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Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

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Old December 17 2013, 12:20 PM   #1
Noddy
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The Vulcan Sundering: Books vs TV episodes

It was stated in Diane Duane's novel The Romulan Way that the ancestors of the Romulans left ancient Vulcan when Surak was still alive, and apparently did so with his blessing, led by S'task. The Vulcan's Soul books, by Josepha Sherman and Susan Schwartz, followed this account very closely.

But in the Vulcan trilogy in the fourth season of Enterprise, we actually see Surak dying from radiation poisoning as a result of a nuclear attack by enemies who "march beneath the raptor's wings." The image of a raptor does strongly indicate that these enemies were intended by the writers to be the proto-Romulans....but how can they still be on Vulcan at the time of Surak's death? Is there any way to reconcile this?
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Old December 17 2013, 01:18 PM   #2
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: The Vulcan Sundering: Books vs TV episodes

What we saw in ENT was a 2,000 year old katra memory, and thus perhaps it could be excused as distorted or impressionistic.

I seem to recall that there was an account from the time of Surak in William Rotsler's Star Trek II Short Stories that was a closer fit to what we saw in canon - at least, it had a war between Vulcans and proto-Romulans on Vulcan.

It's also worth pointing out that in her TNG novel Intellivore, Diane Duane refers to the Sundering as told in The Romulan Way and Spock's World as one of many legends about the ancient Vulcan/Romulan split - she even gets some of the details about it (intentionally?) wrong, like the number of ships sent.
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Old December 18 2013, 03:46 PM   #3
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Re: The Vulcan Sundering: Books vs TV episodes

In Spock's World, Surak is described as having been murdered by a terrorist cell at a time when Vulcan was already mostly at peace. We could presumably handwave this as the nuclear attack that killed him as established in Enterprise.

(That said, in the Rihannsu novels Surak's death occurred after the Sundering and the generation ships had departed. Perhaps there were some stay-behinds?)
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Old December 18 2013, 04:50 PM   #4
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Re: The Vulcan Sundering: Books vs TV episodes

It's logical (to coin a phrase) to conclude that the exodus did not include absolutely every single Vulcan who shared the philosophies of the Sundered. Some would surely have stayed behind, either unwilling to retreat from their homeworld or wishing to wage a guerrilla campaign to win it back.
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Old December 18 2013, 10:49 PM   #5
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Re: The Vulcan Sundering: Books vs TV episodes

Christopher wrote: View Post
It's logical (to coin a phrase) to conclude that the exodus did not include absolutely every single Vulcan who shared the philosophies of the Sundered. Some would surely have stayed behind, either unwilling to retreat from their homeworld or wishing to wage a guerrilla campaign to win it back.
That's pretty much that I thought, that there was a faction of Romulans who stated on Vulcan, while the majority of them left.
Would make a good novel to explore that history, like a Spock's World kind of novel focusing on the history of the Romulans.
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Old December 19 2013, 12:41 AM   #6
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Re: The Vulcan Sundering: Books vs TV episodes

borgboy wrote: View Post
Would make a good novel to explore that history, like a Spock's World kind of novel focusing on the history of the Romulans.
Err, that's what The Romulan Way was, and it came before Spock's World. The Vulcan's Soul trilogy also explores the history of the Sundering, although oddly enough, the first volume contradicts the Diane Duane version with regard to Surak's role in the events leading up to the exodus, while the second adheres to it quite faithfully with regard to the specifics of the interstellar journey.
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Old December 19 2013, 02:57 AM   #7
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Re: The Vulcan Sundering: Books vs TV episodes

Ah. I haven't read the Romulan Way yet, or the Vulcan's Soul trilogy.
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Old December 19 2013, 03:44 PM   #8
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Re: The Vulcan Sundering: Books vs TV episodes

It's worth noting that there was substantial Romulan influence on Vulcan long after the departure. V'Las was a deep-cover Romulan agent (or Vulcan sympathizer) in control of the government in the 22nd century, and I suggested a couple of years ago that one way to make sense of Sela's plot to conquer Vulcan with two thousand troops was to assume that the Romulans would have local support.
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Old December 19 2013, 04:40 PM   #9
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Re: The Vulcan Sundering: Books vs TV episodes

One thing that still puzzles me is Q's offhand reference in VGR's "Death Wish" to "a misunderstanding which ignited the hundred-year war between the Romulans and the Vulcans." What hundred-year war? Where in all of Trek history is there room for such a war? Nobody on screen or in print has ever picked up on this or explained it. Maybe by "Romulans," Q meant the forebears of the Romulans, the faction that departed in the Sundering. Maybe they fought for a hundred years before deciding to leave Vulcan. Not sure that meshes with the books, though.
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Old December 19 2013, 05:30 PM   #10
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Re: The Vulcan Sundering: Books vs TV episodes

Christopher wrote: View Post
One thing that still puzzles me is Q's offhand reference in VGR's "Death Wish" to "a misunderstanding which ignited the hundred-year war between the Romulans and the Vulcans." What hundred-year war? Where in all of Trek history is there room for such a war? Nobody on screen or in print has ever picked up on this or explained it. Maybe by "Romulans," Q meant the forebears of the Romulans, the faction that departed in the Sundering. Maybe they fought for a hundred years before deciding to leave Vulcan. Not sure that meshes with the books, though.
When you as official tie in author run over a question like this, is it possible for you to contact the scriptwriter to clear it up?
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Old December 19 2013, 05:51 PM   #11
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Re: The Vulcan Sundering: Books vs TV episodes

Christopher wrote: View Post
One thing that still puzzles me is Q's offhand reference in VGR's "Death Wish" to "a misunderstanding which ignited the hundred-year war between the Romulans and the Vulcans." What hundred-year war? Where in all of Trek history is there room for such a war? Nobody on screen or in print has ever picked up on this or explained it. Maybe by "Romulans," Q meant the forebears of the Romulans, the faction that departed in the Sundering. Maybe they fought for a hundred years before deciding to leave Vulcan. Not sure that meshes with the books, though.
Sorry, I guess I'm missing something here, but aren't there roughly 17 centuries between The Sundering and Enterprise(and even more between The Sundering & TOS as it would have been at the time of Death Wish) - is that all accounted for already?

Also, I'm not with my books right now, but wasn't there a scene in Spock's World between T'pau & Sarek where they're discussing Sarek going to Earth for the first time, and T'pau tells him not to underestimate them given that they beat the romulans back in x number of years when it took us y number of years - maybe it arose from that?
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Old December 19 2013, 08:35 PM   #12
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Re: The Vulcan Sundering: Books vs TV episodes

zarkon wrote: View Post
Sorry, I guess I'm missing something here, but aren't there roughly 17 centuries between The Sundering and Enterprise(and even more between The Sundering & TOS as it would have been at the time of Death Wish) - is that all accounted for already?
Yeah, but you'd think that if the Vulcans had been at war with the Romulans for a century in that period, then somewhere along the way they would've discovered what Romulans looked like. I can buy the Vulcan government knowing and keeping the secret if there'd been very limited interaction since the Sundering, but not if there'd been a century-long war.

Besides, the Vulcans only returned to space in the 19th century, some 300 years before Enterprise. And yet their primary enemy from the mid-20th century onward was the Andorians.

Hmm, now that I think about it, in light of what ENT revealed about Vulcan history, it's conceivable that the High Command could've had a century of on-and-off border conflicts with the Romulans, explaining how T'Pol knew about them. Maybe it was like the UFP-Cardassian War had to be, a series of intermittent brush fires with long periods of inactivity between them. Sometimes war is a declared political relationship rather than open combat; technically North and South Korea have been in a state of war for the past 63 years, although there have only been a few periods of actual fighting in that time.

I guess Q could've simply been exaggerating to emphasize his case. He's not exactly the most reliable witness.


Also, I'm not with my books right now, but wasn't there a scene in Spock's World between T'pau & Sarek where they're discussing Sarek going to Earth for the first time, and T'pau tells him not to underestimate them given that they beat the romulans back in x number of years when it took us y number of years - maybe it arose from that?
I can find no such dialogue in that scene, or indeed anywhere in Spock's World.

Even if there were, it is generally best to assume that the writers of the TV shows are unfamiliar with the books. Writing for TV is a rather time-consuming activity and leaves little room for recreational reading, and when TV producers do get a chance to take a break from their shows, probably the last thing they'd want to read is more stuff about their shows. So the overwhelming majority of the time, anything onscreen that reflects something from the books or comics is going to be pure and absolute coincidence.

Along those lines, I've just been re-reading Malibu's DS9 comics, and it's surprising how many things there are in the comics that anticipate developments years later on the show. There's a story with a flashback to the commander of Terok Nor (not Dukat, though) wanting Odo to execute a group of terrorists including Kira, like in "Necessary Evil." There's a story with Sisko taking Jake and Nog on a field trip to the Gamma Quadrant, like in "The Jem'hadar" (only with Keiko instead of Quark). There's a story about a half-Bajoran/half-Cardassian woman, anticipating Tora Ziyal. That sort of thing. It just goes to show how routinely different people writing about the same premise or characters come up with convergent ideas.
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Old December 19 2013, 09:34 PM   #13
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Re: The Vulcan Sundering: Books vs TV episodes

Christopher wrote: View Post
Yeah, but you'd think that if the Vulcans had been at war with the Romulans for a century in that period, then somewhere along the way they would've discovered what Romulans looked like. I can buy the Vulcan government knowing and keeping the secret if there'd been very limited interaction since the Sundering, but not if there'd been a century-long war.

Besides, the Vulcans only returned to space in the 19th century, some 300 years before Enterprise. And yet their primary enemy from the mid-20th century onward was the Andorians.
Ah, good point. I forgot about Little Green Men(As perhaps did the scriptwriter of Death Wish...).

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I can find no such dialogue in that scene, or indeed anywhere in Spock's World.
Just got home and yeah, you're right. I conflated the talk of how fast earth vessels were with whatever book talked about a war. It's really going to bug me trying to recall which book it's from. No doubt I'll reread it some day in the future & kick myself.
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Old December 19 2013, 09:49 PM   #14
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Re: The Vulcan Sundering: Books vs TV episodes

Actually the reference to when Vulcans returned to space was from an ENT episode. "Little Green Men" has Quark claim the Vulcans still didn't have warp drive as of 1947, but I wouldn't trust him as an authority on Vulcan history, so I go with the ENT figure instead.
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Old December 19 2013, 11:46 PM   #15
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Re: The Vulcan Sundering: Books vs TV episodes

Christopher wrote: View Post
Actually the reference to when Vulcans returned to space was from an ENT episode. "Little Green Men" has Quark claim the Vulcans still didn't have warp drive as of 1947, but I wouldn't trust him as an authority on Vulcan history, so I go with the ENT figure instead.
According to Memory Alpha, the specific ENT episode is "The Forge." Christopher, do you remember the specific dialogue off the top of your head? Vulcans not having 2000 years of spacefaring history behind them has long bothered me.
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