Did Vulcan space have a name?

Discussion in 'Enterprise' started by Gotham Central, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. Gotham Central

    Gotham Central Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Did the polity that controlled Vulcan space have a name? One of the more peculiar things about Enterprise was that the species that would eventually become part of the Federation did not seem to have organized "states" with borders in the same way that they do in the 23rd and 24th centuries. For instance Enterprise seemed to wander around without ever encountering the same type of political rigidity (i.e. border crossing, patrol ships etc) that dominated other Treks. Other than the Andorian Empire (which never seemed clearly defined) and the Klingon Empire (and of course the distant Romulan Star Empire) few political entities are defined.
     
  2. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Apparently some of the books call it the Confederacy of Vulcan if that's what you're getting at.
     
  3. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, ENT: Kobayashi Maru, The Romulan War: Beneath the Raptor's Wing, and To Brave the Storm establish the Vulcan polity to be named the Confederacy of Vulcan.

    There are references to Vulcan and Andorian borders in numerous ENT eps, especially "Cease Fire" and the Kir'Shara trilogy.

    In a lot of ways, ENT's depiction of borders in space is reasonable. Realistically, any "borders" claimed in interstellar space would be incredibly permeable, and actual territorial control would be limited to those areas adjacent to star systems and to starbases.
     
  4. Gotham Central

    Gotham Central Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The depiction of terriroties in Enterprise is a bit different than they way it appears in all subsequent series.

    You would think that Earth would have fallen within a Vulcan sphere of influence but the Vulcans don't seem to do much in the way of protecting that sphere in the same way that the Federation will a century later. Indeed Enterprise seems to wander around freely in everyone's respective space without being challenged until their reach an important planet.

    One of the things that I find interesting about the Vulcans is that they do not appear to have much of an "empire" in that you rarely heard about Vulcan controlled planets beyond Vulcan itself and their listening post/monastary. I suppose one might argue that the Vulcans were not an expansionist society like the Humans and Andorians. But that does not totally square with the depiction of them reiging in Earth's ambitions for nearly a centruy after first contact. It might have been interesting to have Enterprise encounter another world where the Vulcans held stewardship.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The Vulcans of Enterprise were very much like Cold War-era America -- a society that didn't claim other nations as its territory, yet wielded a strong, far-reaching, paternalistic influence over them in the belief that it was serving their best interests as well as its own. The Vulcan High Command no doubt saw its role as a peacekeeping one, and I think we can safely speculate that the High Command's military presence in this region was the main thing keeping Klingon territory from overrunning Earth in the 21st and early 22nd centuries. But their protection could be heavyhanded and often condescending.
     
  6. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yet during the Xindi arc and the alternate future of Twilight the Vulcans seemed more than happy to let the Xindi genocide the humans. I wouldn't call that a "paternalistic influence."
     
  7. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    Hey, they told them not to leave the house.
     
  8. lurok

    lurok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    George.
     
  9. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    There is absolutely no contradiction between seeking to establish a neo-imperialist hegemony over other cultures by turning them into client states, and being willing to stand by and allow third parties to destroy those client states if you think doing so is more beneficial to you than saving your client state would be.

    The Confederacy of Vulcan during the ENT and pre-ENT era is very much in the neo-imperialist mode. They won't annex your world, but they'll wield so much influence over your government that you'd swear the planet was being run out of the Vulcan Embassy.
     
  10. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The Confederacy of Vulcan sounds incredibly stupid.
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Why? Despite its historical resonance to Americans, "confederacy" is just a slightly different way of saying "federation." They're both from Latin foedus, meaning a league, covenant, or treaty (related to the word for faith or trust). The only difference is that "confederacy" or "confederation" adds the Latin prefix for "together." So one is a group of states joined in a league, and the other is a group of states joined together in a league.

    Anyway, the books' "Confederacy of Vulcan" is no doubt a nod to the "Planetary Confederation of 40 Eridani" from Franz Joseph's Star Fleet Technical Manual. They also refer to "The United Planets of Tellar" as a nod to the SFTM's "United Planets of 61 Cygni."
     
  12. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    Besides, it's likely just a translation of whatever "Confederacy of Vulcan" is in the Vulcan language.
     
  13. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Exactly. Just like the Republic of Chile's real name is actually "la República de Chile," or the Russian Federation's real name is actually "Rossiyskaya Federatsiya."
     
  14. marksound

    marksound Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Lester. Tattooed on the back of the neck.
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Or the People's Republic of China's real name is 中华人民共和国. ;)
     
  16. Why do people quote books as though they're authoritative? They're non-canon, folks.
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    "Canon" is overrated. Canon just means the core work as opposed to derivative works. It doesn't mean some kind of official seal of approval. We're fans, not employees of CBS Studios, so why do we need official approval? This is a work of entertainment, of imagination. It's something we find fun and interesting. It's not study material for some exam where we have to get the "right" answers.

    So relax. Nobody is quoting anything as though it's "authoritative," because of course the whole thing is imaginary. We're merely pointing out what the tie-in materials have asserted. The core body of the fictional franchise has not addressed the issue, so we turn our attention to other interpretations of the fiction which have addressed the issue. We're not claiming it's the "true" or "authoritative" answer, we're just talking about stories people wrote.
     
  18. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Why do people cite "canon" as though it matters?

    Who gives a fuck? It's all equally imaginary.

    "Non-canon" just means that future episodes or films might contradict it -- and that's really no different from canon, since plenty of later episodes or films have contradicted earlier canonical works.
     
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    You know, in the first couple of decades of Trek fandom, you never heard anyone use the word "canon," not that I recall. Because there was little or no new screen Trek on the horizon and thus the prospect of something in the tie-ins being contradicted was a non-issue. The risk of contradiction did exist in the era when new Trek was continuously being produced for TV, and that's when "canon" became a buzzword -- but there is no new Prime-universe canon being produced and isn't likely to be anymore, so it is once again a non-issue. The tie-ins are the only game in town, so saying "they aren't canon" is a totally meaningless set of syllables.

    Of course, tie-ins can still contradict each other; Pocket, IDW, and ST Online all have separate and incompatible continuities, sometimes more than one per company. But that's always been the way. Again, in those early days, the tie-ins went in a lot of different directions. Since there wasn't any new "gospel" being produced, or at least very little of it, it just didn't seem that important whether a story conformed to some singular "real" version of things. It was an exercise in make-believe, something where authors and fans were free to use their imaginations to fill in the gaps, and it was much more individualized. None of this modern attitude of authoritarian canon than fans have to submit and conform to or else... something. It was a lot more populist than that.
     
  20. throwback

    throwback Captain Captain

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    I suppose the same could be said for the direction that Enterprise, and later JJ Abrams Star Trek, took.

    I tend to think that a new timeline was created before "Broken Bow", for there are so many contradictions between Enterprise and the first four series in what was established. One example comes to mind when I think about Vulcan.

    From "Balance of Terror":
    McCoy:
    Spock:
    Based on this, the planet Vulcan, prior to Surak, expanded into neighboring systems with a warlike vigor. We see this implication in Nemesis, where it is implied that the colonizing descendants of Vulcans conquered another species.

    For a species that valued logic and peace, they do have a mean streak of specism. (Is that the right word?) Some of their people viewed humans as "barbarians", a term that Spock once referred to his species once in the third season. (A consistent contrast in Star Trek since the beginning has been the duality of barbarity and civility.)