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Guinan (2366)

Guinan, a female El-Aurian, in 2366 aboard the USS Enterprise-D

MartusMazur

Martus Mazur, a male El-Aurian, in 2370

Soran

Dr. Tolian Soran, a male El-Aurian, in 2371

El-Aurians were a humanoid species of "listeners" originating from the El-Aurian system. (TNG: "The Child"; DS9: "Rivals"; Star Trek Generations, et al.)

HistoryEdit

The El-Aurians were a widely traveled people who spread themselves across many parts of the galaxy, and beyond. At least one El-Aurian, Guinan, visited Earth in 1893, before Humans had any official knowledge of alien species. (TNG: "Time's Arrow", "Time's Arrow, Part II") Around 2265, while Guinan wasn't present, this species was the victim of a major attack by the Borg, with all but a handful of El-Aurians being assimilated or killed by the Borg, and all El-Aurian cities being destroyed by them. (TNG: "Q Who", "Ensign Ro", "I Borg") By resisting when the Borg came to assimilate them, the El-Aurians defied their attackers' motto that "resistance is futile." (TNG: "I Borg") When Guinan's homeworld was destroyed by the Borg, the El-Aurian species was scattered throughout the universe but nevertheless prevailed. (TNG: "Q Who", "The Best of Both Worlds") One of the areas the El-Aurians visited was near System J-25. (TNG: "Q Who")

In 2293, a group of 415 El-Aurian refugees were coming to Earth, following their escape from the Borg, and two ships were transporting the refugees, the SS Lakul and the SS Robert Fox, when they were caught in and destroyed by the Nexus energy ribbon near the Sol system. The USS Enterprise-B was able to rescue 47 of the 415 refugees, including Guinan and Dr. Tolian Soran (at the cost of one James T. Kirk's life, or so it was thought). (Star Trek Generations) While Guinan became the bartender aboard the USS Enterprise-D in 2365, Soran – who was from the planet El-Auria, which had been destroyed by the Borg – dedicated the following seventy-eight years, until his apparent death in 2371, to finding a way to return to the Nexus. (Star Trek Generations; TNG: "The Child") Martus Mazur, another El-Aurian refugee, visited Deep Space 9 in 2370. (DS9: "Rivals") By 2368, there were still very few El-Aurians left, due to the Borg, and those who were still alive remained scattered throughout the galaxy, with no collective home any more. (TNG: "I Borg")

In the fourth draft script of "I Borg", the El-Aurians who were attacked by the Borg were referred to as having been ancestors of Guinan, suggesting that the reason she wasn't present during the incident was because she hadn't been born yet; she even stated that, without them managing to escape, she wouldn't have survived. The timing of the incident was also said to have been "centuries" before 2368. In "Q Who", however, the attack is said to have taken place a century before that episode. Also, the aforementioned script described the El-Aurians who were still alive in 2368 as not even having each other, although that idea wasn't included in the episode's final draft script and isn't in the final edit of "I Borg". The final draft of the teleplay, however, did still refer to the El-Aurians involved in the attack as having been Guinan's "ancestors" and did include the line about the survivors not even having each other. [1]

PhysiologyEdit

Externally, the El-Aurians were physically identical to Humans, in structure and even the range of racial phenotypes. (TNG: "The Child"; Star Trek Generations, et al.) In common with other humanoids including Humans and Bajorans, El-Aurians had rybo-viroxic-nucleic sequences in their genes. (TNG: "Rascals") The only significant physical difference between Humans and El-Aurians was in the aging process, as the extremely long El-Aurian lifespan covered many centuries. (citation needededit) One El-Aurian male was known to be a father of an adult when he was around two hundred years old in the 19th century, and to be in virtually perfect health at the age of around seven hundred years old as of the 24th century. (TNG: "Time's Arrow", "Rascals") A Devidian temporal vortex suddenly being opened could potentially injure an El-Aurian more than a Human, however, knocking the El-Aurian unconscious and wounding him or her in such a way that the El-Aurian couldn't walk thereafter unless they received medical treatment. (TNG: "Time's Arrow, Part II") El-Aurians might also suffer from more common physical sensations, such as thirst and tennis elbow. (TNG: "Time's Arrow, Part II", "Suspicions")

CultureEdit

El-Aurians prided themselves on being a race of listeners, and appeared to have a form of limited empathic ability. Some used this to help others, acting as advisers or confidants. A few turned their talent to more dubious pursuits, becoming con artists and tricksters, such as Martus Mazur, while Dr. Soran used his abilities to help bring his genocidal plan to re-enter the Nexus to fruition. (DS9: "Rivals"; Star Trek Generations) El-Aurians usually didn't experience difficulties with parents relating to their children, as El-Aurian children were usually good at listening to their parents. (TNG: "Evolution")

Much of their seeming reticence came from the El-Aurian racial character. They appeared to be natural lore-keepers, and used their phenomenal lifespans and memories to collect the stories and life experiences of various sentient beings. They preserved this knowledge for their own kind, and only occasionally shared it with non-El-Aurians. They were a highly personable and empathetic race, and as such, were very willing to help other sentients work out their problems. (citation needededit)

If Guinan's presence on Earth in 1893 was any indication, El-Aurians often traveled across the galaxy, seeking out interesting stories to listen to. Guinan herself traveled to Earth before it developed spaceflight, and ultimately sought out the company of local luminaries and literary greats such as Mark Twain. (TNG: "Time's Arrow", "Time's Arrow, Part II")

Alternate timelines Edit

As Data once speculated in an alternate timeline (basing his hypothesis on appearances), El-Aurians possibly had an awareness which superseded the normal flow of time and space, allowing them to be extraordinarily sensitive to the space-time continuum itself. (TNG: "Yesterday's Enterprise") Guinan was able to perceive the change from the regular timeline to the aforementioned alternate one and back again, switches that occurred in 2366, due to a disruption in the history of the starship USS Enterprise-C; the changes were felt by both the Guinan of the alternate timeline and that of the regular timeline. (TNG: "Yesterday's Enterprise", "Redemption II") After Data postulated his theory about El-Aurians being able to intuitively detect such alterations, the Jean-Luc Picard of that timeline admitted there were many things about El-Aurians which they couldn't easily explain. However, the faith he had in Guinan's "special wisdom", as he called it, was instrumental in resetting the timeline. (TNG: "Yesterday's Enterprise")

According to the novel The Buried Age, Guinan's special abilities and perceptions in regard to time and her ability to perceive Q were due to the echo of her left within the Nexus. This concept originated in an unfilmed scene in the Generations screenplay.

People Edit

Appendices Edit

Appearances Edit

Background information Edit

Whoopi Goldberg, John Alonzo and Malcolm McDowell

El-Aurian-playing actors Whoopi Goldberg and Malcolm McDowell, with Director of Photography John A. Alonzo

Descriptive text about Guinan in the internal reference work Star Trek: The Next Generation Writer's/Directors' Guide stated that several El-Aurians met Jean-Luc Picard while he was serving as a lieutenant on board the USS Stargazer and that they fascinated him at that point. The description also explained that the fact they were often described as a group of listeners was because something about the species "encourages others to be honest when they speak." ([2]; Star Trek: The Next Generation 365, p. 012)

The first canonical evidence of this species were references to Guinan not being Human. Wesley Crusher mentions in TNG Season 2 opener "The Child" that the crew of the Enterprise-D are curious as to where she has come from (Crusher saying he has heard that a rumored answer to that mystery is Nova Kron), and in later second season installment "The Outrageous Okona", Guinan makes a joke in which she refers to herself as a humanoid. Her "people" were first referred to in "Q Who", later in the same season, which also introduced the Borg. The first time Guinan's people were referred to as a species of "listeners" was in TNG Season 3 opener "Evolution".

According to the reference book Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion (3rd ed., p. 319), the El-Aurians were named after an "angel of flame" from ancient Hebrew lore. Though many people think the name of the species was first established in Star Trek Generations, it actually originated in DS9: "Rivals". However, the name was likely taken from early drafts of Generations, which were definitely in circulation around the Star Trek office at Paramount by the time "Rivals" entered production. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 109) The name wasn't included in the first draft script of "Rivals" (dated 14 September 1993), which instead referred to Martus Mazur as being from one of numerous races of Listeners (the script didn't specify how many there were, nor what any of them were called). At one point in the same first draft script, Odo commented, "You Listener-types are the worst," to which Mazur replied, "I beg to differ, Constable. Listeners – my race included – are the finest diplomats, counsellors, advisors –" but Odo interrupted, ending the sentence with "– And con-artists in the galaxy." The references to Martus as an El-Aurian were added into the script by the time the final draft was submitted (on 18 October 1993), by which point the name had already been featured in the first draft screenplay of Generations (dated 1 October 1993). Although early reports regarding Soran claimed he was a Vulcan, Rick Berman confirmed he would be an El-Aurian (in issue 97 of Star Trek: The Official Fan Club Magazine, dated June/July 1994). [3]

For Star Trek Generations, Costume Designer Robert Blackman was assigned the task of designing individual costumes for thirty El-Aurians. This challenge was welcomed by Blackman, as working on Star Trek: The Next Generation had involved him encountering tight budgets and schedules that usually didn't allow for more than seven alien individuals to be shown per episode. (Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Continuing Mission, p. 231) In Generations, however, El-Aurians other than Guinan and Tolian Soran are shown in only one scene. The master version of this scene, used in the first edit of the film, spotlighted all of these individuals. [X]wbm

External link Edit

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