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The movies in the "Kelvin timeline" and the show Star Trek: Picard include references to a supernova that destroys Romulus and kills most of the Romulan population.

Why don't the Romulans see this coming and evacuate ahead of time?

Supernovas generally don't happen quickly. There's usually plenty of warning. In TNG S04E22 "Half A Life", Lwaxana Troi even comments on this to a member of a species that is much less advanced than Romulans. He answers that they were reluctant to abandon their home, but it's clear they definitely saw it coming. So you'd think the Romulans would know...

Was there some sort of unique event that caused the supernova to be a surprise?

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    This one always has been weird, some sources say they had knowledge of the event as early as 6 years before it took place yet they seem to have done nothing about it...and in certain alternate timelines Romulus remains intact well beyond the date of the supernova
    – A.bakker
    Nov 15, 2020 at 13:11
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    Star Trek is there to show us fantastical, unimaginable occurrences like a planet that was threatened by predictable natural events, but didn't take the necessary steps to avert them. Nov 15, 2020 at 14:23
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    lol @PaulD.Waite . good real-world answer but doesn't really get into the in-universe stuff
    – LevenTrek
    Nov 15, 2020 at 14:25
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    The thing I always wondered about is why didn't Captain Nero of the Romulan ship Narada just fly over to the planet Romulus in the 23rd Century and tell them that they needed to find a new home world because of the supernova that would take place in the 24th Century.
    – user126715
    Nov 15, 2020 at 16:17
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    @user255577 - Nero didn't consider the alternate timeline Romulus to be worth saving
    – Valorum
    Nov 15, 2020 at 19:13

1 Answer 1

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The novel StarTrek Picard: The Last Best Hope (probably not counting as canon, but at least supported by CBS) sheds some light on the paranoid nature of the Romulan society.

Those in power seem to fear free speech more than the destruction of their world. They don't trust anyone, not even their own scientists. The Romulan people are used to live with multiple versions of relative truth so much that something like hard facts virtually doesn't exist to them.

Even when facing the undeniable destruction of Romulus, they still engage in political maneuvers.

I find the description in the book fully in line with the Romulans' acting in various episodes, but can hardly imagine how such a society made it into space.

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    Kinda eery when you consider how things are going in the real world now.
    – Marvel Boy
    Nov 17, 2020 at 15:40

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