Unlike other obituaries I’ve written for this site, I’m truly saddened to say this one is personal.
In the last two years, I’d come to know Aron Eisenberg… he was an actor, photographer, husband and father. Aron first joined the Star Trek family in 1993 when he played the wily Ferengi “Nog” on “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.” The role of Nog underwent a tremendous arc from illiterate petty thief to decorated Starfleet officer during the show’s seven year run. I met Aron in 2016 at my first Star Trek Las Vegas convention, where I shook his hand in a quick meet-and-greet (“I really love your work” kind of thing). The second time, in 2017, we met again and posed for a pic together. In 2018, we’d made arrangements (via social media) for him to do an interview for this site. He agreed with no hesitation whatsoever. Mind you, he had no idea who I was, or the nature of my site, but it didn’t seem to matter. He agreed, and we did the interview in August of 2018.
After that first interview, Aron and I became ‘Twitter friends’, staying in touch and often commiserating in direct messages to each other about all kinds of things (usually politics), but almost none of it had to do with Star Trek. To be honest, I thought of him less as “the guy who played Nog” and more as just ‘Aron.’ He was a friend. Given Aron’s open and humble nature, that’s something many could say of him. You met him, you liked him. The more you got to know him, the more you liked him. It was that simple.
In April of this year, we missed each other at WonderCon in Anaheim (great moments in bad timing) but we got to see each other (briefly) at San Diego Comic Con in July. On Instagram, he asked if I would be at his Deep Space Nine “What We Left Behind” documentary panel, and I told him he wouldn’t be able to miss me because I’d be dressed as Fred Flintstone. Sure enough, after the panel, as we were all hurriedly ushered out of the building, he called my name, walked right up to me and gave me a hug. That is exactly the kind of person he was; open, honest, and no bullshit. If he liked you, you knew it. I asked if we might do a second interview in Las Vegas as a followup to promote his new podcast, “The 7th Rule”, and once again, he readily agreed. On Aug. 4th of this year, we met again and sat down for another interview.
At the Rio in Las Vegas, Aron’s new bride Malissa Longo was with him, and we talked about their upcoming trip to Hawaii. My wife and I had just returned from Hawaii in June, and Aron told me he’d never been. Malissa and Aron were a lovely couple. She actually started a GoFundMe page for Aron when he needed a kidney transplant back in 2016. She was devoted to him. I’m deeply saddened for Malissa and their family’s great loss.
On his podcast, “The 7th Rule”, Aron, Cirroc Lofton (“Jake Sisko”) and Ryan T. Husk began a series of interviews with Star Trek fans who’d attended the Las Vegas Star Trek Convention. In our own last interview, I asked Aron what he learned about Star Trek fandom by talking with the fans. This was his answer:
“That Star Trek is family. You know, we have so much ideology that we connect with Star Trek. We have IDIC (Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations), pursuing your dreams, reaching into yourself and growing more and finding the better parts of yourself to progress and move forward. But in talking to the fans, and in us doing the show, the theme we constantly find and come back to is family. This is one big giant family that continues to grow, and grow, and grow, and that’s one of the most beautiful things of Star Trek. “
That was Aron Eisenberg. He enjoyed connecting with the fans as much as they wanted to connect with him. I never once saw him refuse an autograph signing or not pose for a picture. Even as we did our interviews, I’d simply pause the recording and let him do his thing with the fans, because that’s who he was; a guy who seemed to radiate with gratitude for what he had. He was one of us.
Whether someone was was a member of the Star Trek production team or a fan, it didn’t matter; to Aron, you were part of the Star Trek family.
Today, that great Star Trek family mourns the loss of a beloved brother. He will be deeply missed.
Aron Eisenberg. 1969-2019.
To those who wish to donate towards funeral expenses, a GoFundMe page has been set up (here’s the link):