Slave Shield

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Ur-Quan Topics
Kzer-Za • Kohr-Ah
Sentient Milieu
Slave Revolt
Slave War
The Words
Doctrinal Conflict
Second Doctrinal War
Kzer-Za • Kohr-Ah
Path of Now and Forever
Ur-Quan Hierarchy • Battle Thrall • Fallow Slave • Oath of Fealty Doctrinal Conflict
Dreadnought • Marauder • Sa-Matra
Excruciator • Slave Shield • Talking Pet

A slave shield is one of the most significant and recognizable technologies in the galaxy. Developed by the Ur-Quan Kzer-Za after the Slave Revolt, it is a highly robust, self-maintaining force field installed around a planet's atmosphere that blocks the passage of all physical objects while filtering and scattering all radiation that passes through, causing a visual pulsating red halo effect around the planet. In addition to the physical, the Slave Shield scrambles all electromagnetic and HyperWave communications to and from the surface, effectively sealing the planet in a pre-space age.

The Oath of Fealty

The Ur-Quan Kzer-Za are an expansionist race who follow the Path of Now and Forever to attack and easily conquer many worlds. At the point of surrender, a race is incorporated into the Ur-Quan Hierarchy and is given two options: become a Battle Thrall to help the Ur-Quan conquer more worlds, or, become a Fallow Slave by taking the Oath of Fealty and having their planet encased in a Slave Shield. Ironically, both options allow the world to maintain a fair degree of autonomy; a slave shielded world is cut off from outer space, including galactic travel and contact with races, but they are presumably free govern themselves within the isolation.

The Oath of Fealty stipulates that a defeated race is encased together on a single planet, has no space ships of its own, and must operate an Ur-Quan built Starbase to assist Hierarchy vessels.


The first known use of a slave shield was at the Faz homeworld, since then thousands have been used.

Only the Ur-Quan Kzer-Za were capable of constructing and disabling slave shields, as well as locally neutralizing them to allow for limited travel and communication with the enslaved races, especially for rotating the crew at the starbase. The Kohr-Ah were able to destroy slave shielded worlds, but the rules of engagement of the Doctrinal Conflict prevented them from using it against the Kzer-Za protectorates. After winning the conflict, the Kohr-Ah are no longer bound by the rules, and destroy slave shielded worlds during the Death March.

The shields are not as perfect a solution as the Kzer-Za believed. Very sensitive HyperWave receivers are able to pick up transmissions that are sent through with enough power. The Flagship is able to communicate with the slave-shielded Chenjesu and Mmrnmhrm this way, thanks to the Chenjesu's highly refined natural HyperWave-sensing anatomy. After those two races became the Chmmr, they developed a method to "crack" slave shields by using a large grid of satellites that introduce disruptions across the slave-shield's surface until it dissipates.2 After the Ur-Quan defeat during the Second Doctrinal Conflict, this method is used to free the Alliance races that had been slave-shielded in the aftermath of the Ur-Quan Slave War.

The only species known to have duplicated the Kzer-Za slave shield technology is the Spathi. Their entry into the New Alliance of Free Stars gave them the opportunity they needed to study the slave shield around Earth. Within three months they duplicated it at Spathiwa and encased themselves in safety.

Known Slave Shielded Worlds

Notes and references

1However, this is not implemented in-game (see here).
2This is only seen when Earth is freed in the ending cinematics of the 3DO version.