Admiral Jarok, the Norkan massacre and Romulan isolation

Discussion in 'The Next Generation' started by Xerxes1979, Jul 24, 2013.

  1. Xerxes1979

    Xerxes1979 Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2009
    Location:
    Gamma Hydra Section 10
    Jarok appears to be a middle aged Romulan with no grey hair. He also apparently has a young child.

    If the Norkan attack happened prior to the Romulan period of isolation how old is Jarok? If it happen in recent history why did the Federation not directly respond or interact with Romulan Star Empire?

    Norkan(Pi Hydrae) is a real star in the constellation of Hydra some 100 light years from Earth. 100 LY is fairly close to the Federation core is it not? One could not just ignore it especially if thousands of deaths were involved.
     
  2. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2001
    Location:
    On the run.
    He does have grey hair.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    The problem with the Romulan "isolationism" established in "The Neutral Zone" was that it was pretty much contradicted later. Unless we really want to believe that the Norkan "campaign" took place 70+ years before the episode, which doesn't really seem to be the episode's intention.
     
  4. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    When Admiral Haden tells Picard that Jarok has been identified as the Norkan outposts bad guy, it's quite possible to see this as him saying that a long-sought-after, notorious baddie from the depths of history has now been handed over to Picard. Say, a Nazi war criminal has surfaced today from, say, Argentine, where he has been doing valuable military or political work until recently, but is now ready to come clean and help solve Argentine war crimes in turn.

    The other obvious possibility that still preserves the seven decades of silence is that Admiral Jarok commanded the forces in the massacres just a few months before the episode... The Romulans have been quite active in intervening episodes, so the "silence" is clearly over by now.

    From the point of view of the Romulan himself, seventy years is not a particularly long time. From the point of view of our heroes, it is a short time only if the Norkan thing was a major historical event; it would not be remembered if it were akin to the Setlik III raid. But it does sound as if it were a major thing, from both sides of the game: Haden and Picard hotly accuse Jarok of complicity, while Jarok says it was a whole "campaign" that may have been viewed as heroic by the Star Empire.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  5. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Though it's never been officially established we have every reason to believe Romulans age like Vulcans.
     
  6. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Location:
    Shangri-La
    Senator Pardek was established as being long lived in Unification.

    So yeah, Jarok's military career could've easily spanned a century. It was never specified who the Norkan campaigns/massacres where against. Could've easily been the Klingons, who it was established were at the very least were skirmishing regularly with the Romulans over that time period(Khitomer/Narendra 3) or it could've been random aliens or a colonial revolt.
     
  7. Xerxes1979

    Xerxes1979 Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2009
    Location:
    Gamma Hydra Section 10
    I am willing to entertain that idea. However The Neutral Zone happened at the very end of season one and The Defector states Jarok was reassigned six months or more prior to the episode. If the Norkan campaign happened it would have had to have been in season two.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2013
  8. Xerxes1979

    Xerxes1979 Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2009
    Location:
    Gamma Hydra Section 10
    I admit my error. Strange since I recently watched the Blu-ray. If this typical of Romulan/Vulcan age related greying, he may be older than Sarek was in Journey to Babel.
     
  9. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Location:
    Regina, SK, Canada
    It's fully possible that the Isolation wasn't at complete as it's assumed and there was some occasional conflict and interactions during that time but not much normal diplomacy during the period.
     
  10. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    That "The Neutral Zone" would establish total Romulan silence is somewhat debatable, no matter what the original writer's intent.

    What is direct contact? Handshakes or official letters? Disruptor hits or sexual intercourse? When was the Tomed incident? Two weeks ago?

    This answers neither of the questions, at least not in an understandable, unambiguous way. Does "barely a whisper" mean occasional direct contacts or no direct contacts at all? Does "back with a roar" define direct contact for us? Picard essentially just says that the Romulans haven't attacked a large number of UFP outposts for fifty years... That doesn't exclude diplomatic negotiations, an occasional battle between Romulan and Federation ships, a lone outpost raided, etc.

    Is this in reference to the fifty years of barely a whisper, or to the no direct contact since Tomed, or both? It could be neither, since there has obviously been more contact before Tomed and/or before those fifty years, and even that hasn't provided out heroes with anything concrete! It's not dependent on direct contact or lack thereof, then, that Romulans are difficult to understand. Apparently, rumor and conjecture is all that "Balance of Terror", "The Deadly Years", "The Enterprise Incident" and ST6:TUC yielded, too.

    The apparent attacks against the outposts are what Riker considers "this first encounter", so there has been a shortage of such things lately. And "all this time" makes it sound the shortage has been more like fifty years than two months. But this "first" encounter clearly isn't the first time Starfleet and Romulan ships have met in space, or the first time Romulans have attacked UFP outposts, or the first time a Fed will have spoken with a Romulan. It's merely a "first after all this time", which is quite uninformative.

    In the end, the original two questions remain unanswered. Perhaps the Tomed incident was indeed just a few months earlier (possibly in "Angel One"?), and there has been plenty of "direct contact" before it - but it still amounts to "barely a whisper". Certainly we never hear the word "isolation" used, and the only thing we know hasn't happened recently with Romulans is open attacks against UFP assets.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  11. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Location:
    Regina, SK, Canada
    Heck, "Yesterday's Enterprise" has Yar mention Romulan Warship designs from the 2340s. How would they have known what their ships were like then if there was no contact.
     
  12. USS Firefly

    USS Firefly Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Well that was a alternate universe where perhaps more things were different.
     
  13. Kevman7987

    Kevman7987 Captain Captain

    Joined:
    May 20, 2013
    Location:
    Erie, PA, USA
    I think the mentions about the Romulans in TNG reference the attack on Khitomer and Narendra III. Both are Klingon colony worlds. Might the Romulan isolation been only technical? As in, they did not have any direct confrontations with the Federation so they were technically isolated as far as the Federation was concerned? Or am I incorrect? It wouldn't be the first time the writers on a Star Trek series retconned something from their own series to make a story work.
     
  14. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Certainly there was creative interpreting of the earlier dialogue whenever a new "Romulan episode" was coined. And as pointed out above, it was easy going for everybody involved, because the wording was always fuzzy at best. (In that sense, one of the early claims about Romulans definitely stands: "All we know is based on rumor and conjecture"!)

    To recap, there is no mention of any "isolation" in the episodes - only of lack of direct contact, whatever that means. And we don't even know how long this direct contact was lacking, save for it not having taken place after the Tomed incident, which in turn takes place at a canonically unknown time.

    By studying the records after there again was contact, I'd guess. The same as with certain Soviet technologies.

    Indeed, the very subject of this thread, Admiral Jarok, was subject to some records that Starfleet had. But records can and will cover times and events outside the time when the records themselves were written. Them mentioning the Norkan campaign does not mean the campaign took place within the time period when the records were written; it could well be data learned after "The Neutral Zone" but relating to much earlier events.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  15. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    The problem with "The Neutral Zone's" take that "we haven't heard a peep out of the Romulans except for rumor and conjecture" is that only a few episodes before, in "Heart of Glory," we learn all about the attack on Khitomer and Worf's rescue by the Intrepid. So Starfleet and the Klingons would have already known a bit more than just "rumors and conjecture" about the Romulans' activities before TNZ.
     
  16. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2013
    Location:
    The Captain's Table
    It happened in 2311 if we're to believe the novel continuity. In any event, the isolation may have pertained only to official diplomatic contact between the two governments. It's entirely possible that there were skirmishes and incidents involving Romulan ships (and we know that they attacked at least two Klingon installations) with or without Federation involvement following the Tomed incident.

    --Sran
     
  17. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Then again, Picard is concerned with the nature and thinking of the Romulans, rather than their documented activities. Knowing they attacked Khitomer or postured during "Angel One" doesn't necessarily help in predicting what they will do after gobbling up several Neutral Zone outposts - they are an enigma because of the things they are known for.

    It's a bit surprising that we have to totally rely on the novel continuity in this respect: canon stays completely mum about Tomed. The way it is phrased by Riker, the incident could well have taken place the same year the episode did, or perhaps a decade earlier. Associating it directly with Picard's "fifty years" statement is something of a leap in the Okuda Chronology.

    The word "isolation" is another thing canon doesn't really support. Romulans are never considered "isolated" in any episode or movie. "Gambit" has a faction of Vulcans aiming for isolation, and "Indiscretion" has Dukat deride Bajorans for being weak and isolated, but that's about that as far as cultural isolation goes in canon.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  18. cheesepuff316

    cheesepuff316 Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2013
    I agree with this theory because: Vulcans can live to over 200, so Romulans, as a distant relation, probably can too? This would mean that Jarok could be 'old' in human terms, but middle aged in Romulan terms.
     
  19. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    We never quite hear of any difference between Romulans and Vulcans, save for the former never having adopted the pacifist-logical philosophies of the latter, and for there being some subtle biological difference there that starship sensors can discern but only after careful study.

    We have never heard of Romulan pon farr, but there's nothing to say it wouldn't exist. We have never heard of Romulan mind melds, but there's nothing directly against them. We have never seen a Romulan use a neck pinch, but that may be simply because they believe in shooting first and rubbing the enemy's shoulders later.

    Romulan and Vulcan lifespans might be roughly equal, too, then. We know rather little about either. Sarek lived to 202 or so, but he apparently died of a geriatric illness; did that shorten his life? We know Pardek lived for at least a century without showing the usual Vulcanoid signs of aging (grey hair, wrinkles), but he might have been hiding his age with cosmetic trickery and had one foot in the grave already. Tuvok's age was a complex issue, but apparently he was a bit over 100 while looking young by human standards, much like Sarek in TOS. Other full Vulcanoids go almost totally undescribed. So make of that what you will.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  20. SpHeRe31459

    SpHeRe31459 Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2013
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    That makes me wonder about the Mintakan people and their lifespan. Since they're considered proto-Vulcan offshoot, do they have long lives too?