Star Trek Fans Want A Statue of Fan Favorite Miles O’Brien
Some of the most popular fictional greats have been commemorated in their “home” cities. Rocky Balboa has a statue in Philadelphia and even Robocop is up in Detroit. Now, Star Trek fans believe it is time for Chief Miles O’Brien to – perhaps quite literally – shine.
Colm Meany’s Portrayal
Colm Meany plays Chief O’Brien in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Irish fans have said his portrayal is “the most positive representation of Irishness in popular culture.” Now, this is among some pretty iconic Irish characters such as Tom Branson of Downton Abbey, Seamus Finnigan of Harry Potter, and even as far back as Gerald O’Hara in Gone With the Wind. But the fans have spoken and the one they want immortalized in stone is Meany’s O’Brien.
One active fan, Alex Smyth, circulated a petition which, if it reaches its signature goal, “will be included in a proposal to Dublin City Council to commission an artist to make a statue of Star Trek‘s Chief Miles O’Brien to be displayed on the streets of Dublin.”
Meany was evidently a wonderful co-star and thought highly of his character. He said in a 2009 interview, “I think..you know, because of the world that we inhabited, with all of these extraordinary characters who could do extraordinary things, there was a terrific kind of humanity in O’Brien.”
What Makes O’Brien Special
Chief O’Brien, in Meany’s portrayal on Next Generation, is the transporter chief on USS Enterprise. He is special not only because he is Irish, but because he was a non-commissioned officer, which set him apart from the lead characters. The chief also brought a bit of domestic life, as he married his wife Keiko (Rosalind Chao), and they had their first child while aboard the Enterprise. He was also one of the few characters with wartime experience, as a veteran of the Federation-Cardassian Border War. They highlighted this part of his history in the Next Generation episode, “The Wounded.”
Meany eventually left the recurring role he had on Next Generation and brought O’Brien to Deep Space Nine as a series regular. O’Brien also became the chief of operations for the space station just before and during the Dominion War. At the series’ conclusion, O’Brien goes back to Earth to teach at Starfleet Academy.
Go On Ya Good Thing!
The fans loved him so much, the writers seemed to feel the need to put him through more than the other characters. They formed a tradition in episodes which they dubbed “O’Brien Must Suffer” episodes. For example, in “Tribunal,” he must undergo a Cardassian trial, and “Hard Time,” where he serves a sentence in a Cardassian prison and is forced to live out a virtual lifetime. It seems he got his happy ending, though.
What are your thoughts? Should Chief Miles O’Brien be a staple of Dublin scenery?