Why Star Trek: DS9’s Major Kira Is So Revolutionary Explained By Nana Visitor – News Today

Why Star Trek: DS9’s Major Kira Is So Revolutionary Explained By Nana Visitor

Nana Visitor, who played Major Kira Nerys On Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, explained why her character was so revolutionary for the franchise.

Avery Brooks as Captain Benjamin Sisko and Nana Visitor as Major Kira Nerys from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.


  • Kira Nerys’ character arc on Deep Space Nine centered around dealing with trauma, her feelings towards the Cardassians, and her loyalty to the Bajoran people.
  • Nana Visitor, the actress who played Kira, felt that DS9 allowed her to be emotionally expressive in a way she had never experienced before as an actor.
  • Kira’s emotional depth and relatable flaws made her one of the most important and relatable female characters in Star Trek, helping to humanize and empower female viewers.

Major Kira Nerys’ revolutionary impact on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was recently explained by Nana Visitor. Kira was one of Deep Space Nine‘s main characters and became a fan-favorite thanks to her intense storylines and Visitor’s acting abilities. As a former Bajoran freedom fighter who experienced countless horrors from the Cardassian Occupation of her home planet, Kira’s character arc was about dealing with her trauma from the Occupation, coming to terms with her feelings about the Cardassians, and above all, her fierce loyalty to the Bajoran people. This meant that Kira’s storyline could often become complicated and deeply emotional.

Speaking with Tamia Harper during TrekTalks 3, Nana Visitor reminisced about how she had approached the role of Major Kira on DS9 and why the character meant so much to her. When asked what she learned from playing Kira, Visitor discussed how Deep Space Nine allowed the character to be radically emotionally expressive, something that was revolutionary in her experience. Visitor stated that DS9 enabled her to do things with Kira that she had never gotten to do with other characters she had played. Check out Visitor’s full quote and watch her TrekTalks panel at timestamp 6:57:19 below:

“Look at those first scenes. I am back-talking the lead actor on the show, and I am not the evil woman. I’m not in the box of evil woman, I am equal to him. I had never done that as an actor, not once, not allowed. So that was like opening a door, and I peeked around it and went ‘I’m running into this, and I’m going to take it and do with it everything I want.’ She’s going to have appetites, she’s going to make mistakes, she’s going to have the full spectrum of human emotions, and not just what’s polite and easy to accept for people.”

Nana Visitor as Kira Nerys next to a DS9 cast photo


Star Trek: DS9 Forgot Major Kira’s Importance 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.

Kira’s Emotional Depth Made Her DS9’s Most “Human” Character

Although Kira wasn’t human, Visitor’s observations about her character’s emotional depth are correct in that Kira experienced the full range of human emotion during her time on Deep Space Nine. In an earlier part of the panel, Visitor stated that the fact that Kira was a Bajoran actually helped her portray the character as more human, thanks to Kira’s complex backstory with the Bajoran resistance movement and the Cardassian Occupation. Kira’s trauma and anger were some of the most relatable things about her, but were also two emotional states that female characters weren’t often allowed to inhabit in 1990s-era television.

Visitor makes it clear in her TrekTalks interview that viewers weren’t always accepting of Kira’s sometimes volatile personality. However, Kira ended up becoming one of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine‘s most well-rounded characters, not despite her flaws but because of them. Allowing Visitor to express emotions through Kira that women rarely got to see portrayed on television helped Star Trek‘s female audience see themselves in the character in ways that were previously largely unavailable to them. This not only helped humanize Kira but ensured that she became one of the most important and relatable Star Trek female characters going forward.

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