With the destruction of Romulus and the dissolution of the Romulan Star Empire confirmed in the plot description of the upcoming Star Trek Picard series the question now becomes should the Romulan’s join the Federation?
For twenty years we saw warrior race of the galaxy, the Klingons, portrayed on the big screen and the small screen as the biggest, baddest villains in the Star Trek franchise, but with the conclusion of Star Trek The Undiscovered Country and the beginning of Star Trek The Next Generation we saw peace begin, and an era of friendship grow.
We never would have thought as the Klingons antagonized their human counterparts during their many encounters that they could ever become allies, but not only did they take up arms against their mutual enemies together in the Dominion War, and the fights with the Borg, but they even came to be such close friends that a human Starfleet Captain was chosen to be the Arbiter of Succession for the High Chancellor of the Klingon Empire.
Not only that we saw Worf become the first Klingon member of Starfleet, and last through two series and 5 movies (counting Star Trek The Undiscovered Country) as a fan favourite character who gave us a good look over his many years at how the Klingon people live.
Will we see something similar for the Romulan’s?
With the fall of the Romulan Star Empire and the beginning of Star Trek Picard at hand the writers have an opportunity to follow a similar path withe the Romulan’s. The loss of their planet means we will most likely see some remnant of their government looking for a new home for them, however no doubt many will take up a more nomadic or even migrant path and spread out into the Galaxy and for the first time into Federation territory.
While we fully expect to see Romulan’s as key characters in the series and we may well even see one of their higher ranking members working closely with or even against Jean-Luc Picard the equally interesting tale of the first Romulan(s) to join Starfleet.
Would a Romulan be allowed to join Starfleet, which is for all intents and purposes the military branch of the Federation? The Romulan’s aren’t Federation citizens as Worf was at the time he joined, having grown up on earth with the Rozhenko family and for a brief time before the writers retconned them in Season 3 of Star Trek The Next Generation we even are told that the Klingons had joined the Federation.
It would be easy to imagine the Federation granting some sort of amnesty or refugee status to the Romulan people, but it seems less likely that they will have already joined the Federation at the beginning of the new series, which the latest reports are now placing at ten years after Star Trek Nemesis, and three years after the destruction of Romulus.
Should the Romulan’s join The Federation?
Theres little doubt that fans want to see the Romulan people finally dawn the Starfleet uniforms and join with their Federation counterparts, and the exchange of culture, knowledge and technology would be a monumental accomplishment for an alliance who’s mission statement includes seeking out new life and new civilizations.
However, the retconning of the Klingons out of the Federation in Star Trek The Next Generation season three did create a whole new set of conflicts between the sole Klingon Starfleet member and his people so the question becomes, which is a more interesting series of stories?
On one hand you have a similar internal struggle, as seen with the half Human, half Vulcan Spock, the torn between Human and Klingon values Worf, the torn between Founders and love Odo, and so on… It could even be classified as a Star Trek tradition to create this sort of internal struggle.
But with the modern Television landscape, and the now allowed interpersonal struggle we’re seeing between crew members on Starfleet ships in Star Trek Discovery it would seem more fitting to allow a group of Romulan’s, maybe even their entire group of survivors, join the Federation to explore the internal struggle between an aging organization like the Federation and the injection of new blood on a massive scale that is the Romulan’s.
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