In the original series episode "Amok Time", Spock describes the 7-year Vulcan mating cycle:

We are driven by forces we cannot control to return home and take a wife or die.

He cites precedents from nature: the giant eel-birds of Regulus 5 that must return to the caverns where they hatched, and Earth salmon that must return to the one stream where they were born to spawn or die in trying.

Apparently, if a male Vulcan is unable to return to Vulcan during Pon Farr, he will die.

In the new timeline from the 2009 movie, a few thousand Vulcans have survived and started a colony on a planet called New Vulcan.

What will happen to the males when they go through Pon Farr and are unable to return home? Is the Vulcan species doomed to extinction?

(I've updated the title to refer to the "Kelvin timeline", since "new timeline" is no longer unambiguous, if it ever was.)

  • Home is where the heart (or in this case, the nookie nookie) is.
    – Derek
    Commented Jun 30, 2023 at 20:29
  • Pon Near or Pon Farr? Commented Jun 30, 2023 at 21:33

2 Answers 2


Later (cannon) references in the Prime universe make it clear that "returning home and take a wife" meant to go where the Vulcan women were and take a wife.

  • In Star Trek III on planet Genesis, Spock's young clone was shown experiencing Pon farr, and survived it nicely with the assistance of Saavik, nowhere near Vulcan.

  • The Voyager episode Blood Fever showed a resolution to Pon farr on the other side of the galaxy.

  • As Richard shows, arguably to undeniably-less canonical sources abound showing that the planet's significance was mainly, if not exclusively, limited to being where the Vulcan women's at.

There is also the issue of the Romulans, and possibly the Mintakans and Rigelians: one or more extant species who split off from the Vulcans in the relatively recent past. If the planet were a biological requirement, it was either one which the proto-Romulans managed to overcome in the wake of a planetary war and exodus, or something requiring as much hand-waving to add to the Amok Time-era Vulcans as it does to remove from Star Trek III and later Vulcans.

  • 1
    Ahem, less canonical? The ongoing comics are fully canon, I thank you.
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 18, 2015 at 21:19
  • 3
    Star Trek III and "Blood Fever" are definitely canon; whether the comics are canon is another question. This definitely seems like a retcon; Spock's statement in "Amok Time" didn't seem to leave any room for anything other than returning to Vulcan itself. But that's hardly unusual for Star Trek. Commented Apr 18, 2015 at 21:32

Based on the fully canon 'Star Trek: Ongoing' comic After Darkness Part I, it appears that Vulcans are just as capable of undergoing Pon Farr on New Vulcan.

enter image description here

enter image description here

  • 3
    Is Spock just being coy, or does he actually not know what Pon Farr is? Commented Apr 18, 2015 at 21:28
  • 3
    You're assuming Roberto Orci is the judge of what is or is not "fully canon". I'm not taking sides on that question, but it is a question. Commented Apr 18, 2015 at 21:30
  • 1
    @Richard They may not like to talk about it around outsiders, but surely they talk about it to each other? Did Sarek never give him "the talk"? Or he didn't learn about it in the education pits? Commented Apr 18, 2015 at 21:33
  • 2
    @JasonBaker: In "Amok Time", Spock says to Kirk: "It is a thing no outworlder may know, except those very few who have been involved. A Vulcan understands, but even we do not speak of it among ourselves. It is a deeply personal thing." Commented Apr 18, 2015 at 21:38
  • 3
    It would be illogically dangerous to not ensure that people know about this "mate or die" business ahead of time. If it's not by explicit instruction, then it's just instinctive knowledge. Sounds like it's the latter. Otherwise, the social taboo of speaking about Pon Farr would be discarded as illogical.
    – Tim S.
    Commented Apr 19, 2015 at 2:23

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.