Sunday, 22 September 2019

Aron Eisenberg

We awoke this morning to the tragic news that actor Aron Eisenberg had died at the age of just 50.

Taking on a variety of roles since the late 1980's it would be the dawn of Deep Space Nine in 1993 that would probably bring the most attention with his casting as a young Ferengi thief in Emissary.

Unnamed at the time and referred to only as "my brother's boy" by Quark, Nog would be named during the first season and be a recurring character right up to the finale in 1999.

Of all the main and recurring cast, Eisenberg's Ferengi arguably had the biggest character arc from that young thief to schoolboy, to Starfleet cadet and finally ensign before experiencing the trauma of war and losing his leg at AR-558 in the final year of the show.

It's virtually impossible to discuss the distance that Eisenberg took Nog - only a recurring character - with out mentioning The Siege of AR-558 and then his coming to terms with the incident with It's Only a Paper Moon. In fact it's rare to find episodes where the recurring cast were given the A storyline to run with as we saw in this instance; rare and a demonstration of how much those behind the scenes believed in Eisenberg and Nog.

But Nog was not just about this moment from the seventh season but also about the humour he brought to the show plus the key relationship that was developed between Nog and Jake Sisko (Cirroc Lofton with whom Eisenberg hosted the 7th Rule podcast) and the negativity they faced for a Ferengi/Hoo-mon friendship. Truly, Nog was one of the great roles that evolved on Deep Space Nine hence his frequent return to the show and the love of the character from the writing room who wanted to do more and more for the first Ferengi in Starfleet.

I was fortunate enough to see Aron at both the First Contact Day 2016 event and also at Destination Star Trek in 2018. He remained an engaging personality on the stage, bouncing off J G Hertzler at the former event and then mixing it up with his Ferengi co-stars Armin Shimerman, Max Grodenchik and Leeta actress Chase Masterson during the Friday press conference and then again in full makeup over the weekend.

At First Contact Day I had the chance to interview Aron Eisenberg and was amazed at the passion he had for the series and the franchise in which he had also played a young Kazon in Voyager's Initiations as well as the voice of Nog in Star Trek Online. The stories he related about the effect he had seen from his work in It's Only a Paper Moon especially with veterans is something that has stayed with me. Even though he had potentially told the story many, many times, he made it feel like it was the first time he'd related it and is to this day one of the nicest people I have had the pleasure to talk to about Star Trek since I started this site. 

It's a great loss to this world and to Star Trek that we will not be able to see Aron again at events and hear about his memories and exploits on set and in the years since Deep Space Nine ended. 

RIP Aron Eisenberg - you will be missed.

You can read the full Aron Eisenberg interview from April 2016 here.

At time of writing, the GoFundMe page started to help pay funeral expenses had already surpassed its $10,000 target

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