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Old July 22 2009, 07:00 PM   #1
Cyke101
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Why No Space Pirates?

Actually, I'm well aware that there have been a few space pirates across all the spinoffs. However, I read about Gambit on Memory-Alpha. The TNG Companion notes that Gene Roddenberry forbade space pirate stories from Trek. When the script for Gambit came along, Berman liked the script and the band of pirates so much that he tied a bandana over the bust of Roddenberry out of respect. And a few months ago, pirates off the coasts of Africa and Asia were very topical in the news. The idea of Starfleet patrols defending colonies and civilian craft would seem routine and timely.

Over the years since Gambit, space pirates have been used to varying degrees of storytelling quality and success. But I still have to ask the question: would anyone know (or care to hazard a guess) as to why Roddenberry said no space pirates? Any discussion would be interesting.

To note: I could see how the concept of space pirates could interfere with Roddenberry's vision of a unified, perfect human society, but that says nothing about non-human pirates.
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Old July 22 2009, 07:15 PM   #2
KimM
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Re: Why No Space Pirates?

Excellent point - especially since Space would be a very big sandbox for a pirate ship to "play" in. Maybe Roddenberry thought it too dark a subject.
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Old July 22 2009, 07:55 PM   #3
Yeoman Randi
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Re: Why No Space Pirates?

We did get to see Space Pirates in Voyager's "Live Fast and Prosper". And if you think about it, the Ferengi were pretty much pirates, along with Klingons who went around doing evil deeds like those in STIII.

But yeah, i think they'd be a real problem. I guess the writers felt they could only do so many stories about pirates.
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Old July 22 2009, 08:06 PM   #4
Cyke101
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Re: Why No Space Pirates?

Yeoman Randi wrote: View Post
We did get to see Space Pirates in Voyager's "Live Fast and Prosper". And if you think about it, the Ferengi were pretty much pirates, along with Klingons who went around doing evil deeds like those in STIII.

But yeah, i think they'd be a real problem. I guess the writers felt they could only do so many stories about pirates.
Like I said in the first post, we've seen space pirates in all the spinoffs. But only after Roddenberry died did we get pirates who were outright labelled as such with any regularity. The Ferengi were always working within their government and societal means, so I wouldn't call them pirates. As for the Klingons in TSFS, I'm not so sure if they qualify if they were doing their attacks in the name of the Empire, and the Empire wanted Kirk extradited for their deaths in TVH.

The spinoff writers found it fit to use space pirates. The question of the thread is: why was Roddenberry against the idea?
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Old July 22 2009, 08:31 PM   #5
Yeoman Randi
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Re: Why No Space Pirates?

I do think some of the Ferengi and Klingons could be considered pirates (of course, my brain being in 'sleep' mode right now, i cant come up with any episode examples...

but, ok, i see what you mean now, by your original question...why didnt Roddenberry have any pirates? My first thought was "Well, he envisioned a different future without... yadda yadda etc" but that answer doesnt work because there were plenty of bad guys doing bad deeds in his futre...but did we see greed purely for the sake of greed?

good question! I too am looking forward to discussion on this one!
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Old July 22 2009, 08:35 PM   #6
Star Wolf
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Re: Why No Space Pirates?

Besides pirates hitting Vietnamese boat people I remember no modern day pirates during the cold war era. Trek with its Federations, Empires and nuetral zones left little uncared for space for the pirates to operate in. In other words even if you didn't care about planet X you patrolled it to keep Klingons from sneaking in. And when the super power defends pirates can't survive
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Old July 22 2009, 08:46 PM   #7
Gary Sebben
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Re: Why No Space Pirates?

Is everyone forgetting the Orion pirates? They dealt in green animal women slaves, stole dilithium from Coridan, and hijacked medical supplies? All on Roddenberry's watch.
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Old July 22 2009, 08:52 PM   #8
Rush Limborg
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Re: Why No Space Pirates?

My guess is that The Bird forbade honest-to-goodness "space pirate" tales because they were such an overused cliche` at the time, and needed (he felt) a BIG rest from use....
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Old July 22 2009, 09:09 PM   #9
Yeoman Randi
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Re: Why No Space Pirates?

Gary Sebben wrote: View Post
Is everyone forgetting the Orion pirates? They dealt in green animal women slaves, stole dilithium from Coridan, and hijacked medical supplies? All on Roddenberry's watch.

*smacking head* YES. I did forget! thanks for reminding us.
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Old July 22 2009, 09:15 PM   #10
Cyke101
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Re: Why No Space Pirates?

Gary Sebben wrote: View Post
Is everyone forgetting the Orion pirates? They dealt in green animal women slaves, stole dilithium from Coridan, and hijacked medical supplies? All on Roddenberry's watch.
The Orion Pirates were from TAS, which Roddenberry wiped clean from the canon slate anyway, as if he didn't oversee their creation in the first place.

And just a refresher, from Memory-Alpha regarding Roddenberry's rule about pirates:

This two-part episode broke one of Gene Roddenberry's long-standing Star Trek taboos - specifically, that there would be no such thing as space pirates. Michael Piller and Jeri Taylor were attracted by Christopher Hatton's spec script as it provided an opportunity for a "less talky romp". Rick Berman, aware of this taboo but keen to proceed with, what he considered, an excellent story idea, stated that he tied a bandanna around the bust of Gene Roddenberry on his desk when discussing the story. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion)
Even if Roddenberry changed his mind, the question then becomes "Why did he go out of his way to ban them in the modern era?"

Star Wolf wrote: View Post
Besides pirates hitting Vietnamese boat people I remember no modern day pirates during the cold war era. Trek with its Federations, Empires and nuetral zones left little uncared for space for the pirates to operate in. In other words even if you didn't care about planet X you patrolled it to keep Klingons from sneaking in. And when the super power defends pirates can't survive
Asia always had pirates even during the cold war era. The 70s saw a quick increase in African piracy as well. The same could be said about pirates around Central and South America in the 80s because of the exploding drug trade and Reagan's well-publicized war on drugs. In Trek, no matter how many galactic superpowers there were, ships were still spread fairly thin to the point where there would be mysteries, distress calls, and patrol missions every week.
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Old July 22 2009, 09:30 PM   #11
Nevyn
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Re: Why No Space Pirates?

Because Captain Jack Sparrow looks stupid wearing a Star Trek uniform.
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Old July 23 2009, 01:04 AM   #12
hellsgate
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Re: Why No Space Pirates?

I'd actually like to see a "Pirate" fic written & submitted to either TrekBBS or "S.T.: New Worlds".

12 June 2379

The Jem Hadar are on-the-run from the Cardassian/Federation/Klingon/Romulan armada.

A few daring 'independants' from all the various civilian and mercenary groups (such as the Ferengii, Orion, Yrridians, et al.) have seceeded from The Maquis in frustration over Eddington's capture and decided to take up their own agendas. For now, the Bajorans are on their own until Starfleet decides who or what becomes their foremost priority.

The independants begin seizing whatever tricorder, phaser, Jem Hadar bug-fighter, nutrient bar rations, bit of medical equipment, and escape pods have momentarily slipped someone's immediate attention and somehow tow it somewhere (while under "friendly" torpedo-fire,) to be examined, stripped, cleaned-up, or accumulated toward a functional defensive starship and/or colony.

In the meantime, they've hidden a modestly-damaged Defiant-Class starship to be reconfigured for "hit-and-fade" Pirate Operations, --- to allow their freighters *just* enough time & distance from a Federation ship's weapons' arc --- to move into transporter range and send their hungriest followers in with modified EVA Suits to grab anything/everything not bolted-down to the deck and "laser-tag" for beam-out.

===================================
Modified Defiant "Pirate" Vessel.
---------------------------------------------
http://wiki.tf-575.com/images/f/f4/Xenon.png
===================================
Independant Freighter
---------------------------------------------
http://www.geocities.com/trekwriter3...raClass_BW.JPG
===================================
Freighter Bridge
---------------------------------------------
http://www.geocities.com/trekwriter31/BridgeBW2.jpg
===================================
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Old July 23 2009, 01:17 AM   #13
Peter the Younger
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Re: Why No Space Pirates?

If I had to guess, I'd say he probably thought it was cliche. But I wouldn't be surprised if there was some "brave new trek, humanity - er, the universe - has evolved beyond greed" hokum in there someplace.
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Old July 23 2009, 02:56 AM   #14
Rush Limborg
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Re: Why No Space Pirates?

^(Quark voice) Beyond greed....

There's nothing--beyond greed.

Greed is the purest...most noble of emotions....
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Old July 23 2009, 03:02 AM   #15
Anwar
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Re: Why No Space Pirates?

It's a primal force, up there with Hatred and Love.

But likely the space pirates thing was considered too cliche. Heck, even Babylon 5 only used the Raiders in a few episodes as a plot device before ditching them entirely.
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