Warning: SPOILERS for Star Trek: Prodigy Episode 7 – “First Con-tact”.

Despite Rom (Max Grodenchik) becoming Grand Nagus in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Prodigy shows Quark’s (Armin Shimerman) and his family didn’t change the Ferengi. In Star Trek: Prodigy, the USS Protostar has emerged in the Gamma Quadrant, the domain of the Dominion, after the Starfleet ship used its Proto Warp to zoom 4,000 lightyears away from the Delta Quadrant. The Protostar soon encounters a Ferengi ship owned by Daimon Nandi (Grey Griffin), who was Dal R’El’s (Brett Gray) mentor when he was younger before she sold him to the Diviner (John Noble).

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The Ferengi were introduced as whip-cracking villainous aliens in Star Trek: The Next Generation but their potential wasn’t fully realized until Star Trek: Deep Space Nine when Quark (Armin Shimerman) became one of the show’s lead characters. Quark’s Ferengi family, including his brother Rom (Max Grodénchik) and nephew Nog (Aron Eisenberg), became integral DS9 characters. The recurring Ferengi contingent of DS9 even grew to include Grand Nagus Zek (Wallace Shawn), who had a romance with Quark’s Moogie (mother), Ishka (Cecily Adams), and Quark’s nemesis Liquidator Brunt (Jeffrey Combs), among others. DS9 made the Ferengi more complex and less menacing, and the profit-driven aliens also headlined some of the show’s most comedic episodes. When DS9 ended in season 7, Rom succeeded Zek as Grand Nagus. Originally, Quark believed he was tapped for the job of running the Ferengi Alliance but he settled with becoming Rom’s advisor. For his part, Rom was going to continue the sweeping reforms to Ferengi society that Moogie began with Zek.

Star Trek Prodigy is set in 2383, 8 years after Star Trek: Deep Space Nine ended in 2375, but the introduction of Daimon Nandi shows that the Ferengi haven’t changed despite Rom becoming Grand Nagus with Quark’s help. In Star Trek: Prodigy episode 7, “First Con-tact,” Nandi first tries to deceive the USS Protostar’s crew, including Hologram Janeway (Kate Mulgrew), by pretending she had sick orphans aboard her ship, the Damsel. Nandi is obviously a classic Ferengi cut from the original TNG mold; she’s unscrupulous, greedy, and cares more about earning profit in accordance with the Rules of Acquisition than she does about other people, including Dal. Nandi repeatedly lies to Dal and his teenage friends as she tricks them into making first contact with a planet to steal its remalite crystals and Nandi betrays them on the planet until Dal turns the tables on his ex-mentor.

The Ferengi who appeared on Star Trek: Lower Decks were also a far cry from the type of Ferengi Quark and Rom embodied. The USS Cerritos ran into more Ferengi in Star Trek: Lower Decks season 2, episode 4, “Mugato, Gumato.” This group of Ferengi was enslaving Mugatos until Ensigns Brad Boimler (Jack Quaid) and Sam Rutherford (Eugene Cordero) convinced them it was more profitable to run a Mugato preserve and theme park instead. Thus far, most of the Ferengi who have appeared on the Star Trek shows on Paramount+’s have been the type of avaricious villains the Ferengi were originally conceived to be. Although, Ensign Beckett Mariner (Tawny Newsome) has a Ferengi friend named Quimp (Tom Kenny who only posed as a TNG-style Ferengi to trick Boimler.

Star Trek: Discovery season 4 did show a Ferengi Starfleet Officer in the 32nd century, so the fact that Nog became the first Ferengi in Starfleet in DS9 opened the door for others to follow in his footsteps. Star Trek: Picard and Star Trek: Lower Decks have also shown that Quark has franchised the original Quark’s Bar on Deep Space Nine in other planets. But based on the Ferengi that Starfleet’s heroes have encountered since DS9 went off the air, it appears that whatever changes Rom has made as Grand Nagus haven’t taken hold across the Ferengi Alliance. This is especially the case with someone like Star Trek: Prodigy‘s devious Daimon Nandi, who operates in the Delta and Gamma Quadrants far away from Ferenginar.

Star Trek: Prodigy streams Thursdays on Paramount+.

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