While in full Cardassian makeup, actress Tracy Scoggins (Gilora Rejal) took the opportunity to walk around the Paramount lot, "scaring schoolchildren on buses" before security called the DS9 set, saying, "Could y'all do something about keeping your aliens contained over there?"
The original draft included the Rule of Acquisition, "faith can move mountains of inventory", which was created by David Cohen and Martin Winer. Though this did not make it into the final script, Ira Behr liked it so much that he included it in his books The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition (p. 50) and Legends of the Ferengi (pp. 86-87), where it is #104. (Screen Plays: How 25 Scripts Made it to a Theater Near You - For Better or Worse, p. 10)
The comet the visual effects team developed for the episode was a model built by Tony Meininger, and not a computer-generated image. The artistic challenge, according to Gary Hutzel, was determining what the inside of a comet looks like.
Yamok sauce was first seen in the first season episode, "Progress", and was created by former series Producer Peter Allan Fields. Behr said of its inclusion in this episode: "Two of the things [Fields] gave us were yamok sauce and self-sealing stem bolts. They're silly names and I like silly names, so every now and then we just like to bring them back."
One of the sets that was created for the Defiant is the generic crew cabin where Sisko and Kira go to discuss "the sword of stars" which, thanks to three removable (or "wild") walls, has a number of possible looks. As Robert della Santina explains, "There's only one wall that isn't wild. It's the one that includes the doorway. That's a double-faced wall that also serves as part of the corridor. But the director can pull out any of the other walls to give the room any one of three different looks."
This episode was originally pitched by David S. Cohen and Martin A. Winer as a second season episode. It was purchased by the producers, who assigned Cohen and Winer to write the teleplay, but it never made it into production, primarily because it focused on a prophecy of happiness and joy, an idea that, according to the producers, didn't make for a very exciting episode. Rene Echevarria, who made an uncredited rewrite of the script, recalls, "The early draft had a lot of nice stuff in it. It was done very lyrically and the writers had a lovely poem concerning Trakor's prophecy [...] a wonderful thing that was going to happen, a miracle, and Sisko was told that he was going to be a part of it. A miracle was happening. So why was that bad? Why would Sisko not want to be a part of it?"
The Prophecies of Trakor in this episode resemble the writings of Michel de Nostredame, a 16th-century Frenchman better known as Nostradamus. This Frenchman was said to have written extensively about important 19th-, 20th-, and 21st-century events in metaphoric language that could only be interpreted correctly in retrospect.
The relay station is a reuse of the Amargosa observatory model from Star Trek Generations. Gary Hutzel also had the job of adjusting it to appear in this episode. "In the feature, it has extremely long extensions on it. So basically, I took a saw to it! We cut off the extentions and redesigned a couple of elements and did a new paint job." The script describes it as being "the size of a runabout, with high-tech antennae and communications gear." (
The scene in which Quark provides Gilora, Ulani and Dejar with some Cardassian cuisine originally ended with Quark returning to the table, seeing Dejar is the only one eating and offering some more food. Ulani then replies that more of the "special Cardassian delicacies" would be appreciated before Quark, oblivious to the underlying tension in the air, heads off saying "It's working!" to himself. The rest of the scene was ultimately cut from the final episode but can be read in the episode's script.
The trivia item below may give away important plot points.
Trakor's Fourth Prophecy, which begins "The Emissary will face a fiery trial, and he will be forced to choose...", may refer to the events in the series finale, "What You Leave Behind". However, there are a number of other events, both immediately before and during the Dominion War, to which the prophecy could also apply.