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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 Union's history is almost completely obscure, including details of its foundation and development.

History Edit

The Planetary Union was founded at an unknown date within the last 200 years 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.[1] Union worlds abolish national governments in favor of membership.

Members Edit



Union members maintain complex relations between each other. In October 2419, war was threatened between Moclus and other Union planets over the reassignment of Topa's sex, though the matter was finally resolved through a Moclan tribunal.[2] Many Xelayans regard Humans as "hill-billies of the galaxy:" an unrefined, military-obsessed species that neglects the sciences.[n 1]

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

  • Kaylon 1 (Kaylons): Though not a member world and despite their sense of superiority to humanoid life, Kaylon 1 is currently on friendly terms with the Union to the point that they have assigned a representative to serve on a Union vessel in order to study human behavior.
  • 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.
  • Krill: Krill follow the Anhkana, a religious text that teaches that they are superior to all other life. Krill warships have attacked several Union colonies and vessels. There is no declared state of war between the Union and Krill, chiefly because a protracted conflict would jeopardize the stability of the Union.[3]
  • 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.



Planetary Union Badges


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 Section chiefs.

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

Science and MedicalEdit

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.[4] 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 sections is medicine, life sciences, astronomy, chemistry, biology, exobiology, mathematics, and computer science.[5]


Engineering Officers are in charge the helm, navigation, and engineering, including the operation and maintenance of vessels and shuttlecraft.[5] 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.


Security Officers are in charge of the safety of the ship's personnel and guests, and oversee the Brig. The section'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 and PM-488 Titan for officers.

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


Eight Planetary Union spaceships are known to exist.

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.[10]

Fox released a promotional description of each Section in mid-August, 2017, in preparation for the series premiere.[11] 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.[12]


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]

Notes Edit

  1. Ildis Kitan in Episode 1x10: Firestorm
  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 1x01: Old Wounds.
  2. Episode 1x03: About a Girl
  3. 3.0 3.1 Episode 1x06: Krill.
  4. Episode 1x04: If the Stars Should Appear.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Bond, Jeff. The World of the Orville. Titan Books. 2018. Pg. 32.
  6. Episode 1x02: Command Performance.
  7. Episode 1x03: About a Girl.
  8. Episode 1x04: If the Stars Should Appear.
  9. Episode 1x09: Cupid's Dagger
  10. Wyckoff, Anna. "The Orville". Costume Designers Guild. Oct. 10, 2017.
  11. Fienberg, Daniel. "'X-Files' Diversity, 'Orville' Confusion Among Press Tour Highlights (and Lowlights) From Day 15". Hollywood Reporter. Aug. 9, 2017.
  12. @planetary_union. Untitled. Twitter. May 5, 2018.