Recently, I got a message from a newer player who was very interested in EVE’s lore. One of the questions that came up had to do with the various timelines of New Eden, and it got me thinking of where Earth fits in. I actually became introduced to New Eden through Dust 514, so my initial idea of the EVE Timeline was through the faulty 2013 EVE Universe: Origins trailer. I say faulty because there is some incorrect information in it regarding the relationship between capsuleers and the empires, but that is a topic for another article. What matters for this article is the first few minutes of the video.
The short of it is that Earth sent colonists through the EVE gate (a stable wormhole) establishing thousands of colonies. Then when the EVE Gate collapsed, cutting off the dependency supply-lines and trade with Terran civilization, those same colonies suddenly found themselves on their own. Millions died. However, dozens of planets survived with varying degrees of success, and at least four of these planets became the cradles of civilizations that lead to the four major empires we see in-game. However, beyond “Earth colonized other planets”, we really don’t know much about the Terrans. There is a lot of missing information.
UNDERSTANDING THE INITIAL TIMELINE
To understand just how much history we are dealing with, I shall return us to the EVE Online Timeline. If you are a fan of other big Sci-fi worlds, you’ll be more familiar with year systems being not that far into the future. An easy example of this would be Star Trek. According to the Wikipedia timeline and Memory Alpha Timeline, Star Trek’s timeline begins in the 22nd century and ends roughly in the 24th century, or 2100AD-2390s (not counting the weird time-traveling parts). EVE’s timeline begins with the complete colonization of the old earth solar system in 2730 AD, and Warp Drive is discovered in 3601AD, or between the 28th-39th centuries. That means the current known entirety of Star Trek would have happened in an alternate timeline before EVE’s even gets kicked off. It’s not until the 80th century, or 7987AD, before the EVE Gate is discovered and colonists start to pour through. While this is still a long period of time, it does not tell us what the Terrans were like. At least not by itself.
The EVE Timeline mentions multiple planets being colonized. The timeline states that the second planet of the VH-451 system is bought by people from the Tau Ceti System, and later the third planet was bought by Mega-Corporations, soon followed by its own colonization. This little snippet is very significant and gives us an interesting clue about Terran Civilization. VH-451 is later renamed to Luminaire. The Third Planet, bought by Terran Mega-Corporations, would later be known as Caldari Prime.
This small piece of information actually provides an interesting view into the Terran Precursor Civilizations that colonized New Eden. First, the fact that Mega-Corporations bought and colonized Caldari Prime after terraforming it from a barren wasteland. This provides very interesting insight into the ingrained mentality of the Caldari, as when they became space-farers, they themselves followed in their founders’ footsteps. Going so far as forming mega-corporations that make up their government.
The other interesting piece of information is the mentioning of the system “Tau Ceti”. This is actually a real star system and is roughly 11.9 light years from earth. While this system is popular in Science Fiction, this mention does give us a small glimpse of how far Terran Civilization was able to extend before discovering the EVE Gate. We can also safely assume that because of this specific mention, French Speakers, or maybe even the country of France, were the ones who settled Tau Ceti, and ultimately the system of Luminaire. If you hadn’t noticed, many Gallente systems have very French sounding names. This little snippet gives us a direct logical progression to trace back the cultural origin of the Gallente. What all this does not tell us, however, is why.
WHY TERRANS CAME TO NEW EDEN
According to the Classic Storyline Intro video, the Earth was “scarred by war and burdened by the advance of our ancestors” which then “compelled the first voyages across space in a desperate quest to colonize other worlds.” The video also claims that star gate technology, similar to how we see in-game now, was developed by Terrans in an attempt to colonize the Milkyway Galaxy. It also states that “Ruthless corporations rose to power, seizing every world within their grasp” and that the various Terran civilizations that had developed there eventually reached the limit of how far their stargates could take them. Not unlike their descendants in New Eden, Terran civilizations started to war with one-another. The video states that these conflicts lasted for centuries, only really coming to any kind of end when the EVE Gate was discovered. This means from 4224AD when warp drives for ships were invented to the discovery of the EVE gate in 7987, the Terrans did not sit idle. These conflicts would also explain the grand scale of which New Eden was colonized, as many Terrans from many different worlds likely saw the EVE Gate as a chance for a new beginning.
When the EVE Gate finally collapsed, the economic and cultural link to the old world would have been catastrophic. I personally find it interesting to imagine how the Adam side of the EVE gate would have reacted. Given the fact that we know there were mega-corporations, it is likely that a major economic crisis would have resulted. Some worlds may have become dependant on sending colonists through the wormhole to deal with overpopulation or to acquire new economic opportunities. It might have sparked a new civil war over newly scarce resources. We don’t know.
CCP likely will never bring the Terrans into the game or allow us to actually find Earth. I would love it if they did, though. The Terrans would provide potentially dozens of new NPC factions to have evolved on the other side, and their technological advancements would be over seventeen thousand years ahead of EVE technology. Or they might not be, because of the aforementioned potential economic collapse. If CCP ever does decide to allow Terrans to come into contact with New Eden again, they would dispel one of the biggest mysteries of the game ever. But they would also open themselves up to new end game possibilities.
While much of this piece has been speculation, I hope that this provided some context for many who were confused or interested in this period in New Eden history. I plan on writing more detailed cultural and historical analyses of the other major empires, before reaching the pirate factions. If any of you have suggestions or questions, please contact me or comment below.