Star Trek’s ‘redshirts’ REALLY do die more often! Uniformed security and engineering officers who accompany main characters on missions often suffer quick deaths, graph reveals
- The chart shows that 32 per cent of deaths ‘redshirts’ across all Star Trek series
- It confirms wide-held belief that ‘low ranking’ redshirts die more than others
- But in fact ‘yellowshirts’ are only 3 per cent behind the reds at 29 per cent
- But fans have noted shirt colour has not been consistent throughout the series
A graph mapping the deaths of different characters on Star Trek according to the colour of their shirt has revealed that ‘redshirts’ are more likely to die.
A longstanding theory among fans argues that officers in red die more often than those in any other colour and the pie chart has shown this to be true.
‘Redshirts’ normally represent lower ranking personnel such as security guards and are used to move the plot forward in many episodes of the sci-fi series.
Shirt colours were switched between the ‘Original Series’ and later shows in the franchise, however, somewhat skewing the results of the ‘redshirt’ effect.
The chart shows that while red coloured shirts do lead in the number of fatalities, they does so by a small degree of only three per cent compared to yellow shirts.
Yellow shirts were originally worn by command staff, like Captain Kirk, but this was later swapped to red in series from The Next Generation onward.
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A graph mapping the death rate of the different characters on Star Trek according to the colour of their shirt. It shows that while red coloured shirts does lead in the number of fatalities, it does so by a small degree of only 3 per cent compared to yellow shirts
The map was created by using a database of all the characters from the Star Trek series, gathered from the website Fandom, which lists what roles they play.
Redshirts are usually seen as the ‘expendable’ characters in the show, such as security officers, who may die in large numbers.
The uniforms in Star Trek are usually high necked and come in red, blue and yellow, the primary colours – as well as green and occasionally black.
The term ‘red shirt’ is known by fans as someone – a body guard, soldier, a low ranking officer who is killed off easily on the series. Starfleet uniforms in Star Trek come in red, blue, yellow and green – the primary colours, as well as black
USS Enterprise spacecrafts (pictured) were featured in the TV series Star Trek and had tractor beam capabilities, often used to ‘freeze’ or move enemy ships. The series followed the adventures of Captain James T. Kirk and his crew in the twenty-third century
Star Trek began as a US TV series following the adventures of Captain James T Kirk, played by the actor William Shantner, and his crew aboard the spacecraft USS Enterprise in the twenty-third century.
The Enterprise, one of hundreds of ships in Starfleet, had tractor beam capabilities, often used to ‘freeze’ or move enemy ships.
Coloured shirts with the Starfleet logo are worn by three divisions: Command, Operations and Sciences.
A still from Star Trek, The Original Series, episode ‘The City on the Edge of Forever’ which first broadcast on April 6, 1967
Star Trek has also been made into movies in recent years, starring Hollywood actors including John Cho (pictured) in Star Trek Beyond, 2016
HOW DO THE CLOAKING DEVICES USED IN STAR TREK WORK?
Cloaking devices used in the Star Trek franchise help to render a spaceship or other object completely invisible.
They are energy shields that selectively bend light and other forms of energy to hide spacecraft like the Starship Enterprise from enemy sensors.
According to the Institute of Physics, it is possible to create a similar cloaking system using metamaterials.
The materials can bend electromagnetic radiation such as light around an object to give the appearance that it isn’t there.
To date some researchers have used such properties of metamaterials to create devices that can bend certain forms of radiation, such as near-infrared.
So far, however, producing the same effect with visible light has proved more of a challenge.