Star Trek: Deep Space Nine maintains a dedicated fan following years after the show went off the air, leading to the crowd-funded documentary What We Left Behind: Looking Back at Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. More recently, Star Trek: Lower Decks creator Mike McMahan confirmed that the USS Cerritos crew will be spending an entire episode at the Deep Space 9 space station in its upcoming third season. Penny Johnson Jerald, now one of the stars of The Orville: New Horizons, appeared in 15 episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, guest-starring as Kasidy Yates, the captain of a freighter who falls in love with Capt. Benjamin Sisko. Speaking to Heavy, Johnson Jerald looked back on her time playing the character
"There's nothing I liked about Kasidy. It's everything that I love about Cassidy. It was the first time, because you're talking about the 90s, that I felt empowered as a woman of color," Johnson Jerald said. "She was a captain. We didn't have that. And there was a relationship between she and Sisko. Lots of people will say, 'Oh, it's in the future. We're not going to see race. We're not going to see this or that.' But this was in the 90s when we were shooting the show, and you did see that. You saw two African American strong, very strong, and powerful people put together. You saw a man who was a single parent. Put these two together and it was dynamic. So, shooting Deep Space Nine was the ultimate. And I didn't want to do it at first because I was not a Trekkie. I didn't even understand what that was until my husband, who is also my manager, said, 'No, you're going do this because this is Star Trek.' He's a diehard Trekkie."
At the time of Deep Space Nine's series finale, "What You Leave Behind," Kasidy is pregnant with Sisko's child as Sisko disappears into the wormhole to be with the Prphets. Johnson Jerald spoke about her feelings regarding the show's ending, and the hopes she held, and still holds, for its future, specifically on the big screen.
"Well, it's a girl. I found that out," she says. "I thought we wrapped it up pretty nicely. It was exciting. It was like a party when we were doing it. As a matter of fact, I think I've blurred it behind me for this Zoom call, but I have the final mask that Rene just ripped off his face. I said, 'Could you not rip it?' And I put it in a shadow box. I still have it. It's crumbling in some places, but I have it, and that made me feel really good. But, and I said this to (former executive producer) Rick Berman when we had a reunion a few years ago,'You have to do a Deep Space Nine movie. That is one of the Star Treks that you really should capture in a movie because what was done here was epic.' So, I felt cheated out of the movie. It could still happen. And what is my daughter doing right now? She's holding her own ship, for sure."
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is streaming now on Paramount+.