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Old July 8 2009, 04:05 PM   #80
Lieutenant Commander
Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

While in some sense I share the desire both on this thread and the Cardassian one that there had been a more philosophically coherent opposition to "Federation values" among the main aliens (compare the BSG Cylons, who were allowed to be "right" about many things by that franchise's in-universe standards), the (perhaps unfortunate) reality is that the great majority of canon Trek was just not written that way. Probably that's part of the Roddenberry-ish "message": Cold War Americans and Russians really aren't any "different"; they've just by the whims of history ended up with different and opposed forms of government, and if you take that away and put them in a situation where they have to get to know one another they find that they have a ton of things in common.

Perhaps this message is unrealistic by real-world standards, and certainly many other SF/F systems bake in more deep-seated differences than did Trek, especially post 9-11 SF/F (although I suspect that particular fad might have run its course). And canon of course is not a straightjacket that strictly binds all subsequent fiction for all eternity. But I for one am not quite willing to just rewrite things (at least in the Prime continuity) that were consistently and clearly portrayed over many episodes and films as was the depiction of Romulans fearful of their government and willing to oppose it and defect from it just because it happens to be more in line with 2009 storytelling).

(But hey, that's why we got a reboot timeline, right?)
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