|See also:||Andorian, Borg, Ferengi, Gorn, Klingon, Romulan, Tellarite, Vulcan, Orion|
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The Cardassians are a race of humanoid aliens that appear on Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager. Their homeworld is Cardassia Prime, a planet in the Cardassian System which is part of the Alpha Quadrant.
The Cardassian race was popular with many fans, sometimes called 'Cardie-lovers'. Popular Cardassian characters from DS9 canon include Elim Garak, Kelas Parmak, Gul Dukat, Damar, Enabran Tain and the half-Bajoran, Tora Ziyal.
Seska is a female undercover Cardassian operative who was genetically altered to appear Bajoran in ST: VOY.
A popular trend in DS9 fandom is to incorporate "redesigns" of the Cardassian characters into fanworks, focusing on exaggerated or more prevalent reptilian features and physiology. Examples include, drawing Cardassians with tails or claws, writing shedding fic, or alluding to them being cold-blooded. These tropes are prevalent enough that they have ascended to headcanon status for some, believing that this was the "intended" look of the characters, and was only not realized because of practical or budgetary constraints on the show.
Headcanons and meta that imagine Cardassia & mainstream Cardassian culture as homophobic and transphobic are common. One fan explains their reasoning for imagining a more expansive canon view might produce a homophobic society:
"Cardassian society is deeply conformist, and family-oriented in a fascist-adjacent sort of way that prioritizes the father as the master of the home. It’s hard to imagine a society like that tolerating deviations from gender norms, and it seems fair to assume that reprecussions for such deviations would be severe."
- Cardassian Chronicles - a print-zine from the 1990s containing gen and het fiction
- Scaly Tales e-zine
- The Cardassian Inquisitor - a Gul Dukat-centered newsletter (1999-2000)
- Uncertain Times (multimedia zine) - a 2018 fanzine set in and around Cardassia and Cardassians.
- Splintered: A Romance in Six Seasons by Cân Cennau - explores a worldbuilt Cardassia through the eyes of Julian Bashir. (Bashir/Garak/Parmak)
- Notions by ssorrell - explores the rebuilt Cardassia and Cardassian customs. (Bashir/Garak/Parmak, Garak/Lok)
- Cardassian Fairy Tales by WerewolvesAreReal; Elim Garak reflects on working with humans and what would make a Cardassian fairy tale
- Some Speculations on Cardassian Anatomy (2001)
- new fan theory generated with @calamitylena: cardassians are nocturnal., Archived version by calamitylena and shevathegun (2016)
- Cardassians and Lack of Resources: An Analysis, Archived version, post by u/ODMtesseract to /r/DaystromInstitute (2017)
- Cardassian military uniforms are so bulky because they contain heating and cooling elements., Archived version by spyrograph (2018)
- Kardasi according to tinsnip and Vyc by Tinsnip and Vyc - a construction of a main Cardassian language, based on work by galileoace, Timothy Miller and RunicCode.
- Guide to the Cheða / Chedha Constructed Language by Cân Cennau - a construction of a minority Cardassian language, set in the northern peninsula of Indar/Enðarh
- Gilora Rejal from Star Trek DS9. Because Cardassians., Archived version by xcarolinas (2020)
Dukat by Cyndy Collins, 1999
External Resources for Further Reading
- Cardassian entry on Memory Alpha (canon resource)
- For Cardassia!, Archived version
- Gul Maket's Guide to Cardassia Prime, Archived version
- Institute of Alien Studies: Cardassian Orientation Studies
- Other Nors, Archived version on TripHammered (fannish satire)