- February 1st, 2016
Ahhhhhh, Vulcans. Great creatures, aren't they? So serene, so austere... Elegant.... So MYSTERIOUS! *Gasp* It's no secret that I love Vulcans. Sometimes, I wish I could be one, but that isn't nearly as fun as knowing one. Sure, in our own timeline, they don't exist, so how should I know, right? Well, yeah, I don't, but from what I have seen on various Star Trek series, it's pretty epic.
Most of the time, those interactions start out pretty rocky. Not knowing how to act around each other, being confused by mannerisms, and cultural clashing... These things are obviously experienced by both humans and Vulcans at first. To a Vulcan, we might seem extremely unpredictable, irrational, illogical, brash, and inferior. We are loud, touch too much, are run by feeling more than logic. On the other hand, we generally see Vulcans as cold, unfeeling, painfully logical... Computer-like. In simple terms: our species are polar opposites. Vulcans bleed GREEN for crying out loud, a pretty far cry from red, I might say.
Despite all of this, some of the best relationships on all of Star Trek, whether they be friendships, command relationships, or diplomatic, are between humans and Vulcans. In the episode called "The Forge," the seventh episode of Star Trek: Enterprise's fourth season, this exchange between Ambassador Soval and Admiral Forrest embodies the Vulcan curiosity towards humans and perhaps part of the reasons why they get along as well as they do with each dynamic relationship's respective human(s):
-----Soval: We don't know what to do about Humans. Of all the species we've made contact with, yours is the only one we can't define. You have the arrogance of Andorians, the stubborn pride of Tellarites. One moment, you're as driven by your emotions as Klingons, and the next, you confound us by suddenly embracing logic.
-----Forrest: I'm sure those qualities are found in every species.
-----Soval: Not in such confusing abundance.
Mutual mystery has created a timeless bond, it seems. Off the bat, most humans won't fully understand a Vulcan and vice versa. What better way to gain understanding than to get to know one, work with one (or many)??? There is no better way. Some of these relationships are straight up powerful in terms of command teams (Think Kirk and Spock). Others, while still powerful in their own right. Some are downright hilarious (Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy and Spock). Others are angsty and romantic (Think T'Pol's relationships with both Tripp and Captain Archer!!! .... Ok, ok, maybe there was no full-fledged romance with Archer, but there was definitely some romantic tension. Tripp and T'Pol--- Trippol ;)--- all the way still). Then there is the relationship between Ambassador Soval and well, humanity. He has a strong affinity towards the humans (It took time, rocky start). Tuvok being one of the members of a small group of people I like to dub "Janeway's Cabinet of Rocks" that include Tuvok, Chakotay, and (after some rockiness) Seven of Nine, they all kept Janeway at the best she could be. Like a multi-faceted Kirk-Spock command team. Then there is the undying love that could never be directly expressed between Lady Amanda and Spock as human mother and Vulcan son, but also between the Lady and her husband, Ambassador Sarek. All of these relationships are iconic in the Trek world.
The key to these amazing relationships is something simple: balance. BALANCE! Just like how our bodies need to maintain homeostasis to function without major issues, the manner in which a being chooses to live their life in practice and in philosophy is best when there is balance. On their own, in some ways, Vulcans are restricted. Centuries of grooming has made the expression of emotion not only distasteful and taboo in Vulcan culture, but difficult internally to varying degrees in Vulcans. To them, emotions are a weakness, logic is the ultimate strength. Conversely, humans are generally emotion-driven. Yes, we are more than capable of highly logical thought, but we normally act on emotion without it requiring conscious thought. We're known to make decisions based on "gut feelings," a concept completely foreign to most Vulcans. Together, that careful balance is reached. The logical Vulcan weighs the logic of situations and encourages discipline and the intimate knowledge of one's self; the feeling human encourages the taking of risky leaps in hopes of reaching the best outcome, compassion, and not living life according to some obscure set of rules to the letter. The Vulcan-Human relationship is a fine embodiment of Yin and Yang. Each side is strong, but they are strongest together, a power-house.