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This article was originally posted to vulcan-l.
From nobody Tue May 18 15:44:51 2004
From: Randall Raemon 
Subject: (AFS) FAQ - Vulcan, last revised 2 Sep 2003
Date: Sat, 01 May 2004 23:18:01 -0500
Organization: vulcan-l mailing list
Lines: 454

This FAQ posting was last revised 3 July 2003. Comments and
corrections are welcomed. Simply send your feedback to the list.

This FAQ borrows from the original work done by Rachel Thurston.
Thanks Rachel!!

The recent change to this FAQ is additional descriptions for
Soval and Tos as forwarded by Selek.


0. Canon? Canon? What is canon?
1. Vulcan - the world
2. Vulcan - the people
   a. IDIC
   b. naming
   c. personalites
      1. Spock
      2. Sarek
      3. Surak
      4. Tuvok
      5. others
   d. biology
      1. pon farr
      2. a black Vulcan??
3. Vulcanoids
   a. Romulans
   b. Mintakans
   c. Rigelians

Canon? Canon? What is canon?

The debate over what material should be considered canon, or at
the very least mutually acceptable as a starting point for debate,
has failed to produce a clear consensus.  In general, if it's on
film it's canon, but any source (print or film) is fair game for
discussion.  Where possible, give references for information.  Not
only do the books frequently contradict each other and the episodes,
but occasionally episodes are contradictory, resulting in much

Vulcan - the world

"Hot as Vulcan", as the saying goes. A hot, dry world. Those few
glimpses we've had of the Vulcan landscape show little vegatation,
and a lot of desert-like conditions.

Little has also been said of the star system where Vulcan is. From
ST:TMP, we know of a nearby planetoid, given the name in the books
as T'Khut. 

Some material puts Vulcan in the star system 40 Eridani. 
For far more astronomical information, see Marketa's web site.
The URL is in the resources FAQ that is posted periodically.


It stands for "Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations". 
What precisely this means has been the subject of much debate 
on the group/list.  Some of the aspects that have been discussed
include celebration of the diversity of the universe, or at least
tolerance of other cultures and how far this tolerance should go.
Some schools of thought say that IDIC tolerates all differences
without necessarily adopting them, while others disagree.  

Here's what The Star Trek Encyclopedia has to say:  

 IDIC: Acronym for Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations,
 a cornerstone of the Vulcan philosophy. Spock wore an IDIC 
 medallion to the shipboard dinner in honor of Dr. Jones. ("Is 
 There in Truth no Beauty?" [TOS] ).   
 The triangle-circle IDIC pendant in this episode was designed by 
 Gene Roddenberry and has been used as a Vulcan national symbol. 

That's all there is.  Taken from _The Star Trek Encyclopedia_, ISBN

Steve Boozer has this additional item:

According to the unnamed Vulcan Master who tutored teenaged Tuvok,
it is called *kol-ut-shan* - "the cornerstone of our beliefs" [VOY
"Gravity"].  (In fandom IDIC is also called *t'triahve*, though I
don't know where this word comes from.)

* Aren't Vulcans pacifists?  How can Tuvok be security officer, 
a position which requires the use of force?  

We don't have a good answer to this yet.  It has been suggested
that Tuvok does not strictly adhere to the teachings of Surak, 
particularly since his name does not begin with an S.  Tuvok may
also avoid the use of force except where absolutely necessary, 
such as in self-defense.  Although Surak died rather than meet
aggression with aggression, Spock stated in "Journey to Babel" 
that his father Sarek was capable of killing efficiently if he
found it logical to do so.  

Vulcan names

The way in which Vulcan names seem to occur has been an often
discussed topic. Single names vs family names, the s-k combinations,
"you couldn't pronounce it", etc etc. The few Vulcan names in
TOS epsiodes seemed to show a pattern, but that was within Spock
and Sarek's family. TNG, DS9, and Voyager episodes have a somewhat
wider variety of Vulcan names that don't seem to follow any
particular pattern.


Our first introduction to Vulcan, its people, and its culture.
It is through Spock that many posters say what is, or isn't, Vulcan.

Spock has a long history. Far more than I can quote here. For details,
I'll refer you to any edition of the Star Trek Encyclopedia.


Our second introduction to Vulcan. Sarek is Spock's father, and
was introduced in the TOS episode "Journey to Babel". Sarek was
a member of Vulcan's diplomatic corps. Sarek died in the TNG
episode "Unification".

An aside: Mark Lenard, the actor who portrayed Sarek, died 
22 Nov 1996.


Surak is an historical figure from ancient Vulcan.  Described by
Spock as the father of Vulcan civilization, he founded and popularized
the philosophies of peace, logic, mastery over one's emotions, and
IDIC.  These philosophies form the basis for modern Vulcan culture.
Before Surak's Reformation, Vulcans were warlike and ruled by their
passions.  The planet nearly had been destroyed by devastating
wars, and another war was on the verge of starting, when Surak and
his followers intervened.  They sent emissaries of peace to their
enemies.  These emissaries were killed at first, but they sent
more, and more, until eventually people began to listen and the
idea of peace took hold.  There has been no war since then.  It is
widely believed that the Reformation saved the Vulcans from


Lieutenant Tuvok is the chief of security of the USS Voyager on 
Star Trek: Voyager.  He had been Captain Janeway's security officer 
for some time prior to the beginning of the series, but his assignment 
at the beginning of the pilot episode was to infiltrate the Maquis 
as an undercover agent for Starfleet security.  He also taught at 
the Academy for 16 years.  His first assignment in his present 
Starfleet career was aboard the USS Wyoming.  

* How old is Tuvok?

In "Flashback", Tuvok states that he is 29 in his flashback memory,
and the event is taking place 80 years before the current time, 
which makes him 109 years old.  In the memory 80 years ago, he was 
in Starfleet, an ensign on his first deep space assignment.  He had 
been pressured into going to the Academy by his parents, and he 
left Starfleet soon thereafter.  He was out of Starfleet for over 50 
years.  After leaving, he spent several years in seclusion immersed
in the Kohlinar.  Six years into his studies, he began the Pon Farr. 
but left when he entered Pon Farr and took a mate, T'Pel.  He has 
been married for 67 years, so he must have been 42 when he entered 
Pon Farr.   

* So does he have any children?

Yes.  Tuvok stated in "Elogium" that he has four children, three
sons and one daughter.  

Tuvok was married in 2304. His fourth child was born coincident 
with his eleventh pon farr. (VOY "Alice")

* Since Vulcans never lie, how could Tuvok have served as an
undercover security agent, which required pretending to be 
something he is not?  

Chakotay asked Tuvok about this in "State of Flux".  Tuvok 
responded by claiming that he was true to his own convictions 
within the parameters of his mission.  At another point Chakotay 
was losing rather badly to Tuvok at gin, and asked how Tuvok could 
bluff since bluffing was lying.  Tuvok countered that since all 
parties understood that a bluff was a ruse or misdirection, he 
wasn't lying.  

Other Vulcans

>From Selek, posting in article.10727, these entries for Soval and Tos:


   Vulcan ambassador to Earth. Soval has a somewhat stuffy, condescending
   attitude toward humans, which causes problems for both Admiral
   Forrest and Captain Archer. As a child, Archer referred to him as
   "Ambassador Pointy." Soval objected giving Archer command of the
   Enterprise NX-01, and also blamed Archer for the destruction of
   the P'Jem monastery.

And Tos, his assistant is described:

   Vulcan dignitary. Tos was a colleague of Ambassador Soval serving
   on Earth circa 2151. He provided information on the Klingons to
   Starfleet, and was against Archer's mission to return Klaang to

>From Steve Boozer's posting in article.8302, this wonderful list:

In addition to Sarek and Sakonna, we've seen several other non-Starfleet
Vulcans in the TV episodes:

  Sakkath   Ambassador Sarek's personal assistant [TNG "Sarek"]
  Satok     Vulcan Security Minister [TNG "Gambit II"]
  Stonn     T'Pring's paramour [TOS "Amok Time"]
  T'Paal    "Romulan" agent Tallera's real Vulcan name [TNG "Gambit"]
  T'Pan     expert in subspace morphology, she was director of the
            Vulcan Science Academy [TNG "Suspicions"]
  T'Pau     high-ranking dignitary and elder of Sarek's House, a 
            descendent from Surak. She was infamous as the only person ever
            to turn down a seat on the Federation Council. [TOS "Amok Time"]

(And don't forget T'Pau's entire civilian entourage, which included a
couple of rather large masked goons/enforcers/bodyguards and assorted

  T'Pel     honored "Vulcan" ambassador who was actually Subcommander
            Selok, a Romulan deep cover agent [TNG "Data's Day"]
  T'Pel     Tuvok's wife [VOY "Persistence of Vision", "Bliss"]
  T'Pring   Spock's betrothed [TOS "Amok Time"]
  T'Shanik  one of three candidates who competed with Wesley Crusher
            for a single opening to Starfleet Academy at Relva VII in 2364.
            From Vulcana Regar, she was a runner-up in the competition. [TNG
            "Coming of Age"]  

(T'Shanik wanted to join Starfleet, but she was a teenaged civilian when we
saw her!  I'd like to think she eventually made it in.)  And there was that
unnamed Vulcan Master again in VOY "Gravity".  Other civilians have been
mentioned in dialogue, though not seen on camera:

  Sakar     brilliant theoretical scientist, often compared to such
            luminaries as Albert Einstein and Richard Daystrom [TOS "The
            Ultimate Computer"]
  Sek       Tuvok's first son (profession unknown) [VOY "Hunters"]
  Senva     healer nominated for Carrington Award [DS9 "Prophet Motive"]
  T'meni    Tuvok's mother. [VOY "Hunters"]
  T'meni    Tuvok's granddaughter, daughter of Sek [VOY "Hunters"]
  T'Para    ancient Vulcan teacher in Raal according to "Falor's
            Journey" [VOY "Innocence"]

 Ambassadar Lojal, in DS9 "The Forsaken."

 Soral and T'Penna, mentioned as having performed Terran opera in 
            VOY "The Swarm."

And more compilation work by Steven Boozer, in article 10231

   Lt. Chu'lak is a new science officer transferrd to DS9
   after his ship was destroyed I the Dominion War, he went criminally
   insane, becoming a murderer [DSN "Fields of Fire"]

   a prosperous merchant who went on a journey to gain greater
   awareness. The song Falor's Journey, a tale of enlightenment
   consisting of 348 verses, was a particular favorite of Tuvok's
   youngest son [VOY "Innocence]

   one of the founders of the P'Jem sanctuary. His mummified
   remains are kept in the Reliquary in the catacombs beneath. [ENT
   "The Andorian Incident"]

   assumed Vulcan identity of one Species 8472 at their training
   base.  He was a Starfleet lieutenant acting as an aide to "Admiral
   Bullock". [VOY "In the Flesh"]

   an architect on Vulcan and T'Pol's fianc=E9. They were
   betrothed when they were children and have only met four times.
   T'Pol postponed the wedding, and insulted Koss' family in the
   process, when she chose to remain with humans aboard Enterprise
   after returning of Klingon messenger Klaag to Kronos in 2151. Later
   that year, T'Pol received an urgent, encrypted letter from Koss'
   parents demanding she return to Vulcan for the re-scheduled wedding.
   She declined. [ENT "Breaking the Ice"]

   engineer on the Vahklas, an obsolete ship carrying V'tosh
   ka'tur. He is the son of a high ranking minister on the Vulcan High
   Command who broke with his family years ago. After receiving word
   that his father was dying, he contacted his father and reconciled.
   [ENT "Fusion"]

   a subaltern in the Vulcan High Command assimilated by the
   Borg (at Wolf 359?). Seven of Nine was "possessed" by his personality
   when a Borg vinculum--the device which connects and processes the
   thousands of disparate minds on a Borg cube--was infected with a
   virus and malfunctioned. When Tuvok mind-melded with her to control
   the intrusive thoughts, we saw a middle-aged Vulcan male in a
   TNG-era Starfleet red uniform in the crowd. [VOY "Infinite Regress"]

   captain of the Vahklas, an obsolete civilian transport ship
   carrying V'tosh ka'tur (q.v.). He surprised T'Pol and Archer by
   asking to eat some fried chicken. [ENT "Fusion"]

   captain of the Vulcan starship Yarahla [ENT "Breaking the Ice"]

   first officer (?) of the Vahklas, an obsolete civilian
   ship carrying V'tosh ka'tur. Before joining the Vahklas eight years
   prior, he taught literature at the prestigious Shirkar Academy on
   Vulcan. He was interested in T'Pol, eventually assaulting her during
   a mind-meld. [ENT "Fusion"]

   ensign aboard the Enterprise-D serving in Engineering [TNG
   "Lower Decks"]. Also spelled Taurik.

   son of T'Meni. LCdr (later Cdr) Tuvok is the chief of
   security on USS Voyager.

   captain of the Ti'Mur, a Suurok-class starship.  By 2141
   he had served in the Vulcan Space Program for 76 years, the last
   15 of which in command of the Ti'Mur. [ENT "Breaking the Ice"]

   Vulcan scientist on an exchange program to Earth. He was
   Cdr.  Tucker's 10th grade science teacher. [ENT "Strange New World"]

   ensign serving in the Engineering Department aboard Voyager.
   Vorik endured his first pon farr in the Delta Quadrant, attempting
   to establish a bond with B'Elanna. (VOY "Pon Farr") Also spelled

   [He was to have been the Enterprise's new science officer in
   Star Trek II, the aborted 1977 TV series.]

Notice the clusters of non-"traditional" male names beginning with
K, T and V.  Is this significant?

Vulcan female names from the episodes and movies that do not begin with the
T' prefix:

   Starfleet Lt.(j.g.), science officer on the USS Grissom.
   [ST2, ST3, ST4. The script for ST2 contained a line that suggested
   Saavik was half-Vulcan, half-Romulan, but the line was cut, and
   later films seemed to assume that she was pure Vulcan. A scene cut
   from the final version of ST4 would have shown that Saavik remained
   on Vulcan because she was pregnant with Spock's child. ("Because
   the scene was cut, we don't consider this to be 'evidence' that it
   'really' happened." [STE]) Saavik's backstory about her birth on
   the Romulan world of Hellguard is given in The Pandora Principle.
   [Some have suggested that "Saavik" may actually be a Romulan name.]

   female Vulcan Maquis agent who wanted to buy weapons from
   Quark on DS9 [DS9 "Maquis"]

   female Vulcan doctor on the Enterprise-D [TNG "The Schizoid
   Man" and occasionally referred to, but never seen, in subsequent
   episodes]. She later served on the Excalibur [The New Frontier].

   healer (gender unknown) nominated for Carrington Award [DS9
   "Prophet Motive"]

pon farr

The Vulcan name for something that has to do with how Vulcans
reproduce. The subject of two episodes: TOS "Amok Time" and
Voyager "Blood Fever".

The details, characteristics, biology, psychology, etc etc of
pon farr have been a subject for discussion since the TOS episode
aired in 1967. 

a black Vulcan???

This is a common question and list topic. "Voyager" has been showing
now for some years, so the existence of Vulcans with various 
colorations can be considered well established. It is no longer
a "pro or con" discussion topic. So, unless the discussion is about
the biological nature of Vulcan skin coloration (and there are folks
on the list who can, and have, commented quite knowledgably on the
topic), the discussion of coloration from a politic view has been
little more than troll fodder.

As to the biology of Vulcans that would give a darker coloration,
no official explanation has been given, but there has been 
extensive speculation.  One possibility is that Tuvok is not 
actually black but is merely portrayed by a black actor.  Another
possibility that has been discussed here is that it is a natural
genetic variation resulting in a variety of skin tones and hair 
colors, and we simply have not seen black Vulcans featured 
prominently before.  There have been a few minor appearances of
black Vulcanoids in the background:  the Vulcan midwife in the 
memory of Spock's birth in _Star Trek V: The Final Frontier_ was 
black, and there have been black Romulans in TNG "The Pegasus" and 
DS9 "The Die is Cast".  However, Tuvok is the first instance of 
a black Vulcan in a starring role.  


The Romulans are decendants of a group who left Vulcan thousands 
of years ago, probably during Vulcan's aggressive colonizing days.
However, as Vulcan moved towards peace, the Romulans retained the
warlike ways of their ancestors.  While the Vulcans were unaware 
of the ancestry of the Romulans before the incidents in "Balance
of Terror", the Romulans apparently remembered their origins.  In
"Unification", Spock was seen with an underground peace movement 
on Romulus working to re-unify Romulus and Vulcan, but at last 
report, he has made only small steps towards peace.  


>From TNG "Who Watches the Watchers", the residents of Mintaka III
are a proto-Vulcan people. 


There have been many references to the similarity of Rigelian
physiology to that of Vulcans. Beyond that, little is known
about the Rigelians.

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Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations

Audrey Kinlok