Maquis (Star Trek)

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In the fictional American Star Trek science-fiction franchise, the Maquis (pronounced /mɑːˈkiː/) are a 24th Century paramilitary organization or terrorist group first introduced in the 1994 episode "The Maquis" of the television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, who subsequently also appeared in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Voyager.

The concept of the Maquis was intentionally introduced by the creators of Deep Space Nine so that it could play a plot device in the upcoming Voyager, which was scheduled to begin airing in 1995. As Jeri Taylor commented, "we knew that we wanted to include a renegade element in Voyager, and that the show would involve a ship housing both Starfleet people and those idealistic freedom fighters that the Federation felt were outlaws [i.e. the Maquis]."[1] It was for this reason that the creators of Star Trek decided to create a backstory for the Maquis in several episodes of Deep Space Nine and The Next Generation, and they named them after the French guerilla fighters of the Second World War.[2] Whilst the recurring character of Michael Eddington (played by Kenneth Marshall) in Deep Space Nine was a member of the Maquis, Voyager contained three regular Maquis characters, Chakotay (Robert Beltran), Tom Paris (Robert Duncan McNeill) and B'Elanna Torres (Roxann Dawson).

According to the fictional storyline of the Star Trek universe, the Maquis were formed in the 24th Century after a peace treaty was enacted between the United Federation of Planets and the Cardassian Union, redesignating the demilitarized zone between the two powers, which resulted in the Federation ceding several of their colony worlds to the Cardassians.[3] Although the colonists were offered free relocation to elsewhere in Federation territory, some insisted on remaining on the ceded worlds, effectively becoming Cardassian Union citizens. Some of these colonists subsequently formed the Maquis to protect themselves from Cardassian aggression, although they received no official support from the Federation, who feared breaking the peace treaty with the Cardassion Union, which would lead to war.[4]

Nonetheless, various Federation members supported the Maquis' cause, and illegally helped to supply them with weapons and other technology that they could use in their struggle. In several cases the Federation actually intervened in the war between the Maquis and the Cardassians, aiding the latter in recognition of the peace treaty.[5] In one case the Federation ship USS Voyager tracked a Maquis vessel to the Badlands with the intention of apprehending it but an alien being sent both to the Delta Quadrant in the opposite side of the Milky Way Galaxy, where the two crews were forced to unite to survive against alien threats like the Kazon.[6] In following years, when the Cardassian Union joined forces with The Dominion to fight in the Dominion War against the Federation, the Dominion aided the Cardassian military in obliterating the Maquis.[7]

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