Exactly how long do Cardassians live?

Discussion in 'Deep Space Nine' started by Ryva Brall, Apr 29, 2013.

  1. Ryva Brall

    Ryva Brall Commander Red Shirt

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    WARNING: Lots of spoilers, so don't read this unless you've watched the whole series.

    I've been trying to figure this out. During DS9's run, Dukat is at least old enough to be Kira's father, but he looks like he's still in his prime. Tekeny Ghemor was only nineteen at the beginning of the occupation of Bajor, which put him at around seventy or eighty when he died. That would put him at around the same age as Dukat, but he looked much older. I suppose his illness could have caused him to age prematurely. That's the only explanation I can think of.

    Even Tain didn't look old when he died, and I'm sure he was older than Dukat. Mila was probably the oldest Cardassian we saw on the show, but she looked perfectly healthy, and probably would have lived for many more years, if she hadn't been killed. So how long do you think Cardassians actually live?
     
  2. Third Nacelle

    Third Nacelle Captain Captain

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    My guess would be 130 - 140 years.

    I don't think Ghemor and Dukat are the same age. Dukat worked on Bajor during the end of the occupation, and Ghemor was around at the beginning. I would guess he's 20 - 30 years older than Dukat. I'd guess Dukat was around 25 -30 during the events of WDTDON and in his 50s/60s at the end of the occupation.
     
  3. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I dunno, I remember someone making the comment that five generations of Cardassians can live in the same household. As for Dukat being as old as Ghemor or Tain? Where'd you get that from? Kira was 3 years old in 2346, so presumably she was born in 2343. That'd make her 26 when DS9 started in 2369.

    Meanwhile Dukat was described as the "new Prefect" in 2346. So one assumes he's fairly young then. So he was Prefect for 26 years. Garak going out of his way to kill Dukat's father hinting at treason, indicates that his father was someone important(the books later reveal his father was a chief justice). So let's just say he was 30 when he took command of Bajor. That'd make him 56 when DS9 starts. Older, but perhaps not overbearingly so. By all means he could've been even younger when he took command of Bajor if nepotism more than ability played at his getting that command.

    Ghemor had some sort of disease, but that does happen when you get older. Tain... let's face it he wasn't in the best of shape, so lingering in prison could've sapped the life out of him. Especially when you're calling your best hope for escape a "mistake."

    So maybe their lifespans are a bit longer than humans, but I never saw anything hinting they live insane life times for hundreds of years like Romulans or Vulcans.
     
  4. Ryva Brall

    Ryva Brall Commander Red Shirt

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    I guess I figured that since Ghemor had a daughter Kira's age, and that since Dukat was old enough to have had an affair with Kira's mother, that they could have been roughly around the same age. Obviously I forgot that he was the prefect toward the end of the occupation. Derp.

    130-140 years was what I figured, too. I suppose that's not much more than the lifespan of the average human in the 24th century.
     
  5. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Cardassians live until their enemies kill them, of course.
     
  6. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    I think R. Star's suggestion of Dukat being about 56 at the start of DS9 has some merit, as it's close to Marc Alaimo's own age (50 or 51) at the beginning of the series.
     
  7. lvsxy808

    lvsxy808 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    One of the books (Day of the Vipers) also states that Dukat was already an established Cardassian Infantry officer (although not yet a Gul) as the Occupation was beginning - and that's before Sisko was even born. If the Occupation lasted 50-60 years, then Dukat is more like 80 at the end of it.

    140 is the extreme end of human lifespan, not the average. McCoy was 137 in "Farpoint" and was basically surviving on transplants and stembolts. When Dax said O'Brien would die surrounded by family at 140, the implication was clearly that he would outlive them all and live as long as a human is capable of living, not that everybody dies at 140.

    But yes, I think we have to conclude that Cardassians live longer than humans, and remain in the vital "prime of their lives" for a longer proportion of that time than humans. 140 would work as their average rather than their extreme.

    .
     
  8. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    There might be quite a bit of diversity to human lifespans, though. McCoy was born in a more primitive century and was the victim of horrid space illnesses and aging anomalies and whatnot. O'Brien was in Starfleet, risking his life every day (plus he quite possibly got 20 years subtracted from his life in "Hard Time"). But somebody who really appreciates the idea of living long and prospering might choose a lifestyle granting him two or three centuries of life. Marrying into the Flint family might carry benefits, too, as we know some humans do have the potential to live for thousands of years without noticeable aging.

    I'd go for the "150-year Cardassian" model all right. As for five generations living under the same roof, humans can easily do that with 20-year generations and 100-year lifespans. The length of a Cardassian generation is not really established anywhere, although we get the general impression Dukat's ten-year-old son or even Tora Ziyal wouldn't have been in the normal child-bearing age yet.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  9. Ryva Brall

    Ryva Brall Commander Red Shirt

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    Any idea how old Garak might be? I always got the impression he was younger than Dukat; but not much younger, if he was old enough to have assassinated Dukat's father.
     
  10. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Dukat's father wasn't killed by Garak, but was put on trial for an unknown crime (which apparently did concern Garak in some manner).

    As for Cardassian lifespans: They live as long as the plot says. :cardie:
     
  11. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's been forever since I read A Stitch in Time, but as I recall he was convicted of treason, given a life prison sentence, then died when he was turned over to Garak for interrogation afterwards.
     
  12. Draculasaurus

    Draculasaurus Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Maybe Cardassian saunas help prevent cellular boredom...
     
  13. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The Cardassians -are- the soulless minions of orthodoxy who stole the secret to immortality.
     
  14. Ryva Brall

    Ryva Brall Commander Red Shirt

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    All right, that tears it. I need to read that book already.
     
  15. Infern0

    Infern0 Captain Captain

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    True, if we take into account the novels, Elias Vaughn was over 100 years old at the start of that, and he still looked in good shape. McCoy had a hard life.
     
  16. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's an awesome read. It's written by Andrew J. Robinson and wonderfully details Garak's whole backstory. I apologize for the minor spoiler. :)
     
  17. Ryva Brall

    Ryva Brall Commander Red Shirt

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    Don't worry about it, R. Star. Actually, I just downloaded it onto my Kindle! The ebook was only eight bucks, and I just couldn't pass it up. It's an absolute steal compared to the mass-market paperback, which is going for anywhere from $30 to $150. Yikes.

    It's also got insanely good reviews on Amazon. I can't wait to read it!
     
  18. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, I was lucky enough to find a copy in a used book store. They're hard to get apparently. I don't know what I did before ebooks. :p
     
  19. Dal Rassak

    Dal Rassak Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    If you go with the Terok Nor novels, then Dukat is round about 19 or 20 in 2318, when taking part in the first contact with Bajor, as he is a junior officer. That obviously makes him much older than the actor's real age by the time of the handover of the station. But I think it works if we reckon the average Cardassian lifespan to be a few decades longer than the average human one. Then, a man like Dukat would be in the years of his later middle age - still perfectly robust. I roughly read human 40s-50s for Cardassian 70s-80s.

    I also reckon Cardassians might mature quicker than humans, while being slower to age as well - Rugal looks very grown-up even though he's only meant to be about fifteen or so.
    As for Tain, he possibly dies his hair out of vanity. And yes, I'd say Garak is definitely younger than Dukat, maybe by a decade and a bit.
     
  20. E-DUB

    E-DUB Captain Captain

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    Don't forget that most humanoids in the ST universe owe their existance to the "first ones" from the TNG episode "The Chase". There are two issues here, average life span and maximum life span. Average life span has gone up greatly due to medical advancements, mostly disease eradication eliminating many childhood deaths. Maximum life span has gone up some but is a harder goalpost to move. I figure that in the ST universe even more people are reaching the maximum and doing so in good shape like Elias Vaughn, but the maximum hasn't changed all that much. Some people even now with "primitive" 21th century medicine can live to 120. By DS9 time, that's been pushed to 140ish for humans. I remember one novel where McCoy said he "held the record". Cardassians may live somewhat longer, like Vulcans but the same kind of curve doubtless applies to them.
     

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