Animated STAR TREK - "The Slaver Weapon" Turn Graphics ON!

"The Slaver Weapon"

Episode 14

Written by: Larry Niven
(Adapted from his short story "The Soft Weapon", 1967)

Directed by: Hal Sutherland

Airdate: Dec. 15, 1973

Stardate: 4187.3

The shuttlecraft Copernicus lands on a planet to investigate a stasis box from the extinct Slaver race; but the crew is captured by Kzinti raiders who hope to find a super weapon in the stasis box.

Voice Credits:

Regular Characters:
Mr. Spock Leonard Nimoy
Lieutenant Sulu George Takei
Lieutenant Uhura Nichelle Nichols

Guest Characters:
Chuft Captain James Doohan
Kzin telepath James Doohan
Kzin flyer James Doohan
Computer voice James Doohan
Slaver device Majel Barrett



  • This episode crossed over into Larry Niven's Known Space universe.
  • New! As related by Larry Niven in his 1991 book Playgrounds of the Mind, in 1973, Dorothy C. Fontana asked Niven to write an episode of the animated STAR TREK series. His first story treatment involved quantum black holes and the Outsiders - a very alien species which were built like a black cat-o'-nine-tails using photoelectric metabolism. Fontana advised him that the story wouldn't work. His second attempt proved to be "too bloody." While at Gene Roddenberry's house one afternoon, Gene suggested that Larry Niven rewrite his short story "The Soft Weapon" which had been reprinted in 1968 in Neutron Star a collection of Larry Niven's stories. This third attempt became the finished episode "The Slaver Weapon." Interestingly, Niven's first idea which involved quantum black holes, formed the basis for his story "The Borderland of Sol" which was first published in the January 1975 issue of Analog magazine. "The Borderland of Sol" was such an excellent story, that it won the 1975 Hugo award for best novelette.
  • There is a page in this site that focuses on the Long Range Shuttlecraft Copernicus that was used by Spock, Sulu and Uhura in this episode.
  • There is also page devoted to the Traitor's Claw, the Kzinti ship that featured prominently in this episode.
  • New! The Kzinti police cruiser ship seen in this episode was pink in color. When asked why the fearsome Kzinti warriors would be flying around in a pink ship, series director Hal Sutherland replied that he hadn't realized that the production department had made the ship pink since he was color blind.
  • Kzin phasers were shown and they looked just like Federation phasers, but were red.
  • There was a visual error in this episode: when the back doors of the Copernicus were shown openning from behind, they disappeared impossibly on each side of the ship. (Picture showing this error, 36KB jpeg).
  • In another visual error in this episode: Spock's life-support belt spontaneously vanished in one scene.
  • A VHS video tape containing "The Slaver Weapon" and "The Ambergris Element" is available for purchase from, the online bookseller.
  • "The Slaver Weapon" was novelized by Alan Dean Foster in Star Trek Log Ten published by Ballantine Books in January 1978, bringing Larry Niven's short story full circle. The entire book was devoted to this one episode.


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