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. Captain Ed Mercer of the USS Orville defines the Union as "a growing alliance of space-faring societies dedicated to exploration."[2]

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.[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 is roughly 3,000 vessels spread across a single quadrant of the galaxy.[6] 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.[2]


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.


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.

Many high-level decisions within the union must be decided by the admiralty by giving clearance.[12]

Relations Edit

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

Kaylon Edit

The highly advanced Kaylon species are 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 reject 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 early 25th century, the Union frequently battles the antagonistic 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] Hundreds of thousands of Union lives are lost to Krill attacks over many years, yet the Union refuses to declare war because a protracted conflict could jeopardize the Union's stability.[16][17]

A dramatic shift in relations comes in early 2421 after the devastating Battle of Earth and the new Kaylon threat. Shortly after, both sides sign the Lak'vai Pact of Tarazed 3 signalling a new commitment to peace.[18]

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.[19]
  • 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".[20]
  • 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.[21]
  • 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.[22]

Other contactsEdit

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

  • Dorahl Bioship (Dorahlians): A species who left their home planet two-thousand years ago by bioship. Around November 2419, the Union arranges to send a special crew to train the Dorahlians to use their ship.[24]
  • 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.[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, they are 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 are discovered by the Union, who begin work to repair the damage caused to their homeworld's biosphere during the Tzel war.[29][30]
  • Nyxia (Nyxians): Nyxia is destroyed by its sun in late 2420. The Orville rescues 35 Nyxians.[31]
  • 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.[32]



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.[33] 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.[34]


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.[34] 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.

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

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.[36]


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:

Military awards Edit

Sapphire Star Edit

The only known military decoration of the Union is the Sapphire Star, which has been awarded to Alara Kitan "for outstanding courage, valor, and resourcefulness, in the finest Union tradition,"[45] and to Yaphit "for extraordinary heroism beyond the call of duty during the Kaylon conflict."[46]


  • Fleet Museum - The Union keeps an old battleship similar to the BCV Burton in here.[47]
  • Planetary Union Board of Education[48]
  • Planetary Union Security[49]
  • Planetary Union Symphony - The Union Symphony tours the fleet each summer, performing music on ships.[50]
    • On a Friday in December 2420, the Union Symphony performs in the Shuttle Bay of the USS Orville. They perform "MGM Jubilee Overture" before moving to the main performance.[50]

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.[51]

Fox released a promotional description of each Section in mid-August, 2017, in preparation for the series premiere.[52] 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.[53]


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"[54] as a Science and Engineering Officer as until January 2420, 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."[55]
  • Kelly refers to a Human Resources department of the Union.[7]

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 Episode 2x07: Deflectors
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Observed at the Planetary Union Council. Episode 2x12: Sanctuary
  9. Episode 1x06: Krill
  10. Episode 1x06: Krill
  11. Episode 1x06: Krill
  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 2x12: Sanctuary.
  39. Episode 1x03: About a Girl.
  40. Episode 1x04: If the Stars Should Appear.
  41. Episode 1x09: Cupid's Dagger
  42. Episode 1.5x02: New Beginnings, Pt. 2
  43. Episode 2x07: Deflectors
  44. Episode 2x14: The Road Not Taken
  45. Ed Mercer. Episode 1x02: Command Performance
  46. Ed Mercer. Episode 2x10: Blood of Patriots
  47. Episode 1.5x02: New Beginnings, Pt. 2
  48. Episode 1.5x01: New Beginnings, Pt. 1
  49. Episode 2x01: Ja'loja
  50. 50.0 50.1 Episode 2x06: A Happy Refrain
  51. Wyckoff, Anna. "The Orville". Costume Designers Guild. Oct. 10, 2017.
  52. Fienberg, Daniel. "'X-Files' Diversity, 'Orville' Confusion Among Press Tour Highlights (and Lowlights) From Day 15". Hollywood Reporter. Aug. 9, 2017.
  53. @planetary_union. Untitled. Twitter. May 5, 2018.
  54. Isaac. Episode 2x08: Identity, Pt. 1
  55. @SethMacFarlane. "Blue: Command. Red: Security. Green: Science and Medical. Orange: Engineering, Helm, and Ship’s Services.". Twitter. Jan. 17, 2019.
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