Star Trek Guide

Star Trek: Picard Confirms DS9's [SPOILER] Is On Freecloud

A Star Trek: Deep Space Nine fan-favorite character was referenced twice in the latest episode of Star Trek: Picard — the duplicitous Ferengi bartender Quark. Season 1, episode 5, "Stardust City Rag," sees Picard and his new crew go undercover on Freecloud in an attempt to locate Bruce Maddox, the cyberneticist who apparently created the advanced androids Dahj and Soji Asha from the late Lieutenant Commander Data's engrams. On the way, they find themselves on Freecloud, where Quark has apparently made a new life.

Joined in their mission by Star Trek: Voyager's Seven of Nine, Picard, Rios, and Elnor go undercover as bounty hunters to get at Bejazal, the intergalactic arms dealer who's holding Bruce Maddox until she can hand him over to the Tal Shiar. Along with some tremendously silly disguises, Rios uses fake credentials to convince Bejazal's homicidal associate, Vop, that he's a legitimate mercenary. As Vop explains, those credentials involved a stamp of approval from "Mr. Quark of Ferenginar." When the crew first arrives on Freecloud, they also see a prominent establishment called "Quark's Bar" — as well as, bafflingly, a huge, neon-soaked structure called "Mot's," apparently owned by Mr. Mot, the Enterprise-D's irritating barber on Star Trek: The Next Generation.

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But the real news here is Quark. Last seen in the series finale of Deep Space Nine, Quark ran a popular bar and restaurant on the station, which survived through Federation, Cardassian, Dominion, and Bajoran control of the station. Quark ran afoul of Starfleet and Captain Sisko on more than one occasion, as he was prone to indulging in slightly less than legal trade practices.

Quark's family — notably his brother Rom and nephew Nog — embraced the ideology of the Federation, with Nog even joining Starfleet. But Quark was a traditionalist, interested only in profit and obsessed with the rules of acquisition. He developed an endearingly cranky relationship with Constable Odo, the station's strict security chief, which eventually resembled something like a friendship. And Sisko and Starfleet did rub off on him a bit eventually, as he would occasionally help them in their efforts against the Dominion — though almost never for free.

Quark was still on Deep Space Nine in that show's series finale, "What We Leave Behind." But with Captain Sisko ascending to a higher plane of existence, leaving Kira Nerys and the Bajorans in charge of the station, it's easy to imagine Quark finding himself too restricted for his own liking. A den of decadence like Freecloud seems like a perfect fit for most Ferengi, with Quark at the top of that list. It's not hard to imagine Quark running Dabo tables and holosuites for the last two decades on Freecloud. Star Trek: Picard might be making things hard for Jean-Luc, but this is the closest thing one might imagine to a happy ending for the latinum-obsessed barkeep.


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