Do Romulans Feel?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by david g, Aug 19, 2008.

  1. david g

    david g Commodore Commodore

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    As we all know, Vulcans feel but repress their emotions. Do Romulans also repress their emotions? They are a strange, and strangely undeveloped, species--I wonder if the new film will fill in the blanks...

    Just about the only characterization of a Romulan with any depth to it is in the S1 VOY episode "Eye of the Needle," where Voyager encounters a Romulan via a tiny wormhole.
     
  2. M

    M Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Ever watched an episode called Balance of Terror? Or how about The Defector?
     
  3. Dale

    Dale Vice Admiral Admiral

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    All the evidence we have suggests that Romulans are very passionate and expressive people, mistrustful and quick to anger. Any "reserve" you witness and perhaps interpret as Vulcan-style emotional repression is probably due to the society they live in, which is based on precepts of paranoia, mistrust, and secret-keeping. The Romluan government keeps a close watch on the activities and even thoughts of its citizens, which accounts for the reserve we see in Romulan citizens in some episodes. But they display their emotions frequently, and their highs and lows are more extreme than those of Vulcans or even Humans.
     
  4. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yes, they both need to repress their violent emotions in order to have a stable social structure. Vulcans do this by making logic and emotional repression a fetish. Romulans might do the same through extreme clannishness and xenophobia - directing negative emotions outwards in lieu of repression - but this is definitely an area that needs to be developed & explained.
     
  5. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    No, Romulans don't surpress their emotions. It's just that we've met a lot of military types who seem to be uptight about everything.
     
  6. Dale

    Dale Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Face of the Enemy...
     
  7. david g

    david g Commodore Commodore

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    Thanks for the helpful responses. While I like the woman captains in The Enterprise Incident and in Face of the Enemy a lot, I still cant think of many episodes in which we really get to learn that much about Romulan culture.
     
  8. nx1701g

    nx1701g Admiral Admiral

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    Wasn't it said in an episode that the Romulans themselves split from the Vulcans because they didn't want to give up their warrior ways and their emotions?
     
  9. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Curiously, no. I mean, that's more or less the backstory that everybody accepts, but I don't think any episode or movie has stated it outright. It's just as possible that the Romulans were an exceptionally peaceful faction that escaped Vulcan when the remaining Vulcans were at their most violent, a bit before Surak's time. Or that the Romulans were the victims of a racist purge where all the ridgeheaded inhabitants of the planet, plus a few of their flathead supporters, were either slaughtered or driven off the planet.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  10. alicelouise

    alicelouise Commander Red Shirt

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    Romulans seem to be in what some would term a "low trust" society. They're smart, inventive but have to be careful due to a strong and repressive government. Think of the modern day People's Republic of China, or various brutal regimes in the Middle East. You only open up to those who have jumped through multiple hoops before bestowing any trust. :rommie:
     
  11. CoveTom

    CoveTom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Didn't Pardak in "Unification" actually say that the Romulans are a passionate people? I think we've seen evidence that he was right.
     
  12. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    No. That's a popular bit of fanon, but nothing more. Really, there's no evidence that the Vulcans who left their homeworld and became Romulans were in rebellion against Surak.

    In fact:
    the Vulcan's Soul novels suggest that it was Surak's idea in the first place, at least partly. He reasoned that even if Vulcan tore itself apart in civil war, which did seem likely at the time, that some essence of their people would survive among the stars.
     
  13. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    OTOH, if one believes in the idea of Romulans leaving because they didn't stomach Surak's pacifism, one can then interpret this tidbit from ENT "The Forge" in a certain way:

    "Raptor's wings" is an obvious allusion to the later Romulan symbol - but of course, even if one takes this allusion for a solid fact, this doesn't mean that the people who opposed Surakian ways were the same that traveled to the stars.

    Incidentally, Memory Alpha claims Surak's demise was part of the final battle where the raptor folks supposedly lost. But the actual phrasing suggests that Surak died before that battle. Days before? Years before? Decades before? Centuries before? Everything is possible.

    Diane Duane's novels suggest Surak died in an attempt to mediate peace, far away from home and thus supposedly far away from Mount Seleya. The flashbacks from ENT "The Awakening" don't necessarily contradict this claim, as Surak is shown dying of radiation poisoning. He may have been poisoned during his diplomatic visit, only to die at return to his ancestral lands.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  14. DrTaylor

    DrTaylor Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    The movie might answer this, you know.
     
  15. OneBuckFilms

    OneBuckFilms Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Spock actually advises Kirk to strike first in Balance of Terror based on the probability that the Romulans are an offshoot of the Vulcans from a more violent past.

    In "Unification", there are still artifacts from Vulcan found in Romulan possession, and the entire episode is about the reunification and Vulcan.

    All of this is canon, and we've seen a lot of passion and emotion from Romulans.

    Romulans are really based on ancient Roman culture and attitudes, right from the beginning.
     
  16. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    He's a bit more circumspect than that. He first says that Vulcan had a violent colonization period in the past, because Vulcans are violent by nature. He then says "if Romulans retain this martial philosophy...". The use of "retain" seems to mean that Spock acknowledges the Romulans are descendants of Vulcans, something confirmed in many other places later on. But nothing indicates that retention of violence would have been the reason Romulans departed Vulcan. Indeed, Spock's reference to "colonization period" may refer to interstellar colonization performed by violent Vulcans, long before a rift developed between them and the Romulans.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  17. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    There's a pseudo-religious aspect of the way Surak's teachings have been presented that lead me to believe that, at least dramatically speaking, it makes more sense for Surak to die before his followers win. By the time they win, the teachings have been corrupted (I personally don't believe Surak would have even condoned fighting those who opposed to).

    I like this idea a lot. It fits with the nature of Surak (both when originally seen and in Enterprise). He's a man that abhors all violence and I think, in Enterprise, he was appalled at the way his Awakening had been used for more bloodshed. Although, in the end, I do think that those who opposed his teachings chose exile and the violence of Vulcan did come to an end (those who remained did choose a more pacifistic, logical society than that which had existed before him).

    Right now, the writers seem to try to mostly imply that the Romulans left because of Surak and his logic movement, but don't outright say it.
     
  18. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, fanon or no, there are elements from TOS and ENT that strongly suggest that the fanon assumption about Surak and the Romulans is supposed to be part of the backstory. It all fits together nicely.

    The Romulans objected to Surak's logic-fetish solution to what ailed Vulcan society, so they left. But they still had to come up with a solution of their own.
     
  19. OneBuckFilms

    OneBuckFilms Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I think it likely that the Romulans, and much of their culture are pretty much how the Vulcans were before Surak.

    Surak, in many ways, is likely similar to Jesus in that he promoted peace among a violent society (Roman=Romulan).

    Instead of Christianity, there is Logic and IDIC.

    And just like Christianity, Vulcan still has shades of it's "pagan" ways (rituals, ceremony and some traditions) scattered throughout it's past.
     
  20. Rÿcher

    Rÿcher Fleet Captain

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    The Vulcans do have emotions. They choose to suppress them. The Romulans chose to leave Vulcan around 2,000 years ago as a way to separate themselves from the Vulcan reformation of the pursuit of logic and the suppression of emotion.

    I'm sure if a Romulan wanted to, he could but as Troi told Picard in "The Neutral Zone", Romulans can be passionate one moment and calm the next [sic].