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Old September 17 2012, 11:19 PM   #62
Re: USS Copernicus, NCC-640 or 623?

I am working on the planets, stars, and star systems articles on Memory Alpha. One thing I have learned is how much non-official material - that done by people who are intimately involved and the fans - can veer off course from what is stated in the canon. (To Timo, I know this is a sensitive topic as you worked on the Star Trek: Star Charts. I am apologizing in advance.)

Here is an example: Romulus. Here is what I wrote.

The common assumption among the fans and some of the production staff was that Romulus was located in the Beta Quadrant. The Romulan Star Empire bordered the Klingon Empire and the United Federation of Planets. This empire didn't border the Cardassian Union. This belief was made canonical with a display graphic from "Insurrection" that depicted the location of the Romulan Star Empire. [] []

However, an examination of the dialog painted a different picture. The picture began to be drawn by the series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine'. The first time that a location for the Romulan Star Empire was given was in the episode "The Search, Part II". In this episode, the Romulan Star Empire was identified as one of the great powers of the Alpha Quadrant. For the Dominion, there were four great powers in this quadrant: the Federation, the Klingons, the Romulans, and the Cardassians. With the Battle of the Omarion Nebula, two of these threats had been reduced in effectiveness - the Romulans and the Cardassians. By "Call to Arms", the Cardassians were in an alliance with the Dominion and three powers, small and great, had signed non-aggression pacts with the Dominion. These powers were the Miradorns, the Tholians, and the Romulans. In the opinion of Constable Odo, the Dominion was ''...making impressive inroads into the Alpha Quadrant...''. In "In the Pale Moonlight", it was revealed that the Dominion forces were crossing the Cardassian-Romulan border and were launching attacks against Federation ships. The Dominion was secretly planning to invade Romulan space from Cardassia, and, by their estimation, the Romulans would be defeated in three weeks. When Benjamin Sisko was attempting to persuade Senator Vreenak to consider having the Romulans join the offensive against the Dominion, the Starfleet officer said "''I'd pick the side most likely to leave us in peace when the dust settles. Maybe you're right. Maybe the Dominion will win in the end. Then the Founders will control what we now call Cardassia, the Klingon Empire and the Federation. So, instead of facing three separate opponents with three separate agendas, you'll find yourselves facing the same opponent on every side. There's a word for that. Surrounded''".

This association of Romulus with the Alpha Quadrant was carried over to the sister series, Star Trek: Voyager. In "Flashback", [[Captain]] [[Kathryn Janeway]] reminisced about what it would be like to live in [[James T. Kirk]]'s era. In his era, large swaths of the Alpha Quadrant were yet to be explored, and one of the dangers to be encountered in the quadrant was Romulans hiding behind nebula. In "Bliss", when it seemed that the Voyager would find a way home to the Alpha Quadrant, Tom Paris stated that he looked forward to Cardassians, Ferengi, and Romulans. In "Flesh and Blood", Chakotay identified the Romulan disruptor as an Alpha Quadrant weapon. In "Q2", in a simulation, several Alpha Quadrant species were fighting over mining rights to a planetoid, and Q Junior had to find a way to settle the dispute. The species listed were the Nausicaans, the Bolians, the Cardassians, the Romulans, the Ferengi, and the Bajorans.

In conclusion, the Romulans were an Alpha Quadrant species. The territory of their Romulan Star Empire was surrounded by the Cardassians, the Klingons, and the Federation.

Mr. Okuda, who created the map in Insurrection, and Mr. Mandel, who created the Star Charts, created maps based on what they believed and not was stated in the canon. Intention counts for nothing when it ignores what came before.
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