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I've seen a few star charts and maps of the Milky Way for Star Trek, but most of them don't show the extent or borders of the major powers in the galaxy, just their center of power. So which ones have the most extensive empires in the 23rd/24th century?

Also, what is the single largest empire in the Milky Way's history? Many of the series have referenced long-lost races that are much older than the Federation/Klingons/Romulans/Borg/etc. and seemingly possessing much more advanced technology, and a few of these species had very large empires in their day. So what's the largest empire that has ever existed in the Milky Way?

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    If they were really expansionist, it should be the Borg. – Jeff Nov 27 '11 at 17:29
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    @Jeff - Borg go for quality, not quantity – DVK-on-Ahch-To Nov 27 '11 at 19:36
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    I was so close to suggesting Fluidic Space and species 8472 until I seen in the Milky Way. – Daft Mar 4 '15 at 11:52
  • @daft - There's actually every indication that Fluidic Space is actually relatively small; scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/116559/… – Valorum Jun 23 '16 at 18:48
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As for the largest ever, that depends on whether you're including the Animated Series. If so, the Slavers had conquered the entire Milky Way galaxy roughly 1 billion years ago: Memory Alpha: Slaver

Referenced in The Next Generation, the Iconians and the Tkon are the next candidates. The Tkon Empire was described as massive, but little is known about them.

The Iconian civilization, however, slightly more is known: Their portals have been found in the Alpha quadrant (TNG 2x11 "Contagion") and the Gamma quadrant (DS9 4x23 "To the Death"). I thought the Vaadwaur from VOY also mentioned them, but after looking through Memory Alpha, I seem to be mis-remembering that.

As for the sizes of the current powers, I think a map was once shown on Voyager, but I can't remember for sure. All the other maps look fan-made or from a game to me and are fairly inconsistent:

EDIT Found a reference on Memory Alpha as to the Federation's size:

By the early 2370s, the Federation's territory was spread across 8,000 light years, with a membership of over 150 worlds and over 1,000 semi-autonomous colonies.

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    Interesting... I wonder how the Slavers were able to achieve space travel being a race of low intelligence. I'd always assumed one of the species possessing portal technology (like the Tkon, Iconians, and Vaadwaur) would have been the record holder for largest empire. – Lèse majesté Nov 27 '11 at 16:27
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    Given that they are a Niven creation I'd go with the straight forward version: they didn't. Rather, some other race with space travel landed on the Thrint homeworld and that was all she wrote. – dmckee Nov 28 '11 at 0:56
  • Here is a screenshot of the map shown on Voyager (found on this thread), it's not the same as the one you said "looks like it might be the one shown on Voyager" in your answer. An enhanced version of this map also appeared on pp. 76-77 of the officially-licensed (though not necc. canon) book Star Trek: Star Charts, see here. – Hypnosifl May 13 '15 at 14:48
  • Also, there is a map of the whole Galaxy in Star Trek: Star Charts on pp. 12-13, which someone has uploaded here, but unfortunately it doesn't show the boundaries of all the empires shown elsewhere in the book in more localized maps. Comparing with those local maps, it does look like the area labeled "Hirogen Relay Station Network" may be the largest bounded region on all the maps, although the Hirogen no longer actually controlled the whole region and had become a nomadic species that just used the old civilization's relay networks. – Hypnosifl May 13 '15 at 15:03
  • The Slavers relied on one of their slave racers to be their technologists, the Tnuctipun race. In the long-term, this was a poor decision by the Slavers. – Gary Walker May 13 '15 at 22:23
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Biggest was Iconian empire ~200 000 years ago; it spanned the entire galaxy not including a few systems on the very outer rim (stealing lingo from Star Wars). The empire spanned from Iconia in the far stretches of the alpha quadrant near Orion space in the RNZ, to Vandros IV on the other edge of the Gamma quadrant (DS9 "To The Death"), to Vaduaar Prime in the Delta quadrant. There were few corners of the galaxy they didn't control. They were the most successful empire due to their stupendously advanced gateway technology that completely eliminated the need for starships of any kind(TNG "Contagion").

2nd was the T'kon empire, ~600,000 years before present, which spanned most of the alpha and beta quadrant. Their gravitational energy field technology (first, and only seen in TNG) allowed them to move planets and stars, and is the reason they got to #2 for empire size (TNG "The Last Outpost").

3rd is Borg, who control most of the Delta quadrant, expect for Kobali and Voth space, the only species in the Delta quadrant who have been successful in 'sharing' a quadrant with the Borg.

4th is the Dominion, who are the undisputed top dogs of the Gamma quadrant; however, they are not in control of the entire quadrant.

5th is the Federation, who control a good chunk of the Alpha quadrant, and if you count Star Trek Online lore, then in 2409 they amalgamated the Cardassian and Bajoran space into their own. As for the rest ; Klingons controlled a good amount of space, especially if you count STO lore. Romulans same, about 70% the size of Klingon space. Other than that, who tf cares.

If you don't restrict this to OUR galaxy...

1 without a doubt is the Kelvan empire, who control the entirety of the Andromeda galaxy and have fast enough ships that they colonize other galaxies, and made contact with Kirk's enterprise before he told them to F*** off out of the Milky way (TOS "By Any Other Name").

2 would still be Iconian.

3 would be the Undine (known by their borg designation: species 8472) who appeared in (VOY "Scorpion p1&2"). Their reign lies in fluidic space, but B'elanna Torres theorizes by preliminary scans that their empire is not quite, but close to the size of our galaxy.

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It looks different from one map to the next, but the big 3 seem to be the Federation, the Klingons and the Borg. In most maps it seems the federation, by way of over affiliation, has an extremely large border, however, the klingons in most maps are not only large in there own rite, but seem to go right off the "local space" maps, indicating that they continue off the map. And then there's the Borg. Of course assuming this was real, the borg seems like it would have spread everywhere at this point in history (Jean-Luc era).

As far as slavers are concerned, it seems they did not control the galaxy by way of superior tech, but rather they made use of an interesting natural ability of the species to control the minds of 99% of the galactic races at the time.

  • Welcome to Stack Exchange! “It looks different from one map to the next, but the big 3 seem to be the Federation, the Klingons and the Borg.” — source? – Paul D. Waite Mar 4 '15 at 13:09
  • In the book Star Trek: Star Charts, Dominion Territory is shown as the pinkish blob in the upper left of this map (linked from this page), and each square is 5,000 light-years across so it would seem to be around 12,000 light years across horizontally. The "Locator Map" at the bottom left of the Beta Quadrant here shows Federation & Klingon territories as much smaller. – Hypnosifl May 13 '15 at 17:51
  • Meanwhile the Borg Territory seems to be much bigger than any of these, the map here (also from Star Trek: Star Charts) shows at the upper right that each square is 10,000 light years across, and the Borg regions bounded in green extend through several squares. Hirogen relay networks and the subspace corridors controlled by the Vaadwaur also cover large territories, but seem to be remnants of past civilizations rather than current empires (the Hirogens have become nomadic, the Vaadwaur only discovered the corridors rather than creating them). – Hypnosifl May 13 '15 at 17:53
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From maps I've seen federation in the alpha/beta, dominion in the gamma and borg in the delta quadrant. Borg > dominion > federation in terms of size of territory.

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In the 24th century the largest empire in terms of systems owned is the Borg rating in the thousands of systems. All though it is not determinable to what extent the Dominion has expanded as they do not bother with defining borders they are likely a close contender as they simply rule whats within their reach seemingly unchallenged in their space which is a large portion of the gamma quadrant under their control.

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