First Appearance: "BALANCE OF TERROR"
Romulan Star Empire
Physical Attributes: Humanoid, common ancestry with Vulcans.
The Romulan Star Empire is ruled by a Praetor, and based on the worlds of Romulus and Remus (the third and fourth planets in their star system, respectively), whose inhabitants are descendants of the Vulcan race.
A Neutral Zone was established by treaty over subspace radio after an Earth-Romulan conflict in the Twenty-second Century, which was fought with primitive atomic weapons and space vessels that allowed no captives. There was no ship-to-ship visual communication; therefore no human, Romulan, nor ally had ever seen the other until a century later.
In the Twenty-third Century, the Praetor's finest and proudest flagship crossed the Neutral Zone and attacked several Earth outposts with its new plasma weapon, but the impulse driven ship was defeated by the U.S.S. Enterprise, which was able to detect the Romulan ship through its new cloaking device, and could outrun the Romulan ship's weapon at warp speed.
The Romulans later began using Klingon-designed, warp-powered ships, and designed a new cloaking device that could not be detected by Federation sensors, but the prototype cloaking device was stolen from the new Klingon-designed flagship by the U.S.S. Enterprise.
In the Twenty-fourth Century, the Romulan Star Empire withdrew from the Neutral Zone for many years, but resumed contact with the Federation after its outposts along the Neutral Zone were destroyed by the Borg.
Around Stardate 56844.9, members of the Romulan Senate were killed and control of the government was seized by Remans with the support of the Romulan military. They were led by Shinzon, a clone of Starfleet Captain Picard who was created years ago by the Romulan military to infiltrate the Federation, but the project was abandoned by the new Romulan Senate and the clone was exiled to the dilithium mines on the dark side of Remus. The Remans were a slave class who served as soldiers and workers for the Romulan Star Empire, but Shinzon led a revolt of the Reman slaves and secretly built a powerful cloaked battleship, planning to destroy Earth with a powerful new weapon.