Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Character Analysis: Surprisingly the first Star Trek series (and perhaps only series?) that I have reviewed here is the vastly under-appreciated Deep Space Nine. Maybe it did not get very much love because of its dark setting and flawed characters. But for these very reasons I believe--in terms of strictly drama--it surpassed all other Trek film or television. Ultimately, however, it is the well-developed and deeper set of characters here that has intrigued me to profile this series.

Meet the Characters

Captain Benjamin Sisko - Best Guess: ESFJ; slight leanings towards ENFJ - Ben Sisko is the most complex Captain/Commander in the Star Trek universe. I believe first and foremost, Sisko is an SJ. He strongly believes in command structure, tradition, guidelines and he lives in the past. While he is an E, it comes very balanced. He can often be seen in his office by himself lost in his own thoughts. However, he loves to entertain, initiate conversation, and sometimes blurts his thoughts out loud--all signs of an extrovert. He is very emotional, despite seeming rigid or even stoic at times. He is a man with intense passion (F). When he feels strongly about something he will move to his NF side and try to be a difference-maker for the welfare of others. He sometimes shows glimpses of the N aloofness, though when he is giving commands he is clearly grounded. He does display T attributes on occasion, but I believe he is merely doing his job--and as a man with strong SJ inclinations, he must act responsibly. Ultimately, I believe it is his run in with the Bajoran "prophets" that has led Sisko to develop his NF side. Strongest Letter(s): FJ

Major Kira Nerys - Best Guess: ENFJ; slight leanings toward ESFJ - Kira, the stations second-in-command, is a tough one to figure out and profile. Not only am I unsure of her S/N, her T/F is almost as difficult to figure out. So let us first look at what we know. I believe the way she walks--face first--into confrontation shows that she is an E--still a balanced extrovert, however, as she often needs time to "recharge" as well. Even so, a true introvert would have a difficult time taking the lead as Kira often does. She is insanely focused on her tasks and missions, and does not tolerate disorganization--physical or otherwise. J may be her strongest trait. I will settle on her being an F due to the fact that she is often moved to action. For example, her anger towards the Cardassian occupation--and her hated of the Cardassians themselves--moved her to join the resistance cell. To answer the S/N question, one must look at the overall situation. Is she an NF or SJ? I believe she can play both roles but leans slightly towards her NF side due to the fact that her actions are often prompted for the greater cause. Of course, she is a strict rule follower and can enforce them as an ESJ. Kira has no problem making Quark miserable if she detects any dishonesty and she works well with Odo who is the textbook example of an SJ. All in all, Sisko and Kira work well together because their personalities are virtually identical. Strongest Letter(s): EJ

Jake Sisko - Best Guess: ENFP; possibly INFP - Jake is an adventurer and wants nothing more than to explore the universe and to learn and experience the adventures that can be found outside of his father's stationary life in Starfleet. Sometimes enthusiastic (ENF), other times deeply reflective (INF), Jake sometimes has and exhibits a "moody" side (F). Like many journalists, Jake's intent is to help do good by spreading "the truth" of life in the more difficult parts of the universe. Strongest Letter(s): NP

Constable Odo - Best Guess: ISTJ - Odo is an inspector. He is the guardian of what is--not just right and wrong--but what is lawful or unlawful. Almost nothing is successfully pulled underneath him without him knowing. He is an extreme introvert (I!) and has virtually no need for people, who merely get in the way of him accomplishing his job (T). His strongest desire is to lead his people--the Founders--back into an upright way of life where they can--first be brought back to justice--and then change their ways to what is thought to be "lawful". Strongest Letter(s): ITJ

Chief Miles O'Brien - Best Guess: ISTP - O'Brien as an ISTP makes for the perfect mechanic. He has a hands on attitude about most things in his life and rather just get down and dirty rather than taking the time to think things through (P). Strongest Letter(s): TP

Doctor Julian Bashir - Best Guess: ENFP - Dr. Bashir may be the most enthusiastic member of this cast of characters. He is often portrayed as a young and naive person who has an idealistic impression of the universe. Even when the realities of the station that is Deep Space Nine starts to sink in to Bashir, he still is a man full of empathy, who readily attends to his patients. He is a man of goodwill who wants to display goodness to all people and he is always ready to drop what he is doing in order to help others. We saw this in one episode where he was concerned about curing the manufactured drug addiction that the militaristic and hateful race of the Jem'Hadar have been enslaved too. He would never be found organizing great medical environments and learning centers, but rather would be on the field working with and amongst the dangers he faces. On Bashir's interpersonal relationships--most notably with Dax (romantic interest) and O'Brien (close friend), he views them in a very idealistic manner and has an extraordinarily close bond with them. Strongest Letter(s): NF

Jadzia Dax- Best Guess: ENTP - Though appearing to be only a young woman, by the name of Jadzia, she is a member of the Trill race that are joined in a symbiotic relationship with a "symbiont" named Dax. Dax has had many other hosts besides Jadzia and has lived for hundreds of years. Their personalities are thus joined and melted into one... So what we have is the outgoing and spontaneous Jadiza (EP) who has the experience of the Dax symbiont. She has lived many lives on many worlds and has developed opinions about anything and everything. She is interested in a wide range of hobbies and loves to learn. It is no wonder she is the Science Officer aboard Deep Space Nine. She roughs it up with Klingons and jokes with the Ferengi despite their sexist comments directed towards her; she is a T that is learned to be very thick-skinned. She does not have the smoothness or conversational skills of an ESTP and so she clearly is an ENTP who likes to learn the tidbits, debate the facts, provoke for reaction, and adventure new surroundings. Strongest Letter(s): NP

Worf - Best Guess: ISTJ; leaning towards ISFJ - Worf, in Deep Space Nine, has not changed his personality from his days on The Next Generation. Being from a race that obsesses over tradition and hierarchy, and coming from a background in security, Worf is clearly an SJ. Most of the time he'd choose walking barefoot on hot coals as opposed to conversing with someone on a casual level (I). Though often showing emotional outbursts, (F) he only acts in a logical fashion (T). Strongest Letter(s): IJ

Quark - Best Guess: ESTP - Do I really even have to profile Quark any further than stating that he is a an ESTP? Well, for those that can't see this, let's just say this: His entire existence is based on turning a profit. He has no loyalty other than to wealth. He would sell his own mother if it meant an extra bar of gold-pressed platinum for him. He is quite successful at turning a profit because his ability to sell and his ESTP influenced quality of "smooth talking". If it was not for the extreme SJ nature of Odo (that borderlines obsession), Quark would possibly have been far more successful in his "business" dealings. In addition to his ESTP nature, he has all the qualities of an SP that thrive on stimulating feelings that benefit the "here and now", in very worldly driven display of pleasure, comfort and luxury. About the only redeeming factor to Quark is that every rare once in a while, he will allow that deep down he is fond of the assigned Starfleet crew and even sometimes there is a hint of feeling of closeness with Odo--despite their intense rivalry. Strongest Letter(s): ST

Nog - Best Guess: ESTJ; leans ESTP - Nog has an extremely conflicting nature. In one sense, he is in the mold of his uncle Quark. From the age of his early teens he was focused on making a profit and scamming others to do it. Like the typical SP child he found himself often in trouble. Eventually he inexplicably joins Starfleet where he begins to exercise his SJ side. I believe this structured life suited Nog more naturally than his SP Ferengi upbringing. And to clinch that Nog is a J, he is extremely neat and can not tolerate disorganized environments. Once in the military, he has no qualms about ordering people around (TJ). Strongest Letter(s): ST

Rom - Best Guess: INTP; borderline INFP - Quark's brother, Rom, not the typical Ferengi in any way is more concerned about using technology and working with his hands. His social skills are virtually inept (I), but his ingenuity to make, build and design are off the charts. He is not a very strong T as he has shown a considerable amount of empathy for others. He is extremely aloof in the way NP's typically are, and is not very observant outside of technology matters. Strongest Letter(s): IP

Gul Dukat - Best Guess: ESTP - This Cardassian has no heart (T), and is perhaps the most manipulative character here. While Quark's ESTP is based on turning a profit, Dukat's is power and authority. His own authority. He is an extremely outgoing person that tries desperately to act like he cares and that he has your feelings in mind--but is is never more than an act. He always has motives to every act of kindness he seemingly displays. While he does have qualities of an ENTP (provocation, for one), he has SP trait's such as lovng power and living in the here and now. He acts on his impulses, not on a sense of rational intrigue. Strongest Letter(s): ET

Garak - Best Guess: ENTP - Garak is easily the most enigmatic character here. One never knows who he is, or where he stands. Does he have his own agenda? Or is an admirable ally? If one is around Garak, one should never expect boredome to follow. Full of intrigue and knowledge, Garak will find a way to make you squirm. Whether it is him cutting corners or helping others, he will keep you on your toes. Strongest Letter(s): ET

Weyoun - Best Guess: ESTP - Weyoun's race (and all clones of "Weyoun" himself) was engineered with the sole purpose to be negotiators. Who else would you want to negotiate for you than an ESTP? The acclaimed master of words? If Quark's ESTP Motivation is profit, and Dukat's power, then Weyoun's is loyalty; to the Founders: his makers, his "Gods". The Weyouns excel at manipulating and maneuvering other's to complying with their own agenda. And they say anything with such an pained expression, that is often comes off as fabricated. They are essentially too good at what they do, that it gives up their goals in the end. Strongest Letter(s): ET

Interestingly, NT's are usually drawn to watch Star Trek, but this cast is NF heavy. But the very essence of Star Trek is one of an idealistic nature so it goes without saying. NF People in an NT setting.

2 comments:

Nerys Ghemor said...

You know...I have a theory about Gul Dukat that may sound nuts to you, but I want to share it anyway.

I actually have had the theory for years that he is basically the most messed-up INFJ you could possibly ever come across. I've seen some sites on Jungian theory suggest that a highly dysfunctional personality can begin to reflect its opposite image in a highly destructive manner. The ESTP you see on the outside is the projection that has come to dominate how he presents himself to the world. It is his shield--but underneath that shield he is devastatingly vulnerable. The INFJ is the tattered inside personality.

All of his strange "idealism" (but for really horrible "ideals"), his concern for being loved by others, his odd sensitivities at times, and the cracks in the armor, even the cultish form of religiosity at the end...that is the original personality, now warped beyond repair.

Unknown said...

I can see the tattered INFJ within, totally. I think you hit the nail on the head as to why he is so fascinating if dark and creepy to many who watched DS9.