Star Trek Online: 25 years after Deep Space Nine, the journey continues

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. In January 1993, the third (and best) Star Trek series flickered on American television screens for the first time, and the German premiere followed a year later. Cryptic Studios are taking this anniversary as an opportunity to dedicate their own expansion to the series with Victory is Life.

With Victory is Life you get the chance to play a Jem’Hadar for the first time in the game and join the Dominion, the greatest military power in the Gamma Quadrant. In order to take into account the fact that the Dominion clones the Jem’Hadar ready for battle, corresponding characters start directly at level 60. You will receive a spaceship with a crew and the skill points have been distributed – a redistribution is possible.

As with the Romulans before, after completing their tutorial, it is up to you who you support in the Alpha Quadrant. You either fight on the side of the Federation or join the Klingons. Then you have the opportunity to command almost all spaceships of the respective faction.

In addition, you can expect, among other things, new episodes for which numerous original actors from the series return to revive their old roles. These include, for example, Alexander Siddig as Doctor Julian Bashir, Andrew Robinson as Elim Garak, Jeffrey Combs as Weyoun, JG Hertzler as General Martok, Nana Visitor as Kira Nerys and René Auberjonois as Odo. The Ferengi are also involved in the form of Armin Shimerman as Quark, Aron Eisenberg as Captain Nog and Max Grodénchick as Großer Nagus Rom.

Chase Masterson.

Chase Masterson is one of the other returnees as Leeta. As a child, she lived in Germany for a while and we had the opportunity to ask her a few questions, including about her role in Victory is Life.

She finds it wonderful to be returning to Deep Space Nine. “One of the best things about Star Trek Online is that it is a continuation of the series. The series is very meaningful to many, and seven seasons weren’t enough,” she says. “There were so many storylines when the series ended.”

“The fans loved it and wanted a deep space nine movie. Unfortunately we weren’t allowed to, but we have Star Trek Online to continue those stories and allow players to immerse themselves in this world.”

In Victory is Life she is not a minor character on the sidelines, but an important part of the story. She teams up with the Ferengi again to – simply put – get the coals out of the fire. With this, Star Trek Online is following the way in which the series portrayed Leeta and the Ferengi. “The wonderful thing is that neither of them were the most powerful people on the show,” she says. “We were entertaining and a little clumsy, but every now and then we did important things. That also happens in the enlargement.”

The expansion sends you back to Deep Space Nine.

“It’s a wonderful lesson and what Star Trek is about. We watch our beloved characters have experiences they never thought possible. They are not one-dimensional characters. They are capable of more than they are think – as we do. It’s nice to see characters push their limits. Leeta is no longer a dabo girl. She’s the first lady of Ferenginar and in this expansion she’s helping to do something really remarkable. “

Masterson loves to see herself or her character in a video game. “I look at this character and think to myself, ‘Gosh, she looks like me. In fact, sometimes she looks better than me, but that’s okay,” says Masterson, laughing. In Victory is Life she speaks other protagonists in addition to Leeta, for example one of Scotty’s drinking companions and other, smaller roles.

No matter which character it is, she has fun with all of them, she says. At the same time, she likes the development of her figure. Leeta was passionate and brave in the series, advocated what was right. She continues to do so after all this time and in an even more adult way.

The voice recordings do not take up much time. “Let me think about it. This time it took us just under two and a half hours,” she reveals. “Voice recordings are quick. Even when the sound engineer is happy with it, I sometimes say, ‘No, can I do this again?’ I know that then there is more in me, I can get even more out of myself. I tend to be perfectionist, so it sometimes takes longer. But it’s worth it. “

In Victory of Life you can play a Jem’Hadar for the first time.

However, that is rather the exception. As Masterson states, she trusts the sound engineers in what they do. Given the huge following the series still has today, she doesn’t take it lightly and realizes the responsibility that comes with it. It is important to her to do a good job and to give the fans what they expect.

“With Leeta and every other character you speak again after a certain period of time, the quality of the language is important. I’m a different person than I was 30 years ago. And Leeta is the same, in a different way,” she says. “She exudes a lovable elegance and I want to make sure that I portray the character accordingly and show that she does not put up with anything. Especially not from Quark.”

She did not meet her former colleagues during the recordings, as she did them alone. This is normal, explains Masterson. As an example, she cites the film Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles. Among other things, Mark Hamill had a speaking role in it. Both were working on the same project, but never met.

Since Masterson knows both sides – working in front of the camera and behind the microphone – the question arises as to the difference between the two. “When you act in front of the camera, you have so many different expressions. You say and emphasize things with your eyes, your face, with the smallest of gestures. Or with silence. There are so many possibilities,” she explains.

Ferengi and gambling. An inseparable combination.

“Acting with your voice is much more of a challenge. The things that you normally express physically are then conveyed with your voice. It is important not to overdo it. Some people can sense when it sounds wrong. It works about being authentic. There is a fine line between authenticity and exaggeration. ” A good imagination helps with both. When you have the most intimate moment in front of the camera, 60 other people would still be standing around you, watching, holding microphones or lighting the scene.

“Both of these things require a lot of concentration. It’s funny that you need the same imagination in front of the camera as you do behind the microphone,” says Masterson. “I once had a role where I was killed by a sword. They use a mop to kill me and later replace it with CGI. You need such a great imagination, whether for the game or in front of the camera. As an actor concentration is always required. “

Because of her job, she doesn’t get to play Star Trek Online regularly. From time to time she takes a look into the virtual world of the MMO and enjoys the scenes that have been implemented down to the last detail. This makes her feel like she is back on set. “The way it’s designed really feels like walking across the boardwalk and through the station. It’s remarkable,” she says.

As Jem’Hadar you will be cloned ready to fight and start on a high level.

Masterson sees her former colleagues several times a year, for example at conventions. Everyone lives their own life, so there are no regular and long meetings. She has the closest friendship with Max Grodénchick, who lives in Austria. She likes to think back to the past and the cast of the series, which she describes as something special. Their work together connects them with one another.

“That feeling welds us together as a cast and it’s not like that everywhere. There is this kind of family relationship. And that applies to the series as well. I feel that way with actors from TNG, Voyager and Enterprise. We love each other. It’s nice, “she says. As with Star Trek Online, Masterson is following the franchise and its development, even if she doesn’t watch every single episode. She would be interested in being in front of the camera again for Star Trek. Since she assumes that characters from “her part of the universe” do not appear in Discovery, she suspects that this would be a role with a lot of makeup. Likewise, she is open to more Leeta in the future of Star Trek Online. It remains to be seen whether the developers plan to do this. It is not improbable.

Apart from that, Masterson is busy with her charity, the Pop Culture Hero Coalition. It uses elements of pop culture – comics, film, and television – to develop anti-bullying programs for pop culture events, schools, and communities. The non-profit organization works against all forms of hatred, be it bullying, racism or misogyny.

As Masterson emphasizes, the organization is based on the messages that Star Trek conveys, on “Gene Roddenberry’s concept of infinite diversity in infinite combination”. Everyone has the right to be who he or she wants to be. Roddenberry recognized this a long time ago at the beginning of the civil rights era in the USA.

There is a lot of oppression around the world that needs to be stopped. No matter whether in schools, at work, in relationships or through wars. “Oppression is the same everywhere and it has no place in our world,” she emphasizes. The Pop Culture Hero Coalition uses pop culture to convey values ​​that enable a life based on inclusion, compassion and empathy.

“We want to create a world where we can all live long and peacefully,” says Masterson.