Federation-Romulan Star Empire relations and Nimbus III

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by FederationHistorian, Nov 22, 2020.

  1. FederationHistorian

    FederationHistorian Captain Captain

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    In STV: TFF, it was revealed that Nimbus III was established as a Planet of Galactic Peace between the Federation, the Klingon Empire, and the Romulan Star Empire. And based on the date of its establishment, that places it during TOS S2.

    But considering the extremely limited contact between the Federation and the Romulan Star Empire, wasn’t that a little quick for diplomatic channels between both sides to open?

    Between TOS and TAS, the Romulans only made 5 appearances (I’m not counting “The Time Trap” here.)

    “Balance of Terror” (2266)
    “The Deadly Years” (2267)
    “The Enterprise Incident” (2268)
    “The Survivor” (2269)
    “The Practical Joker” (2270)

    I get that Nimbus III being a Planet of Galactic Peace, and was established in the aftermath of “Errand of Mercy”. But how did the Federation manage to reach out to the Romulans, considering that the Romulans had a habit of surrounding the USS Enterprise on a yearly basis and were in a combative state? The Federation only had one encounter – maybe two – with them since the Earth-Romulan War and in the run up to the founding of Nimbus III, and “Balance of Terror” makes it clear that both sides had no contact with each other until this episode. Were the Klingons and Romulans on speaking terms by this point, since there was a technological exchange that is seen in “The Enterprise Incident” and continued in TSFS when the Klingon BoP uses a cloak? And therefore, the Klingons invited the Romulans to the establishment of Nimbus III? Or were there other encounters between the Federation and the Romulans during that time that we are unaware of that contributed to the Romulans being willing to join the Federation and the Klingons on Nimbus III?
     
  2. Albertese

    Albertese Commodore Commodore

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    It's an interesting idea that the Klingons invited the Romulans to the party. I've also heard of alternate timelines that stretch out the events of Star Trek IV such that there are years between Kirk's arrival back to the 23rd Century and the trial where all charges but one are dropped at the film's end. This would allow for a bit more time for the 20 years to unfold. Though also there could be the possibility that Caitlan Dar was using a shorter Romulan year or was rounding up from 18 years or so.

    I see enough wiggle room in the Star Trek timeline to allow for Nimbus III without too much squinting.

    --Alex
     
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  3. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Sgt Pepper Premium Member

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    Any we only saw the Klingons nine times between TOS and TAS. :shrug:
    While the Enterprise may have encountered the Romulans a couple of times, there are more ships in the fleet and a vast Diplomatic Corps. I'm sure there were encounters, diplomatic and otherwise happening while the Enterprise was off doing other things. It's not always at the center of everything.
     
  4. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I think this is saying way too much, though. "Twenty years ago" is a valid expression for pretty much everything between eleven and 29 years ago. And something like sixteen would already make it far from "a little too quick" if we desire this.

    I like the idea that the Klingons dragged the Romulans in kicking and screaming for the sheer humiliation potential of it. But the Romulan entry could have happened years after the founding of the settlement, there originally only being two signatories. Or perhaps four, but two bailed out almost immediately, and it's up to the assorted spinoffs to establish the major wars and political dealings the Federation had with the Nevahurds and the Xcusemes up until the late 2260s. That is, the Romulan diplomat could have been speaking out of her ass, aka quoting a convenient and accepted untruth.

    Klingons and Romulans in speaking terms? Officially, presumably never. But official gets rewritten a lot in the Klingon Empire. And there always seems to be a faction there that wants to, if not ally with, then do secret business with the Romulans. Or the Feds. And presumably also assorted other parties which still wait for their spot in the limelights. (I consider it inevitable that somebody drops a reference to the Kinshaya in onscreen Trek in the next five years.)

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  5. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm thinking that the return of the Romulan Commander from The Enterprise Incident may have opened up some communications between the Federation and the Empire! I mean they could hardly hold on to her for the next few years could they and by the time of Star Trek VI the Romulan ambassador is even allowed in the room with senior Starfleet officers and the UFP President discussing tactics while dealing with the Klingons!!!!!
    JB
     
  6. MAGolding

    MAGolding Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    There ae significant chronological problems with Romulan-Federation relations during the TOS era.

    The opeing credits of each TOS episode mention the "five year mission".

    In Star Trek: The Motion Picture, which happens at least 2.5 years after the last episode of TOS, and maybe as much as a decade later, tKirk mentions having spend five years out there facting the unknown.

    So it is logical to deduce that TOS episodes probably happen during one single five year mission. And to be called five years it must have been at least a little bit longer than four point zero years, and at least a little shorter than six point zero years.

    So did the five year mission include the three seasons of TOS, or the three seasons of TOS pluse the one or two seasons of TAS?

    If there are three to five season in four to siz years, then there are about zero point eight to two point zero years per season.

    And what order did the episodes happen in?

    Commonly suggested orders for TOS and/or TAS episodes are:

    one) original broadcast or airdate order.

    Two) production order (defined as order of filming the scenes with actors on sets).

    Three) stardate order.

    And:

    Four) In order of seasons, and by order of stardates within each season.

    But what if there is no intended order for TOS episodes to happen in? What if the original creators assumed that the episodes could happen in any old order (except for the very few episodes which mentioned events in earlier episodes)?

    In that case, for most randomly selected pairs of TOS episodes the most we could say would be that episode A must be no more than six years at the very most before or after episode B.

    In "Balance of Terror" nobody in the Federation knows what Romulans look like. So obviously there aren't Romulans who look like Vulcans on Nimbus III mingling with setters from the Federation and the Klingon Empire yet. Otherwise everyone would already know that Romulans look like Vulcans.

    And I think that there couldn't be any settlers from any subject planets in the Romulan Empire on Nimnus III yet. Otherwise they would sometimes tell people from the Federation what their Romulan overlords look like. Unless the Romulans never meet any subject beings personally and keep their true appearance secret for some reason.

    So there should be no settlers from the Romulan Empire on Nimbus III at the time of "Balance of Terror", and so, unless the Romulans joined the Nimbus III agreement a long time after the Federation and the Klingons did, the Nimbus III treaty should have happened after "Balance of Terror", or else in an alternate universe to it.

    Kirk finds Khan in "Space Seed" and decides to plant Khan and his followers an Ceti Alpha V at the end of the episode.

    In Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan both say it is fifteen years since they saw each other. It is usually assumed that they haven't seen each other since Kirk seeded Ceti Alpha V with Khan's people soon after "Space Seed". But it is psosible that Kirk and Khan saw each other again a few years after "Space Seed" in some unseen event, and that could be used as an explanation of the chronological problem.

    All the movies from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan through to Star tTek V: The Final Frontier seem to happen within just a few months of fictional time. It is always possible to put extra time in there by supposing, for example, that the ending of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home where Kirk e gets the Enterprise-A i months or years after the trial sequence when Kirk is demoted to captain, or that after the Enteprise-A starts its shakedown cruise at the end of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home it encounters a time warp which sends it a few months or years into the future before Star Trek V: The Final Frontier begins.

    But unless you specify a specific theory that something like that happens, all the movies from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan through to Star Trek V: The Final Frontier happen over just a few months of fictional time.

    So the official Star Trek Chronology: The History of the Future makes a big error by stating that Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan happens in the year 2285, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock also happens in 2285, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home hppens in 2286, and Star Trek V: The Final Frontier happens in 2287 witout specifying what would have stretched out the series of events so much. It is natural and reasonable to believe that the events of those four movies happen over only a few months of fictional time.

    But in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier Romulan representative Caithlin Dar says:

    Possibly everyone who checked this thought that since it was 1989, 23 years since "Balance of Terror" was aired, there was time for the Nimbus III agreement to be signed after "Balance of Terror" and twenty years before Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.

    But what needed to be accurate was the interval in fictional time between "Balance of Terror" and Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, not the interval between their production in the real world.

    Possible explanations of the chronological problem:

    One:

    PossiblyStar Trek II: The Wrath of Khan happened fifteen Earth years after "Space Seed", and Star Trek V: The Final Frontier happened twenty Romulan years after "Balance of Terror", thus making a Romulan year about zero point seven five Earth years long. (And psosibly Caithlin Dar rounded up from nineteen or eighteen Romulan years to twenty Romulan years. But the fifteen years mentioned by Kirk and Khan seem too precise to have been rouned up or down much.)

    TWo:

    Possibly there was an unmentioned time skip somewhere in the sequence of four movie so that Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan happens a few years instead of a few months before Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.

    As i wrote above:

    Three:

    Possibly Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan actually happened twenty years after "Space Seed", because Kirk did check up on Khan at Ceti Alpha V once, five years after "Space Seed".

    As I wrote above:

    Four:

    Possibly "Balance of Terror" happens in an alternate universe where the Romulans are more hostile, and that "Space Seed" and the movies from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan through to Star Trek V: The Final Frontier happen in a didferent alternate universe where the Romulans establish more normal relations with the Federation instead.

    As I wrote above:

    Five:

    Possibly the Romulans sent settlers from their subject planets to Nimbus III before "Balance of Terror", but those settlers didn't know what Romulans looked like because the Romulans kept their true appearance secret from their subjects somehow.

    As I wrote above:

    Six:

    Possibly Nimbus III was established years before "Balance of Terror", but the Romulans didn't join the agreement or send settlers until years after "Balance of Terror" and "Space Seed".

    As I wrote above:

    Unless a chronology of Star Trek explicitly includes one of thsoe six possible explanations, it has a problem making the time spans between "Blalance of Terror", "Space Seed", Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and Star Trek V: The Final Frontier add up consistently.

    I suggested above that TOS epsiodes might not be intended to happen in any partulcar order. Thus the only thing that we could say for certain about "Balance of Terror" and "Space Seed" is that "aBlance of terror" could be no more than six years before or after "Space Seed"

    If "Balance of Terror" can be as much as six years before "Space Seed", it would be as much as twenty one years before Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, and thus Dar's twenty years could be correct. But of course if "Balance of Terror" could be as much as six years after "Space Seed", it could be a few as nine years before Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, making the chronological problem much worse.

    But if somone wants to put the TOS (and possibly also the TAS) episodes in one of the commonly used orders, such as airdate order, production order, or stardate order, there will be some limitations on how long before "Space Seed" "Balance of Terror" can happen. And possibly similar limitations on how long before Star Trek V: The Final Frontier Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan can be. And the sum of those two time spans would be the possible time span for making Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan fifteen years after "Space Seed" and Star Trek V: The Final Frontier twenty years after "Balance of Terror".

    So anyone working on a chronology of Star Trek has to make the intervals between "Balance of Terror", "Space Seed", Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek V: The Final Frontier the proper lengths, which would be easier with some chronological assumptions than with others..
     
  7. Albertese

    Albertese Commodore Commodore

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    I think we can safely dismiss this possibility given that Kahn specifically complains that the neighboring planet exploded six month after the Botany Bay compliment was left behind and that Kirk would have known that if he ever bothered to stop by and say hello. So a five year later follow-up is explicitly ruled out.

    --Alex
     
  8. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Indeed, Khan complains that Kirk never ever calls - not merely that he would have failed to do so for fifteen years straight.

    I trust Romulans are constantly and habitually hatching plans of conquest or gain, and there would have been several of those prepared for exploiting any diplomatic opening, too. So when the opportunity arose, it only took a very short time for the Romulans to present their well-formed plan of creating the Planet of Galactic Peace, with the zoning of Paradise City available on file and all.

    In a few years, this clever plan would have given the Romulans absolute dominion over the universe. But as happens frequently on Romulus, a new government came to power...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  9. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I never liked the two or three year gap between series and film in TMP! But if I have to accept it then I say that Wrath, Search & Voyage happen many years later and within a few months of each other (as mentioned in Voyage that the crew have been on Vulcan for three months) but Final and Undiscovered both take place years after that due to both Kirk and Spock being grey and other factors, so the Nimbus Three problem is finally solved! :rommie:
    JB
     
  10. publiusr

    publiusr Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Vanguard novels dealt with the subject...a friendlier version of the spy society in The Kremlin Letter.