Gene Roddenberry had originally planned to only use entirely new races in Star Trek: The Next Generation. This plan didn’t last long, however, as the Klingons, Vulcans, and Romulans all returned. He was able to create some new enemies for the Federation to face, which were introduced early on during the show’s run. One of these was the Ferengi, who were some of the most ridiculous villains in Star Trek history.
The Ferengi finally found their place in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. We have Armin Shimerman to thank for redeeming the Ferengi in the eyes of the fanbase, as he helped to establish them as a species who clung to the primitive ideals of modern man.
Shimerman played Quark, who was the Ferengi owner of the bar aboard the eponymous station. Quark’s storylines helped flesh out the Ferengi and solidified their position as one of the most powerful races in the galaxy.
We are here today to look into the life of the trendsetting Ferengi barkeep, whose role in the story was far greater than anyone gave him credit for.
From his numerous appearances throughout Star Trek to the time he was interviewed by Regis Philbin, here are 15 Things You Never Knew About Quark.
15. He’s One Of The Few Characters To Appear In The TNG, DS9, and Voyager
The three Star Trek shows that ran from 1987 to 2001 were all connected within a single time period, while The Original Series and Enterprise are set at earlier points in the timeline.
This means that there are fewer crossovers between the earlier shows and The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager. These three programs had strong connections, with Miles O’Brien and Worf being full-time cast members on two of the shows.
Quark is one of the few characters to appear in The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager. He was a main cast member of Deep Space Nine and appeared in almost all of the episodes of the show.
He appeared in a Next Generation episode called “Firstborn”, as Riker contacted him and asked for information about the Duras sisters. The first episode of Voyager showed Harry Kim encountering Quark, as he was enjoying a drink at his bar before heading off to his next assignment.
14. He Is Related To The Griffin Family
The biggest celebrity super fan of Star Trek is Seth MacFarlane. There isn’t even a contest in this department. MacFarlane has written numerous Star Trek references into his animated shows, which has included reuniting the cast of The Next Generation for an episode of Family Guy.
He also convinced Patrick Stewart, Marina Sirtis, and Michael Dorn to reprise their old roles on the show. Seth MacFarlane actually appeared in two episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise, where he played a Starfleet officer named Rivers. He also had an ensign named after him in the Enterprise episode called “The Xindi”.
In Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story, Stewie mentions that he has a relative named Quark Griffin. This is a Ferengi version of Stewie, who is arguing with Odo in his bar. René Auberjonois reprised his role as Odo and talked about how he was watching Quark Griffin like a hawk. Seth MacFarlane voiced Quark Griffin, as he was essentially a Ferengi version of Stewie.
13. He Would Go On To Create His Own Business Empire
The universe of the Star Trek reboot movies was created by a Romulan named Nero, who went back in time and changed reality as we know it. Nero killed Kirk’s father and would eventually destroy the planet Vulcan.
This caused fans to wonder whether the universe of The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, or Voyager had been wiped out for good. It was later revealed that the story of the TV shows would continue in an MMO called Star Trek Online.
In Star Trek Online, Quark decides to leave his bar, as his brother Rom has just become the new Grand Nagus, and he wanted to be able to expand his business opportunities.
This led to the creation of Quark Enterprises– an intergalactic trade operation that has its own ships and freight. Quark’s bar is still open aboard Deep Space Nine, where it is run by a Ferengi named Hadron, despite the fact that Quark has a much bigger financial empire as part of his portfolio.
A true Ferengi would never close a business that still makes profit, though it is more likely that Quark still holds some affection in his heart for the old bar, and the days he spent with the crew aboard the space station.
12. He Was Inspired By Dodge City
The idea of creating a bartender character for the cast of a Star Trek show didn’t start with Quark. The Next Generation had Guinan, whose main role was to offer sage advice to the crew of the Enterprise… along with the occasional cryptic warning about incoming danger.
Quark was a different kind of bartender, as he was more than willing to fulfill the negative vices of his customers. While Quark certainly became more compassionate over the course of Deep Space Nine, he could never quite let go of the Ferengi side of his personality that wanted to fleece the people that walked through the door of his bar.
The direct inspiration for Quark came from an old Western, called Dodge City. This was the film that convinced Errol Flynn to star in more Westerns, as this movie was such a huge success for him. Quark was inspired by a bartender named Joe Clemens, who appeared in the film. Clemens was played by Frank McHugh.
11. Quark Had To Wear Rom’s Nose
There are some actors who did not enjoy their time on Star Trek as much as others. This usually equates to how much time they had to spend in the makeup chair for each episode.
Patrick Stewart didn’t even need to comb his hair in order to be camera-ready, while Michael Dorn had to sit in a chair for three hours as they stuck his forehead ridges on.
Armin Shimerman was another actor who had to suffer through hours in the makeup chair, as he needed a whole new head applied to his original one. This is why a lot of Ferengi wore pieces of cloth on the back of their head, as it was intended to cover up the gaps in the makeup process.
When Star Trek: Deep Space Nine started filming, they didn’t even have Quark’s prosthetic makeup completed. This meant that Armin Shimerman needed to wear Rom’s nose throughout the filming of the pilot episode, as his makeup was more advanced than Quark’s was.
10. Quark’s Actor Played Numerous Different Ferengi
Gene Roddenberry originally planned for the Ferengi to be the new enemies of Star Trek: the Next Generation. This turned out to be a terrible idea, as the Ferengi first appeared in “The Last Outpost”, which is considered to be one of the worst Star Trek episodes of all time. The first Ferengi we see all bounce around like excited puppies and act like the villains of a Saturday morning cartoon.
Armin Shimerman played two different Ferengi in Star Trek: The Next Generation. He appeared as Letek in “The Last Outpost” and played DaiMon Bractor in the second season episode “Peak Performance”. Shimerman also played the Betazoid Gift Box, though the role was uncredited.
It was fortunate that Shimerman was given the chance to play Quark in Deep Space Nine, as he was instrumental in turning the Ferengi into a legitimate power in the Alpha Quadrant, and helped define them in the same way that Michael Dorn’s performance influenced the Klingons.
9. Quark’s Actor Pitched An Episode, Which Was Turned Into A Book
George Takei played Hikaru Sulu in Star Trek: The Original Series. He has recently become known for his humanitarian work and his pursuit of civil liberties. This was inspired by his youth, as George Takei’s entire family were placed in an American Internment camp during World War II because they are Japanese-Americans.
Eric Stillwell was a production assistant who worked on numerous episodes of Star Trek. He saw George Takei speaking at a convention and was inspired to pitch a Star Trek episode that mirrored the American Internment camps. Stillwell took the idea to Armin Shimerman and they pitched it to the creators of Deep Space Nine, who promptly refused it.
Shimerman and Stillwell were passionate enough about the story to then pitch it to Simon & Schuster, where it was turned into a Star Trek novel, called The 34th Rule. The story focuses on Quark being imprisoned by the Bajorans, as relations between their government and the Ferengi Alliance deteriorated.
8. The Buffy Reference
“Far Beyond the Stars” is often cited as one of the best episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. It is certainly the most popular among some of the cast members, as they didn’t have to spend hours in makeup for once.
This was the episode where Sisko receives a vision from the Prophets, which shows him as a science fiction writer in the ’60s, who has to deal with racism in his line of work. The other cast members of the show appear as employees at Incredible Tales magazine.
Armin Shimerman played a writer named Herbert Rossof in this episode. At one point, we see a memo on his desk that states “No one would believe that a cheerleader could kill vampires.”
This is an obvious reference to the TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Shimerman actually had a recurring role in Buffy, as he played the principal of her school. The memo is likely a reference to his casting on the show.
7. Quark’s Sexuality
Quark was one of the sleaziest characters in all of Star Trek. He had it written into the Dabo Girls’ contracts that they had to sleep with him before Sisko shut him down.
Quark was known for coming on to almost every female member of the cast, which usually ended with him being rejected. This was a common trait among the Ferengi, as women were considered to be second-class citizens in their society and weren’t even allowed to wear clothes.
There was one episode where Quark’s sexuality was brought into question. In “Rules of Acquisition”, a female Ferengi named Pel pretended to be a man in order to become a businessman.
Pel begins to develop feelings for Quark, which she reveals to Dax (while still pretending to be a man). Dax was all for it, which suggests that alternate sexualities were accepted in Ferengi society.
Later on in the episode, Pel kisses Quark and pushes him back onto a bed, before they are interrupted. Quark never stopped her, despite the fact that he was just kissed by someone he believed was a man.
6. He Was In A Relationship With Ro Laren
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine ends with many of the characters leaving the space station for good. Sisko goes on a journey with the Prophets, Odo returns to his people, Worf becomes the Federation Ambassador to Qo’noS, and O’Brien becomes a teacher at Starfleet Academy. Quark remains on the station and keeps running his bar.
Not all fans were satisfied with the final episode of Deep Space Nine, including some of the actors. Avery Brooks actually asked the writers to change the plot, as Sisko was originally planned to leave and never return, despite the fact that he just had a child. The story of Deep Space Nine continued on, in a series of relaunch novels which brought Sisko back to the station.
In the Deep Space Nine relaunch novels, Ro Laren takes over Odo’s position as the Cheif of Security aboard the station. She becomes romantically involved with Quark, though the relationship doesn’t last, as she realizes that Quark can never stop his hobby of exploiting other people.
5. The Name Comes From Finnegan’s Wake
Gene Roddenberry named a lot of the Star Trek characters after real-life scientists and engineers. Captain Picard was named after a pair of twin scientists, named Auguste Piccard and Jean Felix Piccard, who both contributed to the field of aviation.
There have also been Star Trek characters who were named after fans, such as Seth MacFarlane mentioned above. Geordi La Forge was named after a quadriplegic Star Trek fan, named George La Forge, who passed away before The Next Generation was made. This name was chosen as a tribute when Gene decided to include a disabled crew member aboard the Enterprise.
Quark is named after an unusual line from Finnegan’s Wake, which is a 1939 novel written by James Joyce. The line in question is “three quarks for Muster Mark.” The creators of Deep Space Nine liked the word Quark, so they decided to use it as the name for one of their characters.
4. He Starred In The Worst Deep Space Nine Episode Of Them All
All of Ferengi society is consumed by the pursuit of profit. Women are treated like property, as they are not allowed to wear clothes, leave the house, or get jobs. This finally changed in what is widely considered to be the worst episode of Deep Space Nine of all time, where Quark was the main character.
“Profit and Lace” opens up with Quark intimidating one of his Dabo Girls into having sex with him. His mother and the Grand Nagus come onboard, after announcing that they have amended Ferengi laws so that women could wear clothes and find employment.
However, Quark needs to be turned into a woman in order to help the Grand Nagus’ plan go through. This leads to a scene where Quark acts out every unfortunate Hollywood female stereotype.
Female Quark becomes emotional, due to her increased hormones, and frets about her physical appearance. Armin Shimerman asked for the script to be changed, as he was originally supposed to cry more.
3. He Was Supposed To Appear In Star Trek: Insurrection
Star Trek: The Next Generation received four movie adaptations. The last of these was Star Trek: Nemesis, which didn’t perform well at the box office.
The film froze the Star Trek movie franchise for seven years until the J. J. Abram’s reboot in 2009. The poor reception to Star Trek: Nemesis killed the possibility of any movies based on Deep Space Nine or Voyager, which many fans were expecting.
Quark is one of the few Deep Space Nine characters to appear in The Next Generation movies… or, at least, he was supposed to. Star Trek: Insurrection was going to feature a scene where Quark was discovered trying to stowaway aboard a Starfleet vessel, as he was trying to make his way to the Ba’ku planet.
Quark wanted to use the planet’s rejuvenating atmosphere to open a spa, where the tourists could become younger during their stay. He is found by Captain Picard and shipped off back to Deep Space Nine. Only a few photos of this scene have ever been shown, as it was never included in the film.
2. His Bar Became the Ferengi Embassy To Bajor
The reason Quark’s bar was able to make so much profit was due to the wormhole that opened up outside of Deep Space Nine. He wouldn’t have been able to make any money from the Starfleet officers, as the Federation doesn’t have any currency.
The wormhole brought trade and commerce from all over the galaxy, which meant that plenty of non-Federation citizens used Deep Space Nine as a rest stop.
Quark’s bar risked going out of business in the Deep Space Nine relaunch novels. This was because Bajor requested to join the Federation, which meant that Quark would not be able to charge money for his services.
Luckily for Quark, he was bailed out by his brother. Grand Nagus Rom turned Quark’s bar into the official embassy of the Ferengi Alliance. This ensured that Quark was still able to sell goods at the bar and make a profit, in line with Ferengi laws, as the bar was classed as being on Ferenginar soil.
1. Quark Was Interviewed By Regis & Kathy Lee
Armin Shimerman attended his Regis & Kathy Lee interview in full Quark makeup and was referred to by his character’s name.
The interview was a bizarre mixture of kayfabe and real life. They talked about everything from how much time was spent in the makeup trailer getting into costume to general knowledge about the Ferengi species.
Regis also rubbed Quark’s ears, which filled Quark with sexual ecstasy. The fact that he allowed him to do this (on daytime TV nonetheless) might be the biggest piece of evidence that Quark swings both ways. Shimerman was then allowed to take the makeup off and be interviewed as himself.
Quark might be the most important Ferengi in Star Trek history. He was a prominent factor in helping Ferengi women acquire civil rights and acted as an informant for Starfleet when the Dominion took over Deep Space Nine. However, all of these achievements pale in comparison to what he got away with on a daytime TV show.
Do you know anything else about Star Trek‘s Quark? Let us hear it in the comment section!
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