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Jake Sisko should have been a supporting character from the get-go

kevin.nelson.1291

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POSTS: 26

Report this Jun. 25 2013, 8:20 pm

Jake Sisko was a character that I had strongly mixed feelings about. His character managed to be interesting (not just another Wesley Crusher) and Cirroc Lofton portrayed him more than adequately. That being said, he didn't have enough to do. In normal episodes (i.e. those not centered on either Captain Sisko or Jake) he really didn't have any reason to be there, which is why he was in in fewer than half the episodes of the show. Even when he was there, he seemed to make random appearances with no particular purpose other than to give his character reason for being credited as a regular.


Which brings me to my main point, which is that Jake Sisko could have been a better character if he had only had a recurring role. He would appear in episodes only when he had a legitimate reason for being present. The writers would still have been able to have Jake-centric episodes, but only when the episode was actually a quality piece of writing (such as in The Visitor or Nor the Battle to the Strong) and wouldn't feel the need to occasionally feature him, even if in a crappy episode (like The Muse). Think about other supporting characters who had episodes centered on them, such as Nog, specifically in It's Only a Paper Moon. The episode wasn't made because the writers felt they had to include Nog, but because it was actually a high-quality hour of television.


That's my view on Jake Sisko in a nutshell. I'm curious to know what others think about his role on Deep Space Nine.

Holo

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POSTS: 253

Report this Jun. 25 2013, 10:02 pm

I loved Jake. He's about the same age as me, so I sort of feel like we grew up together.


I'll admit that there were a lot of episodes where he was present for no reason, but I think in many of those cases his absence would have been noticed more, like with Keiko's glaring absence from so many episodes (even before and after she took that job on Bajor).


And I don't think being a main or supporting cast member would have made much of a difference. Rom was around about as much as Jake, and he was a supporting role.

bunkey

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POSTS: 686

Report this Jun. 26 2013, 4:28 am

You do realize that you're asking for more episodes to feature what was then a 13 year old boy, right? The show is about the operations of a space station and features adults in the Bajoran militia and Starfleet. Where exactly would you fit in a 13 year old boy unless you shoe horned him in? There's no organic way to do it.  How exactly would you explain Jake being in Ops all the time? They tried that with Wesley  Crusher, they wanted to feature him and to do so they had to make him some kid super genius so his being on the bridge was semi believable. And we all know how popular that was with the fans.  The only other way to do it would be to have Jake be in peril every week and sooner or later, fans would have hoped for him to die.  The station was essentially the equivalent of a giant military base. You don't see military kids running around military bases, even if their dad is the CO and they live right outside the base in family housing. You can't have a kid as a regular in that type of situation.  The only other way would be to have episodes that featured just Jake, since there's no believable way to have hom constantly interact with the main crew. I mean, how many times do you interact with your co workers kids on a daily basis?


I was fine with Jake and Nog being shown as bored trouble makers in the beginning of the show. Later on we watched them grow up into wonderful young men and both took paths that were unexpected, Jake away from Starfleet and Nog into Starfleet.  Jake's decision to stay on DS9 during the Dominion occupation was a brilliant way to show his growing up. He may not have had a featured episode, but he had plenty of recognition later in the show, when he became an adult. He was featured coming into his own and learning on many occasions, like Nor Battle For The Strong. 


 

willowtree

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POSTS: 1137

Report this Jun. 26 2013, 10:33 am

I think they  used him well. Also as a minor, there are strict limitations to how much filming time he would be allowed. It was probably easier to leave him out of an episode all together than to have him in for a minute or two

kevin.nelson.1291

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POSTS: 26

Report this Jun. 26 2013, 3:27 pm

Quote: bunkey @ Jun. 26 2013, 4:28 am

>

>You do realize that you're asking for more episodes to feature what was then a 13 year old boy, right? The show is about the operations of a space station and features adults in the Bajoran militia and Starfleet. Where exactly would you fit in a 13 year old boy unless you shoe horned him in? There's no organic way to do it.  How exactly would you explain Jake being in Ops all the time? They tried that with Wesley  Crusher, they wanted to feature him and to do so they had to make him some kid super genius so his being on the bridge was semi believable. And we all know how popular that was with the fans.  The only other way to do it would be to have Jake be in peril every week and sooner or later, fans would have hoped for him to die.  The station was essentially the equivalent of a giant military base. You don't see military kids running around military bases, even if their dad is the CO and they live right outside the base in family housing. You can't have a kid as a regular in that type of situation.  The only other way would be to have episodes that featured just Jake, since there's no believable way to have hom constantly interact with the main crew. I mean, how many times do you interact with your co workers kids on a daily basis? 

>


 


That's my view as well. Jake didn't really fit in episodes not featuring him, or potentially his father. Most Star Trek characters had a natural place on the show; a chief engineer or a first officer had a logical purpose in most episodes. Jake didn't. I remember one episode that particularly aggravated me. Chief O'Brien was carrying around his new baby when Jake walked in and said hello, and O'Brien reacted normally. I found myself wondering why Jake was a regular enough visitor to waltz in without even ringing. After all, there was no reason for the two to interact. That incident opened my eyes to other occurrences where Jake's presence was unneeded. 

Utopia Planetia

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POSTS: 88

Report this Jun. 26 2013, 9:10 pm

That's a pretty narrow definition for not needed. By that logic, why was Keiko on the show at all?


Just as Keiko was included to highlight family life aboard the enterprise, then deep space nine, Jake was included to illuminate the captain's personal life. Jake served as a marker for Captain Sisko's transition from a sitll-grieving widower, weary of his career and ambivilant about his assignment, to a committed captain, come to terms with his wife's death, and in love with his mother's ancestrel home, Bajor. If you're going to tell the story of a broken father, it's difficult to represent consistently and effectively without the symbol of Sisko's fatherhood, his son Jake, featured regularly.

GuardianAngel1

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POSTS: 21

Report this Jun. 27 2013, 12:43 pm

Eh, I liked Jake, and the writers made his position on the station more viable by introducing Nog as his counterpart, but I don't really think he was owed any more screentime than he had. He had several feature episodes, and Sisko mentioned him constantly. 


"Excuse me....excuse me. I'd just like to ask a question...what does God need with a starship?" -James T. Kirk

Pooneil

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POSTS: 1023

Report this Jul. 08 2013, 1:19 pm

A lot of characters show up when they're not actually "needed". How many episodes start off with a teaser in Quark's bar, only to spend the rest of the hour on some planet in the Gamma Quadrant? "Past Tense", for example, takes place almost entirely in the 21st century, and the only glimpse we get of the station is a brief shot of Quark on the Defiant's viewscreen. Quark wasn't needed for that episode, but they squeezed him in anyway. The writers did the same sort of thing throughout the series, by sending Odo on runabout missions or putting Bashir or Garak on the bridge during a battle, where they really had no business being. It's more about telling stories than making sense.

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