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Old July 8 2009, 01:01 AM   #76
Bertie
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

While of course fanfic can ultimately be whatever it wants, it seems to me that a lot of this thread is pushing interpretation to the breaking point. "Unification" and "Face of the Enemy" clearly depict fear of the regime and opposition to it. And those are well-known episodes, not something that readers would have easily forgotten.

(Oh, for what it matters, Romulans have ridges in ENT.)
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Old July 8 2009, 01:59 AM   #77
Praetor
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

There are people in every country in the world who "fear and oppose" the "regime" that governs them.
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Old July 8 2009, 05:53 AM   #78
Sci
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

Praetor wrote: View Post
There are people in every country in the world who "fear and oppose" the "regime" that governs them.
But fewer high-ranking commanding officers in said regimes that will admit that their government's secret police has a habit of "disappearing" people for political reasons, as the Romulan captain in "Face of the Enemy" did.

The Romulan Star Empire may not be a totalitarian regime, but I rather doubt they're as relatively benevolent as many here are postulating. I'd equate them with 17th Century England or modern-day Russia in terms of civil rights and liberties and adherence to the principles of liberal democracy, myself.
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Old July 8 2009, 11:43 AM   #79
Anwar
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

I'd say more like Red China.
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Old July 8 2009, 03:05 PM   #80
Bertie
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

While in some sense I share the desire both on this thread and the Cardassian one that there had been a more philosophically coherent opposition to "Federation values" among the main aliens (compare the BSG Cylons, who were allowed to be "right" about many things by that franchise's in-universe standards), the (perhaps unfortunate) reality is that the great majority of canon Trek was just not written that way. Probably that's part of the Roddenberry-ish "message": Cold War Americans and Russians really aren't any "different"; they've just by the whims of history ended up with different and opposed forms of government, and if you take that away and put them in a situation where they have to get to know one another they find that they have a ton of things in common.

Perhaps this message is unrealistic by real-world standards, and certainly many other SF/F systems bake in more deep-seated differences than did Trek, especially post 9-11 SF/F (although I suspect that particular fad might have run its course). And canon of course is not a straightjacket that strictly binds all subsequent fiction for all eternity. But I for one am not quite willing to just rewrite things (at least in the Prime continuity) that were consistently and clearly portrayed over many episodes and films — as was the depiction of Romulans fearful of their government and willing to oppose it and defect from it — just because it happens to be more in line with 2009 storytelling).

(But hey, that's why we got a reboot timeline, right?)
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Old July 9 2009, 06:37 AM   #81
Arpy
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

I agree wholeheartedly Bertie that that's how it's been depicted. Although I am curious how a half-way government would be though...something between the Cardassians (who I think co-opted the Romulan identity) if only for variety's sake. But also reading all this, it would be more complex an identity than we've become used to in storytelling...why is everyone either a capitalist or a Nazi in modern storytelling? This in-between state is especially interesting when one considers that neither the commie Chinese or theocratic Iranians are simply as oppressed or oppressive as we or our media, or we due to our media, paint them as and both would do better to change their ways.

I dunno. Maybe the writers just need to create a uniquely Romulan fucked-up system of governance to explain how Toreth could be so public in here dissaproval of the dreaded Tal Shiar...and one that's worse than the Cardi Nazis because badder is juicier and might explain why Vice-Proconsul(!) M'Ret would go so far as to defect.
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Old August 2 2009, 10:40 PM   #82
alicelouise
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

The Romulan Star Empire could well have been like the Roman Empire. Using Shinzon and Sela as examples; a non Romulan can advance in the system. Those non Romulans advancing have to work twice as hard to get half as far. Nothing new about that.

In ancient Rome a non-Roman can be a citizen and have all the rights as a Roman. The same seems to hold true for the RSE. This would not be through enlightenment but pragmatism.

As for religion, if the Praetor of the moment doesn't see it as a threat to power, they'd be indifferent to it. The RSE probably would not worry about any Earth based religion. The Surakians, led by Spock is another matter.

Rome had its periods of enlightened rulers like Marcus Aurelius. The RSE probably has the same. Then there were the types like Caligula. Who'd want to imagine any type of Romulan equivalent to that?

Like other posters have written, the Romulans like the Romans would probably have positive influences on their tributary or subject worlds. There was a TNG novel written several years ago in which a world had to choose between allying with the RSE or the Federation. I forget the title, but the conclusion is not a foregone one.
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