"These barbarians pretend to be submissive, but they're dangerous. They could bear their fangs at us at any time. They are, after all, a species completely comprised of warriors. It's always best to put a sleeping beast down, before it can be awakened."
The Genocide of the Saiyans is the very brief but incredibly disastrous conflict between the Frieza Force and the Saiyan race. It should be noted that "Genocide of the Saiyans" is not an official term, but commonly used. As indicated by the name, one of the more infamous results of the conflict was the near-complete extermination of the Saiyan race in Universe 7.
After hearing of the legend of the Super Saiyan, Frieza decides to eliminate the Saiyan race to avoid any threats to his rule. He has an order sent out to command all Saiyans to return to Planet Vegeta.
Upon arriving back, Bardock realizes that Frieza may be planning to wipe out the Saiyans, and so he and his wife Gine choose to send their young son Kakarot away to Earth to keep him safe. The Saiyan prince Vegeta and his ally Raditz both hear the call back but chose not to respond to it, and stay on the planet they were conquering. Nappa - the general of the Saiyan army - also remains on his mission and does not return to the planet within the allotted time.
King Vegeta's failed attack
King Vegeta, supreme ruler of the Saiyan race, had been plotting to save his young son from Frieza's grasp and to attempt to defeat Frieza and reclaim his rightful throne over his people. On the day that the genocide takes place on, King Vegeta gathers his most powerful Saiyan elites and launches an attack on Frieza. Vegeta and his elites arrive on Frieza's Spaceship and after killing numerous guards, successfully push their way into Frieza's chamber. However, upon arrival, King Vegeta's men are so stricken with fear, they cower behind their leader.
King Vegeta, alone, launches his attack on Frieza. Frieza effortlessly dodges a swift punch from the Saiyan king, and with an amazing display of power, kills the king with a single punch to the jaw as Zarbon and Dodoria bear witness. Frieza then also slaughters Vegeta's elites, and finally informs Zarbon and Dodoria that it is time to extinguish the Saiyan race with one final attack. Zarbon is initially skeptical, thinking it was no longer necessary to commit genocide against the Saiyan race now that King Vegeta and his elites were dead, although Frieza reminded him that the rest of the Saiyans would most likely follow King Vegeta's example in the near future.
Frieza's "Final Solution"
As Frieza's ship looms over Planet Vegeta, the final hour arrives. Bardock flies up toward Frieza's ship, in the hopes that he may be able to thwart the tyrant's attack. After witnessing Bardock's approach, Frieza orders his army to be released and to engage the lone Saiyan warrior. After killing numerous soldiers, Bardock eventually makes it to Frieza's ship, and calls the tyrant out for one final confrontation. Frieza then appears from his ship, comfortably sitting in his hoverchair.
After informing Frieza of his people's separation from Frieza's empire, Bardock launches a powerful energy ball (Final Spirit Cannon) at the tyrant. However, Frieza, with the lift of a finger, creates a massive sun-like energy ball, his Supernova, which he launches at Bardock and the planet below while maniacally laughing. Bardock is obliterated by Frieza's attack, along with many of Frieza's own soldiers close by. The energy ball then proceeds to slam into Planet Vegeta, and after burying itself into the planet's core, Planet Vegeta blows up, killing nearly the entire Saiyan race in the process. Observing the "beautiful fireworks", Frieza laughs and congratulates himself on his new found "accomplishment" before leaving in his ship to continue business as usual. In a single day, the mighty Saiyan race was drawn near complete extinction.
Survivors and legacy
Far away in space, a space pod containing a baby by the name of "Kakarot" lands on Earth. He is found by an old man named Gohan, who takes the child in and renames him, "Goku". This young boy would grow up into the powerful warrior who would one day prove the Super Saiyan legend true and reclaim his race's honor by defeating Frieza over two decades later. Prince Vegeta, the young son of the now late King Vegeta, and his aide, the Saiyan army general Nappa, also survive, as they are on an assignment when the planet was destroyed. Upon being informed by a soldier that his planet collided with a large meteor and was destroyed, Vegeta's simple response is nothing but an "oh... really?", but this event would come back to haunt him many years later. Raditz, Goku's older brother and the first son of Bardock also survives, due to being with Vegeta on an assignment. Although a story about a meteor shower was fabricated to cover up Frieza's true involvement in its destruction, rumors about Frieza's genocidal action towards the Saiyans still persisted, eventually reaching the ears of Nappa, who attempted to tell Vegeta shortly after being brushed off for their accomplishment of the subjugation of the Shikks.
Other survivors include Turles, a Saiyan who escaped and left Planet Vegeta many years before its destruction. He went on to become a maverick warlord, but when he journeys to Earth, he and his team of mercenaries are defeated and killed by Goku. In Dragon Ball: Yo! Son Goku and His Friends Return!!, Vegeta is revealed to have a long lost brother named Tarble who comes to Earth seeking help against Abo and Kado, two remaining members of Frieza's army. Despite his place in the royal bloodline, Tarble's power level was considered weak and thus he was sent on assignment elsewhere by his father long before the planet's destruction. After Abo and Kado are defeated and reform, Tarble departs Earth. In Dragon Ball Online, the Time Breaker Mira saves Bardock from Frieza's attack and takes him to the future to become one of Mira's minions. In Dragon Ball: Episode of Bardock, Bardock somehow does not die, but is instead sent hundreds of years back in time to Planet Plant before the Saiyans arrived there. He confronts an ancestor of Frieza, the space pirate Chilled, and becomes a Super Saiyan in the process. Chilled's experience with the Super Saiyan is passed down to his descendants afterwards.
The destruction of the Planet Vegeta and the near extinction of the Saiyan race was mentioned in Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods after awakening from his 39-year slumber, Beerus the God of Destruction of Universe 7 asks his attendant and mentor Whis if Frieza destroyed Planet Vegeta in which Whis replies yes without a trace left. Beerus revealed that he intended to destroy the Planet himself but ultimately couldn't be bothered as it was too far off for him to be concerned about. He was however surprised to learn that Frieza himself was beaten by a Saiyan named Goku in which he later hastily tracks down to ask about the Super Saiyan God.
In Dragon Ball Super: Broly, two adult Saiyans also survive due to being on assignment with Young Vegeta, Nappa, and Young Raditz. However, it is unknown what happens to them after. Additionally Nappa mentions Vegeta's younger brother though Vegeta doesn't know if he survived or what planet his father sent him to while Raditz remembers his mother contacted him about sending his younger brother to to Earth misunderstanding his mother's message and mistakenly assuming it was an official infiltration baby mission when in reality Kakarot's departure from Planet Vegeta was unauthorized as Bardock and Gine had stolen a Attack Ball and sent Kakarot to Earth to save his life as Bardock feared Frieza planned to exterminate the Saiyan race and knew Raditz was still safe offworld. As a result, the Saiyan survivors and ironically the Frieza Force itself believed Kakarot was sent on an official Saiyan Army mission to conquer Earth, as shown by remarks made Raditz and Vegeta asserting it as fact which Goku himself believed as it was common practice among the Saiyans and Goku lost all memory of his early life as Kakarot including his fated departure from Planet Vegeta. Unbeknownst to Vegeta his brother had been exiled to Tech-Tech as he was an embarrassment to the royal House of Vegeta due to being a gentle-hearted Saiyan who lacked the power and ruthlessness of his father and brother, thus determined to be a low class warrior like Kakarot. In addition, a young Saiyan was sent to the death planet Vampa on the order of King Vegeta as exile, both to prevent the boy from upstaging his own son, Prince Vegeta, and presumably because he viewed Broly to be a potential threat. The boy, Broly's father, Paragus, went AWOL upon this discovery to try and find his son, outraged that his liege would do that, with Beets accompanying the latter. Because they were stranded on Vampa after finding Broly, all three survived the genocide, although Beets was killed by Paragus due to lack of food resources from being stranded.
By time the Raditz Saga, only seven Saiyans Goku, Broly, Tarble, Vegeta, Raditz, Nappa, and Paragus survived. However according to Toyotarō's interpretation of the events of Broly two more Saiyans survived Onio and his wife Honey the only female survivor both of whom would later appear in Nekomajin after the Peaceful World Saga thus putting the number at nine Saiyan survivors (8 males and 1 female) with the two unnamed male survivors presumably having perished before the Raditz Saga.
Specials and movies
Bardock - The Father of Goku
Main article: Dragon Ball Z: Bardock - The Father of Goku
After receiving word from Zarbon that a band of low-class Saiyans lead by Bardock had successfully conquered Planet Kanassa (though Bardock was injured in the process), a mission stated by Dodoria to be so difficult that even elite squadrons of his soldiers had not even bothered attempting it, Frieza was in utter disbelief. Initially, Frieza realized that no Saiyan alive at the time would be any sort of threat to him or his vast empire, but contemplated on the fact that the Saiyans power was quickly growing, and sometime in the near future, a Saiyan warrior may arise that could possibly challenge his might, especially if the Super Saiyan legend was evidently true. Frieza soon ordered the Saiyan squad responsible for the Kanassan war victory to be given another assignment, one that would be used as a distraction for a deadly ambush.
Meanwhile, during Bardock's recovery, King Vegeta learned from his scientists that a Saiyan was born the day before with a power level of ten thousand, possibly making him the Legendary Super Saiyan. King Vegeta, fearing the threat that the baby, named Broly, may possess towards the Royal Family, orders for his execution. Paragus, Broly's father, intervenes and tries to reason to King Vegeta to spare Broly, and tries to convince him that Broly might prove to be a beneficial soldier to the Royal Family. The King tells Paragus that even if that possibility is to be considered, the possibility of Broly overthrowing the Royal Family is true as well. King Vegeta then attempts to execute Paragus for disallegiance and fires an energy beam at Paragus, severely wounding him. Meanwhile, one of Vegeta's guards enters the infirmary, picks up Broly, and stabs him in the stomach. The guards then throw Broly and his father, Paragus into a wasteland to ensure that they die.
While still in recovery from his injuries sustained on Kanassa, Bardock, a Saiyan warrior and father of Kakarot and Raditz, began to have psychic visions of the future after receiving said powers from a Kanassan warrior named Toolo. After seeing visions of Planet Vegeta's destruction and his son growing up on another planet, Bardock realized something was very wrong. After waking up in shock, Bardock simply believed the visions to be nothing more than a dream, and quickly set off for Planet Meat to join his comrades in the invasion, but not before seeing his infant son for the first time. Bardock initially believes his son sees the visions of the future as well, but after reading his power level, comments that he has only an average power level, and was apparently not special at all. He bids farewell to his son and heads off for Meat.
Upon arrival to Meat, Bardock finds himself surrounded by thousands of Meatian corpses, thus believing the battle to already have been over. After reading four power levels on his scouter, Bardock sets off to find his crew, only to find them all dead, with the exception of his best friend, Tora who is in critical condition. After Tora tells Bardock of the ambush and why Frieza had them killed, Team Dodoria return to the battlefield, aiming to kill Bardock as well. Tora eventually dies in Bardock's arms, and Bardock uses Tora's handkerchief as a symbol of his rebellion. In a show of great skill and power, Bardock fights and kills all four of Frieza's elite warriors with relative ease, only to be ambushed by Dodoria himself, and is badly injured by a powerful mouth blast. Dodoria leaves Meat to report back to Frieza, unaware that Bardock was not killed by his blast. Bardock somehow finds the strength to pull himself up and into his space pod, and plots a course back to Planet Vegeta, in hopes of warning his race of their impending doom due to Frieza.
After nearly being killed on Planet Meat, Bardock lands on Planet Vegeta in hopes of successfully warning his people of their impending deaths. Try as he might, Bardock is unable to be taken seriously, and is just mocked and laughed at by those he tries to inform. After realizing his efforts are futile, Bardock sees the tyrant's ship looming over his planet, and decides to face Frieza and his entire army... alone. Before flying to Frieza's ship, Bardock has another vision where he sees his son, Goku (known as Kakarot at that time), as an adult. Goku speaks directly to Bardock and tells him that it is not too late to change and not be like him (Frieza).
As Frieza's ship looms over Planet Vegeta, the final hour arrives. Bardock, who realizes his visions of the future are in fact a complete reality, flies up toward Frieza's ship, in the hopes that he may be able to thwart the tyrant's attack. After witnessing Bardock's approach, Frieza orders his army to be released and to engage the lone Saiyan warrior. After killing numerous soldiers, Bardock eventually makes it to Frieza's ship, and calls the tyrant out for one final confrontation. Frieza then appears from his ship, comfortably sitting in his hoverchair.
After informing Frieza of his people's separation from Frieza's empire, Bardock launches a powerful energy ball (Final Spirit Cannon) at the tyrant. However, Frieza, with the lift of a finger, creates a massive sun-like energy ball, the Super Nova, which he launches at Bardock and the planet below while maniacally laughing. After having a final vision of his son's confrontation with Frieza in the distant future, Bardock realizes it will be his son that will be the one to defeat Frieza, and with this, Bardock finds himself at peace before finally being obliterated by Frieza's attack, along with the thousands of Frieza's own soldiers close by. The energy ball then proceeds to slam into Planet Vegeta, and after burying itself into the planet's core, Planet Vegeta blows up, killing nearly the entire Saiyan race in the process. Observing the "beautiful fireworks", Frieza laughs and congratulates himself on his new found "accomplishment" before leaving in his ship to continue business as usual. In a single day, the mighty Saiyan race was drawn near complete extinction.
Just beforehand, Cooler and his Armored Squadron observe the destruction of the planet, as well as Bardock's last stand. However, the de jure leader, Salza, notices Goku's attack ball and orders for them to intercept its course and destroy it. However, Cooler interfered and ordered for the order to be belayed, due to his viewing Frieza failing to notice the space pod as the latter's mistake and didn't want to cover for him (nor did he have any time to do it anyways due to needing to conquer/destroy seven planets by the end of the day), and ultimately viewing Goku as harmless as is. Ironically, this led to Cooler being indirectly responsible for Frieza, and later himself, being beaten by Goku later on.
Other Saiyans, who appear in Dragon Ball Z films, are also survivors alongside the ones mentioned above. Turles had long left Planet Vegeta before its destruction, and thus had not been present at the genocide. Paragus and his son Broly also survive, thanks to Broly using his already incredible powers to produce a barrier for them, although the events of its destruction evidently have taken a toll on their minds, Broly's even moreso, with them living in pain and fear as well as in hiding. Broly is revealed to be the Legendary Super Saiyan, and when Vegeta and the others are invited by Paragus to visit New Planet Vegeta, they learn of Broly's origins and power. Paragus, when reflecting on how they narrowly survived execution from King Vegeta, noted the irony on not only how Planet Vegeta had been obliterated by Frieza for exactly the same reason as why King Vegeta ordered for Broly's execution, but also about how they survived both times. In the ensuing battle, Broly kills his father (without remorse) and nearly the Dragon Team, but Goku eventually defeats Broly thanks to the power of his allies and friends. However, he survives and lands on Earth, where he remains frozen for seven years only to encounter Goku's sons Gohan and Goten, and be blasted into the Sun, apparently completely annihilating him. A clone of Broly is later created, Bio-Broly, but he is defeated by the two young half blooded saiyans Goten and Trunks. According to the video game Dragon Ball: Raging Blast 2, Broly survived being blasted into the sun and gained a new form before being vanquished, he would also resurface later in Dragon Ball Heroes: Victory Mission during the Jaaku Missions as a Super Saiyan 4 due to the time travelling capabilities of the Dragon Ball Heroes machines.