The shockwave from Praxis reached the Excelsior fairly quickly. Was it ever established that it was traveling in subspace or at superluminal speeds? Otherwise, if it was just traveling at the speed of light, the Excelsior would have already been on the wrong side of the Neutral Zone.

2 Answers 2


The shockwave was explicitly described as a "subspace shockwave" within the scene you're referring to.

VALTANE: I have an energy wave from two hundred and forty degrees mark six port.

SULU: Visual! My ...God. ...Shields! (an energy wave hits the ship throwing the crew about)

LOJUR (OC): Captain, she's not answering her helm.

SULU: Starboard thrusters. Turn her into the wave!


SULU: Quarter impulse power! ...Damage report.

EXCELSIOR ENGINEER: Checking all systems, Captain.

SULU: Don't tell me that was any meteor shower.

VALTANE: Negative, sir. The subspace shockwave originated at bearing three two three, mark seven five. Location. It's Praxis, sir. It's a Klingon moon.

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)

  • Personally just from the movie I was reluctant to conclude Praxis was a moon of Kronos versus a moon in the same solar system or nearby star. I'd assume fanon and beta Canon just went with Kronos moon. Commented May 3, 2023 at 19:06
  • That would make it pretty unlikely for its destruction to cause an environmental disaster on Kronos, which is the thing that motivates the Klingons to sue for peace.
    – Amanadiel
    Commented May 3, 2023 at 20:04
  • @Amanadiel if a shockwave messed up a starship that was 10 light-YEARS away - that same shockwave should be vastly more powerful 1 light SECOND away. There wouldn't be a planet let alone an atmosphere from the impact. Admittedly it may not behave exactly like sound or gravity using inverse square law. If the atmosphere was messed up from half of a moon forming a decaying dust ring around Kronos - that's a different problem. Realistically the dinosaur killer asteroid is estimated to left tons of debris in orbit that eventually reached Jupiter's moons - that's how big of an impact it was. Commented May 3, 2023 at 22:48

In the briefing after the Excelsior detects the explosion:

SPOCK: Good morning. Two months ago a Federation starship monitored an explosion on the Klingon moon Praxis

Later Spock mentions:

..our space stations and starbases along the Neutral Zone...


So the Excelsior, the only Starfleet unit which detected the explosion of Praxis, must have been closer to Praxis when Praxis exploded than any of the space stations and starbases along the Neutral Zone, even though a main purpose of of those space stations and starbases must have been to monitor events in the the Klingon Empire.

The explosion of Praxis apparently affected the atmosphere of Kronos, the Klingon home planet and so should have been in the same solar system as Kronos. Thus it may be deduced that Kronos was much closer to the Excelsior on the other side of the border, and thus to the border, than the spacing between Federation observation outposts.

So Kronos should have been very close to the Klingon border.

Thus it is my belief that before the the first war with Earth or the Federation, the Klingon Empire was a sphere with Kronos in the center. And after the latest war with the Federation, the Klingon Empire was shaped like half a sphere, with the flat side facing Federation space, and Kronos at the center of the flat side and very close to the border.

I note that the Cardassian Union is apparently a major enough realm to be worth courting as an ally by the mighty Dominion. Thus the Cardassians should have expanded outwards in all directions from Cardassia Prime to annex tens, or hundreds. or thousands, or tens of thousands, of star systems. So Cardassia Prime should be in the center of a spherical Cardassian Union. And maybe it was before the Federation War that ended a few years before DS9.

I note that after the Cardassians abandon Bajor at the beginning of DS9, starfleet ships have access to Bajor and the Empoc Nor space station and Bajor is considering joining the Federation. And that would not be possible if Bajor was surrounded by Cardassian space. So there must be a region of non Cardassian space all the way between the Federation and Bajor.

A number of episodes, including "Explorers" indicate that Bajor is close to Cardassia Prime. And the Deep Space Nine Technical manual says that Bajor is 5 light years from Cardassia. Memory Alpha agrees with that distance. \


That puts Cardassia Prime right on the new border of the Cardassian Union. a few years after the war with the Federation.

So it looks like the Federation annexed or liberated Cardassian planets all the way to the next system out from Cardassia Prime, and that Cardassia Prime is exposed to Federation attack in any future war - so long as Cardassia doesn't have vast allied Dominion fleets to protect Cardassia.

What does "Balance of Terror" in TOS say about the Romulan home planet Romulus?

Captain's Log, stardate 1709.2. Patrolling outposts guarding the neutral zone between planets Romulus and Remus and the rest of the galaxy, received emergency call from outpost 4. The U.S.S. Enterprise is moving to investigate and assist.


And that implies that the Romulus is surrounded by the Neutral Zone, which would mean that it would be an act of War for any Romulan ship to cross the Neutral Zone to conquer any planet beyond the Neutral Zone.

The treaty, set by sub-space radio, established this Neutral Zone, entry into which by either side, would constitute an act of war. The treaty has been unbroken since that time.

So not a single Romulan ship has been detected crossing the Neutral Zone to conquer other star systems in a century.

So this implies that the Romulan Empire consists of only one star system. But a major power like the Romulan Empire must rule tens, hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of star systems.

And when two officers on the Romulan ship talk, they mention:

CENTURION: We've seen a hundred campaigns together, and still I do not understand you.

Which is not very consistent with the Romulans ruling only one star system.

So a halfway plausible explanation for that contradiction would be that before the Earth-Romulan War, the Romulan Empire was a sphere containing many star systems, with Romulus in the center. But after the war and since the treaty it is a cone of space containing many star systems, with the point pointed toward Earth, and the wider part pointed away from Earth. And Romulus is at the point of the cone and thus vulnerable in the case of another war.

So that is my explanation why the Excelsior was able to detect the explosion of Praxis, a world which should be in the same star system as the Klingon home world Kronos.

  • The neutral zone doesn't extend evenly around the entire Empire. The novelisation suggests that the Excelsior was in an unexplored system near to the border of the Empire but on the side facing away from the Federation
    – Valorum
    Commented May 3, 2023 at 13:26
  • 2
    You are seriously misreading that Romulan neutral zone log entry to the point of farcical hyperliteralism and erecting a scaffold of implausible conclusions around it in the name of "halfway plausible" explanations for a contradiction you created. For a question about klingons where the answer is really "the Excelsior was somewhere on the border and the distance was never established." Commented May 3, 2023 at 19:01

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