01
Apr
08

A Predatorial Shuriken

OK, So i’ll admit I’m not really the April Fools type. I sat thinking about all of the incredibly evil things I could have posted as an April Fools prank and realized… I just couldn’t do it. So instead, I’m gonna post about a fictional weapon that Ive always thought was very cool looking, but entirely impractical:

The Predator Shuriken

AvP Shuriken
[view full size]

This weapon was one of the cool weapons wielded by the race of Predators in the Predator series of movies. This particular shuriken was prominently featured on the AvP (Alien vs Predator) and AVP2 movies. Now the one featured here is a non-functioning reproduction shuriken, primarily because, well, this weapon would be near impossible to make work in real life, for reasons I’ll get into shortly.

I truly love many of the design details of this weapon. But what makes it such an intriguing weapon to me is primarily the subtle physical impossibility and impracticality of it. It is a weapon that appears, on the surface, to be physically plausible, but upon closer inspection, reveals aspects that are implausible, but so tempting close to real, that you cannot help but wonder if it would be possible to duplicate in real life.

AvP Shuriken – life size prop

AvP Shuriken
[view full size]

For example, looking at the pic above, you may notice that the overall design of this shuriken vaguely follows that of the Japanese Fuuma (or Windmill) shuriken, but departs from traditional shuriken design in it’s asymmetry. The blades are all biased towards one side of the weapon. Now besides the fact this this offends my sense of symmetry, this massive weight imbalance would also make it a very impractical throwing weapon. And yet, in the movie, it is thrown just as a Fuuma shuriken would be, without exhibiting any of the idiosyncratic flight characteristics that one might expect from such a poorly balanced weapon.

An even more implausible feature of the weapon is the great disparity between the retracted form factor and the fully deployed form of the shuriken. Below is a picture of the center section of the weapon with the blades extended:

AvP Shuriken – Center Section

AvP Shuriken - center Section
[view full size]

And here is a picture of the blades, again fully extended:

AvP Shuriken – Blades

AvP Shuriken -  Blades
[view full size]

In the movie, the blades are shown to extend out of the center section of the weapon. From the pics, it is apparent that a considerable level of nesting can and would need to occur in order for this to be physically feasible. By my count, there are six blades, each blade consisting of 4 sections, an extension/pivot lever, an outer extension sleeve, an inner extension sleeve and the blade proper. The weapons deployment sequence is shown in the clip below:

AvP Shuriken – Deployment

AvP Shuriken - Deployment

Sweeeet…! Incidentally, the little clip above may also explain the weapons asymmetrical design. If the blades were to extend in a symmetrical fashion around the circumference of the weapon, there would be no safe place to hold it during deployment without risking the loss of a few digits. If memory serves, I think these were used primarily as throwing weapons, so if I were designing it, it would be perfectly symmetrical, and would open in mid air when thrown, so as to avoid the awkward asymmetrical design. The asymmetry seems like a pointless trade-off if you ask me, but then again, I’m not an alien weapons designer…

Anyway, during retraction, the blade would have to retract into the inner sleeve, the inner sleeve into the outer sleeve, and the whole outer sleeve assembly pivot onto the extension arm, which would then all fold neatly into the center section, completely occupying that space. Sounds good in theory, except that, given the physical dimensions of blades, sleeves, etc, there should be hardly enough room for all six blades, let alone a deployment / retraction mechanism…

Of course, given the advanced nature of Predator technology, these technical details would almost certainly only be limitations of human technology, and would be little more than niggling little technicalities to a predator engineer.

In the end, however, it is the overall aesthetic of the blades, and the deployment mechanism that makes this weapon so captivating, and while the technical challenges would be great, the design is ultimately so close to something that could be made using current technologies, it would be very tempting to try…

I wonder if DARPA would be willing to give me a research grant for this kind of stuff… 🙂

AvP Predator Shuriken – [Black Aris]

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13 Responses to “A Predatorial Shuriken”


  1. April 3, 2008 at 3:50 am

    “I wonder if DARPA would be willing to give me a research grant for this kind of stuff”

    Love it….LOL…..

    I’m sure there is a way to make a real version…..similar to what you designed on E.A.

  2. April 3, 2008 at 8:00 pm

    LOL, yeah, Indeed… There is always a way… With this though… Complications galore… Blasted extensions… LOL

  3. 3 Niccolo
    April 28, 2008 at 6:37 am

    ^^ My kind of job! Give me a month or so, and I’ll have a close-to-maybe-sorta-possible set of schematics. (Hey, I have to use physics/engineering knowledge for SOMETHING)

  4. April 29, 2008 at 7:05 pm

    Just be sure to let me know once you’ve got it all figured out… I’ll buy the first one you make off you… Assuming I haven’t already made one by then… LOL

  5. 5 Niccolo
    April 30, 2008 at 12:39 am

    You’re on. ‘Course… I tend to work with thnigs that are ridiculously large, so tiny things’ll be a nice change.

    Still, makes for a good honours thesis. “How to build a Predator’s shuriken”.

  6. 6 Niccolo
    April 30, 2008 at 7:17 am

    Okay. I have been watching that small looped sequence there over and over, trying to figure out just how on earth it was put together. The answer? The top claw sections just… appear. Charming. I tell you, if as much money was put into research as was put into these movies, then we’d have cured AIDS and fourteen kinds of cancer, colonised Mars and we’d have cool weapons like these.

  7. April 30, 2008 at 9:29 am

    Not particularly simple is it LOL… This weapon, or at least the way it is shown to operate in the movie, actually defies the laws of physics.

    There are numerous elements of practicality in the design, so that a reasonable facsimile could be created, but even the plausible aspects of it’s construction are much trickier than it appears at first glance. If we mentally deconstruct it, we can see that individually, the various sections can be made to work.

    We have the blade/blade extensions, which is certainly buildable, but would be pretty damnably difficult to do in the form factor shown. We also have the pivoting blade arms, which is perhaps the easiest to build, and we have a mechanized housing, of which I have already designed a workable version.

    However, putting all of those together using the dimensions shown in the movie? and still have it strong enough to actually be thrown without breaking? I’d daresay it would take some rather fine machining with cutting edge alloys and materials that probably haven’t been invented yet…

  8. August 12, 2008 at 12:57 am

    Dear sir or modom,
    Could you possibly send me some information about (Shuriken), please.

    Lot’s of thanks.

  9. August 17, 2008 at 7:14 pm

    Hey ABBAS

    Is there any particular information you are looking for?

  10. 10 MoZZA
    August 25, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    AVP! well there was the SMART disc before this shuriken and i believe in AVP: Requiem the shuriken is freakin huge! infact if i remember it sticks a woman to the wall!

    lol congrats phyre youve hit the spot with this one i want a replica now XD

  11. 11 MoZZA
    August 25, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    looking at it the clip is from avp:r

  12. August 27, 2008 at 12:18 am

    @Mozza,
    The clip is actually from the first AvP. In AvP, the shuriken were much, much smaller, than in AvP:R but quite larger than the smart disk. Predator 2 was the first (and only one, i think) that we see the smart disk. In AvP:R, the shuriken were much larger, large enough to impale that girl to the wall, like you described, but that was the only predator movie to have Shuriken of that size.

    I would tend to doubt that the Yautja would have stuck to any single size anyway, so this makes sense.

  13. 13 MoZZA
    September 16, 2008 at 11:44 am

    the only movie *so far* that has a shuriken of that size and yeah it was only predator 2 that the smart disc was in.


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