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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."[1]

There are, of course, fans who prefer to imagine a gender-diverse Cardassia or make Cardassian-focused queer headcanons and graphics.[2]





Fannish Conlangs


Art Gallery

External Resources for Further Reading


  1. ^ Abigail Nussbaum. How to do Garak/Bashir in Canon DS9, July 15, 2020. Archived from the original on May 13, 2021.
  2. ^ Wallpaper by startrekpride. Trans Cardassian wallpapers for anon!, March 30, 2020. Archived from the original on May 13, 2021.