Paper Moon wrote:
According to Memory Alpha, the specific ENT episode is "The Forge." Christopher, do you remember the specific dialogue off the top of your head?
I thought there was an earlier reference, but I'm not sure. I don't have the dialogue off the top of my head, but I have the next best thing, which is Chakoteya.net's transcript site bookmarked in my browser (something I strongly recommend for all Trekkies because it's pretty much the quickest way to find specific dialogue from any Trek episode or film -- and Doctor Who
as well). The line is
, "But it took almost fifteen hundred years for us to rebuild our world and travel to the stars."
Vulcans not having 2000 years of spacefaring history behind them has long bothered me.
Why? If they'd been continuously spacefaring that long, they should be immensely more advanced than humans, and that has never been reflected in canon. Besides, as we know, the chaos that led to Surak's reforms almost destroyed Vulcan. It makes sense that the world was so devastated that it had to abandon spaceflight and turn inward to rebuild its civilization on a basic level.
And if a technological civilization lost spaceflight, it stands to reason that it would regress rapidly. Today on Earth, our technological demands are creating a shortage of a number of important substances like helium (used for cooling and manufacturing) and rare earths; in fact, the Earth's helium supply is so critically low that if the US hadn't fixed prices for some reason, it would cost 100 bucks to fill a party balloon
. Eventually the only place we'll be able to get new helium and rare earths is from elsewhere in the Solar System. Our technological infrastructure won't be able to survive if we don't establish a steady presence in space. And once our infrastructure reaches the point of depending on space resources, then losing spaceflight again would pretty much lead to a dark age.
Thus, it's reasonable to conclude that's what happened on Vulcan. And Soval probably gave his own people too little credit in "The Forge," since the Vulcans probably did a lot to help humanity rebuild from WWIII.