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#923554 - 03/14/17 10:58 AM United Planets First Contact Policy?  
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Emily Sivana Offline
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I have been playing a lot of Stellaris, and as I explore the cosmos I have been thinking about the political system in the United Planets. I have read threads here in the past, and my impression is that the United Planets is an alliance similar to that of NATO rather than one united government. I think for exploratory and operational purposes, most members would have shared policies. I have noticed that some planets appear to be more "primitive", like Orando, with even Princess Projectra commenting that they didn't fit in the United Planets. I wonder if they were at Medieval Age stage technology when First Contact was made (if there is anything implying this other than Jeckies thoughts please let me know). What do you think the United Planets First Contact policy is? Science fiction offers a wide variety of policies from Star Trek's Prime Directive which prohibits contact with pre-FTL races to the Jedi's policy to enlighten regardless of the species technology level. I mostly am aware of the Preboot/Retroboot version (Threeboot is too short to analysis this), but you can comment on the other ones as well.

Preboot/Retroboot: I wonder if initiate contact with good intentions on the basis of improving lives via technology; but not fully understanding the social implications. I think they might have a hands off approach to internal policies, given the book started in the 1950s. I could see liberal elements cropping up in the 2960s/70s in parallel to the relevant comics being produced during that time. I could see them forbidding societies with official Caste Systems/Slavery from joining eventually (as the Federation did in Star Trek).


Go with the good and you'll be like them; go with the evil and you'll be worse than them.- Portuguese Proverb
#923556 - 03/14/17 11:10 AM Re: United Planets First Contact Policy? [Re: Emily Sivana]  
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One thing I've always wondered is how the concept of boundaries exist in such a massive interstellar alliance. It's unlikely that every world in a system would want to join the UP, and that the UP itself would be a patchwork entity, including this world and that world, but not this other world or that neighboring world... (Worlds like Avalon and Lythyl, for instance, seem to exist inside 'UP space,' but not be members of the UP and follow UP rules like 'no slavery!'.) We don't have a lot of divided up nations, in that sense, today, but in the future it's likely to be the rule, instead of the exception, and I wonder if there are *other* smaller or looser-knit coalitions of worlds that exist alongside (or scattered amongst) the UP.

If worlds in 'UP space' are pressured to join, or like China or Japan, have their 'ports opened' to the opium trade by shelling their cities until they comply, that would cast a pretty sinister light on the UP as a whole.


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#923557 - 03/14/17 11:13 AM Re: United Planets First Contact Policy? [Re: Emily Sivana]  
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Unlike Star Trek's Federation, where exploration was front and center, the UP seemed to be a more "mature" body that had already expanded about as far as it feasibly could (Khunds, Dominators & Dark Circle on the boundaries). Galactic Space and all of the inhabited planets seemed like a known quantity by the Legion's time. The only exception I can think of was the world Brainy and Dawnstar crashed on in Tales. I'd need to re-read those issues to see what their reaction was, as that would give a good indication as to what policy was for new/unknown planets.

#923572 - 03/14/17 05:27 PM Re: United Planets First Contact Policy? [Re: Emily Sivana]  
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Emily Sivana Offline
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^ I actually have one of those issues. I skimmed through it, and it seems like their priority was survival when they landed. I will try to read it in-depth in a couple of days and see if it has any clues. If you have the conclusion of the story, that would be helpful. Are there any atlas of the DCU that show the stars minus the multiverse stuff? I just want to see the planets in Earth-1/New Earth.

Set: It depends on their method of transportation and how aggressive the Khunds, Dark Circle, etc. were. If they use worm holes, conventional science fiction understanding would make it possible for them to leap frog over other territory. It seems implied from the issues that they use Hyperdrive/Warp Drive, but I never have seen it explicitly stated. The Legion deals with humanoid beings that can survive unaided in space, so maybe the writers didn't want to bother with an explanation?

I didn't mention the antagonists before now cause their methods of expansion are very different. But I think their policies would directly impact how the UP forms. I imagine some of those empires would practice slavery and purging , so there might be a lot of systems in those empires. There might be pacifistic planets that associate with the UP for protection. Tellus


Go with the good and you'll be like them; go with the evil and you'll be worse than them.- Portuguese Proverb
#923583 - 03/14/17 06:49 PM Re: United Planets First Contact Policy? [Re: Dave Hackett]  
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Originally Posted by Dave Hackett
Unlike Star Trek's Federation, where exploration was front and center, the UP seemed to be a more "mature" body that had already expanded about as far as it feasibly could (Khunds, Dominators & Dark Circle on the boundaries). Galactic Space and all of the inhabited planets seemed like a known quantity by the Legion's time. The only exception I can think of was the world Brainy and Dawnstar crashed on in Tales. I'd need to re-read those issues to see what their reaction was, as that would give a good indication as to what policy was for new/unknown planets.


I think there's a change from the Adventure Era to the Levitz Era in that regard. In the Adventure stories, the Legion seems to be operating in a much less explored environment, full of unknown worlds and wild, untamed regions of the galaxy. By the 80s, they seem to be operating in much more of a terra cognita, with fairly set boundaries as you suggest. It's similar to the change from ST:TOS to ST:TNG, but without the century or so gap to explain the change.

I see the United Planets as somewhat of a cross between NATO and the U.N., probably originally closer to the former but increasingly taking on aspects of the latter. I always imagined it probably formed in response to ongoing war with/threat from the Dominators, though I'm not sure if that's ever really suggested anywhere in texts.

#923608 - 03/15/17 12:29 PM Re: United Planets First Contact Policy? [Re: Emily Sivana]  
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There were some storylines in the later '70s issues about withholding technology from certain less advanced worlds, even within the United Planets. One of these was the anti-aging tech story by Levitz which was used to explain why young adults were still called "Boy", "Lad", "Lass", etc. There was also a story in which the Fatal Five settled on a planet to retire and live peacefully - they gave the indigenous population advanced tech, which unsettled the culture so greatly that the population itself asked them to leave. In the Dawnstar-Brainy story, it ended with the U.P. providing an air-borne vaccine to the planet to deal with the virus brought by the two Legionnaires; the U.P. avoided immediate contact until it studied how best to mount an expedition to study the planet.

I don't recall if there was a particular first contact policy, apart from the technology question.

The Sourcebook, which isn't necessarily canon for the comic, had this entry on how the U.P. dealt with new worlds:

[Linked Image]


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#923613 - 03/15/17 12:49 PM Re: United Planets First Contact Policy? [Re: Emily Sivana]  
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Thanks for posting that Cramer. I was thinking that the World Book would be just the place to go. There's the old Amazing worlds of DC too. I wonder if that had anything in it. I'll try to dig it out for a look.


"...not having to believe in a thing to be interested in it and not having to explain a thing to appreciate the wonder of it."
#923614 - 03/15/17 01:40 PM Re: United Planets First Contact Policy? [Re: Emily Sivana]  
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Wow, that Sourcebook shows a pretty heavy-handed policy. I can only assume it comes from the more dystopian 5YL era?

Last edited by Dave Hackett; 03/15/17 01:40 PM.
#923615 - 03/15/17 03:45 PM Re: United Planets First Contact Policy? [Re: Emily Sivana]  
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Yeah, that's a pretty crazy policy, and not *anything* like I would've expected.

#923618 - 03/15/17 04:44 PM Re: United Planets First Contact Policy? [Re: Dave Hackett]  
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Originally Posted by Dave Hackett
Wow, that Sourcebook shows a pretty heavy-handed policy. I can only assume it comes from the more dystopian 5YL era?


Actually, it's from the bright and shiny Levitz era world book.

The preceding page ominously states "Once a world becomes a member it is always a member." Always. Also... "Secession is not acceptable to Earth." Think of that and those issues touching Imskian politics.


"...not having to believe in a thing to be interested in it and not having to explain a thing to appreciate the wonder of it."
#923621 - 03/15/17 05:26 PM Re: United Planets First Contact Policy? [Re: Emily Sivana]  
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Emily Sivana Offline
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Is the Sourcebook like a Who's Who? If not, do any of the Encyclopedias, official or otherwise, give other details? The policy described above seems more like the Dominion in Star Trek than a Democratic state.


Go with the good and you'll be like them; go with the evil and you'll be worse than them.- Portuguese Proverb
#923636 - 03/16/17 03:56 AM Re: United Planets First Contact Policy? [Re: Emily Sivana]  
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The Sourcebook was written for the Mayfair RPG and is much more developed than Who's Who - but also takes a lot of liberties filling in backstories i.e. adding information that never appeared in the comic, but which was still in keeping with the characters and storylines. I wonder if the Bierbaums made the U.P. more contentious/grasping to add interest to the game.


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#923638 - 03/16/17 04:45 AM Re: United Planets First Contact Policy? [Re: Emily Sivana]  
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Special design assistance was provided by Paul Levitz on the book (Levitz's name is on the front cover of the other book). That hopefully means that it's closer to the ideas behind the book than if it was written by people with no contact with the book at all.

There was an interesting look at the political system of Earth. It points out that the candidates are not selected by the people, but by computers. The 24 hour campaign means that sufficient information may not be available or complete for voters. Also the Earth president has certain powers that with the lack of an elected forum, may be dictatorial in nature. Then there is the huge bureaucracy across all of the UP.


"...not having to believe in a thing to be interested in it and not having to explain a thing to appreciate the wonder of it."
#923804 - 03/19/17 05:56 AM Re: United Planets First Contact Policy? [Re: Emily Sivana]  
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The Reboot began with the United Planets being a fairly new body. A lot of worlds we saw were still in the process of negotiating UP membership, or being approached for UP membership:

1) Showcase'96 #8 - sister planets Dagosk and Dabron were invited to join the UP; only Dagosk was interested, and a half-Dabronian/half-Dagoskian terrorist committed murders to convince Dagosk to wait for Dabron

2) Legends of the Legion 3 (Umbra spotlight) - showed the exact instant the UP landed on Talok VIII to offer them to join the UP. Umbra herself was skeptical and feared that the UP would absorb Talok VIII whole, eliminating its unique culture

These examples show that even in the "enlightened" 30th century of the Reboot, the UP had trouble understanding the cultures of some worlds.

Originally Posted by Emily Sivana

Preboot/Retroboot: I wonder if initiate contact with good intentions on the basis of improving lives via technology; but not fully understanding the social implications. I think they might have a hands off approach to internal policies, given the book started in the 1950s. I could see liberal elements cropping up in the 2960s/70s in parallel to the relevant comics being produced during that time. I could see them forbidding societies with official Caste Systems/Slavery from joining eventually (as the Federation did in Star Trek).


Legends of the Legion 3 shows this quite well. One of the things the UP brought to Talok VIII was advanced technology; this excited most Talokians, but Umbra was displeased.

As for internal policies, it did seem like the UP didn't intervene within Talok VIII. The Talokian chiefs decided to join on their own.

Perhaps one example of non-intervention can be seen in Cargg. Legionnaires 24 shows how the Carggites "reeducate" those whose selves have differences (like Triad). We see no indication that the UP ever tried to intervene. Only RJ Brande did, in his role as a private citizen (threatening to move factories offworld if they did not give him custody of Triad), and not even to change the planetary policy.

#923824 - 03/19/17 08:50 AM Re: United Planets First Contact Policy? [Re: Emily Sivana]  
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What level of technology is Talok VIII usually depicted as? To me it seems like they were in the Stone Age (similar to Ahsoka's species in Star Trek), but some of the panels seem ambiguous in the 80s comics. If that is the case, then the UP probably sees giving technology as enlightenment.


Go with the good and you'll be like them; go with the evil and you'll be worse than them.- Portuguese Proverb
#923825 - 03/19/17 08:58 AM Re: United Planets First Contact Policy? [Re: Emily Sivana]  
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From the handy World Book, that's still sitting out:-

"Although Talok VIII belongs to the UP, local politics remain a mystery to the rest of the UP. The ruling class lives in highly technological cities on the plateaus and valleys, while an "untouchable" class of "mountain me" struggles to survive in the surrounding peaks."


"...not having to believe in a thing to be interested in it and not having to explain a thing to appreciate the wonder of it."
#923846 - 03/19/17 12:02 PM Re: United Planets First Contact Policy? [Re: Emily Sivana]  
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Originally Posted by Emily Sivana
What level of technology is Talok VIII usually depicted as? To me it seems like they were in the Stone Age (similar to Ahsoka's species in Star Trek), but some of the panels seem ambiguous in the 80s comics. If that is the case, then the UP probably sees giving technology as enlightenment.


I can't speak for the Preboot.

Legends of the Legion 3 is the only issue where I can remember seeing Talok VIII before the UP came. I did not see many hints of technology. Umbra mentions that the UP "overwhelmed them with machines", and her example is a virtual reality video game (much like the one shown in LSH v4 119).

#923866 - 03/19/17 02:57 PM Re: United Planets First Contact Policy? [Re: Emily Sivana]  
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In Adventure #365-366 Talok VIII is introduced as “a peaceful, prosperous planet of the 30th century.” We see happy families in luxury skyscraper apartments watching the monorails go by. Lots of wide windows over your standard prosperous city of the future.

Six months later it has become “a belligerent, warlike world.”

“Once they thrived on the trade of their space-lanes which pass by their world…now they destroy any ship that comes within a million miles of Talok VIII.”

On the map the Legion are using for reconnaissance there’s a Great Desert, outside the capital “Ibid-Ganar” There’s mountains on each side of the capital. There are tribes in the mountains. They are looked down upon by the residents of the futuristic capital city. There's a pass in the barrier wall surrounding the city, that controls movement into the city. The barrier seems to have been put there by the Fatal Five and there's a citadel outside the main city.The army in the capital use medieval weapons, but they have modernised them. For example, shields now have stun capabilities.

There’s a reference to Southern jungles, and we meet some of the giant birds that usually reside there.

By LoSh 318 Talok VIII has become "An inward looking world, scarred by a brief period of militancy in the past decade. Steeped in traditions going back many generations to when the world was terraformed from deserts. Internal politics largely unknown to the united planets, and irrelevant." That's your UP survey report from 2984. the capital is still futuristic looking, and it's still surrounded by mountains. The barrier wall outside the capital is also there. The UPhave taken a policy of non interference in the internal dispute on Talok.

Secret Origins #8 mentions gentle rolling hills, and we see wooded hills too. So it's not all desert. the start of the Mallor line shows us a fairly futuristic capital city, surrounded by those mountains. But there's an alien ship in the capital. The alien "Kings from the Stars" oppress the locals, but were defeated by Tasmia Mallor's ancestors. There was internal conflict that was ended by Tasmia's intervention. From there, the world prospered and looked to join the UP. It was on an initial delegation, that the Fatal Five took over.


"...not having to believe in a thing to be interested in it and not having to explain a thing to appreciate the wonder of it."
#923874 - 03/19/17 04:57 PM Re: United Planets First Contact Policy? [Re: Emily Sivana]  
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This is all very interesting. I think we might have a case of inconsistent writing with the Preboot/Retroboot in regards to Talok VIII. I have a feeling changes in science-fiction over time contributed to this. The later references seem to hint at Freemen from Dune and the Klingons from Star Trek, respectively.

Edit: I seem to have a weird space under my posts, I don't know why.

Last edited by Emily Sivana; 03/19/17 04:59 PM.

Go with the good and you'll be like them; go with the evil and you'll be worse than them.- Portuguese Proverb
#923885 - 03/20/17 04:40 AM Re: United Planets First Contact Policy? [Re: Emily Sivana]  
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i was talking about the Reboot, not the Retroboot. so having inconsistent portrayals between those Preboot and Reboot is not so bad.

#924345 - 03/27/17 04:36 PM Re: United Planets First Contact Policy? [Re: Emily Sivana]  
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Sorry about that, IB, I was referring to thoth lad's post. I will try to use the quotes boxes more often.

So, I have been wondering about the other side of the coin today. Did Krypton colonize Daxam or did Daxam colonize Krypton? I remember reading in a letter column that it was up for debate.


Go with the good and you'll be like them; go with the evil and you'll be worse than them.- Portuguese Proverb
#924352 - 03/27/17 05:50 PM Re: United Planets First Contact Policy? [Re: Emily Sivana]  
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I thought I'd read an issue where there's a friendly difference of opinion between Kal and Lar.


"...not having to believe in a thing to be interested in it and not having to explain a thing to appreciate the wonder of it."
#924359 - 03/27/17 06:04 PM Re: United Planets First Contact Policy? [Re: Emily Sivana]  
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It was an issue of Tales, and it was Dev-Em and Mon-El who each thought their planet colonised the other.


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