The Star Trek Wars

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by M.A.C.O., Oct 22, 2019.

  1. M.A.C.O.

    M.A.C.O. Commodore Commodore

    Sep 13, 2011
    There are several big wars that helped define the Star Trek universe. Nearly all of which we didn't get to see.

    Eugenics War: 1990s Rise of Khan + Reign of the Supermen (Aryan Pure Supermen)

    World War III: 21st Century Nuclear Holocaust

    Temporal Cold War: 22nd Century - 31st Century: Factions, Future Guy, Forgotten. Call Temporal Starfleet

    Romulan War: 22nd Century - No quarter. No captives. No visual contact.

    Klingon War: 22nd - 23rd Century: Result of a disastrous first contact, according to Picard.

    Cardassian War: 24th Century: Prior to start of TNG. Fought by the Federation, that swears it's not a military. Picard was there, Jellico was there and O'Brien was there.

    Star Trek has an aversion to calling itself a military. But there certainly are a lot of wars in the Trek universe. On screen, we saw the Dominion and Xindi wars play out. However, the shadows of the aforementioned wars also help shape the world.

    How do you feel about them?
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2019
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  2. Orac

    Orac Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Feb 22, 2007
    the TARDIS
    I thought you were talking about the mass migration of Star Wars fans. But then realized that was the Star Wars Trek. :ouch:
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  3. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    May 9, 2012
    The Enterprise's Restroom
    Technically they were all there, as this "war" didn't end until TNG season three. :D

    Apparently, the Enterprise-E during the Dominion War wasn't the first time Starfleet kept the flagship away from front-line duty during a big war. ;) ;)
  4. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Nov 5, 2008
    King Daniel Beyond
    We saw the Klingon War in Discovery season 1, spanning 9 months in 2256-7. There have been other versions in novels and other tie-ins (like the FASA RPG manual that inspired the Axanar fan film debacle)

    The Romulan War has been told in wildly different versions in novels and even an unmade movie (ST: The Beginning, which depicted the start of the war as a week-long battle in Earth orbit between fighter pilots and Romulan drones). I'm sure if the first wave of CBS-AA Trekspam is a success, they'll tell a canonical version someday.

    They're plot devices. They've all had good points and bad. The Dominion storyline went on a little too long, IMHO. The Klingon War had a preposterous ending. The Xindi war was made up as they went along and made little sense despite bringing much-needed urgency to the show.

    They outright call themselves soldiers in TOS, DS9 and Disco, which IMHO settles that.
  5. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Aug 26, 2003
    As for the Klingon War, I'm sure it lasted for four years sharp. These being 2256-57 and 2258-60, with a brief regrouping during 2258 when the Klingons went through five Chancellors and one Mother. A great time for James T. Kirk to become a famous warrior, and for Garth of Izar to tell his students endless stories about the 2240s when the Klingon fights could get really hairy and all he had to fight with was these old cylinder-nacelled ships.

    The above wars touched on Earth some way or another. Yet it might be interesting to learn more about the really important ones, that is, those that didn't...

    Timo Saloniemi
  6. Delta Vega

    Delta Vega Commodore Commodore

    Nov 17, 2011
    The Great Barrier
    They should commission someone to make a faux documentary, using all the written information that exists through various incarnations of Trek, pertaining to these wars that are often discussed and mused over, and some of them were even focussed on during runs of certain shows. All the fan fiction, all the scripted stories, to tie in the canon.
    Stock footage could be used from the archive film to show the history of all the conflicts.
    Some subtle editing and some digital remastering could make it HD ready.
    Ken Burns' "A History of Conflict in the Star Trek Universe"
  7. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Admiral Admiral

    Nov 20, 2012
    One of the great paradoxes of reality, if you want peace you better be good enough at war to protect it from the people who don't.
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  8. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jul 14, 2016
    There was the Q civil war.
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  9. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

    Nov 22, 2001
    Ferguson, Missouri, USA
    Not really. While there are those in Starfleet that pride themselves on being first and foremost explorers, Starfleet itself has never backed away from military operations when called upon. The rule of engagement may be to never fire first, but even this isn't entirely iron-clad.
    They may still pale in number of wars fought on our little planet. The various incarnations of Star Trek have all demonstrated that there will always be conflict, but at least those conflicts will come from beyond and won't involve humans fighting each other over race, creed, or religion. But the Ferengi views on war may be the most apt:

    The 34th Rule of Acquisition: "War is good for business."

    The 35th Rule of Acquisition: "Peace is good for business."
  10. Tim Thomason

    Tim Thomason Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    May 27, 2009
    USS Protostar
    Picard said this in First Contact (the episode, not the movie): "Centuries ago, a disastrous contact with the Klingon Empire led to decades of war. It was decided then we would do surveillance before making contact. It was a controversial decision."

    This is the crux of Federation first contact policy, but he never said who it was that made the disastrous contact, and thus led to decades of war (presumably between the Klingons and their contactors). It was at that time (or maybe after the decades of war?) decided to plan things out a little better.

    Centuries before 2367 is, at a minimum, 2167. Barely edging into Star Trek: Enterprise territory, but preferably before even that. Enterprise doesn't show a particularly disastrous first contact (unless Picard is talking about the Temporal Cold War or something), and I don't think the conflict from Discovery really counts. Most importantly, we see some surveillance already being done in Enterprise, and the prime directive, in its infancy, being pushed onto Earthers by the... Vulcans.

    Which brings me to my argument: The disastrous first contact with the Klingons is the Vulcan-Klingon contact. They already know each other in Enterprise. Discovery goes into detail on when they met and how, and it sounds pretty disastrous. This is 2016 (351 years is a better fit for "centuries ago"), and we learn about the Vulcan Hellos that succeeded the Klingons attempt at expansionism.

    I'm guessing Michael glossed over the fact that the Klingons and Vulcans spent decades at war (or, just, casually greeting each other with Vulcan Hellos and Klingon Good Days). Decades after 2016 leads dangerously close to First Contact (the movie, not the episode) times.

    By 2063, the Vulcans will probably have militarized to face on this existential threat, and will certainly be looking for allies/client states in the buffer zone between Vulcan and Qo'noS. What planet lies dangerously close to the Klingon Empire (per Enterprise): Earth.

    By getting to the Earthers first, almost minutes after warp discovery, the Vulcans have expanded their influence and gained a foothold to fight back against their most dangerous foe. They're the ones who established first contact rules and non-interference doctrines. The Andorians probably were a similar Vulcan client race.

    Of course, it goes without saying that the Vulcans were entirely influenced in all of this by the Romulans, seeking secret hegemony over the region. But that's a tale for another day.
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  11. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Aug 26, 2003
    And indeed neither would have been much improved by the implementation of pre-contact surveillance. Sure, the heroes got the Klingons' number wrong in certain ways, but this actually helped Archer not get killed immediately... And the UFP did have all the intel it needed to help out Burnham, only it a) hadn't reached Georgiou, and b) just made the matters worse.

    Were the Klingons expansionist, though? Or were the Vulcans? It was a Vulcan vessel intruding into Klingon space that Sarek says triggered the incident that started out the Vulcan Hello practice.

    Nothing about Sarek's story directly establishes how preceding covert surveillance would have helped there. But at least the choice over whether to spy or not would have been the Vulcans' if they were the invaders.

    What was established in "The Vulcan Hello" was that the Federation never had been in hot war with the Klingons before that day. So Picard's contact absolutely must precede its founding in 2161 - by decades at the very least.

    To let it precede 2016 as well is still an option. And an incident in even more distant past might in theory feature elements where pre-surveillance actually makes a difference. But there we run into the problem that Vulcans are our prime candidates for advocating pre-surveillance (since they factually do that very thing in ENT), yet any Vulcan-Klingon disaster preceding the 2016 incident would both dilute that incident (why should Sarek bring up a meaningless single-ship incident when he has a whole war to refer to?) and call to question whether the Vulcans had in fact learned anything (since if they did do their homework, they'd have said Hello in 2016 already).

    Is there any way to squeeze more hints out of "The Vulcan Hello"? Sarek there says the Klingons have been in internal disarray for "generations" as of 2256, therefore not a credible threat (and thus probably not in hot war with Vulcan, either). How long is a Klingon generation? Klingon individuals apparently live long unless violently killed, much like Vulcans. But we have little data on how Klingons breed. Worf got Alexander pretty early on, but was that an atypical mix of a tradition-minded male and a devil-may-care female hastening the evitable? We get minimal information on the ages or descendants of other Klingon characters - and the looks can deceive in both respects!

    ...Although ST:TMP and the like would rather have us think that it's Vulcan that is en route from Earth to Klingon space! Which is how the modern onscreen maps put it, too, even if there's plenty of room for argument.

    Vulcans seem hard pressed to fight Andor in the 2150s. A nation fighting on two fronts, one of them invisible? A nation weakened by a past conflict? A nation that has wisened up and now just intimidates and manipulates, with a Potemkine fleet of limited numbers?

    And apparently followed those themselves with Earth, spying on us since at least 1957... An act not prompted by the 2016 encounter, then - unless there's more to this vehement denial of time travel by the Science Directorate than meets the eye!

    Or then the Vulcans would have wanted them to be, hence the conflict.

    Or then there's no real Vulcan-Romulan rift, and both sides of the border are analogous to North Korea, by the very nature of the peoples there...

    Timo Saloniemi
  12. M.A.C.O.

    M.A.C.O. Commodore Commodore

    Sep 13, 2011
    In another world, I would've loved to have seen ENT tackle the Romulan War for season 5. Maybe officiate some time travel arc and cover the Eugenics War in season 6.
  13. Shawnster

    Shawnster Commodore Commodore

    Jul 28, 2008
    Clinton, OH
    The (Man) Kzin Wars

    The Slaver Weapon
    SULU: The Kzinti fought four wars with humankind and lost all of them. The last one was two hundred years ago, and you haven't learned a thing since.

    Personally I retcon/headcanon all this into border skirmishes between Kzinti and Humans nowhere near Earth. The fourth skirmish actually taking place shortly after the Federation was founded. Due to the limitations of the time, it was impossible for the other Federation members to offer much in the way of support to the Humans beyond some supplies and maybe tech. I envision these as more skirmishes or brief wars like both Gulf wars or the invasion of Grenada, etc...

    I figure Sulu just was terrible at math or history.
  14. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Aug 26, 2003
    Or then "Kzinti" is how you pronounce Xindi when your mouth is full of fangs. The Xindi might have mounted not one but four campaigns against mankind around the time of ENT, the Feline Xindi being responsible for a few, or at least for the last one, but sharing the blame for all of them, including the famed Reptilian Xindi campaign. (Yes, the Feline Xindi. Who did you think made the Avian Xindi go extinct?)

    Timo Saloniemi
  15. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Nov 5, 2008
    King Daniel Beyond
    I really liked the worldbuilding Larry Niven have to the Kzinti in his Ringworld and Known Space universe. I especially like the concept that they're essentially occupied by the good guys because their territory is close to earth and they're utterly incapable of NOT declaring a war they have no chance of winning. It's problematic in the Trekverse since it's forcing the Kzin to live peacefully which is against the nature of a predatory species.

    It'd be cool for them to somehow be worked back into the Trekverse, but with such a rich tapestry of original Trek aliens, why would they spend money and effort to use someone else's creation?
  16. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Aug 26, 2003
    This was basically the scenario in The Soft Weapon, too, though: the catfighters tried to cope with this whole peaceful coexistence thing the best they could, which was to wage a guerilla war using "stolen police vessels" and other not at all government-authorized means.

    They do get mileage out of Sherlock Holmes, too. Using such things sparingly, perhaps just at the level of name-dropping, probably makes for the best stories - those told without the constraints of actual writing.

    Doesn't mean I wouldn't want to see what they can do with a Kzin both effectswise and storywise.

    Timo Saloniemi
  17. Nightdiamond

    Nightdiamond Commodore Commodore

    Feb 18, 2009
    Funny thing is, Picard was reluctant to participate in war game exercises. And this was the flag ship of the Federation. Because he felt Starfleet was mainly for exploration.
    Riker was too. He thought it was a waste of time to test combate skills.

    Later on he lost the Enterprise to a what, 30 year older Bird of Prey. :lol:

    Well, he did end up destroying it, but after a lot of talk and dodging fire.

    The Cardassians have to be the most apocalyptic tragic story in the series. Everything about them - wars, torture, terrorism, treachery, massacres, government coups, etc just screamed apocalypse.

    They went from fighting small border wars to causing a major intergalactic war to nearly being exterminated when it was all over.
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