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Sito Jaxa
Sito Jaxa 2370.jpg
Sito Jaxa in 2370
Full name: Sito Jaxa
Species: Bajoran
Gender: Female
Homeworld: Bajor
Birthplace: Bajor
Born: 2347 or 2352
Affiliation: Federation, Starfleet
Family
Father: Keral
Marital Status: Single
Other relatives: Mora Pol
(first cousin once removed)
Career
Occupation: Starfleet officer
Previous Assignment: Security division,
USS Enterprise-D, operations manager,
USS Norway
(2372-2373)
Assignment: Assistant operations officer,
communications officer,
USS Enterprise-E
(2381-present)
Rank: Lieutenant Commander
Insignia: Badge insignia image. Uniform insignia image.

Sito Jaxa is a Starfleet officer, of Bajoran heritage, on active duty in the late 24th century.

An individual who has enjoyed both great joy and tremendous heartache and tragedy, Lieutenant Sito Jaxa was assigned to the USS Enterprise-E as the assistant operations officer/communications officer in 2373, after being certified fit for duty following a lengthy recovery from her prolonged imprisonment by the Cardassians following her capture as a result of her participation in a covert operation in 2370.

Early life[]

Sito was born in the year 2352 in the village of Ikreimi on Bajor, the daughter of Sito Keral. Her father was the cousin of Doctor Mora Pol.

Sito's biography in the video game Starship Creator puts Sito's birth on Valo II in 2347. This date would make more sense since otherwise she would only be 18 upon graduation from Starfleet Academy.

Educational years[]

Lieutenant Sito's early education was sporadic and erratic as relative availability and competence of resources and instructors depended on the camp in which she was in at any given time. She finally gained educational stability when came under the foster care of her Starfleet guardians. She proved an apt pupil, excelling in math, agility, and leadership skills, all of which stood her in good stead when she applied for Starfleet Academy.

Starfleet Academy[]

Sito Jaxa in 2368

At Starfleet Academy Lieutenant Sito experienced both her first great triumph as well as her first fall. Excelling as a first year cadet, she earned a place in the elite Nova Squadron alongside Nicholas Locarno, Josh Albert, Jean Hajar, and Wesley Crusher. In 2368, Cadet Sito was involved in an incident along with her fellow squadron mates. Her squadron, at the instigation of Cadet Locarno, had planned to carry out an incredibly risky and banned maneuver known as the Kolvoord Starburst as a graduation surprise. While rehearsing the maneuver, Cadet Albert was killed in a collision. Sito's role in the subsequent attempted cover-up of the incident resulted in her credits for that year being canceled, forcing her to repeat the year or leave the Academy.

Choosing to bear the consequences of her actions, Cadet Sito repeated her final year in 2369, excelling in her courses while at the same time quietly bearing the scorn of her fellow classmates. One cadet, however, Sam Lavelle, did not join his fellow cadets in ostracizing Sito. Instead, through persistent effort, he succeeded in breaking through her feelings of guilt and humiliation, beginning a long and close friendship between the two officers that would see both of them through great highs and lows. Even though she graduated near the top of her class, her foster parents and Lavelle were the only ones who stood with her as she accepted her commission.

Service on the Enterprise-D[]

Upon receiving her commission in 2370, Ensign Sito Jaxa, was surprised to learn that her first assignment was to the USS Enterprise-D. Captain Jean-Luc Picard personally intervened to have her assigned to his ship to give her a fair chance to redeem herself. During her period of service as a security specialist, she earned numerous favorable evaluations from her immediate supervisor, Lieutenant Worf, ultimately earning his recommendation for promotion and assignment as night duty officer.

While on the Enterprise, she renewed her friendship with Ensign Lavelle and also developed friendships with Nurse Alyssa Ogawa, Ensign Taurik, and Ben, a waiter at Ten-Forward. However, the legacy of her actions at the Academy continued to haunt her as Captain Picard severely criticized her character and service. Rallied by her friends and Lieutenant Worf, Ensign Sito confronted the captain, insisting that he judge her by her current actions and not by her past. Picard then admitted that he had been testing Sito to determine whether she had the strength of character to carry out an extremely hazardous mission. This mission was to pose as a Bajoran terrorist in order to help a Cardassian double agent , Joret Dal, in his attempt to re-infiltrate Cardassian space. The plan called for her to be jettisoned in an escape pod just as Dal was being recovered by the Cardassians. She was to be picked up later by the Enterprise. However, upon reaching the rendezvous point, the Enterprise was only able to detect scattered debris and Captain Picard listed Ensign Sito as presumed killed in action.

Cardassian imprisonment[]

However, Ensign Sito was not killed. She was captured by the Cardassians and was subjected to over a year and a half of brutal treatment and torture. While imprisoned, she was subject to psychological abuse, beatings, and rape on a constant basis. Falling into the hands of Gul Rejak, Sito's torments grew even worse as the rapes and beatings continued until she finally broke, becoming Rejak's consort. Gul Rejak then introduced the completely physically and mentally broken Sito to a variety of recreational drugs, the most dangerous of which was Corillan acid--a highly physically and psychologically addictive psychotropic drug that has, amongst its effects, hallucinogenic and aphrodisiac properties.

A video of Ensign Sito's captivity fell into the hands of Lieutenants Lavelle and Ogawa who then, along with Lieutenant Commander Worf and Ensign Maria Django made plans to carry out a rescue of their old friend. Lavelle and the others, with the assistance of Taurik, now acting as a double agent within the Romulan Star Empire, and Lieutenant Commanders Christopher Hobson and Data rescued Sito from Gul Rejak just as she was about to be sold as a slave. During the escape, Nurse Ogawa performed emergency surgery on Ensign Sito when a pain device that had been implanted within her was overloaded by Gul Rejak. Pursued into Federation space by Gul Rejak, Ensign Sito and the others were saved at the last minute by the intervention of the USS Sutherland and USS Defiant, forcing the Gul to withdraw.

Return to duty[]

USS Norway[]

In fact, Sito was captured by the Cardassian military, and sent to a Cardassian penal colony. She was later returned to the Federation following a prisoner exchange in 2372. After receiving treatment and counseling, Sito returned to active duty and was assigned to the USS Norway as an operations manager.

This was likely based on an undeveloped script for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine whose concept was later used in season 4's "Hard Time", with Miles O'Brien standing in for Ensign Sito.

USS Enterprise-E[]

An individual who has enjoyed both great joy and tremendous heartache and tragedy, Lieutenant Sito Jaxa was assigned to the USS Enterprise-E as the assistant operations officer/communications officer in 2373, after being certified fit for duty following a lengthy recovery from her prolonged imprisonment by the Cardassians following her capture as a result of her participation in a covert operation in 2370.

Alternate realities[]

In an alternate timeline, Sito rose to the rank of lieutenant and served as operations manager of the Enterprise-D by 2378. She was briefly involved in a relationship with Sam Lavelle.

Starfleet service record[]

location assignment dates rank or rate assignment insignia rank insignia
Starfleet Academy student officer 2365-2369 cadet Assignment badge. Uniform collar.
Uniform collar.
Uniform collar.
Uniform collar.
Uniform collar.
USS Enterprise-D security officer 2370 ensign Assignment badge. Uniform collar.
Cardassian imprisonment and torture 2370-2372
USS Norway chief operations officer 2372-2381 ensign, lieutenant junior grade Assignment badge. Uniform collar.
Uniform collar.
USS Enterprise-E chief operations officer 2381-present lieutenant junior grade, lieutenant commander Assignment badge. Uniform collar. Uniform collar.

Background information[]

Sito Jaxa was played by Shannon Fill. Originally, based on the suggestion of a friend, she auditioned for the part. Fill was highly surprised when she ended up winning the role, which marked her professional acting debut. In retrospect, she said, "It was a small role and, having it be my first professional experience, there was so much to learn from it. I had no idea how complex it was. I had never, for example, had to be on a mark [....] It was really exciting and who could have asked for a better place for a first experience." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 25/26, No. 6/1, p. 79)

Following Sito's debut in "The First Duty", the writing staff of TNG spent years wanting to bring her back to TNG. ("Lower Decks" audio commentary, TNG Season 7 Blu-ray special features) It was Jeri Taylor who suggested reusing the character of Sito Jaxa in "Lower Decks", which established Sito's first name, but Ron Wilkerson and Jean Louise Matthias, who wrote the episode's story together, also wanted to use Sito for the installment. Killing off a much-liked character, initially unspecified during the development process, was one of the writing duo's primary objectives for the outing, inspired by the death of Robert Tomlinson in TOS Balance of Terror. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 25/26, No. 6/1, pp. 78 & 79) René Echevarria, who scripted the episode, likewise approved of Sito returning and being killed off. "It was nice [...] to give her another story," he commented. Considering Sito's death, Echevarria observed, "This is, of course, occasionally the price that gets paid." ("Lower Decks" audio commentary, TNG Season 7 Blu-ray special features)

While "Lower Decks" was being written, Sito Jaxa's death underwent revision. "In the early drafts of the script," remembered Jeri Taylor, "we left her death somewhat ambiguous because we thought we might pull her back in to help us out in some stories that were happening further on down the road." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 298) Taylor specifically wanted Sito Jaxa to return in later TNG Season 7 stories, at the end of the year. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 25/26, No. 6/1, p. 80) "When I mentioned that to Michael Piller," continued Taylor, "he said, 'Absolutely not, she's dead. She stays dead. That would undermine the whole episode.' So I said, 'Fine.'" (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 298)

The final draft script for "Lower Decks" described Sito as being in her early to mid-twenties at the time of the episode's setting. The same teleplay additionally commented, "As we'll see, the Nova Squadron incident has left Sito a little unsure of herself; determined to get her career back on track but desperate to avoid making another mistake, she's become very cautious, very by-the-book."

Shannon Fill was even more surprised to be asked to reprise the role of Sito Jaxa in "Lower Decks" than she had been upon initially being offered the part. "I couldn't believe this character who had just been introduced was going to be developed and I was the one who could develop it. When I received the script, I had to pinch myself, realizing this was a significant role for this episode." Performing alongside Picard actor Patrick Stewart had an effect on how Fill portrayed her scenes as Sito, two of which were one-on-one scenes with Picard. "To be able to speak with him on camera, to actually have dialogue and a relationship with Captain Picard, was extremely intense [....] I'd been rehearsing alone, knowing these were major chunks of speech and I could blow it really easily." Fill was consequently not satisfied (at least, not immediately) with her filmed performances in the two scenes. "Inside, I'm dying, saying, 'Please let me do it over again. I can do a better job. I'm certain of it.'" (Cinefantastique, Vol. 25/26, No. 6/1, pp. 79 & 80) However, Visual Effects Producer and martial arts consultant Dan Curry was impressed with how Fill, a trained dancer and acrobat who was new to martial arts, managed to pick up the Klingon moves for Sito's combat with Worf. "I've never seen anybody learn it that quickly and so convincing," Curry said of the actress. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion, 3rd ed., p. 282)

Following the initial broadcast of "Lower Decks", plans were made to reuse the Sito Jaxa character once again. Recollected Jeri Taylor, "The morning after Michael [Piller] saw the episode, he came in and said, 'We can't let her stay dead. We've got to bring her back. She was wonderful.'" (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 298) René Echevarria explained, "There was a lot of talk about bringing her back, but we never got around to it." Though there was no time to have Sito rescued on TNG, there may have been on spinoff DS9. (Star Trek: The Next Generation 365, p. 337) Almost immediately after the first airing of "Lower Decks", Piller arranged to have Sito turn up alive in an ultimately undeveloped premise for DS9. His intention to return the character to Star Trek was partly influenced by fan mail which lamented Sito's death. Shortly after devising the plan to reuse the character on DS9, Piller remarked, "I think that the character was so good, and Jeri in her wisdom allowed there to be a loophole, and we got some very good ideas of why it will be successful to bring her back." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 298) Subsequently, Ronald D. Moore stated, "We talked about this for quite awhile, but then decided that bringing Sito back would rob 'Lower Decks' of a great ending." The proposed story would have found Sito in a Cardassian prison and would climax with her killing her own cellmate. Elements of the story were ultimately adapted into the DS9 episode Hard Time. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 326)

Steven Scott Ripley, who wrote the short story "Change of Heart" for Strange New Worlds II, nominated Sito Jaxa as his favorite Star Trek character. He noted, "Her character was unforgettable." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 123, p. 68)

Sito Jaxa's uniform from the fifth season episode "The First Duty" was later sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay.

Apocrypha[]

Sito also appears in the Star Trek: Terok Nor novel Dawn of the Eagles, which mentions that Sito's father was a cousin of Mora Pol.

Her biography in Star Trek: Starship Creator (written by Mike Okuda and Denise Okuda) states that she was rescued.

In Saturn's Children, her mirror universe counterpart was depicted as a Klingon-Cardassian Alliance spy who was infiltrating the Terran Rebellion in 2375. Her true loyalties were discovered by Miles O'Brien and she was killed by Keiko O'Brien's counterpart Keiko Ishikawa.

In the story "Brave New World" in Star Trek: Myriad Universes #2, Echoes and Refractions, Lt. Sito is Alpha shift Ops officer on the Enterprise, serving under Captain Picard and his first officer, Commander Geordi La Forge. She briefly dated Lt. Sam Lavelle (the current helmsman) and is Chief Engineer Lt. Wesley Crusher's confidante in matters of romance (she teased Wes mercilessly about his lack of a love life). She also struck up a friendship with her fellow Bajoran Commander Ro Laren (tactical officer/security chief).

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