Orion Prime (also called Orion III, and more formally designated Pi-3 Orionis III) was a planet that was the 24th century homeworld of the Orion civilization, also known as the Orion homeworld or simply the planet Orion. This was the third planet in the Pi-3 Orionis star system in the Orion sector of the Sirius sector block in the galaxy's Beta Quadrant. (ENT - Rise of the Federation novel: Tower of Babel; ST video game: Star Trek Online; ST reference: Star Charts; VOY episode: "The Fight")
History and specificsEdit
The Bank of Orion, the Imperial Star Resort, and the embassies of the UFP and the Nalori Republic were located in Orion Prime's capital city. (TNG - Cold Equations novels: The Persistence of Memory, Silent Weapons)
Through the Guardian of Forever on the Time Planet, a research team consisting of Captain James T. Kirk, Commander Spock, and Lieutenant Ted Erickson of Starfleet, and historians Grey and Loom Aleek-Om, visited the dawn of Orion civilization in 2269 (TAS episode: "Yesteryear").
- Though not stated explicitly, the lines "Orion, at the dawn of its civilization" and “in Orion’s past" suggest a reference to a planet's past, rather than that of a people or a system, hence the inclusion here.
They visited the ancient and barbaric early Empire of Orion (also called the Orionic Empire), though no-one knew what the clothing of the era was and Starfleet uniform and 23rd century Federation casual dress was expected to be conspicuous. Gold was the only currency. Kirk expected the trip to be fun and adventurous, and found it to be a whirlwind of colors, sights and sounds, as they explored the period for 2.5 days in local time. Their last visit was to a low-quality inn in a bazaar, near an auction of Orion slave girls. (TAS novelization: Yesteryear)
- It is possible that this refers to one of the other "Orion homeworlds."
Orion III supported a population with ties to the Federation in the 24th century. This world was a center for gambling. In a vision quest experienced by Chakotay, he imagined being in a boxing match, with book-makers from Las Vegas, Mars and Orion III all agreeing on 33 to 1 odds that Kid Chaos would outpoint Chakotay and 11 to 1 odds that Chakotay would be knocked out by the fifth round. (VOY episode: "The Fight")
In 2372, Quark, a Ferengi entrepreneur, attempted to smuggle kemocite to Orion on a side-trip between Deep Space 9 and Earth, though the enterprise failed due to sabotage. (DS9 episode: "Little Green Men")
In 2384, Federation President Nan Bacco secretly met with representatives of the Gorn Hegemony on Orion. As part of an assassination plot conceived by the Typhon Pact, Bacco's Chief of Staff and friend Esperanza Piñiero was murdered and replaced with an android duplicate. The plot was foiled by Data the crew of the USS Enterprise (TNG - Cold Equations novel: Silent Weapons)
Data would later take up residence on Orion Prime with his resurrected daughter, Lal. He maintained a series of identities on the planet, designed to maintain his anonymity and Lal's safety, while seeing to the operations of his father's casino and business empire. (TNG novel: The Light Fantastic)
This world might be the origin of numerous lifeforms:
- the Orion wing-slug (TNG episode: "Ménage à Troi", Decipher RPG module: Creatures, TOS - My Brother's Keeper novel: Constitution, DS9 novel: Wrath of the Prophets)
- the Orion spine boar (ST novel: Excelsior: Forged in Fire)
- the Orion emerald finch (Decipher RPG module: Creatures)
- the Orion fern tree. (TOS novel: Traitor Winds)
- It is unclear where these plants and animals come from, only that they are named 'Orion', implying an origin or a familiarity with this system or with the Orion people.
ST reference: Star Charts establishes the Orion system mentioned in canon as being Pi-3 Orionis, a non-Federation location. STO video game: Star Trek Online extrapolates on the location shown in Star Charts with sector and sector block naming for the vicinity.
Since Star Charts has specific notation regarding Federation and non-Federation worlds, we can see that the political status of this world is not as a Federation member, but it is entrenched in Federation space, and is, apparently, open to exchange sports and betting information with Federation worlds.
Prior to this being established as the Orion home, previous sources have developed the planets Rigel VII and Rigel VIII as the Orion homeworld, each also named "Orion". The Kelvin timeline calls Vondem in the Alnilam system as the Orion home planet. This is not necessarily a contradiction of the 24th century reference to Orion Prime at Pi-3 Orionis, as the older publications depict Orion's ancient origins including abandonment of some previous and adopted homeworlds. Star Charts originated the reference to the Pi-3 Orionis system as the commonly referred to "Orion system".