I've noted that the Romulans have been a constant problem in the various Star Trek series. I'm just wondering who started it all? and why are they a constant problem? Plus I want to know more why the neutral territory was formed?

  • Every series Mostly the Next Generation, Voyager and DS9 since after Star Trek VI. The Klingons were not the problem so they go with the Vulcan's green blood family.
    – user70114
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 8:49

1 Answer 1


who started it all?

From Wikipedia:

In 2152, Humans made first contact with the Romulans when the Enterprise NX-01 encountered a Romulan-laid minefield. Communication was via audio only. The Romulans saw that Humans fostered a spirit of cooperation among the long-belligerent Vulcans, Andorians and Tellarites. Realizing that this would bring solidarity to the region and an obstacle to conquest, the Senate took steps to turn these species against each other.

In 2154, Romulans conspired with V'Las, head of the Vulcan High Command, to invade Andoria. V'Las' Romulan contact had the stated agenda of reunification with the Vulcans.

A few months later, the Empire sent prototype holoships remote-controlled from Romulus to disrupt a peace conference between Andorians and Tellarites. The Romulans piloted the ships using an abducted Aenar; however, their scheme was thwarted by the combined efforts of the Humans, Vulcans, Andorians, and Tellarites, led by the Enterprise. This enraged the Romulans, who vowed revenge upon humanity.

About 2156, the Earth-Romulan War began. Both sides, for unknown reasons, used weapons of an atomic nature. These were still in the Romulan inventory a century later. The war only ended after both sides had fought to the point of exhaustion, and realized that further conflict would result in mutual destruction.

why the neutral territory was formed?

In 2160, the Romulans and the Humans signed a treaty ending the war and establishing a neutral zone one light year wide between their territories. The treaty was negotiated via subspace radio, again with no visual contact.

why are they a constant problem?

  1. Out-of-universe, Romulans were modeled on Roman empire. The way the empire worked economically and politically was by constant conquest.

  2. In-universe, they are an off-shoot of Vulcans who rejected Surak's reforms during the Time of Awakening and therefore were goverened by threir emotions. The society was highly militarized, totalitarian and xenophobic.

  • Thank you very much! Very concise and helpful, I wonder if ST was to ever continue if they'd join the federation or just destroy themselves... I realize they are bound to because of their huge problems in Nemesis and the newly released movie. Commented Apr 21, 2011 at 15:11
  • 2
    @Justin Assuming one considers Star Trek Online as cannon; after Nemesis and the events of the new movie the Empire lost much of its control over its outer colonies. Many of them have become independent and the Federation is stepping in to foster their independence in the hopes that they'll eventually choose to join them. The Romulans, seeking to maintain their power, form an uneasy alliance with the Hirogen (Voyager) in order to balance the Federation. This is how the Romulans stood when STO launched. Progressive stories may have altered this some.
    – Xantec
    Commented Apr 21, 2011 at 22:28
  • 2
    @Justin the Hirogen were/are based in the Delta Quadrant but they were close enough to the fringes of Federation space to be at the borders after a few days/weeks of travel. After all, there was the one VOY episode with the two EMH programs on the Prometheus which (unless i am mixing up my ST villains) was being commandeered by the Hirogen
    – Xantec
    Commented Apr 22, 2011 at 19:27
  • 1
    I thought out-of-universe Romulans represented the chinese in the cold war. Commented May 2, 2011 at 1:23
  • 1
    @Xantec, actually that was the Romulans. But given the Hirogen's huge sensor array network, it makes sense that they would be all over. They're not a potent political force anymore, but they are still ubiquitous. Commented Feb 26, 2015 at 11:17

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.