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So I've got a Vulcan character who rejects her heritage later in her life. Can't tell you why, because spoilers.

I want her to pass as a Romulan, but I'm not sure if it's doable. Has it been done before?

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    Spock hides on Vulcan for a considerable amount of time – Valorum May 9 '18 at 20:16
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    @MrLister: There was a Romulan spy pretending to be a Vulcan. There was also Simon Tarses but he was only a quarter Romulan. I don't think the forehead ridges were a universal Romulan trait, perhaps only a sub-racial variance. – Emsley Wyatt May 9 '18 at 20:36
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    sounds like this is about either RPG or fan-fiction authoring...vtc. At minimum, the question should be re-worded to ask if such a thing has happened in any official Trek materials, which would make it on-topic. Otherwise, it's all opinion-based and unanswerable – NKCampbell May 9 '18 at 21:08
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    @Valorum -- You mean Spock hid on Romulus... – ThePopMachine May 9 '18 at 23:13
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    @ThePopMachine - I strongly suspect that's what I meant – Valorum May 9 '18 at 23:22
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In a word, yes. There are a few of instances where Vulcans have been able to successfully infiltrate Romulan society and live among Romulans without arousing (immediate) suspicion. Note, however that in every case they're ultimately caught.


In the episodes TNG: Unification, Part I and Part II we see Spock walking around in public surrounded by a crowd of unsuspecting Romulans. The picture below was apparently taken with the equivalent of a long lens implying that he's been going around with his head uncovered. Obviously if he was recognisable as a Vulcan he'd have been immediately denounced and arrested.

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In the TOS comic Blood Fever we meet Xon, ostensibly a Romulan scientist but in reality a Vulcan intelligence agent. The crew of the ship that's supporting his science experiments are oblivious to his true nature.

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In the Star Trek novel Shards and Shadows we encounter Selar, a Vulcan who's been physically altered to look Romulan and has been posing as a Romulan on Romulus for multiple years. Note that this is a Mirror Universe story so the usual rules may not apply.

She closed her eyes a moment in irritation and then composed herself. Then she turned her attention back to the woman standing before her. “Selar. Your name is Selar. And you’re a Vulcan.”

“There is no logical reason to deny that which you have already, and rudely, discerned.”

“But why? Why hide what you are?”

Selar hesitated but then clearly decided that there was no point in prevaricating. “I am part of an underground group,” she said. “Spies, for lack of a better word. Since Romulans are nominally allies of the Alliance, I have more latitude for movement within the Alliance, and on Romulus, as one of…you.”

“Vulcans spying on the Alliance? Why?”

  • there's no indication in the episode that Spock is impersonating a Romulan though. He is there specifically to 'preach' a Vulcan message to Romulans. Anyone that is aware of his presence knows he is Vulcan – NKCampbell May 9 '18 at 21:48
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    @NKCampbell - He's walking around openly in public. If he was recognisable as a Vulcan he'd be immediately denounced and arrested. – Valorum May 9 '18 at 21:49
  • @valorum Is it illegal for Vulcans to be on Romulus? – Azor Ahai Jul 21 '18 at 16:27
  • @AzorAhai - My guess would be yes. Spock, at the very least is an expert in Romulan affairs and a Starfleet officer. That'd make him prime spy material – Valorum Jul 21 '18 at 16:48
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Was looking for the situation of a Vulcan as a Romulan and came across the opposite first.

Talok was a long-term, deep-cover Romulan operative who posed as a Vulcan military officer in the 22nd century. (ENT: Episode 4x09 "Kir'Shara")

And after further research you have T'Paal in TNG episode 7x05 "Gambit,Part II". T'Paal is played by Robin Curtis and was a Vulcan female who in 2369 posed as a Romulan mercenary by the name of "Tallera"

So yes, a Vulcan can pass as a Romulan

  • You're probably thinking of the TNG two-parter "Unification", when Spock visited Romulus. – Xantec May 9 '18 at 21:17
  • There are multiple examples of Romulans passing as Vulcans. Just because one can pass as the other doesn't mean that the opposite is true. – Valorum May 9 '18 at 21:19
  • @Valorum well further research found the answer – jedicurt May 9 '18 at 21:33
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    @jedicurt - She appears to be passing as a Romulan among non-Romulans. – Valorum May 9 '18 at 21:36
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    @jedicurt - she only passed as a Romulan to a band of mercenary pirates, hardly valid judges to determine. I went back to look at the script to confirm that she did claim herself as a Romulan because prior to that point, she references logic and is portrayed very Vulcan-esque (in fact, she does, however, only in her statements to Picard when she reveals herself as Vulcan) So, it could be that she lied to Picard about claiming to be Romulan to further her lie about being a Vulcan agent. Or, the performance could have played more Vulcan simply because Robin Curtis – NKCampbell May 9 '18 at 21:36
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Coming at this from the opposite perspective, 'vulcan' ambassador T Pel was a romulan who passed herself off as vulcan. I would assume during her time in the federation she probably was checked by a doctor at least once without being detected as a romulan.

Another partial example is Simon Tarses, a crew member who lied and said in his starfleet application that he was a quarter vulcan when in reality he was a quarter romulan. He was caught based on a background investigation, not a medical investigation, so genetically the species seem to be too similar to differentiate.

Cultural differences and mental discipline would be the key differences I think.

  • As I said in my comment above, what you have in these examples are Romulans passing for Vulcans, a very different prospect than a Vulcan passing as a Romulan. We know from TNG + DS9 that unless someone is a Starfleet officer, the prospect of being medically scanned/blood tested is relatively rare and considered an infringement of liberty that one can refuse. – Valorum May 10 '18 at 6:03
  • Given that there was no medical surgery to disguise them, I don't agree there is a difference going one way vs the other. It's not two completely separate species like Klingon to cardassian. – Servitor May 10 '18 at 12:09
  • Actually you don't know what medicalooks interventions were used to disguise T'Pel and Simon Tarses was only a quarter Romulan, far enough different that his genetics are pretty jumbled. – Valorum May 10 '18 at 13:40
  • Genetically the species are the same. The Romulans are the ones that left Vulcan at the time of Sarek. – JohnP May 10 '18 at 16:24
  • Right, from my perspective it frames the question more in the context of "Could a vulcan act in a way that other Romulans wouldn't notice the cultural and linguistic differences between them" as opposed to how well two distinct species can disguise themselves as the other, which I think is an important frame to make. – Servitor May 10 '18 at 17:03

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