|This article relies on references to primary sources. (April 2009)|
Emblem of the Tholian Holdfast, as depicted in Star Fleet Universe
|Base of operations||Tholia|
In the Star Trek fictional universe, Tholians are an extremely territorial starfaring race. The Tholian // home nation is the Territorial Annex of the Tholian Assembly, which inhabits an area of space in the Alpha Quadrant, near the Cardassian Union and the Badlands.
Tholian biology and culture
Non-humanoid in form, Tholians have crystalline bodies, two arms, and six legs. They dwell in an environment of extreme heat by human standards, their comfortable living environment being 480 kelvins (207 °C). Temperatures below 380 K (107 °C) will kill Tholians, causing them to shatter into tiny crystalline shards. Each Tholian has both male and female sexual organs.[episode needed]
Tholians have little tolerance for deception, and are insistent on punctuality.[episode needed]
Besides utilizing standard offensive weaponry, Tholian ships can also work in concert to emit an energy field shaped much like a web, which will trap any space vessel inside and drain its energy. When more ships are available, a web takes much less time to construct; several Tholian vessels working in concert can spin such a web in under a minute (as seen in "In a Mirror, Darkly"), while two vessels might take hours ("The Tholian Web").
The Tholians appear to actively explore the science of inter-spatial rifts and time travel. Tholians from both the regular Trek universe and the Mirror universe are depicted as engaging in missions to capture future technology, ostensibly to use the advanced technology to further their own agenda.
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 (Enterprise episode "Future Tense").
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 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 2379, the Romulans had diplomatic relations with the Tholians.
The Mirror Universe
In the Mirror Universe, the Tholians appear to be 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 (and, as it turns out, in time) 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 Star Fleet Universe 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 invasion.
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
Starship Exeter Star Trek fan productions
The Tholians appear in the second fan film production of the Starship Exeter series story, The Tressaurian Intersection (2005, partially released).
- In the Peter David novel Vendetta, Commander Loskene encounters the Enterprise-D some 90 years after encountering the original Enterprise. It was explained that Tholians perceive linear time differently from most other humanoids, alluding to their more heightened sense of "interphasic" four dimensional space/time.
- In the 1999-2000 DS9 novel trilogy Millennium Book II: The War of the Prophets, the large mural in Quark's bar depicted the visage of Gul Dukat's enemy; Tholian Admiral Alkene. Albeit, in a more Andy Warhol-esque way.
- The 2003 novel The Sundered suggests that Tholians have a short lifespan.
- In J.M. Dillard's novel Star Trek: Recovery, Admiral James T. Kirk and Dr. Leonard McCoy oversee the test of the rescue ship "Recovery" at Zotos IV before the Klingons, Romulans, and Tholians. Both the fully automated ship and its designer, Myron Shulman, go mad under the influence of the vengeful Tholian Lokara, who makes the Recovery attack the other ships. Commander Lokara of the Skotha seeks revenge on Kirk and Starfleet, because Lokara's breeding partner Lanra was crippled aboard Loskene's ship during the battle against the Enterprise four years earlier (Star Trek: The Original Series episode The Tholian Web). Lokara is later killed by the Klingons.
- The 2005 novel Star Trek Vanguard: Harbinger is focused on a region of space - the Taurus Reach - close to the Tholian and Klingon frontiers, and includes several postulations on Tholian technology and society.
- The 2006 novel Star Trek Vanguard: Summon the Thunder continues the story of the Taurus Reach. Taking place in 2265, there is more insight into Tholian society, including its possible linkages to ancient technological ruins found on several planets in this region of space. They were also responsible for the destruction of the U.S.S. Bombay.
- In the New Frontier novel Gods Above, a Tholian vessel comes to the planet Danter seeking a sample of the "ambrosia" provided to the Danteri by the Beings. The Beings (the life-forms who influenced Greco-Roman, Norse, and Egyptian myths on Earth) promptly destroy the Tholians.