137th Gebirg wrote:
What I never understood is how "reverse impulse" and "reverse warp" worked. Based on the location of the impulse emitters, the thrust vector seems like it should be relatively uni-directional. Reverse thrusters is one thing, like in Star Trek VI when Enterprise "backs off" away from the cloaked Klingon BoP, but IIRC they were going balls-out in reverse, under warp power, to get away from the Romulan BoP's plasma bolt in "Balance of Power". Has this ever been adequately explained?
Reverse warp makes sense to me, assuming it's just nested subspace fields that press against each other to provide momentum, it shouldn't be hard to just fire them the other way and go backwards. But all the deflector hardware is aimed forward, so I suppose reverse warp power would only be used if you really meant it!
As for reverse impulse, I'm increasingly of the opinion that impulse drive was never, in fact, a rocket in the conventional sense. Rather, it too is a form of warp engine, in that it produces a subspace field which reduces the ship's apparent mass and provides directional momentum. Notice that in several instances (mostly TOS but not exclusively) ships without warp power (even the Enterprise
herself after being damaged in WNMHGB) do manage to attain low FTL speeds. The "exhaust grill" we often (but not always) see is, in my opinion, a heat exchanger more than a thruster, and not all ship's even need that much external hardware for the impulse engine to run. Therefore reverse impulse power is the same as reverse warp; you just make the field pulse backwards and off you go tail first.