In TNG "Who Watches the Watchers" we learn about the Mintakans, who are described as "proto-Vulcan humanoids". Does this mean that the Mintakans come from a common ancestor to the Vulcans, or does it mean that the two species have evolved coincidentally to share many of the same features? (Or not so coincidentally if you take into account that genetic-seeding by the super ancient humanoids.)

We have been shown many species that look completely like humans, and even entire planets that mirror Earth (TOS "Miri") and maybe some of those species could be considered "proto-human humanoids".

I don't think it has been defined how long Vulcans have had space travel, or if it's even possible the Vulcans evolved from some other species that had space travel earlier, and the Mintakans are some off-shoot of that species. This could possibly be justified from what Spock says in TOS "Return to Tomorrow" where he seems to suggest in response to Sargon and the astrobiology doctor that there are unexplained issues with Vulcans evolving on the planet Vulcan, that they might have been colonized by Sargon's people instead.

Interesting reading: http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Vulcan_history

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    I always assumed they were a sort of Vulcan equivalent to the various copies of earth ta various points in its history that we saw in the original series, like in Bread and Circuses and The Omega Glory. Commented Nov 14, 2013 at 6:49

3 Answers 3


Probably not. The Vulcans have historically been very aware (if not forthcoming) about members of their gene pool and where they may be found. In this case, the term Proto-Vulcan humanoid implies the species has many of the same mental, physical and social traits originally seen exhibited by early pre-spaceflight Vulcans.

  • This may include psychic ability such as telepathy, logical and disciplined minds, and a superior (to human) physiology. They may also share similar blood chemistry and the ability to be affected by similar diseases.

  • Since Rombulas (and Remans) WERE once Vulcans they have a direct descent line from the planet Vulcan in the distant past.

  • The Mintakins were not likely initially Vulcan and may have been descended from Sargon's species before they lost their original bodies. There were also said to have been Proto-Vulcan humanoids.

  • Other such proto-Vulcan humanoids include the Rigilans and the Halanan.

  • +1. It's worth noting the similar word "humanoid," which is routinely applied to species that have no ancestral connection to humans, but simply share common traits (most commonly body shape).
    – Nerrolken
    Commented Oct 30, 2014 at 21:50
  • It may or may not be relevant that Rigelians are susceptible to some of the same neurological disorders as both Vulcans and Romulans (e.g. Tuvan Syndrome), which may suggest a common lineage. No such link has ever been made with Mintakans, though. Of course, since we never heard of them whatsoever ever again that may in itself not mean anything. After all, we never heard whether the Debrune were affected, either (and they were assuredly from the same lineage as Romulans). Commented Oct 30, 2014 at 22:07

It's not explicitly stated how they are using the term.

They do look Vulcan, and I believe they have some telepathic abilities, so it could be refering to a common ancestor with the Vulcan race.

Or they could be using the term anthropologically, in that the Mintakans are a culture much like the early Vulcans were.


Nobody knows.

In "Return to Tomorrow" Spock speculated that Vulcans might be descended from Sargon's people more than 600,000 years ago. In any case there might be descendants of other colonies of Sargon's people on other planets, who would look a lot like Sargon's people - whose biological bodies were never seen but believed by Sargon to resemble Earth Humans or Vulcans.

"Balance of terror" implies that Vulcan conquered and colonized other planets once, and Romulans seemed to be descendants of those warlike and unreformed ancient Vulcans. It is logical to assume that society on Vulcan and Romulus reverted to barbarism as civilization collapsed during the fall of the Vulcan Empire and it took countless thousands of years for Vulcan and Romulus to rebuild civilization and become space traveling societies again.

STTNG "Gambit" mentions ruins of Romulan off-shoot cultures on various planets one being two thousand years old. Thus we may deduce that probably the Romulans regain spaceflight abilities several thousand years ago and later lost them and regained them again just a few centuries ago.

Of course many fans believe in a far different chronology based on Diane Duane's novels, with Vulcan and Romulus both keeping interstellar travel abilities for over two thousand years until the time of STTNG. But that contradicts the chronological implications of the various episodes.

In "The Paradise Syndrome" Spock mentions that some Vulcan offshoot cultures use musical notation alphabets. That implies that there were at least two known ones which did so and at least one known one which did not.

The people of Rigel V might be descended from Vulcans and/or Sargon's people, since in "Journey to Babel" it was said that their physiology was similar to, but not identical with, Vulcan physiology.

And that is about all the information available to decide whether the Mintakans are descended from Vulcans and/or Sargon's b people or evolved independently to be similar to Vulcans.

Except of course that it hardly needs saying that a planet orbiting a star such as Mintaka would not have time to evolve intelligent life and the Mintakans and/or their planet must have been imported from elsewhere, perhaps by the Preservers.

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