Created By: Unknown Troper on January 23, 2008
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Space Pirates

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There's two kinds of Space Pirates in science fiction. The normal version are violent criminals with a spaceship, who attack other spaceships. Simple as that.

The other version do a Recycled IN SPACE! on every eighteenth century pirate cliche. They have Cornish accents, beards, say "Arr!" a lot, have parrots (probably robot) and false limbs (probably cybernetic) and wear tricorn hats and eyepatches (or have cybernetic eyes).

Examples:
  • The Captain of "The Pirate Planet" in the Doctor Who serial of the same name. Cybernetic eye and robot parrot (the Polyphase Aviatron).
  • The genetically-engineered badger pirates in the Doctor Who novel "The Pirate Loop", who wear gold earings and space-suits with a skull-and-crossbones.
  • Captain Kaliko and her oil-rig raiders in the Doctor Who (yes, again) animation "The Infinity Quest". Baltazar in the same story fits the trope to some extent, if only because he has a robot parrot.
  • A non Doctor Who example: Long John Silver the 23rd in the Duck Dodgers episode "Shiver Me Dodgers".

I've not seen Disney's "Treasure Planet", but I'd imagine it fits...
Community Feedback Replies: 23
  • January 23, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    Oh Treasure Planet fits, it's Treasure Island INSPACE after all.
  • January 23, 2008
    foxley
    Another Doctor Who example: Captain Wrack of the Eternals in the serial "Enlightement".
  • January 23, 2008
    EponymousKid
    An unnamed space pirate (with three peg legs out of four, parrots on three of his four shoulders, and eyepatches on two of his three eyes) menaced the Planet Express Ship on Futurama with galleon-style spaceships and cannons, vowing to send them to "Davy Jarg's locker" and realizing too late that "me children are me real treasures."
  • January 23, 2008
    thatother1dude
    Technically speaking I don't think it qualifies as Recycled In Space, as it's literally a sci-fi version of Treasure Island (of course it still fits it) The Space pirate from Met Roid probably counts. They're borderline Starfish Aliens, so they definately aren't buccaneers.
  • January 23, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    Being Literal Pirates in space is a link to Space Sailing, and a link to whatever we have on moving pirates elsewhere.
  • January 23, 2008
    BlackDragon
    I tried to launch this a while back, but it never took off...

    From the examples that came up there, I particularly remember the 'Pirates of the Oceans Unmoving' arc of Sluggy Freelance, and the PS 2 game Rogue Galaxy.
  • January 23, 2008
    Jordan
    I believe the advertisment for the Firefly movie Serenity referred to the heroes as "space pirates" which doesn't make much sense to me as they are more like "space smugglers" in the manner of Han Solo.
  • January 23, 2008
    BlackDragon
    Aye - in fact, Mal makes a point of this when he runs into some REAL space-pirates in 'Out Of Fuel'... the bad-guys trick their way on board, and then decide to grab the whole ship rather than help him fix it.

    -Pirate Captain: You would have done the same thing. -Mal: We already know that isn't true.
  • January 23, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    A third variety- the ship full of good hearted rogues?
  • January 24, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    The first kind of space pirates appear in the Doctor Who serial "The Space Pirates".
  • January 24, 2008
    JethroQWalrustitty
    Because the Space Is An Ocean, there has to be Pirates.
  • January 24, 2008
    VampireBuddha
    Outlaw Star is full of the first type. Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors had an al-female crew of the second type in one episode, but they decided to go good at the end.
  • January 24, 2008
    Arivne
    The TV show Lost in Space had two episodes with space pirates: "The Sky Pirate" and "Treasures of the Lost Planet".
  • January 24, 2008
    Sikon
    "The Pirate Loop" is also an example of Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot, at least according to the OP"s description. But then, as that page correctly notes, about 80% of Doctor Who fits into that category.
  • January 24, 2008
    arromdee
    Captain Harlock is the second version.
  • January 24, 2008
    Shilvara
    Actually, there are more versions, since most people will have an idealized version of pirates in mind. For example, in God Mars, there're some space pirates, who start as apparently violent ones, but they just turn to be rebels fighting for their freedom, against a cruel oppresor. The "pirates fighting for their freedom, against a cruel oppresor" seems way too common, anyway.
  • January 24, 2008
    Narvi
    "Space pirates?"

    "You know, like pirates, but in space!"

    Futurama. Godfellas. Has to be the pagequote.
  • January 24, 2008
    bluepenguin
    There's the webcomic I Was Kidnapped By Lesbian Pirates From Outer Space! (http://www.drunkduck.com/I_Was_Kidnapped_By_Lesbian_Pirates_From_Outer_Space/index.php?p=186423), which is... pretty much what it says on the tin.
  • January 24, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    "I believe the advertisment for the Firefly movie Serenity referred to the heroes as "space pirates" which doesn't make much sense to me as they are more like "space smugglers" in the manner of Han Solo."

    They are referred to as pirates in a deleted scene, or at least Mal is.
  • January 24, 2008
    Shilvara
    Lesbian Pirates from Outer Space is a case of Zombie Robot Pirate Ninja. Even more that, so far, in the comic, there isn't a single explanation about how a civilization of lesbian does survive. SO I'd just say the pirate part on that comic is just there for the cool factor.
  • January 24, 2008
    bluepenguin
    Well, they do steal things.
  • January 26, 2008
    SAMAS
    And of course, the usual badguys of the Metroid series.
  • January 26, 2008
    Snake712
    ...Which we already mentioned.
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