Rigel VII was the inhabited seventh planet in the Rigel planetary system. The planet had one moon and was the homeworld of the Kalar, a pre-warp capable humanoid species. (TOS: "The Cage") This system was located in the Kandari sector, a region of space in the Alpha Quadrant. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, production art; TNG: "Conspiracy" display graphic)
In 2254, a landing party from the starship USS Enterprise, led by Captain Christopher Pike, visited Rigel VII. While inside an apparently abandoned Kalar fortress, Pike and crew were attacked by the native Kalar warriors. Three crew members, including Pike's personal yeoman, were killed. Seven more were injured (including Spock, Navigator Tyler and a ship's geologist); some of these were so severely wounded that they required treatment at the Vega colony. 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")
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)
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")
A view of the surface of Rigel VII was depicted on several viewscreens on Deep Space 9's Promenade and replimat, (DS9: "The Muse") advertising a visit to the "spectacular castles of Rigel VII". (DS9: "What You Leave Behind")
|Rigel II • Rigel III • Rigel IV • Rigel V • Rigel VII • Rigel X • Rigel XII|
The location of Rigel identified in the "The Explored Galaxy" star chart placed it between the Tholian Assembly and Romulus. Both were identified in DS9: "The Search, Part II", "Call to Arms" as being located in the Alpha Quadrant.
According to Star Trek: Star Charts (Pgs. 36, 54, 59, 60), Rigel VII was a quarantined planet. The planet was an M-class world. The planet was not unified under a uniglobal government and was non-aligned. Its status was 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.
Behind the Scenes
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) Analysis of the script for "The Cage" indicates that 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 the second revised final draft script of "The Cage", it is notated that the Rigel fortress "suggests a medieval civilization, but carrying strange symbols and odd décor which suggests things quite alien from Earth." The script similarly describes the fortress' courtyard; "The feeling here is as outside, a feudal-level civilization but with its weapons and architecture somewhat different from Earth."
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 Rigel fortress' exterior also involved live-action footage that was filmed on the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer backlot and the fortress' interior was a set. ("The Menagerie, Part II" text commentary, TOS Season 1 DVD) The matte painting used to depict Rigel VII 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).
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.