Could the Hobus destruction of Romulus have been metaphorical?

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies XI+' started by chrinFinity, Jul 10, 2014.

  1. chrinFinity

    chrinFinity Captain Captain

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    Good afternoon,

    It's been a while since I saw Star Trek 2009, but I was turning all the various problems over in my head, and keep coming back to Nero's motivation to have revenge on Vulcan, hatred of Spock, and the destruction of Romulus.

    My question for you who may remember all the details of the film more completely than I do, is there any room for interpretation in the dialogue to allow for the possibility that perhaps the Hobus supernova itself was not physically responsible for the actual destruction of the planet Romulus?

    Could the development or deployment of Red Matter, by Vulcan / the Federation, or their choice to use it on Hobus in the way they did or at the time they did, have had secondary (rather than directly physical) destructive impact on Romulus.

    If perhaps, there were two simultaneous crises requiring Red Matter, but only so much to go around, and Spock's logic was responsible for the choice "not to save" Romulus, because for instance the threat at Hobus affected more worlds ("needs of the many," etc.). Or alternatively, that Spock's two decades of Unification activism may have had a political impact on Romulus that left them weakened or unprepared (e.g. militarily) to address some secondary impact of the Hobus event. Could Romulus's society have collapsed, or some sort of political revolution have occurred that was in some way catalyzed or tied into the Hobus event (thus, "destroying" the Romulus that Nero knew).

    What I'm getting at here is to determine if it is absolutely, positively, established in canon beyond any doubt or room for interpretation, that the planet Romulus was physically destroyed and exploded / burned up, etc, or is there any breathing room for a possible alternative interpretation of the story relayed by Spock and Nero in on-screen dialogue regarding the catastrophic events of 2387?

    I'd like to get the thoughts of TrekBBS people on this issue, and then re-watch the movie myself.

    And FYI, anyone who mentions things we saw in flashback as evidence is going to be reminded that Delta Vega is about a kilometre away from Vulcan in Spock's imagination.
     
  2. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Pretty sure they show the Hobus shockwave obliterating Romulus.
     
  3. Franklin

    Franklin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Spock Prime said the star went supernova before he could release the red matter, and he was too late to save Romulus. As BillJ said, it is shown being obliterated in Spock's flashback. Spock Prime released the red matter anyway to prevent any further destruction since so many other planets were threatened.

    There's no indication that Romulus was destroyed by a misapplication or other problem with the red matter. The supernova got it.
     
  4. chrinFinity

    chrinFinity Captain Captain

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    Yes but that was in a Flashback during the retelling. That could still be metaphoric, especially if Spock's guilt or Nero's obsession directly links Hobus with harm to Romulus in their minds.

    Flashbacks in Star Trek canon have been repeatedly and consistently depicted as being subjective and fallible to perception, and have been generally shown to be from the perspective of either the speaker or the listener in a retelling (TNG: "A Matter of Perspective," DS9: "Rules of Engagement," TNG: "Clues", STV The Final Frontier, VOY: "Ex Post Facto," DS9: "Things Past," TNG: "Schisms", VOY: "Flashback").
     
  5. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Since all we know of the event comes from only Spock and Nero, dialogue from their lips is just as unreliable as the flashbacks.
     
  6. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think there's anything in the movie that points to Spock's retelling as being inaccurate. While not canon, the comic prequel Countdown shows a period of time between the destruction of Romulus and the detonation of the Red Matter and Spock/Nero being sucked into the past.
     
  7. Franklin

    Franklin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Most technically, there's nothing to prove one way or the other if the mind meld is a metaphor created by Spock Prime or a hallucination for some reason. However, I don't know why Spock Prime would hallucinate the destruction of Romulus. Nero saw it happen, too. So if it didn't really happen, then both hallucinated. That seems very unlikely, and any explanation that it is would be pure rationalization. So, if someone feels better wanting to think it didn't happen and Spock Prime and Nero are wrong for some reason, then go for it. Seems far-fetched, but it doesn't really affect the story.
     
  8. chrinFinity

    chrinFinity Captain Captain

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    Yes but it affects what happens after 2387 in the real universe, so it's important.
     
  9. Sindatur

    Sindatur The Grey Owl Wizard Premium Member

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    Spock specifically stated that Romulus blew up before he could deploy the Red Matter. That's a pretty big detail to "remember wrong". He would've had to have been deliberately lying. To me, that proves, without a doubt Hobus did it, not, the Red Matter going wrong.
     
  10. Ovation

    Ovation Vice Admiral Admiral

    Well, each universe is as "real" as the other (as in neither one is real), so I'm not sure what your point is here.
     
  11. Franklin

    Franklin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's also very unlikely we'll ever see that other universe on screen, again, so it really isn't that important. If it's important for fan fiction or comics still set in that universe, then they may want to take their cue from the comic prequel, where it's quite clear Romulus was destroyed.
     
  12. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Spock's recollection shows Romulas being destroyed, wouldn't Spock have traveled straight from Vulcan to Hobus?

    :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2014
  13. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    [​IMG]
     
  14. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Nero's backstory is that he was originally a decent working class stiff who was traumatized by witnessing the destruction of Romulus and as a result, he's taking his anger and grief out on the galaxy by becoming an Evil Villain and blowing up worlds, so that others can feel his pain. In order for this to make any kind of sense, he would actually have had to see Romulus blow up, ergo it did.
     
  15. TorontoTrekker

    TorontoTrekker Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I haven't watched the movie in a while, so I may be misremembering - but we only see Romulus destroyed with our own eyes through the flashback narrated by Nero. He may have said something to the effect of "I saw it happen" - as I said, it's been a while and I don't remember his exact words - but it could also have been what he was visualizing in his mind's eye as he related what had happened.

    It's much more likely that what happened was similar to what happened to Qo'nos in TUC - its environment was damaged or destroyed by a gamma-ray burst (GRB) from the supernova, rendering it uninhabitable and, for all intents and purposes, destroyed. A GRB is certainly powerful enough - one going off within a thousand light years of Earth would destroy us, if it happened to be pointing in our direction. (I'm not sure if GRBs cause actual physical destruction, though, of if they would just blow away our atmosphere.)

    Though given the distances involved in interstellar space, it should have taken a few years for a GRB to reach Romulus, even if it was as close to Romulus as we are to Alpha Centauri - but accurate physics hasn't been a hallmark of the Abramsverse (Trek in general plays fast and loose with the laws of physics at times, but I happen to think that Abrams plays even faster and looser). It's not like in TUC, where Praxis was identified as "a Klingon moon" - but it was never explicitly stated whether or not it was a moon of Qo'nos (which it would pretty much have to be, for its explosion to have that effect on the planet), just in the same system, or somewhere within the Empire.

    A rewatch to listen to Nero's exact words should clear things up, though.
     
  16. Set Harth

    Set Harth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The flashback is narrated by Spock(Nimoy), not Nero.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2014
  17. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Star Trek Online, which is suppose to be the Prime universe as it happens after Spock is taken to the Nu Universe, has the remains of Romulus. Not much left really. Lots of rocks, the largest pieces resembling maybe a 24th of the crust of the planet.

    Romulus was destroyed.

    That also fits in somewhat with the Q future from "All Good Things..." since Romulan space was taken over by the Klingons. Why would they be able to do so, unless of course Romulus was destroyed.

    It also suggests that the supernova was subspace related and has a matter to energy conversion ability that made the supernova expand faster as it went as it gained energy from the matter it destroyed. Basically nonsense to correct total nonsense in the idea that a supernova could threaten the entire galaxy and destroy Romulus from several light years away.
     
  18. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    On hand, I wouldn't dismiss the idea which might be interesting. The flashback will likely (if not certainly) turn out to be "metaphorical" when a canonical work decides to contradict it as has happened a million times in the past. Star Trek has never been shy to contradict itself, so new writers are unlikely to resist making Romulus destruction a result of a diplomatic crisis or even resurrect it in the Prime universe.

    On the other hand, effects from red matter certainly weren't the cause for destruction. Nero said "the one who allowed our planet to be destroyed". If you're delusional as he was, and you wanted to blame the Federation and Spock as much as he did, you would never sugercoat such sentence if you could say "Spock and the Federation destroyed Romulus". Now I am sure that wouldn't stop future writers either, but using that phrase makes it clear that there's no ambiguity in the way the film was intended.

    You're left with little room for reinterpretation. At best, the events took much longer and Spock left out things. But if someone decide to explore it - and that could make a nice story - I am sure they will change a thing or two.
     
  19. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Actually, Romulus is still around in All Good Things. The reason they travel on the Pasteur to check out the anomaly is because the Klingons allow Federation ships to travel in what was Romulan territory to help with a plague outbreak on Romulus.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2014
  20. drt

    drt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I think that Praxis is a pretty good example of a similar disaster that produced a superluminal shockwave, since I'd imagine that Excelsior was light years away from that particular explosion.