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Old January 17 2013, 08:56 AM   #1
t_smitts
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Federation members or not? (Canon sources only, please)

There's a few worlds/species whose affiliation with the Federation is unclear. Without citing any non-canon materiel (I'm looking at you, relaunch novels), I'm curious what some people think of the following:

Trill:
Starfleet DOES include officers from species we know to be non-members (Klingons, Bajorans, Ferengi), but unless explicitly referred to as such, I tend to give the benefit of the doubt and assume membership. (Based on that criteria, I also assume Tiburon is a member).

More importantly, though, Curzon was a Federation diplomat for decades. Now foreign-born state officals aren't unheard of (Henry Kissenger and Madeline Albright, for instance), but seems pretty unlikely.

The only think that damn hard to explain is them being members as far back as the late 23rd Century, if not further, and it being such a shock in "The Host" that Trills are joined with symbionts. (Then again, considering DS9 basically ignored everything about that episode except for that basic premise, maybe we should too).

Despite that mess, I lean towards yes.

Risa:
This one's a bit trickier. The whole storyline of "Let He Who is Without Sin..." seems to put Risa as a member, but it's hard to reconcile that with Picard seemingly being unfamiliar with the planet and Riker explaining it to him in "Captain's Holiday".

I dunno. Could go either way.

Benzar:
Mordock was the first Benzite in Starfleet in "Coming of Age", but that doesn't necessarily mean anything. They could be a relatively new member or one whose members are typically interested in Starfleet. "A Matter of Honor" seems to indicate them not being members, based on Mendon serving as part of an exchange program and the Benzites said to be having their own ships (as opposed being "absorbed into Starfleet" like the Bajoran militia would've been). Based on that, I lean towards no.

Zakdorn:
Based on one serving as a Starfleet observer and another as quartermaster of a Starfleet surplus depot, I lean towards yes. (But then where were these "master strategists" when Starfleet was fighting the Borg and the Dominion?)

Anyone care to weigh in on these or some other notable worlds or races?
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Old January 17 2013, 09:12 AM   #2
Sci
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Re: Federation members or not? (Canon sources only, please)

t_smitts wrote: View Post
There's a few worlds/species whose affiliation with the Federation is unclear. Without citing any non-canon materiel (I'm looking at you, relaunch novels),
I don't see why you should ignore the novels.

But I'd say that the preponderance of canonical evidence re: Trill implies Federation Membership. Trill is a Member in the novels (Mission: Gamma, Trill: Unjoined).

Risa:
This one's a bit trickier. The whole storyline of "Let He Who is Without Sin..." seems to put Risa as a member, but it's hard to reconcile that with Picard seemingly being unfamiliar with the planet and Riker explaining it to him in "Captain's Holiday".
"Without Sin" made it pretty explicit that Risa is a Member. That doesn't contradict "Captain's Holiday" -- in a Federation of over 150 worlds, is it really unreasonable to assume that not every Member's cultural practices are uniformly well-known throughout the rest of the UFP?

The novels also make Risa's Membership clear (TNG: Losing the Peace).

Benzar:
Mordock was the first Benzite in Starfleet in "Coming of Age", but that doesn't necessarily mean anything. They could be a relatively new member or one whose members are typically interested in Starfleet. "A Matter of Honor" seems to indicate them not being members, based on Mendon serving as part of an exchange program and the Benzites said to be having their own ships (as opposed being "absorbed into Starfleet" like the Bajoran militia would've been). Based on that, I lean towards no.
On the other hand, there was a DSN episode in Season Six -- can't remember the title -- in which Benzar was in a verbal list of Federation worlds the Romulans had liberated from the Dominion.

Zakdorn:
Based on one serving as a Starfleet observer and another as quartermaster of a Starfleet surplus depot, I lean towards yes. (But then where were these "master strategists" when Starfleet was fighting the Borg and the Dominion?)
I see no reason to think there weren't Zakdorn strategists at work in the halls of Starfleet Command, coordinating Federation war efforts in numerous sectors.

In the novel A Time to Kill, it's established that a Zakdorn named Koll Azernal was serving as Federation President Min Zife (of Bolarus)'s chief of staff and primary adviser. He is established to have been one of the key strategists behind many high-level Federation victories.
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Old January 17 2013, 01:57 PM   #3
Timo
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Re: Federation members or not? (Canon sources only, please)

More importantly, though, Curzon was a Federation diplomat for decades. Now foreign-born state officals aren't unheard of (Henry Kissenger and Madeline Albright, for instance), but seems pretty unlikely.
Curzon was a diplomat who was involved in Federation-Klingon negotiations - but whether he was a Federation diplomat, remains somewhat ambiguous on screen. The UFP seemed to involve neutral outsiders as negotiators in its dealings with the Klingons; perhaps Curzon was one of those, just like Riva of "Loud as a Whisper" fame?

Memory Alpha leaps to some conclusions regarding Curzon, for example claiming that he served alongside Ben Sisko in Starfleet aboard the Livingston, when all we know is that Ensign Sisko had to look after Ambassador Curzon there, nothing indicating that Curzon "served" (except perhaps sentences in the brig for his usual behavior).

On the other hand, there was a DSN episode in Season Six -- can't remember the title -- in which Benzar was in a verbal list of Federation worlds the Romulans had liberated from the Dominion.
"The Reckoning". The penultimate script version apparently had Bolarus there instead, creating some confusion, but the teaser of the episode discusses Romulans liberating "the Benzite system" and perhaps being unwilling to leave "Benzar" afterwards.

Nothing there indicates Benzar or the Benzite system would be UFP members, though.

Based on one serving as a Starfleet observer and another as quartermaster of a Starfleet surplus depot, I lean towards yes.
Yet the Zakdorn fame spanned the known galaxy. Quite possibly, one serves as a Romulan Imperial Starfleet expert and another as quartermaster of a Cardassian surplus depot...

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Old January 17 2013, 02:47 PM   #4
Jono
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Re: Federation members or not? (Canon sources only, please)

t_smitts wrote: View Post
More importantly, though, Curzon was a Federation diplomat for decades. Now foreign-born state officals aren't unheard of (Henry Kissenger and Madeline Albright, for instance), but seems pretty unlikely.
Why does it seem so unlikely? You would think that the "enlightened" Federation would care little about whether someone was born a Federation citizen or became one later in life...unless they were partly Romulan.

That said, I think the Trill are members and the writers intended them to be. You think that if Jadzia had to go through the processes to join Starfleet that Nog did they would have had her involved in Nog's journey in some way.
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Old January 17 2013, 04:36 PM   #5
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Re: Federation members or not? (Canon sources only, please)

Memory Alpha claims all four planets are Federation members. The most doubtful of these claims (to me) seems to be Benzar. MA says Benzar became a member in 2378, which would be during Voyager's final season, but their source for this is Star Trek: Star Charts, not a specific episode.
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Old January 17 2013, 07:26 PM   #6
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Re: Federation members or not? (Canon sources only, please)

t_smitts wrote: View Post
... and it being such a shock in "The Host" that Trills are joined with symbionts ...
Remember, the majority of Trills aren't joined. And if you interacted with a joined trill, you wouldn't know it unless they told you, or there was a medical exam.

Sisko might have known Curzon for years before finding out he was joined, and if Curzon told Sisko this information in confianace, I can see Sisko keeping it to himself.

It's like when Kirk and McCoy found out the details of Pon Farr, I seriously doubt they told anyone about it.

On whether Trill is a Federation member, it is unclear, but I lean toward not a Member.

Risa is a Member. Worf made a statement to the effect that "Risa has the most elaborate (terraforming?) mechinism in the entire Federation." You really have to twist that around for Risa not to be a Member.

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Old January 17 2013, 08:27 PM   #7
USS Einstein
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Re: Federation members or not? (Canon sources only, please)

I don't think the Trill are members.

Also, I think Starfleet includes members from non-member worlds.

I.E. 300 years of immigration mean there are probably thousands of alien species, even from beyond the Federation, living on Earth.
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Old January 17 2013, 11:27 PM   #8
Christopher
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Re: Federation members or not? (Canon sources only, please)

t_smitts wrote: View Post
The only think that damn hard to explain is them being members as far back as the late 23rd Century, if not further, and it being such a shock in "The Host" that Trills are joined with symbionts. (Then again, considering DS9 basically ignored everything about that episode except for that basic premise, maybe we should too).
We've seen UFP members keeping customs and facts about their culture from the Federation before; for instance, the Ardanans' system of apartheid with the Stratos elite keeping the Troglytes oppressed, something that would probably have precluded membership if it had been known. (I always figured the UFP was willing to rush Ardana's membership without looking too closely because they wanted its zienite badly.) The Federation is a looser union than something like the USA or even the European Union, simply because the worlds are so far apart. Internal matters are generally kept internal.


Risa:
This one's a bit trickier. The whole storyline of "Let He Who is Without Sin..." seems to put Risa as a member, but it's hard to reconcile that with Picard seemingly being unfamiliar with the planet and Riker explaining it to him in "Captain's Holiday".
Not really. I'm with Sci on this one. Do you know the name and customs of every one of the nearly 200 sovereign countries that currently exist on Earth? Did you even know there were that many? And that's just one planet's worth of sovereign states. In an interstellar union of hundreds of entire worlds, it would easily be possible for a citizen of one member planet to go through an entire lifetime without learning a thing about many of its other member planets. Sure, Picard's a well-traveled fellow, but he's spent most of his life discovering or exploring worlds beyond the Federation's borders.

Although, granted, given that Picard was more of a rake in his youth, it is a little unlikely that he was unaware of the world that was later established as the go-to pleasure planet of the quadrant even as far back as the 22nd century.


USS Einstein wrote: View Post
I.E. 300 years of immigration mean there are probably thousands of alien species, even from beyond the Federation, living on Earth.
Good point. One thing that ST and its fans all too often forget is that species identity doesn't automatically correspond to political or cultural identity. A member of the Andorian species born and raised on Earth would be a Terran by nationality and culture, and a human born and raised on Vulcan would be a Vulcan citizen. But the shows always simplify things for the audience and make characters act stereotypically based on their species. Worf was always the ultimate Klingon even though he'd been raised by humans and spent most of his life on Earth. Although we did get some rare exceptions, like Jono/Jeremiah Rossa from "Suddenly Human" and Rugal from "Cardassians." But these were always treated as anomalies and the characters' default reaction was that they should be with "their own kind" instead.
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Old January 18 2013, 12:21 AM   #9
Melakon
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Re: Federation members or not? (Canon sources only, please)

This discussion is making me consider another question:

Has any member planet/system been kicked out of the Federation? I can't think of one at the moment, other than those colonies in the DMZ near Cardassian space.
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Old January 18 2013, 01:15 AM   #10
USS Einstein
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Re: Federation members or not? (Canon sources only, please)

Christopher wrote: View Post
USS Einstein wrote: View Post
I.E. 300 years of immigration mean there are probably thousands of alien species, even from beyond the Federation, living on Earth.
Good point. One thing that ST and its fans all too often forget is that species identity doesn't automatically correspond to political or cultural identity. A member of the Andorian species born and raised on Earth would be a Terran by nationality and culture, and a human born and raised on Vulcan would be a Vulcan citizen. But the shows always simplify things for the audience and make characters act stereotypically based on their species. Worf was always the ultimate Klingon even though he'd been raised by humans and spent most of his life on Earth. Although we did get some rare exceptions, like Jono/Jeremiah Rossa from "Suddenly Human" and Rugal from "Cardassians." But these were always treated as anomalies and the characters' default reaction was that they should be with "their own kind" instead.
It's another thing JJ Abrams may have got right - showing aliens in bars in small town Iowa - having species that might not even be Federation members in Starfleet uniforms.

Being an organization without prejudice, there is no reason a species from some distant globular cluster, who had to travel for 30 years to reach Federation space, can't sign up to Starfleet.

Also ENT did this right, with Denobulan residents, medical exchange programmes, etc. Probably Draylax, Trillius Prime, Tellar, etc, all have traders regularly visiting even in the early days of Earth's warp era.
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Old January 18 2013, 01:43 AM   #11
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Re: Federation members or not? (Canon sources only, please)

USS Einstein wrote: View Post
Also ENT did this right, with Denobulan residents, medical exchange programmes, etc. Probably Draylax, Trillius Prime, Tellar, etc, all have traders regularly visiting even in the early days of Earth's warp era.
Well, probably not Tellar, at least not often, since Archer was unfamiliar with Tellarites in "Dead Stop."
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Old January 18 2013, 02:28 AM   #12
-Brett-
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Re: Federation members or not? (Canon sources only, please)

(Canon sources only, please)
With the attitude toward canon on this forum, that's pretty severely limiting. According to some on this forum, bathrooms don't exist because they've never been seen or mentioned in canon. Absolutely no inferences allowed.

So going strictly by canon, Earth and Vulcan are just about the only Federation planets that we know of. The other 148 haven't been named.

Come to think of it, Earth might be debatable. Has anyone outright said "Earth is a Federation member" in those exact words? If not, that's not canon either.
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Old January 18 2013, 02:35 AM   #13
The Wormhole
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Re: Federation members or not? (Canon sources only, please)

t_smitts wrote: View Post
The only think that damn hard to explain is them being members as far back as the late 23rd Century, if not further, and it being such a shock in "The Host" that Trills are joined with symbionts. (Then again, considering DS9 basically ignored everything about that episode except for that basic premise, maybe we should too).
They wouldn't necessarily have been members since the 23rd century. While the Trill were certainly known to the Federation back then, it's possible membership didn't happen until sometime in the 24th century.

-Brett- wrote: View Post
Come to think of it, Earth might be debatable. Has anyone outright said "Earth is a Federation member" in those exact words? If not, that's not canon either.
The office of the Federation President is on Earth, Earth was one of the Federation's founding worlds, and the Federation's charter signing was on Earth. That's enough canonical evidence saying Earth is a member of the Federation.
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Old January 18 2013, 06:44 AM   #14
t_smitts
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Re: Federation members or not? (Canon sources only, please)

Christopher wrote: View Post
t_smitts wrote: View Post
The only think that damn hard to explain is them being members as far back as the late 23rd Century, if not further, and it being such a shock in "The Host" that Trills are joined with symbionts. (Then again, considering DS9 basically ignored everything about that episode except for that basic premise, maybe we should too).
We've seen UFP members keeping customs and facts about their culture from the Federation before; for instance, the Ardanans' system of apartheid with the Stratos elite keeping the Troglytes oppressed, something that would probably have precluded membership if it had been known. (I always figured the UFP was willing to rush Ardana's membership without looking too closely because they wanted its zienite badly.) The Federation is a looser union than something like the USA or even the European Union, simply because the worlds are so far apart. Internal matters are generally kept internal.


Risa:
This one's a bit trickier. The whole storyline of "Let He Who is Without Sin..." seems to put Risa as a member, but it's hard to reconcile that with Picard seemingly being unfamiliar with the planet and Riker explaining it to him in "Captain's Holiday".
Not really. I'm with Sci on this one. Do you know the name and customs of every one of the nearly 200 sovereign countries that currently exist on Earth? Did you even know there were that many? And that's just one planet's worth of sovereign states. In an interstellar union of hundreds of entire worlds, it would easily be possible for a citizen of one member planet to go through an entire lifetime without learning a thing about many of its other member planets. Sure, Picard's a well-traveled fellow, but he's spent most of his life discovering or exploring worlds beyond the Federation's borders.

Although, granted, given that Picard was more of a rake in his youth, it is a little unlikely that he was unaware of the world that was later established as the go-to pleasure planet of the quadrant even as far back as the 22nd century.
Perhaps I should clarify. I didn't have a problem with Picard not knowing Risa's customs. My concern was the episode seemed to imply Picard had never even heard of Risa at all!



T'Girl wrote: View Post
t_smitts wrote: View Post
... and it being such a shock in "The Host" that Trills are joined with symbionts ...
Remember, the majority of Trills aren't joined. And if you interacted with a joined trill, you wouldn't know it unless they told you, or there was a medical exam.

Sisko might have known Curzon for years before finding out he was joined, and if Curzon told Sisko this information in confianace, I can see Sisko keeping it to himself.

It's like when Kirk and McCoy found out the details of Pon Farr, I seriously doubt they told anyone about it.

On whether Trill is a Federation member, it is unclear, but I lean toward not a Member.
The notion of this being a secret is so at odds with DS9, it might be better to pretend it never happened.

It's suggested that being selected for joining is a high honor that much of the population strives for. (In "Equilibrium", it was feared that if word got out that as much as half the population was compatible, people would fight over symbionts like prizes). It's hard to imagine most of the population striving for this and successfully keeping it a secret from outsiders. (Especially since "The Host" implied that they weren't even intentionally keeping it a secret!)

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Risa is a Member. Worf made a statement to the effect that "Risa has the most elaborate (terraforming?) mechinism in the entire Federation." You really have to twist that around for Risa not to be a Member.

True. It's just hard to reconcile with Picard being unaware of a Fed world.

The Wormhole wrote: View Post
t_smitts wrote: View Post
The only think that damn hard to explain is them being members as far back as the late 23rd Century, if not further, and it being such a shock in "The Host" that Trills are joined with symbionts. (Then again, considering DS9 basically ignored everything about that episode except for that basic premise, maybe we should too).
They wouldn't necessarily have been members since the 23rd century. While the Trill were certainly known to the Federation back then, it's possible membership didn't happen until sometime in the 24th century.
I was assuming, based on Curzon being a Fed diplomat dealing with Kor, Kang, and Koloth back then.

We know Trills had contact with the Federation at least as far back as the 2240's, what with Emony being on Earth at the time.
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Old January 18 2013, 12:52 PM   #15
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Re: Federation members or not? (Canon sources only, please)

t_smitts wrote: View Post
Perhaps I should clarify. I didn't have a problem with Picard not knowing Risa's customs. My concern was the episode seemed to imply Picard had never even heard of Risa at all!
Let's face it, storytellers change their minds sometimes, or different storytellers reinterpret things. In that episode, it was necessary to explain what Risa was, so they treated it as something new to Picard. But later episodes kept revisiting the idea of Risa and elevated it into the Federation's best-known recreation spot, creating the continuity glitch. It's something that happens in a lot of series fiction -- the characters' knowledge of a thing reflecting the state of the audience's and writers' familiarity with it, so that something initially presented as unfamiliar becomes overly familiar with time. Like the glitch about Professor Moriarty in the Sherlock Holmes canon -- when he was introduced in "The Final Problem," Watson had never heard of him before, but when Doyle then wrote The Valley of Fear, set before "The Final Problem," he had Watson already be familiar with Moriarty.

We can demand perfection all we want, but we're not going to get it in any human creation. Any long-running series will have continuity glitches. That's just the way it is.
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