Cardassians first appear in the Star Trek - The Next Generation series in the episode The Wounded. The Cardassians are a reptilian like militaristic race who come from the planet Cardassia Prime in the Alpha Quadrant. They appear prominently in the Deep Space 9 series.
With the exception of Gul Macet who appeared in their first episode, Cardassian males do not sport facial hair.
The females have an equal importance in society, the first appearance of a Cardassian female is in Profit and Loss when an old flame of Quark's turns up at the station. Cardassian females have the same ridges as their males. Their ridges appear as well on their chests at least in terms of females.
Cardassian Females are generally in positions of intelligence or scientific area whereas the men are normally confined to areas of military.
Before Benjamin Sisko becomes the Commander of the Deep Space 9 station, it is controlled by the Cardassians, in particularly Gul Dukat. When the war between Cardassia and Bajor ended, the Cardassians handed the station Terok Nor over to the Federation. The station was renamed Deep Space 9.
The Cardassian Justice system is different from Earths. Where the primary premise is innocent until proven guilty, the opposite is different on Cardassia Prime. When you are arrested, it has already been decreed that you are guilty. The Cardassians put on a show trial to show to the population that justice is being done.
In Tribunal, Miles O'Brien is arrested by a Cardassian force and put on trial. Miles is told he has already been found guilty and will be executed. The Cardassians are just going through with a show trial to show that justice is being done.
Although at the start of the series, they were on the side of the United Federation of Planets, their allegiance switches to the Dominion.
The Obsidian Order are the Cardassian intelligence service. They are loyal to the Cardassian Central Command. The Command is the leadership of the Cardassians. An early episode sees them kidnap Major Kira Nerys and trick her into thinking that she's a Cardassian surgically altered to look Bajorn. The plan fails to work and the The Obsidian Order are thwarted this time round. Second Skin.
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