Cardassia Prime, more commonly known as Cardassia, was the home planet of the Cardassians in the mirror universe. Cardassia's forces united with the Klingons against the Terran Empire, forming the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance, which supplanted the Empire as the dominant power in the Alpha Quadrant.
Star Trek: New EmpireEdit
- In canon Trek, Cardassia III was a separate planet from Cardassia Prime. It may be that Cardassia III never formed or was destroyed in this continuity.
Cardassia (derived from "Cardas", a legendary figure in Cardassian history) began as a single nation-state which had a significant impact on the planet's culture (similar to Earth's Roman Empire). (This was also the case in Star Trek: Arcadia continuity.) Despite achieving warp driven space travel during the time of Earth's 20th century, Cardassia remained relatively primitive, divided between warring states and factions under greedy warlords, until a 22nd century Tholian attack affected the planet's economy, driving Cardassian ships to raid Terran Empire borders.
The Empire's military response weakened Cardassia further. In the 23rd century the Empire annexed Cardassia. Imperial garrisons met with stiff resistance, escalating into planet-wide conflict, resulting in a "Cardassian Vietnam". The occupation united Cardassia for the first time. When Spock, the Empire's recently ascended commander-in-chief, finally withdrew Imperial forces, Cardassians saw it as a victory and went on the offensive. Cardassia came to rule a sizable stretch of the Alpha Quadrant, covering dozens of worlds.
In the 2280s Spock opened diplomatic talks with races whom the Empire had aggrieved, leading to an historic summit on Khitomer (2293). Cardassia, Qo'noS and other planets responded, sending delegates. The reaction turned out to be a ruse in order to infiltrate Imperial defenses. Realizing their opportunity to overthrow the Empire by joining forces, Cardassian and Klingon leaders secretly formed the Alliance. While their envoys discussed peace at Khitomer, fleets of Klingon and Cardassian ships entered Imperial space, bypassing Imperial security, to attack from within. The Alliance was formally declared at Khitomer. Given Spock's disarmament program and internal reforms which had weakened the Empire, the Alliance overran the Empire by the turn of the century. The invaders laid siege to Earth and Vulcan, reducing both planets to wastelands inhospitable to humanoid life. The Alliance enslaved Terrans, Vulcans and members of other races once subservient to the Empire.
During the course of the Alliance occupation, Cardassia amassed a sizable slave population from among the Empire's former subjects. The outbreak of the Terran rebellion (2370s) spurred a revolt, with the slaves capturing Cardassia. Rebel ships launched a devastating sneak attack, obliterating the planet's surface, as retribution for the earlier actions in the previous century. Many Cardassian survivors were forced into indentured servitude--slavery, essentially--as they had once enslaved peoples of the Empire.