Cardassians to the fore in What You Leave Behind

What They Leave Behind

As Deep Space Nine seals its airlocks for the last time, executive producer Ira Steven Behr previews the epic feature-length finale.
By John Reading

Spoilers ahead!

selected from Starburst #250

To hear Ira Steven Behr tell it, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine pretty much ends — with What You Leave Behind, directed by Allan Kroeker and set to air the week of May 31 – where it began seven long years ago.

“I think that the idea is to finish the story that we started in the pilot (Emissary). That’s the overall thought behind the final two-hour episode,” explains Behr, who has been with DSN since its inception, first as a writer, then as a writer-producer, and finally as its executive producer and day-to-day guiding force. Sisko’s [Avery Brooks] arc is the story of a man who came to an assignment, on a space station, that he was not too happy with, who then got slowly sucked into not only the life of the station, but the life of Bajor. He became the Emissary of the Prophets and basically discovered that this assignment he did not want was the most important assignment in the Alpha Quadrant.

What You Leave Behind finishes up that story. What I wanted to do, what I thought would be nice, was to have a final episode that, if the only two episodes of DSN you watched were the pilot and the final two-hour episode – even though there would be things that obviously would not make sense in the specific – it would make sense overall. Overall, you would get it. You’d get that there was a beginning and now there is an end. So, What You Leave Behind is the end.”.

Behr won’t reveal plot specifics, but this much can be divulged. The Dominion War comes to a conclusion. There’s a resolution to the Odo (Rene Auberjonois)/Kira (Nana Visitor) romance that may surprise viewers. Dr Bashir (Alexander Siddig) and Ezri (Nicole deBoer) do indeed wind up together. Certain characters perish and the fates of others are left up in the air, possibly never to be revisited.

At press time, rumours circulated that Captain Sisko would die the death of a mortal, but live on as a Prophet. Behr would neither confirm or deny that, in part because Sisko’s fate apparently remained in question right up to the very end, until a day or two before the series wrapped production on April 20, with a scene – featuring the entire cast, plus many of the recurring cast members, most of them out of make-up, as extras – filmed in Vic Fontaine’s (James Darren) holographic nightclub.

With the series all but done, it’s time to look back. The place to begin is year seven, a season that very nearly didn’t come to pass...

All Star Trek images © Paramount

And… it’s a wrap! The final episode of Deep Space Nine ended production in April, and a few days later the cast gathered for a glitzy Hollywood party to celebrate the show’s seven years. Starburst was there to meet the stars, to discover their thoughts on What You Leave Behind, and their hopes for the future…

Some DSN glamour with Alexander Siddig and Nana Visitor

Hear from:
Rene Auberjonois
– Odo
Alexander Siddig
– Dr Bashir
Armin Shimerman
– Quark
Nana Visitor
– Colonel Kira
Nicole deBoer
– Ezri Dax
Cirroc Lofton
– Jake Sisko
Michael Dorn
– Worf
James Darren
– Vic Fontaine
Aron Eisenberg
– Nog
Louise Fletcher
– Kai Winn
Michael Piller
– Co-creator
Brannon Braga
– Executive producer Star Trek: Voyager

on the end of Deep Space Nine – all in this issue!

Read the full interview and wrap party coverage by getting Starburst 250.
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