I'm not entirely sure what prompted this, but I'm trying once again to slog through ST:DS9 (I've never finished it, possibly because it seems so un-trek to me.)

From the pilot episode Kai Opaka tells Sisko that he will become the emissary. Then only a few episodes later and already there are characters calling him "the emissary" but I don't remember him ever actually 'becoming' the emissary. Sure, he went through the wormhole and spoke with the aliens / prophets there, but even then the title was not officially bestowed upon him. Also, I read the Memory Alpha article regarding Sisko, as well as the wiki and a few other pages, and all of them just point to this even as him becoming the Emissary.

When was this title officially bestowed? How was this title bestowed?

Also note that I don't care about 'spoilers' or what not. I merely want some clarity.

3 Answers 3


Commander Benjamin Sisko is indeed the Emissary of the Prophets in the very first episode of Deep Space 9 entitled, Emissary. While the title is honorary, it did aid in the development of ties between the Federation and Bajor. The title did come with more strings than Commander Sisko knew at the time, including interactions with the enigmatic Prophets.

  • The title was bestowed upon him by a prophecy of the Bajorans. The Bajorans have devices, called Orbs, given to them by the Prophets which revealed potential futures. It was declared by Kai Opaka when she investigates his pagh and she deemed him to be the Emissary.

  • The Prophets are enigmatic aliens worshipped by the Bajorans who live within the wormhole which leads to the Gamma Quadrant. These aliens have been silent for hundreds of years, but after Sisko discovers the wormhole seeking the source of the orbs (the Celestial Temple) the aliens engage Sisko, first in conversation, then in debate, interact with him and his memories and learn from him in a way they have not done in centuries with anyone on Bajor, which in the minds of the Bajorans legitimized his title of Emissary.

  • Sisko hates the title and office of Emissary for quite some time refusing to have anything he does not have to while he is on the station. He later, begrudgingly accepts the title and begins to use it to help improve relationships between Bajor and the Federation.

  • Ultimately the relationship between the Prophets (aka the wormhole aliens), the Bajorans, the Federation and Captain Sisko will lead to a series of events which are pivotal in turning the tide of the battle during the Dominion War.

  • While discussing Bajoran politics, Kira expresses her belief that Kai Opaka, the spiritual leader of Bajor, is their only hope to unite the people and keep the Provisional Government intact.

  • When Sisko meets the kai on Bajor, she urges him to explore his pagh, or life-force, and declares Sisko to be the Emissary of the Prophets, though she doesn't tell him everything at first.

  • She leads Sisko to the Orb of Prophecy and Change, which grants him his first orb experience: he is mentally transported to Gilgo Beach, years earlier (circa 2354), at the time and place he met Jennifer, his wife. He re-lives the moment of their first encounter in vivid detail, promising to prepare his father's famous Aubergine stew for dinner, and is distraught when the vision ends. REF: Memory Alpha ->Emissary (episode) 1 of 173

Sisko is still reluctant to take over the duties of the Emissary until the Prophets essentially strongarm him using some time travel events which convince Sisko to embrace the title more fully.

  • Benjamin Sisko initially was reluctant to accept such a prominent religious position in Bajoran society, but this changed in 2372 when the Prophets sent a 22nd century Bajoran, Akorem Laan, two hundred years into his future, where he was accepted by many Bajorans as being the true emissary since he discovered the wormhole first.

  • Akorem encouraged draconian reforms on Bajor which Captain Sisko believed would affect its membership application to the Federation. After experiencing a lapsed vision, Sisko realized the significant influence the emissary had on Bajoran society, and so challenged Akorem and took him to the wormhole to ask the Prophets who was the true emissary. The Prophets said Sisko was of Bajor and returned Akorem to his own time. The Prophets' intention was to make Sisko accept his position as their emissary. (DS9: "Accession")

  • Okay, thanks for the help. I guess I missed the prophecy bit in the first episode.
    – Arammil
    Jul 13, 2013 at 9:37

You have to watch certain episodes in which his Emissary persona was the lead in the episode. Also, most things concerning the emissary are tied together in Season 7. Starting with episode one until the finale.

  • 3
    Welcome to SciFi.SE! At the moment, this doesn't really answer the question - this is a link-only answer without the link. At the least, you should be more specific with which episodes the OP needs to watch to answer his specific questions - ideally, you should summarise the information from those episodes within your answer.
    – F1Krazy
    May 31, 2018 at 14:53

Watch the show. Watching the show explains the show. But all joking aside, to understand the answer, you have to realize your question presupposes a linear concept of time. The Prophets are beings that exist outside of or above time; they are "unstuck in time" to borrow an expression from Vonnegut. They are basically omniscient from a human perspective. This is a familiar archetype to Star Trek fans (Q, The Traveler) and the fundamental difference in how humans and The Prophets perceive time is the primary driver of Sisko's character arc. The Prophets see all time as "now" and consequently would be confused by the very concept of "now" because that implies "before" and "after". In short, there is no point in time at which Sisko "becomes" the Emissary, because it's not a title, job or position. It is who he is, his fate, identity, his True Name. Every step on his journey, even the steps taken in an attempt to avoid being the Emissary, lead him to become who He is. It is an identity that is transcendent of time & space.

P.S. I would definitely stick with the show, It doesn't hit it's full stride until season four and gets better from there. The final season is, IMHO, an absolute masterpiece of Science Fiction.

  • Hi, welcome to the site. You could improve this answer by editing it to include any relevant quotes that would back up what you've said here, and citing the specific episode each quote was sourced from. You can easily find transcripts of all Star Trek episodes via a Google search, and copy and paste the relevant dialogue from those. Jun 8, 2023 at 5:32
  • 1
    Also, regarding the part about sticking with the show, note that the question you're responding to was posted in 2013, so the OP's statement that they hadn't seen all the episodes yet may be long out of date by now. Jun 8, 2023 at 5:36

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.