In honor of “Talk Like a Pirate Day”, 2023, I bring you this cover from Astounding Science Fiction – which is, I think, the only depiction of a “Space Pirate” to have been featured by that magazine:
You can’t get much more “Piratey” than that.
Space Pirates have long been a well-worn trope in science fiction, perhaps mostly because of the maritime association with space.
Lost In Space featured a Space Pirate, complete with robot parrot –
A few years earlier, Fireball XL-5 featured space pirates who looked like pirates in an episode titled Space Pirates!
and, while they didn’t always look like traditional pirates, they also weren’t always referred to as pirates –
sometimes they were referred to as “Privateers” (and you’ll get a good explanation of the difference between Pirate and Privateer in both Space Mercenaries and Star Look), sometimes mercenaries or vikings.
But they have always been rogues –