"The Slaver Weapon"

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Ketrick, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. RPJOB

    RPJOB Commander Red Shirt

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    I forgot that the Kzinti also had a mention in The Infinite Vulcan so that's one appearance and one mention for them versus one for the Organians and one mention of a treaty with their name on it.

    As far as fitting into the Trek Universe let's see what D.C Fontana and Larry Niven have to say about it, shall we?

    From Memory Alpha:

    http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/The_Slaver_Weapon_(episode)
     
  2. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    ^A Kzinti also appeared on the Elysian Council in TAS: "The Time Trap"

    The Next Generation novel The Captain's Honor had a Kzinto sub-plot, although they had their name changed at the last minute to "M'dok". IIRC (and it has been a long time since I read it), they retconned the Man/M'dok wars down to two wars, one pre-Federation and one post.

    I find the idea that the Federation may be occupying Kzin, forcing these natural predators to live peacefully (as was going on with their Ringworld equivalents), quite fascinating. If Kzinti territory is/was in the heart of the Federation, they would have to be controlled to some degree to ensure the safety of the core Federation worlds.
     
  3. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    When Larry Niven opened his sandbox to fellow kittycat enthusiasts, the Man-Ktzin Wars novels soon spawned their own curious micro-continuity wherein the first of the four wars consisted of four mini-wars of its own: four separate fleets launched to subdue Earth, each failing in an interesting scifi manner.

    In the Trek context, these Four Fleets could quite nicely equate to the four wars Sulu mentions. Nothing in "Slaver Weapon" suggests the Kzinti of Star Trek would have been lacking FTL drives like their Known Space counterparts. But if they did, each Fleet would indeed have to wage its own war. The timeline might be quite compact, the four engagements put together spanning just a decade, and only a particularly spiteful person such as Sulu in the episode would insist on referring to four defeats, rather than just one general failure.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  4. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    This idea works quite well for me.
     
  5. RPJOB

    RPJOB Commander Red Shirt

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    If we tossed out every piece of backstory that didn't fit precisely with each other we'd hardly know anything that wasn't shown on screen. Trek doesn't have to make sense in our world, it just has to work in it's own.
     
  6. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

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    '

    Yes that as well, but specifically the Kzinti.

    Also, I'm thinking forget Niven history, create a new one. Maybe call them the Mirak.:techman:

    RAMA
     
  7. Redfern

    Redfern Commodore Commodore

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    Isn't that kinda' why Star Trek Online now has the Ferasa, a "bad guy" equivalent to the Caitians, savage, adversarial felinoids that don't present copyright issues with Niven's concepts? (I assume the females are fully sapient to avoid too close a parallel with the Kzin.)

    Sincerely,

    Bill
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, then, why not just create a separate felinoid warrior race? It's not like the Kzinti are the only such species in SF by a long shot. So if you're going to separate them from their Nivenian elements, they're not Kzinti at all, just Felinoid Warrior Alien Race #47.
     
  9. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    Folks may recall that we at Star Trek Phase II had started pre-production on Jimmy Diggs' Kzinti script--adapted to a Kirk-era story. We were stymied by not being able to secure the production rights to the Kzinti from the gentleman to whom Larry Niven sold them years ago. We started to forge ahead with the felinoid race being called the "Kytheri." Ultimately, there were just too many obstacles to overcome and we had to backburner (way backburner) to episode.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Forgive me, but I find that a bit paradoxical, considering that technically you don't have the rights to shoot productions based on Star Trek in the first place. It's tolerated as long as you don't try to make a profit from it, but it's not actually authorized or licensed. So why would lack of rights be an impediment where the Kzinti are concerned but not where Star Trek is concerned?
     
  11. RPJOB

    RPJOB Commander Red Shirt

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    Two different entities own two different sets of rights. Paramount may be willing to look the other way as long as no money is being made but the owner of the rights to the Kzinti is under no obligation to do likewise.
     
  12. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    The owner of Star Trek has indicated they will leave us alone and allow us to make these things as long as we make no income. (That's not no profit; that's no income whatsoever.)

    However, the owner of the Kzinti characters is not as generous, understanding, and permissive. He indicated that he will not be looking the other way. He will not tolerate it if we make no profit; he has a different expectation of what our obligation would be to him.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Thanks for the clarification.
     
  14. Ketrick

    Ketrick Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    You make good points about the Slavers. Though I do have a few thoughts that could explain them not being mentioned. For one thing, I seriously doubt humans at the time of Enterprise would have known anything about the Slavers anyway due to the Vulcans beyond perhaps a few boomers who may have heard a tale or two tales and they may have only considered the Slavers to be alien myths.


    Another thing to consider is that as time passed and civilizations advanced, the Slaver stasis boxes would render fewer advances and thus be less significant. In fact, considering the Slaver weapon only had one setting that was more advanced than the technology of the time period when it was found, it could be that the stasis boxes were already becoming less significant or this possibly was the beginning of them becoming less significant. Perhaps only a less technologically advanced species like the Kzinti would find much in a stasis box to be of any practical use. Perhaps more technologically advanced species, if they happen to seek out the stasis boxes at all, do it mostly out of curiosity more than out of trying to find more advanced tech and thusly the Slavers aren't much talked about outside of academic circles.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Interesting thoughts. But while maybe you can explain away each individual detail, to me, when a story demands that many cumulative rationalizations to make it fit, that's a sign that maybe it just doesn't belong where you're trying to force it to be.
     
  16. gottacook

    gottacook Captain Captain

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    What about Fredric Brown's "Arena"?
     
  17. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I said out, dammit!
    Did you mean to do that? :lol:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_Shot_(Niven)
     
  18. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    According to Inside Star Trek, by way of Memory Alpha [http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Arena_(episode)#Script and http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Fredric_Brown], Arena was not initially written as an adaptation, but rather it was one of those cases where two people came up with a similar idea independently. However, the executives decided that they needed to purchase the story from Brown anyway in order to film the episode.

    I guess the hair being split here is that the episode was not conceived of as an adaptation. I'd thought of Arena too, and already looked it up. ;)
     
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Actually I just forgot about "Arena," but I wouldn't have counted it anyway. Even aside from what CorporalCaptain says about its origins, the episode "Arena" is way, way different from the Brown story in any case. There are enough broad similarities in the premise -- warring human and alien abducted by superadvanced race and placed in artificial environment to battle one another to the death -- that Gene Coon was concerned he may have been influenced by Brown's story and thus felt it appropriate to buy the rights from Brown. And of course they have the same title. But the characters, the alien, the setting, the story mechanics, and the outcome are all completely different. Here's the original story for comparison.

    What makes "The Slaver Weapon" distinct from "Arena" and "Tin Man" is that it doesn't just take some broad concepts from the original and build a Trek story out of them, but it retells "The Soft Weapon" beat for beat.
     
  20. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, I suspect this as well, but this is not given in the Memory Alpha articles. From their accounts, you'd never know there was a possibility that Gene Coon had heard of Brown's story before Joan Pearce brought it to his attention.

    Not that it really matters one way or another: no matter what hairs you split, the fact is, Brown got credit.