Star Trek: The Animated Series

Season 1 Episode 14

The Slaver Weapon

Aired Saturday 10:30 AM Dec 15, 1973 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
53 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The Slaver Weapon
Spock, Sulu and Uhura are captured by the Kzinti, who are trying to learn the secret of an ancient weapon.

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  • Spock, Sulu and Uhura, carrying a "stasis box", encounter a cat-like race.

    This episode is "fascinating" for a couple of reasons. Firstly, its premise is the same as that in the short story, "The Soft Weapon", published six years before this episode first aired. This is because the episode was written by the same writer, Larry Niven. Secondly, and more notably, this episode does not include either the Enterprise or James T. Kirk! And is it ever interesting to see Star Trek without the two of them for the first time. The exciting, tight script features Spock with two of the most underrated stars of the show, Uhura and Sulu, and the three of them shine in their moment in the spotlight. With Spock in command, the episode is reminiscent of "The Galileo Seven", except Spock proves he's learned a thing or two about command since that Original Series, first season episode – making this a sweet sequel.moreless
  • Spock, Uhura and Sulu become prisoners of the Kzinti while searching for an ancient weapon

    This episode is famous for the fact that there is no Kirk to be seen the entire episode since Spock, Uhura and Sulu become stranded on a planet. It is also made known that Kirk isn't needed to make a story great, because this is definitely once again one of the best episodes of the series. The Kzinti, a cat-like alien, is a very interesting race and we learn a lot about this new species. This episode has it's good share of action and does really well at being exciting. Overall, a very enjoyable episode that is definitely one of my favorites.moreless
James Doohan

James Doohan

Chuft Captain/Kzin Soldier/Kzin Telepath

Guest Star

Majel Barrett

Majel Barrett

Slaver Device

Guest Star

George Takei

George Takei

Lt. Hikaru Sulu

Recurring Role

Nichelle Nichols

Nichelle Nichols

Lt. Uhura

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • Trivia: This episode features the only time in the series that anyone dies on-screen.

    • When the Slaver weapon is in "power drain" mode, why does it not drain the life support belts? It drains the police net.

    • When Spock first sees the miniaturized AI computer, he expresses astonishment that it's so small. But a minute or two later he says that the matter-conversion weapon is the only item the Federation doesn't already have. So which is it?

    • When Chuft Captain initially tests the slaver weapon, the weapon changes differ between what he holds and what he points at Sulu. At several points it reverts backwards, changing repeatedly and out of sequence from communications device to laser to telescope and back again.

    • Spock's life-support belt disappears in one shot.

    • When the trio exit the shuttlecraft through the rear exit, the doors slide into the sides...except the sides are minimally thin. There's nowhere for them to go.

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Sulu: Mr. Spock, if it takes a stasis box to find another stasis box, how did anyone ever find the first one?
      Spock: As with a number of discoveries, purely by accident, Lieutenant.

    • Chuft Captain: What of the picture?
      Kzin Telepath: The human, Sulu, believes it to be Slaver.
      Chuft Captain: So do I. It would have made a worthy enemy.

    • Spock: Consider. Chuft Captain has been attacked by an herbivorous pacifist, an eater of leaves and roots, one who traditionally does not fight. And the ultimate insult, I left him alive. Chuft Captain's honor is at stake. He must seek personal revenge before he can call for help.
      Sulu: That gives us some time. You did plan it that way?
      Spock: Of course.

    • Chuft Captain: They think very little of you.
      Uhura: Wrong. They don't think very much of you.

    • Uhura: Didn't you say the Kzinti have legends of weapons haunted by their dead owners?
      Spock: Yes, an ancient superstition.
      Uhura: At this rate, they'll never get over those old superstitions.

    • Kzin Telepath: Captain, (Sulu) is too alien. He makes me taste yellow root munched between flat teeth!
      Chuft Captain: Be glad if you need not read the Vulcan's mind.

  • NOTES (8)

    • This episode along with "The Ambergris Element" was released on The Animated Adventures of Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek: Volume 6 for VHS.

    • William Shatner and DeForest Kelley don't appear. James Doohan and Majel Barrett don't appear as Scotty and Chapel.

    • An updated movie-style version of the shuttlecraft Copernicus appears in Star Trek V - The Final Frontier,

    • Out of the Original Series, the Animated Series, and the original-cast movies, this is the only episode in which William Shatner as Captain James Tiberius Kirk doesn't appear. The Enterprise is not seen at all.

    • Allan Dean Foster's Star Trek Log novelization of this episode first details Spock, Sulu, and Uhura collecting the Slaver box and dealing with a criminal scientist who has taken it hostage. He also added on a second "half" of original material detailing what happened on the Enterprise while Spock, Sulu and Uhura were gone (M'Ress goes into heat and disrupts the ship) and afterwards. In the latter half, the Enterprise crew competes with the Klingons to sway a planetary government into its alliance, using the empty Slaver stasis box as a bargaining chip.

    • The shuttlecraft in this episode is the Copernicus, the last of the three original Trek shuttlecraft to be identfied by name (the others being Galileo and Columbus).

    • Niven's retained the rights to elements he "created" (i.e., borrowed from the short story "The Soft Weapon") for this episode. Thus the Kzinti appear here for the first and only time in Star Trek mythos and do not appear or are referenced in any other animated or live action episode (except for "The Infinite Vulcan" - see above). Task Force games produces the Star Fleet Battles boardgame and does have permission from Niven to use the Kzinti as part of "their" Trek universe/setting. (A Kzinti-like cat creature appears in the animated episode "Time Trap" but it is never identified as such.)

    • Larry Niven adopted this from his Known Space short story "The Soft Weapon" substituting Spock for Nessus, a member of a race called a Pierson's Puppeteer. The rest of the episode has few changes from the original short story.