Actually, given the climate on planet Vulcan, a better question would be why are there white Vulcans?

A better question would be "Why do vulcans look exactly like terrans with big ears?". I mean come on, a species that evolved completely separately manage to look almost exactly the same?


The obvious answer to both questions is special effects budget. Even the best makeup (like on Babylon 5) still ends up with a humanoid, so really they should all be CGI (not the perl kind, the other).

I didn't know that there was a debate surrounding the general crappiness of alien diversity in Star Trek. Plastic nose/brow piece does not equal parallel evolution. With the possible exception of Tin Man, that rock eating creature from TOS and the Crystal Entity, all the aliens portrayed in Star Trek are fairly lame. As a matter of fact, most aliens, no matter who portrays them seem very unlikely. That's probably because no matter what a human imagines, it will still be influenced by human bias. You don't have to have two legs and two arms to be intelligent.

Now, this may be a slightly radical view, but Star Trek is just a show. It is easier (and much better on one's budget) to have humanoid characters. It takes far less work, especially for a weekly show, to put people in relatively simple makeup. The black guy in ears, he's a Vulcan. You all know that. The girl with the wrinkly nose, she's a Bajoran.

When you see Leonard Nimoy in those ears with blue shirt on, do you think "Boy, why would Vulcans be so tall?" No, you wouldn't. You would think, "Hey Spock, do that neck thing again." There is a healthy thing in entertainment called:

Suspension of Disbelief

Who cares if Tuvok is a black actor. He is a Vulcan, trapped on Voyager. It's a story. Now when you think too hard, and try to extract too much meaning out of a show that wasn't meant to be read that deeply, then you are stepping out of that suspension. Voyager has a lot to live up to in the television category, and perhaps it is their fault for not holding the audience. Lots of other Sci-Fi shows use humanoids as characters. It helps the watcher to identify with them. I think that Tuvok being black is a good thing. It gives the show a bit of diversity for plot purposes.

So sit back and watch the show. Ask questions to yourself later. Follow the story line, and don't look at things that are not meant to be picked on. So not every show in prime time is extremely meticulous. Sit back, and be entertained. Save your level of circumspection for your own life.

Asians as Vulcans

In Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home You will notice that there are a number of asian actors portraying Vulcans. Ref this to the fact that Star Trek: The Next Generation continuity explains that most of the sentient species of the galaxy, particularly I'd imaging the alpha quadrant, are descendant from a single species that seeded many of the homeworlds of all of our favorite Star Trek species.

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