Xindi (Star Trek)
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The five extant Xindi sub-species and the skull of an Avian (extinct)
|Official language(s)||Various native languages|
|Affiliation||Sphere Builders (22nd century), United Federation of Planets (26th century)|
The Xindi // is the collective term for six fictional races in the science fiction television series Star Trek: Enterprise. They are native to the planet Xindus in a region of space known as the Delphic Expanse. They consist of five separate species resembling familiar Earth animals (a rarity for alien races in Star Trek) and a sixth resembling humans.
The entire third season of the series centered on this group of previously unknown aliens. At first they appeared as violent enemies wanting no interaction with humanity, but common ground gradually emerged as the crew of the Enterprise discovered that the Xindi were being manipulated into this enmity by the Sphere Builders.
The season was broadcast in 2003 to 2004. Some Xindi became important recurring characters as the 24-episode story arc unfolded.
The Xindi's presence was established in the second-season finale of Star Trek: Enterprise, "The Expanse", in which the Xindi launched a probe that attacked Earth in April, 2153, killing seven million people in a strip of destruction stretching from Florida to Venezuela. They appeared again in the third-season premiere, "The Xindi", to play a major role in the story arc of season three.
The Xindi are collectively a race of six different intelligent species which evolved simultaneously on the same planet (Xindus). These six intelligent species are: The Aquatics, a water-breathing species which evolved in Xindus's oceans; The Reptilians, a bipedal species which evolved in the way Earth's dinosaurs might have if they hadn't become extinct; The Arboreals, a group of humanoid creatures who evolved from tree-dwelling mammals similar to Earth's sloths; The Primates, a group of creatures who evolved along a similar path to humans and are consequently close in appearance; The Insectoids, an intelligent species which evolved from the insects on Xindus; and The Avians, an intelligent race which evolved from birds on Xindus. The avians are now extinct, but all five of the other intelligent species continue to coexist. Despite the radically different appearance of all six species, they all share identical ridges on their cheekbones, and have very similar DNA.
All six of these intelligent species on Xindus were involved in a war lasting about 100 years and ending in the 2030s. Alliances among the Xindi species were forged and changed continuously throughout the war, so much that 50–60 years into the war, most Xindi forgot what started it. However, everyone remembered how it ended. In an act of desperation, the Insectoids and Reptilians detonated several charges beneath the 8 largest seismic fissures of the geologically-unstable planet Xindus, leading to its destruction and ultimately the extinction of the Xindi-Avian race.
After the war, the Xindi scattered throughout the Expanse into several colonies. As a whole, they have a passionate desire to establish a new homeworld and unify all Xindi, but differ greatly on how to accomplish this and on who should hold the ultimate reins of power.
The Xindi were actually pawns in the Temporal Cold War, as they were informed at least as early as 2152 by a trans-dimensional race known as Sphere Builders from the future that they would be victims of a genocidal attack from humanity in the 26th century. The Xindi came to revere these creatures, whom they called the 'Guardians,' and following their guidance, launched a preemptive strike on Earth as a precursor to a genocidal second attack.
The Xindi spent the early part of 2153 deciding how to confront the threat of humanity and planned a biological weapon based on the Human genetic profile. This was ultimately rejected by the Xindi Council (the Reptilians went along with the bio weapon but were eventually foiled) and so they worked on a weapon to blow up Earth. (They technically succeeded, however that timeline was undone.)
However, with the help of Captain Archer's knowledge of the future cooperation between humans and Xindi against the Sphere Builders, the Xindi Council began to split over the issue of whether the "Guardians" were the real enemy or not. This was helped along especially when Reptilian Council Member Dolim killed Primate Council Member Degra.
With the help of the Sphere Builders, the Reptilians and Insectoids took control of the finished Xindi weapon and set on a course for Earth, thus beginning a new civil war between the Xindi species. A single vessel of Arboreals, Primates, and Humans pursued the weapon.
En route to Earth, a rift appeared in the Reptilian-Insectoid alliance when the Insectoids proposed delaying the destruction of Earth in light of Archer's revelation about the true nature of the Sphere Builders. The Reptilians, determined to see the task completed and thus unwilling to risk any obstruction to that end, eliminated the accompanying Insectoid vessel.
The pursuing vessel caught up with the Xindi weapon near Earth. An Andorian vessel, commanded by Shran, unexpectedly entered the fray and engaged the Reptilian vessel, which provided enough cover for the Humans to board the Xindi weapon and destroy it.
Following the destruction of their weapon, the Xindi council reconvened (the Reptilians were reluctant, but were eventually convinced to return). The Xindi abandoned their hostile intent toward Humans.
Xindi-Aquatics resemble Earth Sirenians, swimming underwater and speaking through echolocation. Aquatics have a reputation for taking a very long time to make a decision, but are more readily convinced by visual evidence. The Xindi have a saying, "It's easier to count the stars than it is for an Aquatic to reach a decision."
Even though the Aquatics are peaceful, they have a strong military. Their warships resemble large Earth manta rays and are filled with water. However, there is at least one section of the ship that is sealed and filled with air for land-based races. This room also has a window so the visitors can communicate with the Aquatic crew. Aquatic ships carry extremely powerful weapons and are more than a match for Insectoid and Reptilian ships.
Aquatic warships are huge and one of them was depicted carrying the Enterprise NX-01 to Earth inside a chamber within the vessel after the Xindi weapon was destroyed. The size of the chamber was like a shuttle bay compared to the Aquatic vessel. Aquatic vessels can also emit a field that disrupts targeting scanners. This can also be applied to protect other ships. However, their ships are very slow and cannot travel much faster than Warp 2. The appearance of the Aquatics was inspired by the Mosasaurus.
Xindi-Arboreals are covered with hair, and resemble Earth sloths. They run kemocite-production facilities throughout the Delphic Expanse. Gralik, a Xindi-Arboreal, gave Degra a shipment of impure kemocite, to sabotage production of the Council's weapon prototype. They have shown the least interest in destroying humanity. Arboreals are also afraid of the water. They are well known as scientists. Jannar was a friend of Degra and an ally of Captain Archer.
Xindi-Avians were birdlike Xindi with the ability to fly, although all that is ever seen of this species is a single skull, identical to that of a giraffe. They once darkened the skies of Xindus, the Xindi homeworld. They are thought to be extinct since the Reptilians and Insectoids planted explosives that destroyed the Xindi Homeworld after the Hundred-Year War. The Avians, having primitive technology, couldn't leave the planet and were wiped out. Because of this, the Reptilians say that their lair, in which the Xindi Council now convenes, has a "stench of failure."
Xindi-Insectoids resemble a cross between six-foot Earth praying mantids, flies and ants. They speak a clicking language, of which there are 67 dialects. Insectoid iconography is radically different from that of other Xindi. They have a long-standing alliance with the Reptilians and with them destroyed the Xindi Homeworld after the Hundred-Year War. Insectoid personal names get longer with age. Insectoids have a reputation for rushing into decisions.
Insectoids have an average life span of 10–12 years. They reproduce asexually by laying eggs, which take about a week to mature. Egg sacs are suspended from ceilings, and tubules connected to them spray chemicals that cause passers-by to reverse-imprint on the hatchlings, protecting them as a parent would. Hatchlings are so important to Insectoids that hatcheries are aboard starships and are heavily shielded. In the event of a problem with the ship, the Insectoid crew will sacrifice themselves to preserve their unborn offspring.
Insectoid starships are designed differently from other vessels. They don't have one area designated for bridge duties; command functions are distributed throughout the ship. Assault vehicles are designed for Insectoid anatomy and not humanoids. Also, insectoid chairs are not built for humanoids.
Xindi-Primates resemble Earth humans and have a similar brain structure to the Xindi-Reptilians. They were one of the first Xindi species (including the Reptilians) to be informed of the "threat" posed by humanity. Degra, a Xindi-Primate, was assigned to develop the weapon which was to destroy Earth. In late 2153, the crew of the Enterprise boarded and studied a Primate's vessel and interrogated the crew. In the episode "Stratagem", Archer learned from Degra that a colony of Primates resides on Azati Prime, where the weapon was being constructed. Like humans, Xindi-Primates have differences in skin tone. The chairman of the Xindi council was a Xindi-Primate.
Xindi-Reptilians resemble a cross between several Earth lizards. This species is responsible for a preemptive attack on Earth in 2153. They use weapons with regenerative biological power cells that overload if another species tries to use them. Reptilians prefer to be low to the ground, as opposed to high-rise buildings. They use thermal chambers on board their ships to keep their energy. They are the most aggressive race of Xindi and seem to be more interested than the other races in destroying Earth. Along with the Insectoids, they are responsible for the destruction of the Xindi Homeworld. The military leadership of the Reptilians appear to be obsessed with eugenics. Commander Dolim was a very powerful Xindi-Reptilian.
The Xindi-Insectoids are the race that the Reptilians are closest to. The attack squadrons seen at Azati Prime consisted of two Reptilian ships and two Insectoid ships.
The Xindi Council is the joint governmental body of the Xindi races. It was seen in many episodes of season three of Star Trek: Enterprise.
The Council was formed after the destruction of the Xindi homeworld Xindus in the 2030s. It consists of 5 Xindi species: arboreals, aquatics, insectoids, primates, and reptilians. Each race has two representatives. It was formed to find a new homeworld for all the Xindi races. However, although they found a few suitable planets, they could never agree on a final choice.
The Council chamber is located on a planet 15.6 light-years from Azati Prime. The land-based races sit at a large round table in the center of the room, while the aquatics look on from a large tank adjoining the chamber by a window. The chamber has built-in equipment for holographics and a viewscreen for telemetry. The chamber itself was actually a stronghold built by the Xindi-Avians before they were wiped out.
The names of council representatives were not revealed until the late third season episode "The Council". They are:
- Arboreals: Jannar
- Aquatics: Kiaphet Amman'sor
- Insectoids: (unknown) (most Xindi Insectoid names are unpronounceable by humans; called "Shrest" in the novelizations)
- Primates: The Chairman, Degra
- Reptilians: regimental commander Dolim
Circa 2152, the council discovered that humans were going to destroy them in four hundred years. In a panic, they assigned the Primate scientist, Degra, to construct a weapon to destroy Earth.
After a number of disagreements, the Council was dissolved. In order to do the Sphere Builders' bidding, the Reptilians and Insectoids broke away from the Primates, Arboreals, and eventually the Aquatics. Civil war ultimately broke out when Commander Dolim killed Degra. After Dolim was killed, the Sphere Builders were discredited, the super-weapon destroyed, and the Council reconvened.
Other significant Xindi characters
- Kessick - Primate, enslaved on a Trellium-D mine
- Thalen - Primate, Degra's assistant
- Gralik - Arboreal, chief technician of kemocite facility
- The Expanse by J.M. Dillard, the novelization of Star Trek: Enterprise episodes "The Expanse" and "The Xindi".