From Academic Kids

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A Tholian (as depicted in the Original Series)

Tholians are a starfaring and extremely territorial race in the Star Trek fictional universe. The Tholian home nation is the Tholian Assembly, which inhabits an area of space in the Alpha Quadrant, in close proximity to the Klingon Empire and the Badlands.

The Tholian Assembly is located rimward of the Cardassian Union and the Breen Confederacy, and the homeworld of Tholia is a Class Y planet, similar to the planet Venus.


Tholian biology and culture

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A Tholian (as depicted in Star Trek: Enterprise)

Non-humanoid in form, Tholians have crystalline bodies, two arms, and six legs. They dwell in an environment of extreme heat, their comfortable living environment being 480 degrees Kelvin (404F/207C). Temperatures below 380K (224F/107C) will kill Tholians, causing them to shatter into tiny crystalline shards. Each Tholian has both male and female sexual organs.

Natural Tholian speech is a series of shrill squeals and clicks, similar to the sounds of a dolphin. Their speech is difficult to parse through the universal translator.

Tholians have little tolerance for deception, and are insistent on punctuality.

Tholian silk is highly prized and difficult to obtain. It is an urban legend that Tholian silk is actually made from Tholians, not by them, although there is no actual evidence of such a thing.

Tholian technology

Besides utilizing standard offensive weaponry, Tholian ships can also work in concert to emit an energy field shaped much like a web that will trap any space vessel inside and drain its energy. Six Tholian vessels working in concert can spin such a web in under a minute, while only two vessels might take up to two hours.

Tholian history

In 2152, Tholians made their first contact with humans. As players in the Temporal Cold War, they opposed the Suliban in pursuit of an artifact from the future, disabling a powerful Vulcan ship in the process.

In 2268, a Tholian commander named Loskene attacked the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) for violating Tholian territory while on a rescue mission to investigate the disappearance of the USS Defiant. (Star Trek: The Original Series episode The Tholian Web).

In 2353, Tholians attacked a Federation starbase and killed its entire complement, except for a civilian named Kyle Riker, father of William Riker.

In 2355, simulated Tholian battles were part of Starfleet Academy training.

In 2367, there was concern that the Tholians might get involved in the Klingon Civil War.

In 2371, a Tholian ambassador visited Deep Space 9.

In 2372, a Tholian observer was present at a conference in Antwerp, Earth, when a bomb destroyed the conference hall. Shortly after, the Tholians signed a non-aggression treaty with the Dominion.

In 2379, the Romulans had diplomatic relations with the Tholians.

The Mirror Universe

In the alternate universe, the Tholians appear to be more technologically advanced than their 'normal' counterparts (it takes them much less time to build their energy web around a captive starship). They are also more cunning and treacherous: in the Star Trek: Enterprise episode In a Mirror, Darkly, the Mirror Tholians are said to have intentionally caused the 'interphase', the rift in space depicted in the original Star Trek episode The Tholian Web. The Mirror Tholians detonated a high-yield explosive device, which caused the interphase to form. They then planted a false distress signal in the hopes of luring a ship from the other universe into their own (presumably with the intention of capturing the ship and using it as the vanguard of an invasion force). The USS Defiant answered the fake distress call, becoming trapped in the interphase and eventually winding up in the Mirror Universe. The Tholians captured the Defiant and attempted to steal its technology before it was commandeered by agents of the Terran Empire.

Non canon references

Star Fleet Universe

The Tholian Holdfast (the Tholian Assembly in the SFU is the Holdfast's governing body) comprises a small number of worlds in former Klingon space, bordering the Klingon Empire, Romulan Star Empire, and Federation. The race originated in another galaxy entirely, where they were once masters but were overthrown by the Seltorians, their erstwhile subordinates.

In this continuity, the Tholians were invaded by the Coalition (but primarily by forces from the Klingon Empire, who wished to recover three lost colony worlds in the Tholian home sector) in Y177 as part of Operation Nutcracker, the arrival of the Neo-Tholian 312th Battle Squadron in the Spring of Y178 saving a devastated Tholia from Klingon conquest and driving the Coalition forces from their space. During this time, and for a time afterwards, the Tholians were a partner of the Alliance but refused to allow Federation ships to fight within their territory. Their role in the General War came to an end when the Seltorian Tribunal Fleet arrived from the Tholian home galaxy to campaign against them in Y182. They remained neutral during the ISC's campaign of pacification and joined the octant-wide resistance to the subsequent Andromedan onslaught.

Standard Tholian vessels are akin to those seen in Star Trek. There are also a range of Neo-Tholian vessels, reinforcements from their home galaxy, with more advanced and larger ship classes and web casters.

Star Trek: The Next Generation comics

Tholians were depicted as orange crystals with arms and legs.


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