9 Reasons Why Benjamin Sisko Should be Your Favorite Star Trek Captain

Did you know that it has been almost 20 years since Deep Space Nine first aired on television? Re-watching the series lately, I’ve been blown away by how consistently cool Captain Benjamin Sisko is.* He doesn’t always get as much love from Star Trek fans as he deserves. And as much as I’ll always admire Kirk, Picard, and Janeway for their own merits (and none for Captain Archer! Byyyyyye!) I think it’s high time we had a Benjamin Sisko appreciation day around here. So here are 9 reasons for you to love Sisko. (But if you don’t, that’s OK. I’m sure your favorite captain is awesome, too. Unless your favorite captain is Jonathan Archer and then there’s no hope for you.)

  1. He called his buddies out when they were pestering him to hang with them in Vic Fontaine’s hip 1960s holosuite nightclub, rightly pointing out that romanticization of that era was problematic for him because things weren’t actually all that cool for Black people in the 1960s, and he refused to pretend that it was just a big sexy retro romp.
  2. In the Pale Moonlight. It’s just the very best episode. It is everything. Please watch it. Then watch it again because it’s never the wrong choice.
  3. Deep Space Nine wasn’t a fancy, top of the line Galaxy Class Starship equipped with every imaginable creature comfort. DS9 was an old refurbished Cardassian ore processing station at the ass-end of the galaxy, filled with crooks, killers, and people who mostly hated each other. And Sisko made everything work out of sheer will and bad-assery.
  4. He’s a complete Kirk fanboy. When he goes back in time and meets his hero, he gets James Tiberius Kirk’s autograph. He didn’t even have to stand in line at a convention!
  5. His best friend Dax (a symbiont who had occupied a male body when they became friends) reappears in Sisko’s life with a female body and it’s no big deal.
  6. One time he punched Q in the face. It was awesome.
  7. He was into baseball. Do you realize the significance of this? He got people interested in putting on historically accurate costumes and playing an ancient sport. This is the 24th century equivalent of being a Renaissance Faire jouster! And he brought it back. Bless his LARPing heart.
  8. Not content to let his mirror-universe self have all the facial hair fun, Sisko grew a goatee so fans could bask in its meticulously-sculpted glory.
  9. His face, when he has exactly zero fucks to give, is the best face. And Sisko wears this face almost constantly.

* Yes, I know he started the series as a Commander.

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23 Responses to 9 Reasons Why Benjamin Sisko Should be Your Favorite Star Trek Captain

  1. Liz Staley says:

    I was wondering if his punching of Q was going to end up on this list! One of my favorite Sisko moments of all time!

  2. Lois Lois says:

    I wholeheartedly applaud this list. I salute you!

  3. Tanya says:

    You know what this post has done for me? It might not have made me give up my favorite (Picard, for always) but it’s definitely made me want to go home and marathon every DS9 episode ever and give Sisko a chance as a contender. For some reason, I just overlooked DS9 altogether. Bad Tanya.

    • Mace says:

      I’ll be over on the couch with Tanya, if anyone needs me. I know I watched the series, but I could barely tell you any details from it.

      (Also Picard 4-eva)

      • Dawn says:

        Yes, he’s no Picard but he was soooo very cool-headed. Loved him. I’m almost done with the series but I’ll watch again with y’all!

  4. Katarina says:

    All the love for Sisko! DS9 is my favourite Trek, and he’s an awesome Captain/Commander.

  5. impassioned.romantic says:

    Wonderful to see that years on after some people are still like me and keeping the interest in that artwork alive.

    I still feel the old crush I felt while watching Nana Visitor tip-toe around the film set with her shoulder pads and those heart-warming, beautiful facial expressions.

    Sisko as a film character was a true work of art -almost every line spoken had near faultless reasoning while still being punctuated by very human expressions and emotions. Avery Brooks is right up there on my list of inspiring figures -because no other actor have ever done a better Sisko.

    In my humble opinion. The DS9 cast list had managed to gather almost flawless characters played by heart-warming actors. Rare for a series to be lucky enough to have such a setup. <3 Deep Space Nine <3

    • impassioned.romantic says:

      Oops. “… No other actor could have done a better Sisko ..” ;-)

      … Btw the original pre-season 4 theme has an epic, almost haunting quality to it.

  6. Jessica says:

    REASON #10: He balanced his career and parenthood admirably. Crusher was also a single parent, but she was all Starfleet unless Wesley was on screen.

    • Tanya says:

      I’ve been on a DS9 binge and I’m really enjoying Sisko’s relationship with Jake. He’s such an affectionate, kind father, but also deeply invested in making sure his son has reasonable boundaries, and it’s really sweet to see Sisko get excited whenever Jake shares something with him.

      • Dawn says:

        I agree. I love the relationship Benjamin and Jake have with each other. Same as the relationship between Ben and his dad and Jake and his grandfather. Inspiring.

  7. Morris says:

    You know, some of those 9 reasons were BS! Let me give you the real reasons why Sisko is the best Star Trek Captian:
    1. He commanded not only a referb space station, but also a battleship that kicked ass!
    2. He was the only Captain to get promoted in the series: he worked his way up, the hard way.
    3. No only a Star Fleet Captain, but also a religious figure to the entire planet of Bajor.
    4. The only Captain to raise a child and single-handedly.
    5. Yes, he punched Q,… and got away with it! But also, Q never came back like he did TNG. Now THATS an ass whopping for ya!
    6. He actually sent Dukat to hell, at least Bajor’s version of it.
    7. In “Apocalypse Rising”, he best several Klingons in tests of stamina.
    8. In “In The Pale Moonlight”, in his words, “I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all… I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again, I would… I can live with it. Computer… erase that entire personal log.” TOTAL BAD ASS!
    9. He met almost all the captains accept Archer.
    10. He was married, twice and didn’t have a baby mama like Kirk.
    11. He got the Klingons and the Romulans to get along and fight together.
    12. He was a great cook!
    13. He fought more enemies than any other captain: The Borg, the Cardassians, the Klingons, the Dominion, the Maquis, etc.
    14. And the reason that makes all other reason seem insignificant. He intimidated Worf! Enough said!

    • Tanya says:

      Hey you know, to add other reasons (because clearly there are more than 9) to the list, you don’t have to come in guns blazing, and rudely dismiss the post you’re commenting on. Just comment and say “Here are some other reasons why he rules!” The way you started off your comment is not really constructive to anything. This isn’t a contest to show off who’s a bigger fan. Especially since several of the reasons you mention are just confirming some of the items on the list. So why the attitude? Leave your nerd cred at the door next time, please.

    • Emily says:

      I’m surprised “rendering an entire planet uninhabitable to human life” didn’t make it to either the main list or Morris’. Not to mention the fact that he only did it to capture one man he had a grudge against.

  8. JMH says:

    Not only did he punch Q, but the next time you saw him, we was IN THE DELTA QUADRANT. Sisko scared him halfway across the galaxy. Game. Set. Match.

  9. Bob says:

    Sisko and Picard are my favorite – they’re neck and neck. Kirk was from another generation and has his place in my heart but the original series just wasn’t my favorite cup of tea. In reality, I like all of the Captains for different reasons – except maybe Archer – but that wasn’t because Archer’s character was bad, it was because the writers of Enterprise were awful for seasons 2 and 3.

  10. Chris says:

    Haha! “One time he punched Q in the face. It was awesome.”

    Made me laugh my pink shirt off.

  11. Thank you so much for this. I’m a die-hard Trekkie, I grew up watching this show, and like all of you, I like the Captains for different reasons (except Archer, and no, it wasn’t Bakula’s fault).

    Avery Brooks as Benjamin Sisko rarely gets the credit he deserves, even though DS9 received consistent critical acclaim from non-Trekkie critics during its run. That’s no small feat. I liked how Sisko showed his emotions in a realistic manner. When you’re a Captain dealing with a f*ckton of BS, not only are you entitled to get fed up with Quark’s shady dealing/Maquis thievery/Romulan stealth/Garak’s constant dissembling/random Klingons showing up/the friggin’ Dominion…(we could go on), you’re entitled to SHOW being fed up. That’s why I thank all the nerds on YouTube who compiled videos of Sisko yelling at people.

    And while I don’t like pitting Captains against each other, I do enjoy the differences between them. Picard was shown willing and able to best the Romulans at their own intrigue, which was great and all, but in the Season 3 episode “Visionary” where Sisko finds out a cloaked Romulan ship has been orbiting DS9 with the intent to destroy the station and collapse the wormhole, he walks straight up to the Romulan delegation and lets them know flat-out he’s located their little cloaked friend…and has 50 photon torpedoes locked on to it.

    One of the best scenes in the whole franchise.

  12. John Jacobson says:

    Sisko has always been my least favorite Star Trek captain. He did a lot of cool things, but I take issue with his acting. His affect was usually ponderous and rather flat, and when he needed to rise to the occasion, he tended to over-act. There are so many favorable impressions of him expressed that I think I should re-watch the series. It’s been awhile, maybe I’ll change my mind.

  13. iDf says:

    Hmm… first season, there seemed to be a bit of that (overacting) but he finds his stride in season 2. When DS9 first came out, I watched it pretty regularly, but at some point… I don’t know, I guess I was “trekked-out”. I had watched all STNG multiple, multiple times and recall Voyager and DS9 overlapping. I’ve been thankful to watch the series again- fresh. Having done so, I agree whole-heartedly with much said here, adding that the ensemble gave this captain (and the writers) so much to play off of. The complex relationship between Sisko and Odo, Nerys, Quark… lots of fun, lots of nuance, lots of in-your-face. A very different Trek, yet Trek all-the-same. A very different captain, yet a Trek captain all-the-same.

  14. Fred says:

    So many reasons in all of these comments. Let me throw in my own.

    “Through The Looking Glass” where he locked lips with BOTH Dax and Kira
    “Emissary” in which he used Nog’s imprisonment as a bargaining chip to keep Quark from leaving the station

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