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In Star Trek: Enterprise, the Enterprise NX-01 encountered Ferengi.

In Star Trek: The Next Generation, when the Enterprise-D was in pursuit of the Ferengi who stole an energy converter, the captain's log said that it would be the first Starfleet vessel to make contact with the Ferengi. They didn't even have any idea what they looked like (that's why Picard demanded visual contact with them later in the episode).

How is this possible?

  • It just occurred to me that I commented on it being in the episode when I wrote the answer, and, as I recall, at this point, you're in a country that restricts internet (and possibly media access), so I don't know if you'd be able to watch the show. Sorry for the oversight. – Tango Sep 7 '12 at 4:03
  • @TangoOversway Time is in motion, my dear. After I asked that thing in meta, I've switched country twice. – Captain Cold Sep 13 '12 at 18:50
  • @TangoOversway Plus, I trust you because you're a reputed member her. And, there's a nice community to correct if you're wrong. So, I don't need to watch that episode again to get microscopic details. – Captain Cold Sep 13 '12 at 18:53
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    Besides the continuity errors you mean? – Garret Gang Jun 15 '18 at 11:16
  • @GarretGang LOL.. – Captain Cold Jun 21 '18 at 17:03
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In short, there was so little information left from that encounter that the Enterprise crew didn't know the name of the aliens or anything significant about them. All that would be in any database would be "unknown alien species" (or something close to that) and what few facts they had about them.

In the 24th century, the Ferengi weren't entirely unknown. When Picard and the Enterprise-D first encounter the Ferengi, Picard asks Data to synthesize a report on the Ferengi and there is enough information for Data to put together a general idea of what they are like. That means the Ferengi had been encountered enough for there to be stories about encounters (including exaggerations) and enough factual reports for Data to build up an idea of what they're like.

I don't remember the name of the episode, but if you watch it, it's easy to see why so little information of the Ferengi could be gleaned from that encounter.

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