Why No Space Pirates?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Cyke101, Jul 22, 2009.

  1. Cyke101

    Cyke101 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  2. KimMH

    KimMH Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  3. Yeoman Randi

    Yeoman Randi Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  4. Cyke101

    Cyke101 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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?
     
  5. Yeoman Randi

    Yeoman Randi Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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!
     
  6. Star Wolf

    Star Wolf Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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
     
  7. Gary Sebben

    Gary Sebben Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    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.
     
  8. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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....
     
  9. Yeoman Randi

    Yeoman Randi Vice Admiral Admiral

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    *smacking head* YES. I did forget! thanks for reminding us.
     
  10. Cyke101

    Cyke101 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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:

    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?"

    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.
     
  11. Nevyn

    Nevyn Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Because Captain Jack Sparrow looks stupid wearing a Star Trek uniform.
     
  12. hellsgate

    hellsgate Commodore

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    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/trekwriter31/PandoraClass_BW.JPG
    ===================================
    Freighter Bridge
    ---------------------------------------------
    http://www.geocities.com/trekwriter31/BridgeBW2.jpg
    ===================================
     
  13. Peter the Younger

    Peter the Younger Commodore Commodore

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    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.
     
  14. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^(Quark voice) Beyond greed....

    There's nothing--beyond greed.

    Greed is the purest...most noble of emotions....
     
  15. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  16. Xerxes1979

    Xerxes1979 Captain Captain

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    Traditional pirates on Earth lived short violent lives.

    Piracy as an organizational approach really doesn't confir the advantages enjoyed by corporations or socialistic technocracies like the Federation.

    What would space pirates risk their lives for in the era of the replicator? How formidable would such guilds need to be to triumph over their prey and would they have the necessary stability to avoid infighting over the wealth they plunder?

    One could argue the Gatherers were pirates, but they ackowledged their lifestyle of exile sucked.
     
  17. Cyke101

    Cyke101 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, in Trek we've seen space pirates as thieves (like in Gambit), as smugglers and illegal runners in DS9, and out in deep, lonely space in Voyager and Enterprise. But regarding the latter two shows, I would imagine that piracy would be routine at the edges of the frontier, such as raids into Federation space or the Neutral Zone or a DMZ.
     
  18. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think because it's very easy to make them silly. Even modern-day piracy, serious and disgusting as it is, I can't help but inwardly chuckle thinking about..."Hey, pal, shouldn't you be in swash and buckle?"

    Maybe the idea is that you need some serious tech to be a threat in the warping world and that can only be developed by whole worlds. You can go mug a warp-5 civilian craft in your bought/stolen warp-6 shuttle, but the warp 9 frigate with the multi-lightyear see-through-your-inferior-stealth-countermeasures will find you soon enough.

    Oh and the Nausicans and Corvalens (TNG, "Face of the Enemy") seem to be for-hire thugs. Xyrillians seems like high-class smugglers (DS9, "The Maquis"), Chrisaari are botanical DNA traders who smuggled weapons into Bajor for the Cardassians (DS9, Circle Trilogy), Yridians are information dealers who don't mind killing (TNG, "The Chase").

    These are broad strokes I'm painting with though from snippets of the peoples we've seen. It would be racist to assume all Corvalens are mercenaries and can't be anything else. I like to think though that we're seeing jobs these aliens have become adept at doing...not everybody can develop cutting-edge warp coils like the Federation and like not every nation can make cars like the Germans - has Cambodia ever made a car?
     
  19. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^BTW...the Orion Syndicate sometimes (as in TAS) seems like a pirate alliance.

    But...DS9 shows it as more along the lines of The Mob....
     
  20. Too Much Fun

    Too Much Fun Commodore Commodore

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    Nobody else thought Harry Mudd and Cyrano Jones were kind of like pirates? More harmless and incompetant than your average pirate, yes, but they still were immoral, scavenging rogues who dealt merchandise rather inappropriately.