RSS iconTwitter iconFacebook icon

The Trek BBS title image

The Trek BBS statistics

Threads: 137,893
Posts: 5,330,293
Members: 24,555
Currently online: 581
Newest member: berlyn

TrekToday headlines

Retro Review: Inquisition
By: Michelle on Jul 12

Cubify Star Trek 3DMe Mini Figurines
By: T'Bonz on Jul 11

Latest Official Starships Collection Ships
By: T'Bonz on Jul 10

Seven of Nine Bobble Head
By: T'Bonz on Jul 9

Pegg The Prankster
By: T'Bonz on Jul 9

More Trek Stars Join Unbelievable!!!!!
By: T'Bonz on Jul 8

Star Trek #35 Preview
By: T'Bonz on Jul 8

New ThinkGeek Trek Apparel
By: T'Bonz on Jul 7

Star Trek Movie Prop Auction
By: T'Bonz on Jul 7

Drexler: NX Engineering Room Construction
By: T'Bonz on Jul 7


Welcome! The Trek BBS is the number one place to chat about Star Trek with like-minded fans. Please login to see our full range of forums as well as the ability to send and receive private messages, track your favourite topics and of course join in the discussions.

If you are a new visitor, join us for free. If you are an existing member please login below. Note: for members who joined under our old messageboard system, please login with your display name not your login name.


Go Back   The Trek BBS > Misc. Star Trek > Trek Literature

Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old February 6 2013, 08:51 PM   #1
KaRei
Ensign
 
Caitians - height

[EDIT]
I appologize for creating the thread in wrong forum by a mistake. This should be moved to General Trek Discussion probably.
[/EDIT]

Greetings.

Currently I am trying get together information about Caitians for some RP. I've collected a satisfying amount of information from Memory Alpha & Beta and several other sites for my purposes, but because Caitians made very little appearance in Star Trek movies and series and gave even less information about themselves which could be then taken as canonical, it made enough space for contradictions between the various (non-canonical) sources. Currently I am struggling with the height of the Caitian people. Some sites describe them as about 1.6 - 1.8 meters tall (or 5' - 6'), other sites give them a range from 2-3 meters.

So far I'm getting an impression that the correct values are those around 1.6 - 1.8 meters, and that the range of 2-3 meters is probably a mistake.
I'm led to this by the Caitians appearance in Star Trek IV, where they are visibly of comparable height to humans, and by height of Lt. M'Ress from the Animated Series, who was smaller than Scotty. Also biography of Lt. M'Ress published by Lincoln Enterprises (1974) states that Caitians generally tend to be small.
What I am still curious about however is whether the other information of their height being in range of 2-3 meters (for example Memory Beta carry this information), is really just a mistake, or if it appeared in some novel or other product.

Don't somebody of you know where the Caitians are mentioned to be so tall?
Thank you
KaRei is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 6 2013, 09:20 PM   #2
Timo
Admiral
 
Re: Caitians - height

...We could always plead sexual dimorphism in the case of M'Ress. And perhaps the two cats in ST4 were females as well, despite being portrayed by male human actors?

A great difference in the size of males and females was part and parcel of that other feline TAS species, Larry Niven's Kzinti, even if very little of that backstory made it on screen. Some Trek writers may have taken their cues from that, especially the ones who wanted to tie together the Caitians and Kzinti biologically (Foster's clever novelizations for one).

I think the literature forum will be a great place for actual information on the sources you seek...

EDIT: Out of the two sources quoted in Memory Beta for the description on Caitians, the FASA Federation sourcebook seems to cover all of it alone already, including the "2 to 3 meters in height" bit. The principal writers for the sourcebook are Bernard E. Menke and Rick D Stuart; L. Ross Babcock III is the Editor-in-Chief.

Timo Saloniemi

Last edited by Timo; February 6 2013 at 09:43 PM.
Timo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 6 2013, 10:17 PM   #3
Therin of Andor
Admiral
 
Therin of Andor's Avatar
 
Location: New Therin Park, Andor (via Australia)
View Therin of Andor's Twitter Profile
Re: Caitians - height

KaRei wrote: View Post
Currently I am trying get together information about Caitians for some RP.
Since we really only know Caitians through M'Ress, the writers of RPGs had a free-for-all when choosing whether she was of average height for a female. Some RPGers decided that male Caitians were bigger. The two Caitians in ST IV don't have manes, so were assumed to be male (ie. opposite to Earth lions), and yes, those were actors of human-like height.

No one at Paramount restricted height extrapolations in the licensed (eg FASA, LUG) and semi-licensed ("Star Fleet Battles") game manuals and, when Richard Arnold was involved in vetting the licensed tie-ins, he asked DC Comics to stop referencing TAS altogether.

Shane Johnson's "Worlds of the Federation" does suggest heights for Caitians, IIRC. (One of the last books to slip through under Richard's tenure - until Roddenberry's death when TAS references started turning up again.)

You get to choose! If you want a towering Caitian in your RPG, there's certainly enough wriggle room in the Memory Beta references. If you want a diminutive one, go for it.

You're not the first person to venture such a query:
http://flare.solareclipse.net/cgi2/u...3;t=001698;p=0
Lots of the comments are inaccurate, though.
__________________
Thiptho lapth! Ian (Entire post is personal opinion)
The Andor Files @ http://andorfiles.blogspot.com/
http://therinofandor.blogspot.com/
Therin of Andor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 9 2013, 03:57 PM   #4
KaRei
Ensign
 
Re: Caitians - height

Thanks for the replies. I have looked into some of the sourcebooks. It's really a mess of contradictions.
Just an FYI - The Worlds of the Federation sadly doesn't hint their height, however it contains (of course contradicting with some other sources) a specification of the 15 Lyncis as a system with 12 planets.

Thanks for the reference to the origin of the 2-3 meters specification. By any chance, wouldn't you know where the 1.6 - 1.8 meters could appear? Anything around 1.6 or 1.7 meters, or maybe in feets around 5' to 6'? M'Ress biography states only they tend to be small, but is not more specific about any exact number, so these numbers had to be stated somewhere else. Don't know where however.
I'm browsing additional sources, but didn't have a luck to find the origin of this reference yet.

Timo wrote: View Post
...We could always plead sexual dimorphism in the case of M'Ress. And perhaps the two cats in ST4 were females as well, despite being portrayed by male human actors?
The two from ST4 are missing female features (breasts and mane) so they are definitely males.

Last edited by KaRei; February 9 2013 at 09:49 PM.
KaRei is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 10 2013, 12:35 AM   #5
Therin of Andor
Admiral
 
Therin of Andor's Avatar
 
Location: New Therin Park, Andor (via Australia)
View Therin of Andor's Twitter Profile
Re: Caitians - height

KaRei wrote: View Post
It's really a mess of contradictions.
Of course it is. Each set of authors was free to extrapolate on the only example they had: M'Ress.

Don't sweat it. Invent heights that will be useful for your game.

these numbers had to be stated somewhere else.
No, it could have been someone working out that M'Ress was "shorter than Scotty". Memory Beta is compiled/edited/reedited by hundreds of Trek fans and not every change is necessarily accurate to a specified source.
__________________
Thiptho lapth! Ian (Entire post is personal opinion)
The Andor Files @ http://andorfiles.blogspot.com/
http://therinofandor.blogspot.com/
Therin of Andor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 10 2013, 12:45 AM   #6
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Caitians - height

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
KaRei wrote: View Post
It's really a mess of contradictions.
Of course it is. Each set of authors was free to extrapolate on the only example they had: M'Ress.
So that would make it a M'Ress of contradictions?
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 4/8/14 including annotations for Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 10 2013, 01:04 AM   #7
Therin of Andor
Admiral
 
Therin of Andor's Avatar
 
Location: New Therin Park, Andor (via Australia)
View Therin of Andor's Twitter Profile
Re: Caitians - height

Christopher wrote: View Post
So that would make it a M'Ress of contradictions?
Purrfect contradictions.
__________________
Thiptho lapth! Ian (Entire post is personal opinion)
The Andor Files @ http://andorfiles.blogspot.com/
http://therinofandor.blogspot.com/
Therin of Andor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 10 2013, 04:21 PM   #8
KaRei
Ensign
 
Re: Caitians - height

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
Don't sweat it. Invent heights that will be useful for your game.
I just thought about updating the Memory Beta by adding a note that there is also a variant with small-sized Catians besides the already mentioned 2-3 meters. I was curious if there is more reference to small Caitians than just M'Ress biography.

For the purposes of the RP I got what I needed. Thank you
KaRei is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 10 2013, 04:28 PM   #9
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Caitians - height

I don't know where the "2-3 meters" thing came from, but it was probably coined by someone who doesn't know much about metric measurements. That's 6.5 to 9.8 feet, which is absurdly huge for a species that's never been portrayed as larger than normal human size. You should just ignore it -- it's a silly mistake somebody made. If Memory Beta gives the 2-3 meters figure, then it's just one more indication that Memory Beta is not an authoritative or consistent source and doesn't have very good quality control.

In short, don't be so dependent on written authority; feel free to apply your own judgment.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 4/8/14 including annotations for Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 10 2013, 09:30 PM   #10
Timo
Admiral
 
Re: Caitians - height

Then again, three meters would be perfectly fine for one of Larry Niven's felinoids. And three meters is basically what we get for Trek's onscreen take on the Kzinti, too:

http://tas.trekcore.com/gallery/albu...weapon_055.JPG

M'Ress being the only onscreen example of Caitians is a great excuse for postulating that she's just a wee kitten as far as her species goes. And if a source presents Caitians as an offshoot of Kzinti (like the FASA sourcebook does), then onscreen evidence is very much on the side of the 2-3 meter height range.

Timo Saloniemi
Timo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 11 2013, 02:00 AM   #11
Therin of Andor
Admiral
 
Therin of Andor's Avatar
 
Location: New Therin Park, Andor (via Australia)
View Therin of Andor's Twitter Profile
Re: Caitians - height

Timo wrote: View Post
if a source presents Caitians as an offshoot of Kzinti (like the FASA sourcebook does), then onscreen evidence is very much on the side of the 2-3 meter height range.
The original "offshoot" source is from Alan Dean Foster's "Star Trek Logs", when M'Ress relates a story of how she once had to impersonate a male Kzinti during a Starfleet mission. FASA is just extrapolating from Foster's stories.

Foster's "Logs" have several Caitians mentioned in his bonus material - several other females on the Enterprise crew, plus discussion of M'Ress's parents and siblings - and there's no indication that M'Ress is unusually small for a female Caitian.
__________________
Thiptho lapth! Ian (Entire post is personal opinion)
The Andor Files @ http://andorfiles.blogspot.com/
http://therinofandor.blogspot.com/
Therin of Andor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 11 2013, 02:38 AM   #12
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Caitians - height

Timo wrote: View Post
And if a source presents Caitians as an offshoot of Kzinti (like the FASA sourcebook does), then onscreen evidence is very much on the side of the 2-3 meter height range.
But since FASA is hardly authoritative about anything and has been contradicted six thousand ways to Sunday by now, that's hardly a reason why anyone should feel obligated to take their speculations seriously.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 4/8/14 including annotations for Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 11 2013, 03:45 PM   #13
Timo
Admiral
 
Re: Caitians - height

Perhaps not. But FASA is quite entitled to speculate just that way, and can plead canon support if it wants. Foster has been contradicted six thousand ways to Sunday, too, and can also be safely ignored if one swings that way...

Timo Saloniemi
Timo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 12 2013, 10:18 AM   #14
KaRei
Ensign
 
Re: Caitians - height

Timo wrote: View Post
M'Ress being the only onscreen example of Caitians is a great excuse for postulating that she's just a wee kitten as far as her species goes. And if a source presents Caitians as an offshoot of Kzinti (like the FASA sourcebook does), then onscreen evidence is very much on the side of the 2-3 meter height range.

Timo Saloniemi
So what you say is that the other 2 Caitians seen on screen in ST4 are undersided too, right? From whole race that normally should be by that source towering 2.5 meters in average, dwarfing all other standing around them, there were selected by a simple coinsidence 3 representatives of the species for the screen that have not even 2 meters. Sorry, that is far from being called an onscreen evidence to support 2-3 meters range

Neither relation to Kzinti is an explanation. Kzinti may have 2.5 or 3 meters in height, so could the Ciatians have in ancient times, as they are/were predators. But the way some species looked like long time ago doesn't mean it'll look like the same forever. Evolution could cause Caitians getting smaller when they abandoned the hunting style of life. They could be getting smaller even before abandonment of hunting, if there was smaller prey on their new homeworld for which their extraordinary height and strength would be unnecessary or which wouldn't be so nutritious to cover the energetical requirements of the huge ancient Caitians. There are many reasons why the modern Caitians can be smaller, even IF their ancestors were ever much larger.

I don't say the 2-3 meters for Caitians can't be possible, but it has no strong enough evidence that it is the only possibility or that this variant should be more autoritative than others.

Timo wrote: View Post
But FASA is quite entitled to speculate just that way, and can plead canon support if it wants.

Timo Saloniemi
Where exactly the canonical appearance of Caitians support the FASA's statement of Caitian extraordinary height?
FASA's statement is actually contradicting the canonical appearance of Caitians in both FAS and ST4. There is not a tiny sign an ordinary Caitian would have 2-3 meters. All Caitians that appeared in canon did not have even 2 meters in height in fact.

Last edited by KaRei; February 12 2013 at 10:29 AM.
KaRei is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 12 2013, 03:25 PM   #15
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Caitians - height

^Who says Caitians abandoned hunting? In my portrayal of a Caitian colony in The Buried Age, they're definitely still predators.

And I still think the simplest explanation for FASA's bizarre "2-3 meters" claim is that whoever wrote that page of the sourcebook didn't understand metric measurements.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 4/8/14 including annotations for Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 05:33 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
FireFox 2+ or Internet Explorer 7+ highly recommended.