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View Poll Results: What did Picard mean by 150+
150+ planets total 6 12.00%
150+ Federation members 29 58.00%
150+ Species homeworlds 12 24.00%
Something else 3 6.00%
Voters: 50. You may not vote on this poll

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Old June 22 2014, 08:41 AM   #16
Timo
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Re: What Did Picard Mean?

Taken alone, the number answers a question that is unambiguous enough, in 1990s terms anyway. (In 2000s terms, nobody knows any longer what the heck "planet" is supposed to mean, and things will probably only get worse by the real 2063 or the 24th century.)

In the context of Star Trek, though, 150+ must be a tiny subset of the total number of planets in the Federation. And since Picard thus is telling Lily something he thinks Lily needs to know, rather than what Lily actually is asking, I'll assume that he means member species, i.e. diversity - as that's what he would want to emphasize to Lily at that point. So it's the number of "member species homeworlds", which is more or less the same as either "member species" or "homeworlds" (homeless members like alternate Vulcans are bound to be a minority, and multi-homeworld species are no doubt special cases as well).

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Old June 22 2014, 11:24 AM   #17
LMFAOschwarz
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Re: What Did Picard Mean?

I'm curious as to how the number 150 was arrived at. It seems just specific enough for some amount of thought to have gone into it, but based on what? If it means 150 planetary members, then a new world joining the Federation would indeed be a somewhat rare and special thing. I'm not too knowledgeable about chronologies and stuff, but even if you figure the Federation were 150 years old, well...that's be a new member world added a year.

In Metamorphosis, Kirk said "We're on a thousand planets and spreading out.", which I took to mean that that's how many worlds have been explored. I'm sure it's a general number Kirk used, not literally a thousand, but much as you or I might say a bookstore has "a thousand books on World War 2".

Picard's 150 sounds more specific, but taken into context with Kirk's words, "a thousand planets" would certainly have expanded by Picard's time. Considering how (relatively) few starships ships seemed to be around in Kirk's time, "thousands" of worlds is quite an amazing achievement. By Picard's era, there are so many more ships, that it seems that statistically, the batting average is getting lower all the time!

All told, "150 member worlds" to me is just a unnecessary bit of continuity baggage, the last thing Star Trek needed at this point. And why tie down future writers like that? Sometimes, vague is good!

But what do I know?
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Old June 22 2014, 12:00 PM   #18
Green Shirt
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Re: What Did Picard Mean?

There could be a number of in universe reasons Kirk's and Picard's numbers don't match. Kirk could have been exaggerating the number to get Cochran interested in leaving (exaggeration would certainly fit into Kirk's character).

Its possible the Federation lost members between Kirk's and Picard's time due to a number of reasons. Any number of systems could have been lost due to war or annexation by enemy powers. There could have also been a mass exodus of members due to some beef they could have had with the Federation itself. Many of them could have formed their own alliances.
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Old June 22 2014, 12:10 PM   #19
LMFAOschwarz
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Re: What Did Picard Mean?

Green Shirt wrote: View Post
There could be a number of in universe reasons Kirk's and Picard's numbers don't match. Kirk could have been exaggerating the number to get Cochran interested in leaving (exaggeration would certainly fit into Kirk's character).

Its possible the Federation lost members between Kirk's and Picard's time due to a number of reasons. Any number of systems could have been lost due to war or annexation by enemy powers. There could have also been a mass exodus of members due to some beef they could have had with the Federation itself. Many of them could have formed their own alliances.
One interesting thing that kept popping up in the original series was a sense of urgency in getting new worlds to "join the bandwagon". How many episodes were they under orders to establish contact with such-and-such world "at all costs"?

I figure that the vast percentage of worlds were too "primitive" to be considered for any kind of "membership" in anything, so the relatively low number of member worlds isn't too surprising. In fact, that may in itself fuel the urgency for new members.
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Old June 22 2014, 12:23 PM   #20
iguana_tonante
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Re: What Did Picard Mean?

In context, the meaning seems to be "150 members". This seems the general consensus, and I can understand why. In the case of Humans, Earth will counts as one, Mars maybe (has been ever established if it's voting member?), and Alpha Centauri as another. If the case of Humans is typical, this would imply between 50 and 100 species. But you know, drawing conclusions from one data point is not a good idea in general.

Personally, I prefer to think that he meant 150 planets total, including colonies with a significant population and a degree of autonomy (but not necessarily full membership in the Federation). This would bring the number of species probably under 50, and probably much less. I prefer this figure because it would explain how the Federation can be kept in check by single-species political entities like the Klingon or the Romulan Empire. (Even if we imagine that it takes multiple single-species empire to keep in check the Federation, it's really hard to imagine that less than 10 species can be a threat to a huge federation of 150 species.) On the other hand, just like in real life, some species can be vastly more numerous and have vastly more resources than others, so the sheer number of members can be a meaningless metric.
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Old June 22 2014, 12:29 PM   #21
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Re: What Did Picard Mean?

That's a good point, iguana_tonante. While some members might mainly contribute farmlands or minerals, others may have large fleets of powerful warships, or other incredible technologies to offer. What's the expression...each according to his means, or however it goes?
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Old June 22 2014, 12:32 PM   #22
The Old Mixer
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Re: What Did Picard Mean?

I think it's 150+ Federation members, as I recall reading somewhere from a close-to-production offscreen source that the number 150 was chosen to parallel the United Nations.
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Old June 22 2014, 03:38 PM   #23
T'Girl
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Re: What Did Picard Mean?

Green Shirt wrote: View Post
Its possible the Federation lost members between Kirk's and Picard's time due to a number of reasons.
I believe one of the prime reason the Federation was formed in the first place was the Romulan War, and the fear of the Romulans attacking in the future.

Subsequent to the formation more species would have added their star systems (or multiple star systems) to the Federation for the benefits of mutual defense.

But as time went on and the Romulans don't attack that motivation for staying in the Federation would have faded. Species would have canceled their memberships and went their own ways, by the time period just prior to TNG the Romulan War would have been nearly two centuries in the past.

There could have also been a mass exodus of members due to some beef they could have had with the Federation itself.
Some fans have posted here in the past that the Federation may have organizationally changed between TOS and TNG, going from (or attempting to) a United Nation type organization to more of a Nation State with the members require to surrendering large measures of sovereignty.

I never embraced that thought. However such a move could account for whole sections of the membership departing.

Many of them could have formed their own alliances.
Members considering canceling their membership could have said in council, "the Central Interstellar Hetaerocracy's ambassador invited our rep to diner last night, and ..."

LMFAOschwarz wrote: View Post
In Metamorphosis, Kirk said "We're on a thousand planets and spreading out."
Given that Kirk was speaking to another Human, the "we're" (imho) meant Humans. Humans had a presence on a thousand worlds. There'd be all of Earth's colonies, the worlds of other Federation members and their colonies (I could imagine hundreds of thousands of Humans living on Vulcan), and worlds not aligned with the Federation of well.

We're on a thousand worlds.

Bry_Sinclair wrote: View Post
I like to believe its 150+ species homeworlds, once they enter the UFP their colonies are also included--unless a colonial government opts to remain independent.
I would think that once a colony became independent, whether to join the Federation (or a different grouping) would be their decision. I could see a species homeworld not being a part of the Federation, but once independent the former colony seeking to join.

The Old Mixer wrote: View Post
... the number 150 was chosen to parallel the United Nations.
Dominica join the UN on December 18, 1978, becoming the 150th member.

By the time of First Contact's release the UN membership had been steady at 185 members for about two years.


Last edited by T'Girl; June 22 2014 at 03:50 PM.
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Old June 22 2014, 07:15 PM   #24
The Old Mixer
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Re: What Did Picard Mean?

^That's what they said, though...I want to say it was in one of the Okuda reference books, but I'm not sure. They were going for something of roughly the same scope, so "over 150" is close enough.
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Old June 22 2014, 11:22 PM   #25
doctorfoto
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Re: What Did Picard Mean?

Echoing some of the sentiments here, I agree with the thought that Picard was referencing how many worlds (which I interpret as member species, who may occupy multiple planets) currently hold Federation member status.

Bear in mind though that generally speaking, we've actually seen relatively few species that hold that status - compared to how many aliens we've encountered who do not. TOS, TNG and ENT were primarily exploring strange, new worlds. Voyager was naturally not visiting Federation planets. And most of the species featured on DS9 didn't hold Federation membership either, particularly the Bajorans. Indeed, the Cardassians, Klingons, Romulans, Ferengi, Naussicans, Hupyrians, Morn were not, and the parade of alien species passing through the station were likely outside of Federation membership as well. So yeah - I think there's a lot of wiggle-room to work with.
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Old June 22 2014, 11:42 PM   #26
LMFAOschwarz
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Re: What Did Picard Mean?

LMFAOschwarz wrote: View Post
In Metamorphosis, Kirk said "We're on a thousand planets and spreading out."
T'Girl wrote: View Post
Given that Kirk was speaking to another Human, the "we're" (imho) meant Humans. Humans had a presence on a thousand worlds. There'd be all of Earth's colonies, the worlds of other Federation members and their colonies (I could imagine hundreds of thousands of Humans living on Vulcan), and worlds not aligned with the Federation of well.

We're on a thousand worlds.
Yeah, on a thousand planets might just be that, counting everything from the Deneva colony (which I took to be something like a population of hundreds of thousands), all the way down to Fred and Nancy Crater's lonely archaeology encampment. Add 'em all up, and you could have a human presence on a thousand planets.
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Old June 22 2014, 11:43 PM   #27
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Re: What Did Picard Mean?

Yeah I always assumed he meant the primary homeworlds of it's members, like Earth Vulacan Betazed etc. After all in the Terran system alone we know of at least three inhabited worlds, Earth, Mars, and the moon.
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Old June 22 2014, 11:47 PM   #28
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Re: What Did Picard Mean?

Interestingly, in By Any Other Name, Kirk told Rojan that the Federation has charted "hundreds of habitable planets" of which they could presumably colonize one. What was the status of these worlds? Did the Federation have some kind of a claim staked on them?

And in Star Trek II, Carol Marcus referenced the "problems of population and food supply"?!
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Old June 23 2014, 12:20 AM   #29
Ro_Laren
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Re: What Did Picard Mean?

I never thought about that. I'm not sure what he meant. Good question!
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Old June 23 2014, 03:12 PM   #30
Robert Comsol
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Re: What Did Picard Mean?

From "First Contact":

LILY: I've never seen this kind of technology.
PICARD: That's because it hasn't been invented yet.
LILY: What?
PICARD: There's more I have to tell you. Come on.
...
LILY: How many planets are in this Federation?
PICARD: Over one hundred and fifty ...spread across eight thousand light years.
LILY: You mustn't get home much.

It's a pretty straightforward question and I'd expect Picard to deliver a truthful answer (unless he felt the urge not to commit any further temporal violations).

So Lily probably talked with Cochrane, so let's forward to "Metamorphosis" in the 23rd Century.

COCHRANE: Believe me, Captain, immortality consists largely of boredom. What's it like out there in the galaxy?
KIRK: We're on a thousand planets and spreading out. We cross fantastic distances and everything's alive, Cochrane. Life everywhere. We estimate there are millions of planets with intelligent life. We haven't begun to map them. Interesting?
COCHRANE: How would you like to sleep for a hundred and fifty years and wake up in a new world?

Frankly, that's the reply I would have expected from Cochrane:

COCHRANE: What do you think I am Kirk, stupid? My assistant once met your successor from the 24th Century and he told her that your Federation only consists of 150 planets. So what happened to the other 850 planets? You better be honest with me or you can spend the night in your shuttlecraft...!

Another good reason to take the information from FC with grains of salt that would enable the survival of the Salt Vampire species.

Bob
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