Star Trek: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Dax

Join us for a deep dive into the life and backstory of Star Trek's favourite old man.

Jadzia Dax Star Trek Deep Space Nine Terry Farrell
CBS Media Ventures

Dax is one of the oldest, smartest, and most fascinating characters in all of Trek. As a joined Trill, the Dax symbiont passed from host to host, retaining the memories of nine different lifetimes. Each host brought something new to the collective personality, for better and for worse.

Dax has an incredibly well-developed backstory spanning most of Trek history. They've worked many jobs, learned countless skills, and traveled all across the quadrant, but the symbiont has also been through a lot of dark times, and narrowly avoided death on more than a few occasions.

For this list, we're going to look back at Dax's life, from Lela to Ezri. Along the way, we'll also learn about how the character evolved behind the scenes, and the massive impact they have had on Star Trek, as well as the world in general.

10. Dax's Original Makeup

Jadzia Dax Star Trek Deep Space Nine Terry Farrell
CBS Media Ventures

As you probably know, the Trill looked very different when they first appeared in The Next Generation. They had prominent forehead ridges, as opposed to Jadzia's iconic spots. However, the makeup crew for DS9 originally planned for a much more canon-friendly look for Jadzia.

We got to have a look at early test shots of Jadzia with forehead makeup in the special features for the Season 2 DVD. After weeks of experimentation, the crew struggled to settle on a final look for the character, and Farrell explained that the markings would keep reducing with each test, until eventually it just looked like she got hit in the forehead. Eventually, the Paramount executives made the final decision to remove her forehead markings, then went through several variations of spots before deciding on the final look.

No explanation was ever given in canon for why the Trill in Next Gen looked so different, but Terry Farrell theorised in Cinefantastique, Vol 23 #6 that spotted Trills were from the north of their planet, and the ones with forehead ridges were from the south. This actually became the explanation for the two different Romulan appearances in Trek, so it may very well be true, but you'd still have to acknowledge the design change of the symbionts somehow.


Marcia Fry is a writer for WhatCulture and an amateur filmmaker.