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We are over 300 planetary governments working together to ensure that no single world imposes its will upon another. We treat each other as equals.Captain Ed Mercer[1]
The Planetary Union is a federation of space flight-capable species based at Planetary Union Central on Earth. The Union consists of science and exploratory vessels, a unified military, and a quasi-government overseeing affairs among colonies. The governing body of the Union is the Planetary Union Council.[2]

History Edit

The Planetary Union was established by the early 24th century[3] as a federated supra-planetary government. According to Captain Ed Mercer, the combined fleet of the Union in the year 2419 is roughly 3,000 vessels spread across a single quadrant of the galaxy.[4] It is presumed, though not certain, that Union worlds abolish national governments in favor of membership.

Members Edit

As of the end of 2420, the Planetary Union consists of over 300 planetary governments.[5]


Unconfirmed Edit

Other planets have an unclear status despite seeming to be a part of the Union in some way. This includes Antares 2, which hosts a Union school, and Theta Draconis 4.


Politics within the Planetary Union Edit

Union members coordinate relations through the Planetary Union Central located in New York City, Earth. The principle organ of Union Central is the Planetary Union Council, tasked with keeping peace amid Union alliances. Though there are over 300 member civilizations in the Union, the Council seems to have a small, rotating body of voting members.

Relations with other civilizations Edit

The Union has sole authority to conduct and maintain relations with other non-member worlds.

  • Tzel: The Union fought a bloody conflict with these large, caterpillar-like aliens in the early 24th century, resulting in the loss of thousands of lives.[11]
  • Kaylon 1 (Kaylons): The Kaylon were initially on amiable terms with the Union and in 2419 assigned a emissary to serve on a Union vessel, to study the behavior of biological lifeforms, and to consider joining the Union.[12] Once sufficient data had been acquired, the Kaylon would supposedly consider joining the Union. In late 2420, the Kaylon rejected membership, predicting biological life would eventually hinder their technological advance. The Kaylon declared war on the Union shortly thereafter.[13]
  • Krill (Krill): Krill follow the Anhkana, a religious text that teaches that they are superior to all other life, which led to conflict with the Planetary Union beginning in the mid-24th century.[n 1] Over the following decades, hundreds of thousands of Union lives were lost to Krill attacks. However, the Union refused to declare war because a protracted conflict could jeopardize the Union's stability.[14][15] In late 2420 or early 2421, the mutual threat of the Kaylon and the devastating Battle of Earth altered relations between the Union and the Krill. Both sides signed a ceasefire and signed a Lak'vai pact.[16]
  • Calivon: The Calivon are technologically more advanced and regard Union planets as inferior life forms. While the Calivon are not hostile towards the Union, they are dangerous, and the Union strictly forbids any avoidable contact with them.
  • Unuk 4: Visiting this planet is strictly forbidden by the Union due to its violent inhabitants who sacrifice anyone they can capture to a "raccoon god" by methodically dismembering them.
  • Lopovius (Navarians, Bruidians): Both species of Lopovius are neighbors and allies of the Union, but were engaged in a long dispute focused on a planet at the Union border. Neither species is original to Lopovius, but originate from another unnamed planet or planets. In early 2420, both species agree that the Union would serve as a neutral host in the interest of peace talks.
  • Horbalak: A race notorious for their smugglers, whom have been observed to be disrespectful towards the Union Fleet, with one refering to them as "goons".[17]
  • Janisi: A fiercely matriarchal species, the Janisi naturally dismiss any males in a position of authority. On one occasion, however, Lieutenant Talla Keyali successfully earned their respect by punching her captain in the face to demonstrate her dominance, which lead to the Janisi providing their assistance in repairing the Union ship which had been crippled by the Krill.[18]
  • Lakkar B (Envall): The Union maintains positive diplomatic relations with the Envall. However, Envall blood contains dangerously explosive compounds when in contact with nitrogen, limiting contact with Union member species. In the year 2370, the Envall agreed with the Union that they would avoid worlds with nitrogen-rich atmospheres.[19]

Other contactsEdit

  • Dorahl Bioship (Dorahlians): A species who left their home planet two-thousand years ago by bioship. Around November 2419, the Union sends to send a special crew to train the Dorahlians to use their ship.[20]
  • Sargus 4 (Sarguns): The Union maintains a no-contact policy with the developing planet of Sargus 4, although in 2419, the Union sent two undercover anthropologists from the Union to observe them.[21]
  • Habitable Moon: Accessible only through a spatial anomaly, the moon's inhabitants were devastated by war. Doctor Claire Finn formally requested that the admiralty send a medical crew to offer to help them.[22]
  • Two-dimensional space: Accessible only through an aperture, Union scientists study a two-dimensional species that lives there but have no way to contact them.[23]
  • Multiphasic Planet: A technologically advanced species from another universe.[24]
  • Nyxia (Nyxians): Nyxia is destroyed by its sun in late 2420. The Orville rescues 35 Nyxians.[25]
  • Regor 2 (Regorians): Regorians formally request first contact in late 2420, but their differences in believe about astrology damage relations with the Union to the point where they isolate themselves.[26]
  • Chog homeworld (Chogs): The survivors of the lost battle ship Burton made contact with these friendly, primitive people in the early 24th century. Over a hundred years later, the Chogs are discovered by the Union, who begin work to repair the damage caused to their homeworld's biosphere during the Tzel war.[27][28]



Planetary Union Badges


Kelly, Bortus and Ed

First Officer Kelly Grayson, Second Officer Bortus, and Commanding Officer Ed Mercer.

Commanders are the heads of Union ships, and include the Commanding Officer, the Executive Officer (or more commonly "First Officer"), and the Second Officer. Commanders are typically the highest ranking officers aboard a ship, unless an Admiral is present, and are in charge of the Level chiefs.

Commanders and executives use a silver insignia of the Planetary Union and wear a blue uniform.

Science and MedicalEdit

Saving Bortus

Doctor Claire Finn and her medical team working to save Bortus' life.

The Science Officer works in stations of the Science department on a Union vessel. Responsibilities include research and analysis of all strange or unexplained phenomena,[n 2] data retrieved from sensor readings,[n 3] and oftentimes assisting away teams.[29] Science Officers often work in conjunction with engineers to research important, unexplained happenings.

Medical Officers are specialists Science Officers who have attained the title of doctor or nurse.

Science and Medical Officers both wear green uniforms as both are researchers of natural philosophy. The Science insignia is an atom-like emblem. The Medical insignia is a green cross surrounding an atom.

The purview of Science and Medical levels is medicine, life sciences, astronomy, chemistry, biology, exobiology, mathematics, and computer science.[30]


Gordon and John in Engineering

Helmsman Gordon Malloy and Chief Engineer John LaMarr.

Engineering Officers are in charge the helm, navigation, and engineering, including the operation and maintenance of vessels and shuttlecraft.[30] Their most crucial function is to maintain ships' quantum accelerators, which are responsible for faster-than-light travel.

A sub-section of engineering is helm control. Engineering Officers can serve as pilots of ships, including the Navigator responsible for trajectory and the Helmsman responsible for flight.

Engineering's insignia is engine gears and its uniform color is orange.


Talla's team

Chief of Security Talla Keyali briefing her security team.

Security Officers are in charge of the safety of the ship's personnel and guests, and oversee the Brig. The level's insignia is wings over a shield and its uniform color is red.


Hierarchy within the Planetary Union fleet is determined by rank, which is publicly identifiable through insignia displayed on the shoulders of the uniforms.

Technology Edit

The Planetary Union boasts an impressive array of scientific and defensive technologies. Ships in the fleet traverse distances at a rate well in excess of the speed of light by using a quantum drive. Food and Matter Synthesizers come equipped in Union ships to provide necessary food and materials for extended travel.

The Union is at the cusp of light and image projection technology. Shuttlecraft are capable of cloaking themselves. Environmental Simulators create entire simulated worlds for leisure and education. A major breakthrough came when the Union seized highly advanced holographic generation technology from the Calivon in October 2419, which scientists were able to adapt to their own purposes.

The planet Moclus is a primary industrial location for weapons testing and manufacture for the Union. Ships come equipped with Plasma Torpedoes and Plasma Cannons. Handheld weapons include the plasma model line: the PM-32 for colonists, and the PM-44, PM-488 Titan and PM-57R for officers.

Other impressive technologies include Deflector Screens, tractor beams, implanted translating devices, and manipulation of quantum fields through quantum accelerators and quantum engines.

The Union uses the metric system.[31]


According to both Admiral Halsey and Captain Ed Mercer, the Planetary Union Fleet consists of about 3,000 starships spread across the quadrant as of September 2419. Over 30 of these ships are lost in the Battle of Earth at the turn of the year 2420. Of the Union Fleet, fifteen ships have been identified:


  • Union Board of Education[40]
  • Union Security[41]
  • Union Symphony[42]
  • Fleet Museum - The Union keeps an old battleship similar to the BCV Burton in here.[43]

Production Edit

Planetary Union Section Sections Medical Security Yellow Joseph Porro

Early concept sketches of Section uniforms by wardrobe designer Joseph Porro. Seen here is probably Medical, Security, and Engineering (later changed to orange).

Uniforms of the Planetary Union were created by wardrobe designer Joseph Porro, who went through over 100 designs until creator Seth MacFarlane settled on the current version.[44]

Fox released a promotional description of each Section in mid-August, 2017, in preparation for the series premiere.[45] The descriptions were included in an informational booklet as part of their 2017 press kits.

Command Level: Those in the Command ranks oversee all aspects of the ship, with the primary goals of keeping its occupants - and those of the Planetary Union - safe.
Science Level: As an exploratory vessel, The Orville requires top-notch scientists to aid in the investigation of of the unknown and help solve the riddles of the universe.
Medical Bay: With space exploration comes the great unknown, and with it, the risk of injury or disease. Medical Officers aboard The Orville help keep the crew in tip-top shape.
Engineering Level: It takes steady hands for the helmsman and navigator to steer through supernovas, black holes and asteroid fields - while the engineering officers and maintenance crew works at the speed of light in the heart of the ship.
Security Level: Intergalactic exploration doesn't come without making a few enemies.Security Officers protect The Orville against its intergalactic foes, such as the dreaded Krill.[46]


Planetary Union uniform standard Joseph Porro

Concept sketch of a standardized uniform by Joseph Porro.

  • The Planetary Union is often compared to the United Federation of Planets in the Star Trek franchise.
  • It is unknown how Isaac acquired the position Science Officer, as he is an observer on behalf on of Kaylon 1 and not a member of the Planetary Union.[n 5]
  • In addition to the orange sub-sections of engineering and helm, creator Seth MacFarlane has also referred to a sub-section called "Ship's Services."[47]

Notes Edit

  1. In Blood of Patriots, Ed Mercer notes that the conflict between the Union and the Krill has lasted for longer than either him and Ambassador K.T.Z. have been alive.
  2. In conjunction with John LaMarr, Isaac was in charge of researching the impact of a mysterious spatial anomaly on the Orville. Episode 1x11: New Dimensions.
  3. Examples are ubiquitous. E.g., Isaac retrieves scanning data of a multiphasic planet, Episode 1x12: Mad Idolatry.
  4. Mentioned by Commander Kelly Grayson as the ship of a particularly talented young lieutenant commander. Episode 1x01: Old Wounds
  5. There's no official confirmation Science Officer is any different from other Union position and that it could be casually acquired by a civilian.

References Edit

  1. Episode 2x08: Identity, Pt. 1
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Episode 2x09: Identity, Pt. 2
  3. New Beginnings, Pt. 1
  4. Episode 1x01: Old Wounds.
  5. Episode 2x08: Identity, Pt. 1
  6. Episode 2x07: Deflectors
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Observed at the Planetary Union Council. Episode 2x12: Sanctuary
  8. Episode 1x06: Krill
  9. Episode 1x06: Krill
  10. Episode 1x06: Krill
  11. New Beginnings, Pt. 1
  12. Episode 2x06: A Happy Refrain
  13. Episode 2x08: Identity, Pt. 1
  14. 14.0 14.1 Episode 1x06: Krill.
  15. Episode 2x10: Blood of Patriots
  16. Episode 2x10: Blood of Patriots
  17. Episode 1x11: New Dimensions
  18. Episode 2x05: All the World is Birthday Cake
  19. Episode 2x10: Blood of Patriots
  20. Episode 1x04: If the Stars Should Appear
  21. Episode 1x07: Majority Rule
  22. Episode 1x08: Into the Fold
  23. Episode 1x11: New Dimensions
  24. Episode 1x12: Mad Idolatry
  25. Episode 2x02: Primal Urges
  26. Episode 2x05: All the World is Birthday Cake
  27. Episode 1.5x01: New Beginnings, Pt. 1
  28. Episode 1.5x02: New Beginnings, Pt. 2
  29. Episode 1x04: If the Stars Should Appear.
  30. 30.0 30.1 Bond, Jeff. The World of the Orville. Titan Books. 2018. Pg. 32.
  31. Alara Kitan: "When I first got here, I could life 100 kilos more than that." Episode 2x03: Home (italics added)
  32. Episode 1x02: Command Performance.
  33. Episode 2x12: Sanctuary.
  34. Episode 1x03: About a Girl.
  35. Episode 1x04: If the Stars Should Appear.
  36. Episode 1x09: Cupid's Dagger
  37. Episode 1.5x02: New Beginnings, Pt. 2
  38. Episode 2x07: Deflectors
  39. Episode 2x14: The Road Not Taken
  40. New Beginnings, Pt. 1
  41. Episode 2x01: Ja'loja
  42. Episode 2x06: A Happy Refrain
  43. Episode 1.5x02: New Beginnings, Pt. 2
  44. Wyckoff, Anna. "The Orville". Costume Designers Guild. Oct. 10, 2017.
  45. Fienberg, Daniel. "'X-Files' Diversity, 'Orville' Confusion Among Press Tour Highlights (and Lowlights) From Day 15". Hollywood Reporter. Aug. 9, 2017.
  46. @planetary_union. Untitled. Twitter. May 5, 2018.
  47. @SethMacFarlane. "Blue: Command. Red: Security. Green: Science and Medical. Orange: Engineering, Helm, and Ship’s Services.". Twitter. Jan. 17, 2019.
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