I hope you don't mind, blssdwlf
, if I modify your synopsis slightly.
IIRC, the onscreen evidence for the class of the TOS/Movie Enterprises are:
"Starship Class" plaque that was on the TOS Enterprise bridge for Seasons 1-3.
"Enterprise Class" training simulator bridge in TWOK for the TWOK Enterprise.
"Heavy Cruiser" type of TOS Enterprise line drawing seen on bridge in TSFS.
"Constitution Class" schematic Scotty was looking at in TUC for the TUC Enterprise-A.
"Constitution Class Enterprise, Captain James T Kirk commanding" from "The Naked Now" showed the movie version Enterprise line drawing. I understand that in the new FX version of TNG they replaced it with a TOS Enterprise drawing.
"Constitution Class" from "Relics" used to describe the bridge simulation. Dedication plaque unreadable.
"This was the first Enterprise. Constitution class." from "Trials and Tribbleations".
So at the time of TOS, she was a "Starship Class".
Then when rebuilt in TMP, she's her own "Enterprise Class".
And when replaced with a new/different ship, that ship came from the "Constitution Class". Her final disposition would be then "Constitution Class".
The characters in the future could then only refer to the last version which is the "Constitution Class" Enterprise-A under Captain James T. Kirk. To keep it simple they don't dive in and comment that for a while Kirk was an Admiral and the Enterprise was her own "Enterprise Class" and "Starship Class". It is possible that "Starship Class" and "Enterprise Class were sub-classes of the "Constitution Class". IMHO.
I think this is a pretty accurate breakdown of the facts as aired.
(I can't recall if Icheb mentioned the ship by class in "Q2" on Voyager, but I doubt it.)
To re-state, based on aired evidence:
- If we consider only TOS, the original is Starship Class.*
- If we consider TOS and the movies, she's Enterprise class, at least after she's refit... the A is then a Constitution (refit).
- If we consider TNG and DS9, she was Constitution class in her original form, too. "Starship class" means something else, or is an error and should be ignored.
*I still think Bob
's rationalization that "Starship Class" means "class of this starship's name" makes a degree of sense. Then, the only alteration would be that the Enterprise
was the only member of her class all along, with other ships being Constitution
class, including the Enterprise
-A. It also fits nicely with the real-world CVN-65 Enterprise
being a unique member of her own class which also happens to look (to a layman) a lot like another couple classes of aircraft carrier.
Then again, Scotty might've taken umbrage at Picard's "Constitution Class" remark if the original Enterprise
was distinguished as a member of her own class... or he might have just been amused at the Captain's misunderstanding. Of course, he was