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This page contains information regarding Star Trek: Discovery, and thus may contain spoilers.


A pre-warp civilization was any society or culture that had not yet become a warp-capable civilization; that is, one that has not discovered and utilized faster-than-light spaceflight like the warp drive. Pre-warp cultures could range in technology level from extremely primitive, such as a pre-industrial society; to that of Earth in the mid-21st century, where spacecraft utilized sublight technology. (Star Trek Into Darkness; Star Trek: First Contact; TOS: "The Omega Glory")

The Federation sometimes used an industrial scale and a technological rating to assess pre-warp civilizations. For example, the natives of Sigma Draconis III had, as of 2268, an industrial scale rating of B – equivalent to Earth in 1485 – and a technological rating of 3. (TOS: "Spock's Brain") Another scale was Richter's scale of cultures, which might assign a rating of class D- to an agrarian culture. (TOS: "Errand of Mercy")

The Federation's Prime Directive interdicted any disturbance of such civilizations, including any form of contact, until a culture had independently proven its warp-capability. Otherwise, any involvement in the development of pre-warp societies could result in the contamination of their culture, thereby altering their natural evolution. Usually pre-warp civilizations were limited to their homeworld; however, their technical abilities could be sophisticated enough to expand throughout their star system or even beyond. (ENT: "Dear Doctor"; TOS: "Patterns of Force"; Star Trek: Insurrection)

The Federation did allow limited covert research to be conducted on pre-warp civilizations, usually by means of a duck blind. (TNG: "Who Watches The Watchers"; Star Trek: Insurrection) Observation teams could also be placed among a civilization as a prelude to first contact. (TNG: "First Contact")

In the 32nd century, the Emerald Chain crime syndicate was notorious for contacting pre-warp civilizations in distress, such as the Kwejian, and offering "assistance" in the form of predatory deals. Such civilizations usually collapsed as a result. (DIS: "The Sanctuary")

Pre-warp civilizations

Species/Culture Homeworld Technology level Notes Source
892-IV natives 892-IV 2267: Post-industrial, equivalent to Earth's mid-20th century. TOS: "Bread and Circuses"
Akaali Akaali homeworld 2151: Pre-industrial. ENT: "Civilization"
Allos' species Allos' homeworld 2374: Interplanetary; capable of synthesizing Omega molecules in enormous quantities. This civilization was experiencing crucial resource shortages as of 2374. VOY: "The Omega Directive"
Alpha Carinae II natives Alpha Carinae II TOS: "The Ultimate Computer"
Amerind inhabitants Amerind 2268: Pre-industrial, agrarian. Amerind's inhabitants were Humans, specifically American Indians transplanted from Earth by the Preservers. TOS: "The Paradise Syndrome"
Angel I natives Angel I 2364: Post-industrial. In contact with aliens despite being pre-warp. TNG: "Angel One"
Ba'ku Ba'ku 2375: Pre-industrial. The Ba'ku were warp-capable as of 2375, and indeed were refugees from their original homeworld, but their culture rejected technology and willingly confined themselves to their planet. Star Trek: Insurrection
Barkonians Barkon IV 2370: Pre-industrial. TNG: "Thine Own Self"
Betans Beta III 2267: Industrial. TOS: "The Return of the Archons"
Boraalans Boraal II (original)
Vacca VI (adopted)
2370: Pre-industrial. The Boraalan homeworld was sterilized by an atmospheric dissipation in 2370; the USS Enterprise-D transplanted the survivors to a new planet without their knowledge. TNG: "Homeward"
Brekkians Brekka 2364: Interplanetary. In contact with aliens despite being pre-warp. TNG: "Symbiosis"
Capellans Capella IV 2267: Pre-industrial. In contact with aliens despite being pre-warp. TOS: "Friday's Child"
Delta Theta III aborigines Delta Theta III 2270: Pre-industrial. TAS: "Bem"
Dremans Benev Selec (Drema IV) 2365: Post-industrial. TNG: "Pen Pals"
Earth Two natives Earth Two 2266: Pre-industrial. Earth Two was identical to Earth, but with a divergent history. A life prolongation project in the mid-20th century produced a virus that killed all adults ("Grups"), leaving long-lived children ("Onlies") as the only survivors. TOS: "Miri"
Edo Rubicun III 2364: Post-industrial. In contact with aliens despite being pre-warp. TNG: "Justice"
Ekosians Ekos 2268: Interplanetary. TOS: "Patterns of Force"
Eminians Eminiar VII 2267: Post-industrial, possibly interplanetary. TOS: "A Taste of Armageddon"
Fabrini Fabrini homeworld 2268: Pre-industrial. The Fabrini homeworld was destroyed by the Fabrina supernova millennia ago; their surviving civilization was confined to Yonada as of 2268. TOS: "For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky"
Fantome's species The Void N/A As of 2378 the species subsisted off of resources stolen from starships, and had no known organized civilization. VOY: "The Void"
Gem's species Gem's planet TOS: "The Empath"
Genome colony Moab IV 2368: Post-industrial. Genome was an isolated Human colony. TNG: "The Masterpiece Society"
Gosis' species Gosis' species homeworld 2152: Post-industrial, equivalent to Earth's mid-20th century. ENT: "The Communicator"
Hanonians Hanon IV 2373: Pre-industrial, stone age. VOY: "Basics, Part II"
Iotians Sigma Iotia II 2268: Post-industrial, equivalent to Earth's early 20th century. TOS: "A Piece of the Action"
Kataan natives Kataan 14th century: Post-industrial. Their sun went nova in the 14th century; the species was rendered extinct. TNG: "The Inner Light"
Kelemane's species Kelemane's planet 2376: N/A Due to the rapid passage of time on the planet (caused by to its tachyon core), this civilization advanced from pre-industrial to interplanetary in mere weeks (from an outside perspective) in 2376. VOY: "Blink of an Eye"
Kelis' species Kelis' homeworld 2376: Industrial, bronze age. VOY: "Muse"
Kelpiens Kaminar 2257: Pre-industrial. The Kelpiens shared their planet with the warp-capable Ba'ul. They became warp-capable in 2258. ST: "The Brightest Star"; DIS: "The Sound of Thunder"
Kolarans Kolarus III 2379: Industrial, equivalent to Earth's mid-20th century. Star Trek Nemesis
Kwejian Kwejian 3189: Industrial. The Kwejian were "uplifted" by the Emerald Chain following the Burn, with the Chain providing access to spaceflight while helping them deal with sea locusts. DIS: "The Sanctuary"
Ligonians Ligon II 2374: Post-industrial. In contact with aliens despite being pre-warp. TNG: "Code of Honor"
Loque'eque Loque'eque homeworld Post-industrial, capable of engineering Mutagenic viruses. The Loque'eque went extinct centuries prior to 2153. ENT: "Extinction"
Makull's species Makull's homeworld 2371: Post-industrial. VOY: "Time and Again"
Malcorians Malcor III 2367: Post-industrial, possibly interplanetary. While technically warp-capable as of 2367, Chairman Avel Durken chose to suppress the technology in order to better prepare his people for first contact. TNG: "First Contact"
Menk Valakis 2151: Pre-industrial. The Menk shared their homeworld with the technologically-superior Valakians. ENT: "Dear Doctor"
Mintakans Mintaka III 2365: Pre-industrial. TNG: "Who Watches The Watchers"
Neural natives Neural 2268: Pre-industrial. Neural was "uplifted" by the Klingon Empire, who gave them flintlock firearms in 2267. TOS: "A Private Little War"
Nibirans Nibiru 2259: Pre-industrial. Star Trek Into Darkness
Ocampa Ocampa 2371: Post-industrial. The Ocampa were dependent on the Caretaker for resources as of 2371. VOY: "Caretaker"
Omega IV natives Omega IV 2268: Industrial, iron age. Technological civilization was wiped out by biological warfare, regressing them to the iron age. TOS: "The Omega Glory"
Otrin's species Otrin's homeworld 2378: Pre-industrial. The species' post-industrial civilization was decimated by an antimatter disaster prior to 2378. VOY: "Friendship One"
Ornarans Ornara 2364: Interplanetary. In contact with aliens despite being pre-warp. TNG: "Symbiosis"
Sarpeidon natives Sarpeidon 2269: Post-industrial. Their homeworld was destroyed by the Beta Niobe supernova in 2269; the species fled into the planet's past via time portals. TOS: "All Our Yesterdays"
Sigma Draconis III natives Sigma Draconis III 2268: Pre-industrial, equivalent to Earth in 1485. TOS: "Spock's Brain"
Sigma Draconis IV natives Sigma Draconis IV 2268: Post-industrial, equivalent to Earth in 2030.
Takarians Takarian homeworld 2373: Pre-industrial, bronze age. VOY: "False Profits"
Taurus II anthropoids Taurus II 2267: Pre-industrial, stone age. TOS: "The Galileo Seven"
Terralysium inhabitants Terralysium 2257: Pre-industrial. Humans transplanted from Richmond, Indiana in 2053. DIS: "New Eden"
Vaalians Gamma Trianguli VI 2267: Pre-industrial, stone age. TOS: "The Apple"
Valakians Valakis 2151: Interplanetary. The Valakians shared their homeworld with the technologically-inferior Menk. Though pre-warp, they were familiar with aliens. ENT: "Dear Doctor"
Vendikans Vendikar 2267: Post-industrial, possibly interplanetary. Vendikar was formerly an Eminian colony. TOS: "A Taste of Armageddon"
Ventu Ledos 2378: Pre-industrial, stone age. An isolated society of Ledosians. VOY: "Natural Law"
Veridian IV natives Veridian IV 2371: Pre-industrial. Star Trek Generations
Zeons Zeon 2268: Interplanetary. TOS: "Patterns of Force"

Pre-warp vessels

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