- Three different versions of Rigel III have been depicted. They are presented separately below. The canonical presence of Geordi La Forge and his family here suggests that the Decipher RPG version, a Federation member-world, is the most likely.
Rigel III, also called Chelar, was the third planet in the Rigel system, in the Beta Quadrant. It was the homeworld of the Chelon, or Chelarian, race. (VAN novel: Harbinger, Decipher RPG module: Worlds)
- The homeworld of the Chelons is not established in Vanguard, which only states that it is in the Rigel system. Worlds (based on earlier, unpublished, Last Unicorn RPG material) identifies it as Rigel III. Backstage notes by Fred Phillips and Robert Fletcher for Star Trek: The Motion Picture had the "Rigellians" (i.e., Chelons or Chelarians) originate from Rigel IV.
An unwanted addition to the ecosystem was the Orion wing-slug, a pest that the people of Rigel III launched periodic eradication campaigns against. Like every afflicted world, they claimed it wasn't native to theirs. (Decipher RPG module: Creatures)
- The FASA RPG sourcebooks The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge and The Orions: Book of Deep Knowledge present a different version of Rigel III, seen below.
The entire world was privately owned, from land to sea to airspace to parking orbits, all in the control of individuals, families, corporations, and governments of other worlds. Most of these were Orion families, including the owners of the Trade Halls of Rigel IV and other famous or infamous groups and individuals, each with their own estates. Most preferred to keep their holdings and activities secret. Not all of these landowners were Orion, however, and neither were they all so reclusive.
There was no government, but a complex system of mutual agreements (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge), originally laid down by the furred Rigellians (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Deep Knowledge), managed most activities on the world, particularly property laws. These determined what could be owned, and by who, how it could be purchased or inherited, or what was allowed or not allowed to be done with it. These rules were discreet and effective, and enforced by mutual consent.
Rigel III had no known assets, however, apart from its natural beauty. It lacked industry, mining, large-scale agriculture, and had no settlements numbering over 5000 people. It had three land-based private spaceports, semi-public but with private landings and berthing facilities. Owners and their guests used these for formal and informal gatherings, essentially functioning as yacht clubs. A planetary space control allowed no unauthorized vessel to approach the world.
Some of the more open landowners allowed Federation scientific expeditions to excavate in search of Rigel III's past and previous owners. However, the general shyness of the others mostly hid the history and mechanics of the planet from scrutiny.
Rigel III was a beautiful paradise, a garden world with a neat mosaic of thousands of different yet co-existing habitats, spread across its four continents. This was not natural; it had been carefully engineered to be perfect for humanoid habitation, with even the placement of seas and the atmospheric circulation patterns being designed. This terraforming was subtle, with no obvious signs. The Orions claimed credit for this, but the evidence was doubtful (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge); it was in fact carried out by even earlier races, the Masters and the furred Rigellians. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Deep Knowledge)
It was a class M world with a terrestrial atmosphere and a warm temperate climate. The seasons were mild, and never experienced extremes of weather. Rigel III had an Earth-like gravity of 1.0 g and a 24-hour day. It had a total surface area of 564,946,610 square kilometers and, with 34% land mass, a total land area of 192,081,840 square kilometers. About 28% of its makeup was normal metals, 14% was radioactive elements, 2% was industrial crystals, and it had trace amounts of gemstones and special minerals. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge)
A billion years ago (circa 999,998,000 BCE, reference stardate −10,000,000/00), Rigel III and Rigel IV were both inhabited by an advanced space-faring civilization called the Shour. Over the next 10 million years, these two worlds produced at least three more native civilizations and were occupied by countless others.
Formerly a wasteland, Rigel III was reclaimed and extensively terraformed by the Masters, who turned it into their garden and agricultural world by 1,248,000 BCE (stardate −12,500/00). Their successors, the furred Rigellians, completed the surface sculpting and established the rules for land use by 48,000 BCE (stardate −500/00). (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Deep Knowledge)
Star Charts version
- The planets of the Beta Rigel system in the ST reference: Star Charts are inextricably linked to those of the Rigel system. Hence, Beta Rigel III is included here.
At some point during the 2230s or 2240s decades, the planet's entire population was wiped out. Leonard McCoy was living in Georgia as a boy at the time. He recalled the date decades later because his dog had died on the same day. (TOS comic: "Heads of State")
- As this catastrophe did not occur in the other two versions of the planet, this item was placed under the entry for Beta Rigel III.