Eureka Maru

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The Eureka Maru is a fictional starship in the television series Andromeda. The Maru is a cargo ship owned by Beka Valentine.

Ship technical aspects[edit]

The Eureka Maru is a slipstream-capable cargo ship. It has a three-engine thrust system and is armed with lasers and missiles.

Beka speaks 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 present-day computers, although it is primarily accessed through vocal commands.

The Maru appears to be 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.

Ship history[edit]

Beka Valentine and her crew often used 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 people insulting the ship, such as 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 her and her boyfriend Bobby Jensen. They later broke up and he was replaced by Seamus Harper, a skilled engineer who was involved with Bobby in a one-off deal on Earth. Rev Bem joined subsequently and then another crew member named Vexpag was hired. However, he died when his environmental suit ripped and he was replaced by Trance Gemini. Shortly after this, the crew found the lost Andromeda Ascendant while under contract with a Nightsider named Gerentex to search for, and salvage, her.

Now that its crew has joined Andromeda, the Maru is stored in Andromeda's shuttle bay, being used when the crew have to carry out scouting missions or sneak attacks, where its smaller size is an advantage. It is usually taken out by Beka during these missions, although Dylan has been known to pilot the ship on occasion.

Etymology[edit]

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[edit]

Crew of the Eureka Maru at the time of rescuing Dylan Hunt: