Monday, August 6, 2012

TWITrek Character Insight No. 15: Jadzia Dax

This is the latest installment in a series of "Character Insight" articles regarding the rich history of characters in the Star Trek universe.  An audio version will appear on the This Week in Trek podcast, available for direct download here.
Welcome back to Character Insight!  This week, our subject is Lieutenant Commander Jadzia Dax from DS9.

Dax is the science officer aboard the Deep Space Nine station. Jadzia is a joined Trill, the eighth host of the Dax symbiont. This provides Dax with lifetimes worth of experience and relationships from which to draw upon.

The previous host of this symbiont was Curzon Dax, who was an old friend of Commander Sisko. As a result, Sisko playfully calls Dax "old man" despite Jadzia being a much younger female than the friend Sisko had in Curzon. Jadzia goes from a shy and hardworking Starfleet graduate to a confident and outgoing person thanks to the Dax symbiont.

Jadzia picks up some of the hobbies and habits of the former hosts, including interests in Klingon martial arts and a talent playing Ferengi tongo. She also bites her nails and often paced with her hands behind her back, which are habits from previous Dax hosts.

Although Jadzia does hold feelings for Commander Sisko, she eventually ends up marrying Worf when he comes onto the station in the last couple of seasons of the show. She may not be an actual Klingon, but she certainly fights and eats like one and therefore becomes an honored member of the House of Martok.

The romance does not last forever though, as Jadzia is one of the most notable casualties of the Dominion War in the season 6 finale. Dax is killed trying to protect a Bajoran sacred Orb from Gul Dukat, but this would not be the end of the Dax character. The symbiont is transferred to Ezri, who becomes the station's counselor in the final season.

The first Trill character was seen in The Next Generation, but that character had one of Star Trek's many distinctive forehead appliances. The writers hated how ugly it made the character look and so changed the Trill race to include the spots that have been common to Jadzia, Ezri, and all Trill characters since then.

Dax was originally slated to be the wise old man character like another science officer Spock, but the outgoing and fun ways of the character that emerged in season 1 stuck and became what defines Jadzia Dax.

Our notable quote this week comes from the episode Looking for par'Mach in All the Wrong Places:
Lt. Commander Jadzia Dax: If I were in your shoes, I would be looking for someone a little more entertaining, a little more fun and maybe even a little more attainable.
Lt. Commander Worf: You are not in my shoes.
Lt. Commander Jadzia Dax: Too bad. You'd be amazed at what I can do in a pair of size 18 boots.

Actress: Terry Farrell played Jadzia, and she also starred in the TV series Becker after DS9. Fun fact: Farrell was born almost exactly 20 years before this host in the same city!

Until next time, live long and prosper...

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