|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2009)|
Ship technical aspects
Beka has spoken to the Maru on many occasions throughout the series, and in episode 18 of season 4, the Maru appears to creak in response, despite the ship's lack of artificial intelligence. The Maru computer system responds to commands and inquiries in a manner similar to modern day computers, although it is primarily accessed through vocal commands.
The Maru is about 42 metres in length, judged by the scale of people against it as seen in episode 8 of season 5. It weighs approximately 12,000 tonnes.
Beka Valentine and her crew often use the ship to make risky and illegal cargo runs, before rescuing Dylan Hunt from a black hole and joining his crew. The ship was built by Beka's father, Ignatius Valentine, and his friend Sid Barry.
Sid left the Maru crew when Beka was a child, after a fight between him and Ignatius. Beka has spent most of her life on the Maru, and it has been implied that she was born on board. She is very protective of the Maru and would never allow it to be destroyed; she also hates it when people insult the ship, including Dylan Hunt's frequent use of the term "bucket of bolts".
In episode 4 of series 1, Dylan states that Beka was captain of the Maru for 10 years, meaning she received official command of the ship from her father in CY 10077; in episode 16 of series 4, Harper states that possession of the Maru fell to Beka in CY 10081, the year her father died. Beka's original crew was composed solely of herself and her boyfriend Bobby Jensen; they later broke up and he was replaced by Seamus Harper as the ship's engineer (after he was hired by Bobby for a one-time deal on Earth). Rev Bem joined shortly after this and then another crew member named Vexpag was hired, however he died when his environmental suit ripped. He was replaced by Trance Gemini shortly before they found the Andromeda Ascendant (while under contract with a Nightsider named Gerentex). Since its crew joined Andromeda, the Maru was traditionally kept in Andromeda's shuttle bays, being used when the crew need to carry out scouting missions or sneak attacks due to its smaller size. Traditionally it is taken out by Beka during these missions, although Dylan has been known to pilot the ship on occasion.
||This section possibly contains original research. (June 2011)|
Although the origin of the name of the ship Eureka Maru is never mentioned in the series, or any official literature springing from it, here are some facts that may provide clues to where the name comes from:
- Heureka (often today spelled: eureka) means "I have found it!" in Ancient Greek. This is potentially explained by the fact that the Maru was built by Beka Valentine's father and his business partner Sid. The term 'Eureka!' would seem appropriate for non-professional ship builders who manage to put together a ship.
- The word maru is often attached to Japanese ship names, see Japanese ship naming conventions. One translation for the term maru is 'a small world of its own', which would make the full translation of Eureka Maru "I have found a small world of my own", which seems very fitting for the spirit of the independent trading vessel.
- The Kobayashi Maru is a Starfleet test that first appears in the movie Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Gene Roddenberry is the creator of both the Star Trek and Andromeda universes.
- Maruts (Sanskrit) are storm gods, company of Indra.
- The Komagata Maru incident which occurred in British Columbia, in Canada — coincidentally where much of Canadian Filming, including Andromeda, is filmed.
There is also a strong possibility that the original name may have been the Yurika Maru -- "Yurika" being a Japanese proper name—which is more consistent with a Japanese designation than an arbitrary Ancient Greek word with tenuous if any relevance to a freighter. If this were the case, it is unclear whether the phonetic transposition was an error on the part of the writers, to whom the name may have been only spoken, or if it is deliberately intended to have happened in the realm of the fictional Andromeda universe.
However, Beka herself has called the Maru a 'salvage ship' on at least one occasion. "I have found it!" does indeed make some sense viewed in this light.
Crew of the Eureka Maru at the time of rescuing Dylan Hunt: