Star Trek Guide

Star Trek Discovery Has A Touching Deep Space Nine Actor Tribute

Warning: SPOILERS ahead for Star Trek: Discovery, season 3, episode 5, "Die Trying."

Star Trek: Discovery paid tribute to the late Aron Eisenberg during its most recent episode, naming one of the new Starfleet ships after his character on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Season 3, episode 5 of Discovery, "Die Trying,"  shows the crew finally reaching the 32nd century's Federation headquarters. Even though the Federation has been severely crippled by The Burn, Starfleet still boasts a compliment of fairly impressive ships, and Discovery's crew gets a chance to look at many of them on their way through drydock. This includes a ship called the USS Nog, a name that carries a poignant meaning for Star Trek fans.

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Nog was a character from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the son of Rom and nephew of Quark, and the first Ferengi ever to enter Starfleet. He has been a fan-favorite character ever since his introduction and is perhaps best remembered for his friendship with Jake Sisko, the son of Deep Space Nine's Commander Benjamin Sisko. The existence of the USS Nog in Discovery is an exciting easter egg for audiences to pick up on, but for those who are aware of Aron Eisenberg, the actor who played Nog, it is also a poignant tribute to a man who contributed much to both Deep Space Nine and the wider Star Trek franchise.

Aron Eisenberg began acting in 1989 and played a number of parts over the years, but his best-known role has always been Nog. Even though Nog appeared on only 40 of the 176 Star Trek: Deep Space Nineepisodes, Eisenberg imbued the character with a soul that continues to live on in fans' hearts. Like his character, Eisenberg was a favorite among fans, regularly appearing at Star Trek conventions and even reprising his role as Nog for Star Trek Online. He also played a cameo role on Star Trek: Voyager in the season 2 episode "Initiations," and maintained friendships throughout the Star Trek cast and crew. Eisenberg often spoke of his deep love for Star Trek and expressed his gratitude for having been a part of Deep Space Nine, citing fan interaction as one of his greatest pleasures. Sadly, health concerns plagued Eisenberg for most of his life, and his passing at age 50 in 2019 was a crippling blow to the wider Star Trek community. Friends and family, including Eisenberg's castmates, paid tribute to him online after his death, citing his kindness and sense of humor.

With the inclusion of the USS Nog in "Die Trying," Star Trek: Discovery has found a way to pay tribute to Eisenberg that honors not only him but his character as well. Since Nog was the first member of his species ever to join Starfleet, it stands to reason that he would be recorded in the organization's history as its first Ferengi officer. This is a worthwhile reason to name a starship after him on its own, but Eisenberg's passing makes the gesture even more meaningful, making it clear to fans that both Eisenberg and Nog will always be considered important parts of Star Trek.

Star Trek: Discovery season 3 has been garnering praise from all sides, and this touching tribute is another thing the show should be proud of. Including the USS Nog in "Die Trying" only serves to highlight how widespread Eisenberg's influence was on the franchise, as well as cementing just how connected all Star Trek shows are. Even though the USS Nog is not featured heavily during the episode, fans who noticed it can not fail to appreciate its significance.

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