View Single Post
Old April 20 2013, 04:32 PM   #14
Christopher's Avatar
Re: Have we ever seen subspecies in Trek?

137th Gebirg wrote: View Post
Pretty much, yeah (use of the same actress notwithstanding) - or Preserver.
No. People keep making that mistake. Yes, the Preservers and the "Chase" humanoids were both meant as excuses for using humanoid aliens, but otherwise they're completely, profoundly different. The First Humanoids existed 4 billion years ago and seeded the primordial soup of uninhabited worlds with DNA programmed to promote the evolution of humanoid life. The Preservers only transplanted existing populations from one planet to another, and their one confirmed act of transplantation was historically quite recent, no earlier than the 17th century judging from the culture of the Native American community in "The Paradise Syndrome" (and from the fact that they wouldn't have needed to transplant Native Americans until they were endangered by European colonization and disease).

And I'm surprised that nobody ever mixes them up with Sargon's people from "Return to Tomorrow," who were also an excuse for humanoid aliens -- they colonized multiple worlds between 500,000 and 600,000 years ago and may have been the ancestors of many humanoid and Vulcanoid populations (though not humans, according to the episode).

As I see it, the "Chase" humanoids were responsible for all humanoid forms, including exotic types like Cardassians, Klingons, and Hirogen; Sargon's people are the ancestors of the more human-looking species like Vulcans, Bajorans, Deltans, Betazoids, and Argelians; and the Preservers are only responsible for some of the duplicate cultures like Miramanee's people and perhaps the "Bread and Circuses" Romans. I also think the Preservers may actually be the Vians from "The Empath," since they were doing the exact same thing, transplanting an endangered population to a new homeworld.

For the most part, it would appear that, with some minor biological divergences like organ placement and skeletal-muscular configuration, most "major" humanoid races can interbreed in the Trek universe.
Yes, but it's often been shown to require technological intervention to make it happen. Various tie-ins and Roddenberry's Inside Star Trek record album claimed that Spock's conception and gestation had required artificial intervention, and ENT's Terra Prime duology pretty much canonized that human-Vulcan children wouldn't happen just by accident. And DS9 established that Trill-Klingon hybrid conception would require extensive medical intervention. Although there have been other cases where hybrid offspring have been apparently accidental, like Tora Ziyal and other Cardassian-Bajoran hybrids.

Vulcan/Romulan (Saavik)
Doesn't count as interspecies. Romulans only diverged from the Vulcan population about 2000 years earlier, not enough time for speciation. Biologically, they are Vulcan. (Which means that a Romulan-human hybrid like Sela falls into the same category as a Vulcan-human hybrid like Spock.)

What I find most fascinating (and amusing), is that we see the torture and general ridicule that Spock endured at the hands of his classmates and other members of both Vulcan and Human society throughout his life, yet Sela seems to have been so completely accepted into the Romulan social structure, that she attained a high rank and command of her own, and at a far younger age than Spock did.
Or maybe she suffered the same persecution but fought her way up through the ranks and earned a high status despite her origins.

Also, remember, Spock would've been admitted into the Vulcan Science Academy at 18 if he hadn't chosen to rebel against Sarek's wishes and join Starfleet instead. If he'd stayed, he probably would've earned high academic honors and achieved a prominent standing in Vulcan academia, or perhaps followed his father into the diplomatic corps, at a comparatively young age. Not to mention that when he was in Starfleet, he wasn't actively pursuing command rank, preferring to remain a scientist. He only accepted captaincy of the Enterprise once it became an Academy training vessel, so he was basically functioning as a teacher. Sela was far more ambitious, and rather than rebelling against her society, she strove to gain acceptance within it, most likely to compensate for her outcast status by birth.

For that matter, while I despise Nemesis as a film, that same acceptance applied in the Reman culture to Shinzon. He didn't even have Reman or Romulan DNA like Sela, yet he was fully accepted by the Remans and feared and respected by the Romulans alike.
Oh, hardly. The Romulan military respected his prowess as a warrior to some degree, yes, but his allies in the coup were just using him as a figurehead, believing they'd be able to control his ambition and ultimately dominate him. It was an alliance for political convenience, but there was plenty of mutual resentment on a personal level.

Not to mention that he was enslaved by the Romulans for many years and had to fight his way out of the mines. If the Romulans were as racially enlightened as you say, they wouldn't enslave non-Romulans in such hellish conditions, or use them as disposable cannon fodder. Shinzon rising to any kind of status within the Empire was an anomaly due to his exceptional prowess and leadership skills (he was, after all, essentially Jean-Luc Picard). He became what he was despite the institutionalized discrimination against him.
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 4/8/14 including annotations for Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is online now   Reply With Quote