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Old January 8 2013, 03:56 AM   #76
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Re: After Romulus

The whole point of Nero was that he wasn't some evil psychopath -- he was just a blue-collar working stiff to start with, but he suffered an unbearable tragedy, was filled with vengeful rage, and happened to come into possession of the means to act on it on a massive scale. Simmer for 25 years in a hellish Klingon prison camp, with his drive for vengeance the only thing that gives him a will to live, and you get someone even more bitter and vengeful as a result. The idea that he was just some random lunatic who imagined the disaster, aside from being inconsistent with the facts, is a profound misreading of the character.
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Old January 8 2013, 06:17 AM   #77
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Re: After Romulus

RPJOB wrote: View Post
Going strictly by what we've seen in the shows Romulus has had very few colonies mentioned. I imagine that Romulus is seen as being the promised land due to it being the world chosen by their ancestors. It's possible that most of the other inhabited planets have a small Romulan presence, mostly military overseers using the indigenous population as slave labor.
It's possible, but it's not likely.

* The Romulans seem to be as expansionistic a culture as any other. To assume that Romulans didn't colonize new territories when they became available would be to have them behave in a way that no human imperialist power has ever behaved. The novelverse has further established that there are multiple sizable Romulan colonies, the Praetor herself being from one (Glintara). Romulan colonies may plausibly not have been mentioned in the various series because non-Romulans didn't have access to the Romulan colonies; the Romulans are, after all, isolationists.

* It's very likely that the Romulans would take over inhabited worlds and establish themselves as ruling classes. That's what imperialist societies do. The novels even explicitly establish them as doing that with the Kevratans, while Terix II--a major Romulan world--also has its own indigenous population. The Romulans are almost certainly minorities on many worlds in their empire.

Given these are planets with populations possibly amounting to the billions, this is still a sizable number. For comparison, in South Africa immediately after apartheid of the forty-odd million South Africans only five million were white. South African whites still are more numerous than, say, New Zealanders or Uruguayans, and they controlled a technologically and economically sophisticated state. Apartheid ended in South Africa as peacefully as it did only because whites were convinced to do so. I really don't see Romulans on these Romulan-minority worlds as being nicer.

Also, the Hobus supernova wouldn't have destroyed just Romulus but everything in between as well as in other directions. It's an expanding sphere. Spock may have used the red matter to stop it from entering Federation space. The rest of the RSE may be essentially depopulated.
The novelverse draws upon Star Trek: Star Charts, which shows the Romulan Star Empire to be a pretty large ellipse of space that at points comes quite close to the Federation core, the novels further establishing the existence of large Romulan population on worlds fairly distant from Romulus--Achernar, Devoras, and Rator all come to mind. If the Hobus supernova really was so big as to annihilate all these Romulan worlds, then the Federation core worlds would also be destroyed.

The Wormhole wrote: View Post
All that considered, I'm sure there are still other Romulans around, including a colony world or two. Certainly the days of the Romulans being one of the quadrant's biggest political entities are over, but the Romulan species is still around, even if there are very few left.
There's still going to be large numbers of Romulans around. Even if the Hobus supernova destroys some older Romulan colony worlds, the Romulans have spread out sufficiently that I can't see Romulan civilization as being doomed by the destruction of the homeworld.

(Will the destruction of the Romulans encourage the survivors to consider new possibilities? Sure. They're just not going to be driven into extinction, that's all.)
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Old January 9 2013, 12:45 AM   #78
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Re: After Romulus

If Romulans are really as powerful politically as we are repeated told in the different stories, then I would image they would have to have quite a few colonies out there with a lot of Romulans on them. Not to mention all of the Romulan ships that were probably out and about when the Hobus event happened. At this point I doubt they are in any danger as a species, but the Empire as a political entity is probably a different story. Since the supernova destroyed Romulus and it's star system, then that means the Empire has lost it's homeworld and the majority of it's political, and military leaders. So I have a feeling that whatever is left of the Empire as political and military entity is probably a lot weaker than what it was before.
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Old January 9 2013, 02:28 AM   #79
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Re: After Romulus

Indeed, one of the main arguments in favor of human colonization of space in real life is that it's a hedge against extinction. A species that settles beyond its own planet is safe from planetary-scale catastrophe, and one that spreads far enough across interstellar space is immune from just about anything that could cause its extinction.

Although it's true that Trek has nonetheless posited the existence of a substantial number of extinct starfaring races, some of whom have been implausibly claimed to have been rendered extinct simply by the destruction of their homeworlds, like the Tkon, the Iconians, and the builders of Mudd's androids. It seems to be a common failure of imagination among Trek writers to forget that an interstellar empire would not have all its population concentrated on a single planet. (See also the dialogue in TUC about the risk of Klingon extinction, and Spock's "endangered species" line from the 2009 movie -- same problem.) But other starfaring races were rendered extinct by more widespread warfare, like the Menthar and Promellians, or by changes in their own biology, like the Loque'eque from the ENT episode that was actually titled "Extinction." And many ancient races are just gone without explanation, so they could've evolved into incorporeal forms rather than just dying off.
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Old January 9 2013, 02:43 AM   #80
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Re: After Romulus

rfmcdpei wrote: View Post
The novelverse draws upon Star Trek: Star Charts, which shows the Romulan Star Empire to be a pretty large ellipse of space that at points comes quite close to the Federation core, the novels further establishing the existence of large Romulan population on worlds fairly distant from Romulus--Achernar, Devoras, and Rator all come to mind. If the Hobus supernova really was so big as to annihilate all these Romulan worlds, then the Federation core worlds would also be destroyed.
You know that kind of makes Spock's the supernova threatened the galaxy thing more plausible seeing as taking out that much of the Federation and Romulan Empire probably would screw up a good chunk of the galaxy, especially if the Klingons decided to take advantage of the situation.
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Old January 9 2013, 02:59 AM   #81
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Re: After Romulus

Hartzilla2007 wrote: View Post
You know that kind of makes Spock's the supernova threatened the galaxy thing more plausible seeing as taking out that much of the Federation and Romulan Empire probably would screw up a good chunk of the galaxy, especially if the Klingons decided to take advantage of the situation.
Oh, not even close. Here's Star Charts' map of the whole galaxy:

http://images4.wikia.nocookie.net/__...star_chart.jpg

See that tiny black dot in the middle of the white circle? The one labeled "UFP"? The whole of Federation, Romulan, and Klingon space combined are just a little bit bigger than that black dot. That's not a good chunk of the galaxy. It's not even a good chunk of the Orion Arm. To use an analogy I made in another thread a couple of years back, if the Orion Arm corresponded to Florida, the Federation and all its neighbors put together would correspond to Orlando and its suburbs. And size-wise, the Orion Arm is roughly as small a percentage of the galaxy as Florida is of the United States (including Alaska and Hawaii). Or maybe even less.
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Old January 9 2013, 07:50 AM   #82
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Re: After Romulus

JD wrote: View Post
If Romulans are really as powerful politically as we are repeated told in the different stories, then I would image they would have to have quite a few colonies out there with a lot of Romulans on them. Not to mention all of the Romulan ships that were probably out and about when the Hobus event happened. At this point I doubt they are in any danger as a species, but the Empire as a political entity is probably a different story. Since the supernova destroyed Romulus and it's star system, then that means the Empire has lost it's homeworld and the majority of it's political, and military leaders. So I have a feeling that whatever is left of the Empire as political and military entity is probably a lot weaker than what it was before.
I think the effect on the Empire might be akin to that of destroying the Eastern Seaboard of the United States but sparing the remainder of the country. The large majority of the Empire's population, productive capacity, and military remains intact, and when a new administration is installed it will resume its great power status, but for the time being it's going to be preoccupied with cultivating (rather, rebuilding) its own garden.
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Old January 9 2013, 07:56 AM   #83
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Re: After Romulus

I guess the bottom line is that the "science" of Abrams' Trek is just plain terrible. I pray that it's because of the writers' strike that the script couldn't have been refined more, and they were stuck with placeholder terminology ("red matter"? "lightning storm in space"?) but I'm afraid I hope in vain. We'll see when Into Darkness comes out if things are any better.

Hobus would've made much more sense as a pulsar than a supernova, IMO. And then there's the assertion in the Countdown comic that Hobus was 500 lightyears from Romulus, on the fringes of the Empire. An expanding sphere of energy 1000 lightyears in diameter? Generated by a supernova?

These writers have no scientific knowledge worth mentioning, and are afraid their audiences are too stupid to understand anything more than elementary school science, so they give us shorthand, instead of thinking up an actual explanation that makes sense.
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Old January 9 2013, 09:01 AM   #84
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Re: After Romulus

TJ Sinclair wrote: View Post
These writers have no scientific knowledge worth mentioning, and are afraid their audiences are too stupid to understand anything more than elementary school science, so they give us shorthand, instead of thinking up an actual explanation that makes sense.

So it's business as usual for the franchise.

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Old January 9 2013, 03:58 PM   #85
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Re: After Romulus

Actually Roberto Orci is very knowledgeable about science, at least by Hollywood standards. I have the impression that earlier drafts of the script may have had a more scientifically plausible version of the disaster. But as the director/producer, Abrams had the final say on the script and dialogue, and he may have decided that the simpler supernova idea was more efficient to get across onscreen or less distracting from the character stories he was more interested in telling.
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Old January 9 2013, 04:45 PM   #86
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Re: After Romulus

To get mildly technobabble'ish, as has been suggested before numerous times, it's possible that the Hobus star had unique subspace properties (or such) that made it going supernova a greater threat than a normal star undergoing the same process. Then again, the supernova may have been caused artificially, which could also explain the increased danger. That might also explain why Spock's calculations were off.

Or it could have been something that would have been tweaked if the Writers' strike hadn't occurred.

In any case, it doesn't seem especially more grievous than numerous other Trek...anomalies.
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Old January 9 2013, 05:18 PM   #87
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Re: After Romulus

DonIago wrote: View Post
To get mildly technobabble'ish, as has been suggested before numerous times, it's possible that the Hobus star had unique subspace properties (or such) that made it going supernova a greater threat than a normal star undergoing the same process. Then again, the supernova may have been caused artificially, which could also explain the increased danger. That might also explain why Spock's calculations were off.
Star Trek Online: The Needs of the Many: A scientist explains the Hobus supernova wake travelled through subspace, damaging some systems within a 500ly sphere, destroying Romulus and Remus.

To me, this sort of ST technobabble sounds reasonable.

STO mission Ground Zero: Praetor Taris, under guidance of the Iconians, and her Reman allies, used decalithium to initiate the Hobus supernova. They destroyed Romulus on purpose. (They didn't care about Remus because the Remans didn't live there anymore.)
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Old January 9 2013, 06:01 PM   #88
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Re: After Romulus

TJ Sinclair wrote: View Post
I guess the bottom line is that the "science" of Abrams' Trek is just plain terrible.
That's par for the course for the franchise as a whole.

When I was eight, I realized Trek science had little to do with the real world variety.
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Old January 9 2013, 06:26 PM   #89
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Re: After Romulus

DonIago wrote: View Post
To get mildly technobabble'ish, as has been suggested before numerous times, it's possible that the Hobus star had unique subspace properties (or such) that made it going supernova a greater threat than a normal star undergoing the same process. Then again, the supernova may have been caused artificially, which could also explain the increased danger. That might also explain why Spock's calculations were off.
In fact, prior Star Trek movies have already given us precedent for cosmic explosions having effects that propagated FTL. First was the Praxis explosion affecting the Excelsior in The Undiscovered Country; I profoundly doubt the ship was passing through the Qo'noS system itself at the time. Second were the trilithium-induced supernovae in Generations, which were shown to have instantaneous gravitational effects on the courses of vessels and phenomena parsecs away. So for better or worse, this is an established reality of Trek-universe physics.

As for Hobus being 500 ly from Romulus, I'd prefer to ignore that. Countdown is not canonical, and frankly it makes scientific errors far worse than anything in the movie, like claiming that Hobus is one of the oldest stars in the galaxy. It's the huge, short-lived stars that go supernova. The oldest stars are tiny, cool red dwarfs that aren't capable of it. Not to mention what Countdown claims about the radiation front somehow accelerating, which isn't in the movie; there, Spock just wasn't ready in time to save Romulus. Even the name Hobus was never mentioned onscreen.
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Old January 9 2013, 06:52 PM   #90
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Re: After Romulus

BillJ wrote: View Post
When I was eight, I realized Trek science had little to do with the real world variety.
So did I, but I meant what I said within the context of already flaky "Trek science." What we got in Abrams' film was about on par with the worst aspects of original Battlestar Galactica "science"

Markonian wrote: View Post
DonIago wrote: View Post
To get mildly technobabble'ish, as has been suggested before numerous times, it's possible that the Hobus star had unique subspace properties (or such) that made it going supernova a greater threat than a normal star undergoing the same process. Then again, the supernova may have been caused artificially, which could also explain the increased danger. That might also explain why Spock's calculations were off.
Star Trek Online: The Needs of the Many: A scientist explains the Hobus supernova wake travelled through subspace, damaging some systems within a 500ly sphere, destroying Romulus and Remus.

To me, this sort of ST technobabble sounds reasonable.
And that would be perfectly reasonable to me... too bad it wasn't actually used in the movie.

Christopher wrote: View Post
In fact, prior Star Trek movies have already given us precedent for cosmic explosions having effects that propagated FTL. First was the Praxis explosion affecting the Excelsior in The Undiscovered Country; I profoundly doubt the ship was passing through the Qo'noS system itself at the time.
Which is why they used the term "subspace shockwave" in the film. That one tiny little bit of technobabble sufficiently handwaves away scientific impossibility of what we saw on screen. Star Trek 2009 could have used that term, or the writers could've come up with something similar. After all, they cribbed stuff from almost everywhere else in the franchise. But even that small effort wasn't made, and instead we get "lightning storms in space" and a "supernova that threatens the whole galaxy."

It's not that I wanted the movie to make an in-depth scientific explanation of what was happening, but just one or two words to let the viewers were making up future science instead of just being idiotic. Subspace shockwave, people. Spatial anomaly. Say it with me. It's not that hard.
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