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Old July 2 2009, 12:28 AM   #46
Anwar
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

captrek wrote: View Post
I like the idea. The vast majority of Klingons live in squalor. The Empire is ruled by dozens of military dictators. Klingons are indoctrinated, almost from birth, to believe that non-Klingons are inferior, and that the greatest glory is to give one’s life in suicidal attacks against the enemies of the empire. And when we finally learn of the founder of the Klingon way, his name isn’t Kahless. It’s Muhammad. Now that would have made for compelling televion.

...I happen to be a Muslim, pal...
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Old July 2 2009, 01:06 AM   #47
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

captrek wrote: View Post
Anwar wrote: View Post
It would have been more true-to-life if we saw that a culture built on war and an economy dedicated to the military over all else left the common non-warrior Klingon living in squalor.
I like the idea. The vast majority of Klingons live in squalor. The Empire is ruled by dozens of military dictators. Klingons are indoctrinated, almost from birth, to believe that non-Klingons are inferior, and that the greatest glory is to give one’s life in suicidal attacks against the enemies of the empire. And when we finally learn of the founder of the Klingon way, his name isn’t Kahless. It’s Muhammad. Now that would have made for compelling televion.


That would only make for compelling television if you don't have the slightest clue what Islam is actually like and what most Muslims actually believe. Your bigotry is appalling.
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Old July 2 2009, 01:27 AM   #48
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

The Romulan Empire is , to my eyes, what Vulcan would have been had Surak not spoken his mind, so to speak.
While canon hasnt gone into enough detail about The Sundering to make any stance valid regarding how the current day Romulans/Rihannsu behave like ancient Vulcans, if I am as bold to use our own history as a comparison-id say people dont change as much as we believe in a few thousand years.

In ancient Egypt, you had political corruption, religious customs based more on priesthood demands for power (sound familiar),and advanced technology for the time.

In Rome better records of the civilization allow us a better look at how that society worked-and again, political corruption, backroom deals, schemes for power by singular people, betrayal, economic and currency debasement, and in between were people just trying to survive.Oh, and advanced technology for the time.

Save for iPods and youtube, one could argue the man of today has the same motivations and ideals-and ambitions-as a Roman or Egyptian of what we consider ancient societies.

Id imagine its the same arrangement with Romulus and Vulcan society-while one was sourced from the history of another, the differences between the two are due to societal differences due to people in Romulus not being constricted by rule of law or logic, versus Vulcan.

I think of it like this-say you have a Vulcan man who has ambitions for running the planet.Within the context of Vulcan society, he has to either present a logical case for overthrowing the current elected government in favor of a dictatorship with him at the top, or he must channel his ambition into accomplishing enough within Vulcan society to generate enough of a popular base that he may logically propose legal election into power.
Given that choice, option B is a lot more promising than option A, which will probably lead to him being expelled or locked up, thus denying him the ability to take immediate gratification of power.

On Romulus, without logic as a barrier to personal gain, our Mr Ambition can scheme, lie , plot, murder, assasinate, and step on as many people as he sees fit to seek office of Praetor, as long as he simultaneously foils the attempt of competition to blow him away for their own purposes.When you combine the opprotunity for advancement with the necessity of using morally repugnant tools to acquire power-and add in a Vulcan's natually powerfull emotional state-you have people of questionable morality leading an entire empire, and as such the greater will of that society will be severely inconsitent between regimes.

So it is no surprise that while Vulcan and Romulans could live on each other's worlds without being noticed, the societal differences are something like that of the United States compared to China.While a man in China and a man in America may seek high office like the example above-the consequences to that man differ from the society.An American president and likewise a Vulcan leader, need not be worried that a political failure or one moment of disgrace will result in an execution by a rival,unlike Romulus...or China, to a degree.
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Old July 2 2009, 03:07 AM   #49
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

I just watched "The Neutral Zone" for what may have been the first time since it was first broadcast and I was shocked by how excellently it re-introduced the Romulans into the Star Trek universe. I appreciate it more now having seen "Balance of Terror" for the first time recently. I think it is in many ways a spiritual sequel to that episode, although it is obviously very different since it doesn't have a tense battle with the Romulans (although the tense conversation at the end is very satisfying too, in a different way) and of course has that cute (maybe too cute) subplot about the people from the past.

After seeing this episode, I can't help but be disappointed knowing that it was never really followed up properly. The original "Star Trek" didn't really follow up "Balance of Terror" either (instead making the Klingons the more prominent recurring villain), but in that case the lack of follow-up was understandable since they only did three seasons. TNG had no excuse. I think after the early seasons, the Romulans got more and more marginalized, and in the end, they may be the biggest wasted opportunity of TNG. Mark Alaimo's great threatening announcement (which really shows his charisma and probably had something to do with his eventual casting on DS9) went a long way towards convincingly setting us up to believe that the Romulans would be the supreme badass villains of TNG, but nothing ever came of it.

Now I believe more than ever that "Star Trek: Nemesis" should have finally given us the epic confrontation with the Romulans and big reveal about the details of their culture that this episode (and even "Balance of Terror", arguably) set us up for. It could have even kept the title, which would have been appropriate, since by the time that movie rolled around, the Romulans had been a prime enemy of the Federation for well over a hundred years.
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Old July 2 2009, 03:29 AM   #50
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

I've heard some people complain about how the Cardassians were just lamer versions of the Romulans. Would you have been satisfied if all the Cardassian episodes were Romulan episodes and the Cardassians never existed (this spreads to DS9)?
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Old July 2 2009, 04:31 AM   #51
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

Anwar wrote: View Post
I've heard some people complain about how the Cardassians were just lamer versions of the Romulans.
Nah, I think the Cardassians are distinctive enough to deserve credit as more than just a poor man's Romulans. Yes, both cultures were militaristic, but I think the main distinguishing characteristic between the two is how much more formal, restrained, dignified, and cordial the Romulans are.

In contrast, the Cardassians are more likely to mouth off and express themselves without holding back their emotions so much. I think the Romulans like to play things closer to the chest generally (although Tomalok seems to be a bit of an exception with how emotive he sometimes was) and that makes sense since they're related to Vulcans.

I don't believe the Cardassian episodes could have been easily interchangable with Romulan episodes. Just look how much the tone of "In the Pale Moonlight" and the behaviour of Romulans in that episode differs from both in Cardassian episodes. The Romulans are so much more quietly menacing and smug than Dukat, Damar, or Garak would be.
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Old July 2 2009, 10:13 AM   #52
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

Too Much Fun wrote: View Post
Anwar wrote: View Post
I've heard some people complain about how the Cardassians were just lamer versions of the Romulans.
Nah, I think the Cardassians are distinctive enough to deserve credit as more than just a poor man's Romulans. Yes, both cultures were militaristic, but I think the main distinguishing characteristic between the two is how much more formal, restrained, dignified, and cordial the Romulans are.

In contrast, the Cardassians are more likely to mouth off and express themselves without holding back their emotions so much. I think the Romulans like to play things closer to the chest generally (although Tomalok seems to be a bit of an exception with how emotive he sometimes was) and that makes sense since they're related to Vulcans.

I don't believe the Cardassian episodes could have been easily interchangable with Romulan episodes. Just look how much the tone of "In the Pale Moonlight" and the behaviour of Romulans in that episode differs from both in Cardassian episodes. The Romulans are so much more quietly menacing and smug than Dukat, Damar, or Garak would be.
Indeed. Cardassians and Romulans are very different. To see them as interchangable is to overlook the complexities of their manners, cultures and psychologies, as revealed or implied over years of TV.
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Old July 3 2009, 12:47 AM   #53
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

Anwar wrote: View Post
I think you mean Valdore, that more streamlined vessel we saw in NEM? Yes, those were a newer class of vessel for the Romulans to make up for their losses in the Dominion War. I think the line of reasoning was that the Warbird had always been more of a visual terror weapon rather than the most efficient battleship which is why it's so big yet gets trashed as easily as any other vessel. After that the Romulans decided to just make smaller but more lethal vessels and we get the Valdore.
I can see why they decided to change their fleet with the lessions they learned when dealing with the Dominion. The Valdore-class must've been a direct answer to the robust Jem'Hadar scarab ships while the Scimitar-class was a serious attempt to emulate the huge Dominion "super" cruisers that were almost as dangerous as Borg Cubes, although the original Warbird was already big to begin with despite being almost a Paper Tiger.

And I disagree Too Much Fun that the Romulans were squandered as antagonists when they were directly behind the evil schemes in "Redemption" and "Unity", they also seemed to be pulling the strings in The Undiscovered Country. "The Neutral Zone" was a boring and patronizing episode that only introduced the Romulans in the last five fucking minutes, most other Romulan stories after that were a big improvement.
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Old July 4 2009, 01:07 AM   #54
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

^"Unification."
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Old July 4 2009, 01:17 AM   #55
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

My mistake, "Unification". In that episode the only real problem I had with it was the relatively small number of ground troops the Romulans were smuggling in to take Vulcan when the solar system must've had a major Starfleet presence in addition to Vulcan police/militia (unless they were a commando team intending to hold government leaders hostage in their offices sealed off by the Romulans?).
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Old July 4 2009, 02:10 AM   #56
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

I still say the "Unification" was just a plan the Higher-Ups in the Senate approved just to show everyone what an idiot Sela was and have her disgraced.
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Old July 4 2009, 02:12 AM   #57
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

I'd tend to agree. The actual plot behind the plot in "Unification" is... probably best unexamined.
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Old July 4 2009, 02:23 AM   #58
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

Anwar wrote: View Post
I've heard some people complain about how the Cardassians were just lamer versions of the Romulans. Would you have been satisfied if all the Cardassian episodes were Romulan episodes and the Cardassians never existed (this spreads to DS9)?
Cardassians "lamer versions of Romualns"?! Even if we were to accept that they are similar, it can only be the other way round, since the Cardassians, the characters and the society, have been a lot more interesting,well-developed and multi-dimensional than Romulans.

Romulans should have been Vulcans without the rule of logic and stoicism. They should have been as intense, volatile, powerful and dangerous as I imagine Vulcans would be if they were not suppressing their emotions and violent tendencies. But instead, post-TOS Romulans, I'm afraid, have been rather lame and disappointing, for the most part. Why don't they even have the same mental powers - telepathy, mind-meld - that Vulcans do? And think of how much better it would've been if they did not get those stupid, unexplained forehead ridges, which make no sense, because they're supposed to look identical to Vulcans, for logic's sake! Think of all the possibilities if they have kept the ide about Vulcans and Romulans being genetically identical...they could have even had interesting storylines about Romulan spies posing as Vulcans.

And all in all, instead of being powerful antagonists, they have too often been just a minor annoyance or a negative reference point, related to their perceived inclination to be sly, lying and treacherous (Klingons and Cardassians consider "acting like a Romulan" as an insult).
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Old July 4 2009, 03:26 AM   #59
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

Actually, we DID have at least one story of a Romulan spy posing as a Vulcan in TNG.
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Old July 4 2009, 03:55 AM   #60
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

Anwar wrote: View Post
Actually, we DID have at least one story of a Romulan spy posing as a Vulcan in TNG.
Then I must have forgotten it, because they didn't use it a lot. But we also had not just Vulcans but humans and androids posing as Romulans, and all sorts of other combinations (humans posing as Klingons in DS9, Cardassian posing as Bajoran and vice versa, etc.) through the extremely convient surgical alterations, which seem like the easiest thing ever in Trek. I guess nobody ever gives those people medical checkups or thinks of checking their DNA. But speaking of DNA - shouldn't Romulans and Vulcans be the same species? There has been so much inconsistency on that matter in ST. There's even a scene in DS9 in which someone asks Bashir "aren't Romulans identical to Vulcans?" (I guess they thought the forehead ridges were just some kind of hat, eh? ) and Bashir answers: "Yes, but there are genetical differences"?!
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