Truth OR Myth? Captain Benjamin Sisko, Hero or Villain?

Hello and welcome to the Season 2 premiere of Truth OR Myth? A web Series on Star Trek that speaks the truths, or canon facts, to dispel all the Myths surrounding Star Trek since it’s inception.

We’ve got some pretty exciting episodes coming your way this season and throughout the next year we’re even layering in some new web series and specials such as unboxings, product reviews and one of my favourite a non Trek specific series where I rant about things that tick me off so I hope you’ll enjoy it all.

Before we start today’s episode though, I would like to remind everyone that we now have a Patreon account with some pretty great perks for members… So if you’re interested in supporting the channel, helping us grow and allowing us to focus on quality content then check out the link in the description below and of course, we’d really appreciate it…

When I wrote episode 4 and the follow-up episode 43 of Truth OR Myth all about Captain Janeway and whether she was a Hero or a Villain I wasn’t expecting the black and white arguments I got. Those videos really polarized this fan base and I was happy it had.

Though mostly respectful and engaging, there were a few comments that were absolutely nutty. For example, there was one woman, we’ll call her Big C, who accused me of being sexist and then attempted to attack me based on that view and what the definition of mentally unstable was.

Because a person obviously who looks at Janeway and doesn’t see hero MUST be sexist… A liberal male with an opinion against a specific female that presents his reasons in a logical fashion can ONLY be against women.

Well after reading this, I decided to respond and basically threw a few definitions of the words she was using and explained why they didn’t apply and BIG C scurried off, deleting her comments, never to be heard from again. It was simply her desperate move to try and win an argument that was too difficult for her to argue based on canon facts alone…

Anyhow, on the flip side, a good thing to come out of those videos was the suggestion that I look at all the other captains and ask the same question, and so I am, and here we are… Is Captain Sisko a hero or a villain?

(CBS) “Emissary” – DS9 1X01

Unlike Janeway, this question is a bit harder to answer. We’re introduced to Sisko through a flashback to the battle of Wolf 359, where we find out Sisko’s wife ends up dying due to the actions of Locutus, the assimilated Captain Jean-Luc Picard, so right off the bat we know he’s damaged property.

But amazingly, by the end of the premiere episode, he seems to have accepted his wife’s death and moved on. And in fact, her death would play very little into his personality over the proceeding 7 years of Deep Space 9.

So one of the big arguments for Sisko actually being a villain, brought up time and time again in the comments, is how he tricked the Romulans into the Dominion War on the Federations side. Was it tricky? Yes. Was it Underhanded? Yes. But the difference here is that

  1. The Federation approved of the plan, meaning he didn’t just act out of his own feelings like Janeway often did, he actually got permission to do so. And wouldn’t have just decided to disobey Starfleet rules and regulations if they had said no. And why can I say that? Well if he had intended to do it anyhow, he wouldn’t have asked Starfleet for permission in the first place.
  2. Though it was Sisko’s intent to bring the Romulans in to the war, his plan, with the data rod containing a high-level meeting discussing the invasion of Romulus, was VERY different then the plan that Garek had, a plan that Garek thought out and initiated that he himself knew would have NEVER been approved Starfleet or Sisko.

So the end lines where Sisko says he can live with what Garek did because the Romulans were now in the War and were giving the Federation a fighting chance of actually winning isn’t a sign of being a villain, but rather one who was caught up in a crazy scheme that just ended up working in his favour. A Chance for the institutions he loved, Starfleet and the United Federation of Planets, to continue to flourish and survive. I think it’s a situation we could all understand.

(CBS) “For The Cause” – DS9 4X22

The other biggie that’s been brought up is how he MUST be a villain is his obsession with Michael Eddington, the Maquis leader who fooled him into thinking he was a loyal Starfleet Officer working towards the same goals as Sisko was.

And with this one I agree, he was a Villain, but the thing is even he himself acknowledges that fact. He is well aware that his actions are villainous but has decided to put his hero side aside in order to accomplish a mission that Starfleet had wanted completing since Eddington had first betrayed the Federation.

Janeway, on the other hand, is blind to ALL of the villainous actions she has done, and that’s a huge difference. Was he right the way he did it? No, not at all. But when he poisoned the planet’s atmosphere to force Eddingtons surrender, even that he did in a way to allow enough time for ALL the people to evacuate the colony. So he didn’t murder anyone.

But the question is does that one action make him a villain? The answer is no. We as an audience tend to forget a villain isn’t simply a human being. It’s one that displays a pattern of evil behaviour, something he doesn’t do, but Janeway does.

I often times imagine Starfleet’s reaction to what he did as probably earning him a reprimand. On one hand, he captured Eddington, removing a serious security concern for the Federation, and re-stabilized the demilitarized zone, something that is VERY impressive and in lines with what Starfleet would have wanted.

(CBS) “For The Uniform” – DS9 – S5X13

On the other hand, he poisoned a Planets atmosphere and forced an entire human colony to move planets. It was probably something Starfleet would keep fairly quiet and may have actually lead to Sisko asking Starfleet about his plan to bring the Romulans into the war, it all fits.

There are very few examples in DS9 of Sisko simply disobeying regs for his own gains. In fact, there are A LOT of examples where Sisko is willing to sacrifice himself AND his crew for the greater good, take “Children of Time” and “The Siege of AR-558” for example.

And his pattern of personality is NEVER that one week he’ll help a race citing regulations and then the next week won’t help at all pretending the regs don’t exist. He’s consistent. He has clear beliefs about what’s right and what’s wrong and ALWAYS sticks with them.

As a result, there is no other conclusion that I can come to except that Captain Benjamin Lafayette Sisko is, in fact, a Hero. He made some questionable decisions in his career but he was ALWAYS true to himself and able to admit his own faults when asked…

 

Thank you for watching today’s episode of Truth OR Myth. Have something you’d like to add? Think I’m being sexist against Janeway? then leave a comment in the section below. And don’t forget to like the video and subscribe to the channel hitting that little bell icon so you don’t miss a single video we release. Thanks again for watching, live long and prosper…

 

Watch Season 2 Episode 1