CBR claimed that Miles O’Brien is Star Trek’s most well-balanced character, but they’re wrong.
CBR released a Top 10 article a little bit ago that ranked the most “balanced” characters in all of Star Trek. There’s no real sense of what “balance” is in a general sense, and each character has a list of reasons why they qualify that are fairly different from the rest of the cast and characters. For some reason, they selected Miles O’Brien of Deep Space Nine as the most balanced of all the Star Trek characters. This is baffling, as there’s only one real answer and that’s Star Trek: Voyagers Chakotay.
Sure, O’Brien has an every-man quality that is enduring but he also has some beliefs that are wholly offensive in any year.
CBR’s write-up on him ignores this, however, and decides to just double down on the often positive aspects of O’Brien;
"…On a show that consistently dealt with themes of war, genocide, racism, and murder, Miles’ stories regularly dealt with much more down-to-earth topics. For Miles, the big concerns were balancing his career with his wife’s ambitions, raising his children, and dealing with the annoying coworkers who inevitably became his friends.Throughout the show, he also had to deal with corrupt alien legal systems and being falsely accused of crimes he did not commit. But despite these horrendous circumstances, he remained the everyman character on the show, and it was entirely fitting that he chose to return to Earth as the show wrapped up its last season…"
Let’s just point something out that is completely lost in the discussion about O’Brien; he’s a bigot. His hatred for many of the Federation’s enemies borders on more than just being a good soldier. He often looks down and disrespects “the bad guys” in the show, and considering this is supposed to be a series that encapsulates the social-political temperament, it would be pretty messed up to hear a buddy call a Japanese person a derogatory slur just because of World War 2.
Yet, there’s O’Brien, calling Cardassians slurs. It’s never ok for that type of behavior and that behavior is a strong indicator that O’Brien isn’t in fact that well-grounded and that he’s probably dealing with enormous amounts of personal issues that are not being treated or dealt with. He’s not a bad guy, but he’s not some well-balanced, pinnacle of virtue that the article tries to make him out to be.
Chakotay is Star Trek’s most well-balanced character
Over on Voyager, however, Chakotay proved time and time again that he was the most reliable officer in Starfleet. The problem with this idea is how you perceive his time prior in the Maquis. Do you think they were freedom fighters or terrorists? That’s up to you to decide but Chakotay proved during his time on Voyager that of everyone who’s ever graced a Star Trek show, he could be relied upon more than anyone.
Despite being the leader of a movement of sorts, he made it a dedicated decision to integrate himself and his crew into Voyager’s infrastructure. He made it a point to show his willingness to serve the Captain of the ship and even earned her trust, becoming her most sought-after council during their time together.
He stood up to both Starfleet and Maquis alike, as he had a set of principles that were bigger than petting alliances. He was a man of integrity and honor and always tried to show everyone respect; from Captain Janeway to the traitorous Seska.
He proved that he was a man of integrity and that alone makes him the most well-balanced Star Trek character.