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 was a federation of space flight-capable species based at Planetary Union Central on Earth. Captain Ed Mercer of the USS Orville defined the Union as "a growing alliance of space-faring societies dedicated to exploration."[2]

The Union consisted of science and exploratory vessels, a unified military, and a quasi-government overseeing affairs among colonies. The governing body of the Union was the Planetary Union Council.[3]

History Edit

The Planetary Union was established by the early 24th century[4] as a federated supra-planetary government. Representative government in the Planetary Union Council ensures "that no single world imposes its will upon another."[5]

According to Captain Ed Mercer, the combined fleet of the Union in the year 2419 was roughly 3,000 vessels spread across a single quadrant of the galaxy.[6] It is presumed, though not certain, that Union worlds had unified governments that represented the entire people of a planet before the Union Council.

Members Edit

Through 2419 to 2421, the Planetary Union consisted of over 300 planetary governments,[2] including:


The Union maintained a network of colonies, which were not sovereign members of the Union Council:

Additionally, a refuge for Moclan females known as "The Sanctuary" was protected by the Union as a quasi-colony.[11]

Unconfirmed Edit

Other planets had an unclear status despite being part of the Union in some way:


The Union was a federation of space-flight capable species. Union members coordinated relations through the Planetary Union Central located in New York City, Earth. The principle organ of Union Central was the Planetary Union Council, tasked with keeping peace amid Union alliances. Though there were over 300 member civilizations in the Union, the Council seems to have had a small, rotating body of voting members.

Many high-level decisions within the Union had to be decided by the admiralty by giving clearance.[12]

Relations Edit

Of the billions of planets in the Milky Way galaxy, the Union charted "barely a fraction."[5]

Kaylon Edit

The highly advanced Kaylon species was on amiable terms with the Union during the early 25th century through 2420. In 2419, the Kaylon assigned an emissary to serve on the USS Orville in consideration of joining the Union,[13] and Union leadership grows increasingly interested in an alliance with the Kaylon against the Krill.[14]

In late 2420, the Kaylon rejected membership, predicting biological life would eventually hinder their technological advancement. The Kaylon declared war on the Union shortly thereafter.[15]

Krill Edit

For much of the 24th and early 25th century, the Union frequently battled the antagonistic Krill in a long-running Krill-Planetary Union conflict. Krill followed the Anhkana, a religious text that taught that they were superior to all other life, which led to conflict with the Planetary Union since at least the mid-24th century - although no exact starting date has been identified.[n 1] Hundreds of thousands of Union lives were lost to Krill attacks over many years, yet the Union refused to declare war because a protracted conflict would jeopardize the Union's stability.[16][17]

A dramatic shift in relations came in February 2421 after the devastating Battle of Earth and the new Kaylon threat. Both sides hurriedly installed a ceasefire, and a month later signed the Lak'vai Pact of Tarazed 3, signalling a new commitment to peace.[18]

Relations with other civilizations Edit

The Union had 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.[19]
  • Calivon: The Calivon were technologically more advanced and regarded Union planets as inferior life forms. While the Calivon were not hostile towards the Union, they were dangerous, and the Union strictly forbade any avoidable contact with them.
  • Unuk 4: Visiting this planet was strictly forbidden by the Union due to its violent inhabitants who sacrificed anyone they could capture to a "raccoon god" by methodically dismembering them.
  • Lopovius (Navarians, Bruidians): Both species of Lopovius were neighbors and allies of the Union but engaged in a long dispute over the planet. Neither species was original to Lopovius but originated from another unnamed planet or planets. In early 2420, both species agreed that the Union would serve as a neutral host in the interest of peace talks.
  • Horbalak: A race notorious for their smugglers.[20]
  • Janisi: A fiercely matriarchal species, the Janisi naturally dismissed 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 led to the Janisi providing their assistance in repairing a Union ship which had been crippled by the Krill.[21]
  • Lakkar B (Envall): The Union maintained positive diplomatic relations with the Envall. However, Envall blood contained 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.[22]

Other contactsEdit

The Union maintained a record of contact with other species, which tracked a history of relations but also indicated whether an officer is about to make first contact with another world.[23]

  • Dorahl Bioship (Dorahlians): A species who left their home planet 2,000 years ago by bioship. Around November 2419, the Union arranged to send a special crew to train the Dorahlians to use their ship.[24]
  • Sargus 4 (Sarguns): The Union maintained 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.[25]
  • 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.[26]
  • 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.[27]
  • Multiphasic Planet: A technologically advanced species from another universe on good terms with the Union.[28]
  • 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 were discovered by the Union, who began work to repair the damage caused to their homeworld's biosphere during the Tzel war.[29][30]
  • Nyxia (Nyxians): Nyxia was destroyed by its sun in late 2420. The Orville rescued 35 Nyxians.[31]
  • Regor 2 (Regorians): Regorians formally requested first contact in late 2420, but their differences in beliefs about astrology damaged relations with the Union to the point where they isolated themselves.[32]



Planetary Union Badges


Kelly, Bortus and Ed

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

See also: Command Level
Commanders were the heads of Union ships, ranked as captain and commander and supervised section chiefs.


Saving Bortus

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

See also: Science Level
Officers of the Science Level were responsible for research and experimentation[n 2] and data analysis.[n 3] They frequently accompanied away teams[33] and worked with the Engineering Level.
See also: Medical Level

Medical Edit

Officers of the Medical Level were specialist science officers who had attained the title of doctor or nurse and worked in medicine, life sciences, astronomy, chemistry, biology, exobiology, mathematics, and computer science.[34]


Gordon and John in Engineering

Helmsman Gordon Malloy and Chief Engineer John LaMarr.

Engineers were in charge the helm, navigation, and engineering, including the operation and maintenance of vessels and shuttlecraft.[34] Their most crucial function was to maintain a ship's quantum accelerators for faster-than-light travel. A sub-section of engineering was helm control. Engineering officers could serve as pilots of ships, including the navigator responsible for trajectory and the helmsman responsible for flight.


Talla's team

Chief of Security Talla Keyali briefing her security team.

See also: Security Level
Security officers were in charge of the safety of the ship's personnel and guests and oversaw the Brig.


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

Officers were evaluated by superiors every six months.[35]

Technology Edit

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

The Union was at the cusp of light and image projection technology. Shuttlecraft were capable of cloaking themselves. Environmental Simulators created 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 was a primary industrial location for weapons testing and manufacture for the Union. Ships came equipped with Plasma Torpedoes and Plasma Cannons. Handheld weapons included the plasma model line: the PM-32 for colonists, and the PM-44, PM-488 Titan and PM-57R for officers.

Other impressive technologies included deflector screens, tractor beams, implanted translating devices, and manipulation of quantum fields through quantum accelerators and quantum engines.

The Union used the metric system.[36]


According to both Admiral Halsey and Captain Ed Mercer, the Planetary Union Fleet consisted of about 3,000 starships spread across the quadrant as of September 2419. Over 30 of these ships were lost in the Battle of Earth in February 2421 (and probably many more). Of the Union Fleet, fifteen ships have been identified:

Military awards Edit

Sapphire Star Edit

The only known military decoration of the Union was the Sapphire Star, which had been awarded to Alara Kitan "for outstanding courage, valor, and resourcefulness, in the finest Union tradition,"[44] and to Yaphit "for extraordinary heroism beyond the call of duty during the Kaylon conflict."[45]


  • Fleet Museum - The Union kept an old battleship similar to the BCV Burton here.[46]
  • Human Resources - Both Kelly[47] and Chief Engineer Steve Newton[48] have referred to a Human Resources department of the Union.
  • Planetary Union Board of Education[49]
  • Planetary Union Security[50]
  • Planetary Union Symphony - The Union Symphony toured the fleet each summer, performing music on ships.[51]
    • On a Friday in December 2420, the Union Symphony performed in the Shuttle Bay of the USS Orville. They perform "MGM Jubilee Overture" before moving to the main performance.[51]

Alternate timeline Edit

In an alternate timeline where Ed Mercer did not become captain of the USS Orville, the Kaylon defeated the Planetary Union at the Battle of Earth in February 2421 and scoured Earth of all life in the process. The Union effectively dissolved, and the Kaylon went on to destroy other Union worlds such as Moclus. Remnants of the Union reformed as the Resistance, which was roundly defeated by the Kaylon in subsequent months.

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.[52]

Fox released a promotional description of each Section in mid-August, 2017, in preparation for the series premiere.[53] 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.[54]


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.
  • The Union extended to Isaac a "provisionary commission"[55] as a Science and Engineering Officer as until January 2420, he was 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."[56]
  • Both Kelly[47] and Chief Engineer Steve Newton[48] have referred to a Human Resources department of the Union, but why an organization comprised of 300 different species would call the department Human Resources is unclear.

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 Episode 2x08: Identity, Pt. 1
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Episode 2x09: Identity, Pt. 2
  4. New Beginnings, Pt. 1
  5. 5.0 5.1 Ed Mercer. Episode 2x08: Identity, Pt. 1
  6. Episode 1x01: Old Wounds.
  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. 11.0 11.1 Episode 2x12: Sanctuary
  12. Episode 2x05: All the World is Birthday Cake
  13. Episode 2x06: A Happy Refrain
  14. Halsey: "God knows we could use a strong ally against the Krill." Episode 2x08: Identity, Pt. 1
  15. Episode 2x08: Identity, Pt. 1
  16. 16.0 16.1 Episode 1x06: Krill.
  17. Episode 2x10: Blood of Patriots
  18. Episode 2x10: Blood of Patriots
  19. New Beginnings, Pt. 1
  20. Episode 1x11: New Dimensions
  21. Episode 2x05: All the World is Birthday Cake
  22. Episode 2x10: Blood of Patriots
  23. Episode 2x05: All the World is Birthday Cake
  24. Episode 1x04: If the Stars Should Appear
  25. Episode 1x07: Majority Rule
  26. Episode 1x08: Into the Fold
  27. Episode 1x11: New Dimensions
  28. Episode 1x12: Mad Idolatry
  29. Episode 1.5x01: New Beginnings, Pt. 1
  30. Episode 1.5x02: New Beginnings, Pt. 2
  31. Episode 2x02: Primal Urges
  32. Episode 2x05: All the World is Birthday Cake
  33. Episode 1x04: If the Stars Should Appear.
  34. 34.0 34.1 Bond, Jeff. The World of the Orville. Titan Books. 2018. Pg. 32.
  35. Kelly Grayson: "Yaphit's six month evaluation was last week..." Episode 2x03: Home
  36. Alara Kitan: "When I first got here, I could life 100 kilos more than that." Episode 2x03: Home (italics added)
  37. Episode 1x02: Command Performance.
  38. Episode 1x03: About a Girl.
  39. Episode 1x04: If the Stars Should Appear.
  40. Episode 1x09: Cupid's Dagger
  41. Episode 1.5x02: New Beginnings, Pt. 2
  42. Episode 2x07: Deflectors
  43. Episode 2x14: The Road Not Taken
  44. Ed Mercer. Episode 1x02: Command Performance
  45. Ed Mercer. Episode 2x10: Blood of Patriots
  46. Episode 1.5x02: New Beginnings, Pt. 2
  47. 47.0 47.1 Episode 2x07: Deflectors
  48. 48.0 48.1 Episode 1x05: Pria
  49. Episode 1.5x01: New Beginnings, Pt. 1
  50. Episode 2x01: Ja'loja
  51. 51.0 51.1 Episode 2x06: A Happy Refrain
  52. Wyckoff, Anna. "The Orville". Costume Designers Guild. Oct. 10, 2017.
  53. Fienberg, Daniel. "'X-Files' Diversity, 'Orville' Confusion Among Press Tour Highlights (and Lowlights) From Day 15". Hollywood Reporter. Aug. 9, 2017.
  54. @planetary_union. Untitled. Twitter. May 5, 2018.
  55. Isaac. Episode 2x08: Identity, Pt. 1
  56. @SethMacFarlane. "Blue: Command. Red: Security. Green: Science and Medical. Orange: Engineering, Helm, and Ship’s Services.". Twitter. Jan. 17, 2019.
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