Andorians are an interesting species which, between some seven or eight Star Trek series and even more movies, haven’t really gotten a lot of attention. So, I’ll put them into a little bit of context by comparing them with another Star Trek species, Vulcans.
Vulcans are primarily known for their logic and the suppression of and control over their emotions. Sometimes, they’re also considered smug, superior, condescending, arrogant and judgmental. These observations often came from representatives of their allies, Earth, Tellar and Andor, with whom they founded the United Federation of Planets in 2161.
To say such an alliance was unlikely is an understatement. After first contact between Vulcans and humans, it took decades for the former to appreciate what humans could bring to the galactic table, as it were.
The Vulcans were a savage race some 5,000 years ago, but once they learned to tame their inner beast and embrace logic, they kind of expected everyone to do the same. After all, it was only logical and efficient. They’re also very accomplished at debating.
Although destined to be a future ally, Andor and Vulcan did not get on well at all, initially. Andorians embraced emotion the way Vulcans took to logic and they really didn’t trust a race that was so cold, so passionless, while Andorians wore their emotions on their sleeves. The two species were vastly different.
On Vulcan, their relationships (like everything else) are serene, unemotional and logical, but more or less standard; they have children, families, etc. Only once every seven years does their blood run hot – a genetic holdover from the ancient days. When that time comes, and the Pon Farr mating ritual comes over them, things tend to get extreme, so it’s best to put away the fragile dinnerware. In Andorian relationships, they split off into groups of four that marry and are called Bondgroups. They also gave four genders: Thaan, Chan, Shen and Zhen.
While we’re familiar with Vulcan’s mental abilities and superior hearing, the Andorians have their antennae, which are very sensitive, and provide them with a greater sense of their surroundings. To lose one of them would be akin to one of us losing an eye.
Such differences are to be expected with another planet’s population, but the Vulcans thought the Andorians duplicitous and a Cold War raged between them for many years. There were moments when they stood on the precipice of a larger, bloodier conflict, which thankfully didn’t come to pass.
Only when joining forces against the Romulans did they eventually come to terms, partially because of Captain Jonathan Archer, captain of that era’s Enterprise. The Andorians, and their struggles with Vulcan, were featured semi-regularly for the first time during the four seasons of Star Trek: Enterprise.
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