Memory Alpha
Memory Alpha
Multiple realities
(covers information from several alternate timelines)

For the mirror universe counterpart, please see Terran Empire.
For Q's alternate timeline, please see Confederation of Earth.
Federation redirects here; for additional meanings of "Federation", please see Federation.
"A dream that became a reality and spread throughout the stars."

The United Federation of Planets (abbreviated as UFP and commonly referred to as the Federation) was a supranational interstellar union of multiple planetary constituent political entities under a single central government, founded on the principles of liberty, equality, peace, justice, and progress, with the purpose of furthering the universal rights of all sentient life. Federation members exchange knowledge and resources to facilitate peaceful cooperation, scientific development, space exploration, and mutual defense. (TOS: "Arena", "A Taste of Armageddon", "Spectre of the Gun", "And the Children Shall Lead"; DS9: "Battle Lines"; VOY: "Innocence"; Star Trek: First Contact)

Additional nomenclature used to describe the Federation included: "Earth Federation" in TOS: "Friday's Child" and TAS: "The Lorelei Signal", "Federation of Planets" in TOS: "A Piece of the Action", and "United Fleet of Planets" (incorrectly, by Lokai of the planet Cheron) in TOS: "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield".

One of the most powerful interstellar states in known space, it encompassed eight thousand light years. The total number of formal member worlds was over one hundred and fifty in the 24th century (Star Trek: First Contact). At its height, at an unstated time between the 25th and 31st century, it numbered three hundred and fifty members (DIS: "Die Trying"). Unlike its imperial rivals - especially the Klingon Empire and the Romulan Star Empire - who derived power from a single species subjugating other races. (TOS: "Errand of Mercy", "A Private Little War"; Star Trek Nemesis; ENT: "United"), the Federation's various member worlds joined voluntarily and were equals in the Federation's democratic society.z (TNG: "Attached"; DS9: "Emissary", "Rapture"; VOY: "The Void"; DS9: "Paradise Lost"; VOY: "Author, Author")

Starfleet was incorporated to maintain exploratory, scientific, diplomatic, and defense functions (TOS: "The Cage", "Where No Man Has Gone Before", "Journey to Babel").

In the alternate reality, Captain Christopher Pike described the Federation as a "peacekeeping and humanitarian armada." (Star Trek)

Federation culture, values, and technology had vast influence; across space and time, as well as other dimensions and subspace domains. Encountering numerous clashing ideologies, some conflicts escalated into significant resistance, such as armed conflict, and even temporal incursions intended to prevent key historical events from occurring.


Main article: Federation history
Federation founding ceremony, 2161

The founding ceremony of the Federation in 2161

Founding Species of the Federation

The four founding species of the Federation (clockwise from top left): Humans, Vulcans, Andorians, and Tellarites

The Federation was founded in San Francisco, Earth in 2161. (TNG: "The Outcast"; ENT: "Zero Hour", "These Are the Voyages...") The seeds of the Federation were planted during the Babel Crisis of 2154, during which a temporary alliance was formed to search for a Romulan drone ship preying on local vessels. It was this that first brought together the species that founded the Federation: Humans, Vulcans, Andorians, and Tellarites. (ENT: "United") Sometime around January 2155, these four species as well as others, including the Denobulans, the Rigelians, and the Coridanites, began talks to create what was later considered a direct precursor to the Federation: the Coalition of Planets. (ENT: "Demons") The Earth-Romulan War, which broke out in 2156 and was won by an alliance of forces from Earth, Andoria, Vulcan, and Tellar in 2160, immediately preceded the foundation of the Federation, which took place the following year between dignitaries of these four planets. (ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II", "These Are the Voyages...")

Michael Sussman was instrumental in establishing which species founded the Federation. "My phone rings and Brannon [Braga] says, 'Mike, real quick - who are the founding species of the Federation?' What flipped through my mind," recalled Sussman, "was that it had never been established, but there had been a lot of fan speculation going back to 'Journey to Babel' that many of those races - the Tellarites, the Andorians and the little gold guys - were among the founding members. For that quarter of a second I'm thinking, 'What do I tell him? If I say it's never been decided he might make up a couple of new races and that might set certain people off'. So I basically lied to him and said 'Oh yeah, it's Andorians and Tellarites.' He put it in the script and now it's canon!" (Star Trek: The Official Starships Collection, issue 37, p. 15)

Although the Federation's intentions were peaceful, around it were other, more belligerent powers such as the Klingon and Romulan Empires. As it expanded through the admittance of more and more worlds, it came into conflict with these powers. In the 23rd century, its main adversary was the Klingon Empire, with a war taking place in 2256-57, and another briefly erupting between the two in 2267, before being halted by the Organians. (TOS: "Errand of Mercy") However, tensions eased considerably towards the end of the century, with the Khitomer Conference of 2293 being a substantial turning point. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country) This conference saw the signing of the Khitomer Accords, which effectively ended hostile relations.

At the start of the 24th century, the Federation began an unprecedented period of peaceful exploration of the galaxy, free of major conflicts, as its main adversary of the previous century, the Klingon Empire, was now at peace with it. However, relations with the Romulans remained hostile, albeit at a low, "cold war" level. During the 24th century, there were a series series of conflicts as the Federation came into contact with other races, such as the Cardassians, the Talarians, the Tholians, and the Tzenkethi. (TNG: "The Icarus Factor", "Suddenly Human", "The Wounded"; DS9: "The Adversary", "Paradise Lost")

In the alternate timeline created by the disappearance of the USS Enterprise-C into a temporal rift, the Federation became embroiled in a war with the Klingon Empire that lasted until at least 2366. (TNG: "Yesterday's Enterprise")

Borg cube engaged at Sector 001

Starfleet forces engaging the Borg

Then, however, the period of peaceful exploration came to an abrupt end. In 2365, the Federation encountered its single worst threat, in the cybernetic hivemind known as the Borg. One of the most powerful and destructive forces in the entire galaxy, the Borg invaded the Federation twice within less than a decade. They were unlike anything the Federation had ever encountered, and were only foiled by chance and resourcefulness. The Federation was thus schooled in the fact that, in the vast, unexplored reaches of the galaxy beyond what they knew, there were threats that they could not even imagine. (TNG: "Q Who", "The Best of Both Worlds", "The Best of Both Worlds, Part II"; Star Trek: First Contact)

San Francisco attacked

The Breen hit the heart of Starfleet

Then, in 2370, contact was made with the Dominion, the predominant ruling power over much of the Gamma Quadrant. After numerous skirmishes, misfortunes suffered by the Cardassian Union allowed for their eventual incorporation into the Dominion, and the subsequent Dominion invasion of the Alpha Quadrant. The Dominion/Cardassian forces were also joined by the reclusive but immensely powerful race known as the Breen. The ensuing war was the greatest crisis to be faced by the Federation, with the Federation forming an alliance with the Klingons and Romulans to defeat the Dominion. Although the Alliance eventually emerged victorious, many of the Federation's important member worlds, such as Betazed, Coridanite, and Benzar, had been temporarily occupied before the Dominion's offensive could be turned back. Thousands of Federation Starfleet vessels and millions of lives were lost, in what turned out be, as of the late 24th century, the bloodiest conflict in Federation history. (DS9: "By Inferno's Light", et al.) The most devastating and demoralizing offensive occurred in 2375, when the Breen hit the Federation at its heart, with a surprise attack on Starfleet Headquarters on Earth. (DS9: "The Changing Face of Evil")

However, the aftermath of the Dominion and Borg invasions allowed the Federation to establish new relations with many of its former adversaries, the Romulans in particular. In 2379, cooperation took place between the crew of a Federation Starfleet vessel, the USS Enterprise-E, and Romulan forces to defeat the Reman Praetor Shinzon, whose actions would have destroyed both Earth and the Romulan Star Empire. It was hoped that this would mark the beginning of an end to hostility between the Federation and the Romulan Star Empire, marking the beginnings of détente with a traditional enemy of the Federation. (Star Trek Nemesis)

Upon the discovery of an impending supernova of the Romulan sun, the Romulans requested aid from the Federation. Although 14 members opposed aiding the Romulans and threatened to secede, Starfleet mobilized a massive rescue armada comprised of ten thousand warp-capable ferries to aid in the evacuation efforts, which assembled over Mars. On First Contact Day of 2385, an attack on Mars was carried out by androids that were secretly compromised by the Romulan cabal Zhat Vash. With over 90,000 casualties and the evacuation fleet destroyed, Starfleet not only abandoned its support for evacuating Romulus, which was destroyed in 2387, but the Federation Council also placed a ban on creating or researching artificial lifeforms that would not be lifted again until 2399. (PIC: "Remembrance", "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2")

In at least one version of the 26th century, the Klingon Empire and races such as the Ithenites and Xindi joined the Federation. In the 2550s of this timeline, the Federation proved instrumental in halting an invasion of the galaxy by a power known as the Sphere-Builders. This action caused the Sphere-Builders to try to stop the Federation from ever being formed by manipulating the Xindi into attempting to destroy Earth in 2153. An attempt to change history was unsuccessful. (ENT: "Azati Prime", "Zero Hour")

Charles Vance, Commander in chief of Starfleet Command in the year 3189 stated that that the Federation had spent much of the 30th century fighting the Temporal Cold War (DIS: "Die Trying") to maintain the integrity and outcome of its subjective history. This conflict endured into the 31st century (ENT: "Storm Front", "Storm Front, Part II"). Following the end of the Temporal Wars, time travel was outlawed and all time travel technology was destroyed. (DIS: "That Hope Is You, Part 1")

Midway through the 30th century, the galaxy's major powers began to exhaust dilithium supplies, prompting the Federation to mandate that its member worlds develop an alternative warp drive design. However, none of the new designs proved reliable, and the most promising alternative, Ni'Var's SB-19, was deemed too dangerous by its creators, and only kept going because the Federation would not allow it to be shuttered. In roughly 3069, a disastrous event known as "The Burn" occurred where almost all dilithium mysteriously went inert, resulting in thousands of near-simultaneous warp core breaches that killed countless people. This event made widespread interstellar travel untenable and caused the Federation to collapse as a major political entity; however, its ideals and spirit survived through "true believers", who upheld its beliefs in the hope it would rise from the ashes. (DIS: "That Hope Is You, Part 1", "People of Earth", "Unification III").

As of 3189, only 38 members remained in the Federation, though many other planets still adhered to Federation values. (DIS: "Die Trying") Ni'Var, incorrectly believing SB-19 responsible for "The Burn" until 3189, was among the planets that seceded. (DIS: "Unification III")

Five months after the defeat of the Emerald Chain and the securing of new dilithium supplies from Theta Zeta, the Federation had expanded to 59 member worlds, including Trill (planet). By the end of 3190, both Ni'Var and Earth had rejoined the Federation. Andoria had entered talks to return as well, which would bring all the founding Federation members back into the fold after over a century. (DIS: "Kobayashi Maru", "All is Possible", "Coming Home")

Federation territory[]

Main article: Federation space

Federation space was located approximately thirty thousand light years from the core of the galaxy, located within the Orion Arm, on the border of the Alpha and Beta Quadrants. (TNG: "The Nth Degree"; DIS: "Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad"; VOY Season 7 production art)

By 2267, its territory had expanded across "a thousand planets". Because of the cosmopolitan nature of the United Federation of Planets, its territory included at least 150 member worlds, spanning across 8,000 light-years of interstellar space, with thousands of colonies and outposts, vast expanses of uninhabited space, and even planets inhabited by pre-warp civilizations, directly incorporated under the political jurisdiction of Federation space as of 2370. (TOS: "Metamorphosis"; TNG: "Homeward"; DS9: "Battle Lines"; VOY: "Innocence"; Star Trek: First Contact)

Entering or being within Federation space had jurisdictional implications, e.g., possible health and safety inspections, the enforcement of the Prime Directive, and certain goods - such as Romulan ale - being banned. (e.g., TNG: "The Enemy", "Future Imperfect", "Aquiel", "Gambit, Part II"; Star Trek: Insurrection)

By 3189, approximately 120 years after the galaxy wide event known as "The Burn", which decimated warp faring civilization, the Federation was reduced to only 38 formal member worlds, from a high of 350. (DIS: "Die Trying") By 3190 this had increased to 58. (DIS: "Kobayashi Maru")


The Federation's government was structured as that of a federal constitutional republic, with much of its facilities located on Earth. (TOS: "Amok Time"; DS9: "Rapture"; VOY: "In the Flesh"; Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

The exact nature of the government of the Federation has never been made clear on screen. From the information available, the United Federation of Planets would appear to have been a constitutional representative republic, to and in which constituent members delegate some of their sovereignty, who participated in a legislature known as the Federation Council, elected a chief executive known as the Federation President, and which were ostensibly balanced by a judiciary headed by a Federation Supreme Court.

The exact division of powers between the Federation government and the governments of its member worlds is unknown, though various episodes indicate the Federation placed great value on maintaining local sovereignty over local affairs - as late as the 2270s, Kirk makes reference to the Vulcan embassy, either to the Federation itself or to United Earth, which suggests that member worlds continued to exchange diplomatic representatives with each other. This is consistent with a canon that member worlds were left to manage their own governance in accordance with their own traditions and local laws, so long as the general requirements of membership were met, similar to how the member states of the European Union are bound together today.

However, Federation law did grant the government emergency authority to override local governance and declare martial law on a member's territory. (TNG: "Force of Nature"; DS9: "Homefront")

The executive branch[]

Federation presidential seal

Seal of the President of the United Federation of Planets

The executive branch was responsible for the day-to-day management of the Federation. The democratically-elected Federation President was the head of this branch. (DS9: "Paradise Lost"; Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home) The Federation President served as both the head of state and head of government; as chief executive officer of the government, the President determined most of the Federation's foreign policy, managed budgetary concerns, and served as supreme commander of the Federation's military forces. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country) The President's office was located in the Earth city of Paris on the European continent. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; DS9: "Homefront", "Paradise Lost"; DIS: "Will You Take My Hand?")

The Federation Cabinet was a special executive committee to the President of the United Federation of Planets. (DS9: "Extreme Measures")

Executive agencies[]

The Federation also maintained a number of executive agencies that assisted in the administration of its affairs:

In addition, at least one rogue agency, known as Section 31, was known to have operated in the name of the Federation. (DS9: "Inquisition")

According to production notes, an office of the "United Federation of Planets (UFP) High Commission on Refugees (HCR)" on Vashti was planned for a scene set in 2385 in PIC: "Absolute Candor", though it may not have made it into the episode.[1]

The legislature[]

Federation Council chamber, 2286

A sitting of the Federation Council

The Federation Council and the Federation Central made up the bicameral legislature of the Federation. (TOS: "Amok Time") Composed of representatives from the various member worlds, the Federation Council held the power to create, amend, and ratify Federation law. (DS9: "Rapture"; TNG: "Force of Nature", "Journey's End"; Star Trek: Insurrection) The Federation Council also held a great deal of influence over the operations of the Federation's military and humanitarian service, Starfleet. It sometimes served as the judging body of specially-convened courts-martial, and on occasion issued operational orders to Starfleet. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home; TNG: "The Defector") The Council also held influence over the making of Federation foreign policy. (DS9: "The Way of the Warrior", "For the Cause") The Council's meeting chamber was in the Earth city of San Francisco, on the west coast of the North American continent. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

The judiciary[]

The judiciary was the branch of government responsible for resolving legal disputes. It consisted of a hierarchy of courts, with the Federation Supreme Court at its apex. (DS9: "Doctor Bashir, I Presume") Federation courts sometimes relied on panels of citizens known as juries. The Federation Grand Jury heard testimony as part of criminal investigations, while the Federation Special Jury tried war criminals. (DS9: "The Ascent", "Waltz") Alongside the civilian courts, Starfleet had its own system of courts martial. (TOS: "Court Martial"; TNG: "The Pegasus"; DS9: "For the Uniform", "Time's Orphan"; Star Trek: Insurrection)

Federation law[]

Federation Charter

The Federation Charter, as seen aboard the USS Voyager in 2377

Main article: Federation law

The fundamental political principles and laws of the Federation derived from two important documents:

The relationship between the Constitution and the Charter is unclear. Both contained rights for individuals; as Sisko put it in DS9: "Accession", "caste-based discrimination goes against the Federation Charter". It is most likely (citation needededit) that the Charter described the requirements for entry of a planet into the Federation (e.g., no entry if caste-based discrimination was in place), while the Constitution described the principles, governing structure, and citizen rights once becoming a member (e.g., rights against self-incrimination).

Other rights and responsibilities for citizens derived from:


Admittance into the Federation can be granted either by invitation or successful petition submitted by a world, civilization, or government desiring to join voluntarily. In the second case, membership was granted only upon satisfaction of meeting certain requirements and conditions. Firstly, the government of the prospective member submitted an official petition to the Federation Council, outlining its desire to join. A lengthy, thorough investigation of the prospective member's culture followed, including copying records from the applicant's central computer. (TNG: "The Hunted") This investigation could last several years, and was done to ascertain whether or not the culture genuinely shared the values of the Federation: values of benevolence, peaceful co-existence and co-operation, the rule of law, justice, and equal rights and freedoms. (DS9: "Rapture"; TNG: "The Measure Of A Man", "Attached") For example, the discovery on the petitioning planet, Angosia III, of enhanced soldiers being unjustly and indefinitely imprisoned without treatment in times of peace was considered unacceptable in Captain Jean-Luc Picard's official evaluation of the planet for the Federation. (TNG: "The Hunted")

Even before the investigation, the prospective member had to meet certain requirements. These included the following:

  • It had to have an "advanced level of technology." The Federation's baseline definition of this term was the capability for faster-than-light space travel. (TNG: "First Contact"; Star Trek: Insurrection)
  • Its government should have achieved stable planetary political unity, demonstrating a resolution of social and political differences and a respect of the rights of the individual. Membership was still considered if there was an isolated faction present that did not want membership, but this was a rare case. (TNG: "The Hunted", "Attached")
  • No form of caste discrimination was to be practiced. (DS9: "Accession")

The latter is somewhat contradicted in TOS: "The Cloud Minders", in which Ardana is referred to as a Federation member world, however the ruling class had a strong caste discrimination against the Troglytes. It is not clear, though, that the Federation Council knew about this situation before the Enterprise's visit to the planet. Moreover, this stipulation might have been introduced at some point of time between "The Cloud Minders" (2269) and "Accession" (2372).

Every acceding member had to go through the same admittance process, which included a specific timetable. In mid-2372, Bajoran First Minister Shakaar Edon successfully negotiated the admittance timetable for Bajor to be cut in half. (DS9: "Crossfire") Roughly one year later, in mid-2373, Bajor's petition for membership was accepted. (DS9: "Rapture")

Individual groups could give up their status as Federation citizens, as was the result when the settlers of Dorvan V elected to remain on their world even after it was ceded to the Cardassians. (TNG: "Journey's End")

In the mid-2380s, 14 member species threatened to secede in opposition to Starfleet's plan to assist the Romulan Star Empire evacuation ahead of the Romulan supernova. (PIC: "Remembrance")

In 2401, a faction of the Borg was granted provisional membership under the leadership of a Queen from an alternate timeline who had merged with Dr. Agnes Jurati and sought to create a better Borg Collective. (PIC: "Farewell")

At some point between the 24th and the 31st century, Federation membership reached a high point of 350 members. (DIS: "Die Trying")

As a consequence of The Burn, by the 31st century, Federation membership had reduced to 38 member worlds, not including Earth or Trill. (DIS: "People of Earth", "Die Trying", "Forget Me Not")

Withdrawing from the Federation and giving up membership was possible and happened especially after The Burn, when more then 300 members left the union. However, an unconditional and immediate withdrawal was not possible, implying a lengthy process and certain requirements to be met before wihdrawal. (DIS: "All Is Possible")

See also: List of Federation members

Exploration and defense[]

Starfleet Command insignia, 2400s

Starfleet emblem (2401)

Main article: Starfleet

Starfleet was the deep-space exploratory and defensive service maintained by the United Federation of Planets. Its principal functions were the advancement of Federation knowledge about the galaxy, the advancement of Federation knowledge of science and technology, and the defense of the Federation. In addition, it also played a significant diplomatic role. As per its mandate of deep-space exploration, its personnel were frequently brought into contact with cultures and sentient species whose existences were previously unknown to the Federation. Federation Starfleet officers therefore acted as official representatives of the Federation in these cases. Also, Federation Starfleet vessels were frequently used to ferry ambassadors on diplomatic missions. (TNG: "The Last Outpost"; TOS: "Journey to Babel"; ENT: "United"; ENT: "Babel One")

The Federation has never been shown to have a standing army. Captain Picard stated that "Starfleet is not a military organization, its purpose is exploration" in TNG: "Peak Performance", despite Starfleet using military ranks and procedures and always appearing as the Federation's first line of defense.

Although few attempts were made to canonically establish the exact nature of the Federation, the writing staff of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine were eager to clarify this. "We are always trying to push, to see what you can get away with, what you can't, what you can say about the Federation," explained Ira Steven Behr. "Is it military? Not military? Rick Berman felt very strongly that it is basically a trading alliance. So [...] now the viewers know [that]. A lot of people think of the Federation in basically military terms, but that's not really what it is." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 46)

Hilary J. Bader was thinking about the Federation when the idea for the DS9 Season 3 episode "Explorers" occurred to her. "I was talking with friends about the fact that the Federation is based on ships," she recalled. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 236)


While money was not "necessary" for the daily running of Federation life, Federation citizens were not restricted from engaging in capitalism, trade, or business. (TOS: "The Trouble with Tribbles"). The extent to which the Federation economic policy necessitated or even obligated the abolition of money, however, it was noted that during the mid-23rd century, con man Harry Mudd robbed a bank on Betazed. Using a time crystal, Mudd was able to learn everything about the bank's complex security measures, a fact he bragged about to Ash Tyler during their imprisonment in 2256. (DIS: "Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad")

Note that it is not known when Betazed joined the Federation, thus this may refer more to that culture alone than the Federation itself.

Most references to economics within the Federation allude specifically to Earth. By the founding of the Federation in the 22nd century, capitalism was no longer the economic system of Earth, being replaced by the New World Economy. According to Tom Paris, it was around this time that "money went the way of the dinosaur." (VOY: "Dark Frontier")

Q once noted that the auction Vash was conducting at Quark's aboard Deep Space 9 was a case of her "engaging in base commerce and setting Federation ethics back two hundred years." (DS9: "Q-Less")

Under the New World Economy, material needs and money no longer existed and Humanity had grown out of its infancy. People were no longer obsessed with the accumulation of things, effectively eliminating hunger and want and the need for possessions. The challenge and driving force then were to self-improvement, self-enrichment, and the betterment of all Humanity. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home; TNG: "The Neutral Zone", "The Price", "Time's Arrow, Part II"; Star Trek: First Contact).

Note that the scope of this statement may be unique to Earth and not a pan Federation policy.

The Federation itself did engage in trade with friendly powers and organizations. Although most items and services were provided by the Federation, some luxury items and services could still be requisitioned as late as the 24th century using Federation credits, the Federation continued to deal with other cultures which had money-based economies, and private businesses from other races such as the Ferengi were sometimes permitted on Federation stations such as Deep Space 9, despite being scornful of the Federation's disregard for currency. (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint", "The Price"; VOY: "Caretaker"; DS9: "In the Cards", "Who Mourns for Morn?")


Due to its size and history, the United Federation of Planets gained a reputation among the neighboring populations and beyond. Some of that reputation was based on dissemination of factual information, and some was fabricated or exaggerated for various purposes or simply through negligence.

Among Klingons[]

Klingon propaganda in the 23rd century claimed that the Federation committed atrocities against its prisoners, keeping them in death camps and torturing them for their scientific and military secrets. When beamed aboard the USS Enterprise in 2268, Mara reminded her husband Kang of these claims. Captain James T. Kirk remarked that she had much to learn about the Federation. (TOS: "Day of the Dove") In the aftermath of the so-called Genesis Incident, the Klingon Ambassador publicly referred to the Federation as behaving "like a gang of intergalactic criminals". (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home). In the 2290s, the daughter of the Klingon Chancellor, Azetbur, called it a "Homo Sapiens only club". (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)

Prior to the breakdown of relations between the Federation and Klingon Empire, which eventually led to the Federation-Klingon War, Kurn opposed the decision to break the treaty but was overruled in the Klingon Council. He later stated to Worf that the reason for his opposition was "because Gowron underestimates the Federation. He thinks they're soft, weak, but he is wrong. Sooner or later, there will be war." (DS9: "Sons of Mogh")

Among the Dominion[]

While the Dominion's leaders considered themselves to be superior, they viewed the Federation as a threat. Following the Battle of the Omarion Nebula, which eliminated the threat of the Obsidian Order and Tal Shiar, the Changeling posing as Colonel Lovok stated that "after today the only real threats to us from the Alpha Quadrant are the Klingons and the Federation. And I doubt either of them will be a threat for much longer." (DS9: "The Die is Cast")

As the Dominion cold war pressed on, Benjamin Sisko was told by Weyoun that "the Dominion has endured for over two thousand years, and will continue to endure, until long after the Federation has crumbled into dust." (DS9: "To the Death") Likewise, following the Dominion's arrival in the Alpha Quadrant, following their acquisition of the Cardassian Union, the Cardassian government's new leader, Dukat, encouraged Captain Benjamin Sisko to convince the Federation to follow Cardassia's example, and offered him "a chance to save your precious Federation," adding that "joining the Dominion will save billions of lives and keep the Federation from fading into the mists of history." (DS9: "By Inferno's Light")

Later, during the Dominion War, it was Weyoun's belief that for the Dominion to absorb the Federation, following their theoretical defeat, that "holding on to a prize as vast as the Federation isn't going to be easy. It's going to require an enormous number of ships, a massive occupation army and constant vigilance." Ultimately, Weyoun personally believed that "the key to holding the Federation is Earth. If there's going to be an organized resistance against us, its birthplace will be there." (DS9: "Sacrifice of Angels")

Even towards the end of the war, the Dominion, and Weyoun in particular, seems to possess a poor understanding of the Federation. When one of the Founders announced plans for Dominion forces to fall back to Cardassian territory and rearm themselves, Weyoun mistakenly believed the Federation would not go on the offensive, due to the Federation being "at its very nature, timid." (DS9: "The Dogs of War")

Among others[]

In 2269, the Enterprise apprehended Lokai, a native of the planet Cheron, who was responsible for the theft of a Federation shuttlecraft from Starbase 4. Following his apprehension, and, upon his initial interrogation by Captain Kirk, Lokai stated that he had heard about the starship and the "United Fleet of Planets" to which it belonged. Kirk quickly corrected Lokai, stating the correct name of the Federation. (TOS: "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield")

Many desired association with the Federation. In the 2360s, multiple governments requested membership in the United Federation of Planets. Among these were government of Angosia III and one of the two governments of Kesprytt III. (TNG: "The Hunted", "Attached") In 2369, the Bajoran Provisional Government chose to become affiliated with the Federation and entrusted much of the operation of Deep Space 9 to the Federation's Starfleet. (DS9: "Emissary")

Some had a rather nuanced view of the Federation. During the preparation for the First Battle of Deep Space 9, in 2372, Quark expressed to Garak the direness of being stuck on the station, stating that "the worst part is, my only hope for salvation is the Federation." Quark introduced Garak to the Earth concoction of root beer, which Quark described as being "bubbly and cloying and happy. Just like the Federation," adding, "but you know what's really frightening? If you drink enough of it, you begin to like it." Garak, who disliked the taste of the "vile" beverage, added that it was "insidious", to which Quark added, "just like the Federation." Garak asked Quark if he thought they would "be able to save us?" Quark responded, "I hope so." (DS9: "The Way of the Warrior")

In 2375, Ru'afo, a Son'a who was working in conjunction with Starfleet Vice Admiral Dougherty, expressed his views of the Federation, describing it as "old," adding "in the last twenty-four months, it's been challenged by every major power in the quadrant - the Borg, the Cardassians, the Dominion. They all smell the scent of death on the Federation." Ru'afo suggested to Dougherty that it was for that very reason why the Federation Council "embraced [the Son'a's] offer, because it will give your dear Federation new life." (Star Trek: Insurrection)

The Diviner and Asencia both blamed the Federation for the destruction of their homeworld Solum in an alternate timeline. This was because first contact with the Federation ultimately led to a civil war that devastated their planet. The Federation refused to get involved in the war, presumably because of the Prime Directive forbidding such involvement in a non-member world's affairs, but this further soured their view on the Federation and its culpability. (PRO: "A Moral Star, Part 2", "Preludes") In 2384, Asencia portrayed the Federation in a negative light to the Vau N'Akat of the present day, showing a belief that a civil war was inevitable as long as the Federation was around to expose her world to the wider universe. (PRO: "Into the Breach, Part II", "Who Saves the Saviors") When a civil war erupted, it was because of Asencia's own actions to prevent one rather than the Federation. The intervention of the USS Voyager-A and the USS Protostar led to a peaceful first contact and the Vau N'Akat seeing the folly of Asencia's beliefs and actions. (PRO: "Brink", "Touch of Grey", "Ouroboros, Part I", "Ouroboros, Part II")


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The United Federation of Planets was named by Gene L. Coon. (AT: "Despite Yourself")

In Star Trek: The Original Series, the Federation was depicted as a group with certain vulnerabilities. "If you look at the original series, it had the Federation with real strengths and weaknesses," Robert Hewitt Wolfe pointed out. "I think Gene [Roddenberry] wanted to show that in times of crises people can get reactionary and that's not necessarily a good thing." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 28, No. 4/5, p. 43)

The Federation was dealt with more on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine than on Star Trek: Voyager. Robert Wolfe commented, "There was a realization [for the DS9 writing staff] - it started [in the show's third season], with TNG off the air and Voyager in the Delta Quadrant - that all the fun stuff of the Federation was ours to play with." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 28, No. 4/5, p. 28)

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine veered away from depicting the Federation typically. Ira Steven Behr commented, "Anything where we can have Federation people acting in ways that the Federation doesn't advise or support is interesting to me." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 25/26, No. 6/1, p. 109) On the other hand, the series' portrayal of the organization had to somewhat adhere to certain confines (such as with the design of the USS Defiant). Said Behr, "Everything has to stay within the Federation and the Federation is not, if you asked Gene Roddenberry, a military organization. We're not the cops of the galaxy." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 27, No. 4/5, p. 102)

The premise of Star Trek: Enterprise always implied that a big part of the series would explore how the Federation was initiated and how things would change as the organization came into being. When Manny Coto took over as showrunner of the series for its fourth season, he opted to focus on this aspect of the show. (Star Trek: The Official Starships Collection, issue 55, p. 15) Ever since then, exploring the origins of the Federation was important to him. "He very much wanted to see the laying of the foundation of the Federation," André Bormanis recalled. "How did the Federation come to be? Who were the original charter members of the Federation, the United Federation of Planets? Why was it important to create [...] this tremendous planetary alliance? Let's show how this United Federation of Planets came to be. Let's write that future history, and that was tremendously fun, and very much through the efforts of Manny Coto to take us in that direction." While Coto was planning to deal with the birth of the Federation in the fourth season, this concept led to the idea of hiring Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens. "And Mike [Sussman] said, 'Well, Judy and Gar have written Federation, and so they've written 250 years of this history. Maybe, you know, they might be worth talking to,'" recounted Judith Reeves-Stevens. ("Before Her Time: Decommissioning Enterprise, Part One: New Voices", ENT Season 4 Blu-ray special features) She clarified, "I think it was specifically because they were laying the groundwork for the Federation." (ENT: "Observer Effect" audio commentary, ENT Season 4 Blu-ray special features) Jonathan Archer actor Scott Bakula noted, "I would have loved to have been able to explore that journey to the Federation and their creation of it [...] to a greater extent. And I think that would have been, um, just more fun for the audience, [...] just better, longer storytelling." ("Before Her Time: Decommissioning Enterprise, Part Four: End of an Era", ENT Season 4 Blu-ray special features)

Gene Roddenberry depicted the United Federation of Planets as an idealistic version of the United Nations, one based on the enlightened principles of liberty, equality, justice, progress, and peaceful co-existence.

Actor Jason Isaacs commented about the Federation in general, "There are many people around who can passionately argue the notion that the Federation has that people can work together and there are harmonious solutions, diplomatic solutions, sort of thing, is fanciful and may be short-lived." Isaacs believed that this sentiment synced with there being, in the real world nowadays, a political resurgence towards a more military stance and that the connection between this real-life situation and the aforementioned view of the Federation provided an impetus for creating Star Trek: Discovery. ("Discovering Discovery: The Concepts and Casting of Star Trek: Discovery", DIS Season 1 DVD and Blu-ray special features)


Federation pennant on Triacus

UFP pennant

A "UFP" pennant in TOS: "And the Children Shall Lead" was the first insignia that specifically represented the Federation.

The Federation seal was first shown in Star Trek: The Motion Picture. A new version with three bright stars was introduced in TNG: "Haven"; the three bright stars potentially representing Earth, Vulcan, and the Klingon Homeworld, though this concept was later dropped and the stars went undefined. (Star Trek Sticker Book, pg. 9) The seal reappeared on a flag in ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II", whose final draft script stipulated that the flag was to display "the early Federation seal (as seen in Star Trek: The Motion Picture).

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