Stаr Trek: DS9 Forɡot Mаjor Kirа’s Importаnсe At First

DS9 season 1 forgot how important the character of Major Kira was, but the Star Trek spinoff fixed their mistake and put the Bajoran front and center.

Nana Visitor as Kira Nerys next to a DS9 cast photo


  • Major Kira Nerys was initially overlooked in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine season 1 but quickly became one of the show’s most important characters.
  • Kira’s past as a former freedom fighter and her struggle to reconcile her prejudice against the Cardassians were integral to her character arc.
  • The episode “Progress” was specifically written to refocus on Kira’s character and explore her inner conflict regarding the future of Bajor and the role of Starfleet and the Federation.

After a strong start, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine season 1 forgot about Major Kira Nerys (Nana Visitor) but swiftly fixed this oversight by making her one of the show’s most important characters. Kira was a groundbreaking Star Trek character because not only was she not a Starfleet officer, she was a former freedom fighter with a very dark past. Kira’s past would inform many of her best episodes, forcing her to reconcile her prejudice against the Cardassians, and confront the consequences of the violence of the Bajoran resistance movement.

Kira is at the center of the classic Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “Duet,” but it’s a lesser known season 1 entry that would re-establish her character arc. In the episode “Progress”, Kira struggles to convince aging Bajoran farmer Mullibok (Brian Keith) to leave his home. It’s a quiet character piece that’s largely forgotten alongside similar, superior examples elsewhere in the DS9 canon. However, “Progress” was written by Peter Allen Fields with the specific intention of putting the focus back on Major Kira after she had been overlooked for too long.

Star Trek: DS9 Forgot About Kira Halfway Through Season 1 (But Fixed It)

Nana Visitor as Major Kira on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Halfway through Star Trek: Deep Space Nine season 1, executive producer Michael Piller realized that they’d “lost sight” of Kira’s character. They addressed this issue with DS9 season 1, episode 15, “Progress”, in which Kira takes center stage in an episode all about the future of her people. When Bajor’s fifth moon, Jeraddo, is selected as the site for a new power plant, Kira is sent to convince an old farmer to relocate. The mission forces her to reflect on the changes taking place on Bajor, and the price that is paid for societal progress following the end of Cardassian occupation.

“Progress” re-establishes Kira as a hugely important Star Trek: Deep Space Nine character, while adding further layers to her inner conflict. She believes in the future of Bajor, but is torn over how best to achieve this. Among Bajorans, there’s a view of Starfleet and the Federation as colonizers, more benevolent than Cardassians, but colonizers all the same. Kira is torn over the central conflict of whether Bajor carves out its own future or accepts external support from Sisko and the Federation. Sisko reminds her of her position in “Progress”, and ultimately gives her the motivation to move Mullibok. His determination to stay on the farm is a metaphor for Kira’s own difficulties with moving on from the war.

Star Trek’s Major Kira Was DS9’s Most Important Character In Seasons 1 & 2

Kira and O'Brien stand in a desolate quarry

Long before Star Trek: Deep Space Nine‘s Dominion War, the Bajoran power struggle was the show’s first experiment with longform arc-based storytelling. Kira became a vital character at the center of the story, as she provided a perspective on the conflict as a Bajoran, but also as someone outside Starfleet. Kira takes an active role in trying to bring the warring factions together in DS9‘s season 2 premiere, “The Homecoming”, in which she tracks down a Bajoran resistance fighter.

Kira also sided with the Federation in their battle against the radical isolationist group The Circle. It was thanks to Kira that the evidence of the Cardassians’ involvement in funding the radical group came to light. “Progress” reminded viewers of Major Kira’s inner conflict, setting the stage for the important role that she would go on to play in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine seasons 1 and 2. After that, she would never be forgotten again, and became one of Star Trek‘s strongest and most forthright heroes.

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