Fan theories are entertaining, but they should always be taken with a grain of salt. That being said, for Star Trek fans, one of the most interesting fan theories out there involves the Bajorans. Fans of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine will recall that the Bajorans are at the heart of the show’s plot. The Bajorans were liberated from Cardassian rule shortly before the events of the show’s first season. Looking back on the show, one Star Trek superfan has generated a theory that explains the complex relationship between these two races.
A Fan Theory Suggests Bajorans Are the Same Species as Cardassians
The video above, from YouTuber EC Henry, explains how evidence on the show points to Bajorans and Cardassians being members of the same species, despite their radically different physical appearances.
For the purposes of this video, the creator is using the term “species” to refer to any group that is able to naturally interbreed, without medical interventions. While there are many “hybrid” characters on Star Trek, this fan theory draws a clear distinction between groups that appear to be able to interbreed naturally, such as Bajorans and Cardassians, and groups that require medical intervention to conceive or deliver an infant, such as Human-Vulcan liaisons.
Over the course of DS9, there were two important characters who were known Bajoran-Cardassian hybrids. Given the events depicted on the show, both hybrid cases seem to have been natural births with no medical intervention. This makes sense, given political tensions between the two groups, in-universe.
The video also points out that the Cardassians and Bajorans live in neighboring solar systems, and that the ancient Bajorans were known to use solar “lightships” to travel faster-than-light, in the time before Warp technology. Such an ancient ship was seen in the DS9 episode “Explorers”. Additionally, Cardassia Prime is reported to be within five light years of Bajor, according to information revealed in the DS9 episode “When it Rains…” which seems a reasonable distance for a fictional ancient starship to be able to travel.
According to this fan theory, one possible origin story for the Cardassian “race” might be that they were Bajoran explorers or colonists who landed on a harsh planet. Unable to return home, over time, the survivors grew into a distinct race thanks to their isolation…and perhaps due to harsh environmental factors on the world where they landed. Those unknown factors may have contributed to the Cardassians distinctive necks and “spoon heads”, which are very different from the comparatively “smooth” Bajorans.
This Theory Adds Another Dimension to Conflict Between Bajorans & Cardassians
The conflict between Bajorans and Cardassians was at the center of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. The wormhole the station protected was located in Bajoran space, but the Cardassians were often suspected of wanting to control it, in the wake of their Bajoran occupation.
One major point the fan theory video makes is that, given the historic tensions between. While its not stated explicitly during the show’s run, viewers are lead to believe Cardassian-Bajoran hybrids are somewhat common, albeit taboo in both cultures.
Still, there’s something interesting about the idea that Kira Nerys and Gul Dukat had more in common than they realized, at least if this fan theory can be believed.