For general discussion on this subject, visit the forums at The Trek BBS.
- The Prime Directive was originally formed on recommendation of Captain James T Kirk, when he recommended to Starfleet that Tyree's Planet should not be contacted, that they will evolve into an advance and peaceful civilization. This Evolved into the Prime Directive.
Is there a source for this? -- Captain Mike K. Bartel 02:48, 23 Aug 2004 (CEST)
- Watch "A Private Little War". In it Kirk states he recommended to Starfleet that this planet should be left untouched. In the least that proves there was no Prime Directive 13 years before that episode. Watch the Episode and you'll understand. It leads one to believe that Kirks' report is how we get PD. TOSrules
- That's speculation, though. He could just as easily have been saying "Yep, the Prime Directive applies, better leave them alone". Given that Kirk ignored the Prime Directive as a matter of routine, it is highly unlikely that he had any influence in its creation. Alex Peckover 15:45, Aug 25, 2004 (CEST)
- It should be noted that the Enterprise-E was investigating Kolarus III in response to detecting positronic technology which revealed a level of expertise at least equal to that of warp drive. There are precedents which show that the Federation are willing to make contact with species who they believe to have developed an advanced level of technology while unable or unwilling to develop warp drive, such as the Bandi.
- The Federation also has now qualms about dealing with species who have knowledge of warp drive but have chosen to spurn such technology such as the Bringloidis (TNG: "Up The Long Ladder")
I removed the above because a) there was no evidence that they were willing or even intended to make contact with the Kolarus III inhabitants, nor that they had "revealed" any sort of "level of expertise" that was anywhere near "that of warp drive" b) the Bringlodi were Human and this example, while applicable to the Ba'ku doesn't seem applicable here. --Alan del Beccio 23:36, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
- One note that can be made about this is that Data said the inhabitants of Kolaras III were a pre-industrial society, this means they were at a level of technology similar to 1900 or 1910 Earth. There is no way that they had warp capability. -Preator 12:17, January 08, 2008 (CST)
- Most likely, they either knew or believed that Kolarus III had already been visited by the Romulans, therefore the Prime Directive was void in this case. Another possibility is that the crew believed they were far enough away from any of the Kolarans. Either explanation makes sense. Unfortunately, despite being written by a Star Trek fan, Nemesis has the most blatant continuity flaws of any of the films. Still a good flick, though. --From Andoria with Love 22:16, 8 Nov 2005 (UTC)
- The Prime Directive only applies to Starfleet personnel. A Federation civilian could interfere with a culture's natural growth and it's a violation of the PD for Starfleet personnel to interfere with him. So why would the actions of the Romulans render the PD void? If that were the case, the Romulans only need to hire a Federation strawman to do their dirty work and Starfleet could only watch.--StarFire209 22:06, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
- The Prime Directive does not only apply to Starfleet personnel, see Nikolai Rozhenko, who was clearly said to have violated it, and clearly did not belong to Starfleet.--OuroborosCobra talk 03:46, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
- The Prime Directive article itself states (with citations) that the PD only applies to Starfleet personnel. If Rozhenko violated the PD, he must have either been in, or employed by, Starfleet to have been subject to the PD. Who assigned him to that planet in the first place? Was the fact that he used a Starfleet asset (the Enterprise) a factor? Get your ducks in a row. If you're correct, the Prime Directive article is incorrect. --StarFire209 04:59, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
- Then the article is incorrect, the episode makes VERY clear that Worf's brother was not in Starfleet. --OuroborosCobra talk 05:03, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
i think it has been speculated that sec. 31 or a rouge starfleet plan was in effect with the baku, not at all sanctioned by the h/q.
- The fact that Starfleet personnel seem to ignore, expand or re-interpret the Prime Directive fairly frequently and often without repercussion calls into question whether it's really as important as it's made out to be. They talk the talk but don't walk the walk. Sometimes it's enforced vigorously, sometimes only the worst cases are an issue, sometimes it's not enforced at all. It's treated like a speed limit rather than the most important principle in the Federation. (And if it is so important why does it only apply to Starfleet? Why not the entire Federation?) --StarFire209 22:06, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
- Back to the issue at hand about Nemesis, i think what is in the article now is pretty good. I doubt we'll ever hear a canon reasoning about it. But its also possible that their excursion onto the planet was to prevent the contamination from taking place. They do have pretty good scans, they probably detected that the Kolarans did not discover the positronic pieces yet. What does seem clear is that out of the middle of nowhere, the Kolarans seem to have found the Away Team including the shuttle, this would indicate that they have fairly advanced sensors for a pre-warp civilization. That unknown technological achievement along with the fact that the Prime Directive does allow for away teams to prevent possible contamination of a culture and the fact that again, they did not think it needed to disguise themselves in the middle of a barren desert AND the fact that almost immediately after the Enterprise was dispatched to Romulus by Janeway would probably be the best reasoning for the either inaction of Starfleet or the unseen action of Starfleet taken against Picard. Again, from this standpoint there seems to be no violation of the Prime Directive. Defensive situations seem to be an exemption from the rule intervening in pre-warp civilizations.
- On a futher note i would like to add that "Pre-Warp" could just be a blanket term for less advanced civilizations, like "Third-World" or "Nuclear-Power". All third world countries are not the same, some are more advanced than others, but they still have enough in common to be considered less developed. – The preceding unsigned comment was added by 22.214.171.124 (talk).
This article just seems incomplete to me. Weren't there more references to the Prime Directive? Also, something should be said about Kirk's suggestion that the PD be applied to Neural. Also, something about first contact leading Starfleet to change their first contact protocols (TNG: "First Contact") might need to be added. --From Andoria with Love 22:10, 8 Nov 2005 (UTC)
DS9 - Captive pursuit. Edit
I've always had trouble with the insistence that the Prime Directive would be violated if the Federation did not intervene in the situation between the Hunters and the Tosk. Why/how would it be violated? Transporters and superior weapons but no warp drive? Unlikely. --Seleya 03:38, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
- Generally these questions are better suited for Memory Alpha:Reference Desk, but I'll answer it here for you. The Prime Directive does not only apply to pre-warp civilizations - it says that the Federation cannot interfere with any culture. They seem to have determined that contact with pre-warp civilizations would be interference enough. Jaz talk | novels 03:55, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
Was there really a Prime Directive in the 23rd century ? As far as I recall, I never heard such a term during TOS or any of the 'Kirk era' StarTrek movies. If there wasn't, Kirk could not have violated it, ergo his violations should be removed. -- Q 22:17, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
- Found it,there was a prime directive. -- Q 15:26, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
In the 23rd Century, Kirk and company interfered with societies considered in a state of stagnation ("Return of the Archons", "A Taste of Armageddon," "The Apple). One could assume that by the 24th Century, such interference even on those grounds is forbidden. Janeway in "Flashback" described 23rd Starfleet personnel as "slow to invoke the Prime Directive" and stated further that the likes of Kirk and McCoy would be booted out of Starfleet in the 24th Century.– Enterprise1981 20:24, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
Previous First Contact with others Edit
The Prime Directive do not apply in cases of contact with others warp-capable races like Ferengi or Orions. This due to the police of this races of trade tecnology for profit. pfcn2 --126.96.36.199 00:48, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
- OK, I am going to assume that English is not your first language. No problem with that. Second, is there any canon evidence for your claim, or is it just speculation? --OuroborosCobra talk 00:52, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
- The Prime Directive is not limited to only "warp-capability" -- indeed, as a "non-interference" directive, as it is continuously referred to, it means that the Federation will not attempt to alter or make changes to another sovereign political power in order to farward its own gains, this would limit the "interference" involved in coups, assassinations and other activities forbidden by the Prime Directive, regardless of warp-capability. You are focusing on a very narrow and incomplete definition of the directive. -- Captain M.K.B. 00:56, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
- Example: the DS9 arc about the Circle. Even though the coup was being supported by the Cardassians, it was internal to Bajor, and the Admirals declared that the Prime Directive applies, saying "The Cardassians may get involved in the internal affairs of other races, but we don't." --OuroborosCobra talk 00:59, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
- Okay, this is my first contribution to Memory-Alpha, or any wiki of any kind. It seems the people of Ventax II once had advanced technology and science, if this suggests warp-capable isn't really mentioned, but in (TNG: "Devil's Due") it seems the Federation science station was known to the people of Ventax II, since they knew where to find these poor researchers, and even Doctor Howard Clark mentions that first contact was made by some Klingons at least seventy years before the arrival of the Enterprise-D. Since Doctor Howard Clark said they came to Ventax II to study their reversion to an agrarian society the Federation science station there might be rather recent. Just some thoughts. --Mr.Cat1987 20:01, February 11, 2010 (UTC)
Icheb's Presentation Edit
Wording & Placement Edit
Alright, the second paragraph of the article says the following:
- The Prime Directive is not enforced upon citizens of the Federation. Under the rules as defined in the Directive, a Starfleet crew is forbidden from removing citizens who have interfered with the culture of a world. Violating the directive can result in a court-martial for the offending Starfleet officer or crew. (TNG: "Angel One")
Now, first of all, I've been trying to think of a way to better state the first sentence (i.e., non-Starfleet Federation citizens, basically). Secondly, while this may have all come from the same episode, the three sentences don't necessarily track with each other as one cohesive paragraph. Third, and most importantly... I'm thinking this information, as specific as it is, might be better placed further down in the article. Does anyone else have thoughts/opinions on it? --umrguy42 07:48, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
Not a violation:
- After Nog was accepted into Starfleet Academy, Quark feared this would lead to more Ferengi joining Starfleet. He told Rom that "a whole generation of Ferengi will be quoting the Prime Directive and abandoning the pursuit of latinum". (DS9: "Family Business")
This statement is true, it is almost a direct quote from an episode. Why is it not included in the main article? Preator 12:22 January 8, 2008 (CST)
Tacking into the Wind Ref Edit
- Worf had previously been authorised by Captain Sisko to use whatever means necessary to resolve the issue, as Gowron was risking the entire war effort to satisfy his political agenda.
- This was reverted by Capt Christopher Donovan, for not being supported by the episode. I think this is incorrect. Sisko says the following:
- "Do whatever it takes Mister Worf. Those Klingon ships out there are the only thing between us and the Breen. Gowron is risking the safety of the entire Alpha Quadrant and he has to stop."
- As such, I think the note should be reinstated. – Cleanse 05:15, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
Tex of The Prime Directive Edit
I remember that this article had the exact wording of the Prime Directive. Am i making that up? If so would it be possible to get that in here? I think it would be a good addition. (Vince 22:47, 5 March 2008 (UTC))
- I'm pretty sure the actual complete wording of the Prime Directive has never been spoken on-screen.– Cleanse talk 04:01, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
The Voyage Home Edit
Surely TVH shows a blatant disregard for the Prime Directive? I mean, I know it is Kirk, so it wouldn't be unheard of, but no reference is made to it in dialogue, and Starfleet seems pretty OK with the fact that two, practically alien creatures had been recovered from the past along with a 20th century human. Yet Starfleet praises Kirk for saving the planet (not even mentioning the PD) and gives the woman a place on a science ship. This, to me, shows that Starfleet is willing to bend the rules when it suits. What is everyone else's take on this? TrekFan 01:24, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
- Do you mean the Temporal Prime Directive? Our Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home article says Yes, it was violated (when Scott gives the transparent aluminum formula away). Though, since it wasn't addressed in the movie, I don't think it should even say so in the summary of that article. Or do you actually mean the regular Prime Directive? Why? Which civilization had its progress interfered with? The pre-warp Human one? Clearly not, because no timeline changes were apparent after they returned to the 22nd century. A hypothetical cetacean civilization? Well, I guess you can speculate that the cetaceans were both sentient and civilized, but, since Kirk knew that the whales had died out, it's hard to argue that the development of their "civilization" had been interfered with, unless you consider that George and Gracie may have actually re-populated the seas in the 23rd century, bringing the whales back from extinction. At any rate, yes, Starfleet is willing to bend the rules - in self-defense. TribbleFurSuit 02:29, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
- It could, of course, be a paradox...they were meant to go back in time and give the design to that guy. They did actually mention it in the movie though.
- "Are you sure by giving him the formula we aren't altering history?"
- "Why? How do we know he didn't invent the thing"
- McCoy & Scott
- I agree about your cetacean civilization. It should probably be mentioned under TPD but not Prime Directive. – Morder
- What is it that you think you agree with? I didn't state any opinion about it, other than "it's hypothetical". My actual opinion is that the Prime Directive does not apply to whales. --TribbleFurSuit 04:58, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
- Since I stated specifically I agree with the statement about cetacean civilization, which you didn't bring up, I can only assume I meant TribbleFurSuit statements and not yours. – Morder 04:45, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
- Sorry, it's me, I got logged out. Anyway, I still don't understand what you're saying about "cetacean civilization". I mean, are you saying that it's only hypothetical, like I was? Or are you saying that it's more than hypothetical, and that the Prime Directive would apply? The reason I'm confused is that I didn't say anything as a statement of opinion, so, whatever it is you're agreeing to isn't clear to me. Thanks --TribbleFurSuit 04:58, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
- Sorry, I didn't even notice that the first person who started this was TF and not an anon :) Anyway, I guess I read your statement differently but I gathered you were talking about not speculating and using the "cetacean civilization" as an example of speculation. Everytime I reread my statements they just come out weird. Overall I just think it should be a TPD violation and not a Prime Directive violation as the latter wasn't mentioned but the former was. (as referenced in my quote above) :) – Morder 05:11, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Background Information Edit
This article could use a Background Info section, like most other articles on memory alpha, obviously the Prime Directive wasnt around the entire series, like most now-famous trek items, it was developed later on in TOS.
Benifit of the PDEdit
I'm a long time trek fan, but I was watching "Homeward" today and I'm a bit confused. The article says 1) that the prime directive should be adhered to even if it means the extinction of an entire race. 2)That the purpose of the PD is for the benifit of the civilization in question and to ensure their right to evolve naturally. 3)That the PD can be igbored in the case of stagnate civilizations. How do we reconcile these three statments. As was the case with Boraalan what could possibly be the harm in saving them without their knowledge? if the alternative is their extinction then surly left to themselves there will be no growth. What could be the morality of sitting in the sky watching them die because Starfleet doesn't want to interfere. How is this beneficiall. This is probably a stupid question, but I really love trek and was suprised to find that I was a bit angry at this "high horse" philosophy. ThetaOrion 02:15, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
- Yeah, it's been discussed on other sites quite a bit.  Just a plot device in this case really...There isn't much else to say about it. Possibly one of the statements of the PD would be something like - we must let the natural course take - nature has selected them for extinction for a reason or whatever...eh...not a big deal for me really but others have taken issue with it. — Morder 02:23, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
- It can also have to do with how a civilization could go out of control with the new technology they've acquired. They say in First Contact that the disastrous first contact with the Klingons led to hostilities. By introducing a civilization to new technology before they're ready can lead to the creation of a new enemy. TheOmnimax 00:36, February 21, 2012 (UTC)
Rubicun III/PD 24th centuryEdit
I would like more information regarding how the Prime Directive is interpreted in the 24th century. A good example would be the TNG episode "Justice", where you wonder how the Enterprise can visit this planet at all, since their technology and social development implies that Federation contact would be inappropriate. This seemed to happen a lot in the first season of TNG, and i wonder if the PD was amended sometime between season 1 and the rest of the series. Application of the Prime Directive in Season I of TNG resembles the use of the PD in the 2260's.User:SpocksinnerConflict
SIX recognized exceptions to the Prime Directive?Edit
While the wiki states "two" exceptions, the script for the 2009 movie "Star-Trek" allegedly includes the line:
Q: What are the six recognized exceptions to the Prime Directive under Federation law?
188.8.131.52 14:57, November 23, 2009 (UTC)
- I'm confused by the statement "allegedly includes". It either was in the script, or not. I don't have time to go over the script, but if it was in the script and not used in the movie, it could be mentioned in a background section, just not in the main article.--31dot 15:46, November 23, 2009 (UTC)
- Are you allegedly confused 31, or confused? :) Just joking my friend. It was too good to pass up.--Italianajt 20:45, February 11, 2010 (UTC)
- The referenced site includes what purports to be the shooting script for the 2009 film. The bit about the Prime Directive is "extra" dialogue included for the director to use or not use, as seen fit. Regardless whether it was part of the script or not, it was not included in the actual film, and therefore did not become canon as to the alternate universe.184.108.40.206 18:48, August 22, 2012 (UTC)
Worf and Pulaski Quote Edit
Someone should double check that quote. I believe that it is incorrect. --220.127.116.11 21:22, January 6, 2010 (UTC)
- It would be helpful if you said what you felt was incorrect.--31dot 00:11, January 7, 2010 (UTC)
Also Removed Edit
Nothing within these articles of Federation shall authorize the United Federation of Planets to intervene in matters which are essentially the domestic jurisdiction of any planetary social system, or shall require the members to submit such matters to settlement under these Articles of Federation; But this principle shall not prejudice the application of enforcement measures under Chapter VII.
I removed the above passage, as the POV is a little off, and I'm not sure where it comes from.--31dot 18:36, April 8, 2010 (UTC)
Stupid, this Law Is Edit
Both Captain Kirk and Captain Picard have broken the Prime Directive numerous times. Neither of them were ever punished. If Starfleet does not punish those who break the Directive, then why even have the law in the first place? --Calthrina950 20:24, August 13, 2010 (UTC)
- Laws are meant to be mutable to fit with the situation, as Sisko says in season two of DS9. The law is overall important for the benefit of civilizations, but sometimes laws must be broken for the greater good. --TheOmnimax 00:41, February 21, 2012 (UTC)
Capella IV Edit
"There have been instances where the Federation itself has apparently "forgotten" about the Prime Directive. One such was when Captain Kirk was ordered to open negotiations with the Capellans for a valuable ore, despite the culture being a pre-warp civilization. (TOS: "Friday's Child")"
This is incorrect as we see in the episode itself that McCoy visited the planet some years before the time of this episode, and he was regarded as the subject matter expert for the Capellans' customs and ethics. Our own MA article on Capella IV states that "Leonard McCoy was briefly stationed on Capella IV during the 2250s. (TOS: "Friday's Child")"
The first and third parts of the Prime Directive "mission statement" as given by Kirk in TOS: "Bread and Circuses" ("No identification of self or mission. No interference with the social development of said planet. No references to space, other worlds, or advanced civilizations.") would be irrelevant in cases where the indigenous population was already aware of alien life from other worlds, regardless of their social and technological level. The Prime Directive has already been violated by someone, if not the Feds themselves.
The Federation still cannot interfere with the society on the planet (when in Rome... or Saudia Arabia) but since contact was already made (McCoy was "stationed" on the planet, in a Starfleet uniform and not as a covert observer) alien visits seem to now be a part of the society's normal existence.
Thus, this is not a violation or a "forgetting" of the Prime Directive, and this section should be removed.
- -Commander, Starbase 23 14:21, September 8, 2010 (UTC)
The header at the top of the article suggests that the wrong POV is often used. That's true, and there are other matters that I think should be cleaned up/revised to make the article more comprehensive and coherent as a whole. I'm working it offline and - someday - will upload it. 18.104.22.168 18:51, August 22, 2012 (UTC)
- I've completed the rework and will be uploading it momentarily. 22.214.171.124 21:04, August 28, 2012 (UTC)
EXCEPTIONS SECTION: The Paradise Syndrome Edit
I'm sorry but how is Paradise Syndrome considered an example for exceptions to the Prime Directive?
quoting: Helping a society escape a natural disaster that is unknown to the society and where the assistance can take place without the society's knowledge. (TOS: "The Paradise Syndrome")
Never in the episode the Prime Directive is even mentioned.
For all we know: a)The Enterprise crew could be acting on violation of the Prime Directive b)The Enterprise crew could be acting on orders from Starfleet Command to save the planet for other reasons than save its inhabitants. c)The Prime Directive is violated later in the episode anyway when McCoy and Spock beam down the planet and are seen (including their technology) by the natives. Also involuntarily by amnesiac Kirk.
Can someone please explain to me why then? Or edit out the part from the Article?
How can one make contact to other civilisations but not interfere with them? Especially Janeway interpreted the Prime Directive as it suited her book: she violated other species' territory to shorten the way home, she exchanged this for that, she shared knowledge about other species, she even interfered in the Q's civil war. On the other hand, she was bitchy in "Prime Factors" and several other occasions. Sisko was the Bajoran's Pope, and also Picard solved other civilisation's problems more than once. It's a nice idea to have a constitution in Star Trek, but a more realistic one couldn't hurt.– The preceding unsigned comment was added by 126.96.36.199 (talk).
- Thanks for your input but these kinds of comments are usually reserved for the forum. That aside, the Prime Directive doesn't forbid contact with other races (provided they have reached a decent level of technological advancement), it just prevents interference in their internal affairs and development. --| TrekFan Open a channel 13:28, August 2, 2015 (UTC)
Is the Prime Directive an agent of evil? Edit
Starfleet says the Prime Directive must be followed at all costs, but that is its biggest flaw. After seeing Star Trek Into Darkness, I am strongly convinced that it is more of a problem than a benefit. I am disgusted at the Starfleet's willingness to (passively) sacrifice innocent people, primitive races, and their own personnel, to uphold such hypocrisy, and I pity Pike for his inability to see how fallible the Directive truly is, as well as his snapping at Kirk, despite the latter doing what other Starfleet officers are too corrupt and indoctrinated to do, which is save innocent people. Pike died before he could fully apologize for such behavior, let alone repent for all the involuntary genocide he unknowingly sponsored. Although I must say Pike and Marcus' deaths, as retribution for supporting a doctrine that has destroyed so much innocent life for all the wrong reasons, were both a large step towards Starfleet's potentially redeeming itself in the eyes of those it had wronged. To those who feel he still shouldn't have been rewarded somehow for such bravery, I would say Kirk should at least never have been punished for saving Spock's life for that matter.
My (fan) theory is that the Prime Directive was created by xenophobes, I suspect, as a way to passively sentence many races to extinction without invoking the ire of the people they're trying to brainwash. If J.J. Abrams ever gets word of what I'm saying in this post, and I hope to God he does, he should make this an important theme in a future Star Trek movie, as well as perhaps the last one he ever directs.
I have seen foreign policy's true capacity for (passive) evil, and I humbly say "Thank You" to those who read the entirety of this morally enlightening and hope-inspiring message. --GokaiWhite (talk) 14:29, June 22, 2017 (UTC)
- Please note that talk pages are for discussing issues with the article, not for general discussion. -- Capricorn (talk) 06:01, November 26, 2016 (UTC)
The exception section is full of pure fan speculation. I am rewriting it using actual references as we don't know exactly why many of the 'violations' were justified. I should mention that Picard had violated the Prime Directive 9 times by TNG: "The Drumhead". IIRC one of the earlier editions of Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion actually listed where those violations most likely occurred.--BruceGrubb (talk) 12:48, September 2, 2017 (UTC)