In the film Star Trek (2009), Spock said Nero captain of the Romulan mining ship waited 25 years for him to arrive (in which were only seconds for Spock). So what did Nero and his band of misguided Romulans do for 25 years while being in a big ass mining ship in a time zone clearly not meant for them?

Also as a side question, how did Nero know Spock would arrive at that point and that time?


5 Answers 5


To summarize, they were captured by Klingons shortly after the battle with the Kelvin. Then during his time on a Klingon prison planet, which was planned to be Rura Penthe (the same planet Kirk and McKoy were imprisoned on in The Undiscovered Country), they determined when Spock would arrive. They escaped in time to show up when Spock arrived, and they promptly captured him.

It's unclear where the Klingons kept the Narada, which would have been a pretty big boon to their engineers. (There are Klingon engineers, right?)

From Memory Alpha:

Nero spent the next twenty-five years awaiting the arrival of Ambassador Spock, plotting his vengeance against him and the Federation. Near the end of those twenty-five years, Nero was involved in an attack on a Klingon prison planet and, using the Narada, destroyed 47 Warbirds. During his time on the prison planet, Nero sustained an injury to his right ear.

This was covered in a deleted scene:

A deleted scene from the film shows Klingons surrounded the Narada following George Kirk's attack, and Nero and his crew gave themselves up to be imprisoned on Rura Penthe. During his time on the planet, Nero kept quiet about his origins, and lost part of his ear, escaping with his crew after the Klingons discovered his calculations regarding Spock's arrival and threatened to interrogate him with a centaurian slug. It was his escape from Rura Penthe that Uhura heard about in the transmission she received regarding an attack on a Klingon prison planet.

  • Interesting... I always thought there was roughly parity between Klingon and Federation defense technology, but if the Klingons were not only able to defend against, but to defeat and capture the Narada, then the Kelvin-era Klingon ships clearly outclass the Federation fleet of two-and-a-half decades later, which would be wiped out at Vulcan without any apparent damage to the Narada. Commented Nov 13, 2011 at 23:54
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    I think it was more a matter of timing. The Kelvin blew up all over the Narada, so the Narada was weakened. If the Klingons showed up just then, they'd have the capability of overpowering the Narada. In addition, it was just the Kelvin vs the Narada. There were meant to be several Klingon vessels taking on the Narada, so the Klingons would have had more firepower too.
    – user1027
    Commented Nov 13, 2011 at 23:57
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    But it wasn't a battle between the Federation fleet and the Narada at Vulcan. The fleet warped in not at battle stations and probably did not even have their shields on. Even the Kelvin would have put up defenses because of the storm, and the Enterprise went to red alert before coming out of warp.
    – Sydenam
    Commented Nov 14, 2011 at 13:12
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    @cwallenpoole If you were any other man I would kill you where you stand! Commented Feb 12, 2012 at 15:02
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    Also, the Nerada would be a great prize for the Klingons, but it would be an even greater prize for them if it were fully functional. Chances are the ship was kept near Rura Penthe so they could use the prisoners, under heavy observation, to make repairs and extract handy tech. That way it is on hand for Nero to make his escape when the time is right and the resources for repairs would have been swindled out of the Klingons. Commented Feb 16, 2012 at 1:02

Bear in mind that the Narada was a mining ship. It was not built as a reaction to the destruction of Romula but before it meaning its weapons would be based on defense rather than offense. The fact that it was so destructive against the Federation was that it caught them on their own (Kelvin), or unprepared (Star-fleet). I doubt that any type of mining vessel would have the capability of targeting 4 or 5, let along 42 simultaneous targets particularly after sustaining actual hull damage from the Kelvin.

Also, it would have actually been quite clever of Nero to allow his capture at this point. The Klingons would likely take the Nerada into port and begin repairs (believing to use it for their own). This is something that would not be possible unless under dock - which the 'fugitive' Nero would realise.

I also suspect that a prison planet housing the Nerada would be unlikely to have more than one or two stationed vessels. The rest would either have been in port, or turned up to the party in smaller groups. Either way, in this manner the Nerada could overpower 3 or 4 arriving vessels at one time (and picking off those in port at leisure) - destroying 42 in the whole engagement.


This was covered in a scene that was deleted from the 2009 film. Nero and his crew were evidently captured by the Klingons after exiting the black hole. They spent some 25 years on Rura Penthe before escaping and reclaiming their vessel (which the Klingons had been able to study, but not fully activate).

There's also an extensive amount of backstory provided in the follow-up comic serial Star Trek: Nero.

Attacked, boarded and captured
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Imprisoned and tortured (note the Narada in "Orbital Quarantine" around Rura Penthe where it was towed at warp).
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Resorting to drugs which, ironically, allows him to meditate and access his psychic abilities
enter image description here
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Then there's a weird sub-plot about the Narada rendezvousing with V-Ger and Nero using its CPU to work out when Spock will exit the black hole. I'm not going to post a pic because it's dumb.

Capturing Spock and the 'Red Matter'
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  • "ships uncloaking all around us" but the cloaking device came throught the Romulans to the Klingons much later in the original.
    – user95188
    Commented Jan 23, 2018 at 13:29
  • @onepound - Indeed, but in the new continuity the timeline is all shot to hell
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 23, 2018 at 13:36

Well in the deleted scene a fleet of kilingon ships surrounded the Narada after it was disabled.


A quick answer is that they are captured by Klingons. Sent to their prison planet which is a mine. And due to his nature Nero and his men actually made a profit for the Klingons. Usually people were just worked to death there.

This is all told in the comic books. There is also some that are acting as a prequel to Into The Darkness

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