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Ixtana'Rax, a Gamma "honored elder" Jem'Hadar (2374)
Status: Active (2375)
Location: Gamma Quadrant
Alpha Quadrant
Affiliation: Dominion
Ikat'ika, a Gamma Jem'Hadar (2373)
Kudak'Etan, an Alpha Jem'Hadar (2374)
A Jem'Hadar infant
A pre-pubescent Jem'Hadar
JemHadar teenager.jpg
A Jem'Hadar adolescent
A young adult Jem'Hadar
For the DS9 episode with a similar title, please see "The Jem'Hadar".
"As of this moment, we are all dead. We go into battle to reclaim our lives. This we do gladly, for we are Jem'Hadar. Remember: victory is life."

A genetically-engineered humanoid race from the Gamma Quadrant, the Jem'Hadar were the military arm of the Dominion and one of the most powerful military forces in the galaxy during their time.

Physiology Edit

Jem'Hadar were generated in "birthing chambers." Their growth cycle was accelerated, such that they reached full maturity only three days after emergence. They did not mate, and so their species had no females. (DS9: "To the Death")

A Jem'Hadar birthing facility was referred to in DS9: "Penumbra" as a "hatchery." This, combined with their reptilian appearance, suggests that they were hatched from eggs. Alternately, the word is simply an appropriate metaphor for a series of birthing chambers.

As infants, Jem'Hadar strongly resembled mammalian species, with a complexion resembling that of Humans; within a day of maturation, Jem'Hadar children already had advanced language skills and cognitive reasoning; as they aged, their skin paled to a bluish-white, and became scaly and reptilian in appearance. (DS9: "The Abandoned")

Adolescent Jem'Hadar required food for nourishment. (DS9: "The Abandoned") Adult Jem'Hadar did not require sleep, and their sole source of nourishment was the drug ketracel-white, which provided the Jem'Hadar with all necessary nutrients, as well as an isogenic enzyme that had been deliberately omitted from their metabolism. As a result, all Jem'Hadar were addicted to "the white," which was regularly distributed to them by Vorta overseers. This was the Founders' means of ensuring the Jem'Hadar's loyalty to them. (DS9: "To the Death")

Without a steady supply of white, Jem'Hadar suffered withdrawal symptoms: their circulatory systems began to shut down, beginning with muscle spasms. Psychologically, they became uncontrollably violent, attacking their enemies, then their Vorta overseers, and finally each other. (DS9: "The Abandoned", "Hippocratic Oath", "To the Death", "Rocks and Shoals")

Jem'Hadar were designed to have excellent vision and strength several times greater than Humans. (DS9: "Favor the Bold") They also had the ability to "shroud" themselves, a form of camouflage that acted as a personal cloaking field, effectively hiding them and their weapons from both sensors and the naked eye. (DS9: "The Jem'Hadar", "The Abandoned") However, they had to drop this effect when attacking. (DS9: "To the Death") Also, Jem'Hadar lost the ability to shroud when they were suffering withdrawal from the white. (DS9: "Rocks and Shoals")

Jem'Hadar had extremely resilient bodies, such that phaser beams on "stun" intensity had no effect on them. During the Dominion War, Federation fighters quickly learned that only lethal settings could be used to stop them. (DS9: "Rocks and Shoals")

Ronald D. Moore stated "The [phaser] stun setting has no effect on the Jem'Hadar." (AOL chat, 1997)

After an enormous Jem'Hadar fleet was eliminated inside the Bajoran wormhole during Operation Return, the Gamma Quadrant was effectively sealed off from the Dominion forces in the Alpha Quadrant. The Dominion began to breed Jem'Hadar soldiers in the Alpha Quadrant known as "Alphas" in 2374. The Alphas' genetic and psychological profiles were designed specifically for combat in that Quadrant, and so the Alphas were regarded – largely by themselves – as being superior to original "Gamma" Jem'Hadar, so their introduction led to considerable friction with their Gamma Quadrant counterparts. The Founders believed this made them better leaders than the Gammas, though this opinion may have been revised after one of the Alphas' first missions, led by Kudak'Etan, became a disastrous failure. (DS9: "One Little Ship")

Psychology and lifestyleEdit

Jem'Hadar were engineered to be soldiers and ship crews, and nothing more. Their culture shunned all forms of relaxation and recreation, on the belief that such things made them weak. (DS9: "To the Death") For the same reason, Jem'Hadar fighters, and probably other classes of Jem'Hadar starships, were not equipped with chairs. (DS9: "A Time to Stand", "One Little Ship")

Like the Vorta, the Jem'Hadar were genetically engineered to revere the Founders as gods and to be unquestioningly loyal to them. However, this engineering was not flawless, which is why it was necessary to make them dependent on the white. When a Jem'Hadar company assigned to a Dominion science team on Vandros IV rebelled, Dominion experts nervously predicted that they could gather support from other Jem'Hadar units in the Gamma Quadrant, and effect a complete takeover of the Dominion in less than a year. (DS9: "To the Death")

Most Jem'Hadar died young in battle; as such, it was rare for them to live past 15 years of age. Few ever lived to the age of 20, and those who did were awarded the title "Honored Elders." To date, no Jem'Hadar has ever lived to the age of 30. (DS9: "To the Death")

Culture and tradition Edit

Although the Jem'Hadar worshipped the Founders as gods, the vast majority of the Jem'Hadar had never actually seen a Founder, and some doubted that they even existed. (DS9: "Hippocratic Oath") Yet they built their service to the shapeshifters into a religion, literally regarding the Founders as living gods, to the extent that the Jem'Hadar ritualistically committed suicide if they failed to protect a shapeshifter from harm. (DS9: "The Ship")

The Vorta, as the representatives of the Founders, were also given immense loyalty by most Jem'Hadar – even when such loyalty seemed unwarranted. Absolute obedience from the Jem'Hadar was further guaranteed by the Vortas' control of the ketracel-white. (DS9: "The Abandoned", "Hippocratic Oath", "Rocks and Shoals")

Although the glory of the Founders meant everything to the Jem'Hadar, they also showed a strong sense of honor for themselves. Ikat'ika, First of Dominion Internment Camp 371 showed this when he refused to kill Worf, even after he was ordered to by his superior Vorta. He chose rather to yield the fight than to kill Worf, saying "I cannot defeat this Klingon. All I can do is kill him, and that no longer holds my interest." He was ordered to be shot for this insubordination. This indicated that at least some Jem'Hadar might have preferred insubordination and therefore death to doing something he considered to be dishonorable (DS9: "By Inferno's Light").

Jem'Hadar combat units followed a very specific hierarchy. Normally, a Vorta commanded one or several units. Every unit contained a Jem'Hadar First, who was in command. Each Jem'Hadar after the First was also given a number rank (Second, Third, Fourth, etc.). In the event the First was killed, the Second took over for the First, the Third took over for the Second, and so forth. Although the succeeding Jem'Hadar assumed the duties of his superior, he only received the higher number rank if his Vorta commander granted it. (DS9: "Hippocratic Oath", "Rocks and Shoals")

Ritual practicesEdit

Before each battle, the following ritual was observed by the Jem'Hadar:

First: "I am [Rank] [Name], and I am dead. As of this moment, we are all dead. We go into battle to reclaim our lives. This, we do gladly, for we are Jem'Hadar. Remember - victory is life."
Jem'Hadar: "Victory is life." (DS9: "To the Death")

A similar exchange stated: "Obedience brings victory, and victory is life." (DS9: "Rocks and Shoals", "One Little Ship")

When ketracel-white is dispensed, the following ritual exchange usually took place between the Vorta overseer and the ranking Jem'Hadar:

Vorta: "[Rank] [Name], can you vouch for the loyalty of your men?"
First (or ranking Jem'Hadar): "We pledge our loyalty to the Founders from now until death."
Vorta: "Then receive this reward from the Founders. May it keep you strong." (DS9: "To the Death", "Rocks and Shoals", "Favor the Bold")

Jem'Hadar Firsts were also capable of distributing the white among those under their command. By 2374, Alpha Jem'Hadar no longer recited the ritual dispersal statement, as they believed they demonstrated their loyalty by their actions, not their words. (DS9: "One Little Ship")

See also:

Technology and equipment Edit

According to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Technical Manual (p. 90), the Jem'Hadar pistol and rifle weapons were not plasma weapons, as the prop was identified in "Tacking Into the Wind"; instead, they fired phased polaron beams. Also according to the book, they had only a single setting, the lethal pulse. This would be inconsistent with "The Search, Part I", in which Major Kira takes a direct hit to the chest from a Jem'Hadar rifle set on a stun. Lethal to semi-lethal disruptor bursts that leave behind anti-coagulants have been seen in episodes such as "The Ship", "Change of Heart", and "The Siege of AR-558". Both pistol and rifle were seen to have the higher setting to vaporize humanoid targets, such as Jem'Hadar and Breen, in "By Inferno's Light".

See alsoEdit

Upon being designed, Jem'Hadar technology was intended to be unique, though based on already established Star Trek technology. Explained Glenn Neufeld, "The producers wanted the technology of the Jem'Hadar to be noticeably different from anything we've seen before, but not incomprehensibly so." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 25/26, No. 6/1, p. 108)

Individuals Edit

Appendices Edit

Appearances Edit

Background information Edit

  • The name of this species comes from Jemadar, an Urdu term for armed officials of the zamindars (lords) later adopted by the British as a military rank. (citation needededit) It was Robert Hewitt Wolfe who invented the name for the species. Fellow writing staffer Peter Allan Fields, though, disapproved of the name, commenting it "sounds like 'mah-jongg,' or some kind of card game!'" (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 153)
  • As well as devising the name for the species, Robert Hewitt Wolfe originated the notion of the Jem'Hadar as a fierce and vicious race of warriors with skins like rhinos. The species, used to carry out the threats of the Dominion in cases of disobedience among those who opened trade with the Vorta, was always imagined as being part of the Dominion. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, pp. 153 & 154)
  • The Jem'Hadar were scripted, in the teleplay for DS9: "The Jem'Hadar", to be bred by "the same people who breed the Tosks as gifts to the hunters." The script also says, "The Jem'Hadar are genetically engineered soldiers. Unlike the Klingons they have no interest in honor or glory. And unlike the Cardassians and Romulans, they have no love of intrigue or politics. The closest twentieth century analogy would be the professional mercenary, but unlike mercenaries, Jem'Hadar don't fight for material gain and can't be bribed or negotiated with. They are the ultimate professionals. And they look scary, too." [1]
  • At first, Rick Berman was concerned that the Jem'Hadar, with their rhino-like appearance described as such from the get-go, might look too "comic-booky." That was never a considerable danger, however. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 154)
  • When designing the look of the Jem'Hadar, Makeup Supervisor Michael Westmore was told to "design something that was tough, that they could shoot at but they couldn't hurt, they were indestructible, as an army they were unstoppable, and they would have thick skin." Westmore based the basic design on a rhinoceros skin, but also incorporated elements from dinosaur skin, and he has compared the top of the Jem'Hadar head to a triceratops. (Michael Westmore's Aliens: Season 5, DS9 Season 5 DVD special features) "You start with the concept of the rhinoceros hide for the Jem'Hadar," he related, "and you give them a nose that's based on a rhinoceros nose, but without a horn. If you'd put a horn on it, viewers would say, 'Oh–rhinoceros.' But what makes Star Trek so interesting is that you give the creature the same feel and meanness by putting little horns all around his face. It makes them dangerous–if you bump into one, you're going to bleed. So you know automatically that you never get close to the Jem'Hadar." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 154)
  • The sculptures for the Jem'Hadar were created by makeup artists Kevin Haney and Mark Shostrom. (citation needededit)
  • During the development of "The Jem'Hadar", the DS9 writing staff tried to depict the Jem'Hadar as "these guys [who] are not to be taken lightly," as expressed by Ira Steven Behr. Robert Hewitt Wolfe related, "We wanted to show the long-term fans how dangerous these guys were." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 154) Wolfe and Behr realized the Jem'Hadar were indeed being portrayed as "tough", upon the pair of staff writers viewing dailies from the episode. (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 79)
  • In "The Jem'Hadar", although the simplest and most effective way to create the effect of the Jem'Hadar shroud would have involved blue screen for the Jem'Hadar foot soldiers, this wasn't doable within the seven-day filming schedule. "I also considered dressing doubles for the actors in blue or green suits," stated Glenn Neufeld, "but there was no time for that either because we would have had to stop everything to place the doubles in exactly the same position as the actors." The live-action footage of the actors playing the soldiers was filmed normally, then rotoscoped out by Patrick Clancey at Digital Magic. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 25/26, No. 6/1, p. 108)
  • Even when "The Jem'Hadar" had been the only episode to have featured the species, Glenn Neufeld suspected the Jem'Hadar would reappear many more times. "The Jem'Hadar are very antisocial lizards," he laughed, "Which probably means we'll see quite a lot of them!" (Cinefantastique, Vol. 25/26, No. 6/1, p. 108)
  • Avery Brooks found analogies between the Jem'Hadar and young African-American men when Brooks directed "The Abandoned". Brooks commented, "For me, it was very much a story about young brown men, and, to some extent, a story about a society that is responsible for the creation of a generation of young men who are feared, who are addicted, who are potential killers." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
  • Director Kim Friedman noted, "I like the Jem'Hadar, although they're only the foot soldiers of the Dominion. They weren't the Borg, but they were good." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 76)
  • Two special effects face make-up lots for a Jem'Hadar was sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay, [2] [3] as well as a special effects gloves lot, [4] a prop pistol, [5] and a knife. [6]
  • Ikat'ika is the only Jem'Hadar to appear in more than one episode of Deep Space Nine.

Apocrypha Edit

In the Deep Space Nine relaunch, Odo sends Taran'atar, a Jem'Hadar free of the addiction to ketracel-white, to live on Deep Space 9 to foster understanding of the Dominion.

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