ORION: Cultural Index

ORION: Cultural Index

There are two types of content for Star Trek,
alpha continuity and then beta. Alpha continuity is what has been set down by the numerous
onscreen incarnations of the show and specific extra media, while Beta content covers a wide
variety of other forms and usually adopts a more flexible approach to what is canon.
In most of my work, I approach primary canon first, then go to beta content to fill in
the gaps as it were, so long as it doesn’t conflict with primary source material. The
Orions of Star Trek are a race that falls into this division between alpha and beta
lore so as set by my own rules, I’m going to prioritise the species as depicted in the
shows with some beta that supports rather than conflicts with their depiction.
With that lengthy disclaimer out of the way, let’s look at the Orion women, I mean let’s
look at the culture of the Orion people. Also, this video won’t focus on the Syndicate,
that’ll deserve its own addendum. The Orion are a humanoid species from around
the Orion systems, hence the name. In their own tongue they are called the Ur’eon or
Kolari. Physically they are a diverse species of human proportions though like Vulcans and
Romulans, they possess copper based blood, but unlike these two species, they have a
green skin hue. This tint varies from deep greens to very pale, almost grey-green. Grey
Orions were uncommon among the species and usually the result of genetic defects that
rendered them runts of the species. They have bred with other races before, leading to a
subsect of Orion called the Muni, about 3% of the total population are “blends” of
species. These generally have differing skin-tones but unlike the Grey Orion, there was no prejudice
levelled against them. They have dark hair colours, ranging from deep green, to black
to auburn, but a not uncommon trait is to shave their heads entirely.
The species tend to be generally well muscled, especially noticeable in the males of the
species, who generally have rather powerful frames, even with excess body fat. The women
of the species are similarly defined but generally faster and lither. They have little regard
for modesty often display their bodies drawing attention to their strength or sexuality.
Adornments such as shawls, jewellery and piercings are frequent to again emphasise toughness
or beauty. Their minds are generally difficult to read
for telepaths as their thought patterns usually aren’t coherent when compared to galactic
standards. Another notable trait of the species is their
natural production of pheromones that cause a variety of emotional reactions. Female pheromones
are stronger, with even some extreme examples among them. A calm Orion generally produces
a relaxing effect on those around him or her. Extended exposure to female pheromones could
increase adrenaline in males of even other species…um… leading to increased aggression,
coupled with a…uh…an infatuation effect. Phew, uh hi. The pheromones changed with their
mood making a contagious effect of emotions and many were not above exploiting this genetic
perk. Their homeworld is Orion, or Vondem as it
is also known. It has a vast ocean mass and a garden world climate with numerous cities
such as Kinarvon, which itself sits on a suspended island over the expansive seas. Though this
is only one of their home planets it seems. They have spread across numerous colony worlds
and even Orion may not be their place of origin. Several planets in the Rigel system and the
Orionis System have a large enough population of Orions to be considered homeworlds themselves.
This potentially ties into their history. Orions are rumoured to have been a slave race
for the majority of their history, since pre warp times. This would help explain the difficulty
in identifying their true planet of origin, being spread out by their oppression. Further
support for this is the presence of ancient advanced knowledge, beyond that of the Orions
capabilities at the time, on their inhabited worlds as well as cave drawings depicting
Orions being taken into ships, (that were found of Rigel VIII). This history is mostly
lost but some records date back as far as 15,900 BC. What is known is that they were
already spread out across numerous systems in the Orion sector before first contact with
humanity. It is suspected that the Orions drove off their captors and began to evolve
in mimicry of their society, leading to the prevalence of Slavery in their culture.
By 2152, private companies had already begun trading with the Orion owned businesses such
as the Earth Cargo Services. In later times, the Orion Free Traders were a unions of businesses
based from Orion and they traded with Federation planet worlds such as Vulcan suggesting they
must be legitimate in operation unlike the infamous Syndicate. There’s also a prevalence
of learning and academic institutes across Orion controlled worlds and several universities
such as Orion Institute of Cosmology, which was considered prestigious.
Many Orion occupied worlds became hubs of trade such as Verex III where legitimate and
illegitimate offerings were available. The Orions even had a presence on Qu’nos in
2257, the Klingon homeworld as the species has always maintained good relations with
their Klingon neighbours. They maintained a high and influential level
of commerce through a careful balancing act of political interests among other alpha and
beta quadrant powers. Orions tended to try to remain neutral so they could play and gain
influence with as many sides as possible, similar to the Ferengi. However, they did
take an active role in shaping the powers to maintain their neutral state such as attempting
to sabotage the Babel conference in 2268. These operations were conducted by both criminal
factions and legitimate governments within the Orion hierarchy. If a government sanctioned
mission was failed however, the operatives were expected to kill themselves to prevent
responsibility being traced back. Not much is known about the governmental structure
of the Orions, but it is suggested that the most powerful families dictate law for the
majority of Orions. This would explain the high level of influence the Criminal organization
the Orion Syndicate has in their society as they adopted a similar power structure. This
produced a caste system where achievements led to influence.
Although family ties were important to an Orion, they didn’t let it define them in
any sort of “legacy” way. Most didn’t even use their family name in public. A great
focus was about bringing personal benefit and individual accomplishments, but then sharing
those accomplishments with the family. The more successful a family, the more opportunities
opened up for the individual and the more resources such as marriage opportunities,
trade and power. A family was headed by both a matriarch and a patriarch who named their
own successors, not necessarily from their direct bloodline.
Orions often proved loyal to their leaders if they were deserving, to the death if necessary.
Revenge was a great motivator for the species because of this. They actively enjoyed duplicity
and deception alongside puzzles and problems, solving things and investigative behaviour
made them perfect for subterfuge, business, and crime.
The Orion people tended to flock together and stick to their own space. They termed
unexplored space as the “Outer Dark”. This is because they had a high appreciation
for comfort and opulence. They often indulgenced, even during business, on fine wines, food,
entertainment, gifts and so on. Usually used as shrewd tactics to soften up a mark, but
nonetheless enjoyed. This also meant that journeying between colonies was almost a nomadic
caravan affair as they brought their comforts with them. There was the Orion Space Navy
which served as a colonial military fleet, but role of the Syndicate largely supplanted
this in practice however. A common misconception around Orions concerns
their women, who were advertised as “animalistic slaves”, with carnal desires. In fact males
were subservient to females in their culture and this misconception was based on other
species own cultural assumptions and the further exploitation of this idea on the Orions behalf.
They used this to gain influence in other species frequently, for example a women would
voluntarily enter slavery, get sold off to wealthy individuals then apply their seduction
to gain power. In fact, there were entire schools of education directed at creating
the stereotype of the “Orion Slave Girls” who were taught not just sexual arts but how
to entertain, listen, and provide comfort. It should be noted that many males too were
trained in the same way for the same duties. They were extensively taught artwork, music
and theatrics and then trained in martial combat but most of all, to manipulate. These
tactics served them well for a long time but relied on their machinations not being discovered.
So the practice would eventually diminish with time as powers got wise to the ploy as
well as the increasing illegality of slavery being enforced by expanding powers such as
the Federation. Basically the species were very open about
sexuality and often acted on their natural desires. Though true, they tended to spread
and exaggerate the myth on purpose to create opportunities. The practice of slavery itself
has been tied to their culture forever it seems. Most Orion slaves were actually willing
and treated with respect, being termed contractors rather than slaves, in their native language.
Slavers and slave owners treated them with respect but still demanded servitude. Personal
effects were technically denied, but Orion slaves were gifted with many things. This
didn’t apply to other races they captured however. And it was a risk that their plans
never panned out and the fell into genuine servitude. But this was the reason for their
extensive training. Most of these activities were performed by
the aforementioned Orion Syndicate. Technically it isn’t part of the Orion government but
nonetheless holds great pull over the colonies in a mob style way. This led to rampant piracy,
cartels and protection rackets forming in Orion space where the cultural inclinations
of the species were often partnered with their aptitude for subtlety to leverage a great
amount of control, expanding across the quadrant. An anecdote among Starfleet officers became
“How do you tell an Orion merchant from an Orion pirate? If you have a phaser, then
it’s a merchant.” In essence the Orion people are rather more
complex than they initially appear. On the surface they’re slavers, pirates and exploit
their own kind for wealth, but it goes deeper than that. They play games with the other
powers around them, both the Syndicate and the Government practice manipulation on a
political scale through the skilful use of seduction, spying and brute force where applicable.
Their natural skillset turned slavery into a tool to work for them, but they maintain
an Orion-centric view on the act. Therefore their depiction as barbaric slavers is apt
if you’re not a native. With the changing of the times and the expansion of powers like
the UFP, aspects such as slavery were relegated to the past, with even the Syndicate toning
it down and operating further and further away from Starfleet arms. But again, this
is because the Federation is too big to ignore and not trade with, so we see the rise of
academic institutions that the Federation approves of and unions of trade that even
Starfleet captains like Pike considered retiring to. All the while, on the Klingon front, slavery
is still practiced and the Syndicate still operates it nefarious power plays. It seems
that the Orion people will always find a way to prosper in any landscape and if anything,
their influence has grown with time, it’s just got better at hiding it.
Thanks for watching the viewer voted cultural index and as mentioned, I want to do a small
addendum exclusively on the Orion Syndicate as it has undergone several changes with the
eras to survive and is no longer purely an Orion exclusive organisation. But for now,
the voted episode returns with the choices being themed from either the Fallout timeline
slaver empire, Caesar’s Legion, yes I know how I pronounced it, or perhaps the enigmatic,
red eyed Chiss from the unknown regions of the Star Wars galaxy.
Cast your vote by liking the appropriate comment below or suggest another race for the list.
What do you think of the Orions? Personally I think they are masters
of the façade and even the Federation seems to have fallen for it, all the while they
can build influence behind the scenes, legitimately and illegitimately, but I love that Trek has
this seedy underbelly. If Mos Eisley existed in Trek, it would turn up on an Orion colony.
Thanks for watching, I’ve been Ric and until next time, bye bye.

100 thoughts on “ORION: Cultural Index

  1. Klingon First Officer: "Sir. To fix this, we cannot do it honorably. We will need Romulan level dastardice!"
    Klingon Captain: "I will be in my personal room. Put me in contact with our top Orian 'friend'."

  2. Hey mate it would be awsome if you would make a video on Caitans/Ferasans this feline species is so cool. I would love to learn more about them and what tore them apart. i know i could just read some lore, but i like to watch videos about lore instead of reading about it. High praise to this channel and i love the fact that you use clips from STO and even points towards it sometimes for more information when they actually get it right…

  3. If Orions have copper based skin, why are they green? Horseshoe crabs have copper based skin and they're not green, in fact their blood is blue! We have red iron based blood, but contrary to popular belief, we are not pink, lol….. not a serious question, not looking for an answer.

  4. Well I suggest that you do a cultural index on the two Star Trek races that you as yet haven't done the Q and the Betazoids

  5. I have to say I've always thought the orions would make an interesting character to be added somewhere in the original 4 Series ask Dylan or just regular reoccurring Merchant I wish we could have got that trackman downhill with Enterprise

  6. "If a mission was failed"? That's not a series of words that makes sense. Edit your script before you read it!

  7. Certifiably Ingame
    Don't these Orion's know that kidnapping innocent people and selling them into slavery is considered very illegal? It very well states that in the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The Orions really need to listen to our Human laws against slavery, kidnapping, torture, smuggling, and also piracy. Orion's have no honor. Also the Orion Syndicate an illegal government that should be arrested.

    The Thirteenth Amendment (Amendment XIII) to the United States Constitution abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. In Congress, it was passed by the Senate on April 8, 1864, and by the House on January 31, 1865. The amendment was ratified by the required number of states on December 6, 1865. On December 18, 1865, Secretary of State William H. Seward proclaimed its adoption. It was the first of the three Reconstruction Amendments adopted following the American Civil War.

    Since the American Revolution, states had divided into states that allowed or states that prohibited slavery. Slavery was implicitly permitted in the original Constitution through provisions such as Article I, Section 2, Clause 3, commonly known as the Three-Fifths Compromise, which detailed how each slave state's enslaved population would be factored into its total population count for the purposes of apportioning seats in the United States House of Representatives and direct taxes among the states. Though many slaves had been declared free by President Abraham Lincoln's 1863 Emancipation Proclamation, their post-war status was uncertain. On April 8, 1864, the Senate passed an amendment to abolish slavery. After one unsuccessful vote and extensive legislative maneuvering by the Lincoln administration, the House followed suit on January 31, 1865. The measure was swiftly ratified by nearly all Northern states, along with a sufficient number of border states up to the death of Lincoln, but approval came with President Andrew Johnson, who encouraged the "reconstructed" Southern states of Alabama, North Carolina and Georgia to agree, which brought the count to 27 states, and caused it to be adopted before the end of 1865.

    Though the amendment formally abolished slavery throughout the United States, factors such as Black Codes, white supremacist violence, and selective enforcement of statutes continued to subject some black Americans to involuntary labor, particularly in the South. In contrast to the other Reconstruction Amendments, the Thirteenth Amendment was rarely cited in later case law, but has been used to strike down peonage and some race-based discrimination as "badges and incidents of slavery." The Thirteenth Amendment applies to the actions of private citizens, while the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments apply only to state actors. The Thirteenth Amendment also enables Congress to pass laws against sex trafficking and other modern forms of slavery.

    Law in the United States follows from English common law. Following the highly publicized 1932 Lindbergh kidnapping, Congress passed the Federal Kidnapping Act, which authorized the FBI to investigate kidnapping at a time when the Bureau was expanding in size and authority. The fact that a kidnapped victim may have been taken across state lines brings the crime within the ambit of federal criminal law.

    Most states recognize different types of kidnapping and punish accordingly. E.g. New York bases its definition of first-degree kidnapping on the duration and purpose.[21] There are several deterrents to kidnapping in the United States of America. Among these are:

    The extreme logistical challenges involved in successfully exchanging the money for the return of the victim without being apprehended or surveiled.

    Harsh punishment. Convicted kidnappers face lengthy prison terms. If a victim is brought across state lines, federal charges can be laid as well.

    Good cooperation and information sharing between law enforcement agencies, and tools for spreading information to the public (such as the AMBER Alert system).

    One notorious failed example of kidnap for ransom was the 1976 Chowchilla bus kidnapping, in which 26 children were abducted with the intention of bringing in a $5-million ransom. The children and driver escaped from an underground van without the aid of law enforcement.[22] According to the Department of Justice, kidnapping makes up 2% of all reported violent crimes against juveniles.[23]

    From the 1990s on, a gang operating in New York City and New Jersey was involved in the kidnapping and torture of Jewish husbands for the purpose of forcing them to grant religious divorces to their wives. They were finally apprehended on October 9, 2013, in connection with the 2013 New York divorce torture plot.[24][25][26]

    According to a 2003 Domestic Violence Report in Colorado, out of a survey of 189 incidents, most people (usually white females) are taken from their homes or residence by a present or former spouse or significant other. They are usually taken by force, not by weapon, and usually the victims are not injured when they are freed.

    In 2009, Phoenix, Arizona reported over 300 cases of kidnapping, although subsequent investigation found that the Phoenix police falsified data "Phoenix Kidnappings: Uncovering the Truth". Archived from the original on 2013-04-13.. If true, this would have been the highest rate of any US city and second in the world only to Mexico City.[23] A rise in kidnappings in the southwestern United States in general has been attributed to misclassification by local police, lack of a unified standard, desire for Federal grants, or the Mexican Drug War.[27]

    In 2010 the United States was ranked sixth in the world (by absolute numbers, not per capita) for kidnapping for ransom, according to the available statistics (after Colombia, Italy, Lebanon, Peru, and the Philippines).[28]

    In 2009, the Los Angeles Times named Phoenix, Arizona,[29] as America's kidnapping capital, reporting that every year hundreds of ransom kidnappings occur there, virtually all within the underworld associated with human and drug smuggling from Mexico, and often done as a way of collecting unpaid debts. However, a later audit by the U.S. Department of Justice Inspector General found only 59 federally reportable kidnappings in 2008, compared to the over 300 claimed on grant applications.[30]

    During the year 1999 in the United States, 203,900 children were reported as the victims of family abductions and 58,200 of non-family abductions. However, only 115 were the result of "stereotypical" kidnaps (by someone unknown or of slight acquaintance to the child, held permanently or for ransom).[31]

  8. Awesome video. I like these cultural indicies. I only wish the writers of the time (1950s-60s) had any biological background. I know they chose green for copper-based blood based on the verdigris found on copper objects that corrode over time. It just so happens that there is a species on earth the has copper-base haemoglobin, the horseshoe crab. Unfortunately for trek, the blood is a clear electric blue in colour, not green. Oh well, what can you do?

  9. Should touch on the many other Rigelian species. Like the ancient Rats that still remember the first sentient species

  10. That's pretty sweet. I just watched BOUND. I think the Orion's kinda fun. I think they need to use the right color that makes the Females skin glow electric green. Leave the males camou. Culturally it appears the idea may be derived from Egypt's Orsiris? But there's always Nordic Mythology with Cernunnos, The Green Man. Biblically, & I feel most importantly, it's crucial to understand Orion is one of the most repeatedly recognized select few renown Holy Celestial Skymarks specifically addressed & accredited by Our Lord.
    I particularly enjoy the women as I enjoy a healthy variety of Color given good form. πŸ™‚

  11. Star Fleet should just send gay men to Orion world's. Most humanoid females get headaches from Orion female pheromones, so they shouldn't go. Straight males have obvious problems. So that leaves gay humanoid males.

  12. I'm very curious how the Orion's and the syndicate deal with the mirror universe. Are they allies or are they "slaves"?

  13. If anyone knows the Star Trek Enterprise episode in which The Big Show played an Orion slave trader,please let me know.

  14. I am very disappointed at the lack of green boo… i mean orion females displayed in this episode. You know damn well people clicked on this expecting to see some fine orion female specimens instead we got that ugly orion dude with a toothpick in his cheek. The lore presented in the video was great, but the imagery, not so much. You could have simply cut a few scenes from that orion episode from ST Enterprise and talk over them…
    I am disappoint.

  15. Can someone please help this ignoramus!? Tell me, is there a video expanding his disclaimer???

    All the alpha-beta zed…plus Cannon and fodder or whatever!!! You know, all that jazz!

    Someone anyone plz guide me to a video… Qapla!!!

  16. So completely ignoring the whole sexualized fantasy thing I've found the Orions fascinating due to the idea of an alien culture evolving to have a positive view of slavery. I mean could there be an alien race that took pride in or even enjoyed subjugation. Seeking it and willing entering it. I mean it brings to light the idea that a the need for freedom is a human concept and that if there is intelligent life there they may not value it? In real life this means nothing and the evils of subjugation in reality are obvious. But it's an interesting thought experiment.

  17. The more delusional members of the writing team decided to try and SJW the Orion females in the Enterprise episode Bound. Star Trek Continues tried to undo the insipid damage the've(ST Enterprise) done to the species. They were already interesting as a decidedly politically incorrect species, then they(ST Enterprise) neutered them. Every alien civilization isn't going to be acceptable to our modern sensibilities. Considering our prevailing sensibilities of late, I think they probably should not. The green animal women, as thy were originally called were established in the original series as innately willing slaves, meaning they didn't object to it in the slightest. The libtards in the writing staff couldn't hang with that, so they rewrote the green women so they'd actually be in charge of their own slavery. If we didn't fix them, future Star Trek fans might get the impression that having sex slaves is okay. Well, those shows have been repeating for decades. Nearly every fan has a copy. Other than a few rare cases in the criminal underworld, not so much widespread sex slavery outside fundamentalist Islamic states(where it's a bedrock founding principle). The same SJW mentality is party why STD sucks.

  18. i like to say Caesar with the soft "C" rather than Kaesar with the hard "C" even though the Hard "C" is technically correct given the way "C's" are pronounced in Latin

  19. I'd like to see a Personnel File on Charles "Trip" Tucker III from Star Trek Enterprise please.

  20. Bit late to the party here, but this is great! As a player of several Kolari in various places (STO, Second Life, TTRPGs, etc), thank you so much for bringing together all this information and presenting it in a fine form…AND spearate and distinct from the Syndicate. Kudos!

  21. BEHOLD THESE ORION WOMEN!! They are a natural!!! Their deliberate revealing of submissiveness, display of charm and application of seduction and their manner of controlling their emotions to manipulate the emotions of others, would make them prized recruits for any intelligence agencies of the United Federation of Planets.

  22. "Hi"………πŸ’ƒπŸ‘™πŸ‘―πŸ’‹πŸ˜‹

    P.S. You keep showing a blue-skinned guy with antennae. That's an ANDORIAN, not an Orion.


  24. It surprised me to learn at one time that the Orion slave women weren't the slaves, the men were. The women were the real shot callers because of their special pheromones. It was said by one Orion male (Star Trek Continues: Lolani) they gained an immunity to the Orion female pheromones over time.

  25. Shouldn't the female Orion pheromones cause increased production of testosterone, not adrenaline? I don't think adrenaline causes sexual arousal, only fear and aggression.

  26. It's not piracy my friend it's letters of Marque. To wage war upon, and get spoils and profits from the enemies of the Orion's. Totally legal even to this day.

  27. Need the people of Osiris to escort the Gorn to earth, please. Will send medical help and transport and money to achieve the beginnings of the new return migration home to earth, please.

  28. You are aware of the Gorn ? They are your heart dragons ? I need help with them, please. My servants will arrive shortly, please.

  29. Am 15 years away from the full human reconstruction of my daughter . You green girls ? I cloned you long ago should be 12,000 in full health. I need your return to earth with your hearts the Gorn, please.

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