Thoughts on Discovery, Starfleet’s newest arrival

The new Star Trek series just teased its ship, and it’s called the Discovery. My thoughts?

Discovery looks like it doesn’t quite know what it wants to be when it grows up. It has the traditional saucer section Starfleet uses on its vessels, but her secondary hull is shaped almost like a Klingon D7’s. Another thing that’s a little different about this ship is her color. She’s bronze as opposed to gray or silver, which is pretty different for Starfleet.

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Still from the official teaser trailer released by CBS on YouTube.

All that out of the way, the primary reason Discovery looks the way she does is due to the fact she’s based off of Ralph McQuarrie’s (best known for his work on Star Wars) design for the refitted Enterprise in a canceled film that was to be called Star Trek: Planet of the Titans (this scraped movie idea was one attempt to make a motion picture after the end of the Original Series). This design came pretty early on in the franchise’s history, and feels like a very different ship from the original Enterprise. I consider Star Trek II: the Wrath of Khan and Star Trek III: the Search for Spock to set the standard for what kind of ships people could expect to see in Star Trek, especially from Starfleet and the Klingons.

Image of Ralph McQuarrie's design for the Enterprise
Image of Ralph McQuarrie’s design for the Enterprise

I like Discovery’s look and feel. It has a “what’s old is new” thing going for her, seeing as the basis for her design is right at 40 years old now. The saucer section feels familiar, while her delta shaped secondary hull is a departure from what Trekkies might expect from Starfleet designs. I don’t quote like the placement and design of the warp nacelles though. They’re too blocky looking, set too forward, and the Bussard collectors (the red things at the front) look like something from a 1950s B-movie. They look ugly. Discovery is also kind of a short ship because everything looks really compressed and flattened, as opposed to the original Enterprise which had a neck and struts I always thought were too long and too thin. I will also add that the bronze color reminds me of Cardassian or Ferengi ships, too.

Still, Discovery is familiar enough to be recognized, but just different enough to set itself apart from the rest of the fleet. I don’t think she’s quite what us Trekkies were expecting, and I’m fine with. She’s still yet to undergo her shakedown cruise, and we’ll really get a better idea of what the girl can do.

 

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