Reminders about Pandora and What it's like

Hello everyone,

To the Mods, this thread is partly serious, but mostly in jest. I do genuinely want to discuss this.

To everyone else, let’s keep this civil. It took me 15 minutes to write this, I don’t want it to go to waste. :):stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I just wanted to make this post to hopefully garner some discussion and clear up some issues that it seems some people are having regarding lore elements of Borderlands 3. This is mainly going to tackle the reasons behind the sexual smorgasburg of the Borderlands universe, but should also address some other concerns as well. Also, this based solely on info presented in game.

So, starting with Borderlands 1, we were told that the origin of civilization on Pandora was due to Dahl’s mining operations on the planet. They hired scientists to search for alien tech, and used prison labor for mining operations and security (remember, Baron Flynt was in charge of the prisoners before he became a bandit king). Once Dahl lost hope in finding a vault, they abandoned the planet and left everyone, including the scientists, behind.

An important consideration here is that there weren’t many female NPCs that we could interact with in BL1. Firestone was only Zed, Shep was the only person in the Outskirts of Firestone, and every NPC except for Pierce and Tannis were men. Even the majority of the mission givers were men. Some of the Dahl scientists, like Tannis, were women. Notice how we don’t see them anywhere :face_with_raised_eyebrow:. Wonder what happened to them…(aside from the one that got eaten by a skag)

So originally, Pandora was a giant sausage fest full of murderous scumbugs and some nerds with no experience in the harsh Pandoran wilderness. Few if any people came to the planet with a family, and if they did they were either trying their damndest to get off of it or died.

Borderlands 2 changed this dynamic quite a bit by introducing far more women and families via the “my ship crashed here” mechanic. Because no sane women would willingly put herself on a planet full of murdering ■■■■-oholics (just look at the claptrap rescue in Old Haven for evidence that bandits would ■■■■ ANYTHING)(and I know that’s a fallacy, sue me) and no parents would bring their child to a planet that would kill them within 5 minutes, the only way to introduce this element into the story was to literally force them in.

Sure, some of the people who crash landed were petty criminals (or not so petty criminals), but the fact that even 1 iota of the people on Pandora were not criminals made a massive difference. Stories like Jack spooning a guy’s eyes out his socket in front of his kids shouldn’t be possible on Pandora because kids SHOULDN’T BE THERE unless their parents don’t value their lives at all. There is no reason to even attempt to colonize the planet because there is nothing of value there if you aren’t a corporation or vault hunter.

I bring this up because sexuality in the Borderlands universe is so far removed from what we perceive it to be that we can’t begin to really apply any of our “common sense” to it. On Pandora, common sense would dictate that any sapien with a vagina or child flee the planet as quickly as possible, because being surrounded by violent criminals would not be conducive to their health. Common health would dictate that families leave dangerous situations, not double down in them. It would also imply that there would be some value to settling down and Pandora and raising families there. I think we can all look at Pandora and see that there is nothing worth keeping a family there for.

With no need to sustain a society, and arguably incentives against it with the bandits running around, why would the citizens of Pandora follow our norms? We can safely say that, according to the info presented to us in the games, most settlements are small (even Sanctuary was only a few hundred people assuming that there were a bunch of people packed into those buildings) and poor. Doctors seems to be in short supply, and most probably don’t have medical licenses or access to sanitary materials. I don’t want to think about STDs on Pandora: so many people must’ve caught the Clap (ZING!).

TL:DR - Pandora is hella dangerous for women and kids, there is no reason anyone would want to keep their family there, and medical care is definitely not the best. So we shouldn’t expect our heteronormative thingamajigs to make sense on Pandora. Most people may be straight in our world, but there is thankfully no place in our world that is as messed up as Pandora, so we can’t really imagine what society and sex would be like if we were constantly on the edge like Pandorans are.


Some form of civilization must have been on Pandora though if Salvador is a native of the planet- the question is how long has humanoid life existed on Pandora? Only a few centuries? Or decades? Was it imported by inter-galactic corporations or where there more females abandoned by Dahl and other companies than we realize? There must have been some form of colonization if Jack wanted to lure families to Opportunity…

Jack started building Opportunity, a city on Pandora that he was trying to fill with people. He paid families to come. He set up testing grounds and had people shipped in for experimentation.

Beyond that, we have the eridium boom, and people probably trying to figure out how to make a living from going to the planet that just got this nifty new resource

The New-U stations just keep respawning people. That’s right. You just keep murdering the same 50-100 people over and over and over.

Kidding. The stations aren’t technically canon. Though, that would open some crazy philosophical and moral debates.

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Though it does pose the question as to how there were so many bandits to begin with. You think women were kept for breeding? Get this is meant as a jest and jab on how unorthadox Pandora and Elpis are, but it really makes you wonder how there were so many bandits and tribes on Pandora. You literally clear out entire city’s worth of these crazy bastards.

With the introduction of female bandits and psychos in 3, it makes a little more sense. But from 1 and 2…dear God, I don’t even wanna think how that would work. You didn’t see any women in their ranks. My guessing, not all the prisoners were insane murderers and psychopaths, bad people maybe, but nothing like the majority. You’d also have the Dahl personel and families that were left behid when they abandoned Pandora, and Atlas personel that came but soon got destroyed afterwards. I’m guessing some semblence of civilization was able to form, but was terribly skewed in their forming.

By BL1 we’re not really sure how much time had passed since the first settlers came to Pandora. Only that a majority left after the emergence of the dangerous wildlife came about when Winter on Pandora ended. None of the settlers saw them, or the prisoners used for slave labor, as an issue until the planet reared its harsh nature to them. You had to either be tough or crazy or both to survive and sustain yourself.

If I recall, I believe the wildlife was supposed to hibernate every 7 years, so if that was the case Pandora was only colonized for 7 years at the most before the events of BL1.

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A city that was built as far away from the bandits and wildlife as possible. Anyone who couldn’t get that far away from Pandora while being on Pandora wouldn’t bother.

And gold mining was generally an occupation for single men. Correct me if I’m wrong, but most of the gold towns were basically comprised of single men, and most of them moved on after a short time without finding anything to go for another job.

I feel like that was a hiccup on Burch’s part. Pandora was fairly recently colonized when BL1 started.

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In that case, ooof, serious lore booboo right there. In that case, characters like Salvador and the majority of Pandora’s native population shouldn’t have existed yet.

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Yup. A lot of the cannon got changed in borderlands 2. It’s lead to some confusion to say the least.

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If they couldn’t get children, they probably adopted them.

/tumbleweed moving by

I don’t think it’s that crazy to imagine native Pandorans.
Atlas came a long time ago, before Dahl which was there “decades” before bl1. Atlas got rich off a vault on Promethea, and the biggest money in the galaxy bet the next one would be on Pandora. Now this sounds exactly like a gold rush situation, the allure of a hidden vault of riches could surely make people pack up their families and move out to Pandora.
From what I imagine, that puts a lot of people on Pandora. The first wave of Atlas military personnel + vault prospectors, followed by Dahl researchers and 100% male prisoner laborers. That’s not a whole lot of women, but it only takes one woman to give birth to Salvador. Say that some Dahl researchers and prisoners decide not to join the bandits, and quietly go settle elsewhere. A female researcher gets pregnant at some point, and settles in the village with her baby. That means it’s impossible for Sal’s abuela to have been born on Pandora, but enough time has passed for a first generation of native Pandoran children to be born.

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Probably ate the kids like a Hodunk.

How old is Salvador though? To be in that first cohort he would need to be <25 at best.

The wiki has sal at 36, which does seem like a stretch. There’s a little stipulation in the wiki page for his village though, which claims it was isolated enough to never hear of vaults. It’s inconceivable to me, because every single person to get on Pandora that we know of were only there for the vault.
I guess the only logical explanation is that people had actually started moving there extremely slowly before Atlas’s arrival.


Pandora is also littered with rusted old ships. Setting aside the question of why Dahl (or whoever) bothered to build ocean-going vessels when they had fast travel and interstellar transport technology, it seems like the planet must have been inhabited for quite some time for those ships to have reached their current state of deterioration, not to mention for the oceans to have dried up in the meantime. :slightly_smiling_face:


Tales has Fiona and Sasha as native Pandorans at 29 and 24 respectively.

I think the idea is that Pandora is a planet that is constantly being exploited. Most of the people who live there are extremely poor (too poor to be able to just up and leave), but the corporations keep showing up to promise a better future while actually just trying to strip the planet of as many of its resources as possible.

Also, I think OP is severely discounting the role of female characters in the first game. Helena Pierce, Tannis, Angel, and Commandante Steele are all critical to the story of Borderlands 1. Then Athena and Moxxi take centre stage in The Secret Armory of General Knoxx.


No one is saying female characters aren’t important to the story. They just aren’t numerous. Out of all the “have you seen my gun” NPCs you come across, as well as the people you actually talk to that matter, and the ones who are so insignificant they only exist in text, 5 at most are female inBL1.

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