (DS9: "A Man Alone") He also played the piano and had an excellent singing voice. (DS9: "Image in the Sand", "His Way", "Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang") He played Jokarian chess and poker, but wasn't a good bluffer. (DS9: "The Nagus", "Paradise")
Sisko was a fan of baseball. He owned several holosuite recreations of the game, a real antique baseball, and a baseball card of Giants & Mets legend Willie Mays, gifted to him by his son Jake after a lengthy series of negotiations aided by Nog. (DS9: "Emissary", "In the Cards") While Sisko was a fan of the New York Yankees, he was also a avid scholar of the game, appreciating the careers of greats such as Mays and "Buck" Bokai. He was also on the Academy wrestling team. (DS9: "Q-Less", "Apocalypse Rising")
Sisko's most ambitious pastime was the construction of an ancient Bajoran lightship replica. Sisko built the ship from scratch, using only materials available to the ancient Bajorans, with the exception of artificial gravity. The ship proved spaceworthy, and even helped prove that Bajorans had achieved spaceflight centuries before the Cardassians. (DS9: "Explorers")
Another of Sisko's interests was history. He collected models of old Starfleet starships, and ancient African art. (DS9: "The Search, Part I") He was very knowledgeable about 21st century history, which came in handy when he became accidentally stranded in 2024 San Francisco. (DS9: "Past Tense, Part I") One of his heroes was Captain James T. Kirk, whom Sisko got to meet during another accidental time trip to 2268; he even managed to acquire Kirk's autograph, Kirk thought he was signing a crew complement list, and told Kirk it had been an honor to serve with him. He also commented he would love to shake Kirk's hand, asking him about the Gorn he had fought previously on Cestus III. (DS9: "Trials and Tribble-ations")
Soon after graduating the Academy in 2354, Ben met his future wife Jennifer on Gilgo Beach on Earth. Sisko was carrying lemonades through the hot sand and stopped on Jennifer's towel to cool his feet. When Jennifer learned that Sisko was a young ensign, she was reluctant to go out with him, because her mother had warned her about dating young ensigns. However, she relented, and her mother turned out to love Sisko. The two were married, and their son Jake was born a year later. Jennifer and Jake accompanied Sisko on his assignment to the USS Saratoga. When the ship was destroyed in a battle with the Borg, Jennifer was killed. (DS9: "Emissary")
A woman named Fenna was Sisko's first attraction after his wife's death. In 2370, Sisko met her on the Promenade and was instantly taken with her. Unfortunately, he later discovered that Fenna was only a mental projection of Nidell, a telepathic woman married to Professor Gideon Seyetik. (DS9: "Second Sight")
In two trips to the mirror universe, Sisko met the alternate version of his wife, Jennifer. He also had a brief romantic encounter with the alternate version of Jadzia. (DS9: "Through the Looking Glass", "Shattered Mirror")
While telepathically influenced by Lwaxana Troi, Jadzia Dax displayed romantic interest in Sisko, which according to Doctor Bashir, she only harbored on a subconscious level. Sisko did not appreciate her advances. (DS9: "Fascination")
Sisko was introduced to Kasidy Yates in 2371 by his son. The two began dating after they discovered a shared interest in baseball. (DS9: "Family Business") Yates later began smuggling supplies to the Maquis, and Sisko was forced to arrest her in 2372. (DS9: "For the Cause") After Yates served her sentence, she returned to Deep Space 9 a year later, and the two resumed their relationship. (DS9: "Rapture")
The two were engaged in 2375. (DS9: "Penumbra") The Prophets warned Sisko that the two were not destined to walk the same path, causing Ben to call off the wedding; however he soon relented and the couple was married in a small ceremony conducted by Admiral William Ross. (DS9: "'Til Death Do Us Part") Shortly thereafter, Kasidy became pregnant. (DS9: "The Dogs of War") After being taken by the Prophets to the Celestial Temple, Sisko appeared to Kasidy in a vision, telling her that he would someday return, and that he loved her. (DS9: "What You Leave Behind")
Sisko's son Jake was born in 2355 to his first wife Jennifer. Sisko remembered taking care of Jake as a baby, and looked back on the time fondly. (DS9: "The Abandoned") By the time Jake became a teenager, Benjamin had already imparted his love of baseball to his son. The two watched holo-recreations of famous games, and played the game themselves. (DS9: "Emissary", "If Wishes Were Horses", "Starship Down")
Prior to 2367, the Sisko family made a camping trip to Itamish III, where Jake learned water skiing. While on a camping trip on a planet in the Gamma Quadrant in 2370, Jake recalled this vacation as the happiest time he and his parents had had together. (DS9: "The Jem'Hadar")
On Deep Space 9, Jake's friendship with Nog bothered Sisko at first, since Nog seemed to always get Jake into trouble. However, when Jake began to teach Nog to read, Sisko began to see their friendship was beneficial, and allowed them to remain friends. (DS9: "The Nagus") In 2370, Jake told his father that he did not wish to follow in his father's footsteps in Starfleet; Sisko took the news well and gave Jake his blessing, provided that Jake pursue his chosen vocation with all his ambition. (DS9: "Shadowplay")
Sisko became very concerned in 2370 when Jake's first girlfriend turned out to be a dabo girl named Mardah. (DS9: "Playing God") When Sisko finally met the girl, however, his fears were assuaged, as Mardah turned out to be very nice and began to reveal sides of Jake that Sisko had never known. (DS9: "The Abandoned")
As Jake began to concentrate on his future career in writing, Sisko felt his son slipping away. He occasionally forced Jake to come with him on various outings: on a trip to the Gamma Quadrant, the test flight of Sisko's Bajoran lightship, and to see the Bajoran wormhole undergo a subspace inversion. (DS9: "The Jem'Hadar", "Explorers", "The Visitor") But Sisko finally had to allow his son to become an adult, and in 2373, Jake moved out and became roommates with Nog, who had by then become a Starfleet cadet. (DS9: "The Ascent")
In 2372 of an alternate timeline, during an accident on the Defiant, Sisko was caught in subspace for more than thirty years. During this time, Jake became obsessed with finding a way to bring his father back, and eventually sacrificed his own life to return Sisko back to the moment of the accident. (DS9: "The Visitor") Later that year, when Jake was slowly being killed by Onaya, Sisko discovered her true nature, and saved his son. (DS9: "The Muse")
When the Dominion temporarily took control of DS9 in 2374, Jake decided to remain behind; Sisko was reluctant to leave him behind, but knew that Jake was a grown man capable of making his own decisions, however dangerous. (DS9: "Call to Arms") Sisko did, however, have to explain leaving Jake behind to his very angered father. (DS9: "A Time to Stand")
After Sisko's disappearance, Jake felt troubled by the loss of his father. He was comforted by Kasidy Yates and Colonel Kira Nerys, who believed that Sisko would return. (DS9: "What You Leave Behind")
Sisko's closest friend during his early career was Calvin Hudson. Sisko and Hudson attended the Academy together, and stayed friends afterward. The Siskos and Hudsons often took family vacations together. They once attended the Mazurka Festival at New Berlin. (DS9: "The Maquis, Part I") When Hudson abandoned Starfleet and joined the Maquis, Sisko felt Hudson was personally betraying him. In 2370, he allowed Hudson to escape Starfleet custody, but ended their twenty-year friendship. (DS9: "The Maquis, Part II") Hudson was later killed in a skirmish with the Cardassians, news of which hit Sisko pretty bad.(DS9: "Blaze of Glory")
Benjamin's mentor during his younger days was Trill Ambassador Curzon Dax. After meeting Dax on Pelios Station in the 2350s, Dax and Sisko were close for almost twenty years. While defending Dax against charges of murder in 2369, Sisko described the Trill's influence on him: "[He] taught me to appreciate life in ways I'd never thought about before. He taught me about art, and science and diplomacy. Whatever sense of honor I have today, he nurtured." (DS9: "Dax")
Dax attended Sisko's bachelor party in 2354, and the two often visited Risa together. (DS9: "Invasive Procedures") When Curzon died in 2367, his symbiont was passed on to a woman named Jadzia. Despite the new appearance of Dax, Sisko insisted on calling her "old man." (DS9: "Emissary") Though it was initially difficult for him to adjust to Dax's new appearance, Jadzia and Sisko became friends again quickly. (DS9: "A Man Alone")
Sisko soon considered Jadzia one of his closest friends. On at least two separate occasions, when faced with the possibility of her death, Sisko did whatever it took to save her. Jadzia once told Sisko in turn that, after living seven lifetimes, Dax had never had a friend like Sisko. (DS9: "Invasive Procedures", "Equilibrium", "Rejoined")
Jadzia was killed by Gul Dukat later that year, and Sisko was forced to say goodbye to her. Taking a moment before her funeral, Sisko told her that while Curzon was his mentor, she had been his friend and he needed her most now, and painfully regretted that she was gone. (DS9: "Tears of the Prophets")
However, the Dax symbiont lived on, having been joined with Ezri Tigan. The new Ezri Dax tracked down Sisko on Earth and helped him discover the Orb of the Emissary. (DS9: "Shadows and Symbols") Dax eventually decided to return to Deep Space 9, and continued her friendship with Sisko for a third lifetime. Unfortunately Ezri was unprepared for the Dax symbiont and struggled to adjust to the new memories; in the process of helping her, Sisko became both her commanding officer and mentor. (DS9: "Afterimage")
The relationship between Sisko and his Bajoran first officer, Kira Nerys, began with a rocky start, since Kira openly stated that she was opposed to the Federation's presence for fear that that it would become an occupying power. (DS9: "Emissary") Kira's views on the Federation shifted once the wormhole was discovered, and she begrudgingly accepted the need for the Federation's presence to keep the Cardassians away. However, the early relationship between Sisko and Kira was still often defined by arguments regarding different approaches to station policy. At times, Kira was not only argumentative but also insubordinate contacting an admiral over Sisko's head. (DS9: "Past Prologue") However, Sisko stated that despite these arguments he and Kira always came away with new appreciation for the other's views. Kira joked at the end of their first year that she didn't believe Sisko was the devil, despite Winn Adami's attempt to portray the Federation as evil. (DS9: "In the Hands of the Prophets")
Kira's religious beliefs further complicated the relationship with Sisko. Like other religious Bajorans, Kira viewed Sisko as the Emissary of the Prophets, which left Sisko feeling uncomfortable and conflicted at times. Kira attempted to keep her religious beliefs to herself; however, when Sisko was injured by a Jem'Hadar attack, she prayed for his recovery. After the incident, Sisko invited her to attend a baseball game with him. As Sisko grew to accept his position as the Emissary, the tension between the two softened. (DS9: "Destiny", "Starship Down")
When the Federation was forced to abandon Deep Space 9, Sisko, speaking as both the Emissary and the commanding officer, ordered Kira and the other Bajorans to avoid interfering in the conflict with the Dominion. (DS9: "Call to Arms") However, as it became clear that the Federation was losing the war, Kira disregarded Sisko's orders and formed a new resistance against the Dominion. (DS9: "Rocks and Shoals")
Kira also shared her reservations with Sisko regarding his intentions to marry Kasidy Yates, due to the warnings from the Prophets that Sisko's marriage would cause him pain. (DS9: "'Til Death Do Us Part")
Sisko and Miles O'Brien's relationship could be described as a classic example of a crewman's loyalty and devotion to a commander. This relationship developed quickly, with O'Brien respecting Sisko from the start, and Sisko coming to rely on O'Brien to keep Deep Space Nine running since the earliest days of his command.
Aside from this incident, Sisko developed a very casual friendship with O'Brien, despite the difference in rank and the fact that Miles was an enlisted crewman and Sisko an officer. They both would occasionally talk about their respective roles as fathers. (DS9: "Call to Arms")
Sisko verbally threatened the Cardassians should any harm come to O'Brien, when he was held under false charges in 2370. Upon stopping the Cardassians' plot regarding the Maquis, he pulled a few strings and extended O'Brien's vacation time.(DS9: "Tribunal")
O'Brien volunteered to remain behind on Deep Space Nine to help Sisko, Li Nalas, and a handful of others retain control of the station after Starfleet was ordered off by the Provisional Government, under the influence of The Circle. He did this even though it could have meant the end of his Starfleet career and over the strenuous objections of his wife. (DS9: "The Siege")
Sisko was sympathetic to O'Brien after his daughter Molly was thrown into a time portal. Once the incident ended, he volunteered to represent and defend the actions of his engineer at any ensuing Starfleet hearing. (DS9: "Time's Orphan")
Although Odo noted that he didn't think he would like Benjamin Sisko when he first met him, the two formed a keen respect for each other over the years. When Sisko was promoted to Captain, Odo noted that, while he didn't personally see the relevance of such titles, he could think of nobody who deserved this ritual more than Sisko. Sisko reciprocated this admiration more than once. Sisko is also the one who gave Odo his nickname "constable", which was adopted by the senior staff; Odo grew to like it. When Odo's life was at stake following his capture by the Obsidian Order and his illness, Sisko took the Defiant into Dominion territory to save Odo, despite the risks of conflict with the Dominion. Odo also accompanied Sisko back to Earth when they received news that the Changelings had reached Earth. He helped him develop means of detecting Changelings on the planet. Odo later helped Sisko, who was falsely accused of being a Changeling by Admiral Leyton, escape. (DS9: "Emissary", "The Adversary", "The Die is Cast", "Homefront", "Paradise Lost", "Broken Link")
The crew and residents of Deep Space 9
Sisko grew very close to his command crew on Deep Space 9. Besides Dax, Miles O'Brien, and Kira Nerys, he formed close relationships with Worf, Odo and Julian Bashir. He occasionally invited his staff to a home-cooked dinner. (DS9: "Equilibrium") However, he often had to draw the line between friend and commanding officer. On more than one occasion when a member of his senior staff bent (or broke) the rules, Sisko was forced to come down on them without regard for their off-duty relationship.
Sisko was not quite fond of Quark, but over time, he began to tolerate the Ferengi. He blackmailed Quark on a number of occasions when he thought it necessary, such as convincing him to stay on DS9, and helping the Federation make First Contact with the Founders of the Dominion. He was grateful when Quark helped uncover the first Dominion spy, and when he saved his life from a Jem'Hadar. (DS9: "Emissary", "The Jem'Hadar")
Though initially unsupportive of Jake's friendship with Nog, Sisko eventually grew to like the young Ferengi. Nog asked Sisko to help him apply to Starfleet Academy; initially wary of the idea, Sisko soon recognized Nog's genuine desire to become a cadet, and he approved. (DS9: "Heart of Stone") When Nog returned to DS9 for field study, Sisko actually encouraged his friendship with Jake, hoping that Nog's new Starfleet discipline would rub off on his son. (DS9: "The Ascent") Nog later served under Sisko on the Defiant, and Sisko began to rely on Nog's presence among his crew. (DS9: "Call to Arms")
The only other Ferengi Sisko got along with on DS9 was Rom, Nog's father and Quark's brother. At one point, both Sisko and Rom conspired to get Jake and Nog talking in the same room. Sisko also performed the wedding of Rom and Leeta. (DS9: "The Ascent", "Call to Arms")
When Sisko assembled his senior staff in 2375 for a baseball game on the holosuite against a team of Vulcans, the Logicians led by Captain Solok, the game brought the crew together, and they enjoyed the experience. During this time, he intimidated Rom by kicking him off his baseball team (the Niners) due to his poor batting skills. He later apologized [sincerely] to Rom for his attitude. (DS9: "Take Me Out to the Holosuite")
Later that year, Sisko also took part in a jack-in-the-box program involving Vic Fontaine with his crew. Though intially skeptical, Sisko helped regain Vic's lounge after it had been taken over by the mob. (DS9: "Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang") Sisko assembled his crew together one last time, at Vic's, following the end of the Dominion War. (DS9: "What You Leave Behind")
After the Dominion War started, Sisko and Vice Admiral William Ross developed a good working relationship. In early-2374, Ross made Sisko his adjutant. Later that year, when the Federation Alliance was ready to go on the offensive against the Dominion, Ross gave Sisko the news that Starfleet had chosen him to plan the invasion of Cardassia. (DS9: "Behind the Lines", "Tears of the Prophets")
Despite their fairly solid working relationship, Ross expressed some frustration with Sisko's status as the Emissary of the Prophets. This frustration came to a head in late-2374 on the eve of the First Battle of Chin'toka, when Sisko told Ross that the Prophets told him not to go to Cardassia. Ross told Sisko that he could no longer be both a Starfleet captain and the Emissary of the Prophets, and that he would have to choose one or the other. Sisko opted to go to Cardassia. (DS9: "Tears of the Prophets")
"You value your ignorance of what is to come?"
"That may be the most important thing to understand about Humans. It is the unknown that defines our existence. We are constantly searching, not just for answers to our questions, but for new questions. We are explorers. We explore our lives, day by day. And we explore the galaxy, trying to expand the boundaries of our knowledge. And that is why I am here. Not to conquer you with weapons or ideas, but to co-exist and learn."
"You exist here."
"I exist here. I don't know if you can understand; I see her like this every time I close my eyes, in the darkness, in the blink of an eye, I see her like this."
"None of your past experiences helped prepare you for this consequence."
"And I have never figured out how to live without her."
"So you choose to exist here. It is not linear."
"No, it's not linear."
- - Prophet (as Jennifer Sisko) and Sisko discuss the death of Sisko's wife in a vision induced by the Prophets in DS9: "Emissary"
"There's an old saying: Fortune favors the bold. Well, I guess we're about to find out."
"You hit me! Picard never hit me!"
"I'm not Picard!"
"Better luck next time."
"You better hope there isn't a next time, mister! I have cut you a lot of slack in the past; I even decided to look away once or twice when I could have come down hard on you, but those days are over! Now we may not be able to get you for selling weapons but you so much as LITTER on the Promenade, and I will nail you to the wall!!"
"The Bajorans who have lived with us on the station, who have worked with us for months, who helped us move this station to protect the wormhole, who joined us to explore the Gamma Quadrant, who have begun to build the future of Bajor with us, these people know that we are neither the enemy nor the devil. We don't always agree. We have some damned good fights in fact, but we always come away from them with a little better understanding and appreciation of each other."
"On Earth, there is no poverty, no crime, no war. You look out the window of Starfleet Headquarters and you see paradise. Well, it's easy to be a saint in paradise, but the Maquis do not live in paradise. Out there in the Demilitarized Zone, all the problems haven't been solved yet. Out there, there are no saints — just people. Angry, scared, determined people who are going to do whatever it takes to survive, whether it meets with Federation approval or not!"
- - Sisko, on Nechayev's suggestion that he "establish a dialogue" with the Maquis in DS9: "The Maquis, Part II"
"My father used to say that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I laid the first stone right there. I'd committed myself. I'd pay any price; go to any lengths because my cause was righteous. My...intentions were good. In the beginning, that seemed like enough."
"So... I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again, I would. Garak was right about one thing, a guilty conscience is a small price to pay for the safety of the Alpha Quadrant. So I will learn to live with it. Because I can live with it. I can live with it... Computer, erase that entire personal log."
Ben Sisko has been holographically duplicated on a number of occasions.
- A recreation was created by the personnel of Deep Space 9 in 2370 in order to lure Bajoran soldiers into a holosuite during the coup d'état attempt by "The Circle". (DS9: "The Siege")
- A transporter accident in 2372 aboard Deep Space 9 resulted in transporter patterns that would normally be stored in the pattern buffer to overwrite some of the characters in the Julian Bashir, Secret Agent holoprogram set in the 1960s. The character of Hippocrates Noah was overwritten with the appearance of Sisko. (DS9: "Our Man Bashir")
- Luther Sloan recreated the entire station and staff of Deep Space 9 in 2374 as part of his investigation into Julian Bashir. This program had a recreation of Sisko. (DS9: "Inquisition")
- 2332: Born in New Orleans, Earth
- 2333: Mother, Sarah Sisko leaves
- 2350: Joins Starfleet Academy
- 2351: Spends sophomore year on Starbase 137
- 2354: Graduates Starfleet Academy; marries Jennifer Sisko, moves to new posting on New Berlin Colony
- 2355: Son, Jake Sisko, born
- Late 2350s: Serves aboard USS Livingston; promoted to lieutenant
- Early 2360s: Serves aboard USS Okinawa; promoted to lieutenant commander and first officer
- Mid 2360s: Serves aboard USS Saratoga
- 2366: Battle of Wolf 359; wife dies; transfers to Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards; works on Defiant-class design project
- 2369: Promoted to commander; commands station Deep Space 9; discovers the Bajoran wormhole, becoming the Emissary of the Prophets
- 2370: First contact with the Dominion
- 2371: Given command of USS Defiant alongside DS9; meets Kasidy Yates; promoted to captain
- 2372: Defends Deep Space 9 and the Cardassian Detapa Council during a Klingon invasion; prevents coup of Earth by Admiral Leyton
- 2373: Proposes restoration of Khitomer Accords; forced to evacuate Deep Space 9; start of the Dominion War
- 2374: Retakes Deep Space 9; responsible for the Romulan Star Empire joining the war; awarded the Christopher Pike Medal of Valor; leads the First Battle of Chin'toka
- 2375: Discovers truth about mother, Prophets; marries Kasidy Yates; the Defiant lost during the Second Battle of Chin'toka; given command of USS Sao Paulo; Dominion War ends; defeats Dukat and the pah-wraiths; joins the Prophets in the Celestial Temple
Benjamin Sisko was played by Avery Brooks.
- Benjamin Sisko, human Starfleet commander with a twelve year-old son, whose gentle, strong, soft spoken demeanor belies the temper that he is constantly trying to control. And when he loses it, he gets furious with himself. He's a man of action who gets impatient with too much talk, but as he has become more mature, he's learned to stop and think twice about losing control. He has a weakness for baseball, a sport that died out in the 22nd century and he frequently goes to a holo-suite to have a chat and a catch with one [of] his legendary ballplayer heroes. Sisko was on a starship with his wife and son at the famous encounter with the Borg led by the Borgified Picard, and his wife was killed. That leads to bitterness toward Picard. Picard: Have we met before? Sisko: Yes, we met in battle. Since that tragedy, he has been assigned to shore duty on Mars where he was on the team reconstructing the fleet at Utopia Planitia Yards. Sisko objected to being assigned to DS9. He told Starfleet he had a son to raise and had been asking for an Earth assignment, not this. His important work on DS9 gives him a new direction, but his is still very much a life framed by tragedy.
When Avery Brooks' agent first rang him to tell him that there was a role available in a new Star Trek show, Brooks laughed, because he instinctively felt he was going to be offered a role requiring heavy prosthetics, which he wasn't interested in doing (though he ended up doing so anyway, in "Apocalypse Rising"). After finding out the role was that of a Human, Brooks was still unconvinced, and of his pursuit of the role he said, "This will never work." Indeed, on his way to his audition for the part, the transmission in his car began to slip, so he called the producers and nonchalantly told them he couldn't make it; he was surprised when they rearranged his audition. It was ultimately the quality of the script for "Emissary" which convinced Brooks of the value of the show. ("Crew Dossier: Benjamin Sisko", DS9 Season 7 DVD special features)
Speaking in 1992, shortly after filming had begun on "Emissary", Avery Brooks said of Sisko, "He is very, very human. He shows what he feels, wears what he feels. He is a quick thinker, but yet a deep thinker. He is a single parent, and thus is worried about raising his son. In this case, of course, he is a widower, so that part of his history is there, especially every time he looks at his son, he is seeing that part of his life, indeed, seeing his wife, and we have to assume that he loved her very deeply. So there are indeed conflicts, Human conflicts, which make it a wonderful experience because you can play everything." (Hidden File 01, DS9 Season 1 DVD special features)
In 2012, Brooks recalled his role as Sisko: "When I read the pilot script, it was the presentation of a man dealing with loss and raising a son, and how he handled those situations, that really got my attention. Certainly the fact you have a black man in a command position is very important. That is something that goes far beyond just having black people working on a show, which itself is also very important. It goes to children being able to see themselves on screen and visualize that in the future they will be doing something of importance to the world at large. It addresses the situation of having all kinds of people interacting and cooperating for the mutual survival of the planet. The writing was exceptional, and the funny thing is I initially said no to Star Trek. My wife convinced me to go to the audition. She was the one who said, 'You can't say no to this'." 
According to Michael Piller, "It was harder to define Sisko as a character than perhaps any of the others, and ultimately it took us probably a season and a half to reach the conclusion that Sisko was a builder, a man who built things, stayed with projects, as opposed to the driver, the captain of a starship who went off and moved from place to place." (New Frontiers: The Story of Deep Space Nine, DS9 Season 2 DVD special features) Piller also talks about this aspect of Sisko's character, the builder in contrast to Picard's explorer, numerous times in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion.
Hans Beimler also saw Sisko as a builder. Beimler commented, "Captain Sisko is a complicated man. He's a family man. He's a builder, a man who has come to this place and is trying to do something – he's not some kind of transient. Picard and Kirk were both captains who were 'passing through, ma'am', but Sisko is here to stay, to build something more lasting. I certainly can relate to that situation and that kind of man; he's a different kind of hero, more complex in a way." (The Official Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Magazine issue 15)
Speaking in 1999, just after filming on "What You Leave Behind" had finished, Ira Steven Behr said, "Sisko's arc is pretty clear. He came to the station, it was an assignment he did not want, he was not happy to be there, and he became a man who talks about living on Bajor for the rest of his life. So, I think it was a healing process for Sisko. I think he's a wonderful leader, and he's a great family man. And he came to the show a wounded man, who had just lost his wife, was somewhat bitter, and he became a religious icon." ("Crew Dossier: Benjamin Sisko", DS9 Season 7 DVD special features)
Avery Brooks has stated of Sisko, "The relationship with his son was critically important, aside from the fact that I have children, but knowing how tenuous, how fragile, how fleeting, ultimately, the moment, or moments that you have with your children, how important and critical the time that you spend early on in sowing these seeds that you hope will help your child survive and then pray that you've done the right thing." ("Crew Dossier: Benjamin Sisko", DS9 Season 7 DVD special features) Cirroc Lofton also says, "With Jake's character, he brought out the human-ness in the captain because otherwise you would just see the captain as an authoritative figure, you'd see him as just being someone who just gives orders, and someone who's really firm and aggressive, with Jake he can be playful, and you see the father side and the Human side of this icon, this character, this person who you respect, but there's another side to him, the loving, caring side, the playful side." ("Crew Dossier: Jake Sisko", DS9 Season 7 DVD special features)
Brooks has also commented, "The investigation of self, or the discovery of self, is an internal journey. The investigation of the unknown is not outer, ultimately, but inner. So, the idea of this man reluctantly wrestling with this idea of being the chosen one, to make this journey, this internal journey, towards the discovery of self, something that human-kind does, until they leave the planet I'm sure, certainly that's what I'm doing." ("Crew Dossier: Benjamin Sisko", DS9 Season 7 DVD special features)
Brooks commented: "When people come up to me and ask what being Benjamin Sisko meant, I understand why they are asking me that," Brooks said. "I don't get mad or upset. I just let them know he was one aspect of my life, one role that was good to me, but not one that defines who or what I am. But I'm happy so many people remember it and remember me, and I hope the full message of Star Trek, that humanity must interact and evolve and survive in all its different experiences and embodiments, is what they really remember". 
One of the plans for a six-episode arc which started season six was to promote Sisko to admiral, even if only temporarily. This was vetoed after extensive discussion involving Ira Steven Behr, who "felt it took the lead character out of the Star Trek pantheon." He did, however, briefly serve as adjutant to Admiral Ross, temporarily turning over his command to Dax. (Star Trek Monthly issue 38) Around the same time, Ron D. Moore in an unrelated matter described Sisko as having evolved since the start of the series in that he had "grown accustomed to the idea that he may never get admiral's stars" and preferring to remain a captain on the frontier. (AOL chat, 1997) (AOL chat, 1997)
In Black and Brown Planets: The Politics of Race in Science Fiction, the authors write: "Perhaps after watching black actor Avery Brooks play Captain Sisko on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993–99), Americans no longer were alienated by the idea of electing a black man as the U.S. President".
Sisko underwent a major change of appearance between Seasons 3 and 4, shaving his head and growing a beard. This coincided with Avery Brooks reprising the role of Hawk in a Spenser: For Hire TV movie in which Hawk sported the same look.
Other actors who auditioned for the role of Sisko were Robert Gwilym, Keith Allen, Pip Torrens, Ralph Brown, Anthony Head, Jolyon Baker, Peter Firth, Nick Brimble, Stefan Kalipha and Peter Capaldi (who later became the Twelfth Doctor in Doctor Who). 
In the documentary What We Left Behind, the writers of DS9 pitch a new episode, where Sisko returns from the Prophets twenty years after the series.
In the DS9 relaunch novels, Sisko returns from the Celestial Temple in the novel Unity, on the day that his daughter (β) Rebecca is born, and subsequently lives on Bajor with Kasidy. As of the Star Trek: Typhon Pact novel Rough Beasts of Empire, Sisko has returned to Starfleet and is in command of the Galaxy-class starship USS Robinson (β). Whereas in Rough Beasts of Empire, Sisko requested a divorce from Kasidy on the basis of the Prophets warning him, several years earlier, that he would face great sorrow, in Plagues of Night, he withdrew the request. In the novel Ascendance, Sisko starts a mission commanding the Robinson on a exploration mission into the Gamma Quadrant that he expects to last two years.
In Star Trek Online, Sisko's antique baseball still sits at his former desk, in a protective case, and a Prophet encountered in the mission "Crack in the Mirror" says that "the Sisko" has convinced them to leave to the player character the task of retrieving the stolen Orb of Possibilities from the mirror universe. This seems to indicate that, in this continuity, Sisko has not returned from the Celestial Temple.
The alternate reality version of Benjamin Sisko appears in the Star Trek: Ongoing story arc The Q Gambit where he is the founder and co-leader of the Free Federation Resistance. When Q transports the USS Enterprise over a hundred years into the future, Sisko meets James T. Kirk, Montgomery Scott and Nyota Uhura in the holding cells of Terok Nor. Having found a way out with help from Odo, Sisko intended for Kirk, Scott and Uhura to come with him. However, Kirk refused, stating that he will not leave his crew. Apologizing in advance, Sisko rendered Kirk unconscious with a punch to the face and all are beamed aboard the USS Defiant. When Kirk wakes up, Sisko informs him that they are on a course to meet with allies on Earth, which Sisko implied is very different. He then explains to Kirk the history of the past century in which the Dominion used the Bajoran wormhole to arrive in the Alpha Quadrant and sway the Cardassian Union to join them. In response to the threat, the Klingons and Romulans joined forces to crush their mutual foes while the Federation attempted a failed diplomatic resolution. The Dominion eventually managed to infiltrate Romulus where they stole the red matter and used it to destroy the planet. The Klingons then turned on the Federation and, after destroying their fleet at Wolf 359, conquered Federation space. Now both the Klingon Empire and the Dominion exist in a state of cold war. Though the humans attempted a resistance against the Klingons, it was short lived and Sisko grew up under a Klingon flag on the renamed planet "Tera'." Having grown up on Earth ruled over by the Klingons, Sisko longed to leave the planet and explore other worlds and when he got older, he joined the Human Auxiliary Corps as a cargo pilot and eventually started the Free Federation Resistance movement, which embodies the ideals of the Federation; ideals of freedom that can never be eradicated. Finishing his story, Sisko and the others arrive on Earth where they are taken by Kurn to meet with the Klingon Chancellor Worf. However, Kurn and Worf's guards are soon revealed to be Changelings and kill Worf. They were able to escape with help from a shuttlecraft piloted by Miles O'Brien. Sisko then rendezvous on the Resistance outpost planet Paradise with his son Jake and Jadzia Dax. Dax then asks Sisko about the status of Kira, saying she thought he would rendezvous with Kira after she found the Reckoning Tablet and Sisko says it's imperative they find her and the tablet as it's the only hope left to defeat the Dominion. Later, Sisko becomes host to the freed Prophet and after examining the Prophet's memories, Sisko insists that they must head back to Terok Nor immediately. The Defiant arrives just in time to see the Enterprise enter the wormhole. Dukat hails them and taunts them into following him beyond the event horizon. Though Kirk insists they follow, Sisko overrules him as the Pah-wraiths rule the dimension in the wormhole and are too powerful to be fought, but Kirk reiterates his opinion to rally and follow Dukat when Q appears saying he supports Sisko and explains the truth of why he brought the Enterprise to the future. At the nexus of the wormhole, Q explains to Kirk and Sisko that he is both powerless and at a loss. He had hoped the Prophet might be able to defeat the Wraiths, but Sisko reveals he lacks the power to do so. Dukat then transports Q, Kirk, Spock and Sisko aboard the Enterprise as his prisoners. As even the Wraiths are powerless inside the nexus, Dukat grabs a phaser and kills Sisko, who uses his dying breath to transfer the Prophet into Spock and then transfers the Prophet into Q through a mind meld causing the two beings to merge into an even more powerful entity. Q then uses his newfound powers to snuff out both the Wraiths and Dukat with little more than a thought.
- Benjamin Sisko at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- Benjamin Sisko at Wikipedia
- Benjamin Sisko at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
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