Prelude to the Romulan War

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Enterprise' started by Damian, Aug 8, 2018.

  1. Damian

    Damian Captain Captain

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    I'm in the middle of watching the 3 episode arc featuring the beginning of the alliance between Earth, Vulcan, Andor and Tellar Prime due to the Romulan Drone ship attacks. It's almost an open wound in the sense that I was so hopeful we'd finally see the Romulan War portrayed on screen. I found it a bit of genius storywriting in the sense that the Romulan's attempts to sow conflict in the region does the exact opposite and directly leads to the creation of the Coalition of Planets. They caused the very thing they wished to prevent. And not only that, it would eventually lead to a war directly involving them when their goal was to start a war between the worlds that would create the Coalition so they could sit back until it was all over and pick up the pieces.

    It's sad for me that we never saw that develop further. I read the novels portraying the war of course, and was glad the story was finally told. But we were so close. The Romulan War is one of those pivotal moments in Star Trek history that directly leads to the founding of the Federation, and yet it was never seen on screen.

    After hearing about TNG revival it'd be interesting to see one of Enterprise perhaps lead by Manny Coto to finally put this pivotal event on screen, as a mini-series or as a set of telemovies. Of course with the relaunch taking place I'd hate to see something overwrite that, but even with the novels featuring the war, there's still a lot of story to tell that maintains some continuity with the novels if they wished to.
     
  2. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ENT really does a great job at establishing how the Romulans could be considered "faceless" - we see a couple of tricks from their no doubt bottomless quiver, and their willingness to fight by proxy and unwillingness to engage directly. On the other hand, we learn the Romulans aren't exactly "unknown", not to the Vulcans, who know the correct pronunciation of their name, have agents in their midst, are even led on a Romulan leash for a while. No wonder the Federation is unwilling to try and dig for more information afterwards.

    From the other angle, though, ENT wouldn't have been obligated to show us a big war. Such might even have run contrary to the TOS mandate: in "Balance of Terror", the war is a forgotten affair where absolute key facts about the Romulans (their ability and willingness to alter their looks or even remove those altogether) are forgotten, an alien needs to bring the human heroes up to speed on the history facts, and only a single crew member has had family involvement in the fight. The conflict might in fact have been a minor "bush war", with the opponent easily defeated and cordoned off with spatial chicken wire...

    Giant epic struggles have their place in Trek storytelling, but we have gotten a few already. A minor war that stands out only by virtue of having been the first might be a fresh take on the theme.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    For whatever it's worth, they planned a Romulan War movie after Enterprise was cancelled. Details HERE. I can imagine how the fandom would have reacted to an Earth/Romulan war that was actually a week-long battle in Earth orbit between cloaked drone ships and UESN fighters after decades of lore saying it was a 4-year conflict in deep space...


    Also, if CBS want All-Access to become the Star Trek 24/7 channel, there's a chance they'll do a Romulan War story.
     
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  4. Damian

    Damian Captain Captain

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    Yeah, I had heard and read about Star Trek: The Beginning which was an early 11th film before Paramount changed heads and they contacted Bob Orci. The story had intriguing points though it was obviously an early draft and undoubtedly would have been changed.

    I had also heard that had Enterprise continued season 5 would have featured the beginnings of the war. I figured they probably would have handled it like DS9 and the Dominion War. That the war would have lasted a few years but it wouldn't have been featured in every episode (which would have been fine--I thought DS9 struck a good balance).

    It's just when I watch these three episodes, which were sort of the opening salvos of the war even if the war hadn't yet started, that it would have been great to see something about it on screen.

    I always thought the showrunners, instead of the TATV which most fans seemed to have hated, that they should have ended the show with the declaration of war against the Romulans (sort of like how the novel Kobayashi Maru ended). It would have been a big middle finger to the network. Basically the final episode would have featured an attack by the Romulans on Starfleet, or an Earth colony and lead the Coalition to declare war and end with that.
     
  5. c0rnedfr0g

    c0rnedfr0g Commodore Commodore

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    Hot dog, could you imagine the fan outrage? IIRC, TPTB ended S3 on a bit of a cliff-hanger, in the hopes of earning a S4. I guess the writing must've been on the wall by the time S4 was finishing principal photography.
     
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  6. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Ending with a cliffhanger like that would have been sheer bliss. Not just compared to the "valentine" we got, but to any conventional ending.

    But Romulans don't strike me as the type to declare war. Their antics in S4 and in "Minefield" already give credence to the idea that the war they fought was a secret one - not merely fought facelessly, but with such subterfuge that nobody could really tell when it started and how. What percentage of Earthling ships disappearing in deep space would have been the doing of the Romulans? How many of the mining colonies and outposts lost really fell to the Romulans, rather than to random dangers of space? How much carnage was there that the heroes still wouldn't know about by the time of the Battle of Cheron? And would that battle really be the end?

    Still, ending ENT with a beginning should have been done. Just because.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  7. Damian

    Damian Captain Captain

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    The novels sort of went in that direction. After the failure of the drone ships they found a way to hack into their opponents computers. Eventually the Coalition declared war on the Romulans. But like the 3 episodes aired, the Romulans tried to destabilize the region through other means first so they wouldn't have to go to war and they could just take over when the sector was weakened.

    But ultimately that all failed and eventually the Romulans took more direct action, which is more or less in keeping with what we've seen of the Romulans. They prefer to get their enemies to destroy each other. But eventually they will take direct action. They're calculating and devious. But when push comes to shove they're not afraid to exercise their muscle.

    And the novels maintained the facelessness of the Romulans. Through various means most humans never saw the Romulans. And Michael Martin even included the use of atomic weaponry at times in ways that made sense within the story to try to keep it consistent with Balance of Terror. Archer and Trip do learn of the Romulans true appearance but decide to keep that knowledge secret, primarily because of the distrust it would cause in the Coalition.

    Martin also provided a rationale for why ships during the original series appeared to be less advanced then those of Enterprise (though in reality that is not the case).
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
  8. valkyrie013

    valkyrie013 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I whole heartedly agree! TaTv is.. well I seen it once, 13 years ago.. and never again.. It doesnt exist. Like Tng S2 Shades of Grey.. Nope.. I like that the Novels fixed that bit.
    Speaking of the Novels, I've read them, and found that, It was a slow burn in the first books, then by the end it was a rush job, I mean, the attack on Earth was a sort of flashback/ oh here what happened.. was like.. Huh? This is a big battle and it barely had 1 page of exposition?
    The war books felt rushed, and do wish they'd revisit that time with some more expositon.
    Now as a movie or mini series, I'd pay $50 a month to watch that on all access!
     
  9. valkyrie013

    valkyrie013 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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  10. Damian

    Damian Captain Captain

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    Yeah, I agree. Originally the plan was to have 3 or 4 Romulan War books (one for each year I believe) but after the first book was written Pocketbooks cut it down to just 2. Martin basically had to cram 3 years of the war into one book so a lot of details I think got lost. I'm sure if he had 3 or 4 books he would have written a lot more about it.

    This is where I always throw in my line about "wanting a Tales of the Romulan War anthology" that like the Tales of the Dominion War, could fill in details that couldn't be covered in the original novels. They could use Martin's books as a basis, or outline and build in more detailed stories from that.

    I find it interesting that other than an e-book novella Michael Martin has not written any further Star Trek novels. I sometimes wonder if he was a bit aggravated about having it cut back to 2 novels, after all I imagine he probably had some work done already on what was to be a longer book series. Esp. if he only got paid for 2 books instead of the 3 or 4 books he was originally going to do (I'm not sure about that, I guess it depends on how that all works--did he get paid for all the books even though the number was reduced or did he just get paid for was actually released?).

    Re: the war being mostly an Earth conflict with almost no involvement from the Coalition except at the start and end I think Martin was trying to make it consistent with the original series that called it the "Earth-Romulan War".
     
  11. Damian

    Damian Captain Captain

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    Yeah, me too. This was one of the few cases I think where the novels were given some permission to retcon something on screen. Granted it was done it a way that didn't 'contradict' what was on screen, but simply an alternate explanation was given for what we saw. But it was much more satisfying then TATV.
     
  12. sekundant

    sekundant Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I gave up the ENT middle of second season and rediscovered for me for two years. If I let the TOS out of competition, ENT is my favorite franchise and I'm proud of it! :D

    I was soo disappointed and felt in catatonia with foam in mouth at the end of TATV. :wah: I ordered all the books from US at the same night. When they arrived, we were at the end phase of very important project, so I worked hard at day and with maximum two hours sleep I read/drank/ inhaled first four books (TGTMD, Kobayashi Maru, Beneath the Raptor's Wing, To Brave the Storm) in five days. At the end I was much more frustrated than before. :barf:

    I want to read a saga about a war, which caused one of the waring party reject to take any kind of relationship with the other one for the next hundred years! I want to read about how war changed the human/Vulcan/Andorian/Tellarite/ Romulan societies, how formed the future Federation, how impacted the characters of our main antagonists? None of them I could get. Nothing, nichts, nada, niente..:barf:

    I had a feeling that the authors (Mangels & Martin) never watched the show. I saw better girl fights (sorry girls) than to be legendary Battle of Cheron. Trip was alive, but unrecognizable, they did not know what to do with him. That quick-witted, cozy, great at engineering room, great at bridge, never-give-up-never-surrender guy is gone, come back as spineless, wooden, dump toy of some dubious figures. T'Pol was not this strong female anymore, a weakling who is always love sick and whiny and acts with below average intelligent. A stereotype hysterical "woman" from middle Ages so to say . Archer was not only beaten from one everyone but insulted openly from everyone, has no self confidence or self respect anymore. I am not sure, if Oshin, protagonist at the mother of all tear drop soap operas, had so much drama in her life. Shran was so busy with love issues. Travis was a cursed stupid. Hoshi, Reed and Phlox are lost, totally lost. T'Pau made some heavy decisions, even she could not understand by herself the reason and was admired for this. (after 20 days bringing together at the Forge, T'Pol said her that she is megalomaniac). But we have at least 500 new characters, their mostly boring stories go no where. People use permanently every kind of languages without translate. When someone asks a question, the opposite one first thinks about one or two pages long and gives an answer. Same, if a ship fired to another, first we have to learn about childhood of every crew members before it hits. I do not want to be total unfair. There was some funny, witty moments and some smart explanations, but frankly very rare. At the end Martin write also how will the story end after twenty years, which made almost impossible another tries to close the gap. I'm very glad that Christopher L. Bennett brought fresh blood at the series and continued with novels, but Romulan War is lost for me as a fan. Terribly wasted opportunity! :brickwall:
    Imho, Martin has tried to write a Trek kind of "War and Peace" masterpiece but totally failed. I am still sorry and frustrated about this.

    Dito!
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
  13. XCV330

    XCV330 Commodore Commodore

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    Masao Okazaki's version of the Romulan War will always kind of be in my mind. Big hastily made cumbersome Bison class ships blasting away at the enemy. It doesn't entirely blend in with Enterprise but much of it still could.
     
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  14. Yistaan

    Yistaan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I don't consider the Mangels/Martins Enterprise: Romulan War books as part of my headcanon. As an avid PC gamer, I played Star Trek Legacy (which had writing from DC Fontana) and it covered a small part of the NX-01's adventures during the Romulan War. Notably, Mayweather is outright stated to be serving aboard the NX-01 in 2159, something that directly contradicts Mangels/Martins Romulan War books.

    I consider an enjoyable game written by DC Fontana and voiced by Trek actors more canon than books, so those Mangels/Martins books aren't "canon" to me. Also for some of the reasons you stated.
     
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  15. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ...What writers of recent Trek books excel in is taking interesting elements from episodes and expanding those to stories not told on screen yet. What writers of episodes and even movies nowadays do a lot is return the favor! Elements of the M/M books may yet make it into the definite version of the Romulan War, if we ever get around to it.

    But since it's quite unlikely that the cast of ST:ENT would be rounded up again, or recast, for the purposes of such a story, the focus would be on a different group - and the status of, say, Mayweather would be left ambiguous. Free headcanon for all!

    I might be wrong, though, and Archer and the folks might be considered iconic enough to be recast, or Bakula summoned to reprise. The threshold for that used to be quite high. But with the current talk about mini-spinoffs, and a Stewart mini-comeback, I guess all bets are off. Nevertheless, I'm putting in a wager for Montgomery not getting the summons even if the best-case scenario happens...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  16. Yistaan

    Yistaan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I'm wondering if Brannon Braga was serious about a ticked off future Archer being Future Guy. It would be hilarious if Picard took down the new 25th century villain only for him to be revealed to be old Jonathan Archer, kept alive by cybernetics and whatnot. :lol:
     
  17. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    He pulled that statement out of his ass years after the fact. It’s been known for some time that during ENT’s production, neither he nor Berman knew who FutureGuy was.
     
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  18. Reanok

    Reanok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Christopher L. Bennett wrote a Star trek novel where we find out who future is. We get to see Daniels again too I think it's called Chasing the clock or a similar title it's an interesting wrap up of the Temporal cold war.
     
  19. Yistaan

    Yistaan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Future guy should be your Star Trek Online character. That will be the shocking plot twist for the game in case it starts conflicting with the new Picard show. Your character is trying to preserve his STO timeline against the Picard show timeline. Future guy has a blank face because s/he could be literally any STO character. ;)