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THE DOMINION WAR

a bloody and destructive war

THE DOMINION WAR

DATE 2373-2375

LOCATION
Primarily the Alpha and Gamma Quadrants

RESULT
Conditional Dominion surrender

WHO SIDED WITH WHO

FEDERATION ALLIANCE
United Federation of Planets
Klingon Empire
Romulan Star Empire (2374-2375)
Bajor (2374-2375)
Cardassian Union (2375)
Section 31
Maquis (eliminated 2373)

NEUTAL
Romulan Star Empire (2373-2374)
Breen (2375-2375)
Bajorans (2373-2374)

DOMINION SIDE
Dominion
Cardassian Union (2373-2375)
Breen Confederacy (2375)

--------------------

SYNOPISIS

In "Emissary", the pilot episode, the United Federation of Planets dispatches Commander Benjamin Sisko to take command of the space station Deep Space Nine. The station is located near a stable wormhole located in the Alpha Quadrant, which leads to the Gamma Quadrant of the Milky Way Galaxy, nearly 70,000 light years away. Deep Space Nine is moved from the orbit of the planet Bajor to the Alpha Quadrant terminus of the wormhole to lay claim. Starships begin to enter the wormhole to explore, colonize and trade. The crews on the ships were unaware that they are entering a region of space controlled by the Dominion, a union of planets ordered by force and intimidation.

Deep Space Nine's Ferengi bartender, Quark, makes contact with the Vorta, a Dominion member race. However, he and Sisko are captured by the Jem'Hadar, the soldiers of the Dominion. The Alpha Quadrant group is rescued, but the Federation ship USS Odyssey is lost in the attempt to return home, and colonies are destroyed as a warning not to re-enter Dominion space. Later, it is revealed that a race of shapeshifters, known as "Founders", are the rulers of the Dominion, and that Constable Odo is of this species. Members of the Cardassian Obsidian Order and the Romulan Tal Shiar intelligence factions plan to eradicate the Founders and their homeworld, but are themselves deceived by a shapeshifter and ambushed.

The Founders initiate a campaign of sabotage and terror against the Alpha Quadrant, which leaves many governments fearful of infiltrators, who are able to assume any physical form. When Earth is attacked, a band of Starfleet officers illegally attempt to impose martial law at the heart of the Federation. The Klingon Empire invades Cardassia in the inaccurate assumption that the Dominion is influencing its government. Later, the Federation suspects the Klingon Chancellor, Gowron, of being a shapeshifter. This turned out to be a ploy by the Dominion so that the Federation would assassinate Gowron and further intensify the rift between the Federation and Klingons due to the Klingon invasion of Cardassia. During the assassination attempt, the Federation realized that Klingon General Martok was the actual shapeshifter. It would turn out that Martok, Dr. Julian Bashir and others have been held captive at a prison camp in the Gamma Quadrant while shapeshifters took their place in the Alpha Quadrant. Shortly before their escape, the Dominion succeeds in urging the Cardassians to enter an alliance during the confusion, establishing its presence in the Alpha Quadrant. Realizing the danger, the Federation and Klingons join forces to slow the Dominion build-up, co-operating to plant a minefield across the entrance to the Bajoran Wormhole as a rescued Martok is assigned as a permanent Klingon commander at Deep Space Nine.

Nevertheless, the Dominion begins to advance, and seizes control of Deep Space Nine. After a brief retreat, Sisko executes a successful return to the space station, but the wider conflict continues. More setbacks hinder the Alpha Quadrant alliance as additional races, such as the Breen, offer their support to the Dominion. Questionable tactics are adopted in the search for victory, including the dissemination of an engineered virus among the Founders by a shadow Federation group called Section 31. A ruse involving a murder is used to enlist the help of the Romulans against the Dominion, and dissatisfactions lead the Cardassian leader, Legate Damar, to launch a successful resistance movement against his former Dominion comrades. Eventually, the Dominion is forced back to the planet Cardassia Prime where it is cut off from reinforcements. The female shapeshifter in command informs Odo that they would fight to the end in order to prevent any counter-attack by the alliance into the Gamma Quadrant. Odo assures her that the Federation would not do that while the other parties would be too weak to. After linking together, Odo cures the female shapeshifter of the biological disease afflicting her and the other Founders with the antidote he received and the Dominion agrees to surrender.

CONCEPTION

In 2002, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine producer Ira Steven Behr stated that unlike some plots, which originated from a single small idea, the creation of the Dominion villain and story arc was "very much thought out." Behr said that the earliest mention of the Dominion was purposely planted in the comic Season Two Ferengi episode, "Rules of Acquisition", to leave the audience with an impression of "how important could it be?" It was decided that the Gamma Quadrant would need an ambience that would distinguish it from the Alpha Quadrant. The producers wanted to portray the region as something other than "uncharted space", and avoid imitating the adventures of Star Trek: The Next Generation with another series of plots focusing primarily on themes of exploration. After 18 months of Deep Space Nine exposition, the producers decided to characterize The Dominion as "anti-Federation". Writer and script editor Robert Hewitt Wolfe has explained that this move also distinguished Deep Space Nine from its successor series, Star Trek: Voyager, which stars a lost Federation ship traversing the chaotic and divided Delta Quadrant of the Milky Way.

Instead of introducing one alien race, three were introduced simultaneously: the Changelings, the Vorta and the Jem'Hadar. These three were intended to represent the front of an ancient civilization coupled together by fear, to contrast with the unity of the Federation enabled by bonds of friendship. Behr, Wolfe, writer Peter Allan Fields and Jim Crocker attended meetings to develop the concepts of these species and found general inspiration in Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy novels. Executive producer Michael Piller suggested the idea that the Founders of the Dominion be the race to which Odo belongs, toward the end of Season Two production, and discovered that Behr and Wolfe had also discussed this possibility. This character had been introduced with no knowledge of his true origins. Piller asserts the endeavor to create a new villain was one of the most difficult tasks he undertook in his work on Star Trek. Wolfe perceives similarities between the fictional Founders and the Roman Empire, in that the species first uses diplomacy, deception and cultural imperialism to achieve their aims before ultimately resorting to coercion.

According to writer Ronald D. Moore, co-creator Rick Berman originally intended the Dominion War to be the focus of three or four episodes, but Behr intended to expand the plotline all along. Moore has stated that Berman sometimes questioned the writing staff about the degree of violence included in some episodes. Berman also expressed concern about the portrayal of long-term consequences for the main characters, such as the loss of a character's leg in Season Seven. The writers argued in favor of the increased violence, asserting that it was justified in view of the plotlines detailing the progression of the Dominion War. Piller supported the idea that the repercussions of past episodes should continue to be felt, and that characters should "learn that actions have consequences", even if such consequences were to lead off in directions Piller had not originally imagined when Deep Space Nine remained in the conceptual stages. Moore has stated that the filming of Star Trek: Voyager occupied more of Berman and Piller's time from Deep Space Nine's third season, which allowed Behr to defend his creative decisions more successfully. Following the completion of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the writing staff could dedicate more time to working on scripts for Deep Space Nine. The writers admired the scripting techniques used for Star Trek: The Original Series: Moore cites the 1967 episode "Errand of Mercy" as a strong influence on his treatment of the Dominion War.

DEVELOPMENT

The plot of the Dominion War is presented in a succession of shorter story arcs which span Seasons Two to Seven of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and are linked editorially by the decisions of the producers and writers.

SEASON TWO:

Introducing the Dominion

After conceptual meetings, the writers began to introduce allusions to the Dominion into episodes of Season Two. The intention was to gradually increase the audience's awareness that there was a large and pervasive polity at work behind apparently innocuous events in the Gamma Quadrant. The Dominion and its methods are revealed across three episodes of the season.

"Rules of Acquisition" marks the first mention of the Dominion, when the Ferengi character Quark hears whispers of a powerful union of civilizations in the Gamma Quadrant with which he may be able to trade. Dialogue that seems inconsequential within the framework of a light-hearted episode was planned to ultimately create major change in the dynamics of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

As Alpha Quadrant races begin to colonize planets in the Gamma Quadrant and their presence becomes known, disturbing reports indicate that what the Dominion cannot attain through trade is forcibly seized. These reports are justified in "Sanctuary", when a large fleet of Skrreea ships appears in the Alpha Quadrant, in search of a new homeworld in light of the conquest of their original planet by Dominion forces. The actions of the Dominion are contrasted with the reactions of the regular characters to the Skrreea refugees. Executive producer Michael Piller has suggested that the plot evoked real-world debate surrounding Proposition 187, a Californian law concerning the rights of illegal aliens.

THE FINAL OF SEASON TWO

"The Jem'Hadar", permitted writer Robert Hewitt Wolfe to surprise the audience, and challenge their opinions concerning the safety of the Federation and Starfleet, when the USS Odyssey, a Galaxy-class ...


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