Did Khanate Orions inspire the Kilrathi?

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Did Khanate Orions inspire the Kilrathi?

Postby jbanes on Wed 13 Apr 2016 07:13

While I've seen arguments over which race would win in a battle, I've never seen the question of inspiration asked before.

Wing Commander (my favorite game of all time) came out 10 years after Starfire. The game introduced a warrior cat race, the Kilrathi, which bear a great deal of resemblance to the Orions of Starfire. Even more interesting is that Origin Systems was aware of hex microgames having implemented a computer version of Ogre in 1986.

Similar to George Lucas, we know that Chris Roberts' primary inspiration was the naval battles of WWII. Having an interest in naval combat means that he was probably aware of the wargaming community and possibly the games available.

What do you think? Were the Kilrathi inspired by the Orions? Or is it all a big coincidence?

Ogre Video Game: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ogre_(video_game)
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Re: Did Khanate Orions inspire the Kilrathi?

Postby Cralis on Wed 13 Apr 2016 15:45

cat-like aliens aren't exactly new... that said, there are other similarities. Such as the jump points to jump from star system to star system
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Re: Did Khanate Orions inspire the Kilrathi?

Postby jbanes on Wed 13 Apr 2016 19:12

Cralis wrote:cat-like aliens aren't exactly new...


Somewhat true. I mean, there was the Thundercats in the 80's. But if you check out the TV Tropes page, you'll find that it's not as common of a trope as one might think. Many of them are more recent than Wing Commander:

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CatFolk

The exact depiction is surprisingly close to the game Starfire.

that said, there are other similarities. Such as the jump points to jump from star system to star system


Another good point! The concept of using an invisible jump point instead of a hypergate (or even just hyperspace in general) doesn't show up in very many SciFi sources. Of course, that could just be a convenience thing on the part of Wing Commander. Not having to render a jump gate is very helpful to system performance.
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Re: Did Khanate Orions inspire the Kilrathi?

Postby PracticalM on Wed 13 Apr 2016 23:03

I would have to say the Kzinti were the inspiration for both races. Starfleet Battles picked up the Kzinti from a single episode of Star Trek the animated series (The Slaver Weapon).
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Re: Did Khanate Orions inspire the Kilrathi?

Postby reddavid on Thu 14 Apr 2016 00:56

Larry Niven, Ringworld.

He wrote that star trek episode.
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Re: Did Khanate Orions inspire the Kilrathi?

Postby southwestforests on Thu 14 Apr 2016 08:53

How far back might there be spacefaring felinoids in Flash Gordon or Buck Rogers comic strips?
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Re: Did Khanate Orions inspire the Kilrathi?

Postby jbanes on Thu 14 Apr 2016 12:26

A lot of good points. The Kzinti really did set the archetype. In my mind there's a high degree of certainty that the Kzinti were the inspiration for Starfire.

It still raises the question about whether the Kzinti were the direct inspiration for Wing Commander or if Starfire was the direct inspiration. There's also the possibility of both being influential.

The "Strakha" fighter seems like pretty strong evidence as it's a variation on the term "strakh" from the Kzinti series. On the other hand, Cralis made a really good point about the mode of space travel. It's very unusual and suggestive of Starfire influence.

Perhaps both were influential? Interesting to consider at least!
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Re: Did Khanate Orions inspire the Kilrathi?

Postby aramis on Fri 15 Apr 2016 19:55

Cat-men can be traced back a long way - well before the Panthermen of Mongo (Flash Gordon) and the Tiger Men of Mars (Buck Rogers comics).

Cat-men are also part of many færie tales of old...

That said, the Khanate's Orions seem to be very heavily drawn from Niven's Kzin.
The Kilrathi, while also drawing from that same legacy, seem to draw different aspects from the same source.
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Re: Did Khanate Orions inspire the Kilrathi?

Postby Otterman on Wed 15 Feb 2017 07:45

Warp points may have been inspired by The Forever War - translation points near collapsars.

Forever War was cited as inspiration for the microgame Warp War, one of my favorites.
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Re: Did Khanate Orions inspire the Kilrathi?

Postby PracticalM on Sat 04 Mar 2017 01:03

The CoDominium series (Starting with Mote in God's Eye) Anderson points are warp points in all but name.
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