The Rigellians are a spacefaring chelonianoid species native to Rigel III and a member race of the United Federation of Planets. They are an asexual species evolved from saber-toothed ancestors. Their bodies are covered in reptilian scales and have clawed fingers, large orange beaks and full black eyes. Their individual size varies widely among the race, with the smaller ones acting as the ruling class and the larger ones as egg carriers for the former. Their likely indicating that too use copper to carry oxygen molecules in the blood as do many Earth animals (especially arthropods and mollusks). They are also vulnerable to a neurological disease known as Tuvan Syndrome, which also affects Romulans.
They are considered indigenous and religious species, some of them maintains a bond with the earth, these Rigelians are part of the Federation, having ambassadors, representatives and officers of the star fleet.RIGEL V
The planet was formerly home to a sizable population of primitive Kaylar, who dominated the world and engaged in constant conflict between the various tribal confederacies. Slavery was a common activity on Rigel V at the time, with the Orions often recruiting Kaylar as mercenaries. This allowed the most progressive and advanced members of the species to leave their planet, but left their more conservative brethren in the continued state of barbarism. The Kaylar allowed their world to be exploited by the Orion Empires when they were at their heights, and many Orion traders and miners visited. However, when the Orion Empires fell, the Kaylar massacred the Orions on their planet and returned to their own conflicts.
This remained the case until the arrival of a Debrune splinter fleet in 453 AD, under the leadership of commander Torek. Rather than share the world with his comrades or be subordinate to them, he decided to conquer the primitive Rigel V, invading it with the ships under his command. It did not go as well as planned, however, as the native Kaylar were armed by the Orions, who did not intend to share the Rigel system with an expansionist power. The Kaylar lost in the fields but remained firmly entrenched in the jungles and mountainous areas.
But after a century of fighting, Debrune's forces successfully claimed the hottest southern continent and left the coldest lands to the north for Kaylar. They negotiated new trade agreements with the Orions and avoided further interference from them, leaving the world stable once more. From that point on, the Debrune branch became the Rigelians, who developed their own civilization into their new world joining the Kaylar, over time both species became hybrid, but the Debrune mass still remained intact, immigrating to the other side of the planet, calling themselves the V'gelnian people, the hybrid part already had a name of Zami, the Kaylar became extinct and the Zami took their place as a new species in that hemisphere, two species vulcanoids.
The Zami part had a trade agreement with the Reman, the production of the ores of Remus, knowing an other uninhabited planet with great forests, passing gradually to take possession of this planet. There was an era of pest storms on Rigel V, the two Vulcanoid races settled with the advanced science among them, however their identities were in conflict in different appearances, were arising debates between them until initiating a war of power, that lasted 5 years, ruining some cities among the dead and wounded.
The V'gelnian gained general control of the planet, as the Zami began to abandon the planet uncontrollably, where their cities were abandoned, and gradually the V'gelnian government took possession of the other side of the planet, the Zami inhabited the neighboring planet of Remus, who formerly had only their base, expanding to large cities, naming the planet of Romulus, founding the Romulan empire, the old generation of the Zami was forgotten, to a new generation Romulan.
In 2293, the V'gelnian trade delegation representing the Heart Clan were involved in negotiations with the Federation on Earth, due to them being suspected of being involved in illegal activity such as prostitution and animal skin trading. Rigelian Ambassador Denker was assassinated by criminal elements and the truth of the event was revealed. This round of discussions took three weeks before the members of the clan were collected by the USS Enterprise-A and escorted back to Rigel V. , through a mind meld with Teska, who served as a witness. This led to the revelation of the child slave trade on Rigel V and began a series of reforms in order for the Rigelian government to comply with the Federations laws. Rigel V applied for and obtained Federation membership in 2297, the new laws and order, leaving the old form "V'gelnian for Rigelian" but there were similarities to the customs of Vulcan, on new form between them.
In 2301, the first Rigelian entered the star fleet, where others began gradually to be officers of the star fleet, and Rigel V was already part of the Federation.
Rigel VII owns a colony called Vega, inhabiting arrogant warriors known as Kalar, residents of innumerable fortresses, they had a pact with the Talosians that caused a serious incident with Captain Christopher Pike.
Rigel I: There are no inhabitants, but a planet of high temperatures like Mercury.
Rigel II: Planet desert, with great dunes and very hot with no aspect of life.
Rigel III: Inhabited by primitive humanoids with the appearance of scaly birds reptilians.
Rigel IV: Indigenous humanoid inhabitants (Star Trek: Enterprise - Demons and Terra Prime, season 2)
Rigel V: Inhabited by Rigelian Vulcanoids (descendants of the Vulcan separatist caravan).
Rigel VI: There are innumerable bases of the Federation on this planet, and a great post of a Starfleet academy.
Rigel VII: Inhabited by warrior humanoids Katar (TOS - "The Cage", "The Menagerie, Part I")
Rigel VIII: A forest planet with predatory animals.
Rigel IX: A great aquatic planet, inhabited by aquatic beings called Atlainoids.
Rigel X: Stormy Planet, with several Orion commercial bases (ENT - Broken Bow, season 1)
Rigel XI: Small, icy and stormy planet.
Rigel XII: Cold and stormy planet (TOS: "Mudd's Women")
Behind the scenesEdit
The Rigellians appeared unnamed in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, their only canonical appearance so far, but have been mentioned in multiple Star Trek series. The information on their biology and evolution comes from designer Robert Fletcher.
In Star Trek, the Rigel system is also home to a savage humanoid species known as the Kalar from Rigel VII, making it possible that the information about Rigellian blood being similar to Vulcans (from "Journey to Babel") and/or their being susceptible to the Romulan disease (as mentioned in Deep Space Nine) actually refers to them. Apparently human characters on episodes "Shore Leave" and "Wolf in the Fold" have been identified as native to Rigel II and Rigel IV respectively, indicating that there are human colonies on these worlds. Rigel X, as seen on Star Trek: Enterprise, is inhabited by an extremely diverse multi-species community. Rigel XII is a scarcely-habited mining colony, as seen in "Mudd's Women".
To make matters more complicated, a humanoid species seen on later Star Trek: Enterprise has been identified as Rigellians, despite the fact that they look very dissimilar to the chelonian creatures from The Motion Picture. It is possible that these represent an immigrant species which was believed to be native Rigellians in the 22nd century and the system was later reclaimed by the chelonians, but this is just speculation. It is also possible that they represent a different native Rigellian species, or even a different ethnic group or gender which belongs to the same species as the reptilian Rigellians. Dr. Phlox once mentioned the Rigellians as a species with four or five genders, giving support to this idea.
In the Star Trek Expanded Universe, the Rigellians are referred to as the Chelons, from Rigel III. According to Memory Beta there are six native species to the Rigel system: the Chelons or Chelarians, the human-like Rigelians (Kalar warriors) from Rigel VII, the Enterprise Rigelians, a race of Vulcanoids from Rigel V (being the ones referred to in "Journey to Babel"), a rat-like species from Rigel IV and a silver-skinned humanoid species also from Rigel IV.
The Saurian action figure produced by Mego was incorrectly marketed as a Rigellian.