|Thy'lek Shran, an Andorian male (2154)|
The Andorians were a warp capable humanoid species from the moon Andoria, capital of the Andorian Empire. In 2161, their homeworld became a founding member of the United Federation of Planets. They were an Alpha Quadrant species.
Most Andorians were blue-skinned with white or silver hair. An Andorian subspecies called the Aenar had white skin and, unlike blue Andorians, were blind and telepathic. Andorians and Aenar were genetically compatible and could produce offspring. (ENT: "These Are the Voyages...")
Andorians, with a higher metabolic rate than Terrans, were especially vulnerable to phase pulse infection; even minor phase injuries could prove fatal. (ENT: "United") However, they have demonstrated resistance to a wide range of environmental conditions. In a climate where the temperature is near the boiling point of water, an Andorian could still thrive, despite losing 10% of their body weight in two days. (ENT: "The Aenar")
Andorians had two supercranial antennae that aided in balance. If one was lost – a humiliating experience – an Andorian became partially disabled in the short term. The loss makes them lose their sense of balance, and unable to fight, but could adapt to its loss within a day. Antennae took up to nine months to regrow, though electrical stimulation and cranial massage therapy could cut regeneration time in half. (ENT: "United")
The twenty-second century Andorian Shran, reflecting on his own stub, demonstrated that antennae were moved by voluntary muscles that could be controlled separately from one another. (ENT: "United") Such movement could express feelings as well; Andorians could point their antennae at potential mates to signify attraction. (DS9: "The Sound of Her Voice")
The placement of Andorian antennae had at least four different variations. Shran and others of the 22nd century sprouted antennae from their frontal skullbones. (ENT: "The Andorian Incident") Ambassador Shras and his delegation sported antennae which sprung further back, off their parietal bones. (TOS: "Journey to Babel") Yet others had longer and thinner antennae. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture; TNG: "Captain's Holiday", "The Offspring")
Andorians were true bluebloods: Talas' blood displayed nonviscous, translucent qualities, and were as dark blue as Shran's abrasions. Andorian tongues and gums alternated from dark blue to pink. (ENT: "United")
- See also: Andorian Empire
Andorians were a militaristic race, exemplified in small part by weaponry without stun settings. They consider it an honor to serve in their Imperial Guard, and military rank greatly influenced social reputation. Deploring dishonesty -- and never fighting without reason -- Andorians were nonetheless capable of duplicity. They considered themselves deeply emotional, passionate, even violent; not known for their charity or sympathy, they placed a high value on family. (ENT: "Cease Fire", "Babel One", "United"; TOS: "Journey to Babel"; TAS: "Yesteryear")
Culture and tradition
A crucial part of Andorian tradition was the Ushaan, a code of honor demanding a duel to the death, with combatants pitted against one another using an ushaan-tor ice miner's tool. A vast body of regulations – up to 12,000 amendments – bound this code. Such a fight could be called off if one combatant disabled the other enough to prevent its continuance. Though Ushaan could be called by someone to avenge a personal loss, there existed a right of substitution wherein each combatant could offer up a replacement; and married combatants could postpone duels indefinitely if they had no children to continue their clans. (ENT: "United")
Members of the Andorian Imperial Guard who died far from home could count on their companions to transport a part of them, e.g., some of their blood, back to the Andorian ices. As a special honor, the blood of a dead person could be taken to the Wall of Heroes on Andoria. (ENT: "United")
Females enjoyed an equal position in Andorian society, and as soldiers were as capable as males. Also, they could initiate an intimate relationship by assaulting a male. Andorian weddings commonly required four people. (ENT: "Cease Fire", "Proving Ground", "Babel One"; TNG: "Data's Day")
Andorians were well known for their determination and endurance in physical combat. On Andoria they were taught how to fight with a Ushaan-tor when they were children. (VOY: "One Small Step", ENT: "United")
Andorians make prodigious artists; Ezri Dax's mother Yanas Tigan bought hand-painted Andorian tiles for her solarium in 2375, and Andor's Academy was widely considered the best art school in the Federation. (DS9: "Prodigal Daughter")
Like most species, they believed in the planet Sha Ka Ree beyond the Great Barrier at the center of the galaxy. According to Sybok their word for it was "unpronounceable". (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier)
- See also: Andorian language
In the mirror universe, Andorians were among the races conquered by the Terran Empire by 2155. They were allowed to join the Imperial Starfleet, as indicated by a possibly-conscripted Andorian male working the helm of the ISS Avenger in 2155.
Food and Beverages
- Andorian ale
- Andorian fast food
- Andorian tuber root
- Andorian redbat
- Andorian boiler
- Andorian cabbage soup
- TOS films:
Since Andorians first appeared in "Journey to Babel", their look has changed considerably, for budgetary reasons and due to improvements in makeup technique. The script of "Journey to Babel" describes Andorians by stating, "They are humanoids, tall and quite slim. If at all possible, the ears will be played down (taped back?), but there are two delicately tapered antennae curling from the head. Despite their almost fragile bodies, Andorians are a fierce warrior breed. Their dress indicates this to some extent, and will include a vicious looking bladed weapon…which is carried for use and not ceremony. Andorians are pale blue."  The script also states, "Habitually, because of the sensitive antennae, Andorians listen with heads down and slightly tilted. Andorian voices are also different... soft, whispering."
In TOS, each Andorian typically had antennae at the back of his head to cover where they were connected to his white wig.  "I was told the makeup would take a little time," remembered Thelev actor William O'Connell, "and they put on, like, a matte finish for an actor, and then the hair, the antennae, and so on and so forth. It took, I think, almost two hours, so it was laborious." 
The script of TAS: "Yesteryear" describes the species thus; "Andorians are slim, almost fragile-looking humanoids with pale blue skin and silver hair. Two slightly curved antennas which end in little flared knobs adorn their heads. These are their listening organs; therefore, no ears are in evidence. When an Andorian listens to anyone speak, he bows his head slightly to get maximum 'receiving'. Andorian speech is accented, softly spoken and deliberate. By heritage, Andorians are a savage race of warriors, and their agility and strength belie their slender builds."
In either the original Star Trek series or Star Trek: The Motion Picture, makeup artist Fred Phillips – who worked on both productions – tested Andorian antennae and blue facial makeup on his daughter, Janna Phillips. (The Making of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, p. 140)
The first change in the Andorians' appearance came in The Motion Picture, for which Fred Phillips gave the Andorians forehead ridges with thin, spindly antennae coming off the top of the forehead. Both male and female variants of the Andorian appearance were created. (The Art of Star Trek, p. 178) The white wigs for the Andorian females in The Motion Picture were extremely difficult to design. They involved much backing with starchy material as well as wire, and were covered with cotton, together with real hair. (The Making of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, p. 142) In notes that costume designer Robert Fletcher wrote, regarding the aliens in The Motion Picture, the description of the Andorians incorporated some elements of their conceptual design that had previously been invented, while also introducing some new facets, and the statement additionally included some costume notes. The brief was as follows:
"Blue-skinned, with white hair and small-knobbed antennae (sensors) out of forehead. Can communicate over great distances. Very musical people, fairly combative. By heritage, a race of savage warriors, with strength masked by soft voices and slender builds. Ladies' costume: hand-painted; adorn sleeves with pieces from planet, used sliced geode framed in brass for ornaments and in hair. Men's costume: has belt and carries Flabbjellah, a combination musical instrument and weapon, carried by most males. Costume of old suede which was stored at Paramount since The Ten Commandments." (The Making of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, p. 133)
An Andorian was storyboarded to be featured among the crew of the Merchantman in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, though no Andorians appear in that film. (storyboard sequence "The Klingons Attack", Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (Special Edition) DVD special features)In Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, makeup evolution allowed an Andorian to be seen as balding, with antennae bases joined seamlessly to the actor's skin. (citation needed • edit)
An Andorian god in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier made it into makeup screen tests. (citation needed • edit) This Andorian retained, in the words of Makeup Effects Artist Kenny Myers, "the classic blue look and long, bone white hair" of previous Andorians, as well as the common two antennae, which Myers referred to (in the case of the Andorian Supreme Being) as "little horns." The fact that Andorians were not meant to have ears came as a surprise to Myers. Without knowing whether this was true of the species or not but having been told it was, Myers "played it safe" by covering the ears of the Andorian-playing actor under the wig. (The Making of the Trek Films, UK 3rd ed., p. 90) Like many ideas for the film, the Andorian Supreme Being didn't survive the movie's final cut.
The decision to feature Andorians in Star Trek: Enterprise was made immediately after Executive Producers Rick Berman and Brannon Braga were considering which villain to incorporate in the story that ultimately became "The Andorian Incident". "We just came up with the Andorians," said Braga. "My feeling on it was: let's take the silliest looking race and make them look cool [....] I wanted to take a fan favorite, and revamp them." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 136, p. 37)
Updating the highly memorable Andorians proved to be a challenge. This process included giving them more conceptual depth. The story that Berman and Braga concocted for "The Andorian Incident" was thus partly written in an attempt to "get into Andorian psychology a little more, and find out they are highly paranoid." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 136, p. 37)
Although Shran actor Jeffrey Combs was at first uncertain about whether he wanted to accept an invitation to appear on Enterprise, suspicions that the Andorians would likely feature in the same episode sparked his interest, initiated by him learning that the episode was called "The Andorian Incident". "And once I heard about that, that intrigued me a lot," he related, "because I knew that the Andorians had never really been fully explored but were somewhat devious, their makeup would probably be really cool now, ... and that they were founding members of the Federation." Combs also characterized the episode as "kind of a pivotal launching of this species." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 136, pp. 38 & 69)
The Andorians in Star Trek: Enterprise were painted differently than the ones in the past. "We applied the blue in subtle layers to give the skin a translucence instead of just slathering on blue paint," explained Brannon Braga. (Star Trek: Communicator issue 136, p. 37)
The Andorian antennae in ENT were both attached to the forehead, and movable. These antennae reverted to the thicker, segmented look of the original series aliens. Jeff Combs was of the opinion that having the antennae be shown via mechanics was very brave. "They didn't have to do that," he said, "they could have brought the Andorians with just a static antennae." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 136, p. 69)
At first, there were some worries that the servo mechanics used for the Andorian antennae might malfunction or hold up production, concerns felt by delay-conscious producers as well as actors who were each conscious that their individual pair of mechanical antennae – essentially a wayward item of hardware – could end up destroying their scene. "That was my biggest concern – [that] these antennae would overpower, or be too much, and then they're just silly," remarked Jeff Combs. "So we minimized these things – we let them do their thing, but let them be like kelp in the sea: they're always there, always undulating, and then every once in a while they react. So it's a really delicate balance, which I think we hit." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 136, pp. 39 & 40)
The antennae went on to be used as tools of subtext that had the potential to add to the performances delivered by the actors. Jeff Combs recalled, "I took the tack that they were antennae that depicted deception or perhaps danger – almost like a sixth sense, being able to tell if someone is not being forthcoming. The puppeteer, me, [Director] Roxann [Dawson] – and each of the Andorians had their own puppeteer – ... we quickly realized there were some basic things they would convey: when anger came up, they were like a cat's ears, they would just flare back. And when you were curious about something they would come forward [....] We were trying to find another position for the antennae to show gratitude. We came up with a little heart-shaped position where the tops come in and touch each other – like the Ferengi (subservient hand gesture), only on your heads! So it wasn't technical or antiseptic, it was just how do we make the technical emotional and give it life." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 136, p. 40)
The particulars of the Andorian prosthetics created for ENT had an impact on how the aliens could be used in stunts. "When we're doing physical stuff with the actors that have the antennae that move, we have to be very careful," explained Stunt Coordinator Vince Deadrick, Jr.. "If we snap one of those, it requires a big reset and a huge expense. It's a big makeup deal, and they've got to take everything apart and it's a lot of work. So it's 'No pressure, Vince, but don't break them when you fight!'" (Star Trek: Communicator issue 138, p. 43)
Brannon Braga was highly pleased with how the Andorians turned out, so it wasn't long before they reappeared on ENT. "They look just like Andorians, but somehow they just look more believable [....] And their costumes are cool [....] I have to imagine that even (viewers) who haven't yet met the Andorians will really like these guys," Braga commented, "so we went ahead and took a gamble and brought them back fairly soon." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 136, p. 37)
Denise and Michael Okuda offer an explanation for the Andorians' differing appearances: in a DVD text commentary for TAS: "Yesteryear", they write, "It may be that Andorians have different ethnic groups, with different skin colors just like humans; after all, in ENT: "The Aenar" we saw some Andorians have white skin." This aligns with both Vulcans and Bajorans being shown with different pigmentation, making diversity of skin color more than just a Terran trait.
In non-canonical novels by Pocket Books, Andorians have four sexes at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works: zhen, shen, chan, and thaan. In function and appearance, zhens and shens are largely female, and chans and thaans approximate males, with shens and chans the more androgynous of the pairings. In the post-finale novels of Deep Space Nine, this quadrigender paradigm is cited as the reason for Andorian difficulty in maintaining adequate population growth in the face of near extinction. Andorian names in these works consist of two parts in the native tongue, Andorii (Andorian languages#Andorii at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works): a longish personal name shortened to the size of established series' names, and a clan name with a gender-denoting prefix – for instance, TharinJar ch'Thas, a chan from Thas clan commonly known as Jar. This information is non-canon, however, and is derived from a comment that Data makes in TNG: "Data's Day" – that "Andorian marriages require groups of four, unless...."
Roleplaying author S. John Ross wrote a non-canon Andorian sourcebook, entitled Among the Clans: The Andorians, for Last Unicorn Games' Star Trek RPG book. It expands the Andorian background, and details like the Andorian Ushaan duel were adopted from the publication by Enterprise writers.
Several issues of DC Comics' first Star Trek comic series featured Andorians with feather-like hair, rather than the fine white hair other Andorians have always had. These included Thimon and Melchior.
Andorians are a playble Federation species in Star Trek Online, and the game includes several Andorian NPCs, most notably the Enterprise-F's Captain, Va'Kel Shon. Andorian "duty officers" (or "Doffs") come with the trait "Founders of the Federation," as do Humans, Vulcans, and Telarites.
- A Rogues' Gallery of Andorians – exhaustive list of Andorian appearances compiled by Ian McLean
- Andorian at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- Andorian at Wikipedia
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