|Posting||Deep Space Nine
Second Officer USS Defiant
|Rank||Colonel (Bajoran Militia)
Major (Bajoran Militia)
|Partner||Bareil Antos, Shakaar Edon, Odo|
|Portrayed by||Nana Visitor|
|First appearance||"Emissary" (DS9)|
Per Bajoran custom, her family name, Kira, precedes her given name, Nerys. She has two brothers (Kira Reon and Kira Pohl), and her parents' names are Kira Taban (played by Thomas Kopache throughout the series) and Kira Meru (played by Leslie Hope in "Wrongs Darker than Death or Night").
The backstory of the character states that Kira Nerys was born 2343, in Dakhur province, Bajor, during the 50-year Cardassian occupation of the planet. She was raised in a labor camp. Her family were members of the artisan caste, namely sculptors of clay, or potters. At age 12, Kira was recruited into the Shakaar resistance cell, part of an underground movement which carried out guerrilla attacks against Cardassian military and civilians with the ultimate goal of ending the occupation.
Kira is assigned as the senior Bajoran Militia officer aboard Deep Space Nine, acting as the station's executive officer under the Starfleet commander Benjamin Sisko who posted to command the facility. In the early episodes of the series after Cardassia withdrew from Bajor, the recently ranked Major Kira, now at age 26, became an influential figure in Bajor's reconstruction and the politics of the region, due to her assignment to Deep Space Nine, and her closeness to Benjamin Sisko, whom the Bajorans believed to be an emissary from the Bajoran Prophets.
Initially, Kira was opposed to the Federation presence on DS9, feeling that the Bajoran people should have nothing to do with the Federation as Bajor had just endured a 50-year occupation by the Cardassians. Over time, her sentiments changed and she became one of the strongest supporters of Bajor joining the Federation and an essential ally to Benjamin Sisko.
Though she is a member of the Bajoran Militia, Kira is an invaluable help to Starfleet, often commanding Starfleet personnel directly through her authority as DS9's executive officer. Indeed, during the first year of the Defiant's commission at the station, she also serves as the ship's first officer, a situation that only alters upon the arrival of Lt. Commander Worf, who assumes the role as the next most senior Starfleet officer of command grade. When the Dominion recaptures Deep Space Nine at the start of the Dominion War, Kira remains aboard the station as liaison officer, as part of Bajor's non-aggression pact with the Dominion. Her role allows her to organize a resistance cell, including Rom, Quark and Jake Sisko. They smuggle intelligence to Starfleet which indicates that the Dominion has begun to dismantle the minefield preventing Dominion reinforcements arriving from the Gamma Quadrant. She also manages to sabotage the weapons systems, which then allows Starfleet to retake Deep Space Nine.
Kira's experience in the Bajoran Resistance earned her a promotion to a rank equivalent to Lieutenant Colonel. This is equivalent to a Starfleet field commission of Commander, a fact taken advantage of by Starfleet to more easily assist the Cardassian Resistance wage a war of independence against the Dominion. To provide that assistance, Kira, Odo and Garak get smuggled into Cardassia to teach Damar the tactics of organizing a resistance movement with a decentralized command. Their resistance cell manages to infiltrate a Dominion shipyard and steal the Breen weapon that Federation ships were defenseless against. Their actions allowed Starfleet engineers to develop shields that could counter the weapon. At the conclusion of the war (and the end of the series), Kira takes command of DS9 after the disappearance of Sisko.
Kira becomes romantically involved with Vedek Bareil, a prominent Bajoran cleric. Following his death, she later becomes involved with Shakaar Edon, a farmer who was a former resistance leader during the Cardassian occupation, who later becomes Bajor's First Minister. After a couple of years, the couple decide to end their relationship. Kira then forms a romantic relationship with the shapeshifter Odo, who had pined after her for years, though this too ends when Odo rejoins his people in the Gamma Quadrant at the conclusion of the series. Kira also slept with Bareil Antos's mirror universe counterpart.
Kira also becomes surrogate mother to Kirayoshi O'Brien, the unborn child of Chief Engineer Miles O'Brien and his wife Keiko. When the pregnant Keiko was injured in a shuttle accident, Dr Julian Bashir saves the fetus by transporting it into Kira's womb as she was the only woman in close proximity. Kira continues to carry the foetus until birth, essentially becoming a part of the O'Brien family.
Depiction after the series
Following the conclusion of the television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the character of Kira Nerys takes charge of the Deep Space Nine space station as its permanent commanding officer. With the conclusion of the first wave of Deep Space Nine novels in "Unity", Bajor finally joins the Federation, and Kira is given the Starfleet rank of Captain. In "Unity", Kira opens every Bajoran Orb simultaneously in a sacred place in order to defeat a monstrous enemy, announcing, "You want Bajor? Here it is." This also caused the return of Benjamin Sisko from the Celestial Temple to the corporeal world.
In current novel continuity, Kira has resigned from Starfleet and is now a Vedek in the Bajoran religious order.
The character of Kira Nerys also exists in the Mirror Universe. In the DS9 episode "Crossover", Kira encounters her mirror self, who is the cruel, powerful Intendant of the station (still called Terok Nor), with Elim Garak as her first officer. Kira convinces the mirror-Sisko to rebel against the Intendant-Kira and start the Terran Resistance. This group is later successful in taking command of Terok Nor and capturing the Intendant, but she manages to escape with the help of mirror-Nog. Eventually, the escaped Intendant convinces the alternate universe's Bareil Antos to travel to the regular universe in order to obtain an Orb of the Prophets. The mirror Kira falls in love with her double from the other universe. At the time, Nana Visitor dismissed the idea of her character being bisexual, saying that she intended to portray this as "total narcissism on her part. It had nothing to do with sexuality". However, later episodes continued to show her surrounded by a mixed-gender harem, and eventually depicted her being in a romantic relationship with her universe's version of Ezri Tigan.
- In the early stages of planning Deep Space Nine, the series' creators wanted to bring in the Bajoran character Ensign Ro Laren, who was a recurring character in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Michelle Forbes, who had portrayed Ensign Ro, turned down the offer, so a new Bajoran character was created instead. Nana Visitor had just given birth to a baby boy mere months before she was called to audition for the role of Kira Nerys, and her becoming a mother actually shaped her decision process for accepting or turning down roles. With the character of Kira Nerys, Visitor felt "completely engaged on every level by the part."
- A young Kira Nerys was portrayed by an unknown child actor in a brief scene of "Wrongs Darker than Death or Night". Younger Kiras with longer hair, usually portrayed during her time in the resistance, were also created.
An article in the Journal of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis finds the character of Kira "emotionally difficult". In Star Trek and Sacred Ground: Explorations of Star Trek, Religion, and American Culture, it is noted that Kira was not shown worshipping privately until the 1997 episode "Ties of Blood and Water".
- Reeves-Stevens, Judith & Reeves-Stevens, Garfield (1994). The Making of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Pocket Books. p. 105. ISBN 0-671-87430-6.
- Shapiro, Marc (September 1995). "Mother with a Mission". Star Trek Monthly. Retrieved August 31, 2007.
- Forest, David V. (2005). "Consulting to Star Trek: To Boldly Go Into Dynamic Neuropsychiatry". Journal of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis. 33 (1): 71–82. ISSN 0090-3604.
- Porter, Jennifer E. & McLaren, Darcee L., eds. (1999). Star Trek and Sacred Ground: Explorations of Star Trek, Religion, and American Culture. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. ISBN 9780585291901.