Pon Farr Research

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by leifer, Nov 23, 2011.

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  1. Uxi

    Uxi Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Did you watch Amok Time, yet? That's got just about everything we know (which is only the challenge part, not the marriage part).
     
  2. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    ENT got more into the marriage ceremony (especially since it was pointed out to Trip that if T'Pol invoked the kalifee, Trip'd probably wind up dead).
     
  3. TerragonSix

    TerragonSix Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Well, I have found the best way to research something is to personally experiment and analyze it.

    So, take a large quantity of male endowment pills (such as Viagra or Levitra), and occasionally giving yourself shots of adrenaline (use an EpiPen, insert on the exterior portion of the meaty part of the thigh) Once every three hours.

    Have fun.

    (And no, I'm not being serious)

    Now being serious, let me know the results of your research. It is rather interesting.
     
  4. voodoowoman

    voodoowoman Commander Red Shirt

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    Spock is the only source we have for info on this subject. "Every seven years, we are driven by forces we cannot control, to return home, and take a mate, or die in the attempt."
    People mistakenly take this to mean the cycle is male. That cannot be. Nature does not create this kind of crisis for mere sexual pleasure. Mating is reproduction and there is no point in driving a male to the point of death or murder if the female is not ovulating. I theorize that orginally there was no mating cycle for the male. Males were able (telepathically) to discern which females were fertile and their obsession was with them. Vulcan cultural bonding of children was an attempt to control this ,so that (seven year estrous?) he was linked to HIS female only. I think that's where the seven years comes in. Perhaps Vulcan women only become fertile every seven years.
    Evidently, Spock's bond with T'Pring had not "kicked in." We don't know why really. T'Pring's relationship with Stonn, whether intimate or not seems to have been the trigger for Spock's crisis. Remember, Spock has been missing from Vulcan for eighteen years! T'Pring logically concluded that she was not going to get marriage, and a family from him, so she chose someone else, thinking it would be allright since the bond was flawed. I know she didn't say this, only that she didn't want to be the consort of a "legend" This makes no sense. Spock should have shown up years ago!
     
  5. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    The race would probably go extinct if the females only became fertile only once every seven years, so it's much more likely that the pon farr mating drive is the only time they have to mate. Otherwise, they can (and almost certain do) mate any time they damn well want to.
     
  6. 7thsealord

    7thsealord Captain Captain

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    That seems to be the most widely-favoured interpretation. Certainly, IMO, it makes the most sense.

    Noting, however, that Vulcans do have a 200+ year lifespan, and allegedly don't hit sexual maturity until they hit 50 or so. That is going by what was said in 'Enterprise' a couple of times, though nuSpock in the movie might have been an early bloomer in that regard - his Human genes, perhaps?
     
  7. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    Spock was in his mid thirties, and even then was about fifteen years late when he hit pon farr.
     
  8. Doug Otte

    Doug Otte Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    What's your source for this info?

    Doug
     
  9. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    Age is via "Yesteryear"; Spock requests that the Guardian send him to Vulcan thirty years ago, when he was only seven years old.

    The standard age for a Vulcan male to enter pon farr for the first time is from Dorothy Fontana's Star Trek novel, "Vulcan's Glory".
     
  10. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Spock said send him back thirty years, and than gave a specific Vulcan month name. It would have been strange for him to give a Vulcan month, but be using Earth years, when giving the years.

    Likely they were thirty Vulcan years.
     
  11. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    For the purposes of the show, a Vulcan year is close enough to an Earth year for government work.

    Besides, in "Journey to Babel", did Amanda look like someone pushing 80?

    Vulcans don't develop any slower than humans, they just live a helluva lot longer.
     
  12. Redfern

    Redfern Commodore Commodore

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    Unfortunately, that was a factor I overlooked when I was 10 and had a chance to speak to Leonard Nimoy at a 1973 auto show. I worked out this relative aging process that made me reason Spock was something like 70+ years old during the 5 year mission. I never stopped to consider Amanda was nowhere near 90 years in "Journey to Babel". D'oh!

    Sincerely,

    Bill
     
  13. 7thsealord

    7thsealord Captain Captain

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    Looking at what has been achieved in recent years as regards gerontology, cosmetic surgery, etc. maybe Amanda really was a lot older than she looked.

    Don't think it was something any of the series ever went close to. Mention of Human lifespan (as compared to Vulcan) was never made, and the inference seemed to be that Humans more or less aged at the same rate as now (best reference seems to be TOS's 'The Deadly Years')
     
  14. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    Excellent example. Compare Kirk at the physical age of "between 60 and 72, aging rapidly" and Bill Shatner today at age 80.

    Further, check out Spock "on the high side of 100."
     
  15. 7thsealord

    7thsealord Captain Captain

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    'The Making Of Star Trek' (which seems a reliable enough source usually) states that, for 'The Deadly Years' make-up, Bill Shatner refused outright to be "aged" quite as much as the other actors. Make of that what you will.
     
  16. smalltalk66

    smalltalk66 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    My suggestion is to examine the (1) the etic and emic perspectives of ponn farr/ koon-ut-kall-if-fee and (2) the role of female dominance/male deference in the rituals, and what this demonstrates about ancient Vulcan culture. A lot of this, as posters have pointed out, can be gleaned from the episode itself.

    There's not a whole lot out there regarding the cultural significance of the combat, location, and objects of the ritual, though--other than than the fact that the weapons REALLY mess up a guy's uniform.

    An interesting topic--you show some spirit. I'm sure your professor gets tired of reading the same boring topics, so I do know why he allowed it. Good luck.
     
  17. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    Except for, ya know, the other Vulcans that have dealt with it in other Trek shows.
     
  18. Trekkie2

    Trekkie2 Commander Red Shirt

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    Surprisingly, there are several universities that employ the philosophy and vision of Star Trek in the courses they offer. Georgetown U. is one of them.
    As far as I know, Pon Farr was covered in one or two episodes of each series except TNG & TAS. I don't remember the names of the episodes other than TOS: Amok Time and ENT: Blood Fever. You might try reviewing those for further information. Oh, don't forget the absurd third movie I'd rather forget was made: ST: The Search for Spock.
     
  19. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    Back in the 1980s, I was taking a sociology course. When it came time to write my term paper, I was stumped for a topic. When I told my prof I was having trouble, he asked if I was going to the science fiction convention in Calgary that coming weekend (this was the annual convention held every Thanksgiving weekend in October). I said yes, and he said, "Well, why don't you write about that? The Guest of Honor is my cousin."

    Well, I was flabbergasted. And ecstatic. I could write about science fiction fandom in my sleep! Oh, and my prof's cousin?

    Orson Scott Card. :cool:


    @leifer: There is another possible source of information. It isn't canon, but it is very well thought-out. See if you can fine The Best of Trek books in a library or online. I don't recall which one had the essay I'm thinking of, but somebody wrote one in which she extrapolated some of what would have happened at the marriage ceremony if T'Pring had not challenged.

    Remember what T'Pau warned Kirk? That he might be disturbed at what he was about to see, but it was Vulcan custom? Well, at that point, T'Pring hadn't yet made the challenge. So what was T'Pau referring to?

    The author of the essay reminds us of what T'Pring was wearing... a rather unusually-cut dress. Spock was in a hurry to get on with things. He was embarrassed about the whole situation. For these and other reasons which I can't recall (it's been many years since I read this essay), the author speculates that the marriage would have been consummated right there, on the spot, in public, in front of everybody.

    Now that doesn't seem reasonable, given what we know of Vulcans' intense preference for privacy. But to what else could T'Pau have been referring? She didn't know that T'Pring was going to challenge. A normal exchange of vows wouldn't have been something that would have been "disturbing" to off-worlders. So this is one of the mysteries of a normal Vulcan wedding that we are never told.
     
  20. 7thsealord

    7thsealord Captain Captain

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    Purely speculative, but certainly not out of the question.

    Given Spock's state of mind (which seemed to be pretty much the Vulcan norm), I would even call it plausible. Would help explain why Vulcans in general are so reticent about what, logically, is 'merely an involuntary biological imperative'. Which is, I am absolutely certain, how Vulcans would calmly refer to this state if seen in another race/culture.

    I also suggest that there could be some degree of variation in the whole deal. Vulcans seem (like a lot of Trek aliens) to have a monoculture - there are no apparent variations in their culture and traditions, as far as we know. Other than the few small dissident groups, that is.

    But, important as traditions are in Vulcan society, it may be that some Vulcans "keep to the old ways" more thoroughly than others. The ceremony in 'Amok Time' may be the fullbore traditional version of a Vulcan marriage (hate to think it is actually the "reformed" or "modern" version ;) ).

    Yeah, lots of "may bes" and "could bes" in all that. Just thinking out loud, really.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2011
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