Star Trek’s Latest Episode Had a Bittersweet Tribute to Deep Space Nine’s Aron Eisenberg

Star Trek’s Latest Episode Had a Bittersweet Tribute to Deep Space Nine’s Aron Eisenberg
Ensign Nog has gone up in Starfleet's estimations. (Image: CBS)

Last year, the man behind one of Deep Space Nine’s most fascinating characters — Ferengi delinquent turned war-wounded Starfleet officer Nog — Aron Eisenberg, sadly passed away at 50. Just over a year since his passing, Star Trek: Discovery has honoured him with a touching tribute in the far future.

Illustration: Jim Cooke

This week’s episode of Discovery, “Die Trying,” opens with our time-jumped crew — who flung themselves into the 32nd century at the climax of the second season — arriving at what’s left of Starfleet and the Federation’s main base of operations in the wake of a cataclysmic resource disaster known as the Burn. It’s the first time this season we’ve had a chance to really get a glimpse of what the starships of a 32nd century Federation — the farthest point we’ve been in the main series in the Star Trek timeline — look like.

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But among all the cool new tech (Detachable nacelles! Programmable matter!) and fun shoutouts like the eleventh model of the U.S.S. Voyager, in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment, one of the new Starfleet vessels Discovery flies by on its way to Federation HQ has a short, simple, touching name: the U.S.S. Nog.

Gif: CBS Gif: CBS

Here’s a quick snapshot just in case you missed!

Image: CBS Image: CBS

It’s a tiny moment, but a significant one for what it means in Star Trek’s own lore. After all, Nog made history as the first Ferengi in Starfleet, on the front lines with one of the most vital Starfleet crews on DS9 and the Defiant during the Dominion War. He’s not just an example of what a Ferengi can do to overcome the prejudices their species faced, even from an enlightened society like the Federation’s, but a hero of Starfleet.

It’s only fitting that 800 years on from the events of Deep Space Nine, his name is honorable enough to be put alongside the likes of Enterprise and Voyager as more than worth remembering in Starfleet’s vanguard. What a lovely way to honour Eisenberg’s memory.

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