[TNG 5x07-08] Unification - questions

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by Hando, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. Hando

    Hando Commander Red Shirt

    Jan 28, 2011
    During a recent re-watch this dual episode made me pause.

    How could 2000 Romulan troops take over Vulcan?
    Was it to be an infiltration and military takeover?

    How feasible was the plan?
    Did they expect that there would not be a single Starfleet vessel on the route from the Neutral Zone to Vulcan?
    Could it really have happened so fast that nobody could mount a defense?

    Any views are welcome.
  2. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Aug 26, 2003
    A pair of more or less obvious possibilities:

    1) It was just a ruse. There really were but Romulan peaceniks aboard those ships, no troops at all, and the Romulans took secret delight in having Starfleet essentially execute the dissidents for them - while the many enemies of Starfleet saw a truly audacious Romulan maneuver, one that raised the Romulan stocks a lot among the fellowship of UFP foes.

    2) The troops aboard the old Vulcan ships were irrelevant to the whole. The idea was to run a trio of ancient, noisy rust buckets under a flag of truce all the way to Vulcan, this noise masking the presence of a fleet of cloaked Warbirds. We know there was at least one Warbird shadowing the Vulcan ships; with but a few more, the force would certainly have had enough troops and firepower to take the planet hostage.

    It does seem likely that what happened was what the Romulans wanted to happen. Data, Picard and Spock escaped way too easily, and Spock was painstakingly provided with a means to transmit a warning message to Vulcan; it really smells of a setup.

    It would make for a classic Romulan plot if the idea was to make our heroes send a message of Romulan duplicity when in fact a real peace mission was underway. Or, if the second option is taken, to send a message of Romulan duplicity that would hide the real Romulan duplicity. At the conclusion of the episode, the Romulans do seem to emerge as winners: they have discredited and uprooted their dissident movement, they have put Federation defenses to shame and frightened everybody, and they have lost no ships of their own while audaciously stealing and then destroying Federation property with impunity.

    At no point in TNG does it appear that the Romulans would be interested in open war. Thus, a plotline that suggests such a thing is rather likely to be just another Romulan smokescreen...

    Timo Saloniemi
  3. Use of Time

    Use of Time Commodore Commodore

    Jul 25, 2012
    Va. Beach, VA
    Well according to Sela, I think they were just the initial foot in the door. She goes on to imply that while 2,000 Romulan soldiers might not be enough to topple the Government, they would be entrenched and difficult to remove. I think they were intended to disrupt and act as somewhat of a torch party until reinforcements could be brought in.
  4. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 20, 2009
    With the assistance of many millions of Vulcans who sympathize with the Romulans way. Who wish for a re-joining of the two branches of Vulcanoids. Who see this as the beginning of a path to peace between the Federation and the Empire. Who long to cast aside the restrictive philosophy of Surak. Many different groups would welcome the Romulan "troops."

    The troops were less infantry, and more agent provocateurs. There not to fight a war, but to ignite the revolution that various segments of the Vulcan population have been waiting for.

    That was the Romulans plan.

    Romulans don't take a dump ... without a plan.
  5. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jun 15, 2012
    I dunno, a hundred or so Romulans did just fine defeating Vulcan with a goth mining ship... wait... wrong universe.