Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Gave the Franchise An All-Time Character

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

It’s a hot take among the fandom, but we’re fervent believers in the fact that Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is the best show in this long-running franchise. Fittingly, DS9 gave us many amazing characters, including the best character in the entirety of Trek history. Go grab a bar (or two) of Latinum and a comfy seat as we walk you through why Armin Shimerman’s Ferengi bartender Quark is secretly Star Trek’s best character.

The First Ferengi Main Character On Star Trek

star trek quark

In playing Quark, Armin Shimerman had quite a challenge ahead of him. As the first Ferengi main character in Star Trek, he had to be a perfect exemplar of Ferengi greed and naked capitalism. At the same time, he had to be the kind of character we could root for instead of one that we hated whenever he was onscreen.

A Hilarious Reflection Of Humanity

Put simply, Shimerman found the perfect line between greed and charm, making Quark a far more compelling character than Odo, the shapeshifting lawman who longed to bring the Ferengi to justice. In this performance, the actor also turned Quark into a perfect (and perfectly hilarious) representation of modern humanity.

With this conniving capitalist, the franchise made fun of all those who want to hold humanity back, but Shimerman’s killer performance meant that we never lost sympathy for the character that (whether we want to admit it or not) is most like ourselves.

The Scoundrel With A Heart Of Gold

Another reason that we love Quark so much is that he embodies one of the most powerful character archetypes in all of Western culture: the scoundrel with a heart of gold. Time and time again, we see that Quark doesn’t hesitate to break the law, violate his friends’ trust, or abuse his employees. He does all this in the name of profit, just like a good Ferengi is supposed to.At the same time, however, Quark is also the guy who steps up and helps the resistance take Deep Space Nine back from Dominion control. He’s the one who will drop everything and try to become an action hero in order to save his beloved mother. Deep down, Quark’s heart is almost as big as his greed, and that makes him someone that we just can’t look away from.

Staying True To Himself

In retrospect, one of the things we liked best about Quark was also one of his simplest characteristics: he stays true to himself. Since he is a criminal scoundrel, we went into Deep Space Nine expecting Quark to change his ways. In short, we expected all those goody-goody Federation values to eventually rub off and transform Quark into a more enlightened individual.

Quark: The Best Character In Star Trek History

star trek quark

Thankfully, that never happened: even after Quark’s kindhearted brother became the Grand Nagus and planned to usher in numerous social and cultural changes to Ferengi society, Quark made a hilarious vow concerning his bar: “This establishment will be the last outpost of what made Ferenginar great: the unrelenting lust for profit.” To the very end of Deep Space Nine, Quark remained true to himself and his cultural values. For this and for so many other reasons, Shimerman’s character remains our favorite in the entirety of Star Trek history.