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"A single asteroid changed the course of history on this planet for thousands of years. That's not natural development."

Rigel VII was the inhabited seventh planet of the Rigel system. This class M world was home to the Kalar, a pre-warp humanoid species. It was orbited by a single moon and the Stecora debris field. The Rigel VII Lagrange colony was associated with the planet. (TNG-R: "Inheritance"; SNW: "Among the Lotus Eaters")

Location[]

Rigel VII was located at coordinates 2892.9222 in the Alpha Quadrant. It was several weeks' travel from the Vega colony at the maximum cruising speed of a Constitution-class heavy cruiser. (TOS: "The Cage", "The Menagerie, Part I"; SNW: "Among the Lotus Eaters")

Astronomical data[]

Rigel VII planetary data

Planetary data for Rigel VII

Rigel VII had a rotation period of 25.1 hours and a revolution period of 329.7 solar days. Its mass was estimated at 5.71937e24×1024 kilograms and its age at 5.4 billion solar years. The planet possessed a turbulent atmosphere composed of 81% nitrogen, 18% oxygen, 0.3% argon, and 0.3% carbon dioxide, with trace amounts of methane, carbon monoxide, neon, and an unknown gas; it was filled with wind shear, exotic radiation, and heavy particles, which blocked sensors and complicated navigation. The mean surface temperature was 14.5 degrees Celsius. The planet hosted indigenous carbon-based animal and plant life, including trees and the fruit of the gods. (SNW: "Among the Lotus Eaters")

History[]

Thousands of years ago, Rigel VII was impacted by a massive asteroid from the Stecora debris field, which wiped out all life from one hemisphere. The asteroid contained unknown elements that emitted an unusual form of radiation, which prevented the planet's remaining inhabitants from forming explicit memories. Only those Kalar shielded from the radiation by a particular ore were able to keep their memories. (SNW: "Among the Lotus Eaters")

Rigel VII-Holberg 917G fortress

Illusion of a fortress on Rigel VII

In 2254, on stardate 2498.4, the USS Enterprise conducted a routine planetary survey of Rigel VII, with Captain Christopher Pike leading a uniformed landing party to the surface. Four hours into the mission, the party was ambushed by Kalar warriors inside an apparently abandoned fortress. Three crew members were reported KIA during the hasty retreat, including Pike's personal yeoman Zac Nguyen; seven more were injured, including Spock, navigator José Tyler, and a ship's geologist, necessitating the Enterprise's withdrawal to Vega colony for emergency treatment. Pike later regretted his decision to enter the fortress, stating that "the swords and the armor" should have alerted him to the possibility of a trap. (TOS: "The Cage", "The Menagerie, Part I", "The Menagerie, Part II"; SNW: "Among the Lotus Eaters")

Following the Enterprise's visit, Starfleet scheduled flybys to observe the planet via long-range photography once every two years. (SNW: "Among the Lotus Eaters")

Shuttles lifting asteroid off Rigel VII

Enterprise shuttles lifting an asteroid off of the surface of Rigel VII

In 2259, the Enterprise was tasked with investigating and rectifying cultural contamination on Rigel VII, after a depiction of the Starfleet delta was discovered in a garden. Upon landing, Pike, Lieutenant La'an Noonien-Singh, and Doctor Joseph M'Benga were confronted by Nguyen, now "High Lord Zacarias", who had in fact survived and enthroned himself among the Kalar by arming his followers with phaser rifles. Though every Enterprise crew member became afflicted with memory loss, Pike was still able to subdue Nguyen while Lieutenant Erica Ortegas piloted the ship clear of the effect. Afterwards, Spock devised a shield harmonic to block the radiation, while Nguyen was taken into custody. Pike decided to have the asteroid towed off the surface due to the cultural stagnation it had caused, permanently restoring the Kalar to their memories. (SNW: "Among the Lotus Eaters")

There was a song called "Moon over Rigel VII". Captain Kirk proposed singing it around a campfire while taking shore leave at Yosemite National Park on Earth with Captain Spock and Doctor McCoy in 2287. (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier)

In the 24th century, Robert Blackman was born on this non-Federation planet. (TNG: "The Chase" okudagram)

During the 2360s, Kobliad fugitive Rao Vantika used a subspace shunt to access and purge everything in the active memory of computer systems on Rigel VII. He later attempted the same on Deep Space 9 in 2369. (DS9: "The Passenger")

Rigel VII displayed at the Replimat

Advertisement for Rigel VII displayed at the Replimat

In the 2370s, a view of the surface of Rigel VII was depicted on several viewscreens on Deep Space 9's Promenade and Replimat, advertising a visit to the "spectacular castles of Rigel VII". (DS9: "Whispers", "The Muse", "What You Leave Behind")

The USS Enterprise-D once conducted a mission to Rigel VII, during which the crew believed their communicators were compromised, leading them to develop the Myriad encryption codec. Decades later in 2401, after Jean-Luc Picard received a distress call from Beverly Crusher that used Myriad, he and William T. Riker recalled the incident, though Riker mistakenly remembered the planet to be Rigel VI. (PIC: "The Next Generation")

Appendices[]

Background information[]

This planet's quadrant of origin is inferred based on the position of its star system as seen in the star chart appearing in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.

In the story outline for "The Cage" (as reprinted in The Making of Star Trek, pp. 47-65), this planet's name was given as "Endrex II". (The Making of Star Trek, p. 51) As evidenced by the script for "The Cage", the planet's name was then changed to "Rigel 113". Before it finally became "Rigel VII", Harvey P. Lynn – a physicist from the RAND Corporation who served as an unofficial adviser on both "The Cage" and, later, the first season of Star Trek: The Original Series – suggested to Gene Roddenberry that he consider changing "Rigel 113" to "Vega 113", due to Rigel being "mighty far away." (The Making of Star Trek, p. 95)

In stage directions from the first draft script of "The Cage", Rigel 113 was mentioned as having an "adobe-type terrain." The same script also remarked, "The sky is reddish, a quarter of it dominated by a huge moon." In the second revised final draft of the script for "The Cage", the planet's surface was described as featuring "rocks and strange vegetation."

In "The Cage" and "The Menagerie, Part II", the surface of Rigel VII (including the exterior of the Rigel fortress) was depicted with a matte painting that was created by Albert Whitlock. The same matte painting was re-used, unaltered, for Holberg 917G in the original version of TOS: "Requiem for Methuselah" (though it was replaced by a new CG matte painting for that episode's remastered version).

Mark A. Altman appreciated the Rigel VII matte painting, commenting, "It belongs in a museum! It's stunning!" ("Strange New Worlds: Visualizing the Fantastic", Star Trek: The Original Series - The Roddenberry Vault special features)

The live-action part of Rigel VII was filmed on location at the "Arab Village" section of Desilu's 40 Acres backlot in Culver City, California. (These Are the Voyages: TOS Season One, 1st ed. p. 61)

According to StarTrek.com, Rigel VII was in a double planet system. [1](X)

According to Star Trek: Star Charts (p. 54; "United Federation of Planets III"), Rigel VII (Beta Orionis A VII) was a quarantined planet. The planet was a class M world. The planet was non-aligned, with its status pending the development of warp drive. The dominant species was the Kalar. There was a conjectural count of 725,000 Kalar in 2370. First contact with this world was made by the Enterprise in 2254. This planet was in the Beta Quadrant, in the "true" Rigel (Beta Orionis) system.

Apocrypha[]

In the short story version of "The Cage" (titled "The Menagerie" and published in Star Trek 4), this planet was Rigel VIII.

According to the comics series Star Trek: Early Voyages, the building was named the Zemtar fortress, and the Kalar warriors attacked because of their reluctance to see their homeworld join the peaceful Federation.

In Decipher's Star Trek Roleplaying Game, the green Orion race was from Rigel VII.

External link[]

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