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ferengi
startrek-deepspace9.peperonity.net

THE FERENGI

Traders of the galaxy

THE FERENGI

a fictional extraterrestrial race from the Star Trek universe.

They first appeared in "The Last Outpost", the fifth episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation in 1987, during which they made first contact with the United Federation of Planets in 2364 on the planet Delphi Ardu, though they had been mentioned in the series' pilot, "Encounter at Farpoint".

They and their culture are characterized by a mercantile obsession with profit and trade and their constant efforts to swindle people into bad deals. They are also known for their business acumen and for exploiting females.

Notable Ferengi characters include Quark, Rom, Nog, Ishka, Zek, and Brunt, all of whom were featured prominently in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

HOME PLANET

FERENGINAR

Is the center of the Ferengi Alliance and is governed by the Grand Nagus and a Commerce Authority made primarily of the Council of Economic Advisors (formerly Board of Liquidators). Like most of their culture, their religion is also based on the principles of capitalism: they offer prayers and monetary offerings to a "Blessed Exchequer" in hopes of entering the "Divine Treasury" upon death, and fear an afterlife spent in the "Vault of Eternal Destitution"

CONCEPT AND CREATION

The Ferengi were originally meant to replace the Klingons on Star Trek: The Next Generation as the Federation's arch-rival, but viewers could not see such comical looking creatures as posing any kind of consistent threat. Thus, Paramount repurposed them as a one-dimensional nuisance, and plots involving them were usually comedic ones. Paramount instead revived the Romulans at the end of season one, introduced the Borg in season two, and later the Cardassians in season three to serve as the Federation's main rivals.

In "Encounter at Farpoint" the Bandi leader Groppler Zorn is the first to mention the Ferengi when he threatens to sell Farpoint Station to them, to which Picard said he hoped the Ferengi found the Bandi as tasty as their last associates. References in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine made it clear that the Klingons and the Cardassians had been interacting with the Ferengi for years prior to "Encounter at Farpoint", yet apparently the Federation never received information about the Ferengi in data exchanges with either race. In internal Star Trek chronology, however, the earliest known reference to the race occurs in the 2002 Star Trek: Enterprise episode "Dear Doctor", when, in 2151, a Valakian astronaut that encounters the crew of the Enterprise (NX-01) mentions the Ferengi in passing, but the Enterprise crew do not recognize the name. The crew would encounter the Ferengi themselves later that season in the episode "Acquisition", but would never learn the name of their race and thus not make the connection with the race mentioned by the Valakian astronaut.

Star Trek: The Next Generation first featured the three original Ferengi in the episode titled "The Last Outpost". The original three Ferengi names were Letek (played by Armin Shimerman), Mordoc, and Kayron.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was the series that focused the most on the Ferengi. Deep Space Nine heavily revised and expanded upon the Ferengi, removing the "fierce threat" slant that Next Generation had pursued, and embracing the Ferengi as a race of comedic, greedy merchants. Armin Shimerman joined the regular cast of the show as Ferengi bartender Quark. Other Ferengi also appeared on the show, most notably Quark's brother Rom (Max Grodénchik) and Rom's son Nog (Aron Eisenberg). Nog would later become the first ever Ferengi in Starfleet. Deep Space Nine, therefore, featured many episodes that centered around the Ferengi and explored their culture in depth. It was on Deep Space Nine that Ferenginar was first seen.

ANATOMY

The Ferengi are a humanoid species, somewhat smaller than humans, usually reaching approximately 1.5 m (5 ft) in height. Ferengi have unusually large ears, which are more pronounced in males than in females, giving them an excellent sense of hearing. Due to the size of their ears, they can also sense sudden atmospheric and altitude changes within a starship where most other species would not have noticed the changes (DS9: "Starship Down"). The ears, at least in males, are erogenous zones; Ferengi are seen to take sensual delight when their ears are stimulated, described by the word umox ("oo-mox". The exact meaning is unclear: "there is no direct translation" Ménage à Troi). The Ferengi also colloquially use the word lobes much as the words brains or balls are used in modern English (as in, "I didn't think you had the lobes for that!").

Ferengi also have lobed foreheads, large, ridged noses, ascending ribs, upper and lower lungs, and a four-lobed brain that cannot be read by the telepathic powers of Betazoids or Vulcans, although half-Betazoid Deanna Troi, herself incapable of telepathic contact with non-Betazoids, could empathically sense their emotions, as seen in The Price and other episodes. Data once mentioned Ferengi being "stronger than they appear"; however, in later episodes they are usually shown as being significantly weaker than the average human. Ferengi teeth resemble jagged spikes, and they use a hand-held "tooth sharpener" to maintain them.

Quark, a Ferengi on DS9The Ferengi realize that Humans and other species often look down on them for their ravenous profiteering and lack of independent technological or cultural achievements. However, Ferengi often see other races as self-righteous and, as Ferengi have come into regular contact with Humans, their own self-image has improved by comparison. While their criticism that Humans took well over 6,000 years to develop a central banking system after the beginning of their civilization may seem lacking in moral force, other arguments can be more convincing.

In theory, every business transaction that a Ferengi makes is governed by upward of two hundred eighty-five Rules of Acquisition (fewer existed in earlier times), though the rules themselves give the Ferengi license to cheat, steal, and bend the truth to suit their needs.

The Ferengi are possibly one of the least belligerent races seen in Star Trek. Although they have fought skirmishes with other races, they have never been involved in an all-out war. Even on Ferenginar, disputes were almost always settled through extending economic hegemony, rather than through military action.

Racism is almost unknown among the Ferengi. It is unclear if there even are racial divisions among the Ferengi. Indeed, believing that a Ferengi merchant would refuse to serve anyone because of their race is almost unthinkable—there would be no profit in it. There has never been any indication that the Ferengi engaged in genocide or apartheid. However it must be pointed out that until the very end of the series, the Ferengi were notorious for their sexism. Ferengi also believed the Federation was a "homo-sapiens only club" and practiced racial discrimination against the Ferengi. They also are known for pronouncing "human" as hew-mon.
Revenge and crimes of passion are nearly unknown among the Ferengi—again, they rarely see any profit in either. The Ferengi idea of revenge is more akin to the concept of schadenfreude. Causing your enemy to lose profit, or fail to profit, is considered the best revenge.

Despite the goal of vast accumulation of wealth, income mobility among the Ferengi seems to be quite high. A poor Ferengi who has the "lobes for business" will almost certainly rise to great heights. Ferengi society seems to be based on strict meritocracy. Aristocracy, nepotism, oligarchy, and dictatorship are almost unknown in Ferengi society. In fact, former Grand Nagus Zek rejected his own son, Krax, as his successor when Krax attempted to assassinate acting Grand Nagus Quark after Zek faked his own death: not because he had tried to do something morally wrong, but because Zek saw resorting to such a crude attempt to gain control as the sign of an incompetent undeserving of the position. On rare occasion it is possible for the administrators of the FCA to remove a Grand Nagus from power, apparently when he has displayed such gross incompetence that he is determined to be medically unfit to lead. For example, Grand Nagus Zek was in danger of being removed from power when his advancing senility resulted in mistakes that produced a stock market crash (though ultimately Zek was able to rely on advisors for the remainder of his tenure).

Despite the possible profits from nuclear power, the Ferengi never tested nuclear weapons in their atmosphere. In addition, the Ferengi do not often believe in selling products that are inherently dangerous from regular use, as that would reduce their customer base. For example, the Ferengi invented synthehol for use as a harmless substitute for ethyl alcohol, although they were impressed that humans would allow the sale of cigarettes, which are both addictive and unhealthy. Ferengi have also been involved in the sale of various addictive and dangerous substances, while they may prefer to sell intoxicants that don't reduce their consumer base, they are willing to sell substances that will kill their customers if there is enough profit. They have also been known to sell weapons to both sides in a war, though this may be looked down upon (even in such cases, the logic is often used that they don't make customers actually use weapons, so they are selling deterrents. Concurrently, juxtaposed but sequential Rules of Accuisition state that "Peace is good for business." and "War is good for business." (Quote from Quark to Rom in an episode of DS9.

The Ferengi have a strong work ethic, and encourage thrift and saving over conspicuous consumption. When a Ferengi makes a major purchase, it is likely to be something very useful for making further profit. Ferengi make excellent administrators as they are well versed in accounting and inventory procedures, and can often apply these skills to other endeavors.

The Ferengi do not appear to appreciate class or have a class system. Even though their status is determined entirely by wealth, the Ferengi would consider it foolish to establish an "upmarket" clientele when there would be profit to be made in selling goods to less fortunate ...


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