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The Slaver Weapon 

Spock, Uhura and Sulu discover an ancient multi-use weapon and are captured by the Kzinti who are equally interested in it.


Hal Sutherland


Gene Roddenberry (created by), Larry Niven | 1 more credit »




Episode cast overview:
William Shatner ... Capt. Kirk (voice) (credit only)
Leonard Nimoy ... Mr. Spock (voice)
DeForest Kelley ... Dr. McCoy (voice) (credit only)
George Takei ... Sulu (voice)
Nichelle Nichols ... Uhura (voice)
Majel Barrett ... Slaver Weapon Computer (voice)
James Doohan ... Chuft Captain / Kzinti telepath / Kzinti flyer (voice)


Spock, Uhura, and Sulu are en-route on a shuttlecraft to deliver a Slaver Stasis box - an artifact from a long-dead civilization inside of which time stands still - to Starbase 25. On their way, the box gives off a signal that another box is nearby. Investigating, they determine that the 2nd box is on a ice world. Once there, they are captured by the Kzinti, a feline race that wish to return to their dominance they once had. The Kzinti hope that the others' stasis box holds a means to do that. One thing in that box is a device of sorts that transforms into various devices: a Slaver Weapon. Knowing that in the wrong hands, the Slaver Weapon could bring havoc to the galaxy, Spock and his team escape and try to get the weapon back. While attempting to activate a computer form of the weapon, the Kzinti Captain unwittingly activates a self-destruct bomb which destroys itself and the Kzinti's ship. Once Enterprise officers resume their journey to Starbase 25, Sulu expresses regret that the ... Written by Tony-B4

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Official Sites:

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Release Date:

15 December 1973 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Color | Color (technicolor)
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


In this episode, writer Larry Niven introduced the cat-like alien race, the Kzinti, from his "Known Space" novels into the Star Trek: The Original Series (1966) universe. See more »


The shuttlecraft's sensors would have detected the Kzinti and their ship before landing. Spock would have also detected them with his tricorder. See more »


Lt. Hikaru Sulu: Mr. Spock, if it takes a stasis box to find another stasis box, how did anyone ever find the first one?
Mr. Spock: As with a number of discoveries, purely by accident, lieutenant.
See more »


Featured in Drawn to the Final Frontier (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

A Unique & Satisfying "Star Trek" Adventure!
21 April 2010 | by SquonkamaticSee all my reviews

Larry Niven's "The Slaver Weapon" -- adapted from his original story "The Soft Weapon" and re-configured into the basis of an episode from the 1973/1974 "Star Trek: The Animated Series" -- is one of my all time favorite installments of Star Trek, period.

Of the now 45 years we have had the mythology of Star Trek as an entertainment form, regardless of what shape it took (TV show, movie, book), this is one of the most unique and rewarding, packing enough Trek and sci-fi interest into its 23 minutes to enthrall any geek. I'd actually call it a cyberpunk work, utilizing advanced fictional technologies as a plot focus and projecting a vision of the future that is cynical, unromantic, and indifferent to humans if not outright hostile. Gene Roddenberry took a chance on green-lighting this one and it paid off big time, in my opinion at any rate. Way out of proportion to what was expected of it, at any rate.

The episode is also unique in that it is the only official example of "Star Trek" in any form before the debut of The Next Generation series in 1987 to *not* feature the presence of William Shatner's Captain James Tiberius Kirk. Which is ironic, not just because of how cool it turned out to be, but due to Shatner's well known disregard for the Animated Series, which he found to be debasing & embarrassing to participate in. So they made this one while he was off doing Shakespeare In The Park for $200 a night. Hey, gotta make a living.

They picked a winner of a script for his absence too, with Niven adapting "The Soft Weapon" to feature Spock, Sulu, and Uhura piloting a starfleet shuttlecraft to rendezvous with the Enterprise when the Slaver Stasis Box in their possession indicates the presence of another stasis box nearby. What pray tell is a Stasis Box? Let's just say that inside of one there is no passage of time, sort of like the ultimate refrigerator except no leftover 3/4 empty bottles of salad dressing on the doors. Archaeologists had found it on a remote planet and Spock had been dispatched to collect it. Following so far?

Their Box leads them to finding a 2nd one on a small ice bound planetoid ... which turns out to be a trap laid by Niven's alien species creation, the Kzinti, completely hostile eight foot tall creatures with feline characteristics who consider human meat to be a delicacy. And they want that Stasis Box & whatever might be inside, knowing very well that the Slavers -- another species created by Niven and long died out -- had weapons which could potentially devastate a whole galaxy.

Wouldn't you know it but Spock's Box does indeed contain an intriguing device that shifts its appearance and function with the twist of a toggle switch. And one of the settings does prove to be for quite the formidable little Weapon of Mass Destruction, leading to a startlingly violent little climax that infamously resulted in the only loss of life during the Animated Series' run. They kill people in this one ... Far out.

This was supposedly a Saturday morning cartoon show for kids, remember, airing at about 10am during its initial run on CBS when we were sitting there in our pajamas with the feets on the bottom & chowing down on the King Vitamin. I don't particularly recall seeing this episode as a kid where others did leave an impression, but it is exactly the kind of stuff I would have been fascinated by: Space ships, space suits, laser guns, hand held rocket launchers. You betcha.

I will still concede that "Yesteryear" is the best episode from the Animated Series, and that "Beyond The Farthest Star" remains my single favorite episode, necessitated by the absence of Kirk from this installment. Love him or hate him, James T. Kirk was the essence of Star Trek, as nobody else really had any cosmic lessons to learn. So the absence of Kirk sort of requires this episode to be set aside when considering singling out *the* best of what the Animated Series had to offer.

But by golly this one rocks! When I talk to some of my associates about watching Star Trek cartoons I'm sure the imagine me sitting here in my slippers with a bowl of Mult-Grain Cheerios and a bong, pretending that I'm 9 all over again with some stupid dumb cartoon show that you have to be stoned to appreciate as a grownup. Screw that! This is first rate Star Trek any way you slice it. That the Animated Series offered Niven the opportunity to work with Roddenberry & his talents to produce this episode was an opportunity to create something new, and this is one of the best examples of the creative team actually managing to do that. It is great science fiction, great Star Trek, and one of Saturday morning programming's finest half hours, with commercials.

9/10; Alan Dead Foster expanded the story to book length form for his "Star Trek Log Ten" novelization, which is still in print, and Niven's short story which formed the basis can also be found with relative ease in a collection with other works. Good art leads to more art once again.

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