The Talaxian race was an ancient one and they may have been warp-capable as far back as the 1450s, when their race was contacted by the Vaadwaur. A legacy of this contact survived in the Talaxian language as the word "vaadwaur", which meant "foolish," later interpreted by historians as being a reference to the fact that it had been foolish to trust the Vaadwaur. The ancient Talaxians referred to themselves as Talax'ilzay. (VOY: "Dragon's Teeth")
The Talaxian race was embroiled in a war with the Haakonian Order in the 2340s and 2350s. The war ended in 2356 with the deployment of the metreon cascade on the Talaxian moon of Rinax, killing all of its 300,000 inhabitants and causing the Talaxian government to surrender unconditionally. Many Talaxians left their homeworld as the Haakonians "didn't treat [them] very well". While some such as Neelix became lone freelancers, others departed in larger numbers in entire groups of vessels, traveling for years and covering many light years in their search for a new home. (VOY: "Jetrel", "Homestead")
A small fleet from the Talaxian colony on Prema II aided Tom Paris in retaking USS Voyager from the Kazon-Nistrim in 2373. They lured the captured ship into a nebula where Paris, with his shuttle, disabled critical systems, forcing the Kazon to abandon the ship. (VOY: "Basics, Part II") That same year, a group of at least five hundred Talaxians, who emigrated at some point after the Haakonians had occupied Talax, began their construction of a small colony in an asteroid tens of thousands of light years away from Talax.
Five years later, Voyager encountered the Talaxian asteroid colony and found them to be wary of visitors, as the colony was harassed by miners who tried to drive them out. Neelix, the morale officer of Voyager, assisted his fellow Talaxians by putting a plan in motion to place shield generators at key points around the asteroid. This successfully repelled the miners from evicting the Talaxians from the asteroid. Neelix later returned to the colony and assumed a post as Federation ambassador to the Delta Quadrant. (VOY: "Homestead")
Physically the Talaxians were humanoid, with large areas of yellow to reddish-brown spotting on their heads, arms, and bodies. They had pale skin, with a protruding "Y"-shaped bone ridge across the top of their chest area with a plume of ginger hair on the top of their heads. (VOY: "Caretaker")
Males also had ginger whiskers growing on either side of their face; these developed during puberty, much like facial hair in Humans. Tugging on a Talaxian's whiskers might be considered pleasuring act. (VOY: "Random Thoughts", "Homestead")
Talaxian vocal cords were incapable of producing basic diatonic tones, which meant they had difficulty singing. However Neelix sang on occasion, with varying degrees of success. (VOY: "Meld", "Tuvix", "Pathfinder")
The respiratory system of a Talaxian was directly linked, at various points, to their spinal cords, making them too complicated for Starfleet technology to replicate as of 2371. (VOY: "Phage", "Macrocosm")
It was hinted at that Talaxians had a higher tolerance for spicy foods than other races, or at least than Vulcans and Ocampans. In 2371, Neelix prepared a modified plomeek soup, a mere sip of which Tuvok found to be unpalatably "piquant." Neelix, on the other hand, was able to drink the soup as a beverage. (VOY: "Faces") In 2372, Tuvix reduced the spiciness of one of Neelix's usual recipes, which Kes found rather pleasing. On the other hand, this may be a reflection of Neelix's individual tastes, and not of Talaxians as a whole. (VOY: "Tuvix")
Society and cultureEdit
Talaxians tended to be a whimsical race with a well developed sense of humor. They were usually very friendly, helpful and were willing to offer their services to anyone who required them.(citation needed • edit)
Talaxians also tended to be a spiritual people, known for their enjoyment of stories and the company of others. Talaxian burial ceremonies were elaborate, involving a full week of mourning. Their mythology had a belief in an afterlife known as the Great Forest, in which a great tree stands at the center. It was said that upon death, a Talaxian went to the afterlife and met the souls of his deceased family upon arrival. Many Talaxians kept models of the Guiding Tree and other religious or ceremonial objects. (VOY: "Mortal Coil")
The Talaxians had an old expression: "When the road before you splits in two, take the third path." The meaning of this expression was to offer an individual a third option when the two they were offered are equally unappealing. (VOY: "Author, Author")
Talaxian culture regarded family as highly important, with holidays such as Prixin used to celebrate family and family bonds. The Talaxian afterlife, the Great Forest, also heavily involved family, as it was said that a deceased Talaxian would meet all his deceased family and ancestors at the Guiding Tree of the Great Forest and they would watch over and protect him/her as they slept.
- See: Talaxian language
- Neelix (7/8 Talaxian, 1/8 Mylean)
- Tuvix (Vulcan-Talaxian hybrid)
- See: Unnamed Talaxians
Excluding appearances by Ethan Phillips as Neelix, Talaxians have appeared in the following Star Trek episodes:
The Talaxians were created by makeup designer Michael Westmore. Neelix was the last character to be designed for Star Trek: Voyager, saved for last because the studio believed that Neelix would be one of the most merchandizable characters in the series due to his looks. The producers wanted an alien who was very likeable, very toy-like, ultimately almost huggable. As Westmore recalled, "At the time Neelix was designed, The Lion King was playing in theaters and as I watched the animated feature, I became enthralled with the look of the animals, especially the colorings. I thought the description of Neelix that we'd gotten from the producers could be enhanced with the look of a friendly cartoon animal. So we took that aspect of the animals and adapted them to the look of the Talaxians." Westmore purposely designed Neelix to appear rough and rowdy. "I gave him a tough rowdiness by designing a wig made out of goat hair and spiky meerkat eyebrows. Then I gave him a cutesy, non-Trekkie look by rounding out his face so he would be completely non-threatening. In direct contrast to the pointed Klingon, meat-eating, flesh-tearing fangs, I rounded off Neelix's teeth and flattened out the chewing surfaces so he'd look like a leaf-eater. Pointy teeth are scary, rounded teeth are friendly; at least that's how humans perceive animals. We added the spots to give him an alien look while the wig and muttonchops come from the warthog character." (Star Trek: Aliens & Artifacts, p.158-159)
Of Neelix's introduction in "Caretaker", author David A. McIntee wrote, "Neelix was essentially planned as an attempt to repeat the tongue-in-cheek success of Quark, but sadly the former trader-turned-chef doesn't have that effect." He listed the character as one of the low points of the episode. (Delta Quadrant, pp. 3, 12)
Numerous costumes and prop items as worn by Talaxian characters in Star Trek: Voyager were later sold off in the It's A Wrap! sale and auction,      among them the female Talaxian bathing suit as seen in "Warlord",  a Talaxian computer panel set dressing from "Homestead",  a Talaxian Furfly prop from "Timeless",  and a fully painted unused Talaxian foam makeup appliance. 
Numerous Talaxians appear in the non-canon video game Star Trek Online.
The Talaxians of the mirror universe are featured in the Decipher role-playing game Through a Glass, Darkly. The Haakonian Order attempts to decimate them in the parallel universe, but in a reversal of the primary universe history, the Talaxians are able to completely overcome the Haakonians by stealing metreon cascade technology after Haakon first uses it against them. Although the Talaxian population is decimated and scattered, as they are in the primary history, they use the cascade to vicious effect against the Haakonians, causing that civilization to completely fall.