If you know me, you know that I have a certain fondness for Star Trek Deep Space 9. Most Star Trek series are good (yes, even Enterprise and Voyager had their moments), but that DS9 has always been my favorite.
Because it took time to reflect on its characters in deep, meaningful ways, allowing the writers and actors to go explore what makes people, well, people. One such character was Nog.
Nog started off as your typical Ferenghi. He was a capitalist, mean, conniving, misogynist and placed profits over everything else, including family. He could’ve stayed like that, but the natural progression of the character was much more than that.
Aron Eisenberg was perfect for the role, born with kidney problems and his growth stunted because of that, those problems persisted his whole life, yet he still had a life. Nog was a character born into a strict society that valued individualism and profit over anything else, making for perhaps sometimes two-dimensional characters to serve as a backdrop to the Star Trek universe and a contrast for the more idyllic, anti-capitalist Federation.
Still, the character grew and, with the help of his friend Jake, could flourish and discover that there was more to life. Sure, he was born a Ferenghi and there were expectations upon him, but that didn’t mean that he had to let those conditions define his existence. Nog was a counterbalance to Jake, when Jake was naïve and afraid to get out of his shell after losing his mother Nog was bold, brash and fearless in doing whatever he wanted. Later, when Jake became depressed and careless, Nog contrasted that with structure, order and defying the odds by overcoming systemic issues to join Starfleet.
He was able to show Jake that while Jake had problems, he still came from a place that saw fewer obstacles in his path than Nog himself did in his journey, which didn’t deter Nog. All while remaining a loyal, good friend.
Aron became one of those people whose Trek career became what they were known for, although he didn’t let it or his illness stop him. While it is sad that he passed away at the young age of 50, leaving behind a wife and two children, he leaves behind a body of work in his Trek career was stands without peer, leaving his artistic flourishes along with a lot to think about.
Rest in pece.