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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek Movies > Star Trek Movies I-X

Star Trek Movies I-X Discuss the first ten big screen outings in this forum!

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Old September 2 2013, 09:11 PM   #1
austen_pierce
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TMP Refit - Why?

Aside from the obvious, that the refit looks better on the big screen, why would a ship nearly twenty years old get such an extensive makeover as opposed to being demolished and replaced with a fresh vessel?
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Old September 2 2013, 09:23 PM   #2
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Re: TMP Refit - Why?

austen_pierce wrote: View Post
Aside from the obvious, that the refit looks better on the big screen, why would a ship nearly twenty years old get such an extensive makeover as opposed to being demolished and replaced with a fresh vessel?
Even if we ignore retconned details about Enterprise's age, it's still not entirely clear why the ship got a refit instead being replaced outright. A few of the novels suggest that Starfleet had been wanting to try out several new designs on already existing ships because it would be less costly in terms of manpower and equipment. Others merely make the argument that the Enterprise is more or less a new ship even though bits and pieces of the old vessel's configuration were recycled into the new body. But it's never stated clearly on screen why the refit happened. We just know that it did.

Interestingly enough, Nick Meyer and Harve Bennett seemed to ignore the refit. Meyer went so far as to suggest that the Enterprise actually looked the same as she did during the television series but they were now able to show it (similar to Roddenberry's explanation about Klingon ridges) because of a bigger effects budget. This would explain why the ship was headed for mothballs before Kirk stole it from spacedock in TSFS. Roddenberry hated the idea and also threw a fit when Bennett told him they were blowing the ship up. But I digress...

Christopher has an interesting take on some of the political reasons behind the refit with certain Starfleet officers using it as an excuse to get their hands on the ship's engine components for reasons I won't elaborate on here. I'll let Mr. Bennett comment if he so chooses.

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Old September 2 2013, 09:29 PM   #3
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: TMP Refit - Why?

To sell copies of Mr Scott's Guide to the Enterprise
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Old September 2 2013, 10:56 PM   #4
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Re: TMP Refit - Why?

A fairly obvious reason would be to circumvent the treaty with the Klingons. It's rather inevitable that such a treaty would have clauses on how many ships of a given type the two sides could have, and so forth. Pretending that an essentially all-new ship is a "refit" would no doubt allow Starfleet to exploit a loophole of some sort! Or, refitting could be for real, as Starfleet just plain wouldn't be allowed to build another heavy cruiser from keel up and would just have to make the best of the ships it already had - until the right moment came to break the treaty and start the war. Starfleet would feel much happier about starting the war with refitted rather than unrefitted ships...

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Old September 2 2013, 11:09 PM   #5
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Re: TMP Refit - Why?

I've always thought Starfleet ships were somewhat modular. Swap out the sensor suite / warp core / deflector, plug in the new type and off you go. Thus really old space frames like The Excelsior remain viable and in service into the TNG era.

Add to this, every light year explored brings a huge volume of space into play - more and more ships are required all the time. Older models are perfect for run of the mill operations, freeing state of the art ships up for front line exploration.
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Old September 3 2013, 12:40 AM   #6
arch101
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Re: TMP Refit - Why?

As we celebrate the conclusion of WWII on this day in 1945, some interesting related reading would be about USS Missouri. She was 40 years old when she was extensively modernized and updated in the 1980's. Sometimes, a unique design is worth modernizing rather than building a whole new ship.
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Old September 3 2013, 12:44 AM   #7
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Re: TMP Refit - Why?

Don't count out how much pull Kirk (an Admiral) had in the decision. He could have pushed to refit over replace.
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Old September 3 2013, 02:28 AM   #8
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Re: TMP Refit - Why?

austen_pierce wrote: View Post
Aside from the obvious, that the refit looks better on the big screen, why would a ship nearly twenty years old get such an extensive makeover as opposed to being demolished and replaced with a fresh vessel?
Because it's normal for big ships to be refitted when they're sufficiently old or when their primary tasks are changed? Note the USS Intrepid (CV-11), after being decommissioned between the end of World War II and the start of the Korean War, was extensively refitted in 1962 to become an anti-submarine vehicle, and again in 1972 (I forget what it was reconfigured to), and that for a vessel which was (finally) decommissioned only two years later. That's pretty big refurbishments every decade for its operational life.
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Old September 3 2013, 01:36 PM   #9
Timo
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Re: TMP Refit - Why?

Because it's normal for big ships to be refitted when they're sufficiently old or when their primary tasks are changed?
But is it, when the E-nil is our only onscreen example of such an extensive refit?

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Old September 3 2013, 02:22 PM   #10
BoredShipCapt'n
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Re: TMP Refit - Why?

SeerSGB wrote: View Post
Don't count out how much pull Kirk (an Admiral) had in the decision. He could have pushed to refit over replace.
That's a good point. And not just any Admiral, but Chief of Starfleet Operations.
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Old September 3 2013, 03:16 PM   #11
C.E. Evans
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Re: TMP Refit - Why?

I've always liked Shane Johnson's idea that it started off as an engine upgrade that spiraled out of control and wound up being a total redesign. The Enterprise wound up being a testbed for new systems and components that were incorporated into other designs such as the Miranda- and Constellation-classes.
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Old September 3 2013, 07:03 PM   #12
Hober Mallow
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Re: TMP Refit - Why?

C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
I've always liked Shane Johnson's idea that it started off as an engine upgrade that spiraled out of control and wound up being a total redesign. The Enterprise wound up being a testbed for new systems and components that were incorporated into other designs such as the Miranda- and Constellation-classes.
Didn't Mr Scott's Guide claim the Ent-A had transwarp drive?
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Old September 3 2013, 07:51 PM   #13
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Re: TMP Refit - Why?

BoredShipCapt'n wrote: View Post
SeerSGB wrote: View Post
Don't count out how much pull Kirk (an Admiral) had in the decision. He could have pushed to refit over replace.
That's a good point. And not just any Admiral, but Chief of Starfleet Operations.
True.

I'm just glad they did the upgrade. The nacelles on the TV version of the Enterprise always looked super weak to me and the refit nacelles were a nice step up. I also loved the torpedo bay. The refit Enterprise is still my favorite ship design.
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Old September 3 2013, 07:55 PM   #14
Galileo7
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Re: TMP Refit - Why?

C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
I've always liked Shane Johnson's idea that it started off as an engine upgrade that spiraled out of control and wound up being a total redesign. The Enterprise wound up being a testbed for new systems and components that were incorporated into other designs such as the Miranda- and Constellation-classes.
Agree.
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Old September 3 2013, 09:03 PM   #15
C.E. Evans
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Re: TMP Refit - Why?

Hober Mallow wrote: View Post
C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
I've always liked Shane Johnson's idea that it started off as an engine upgrade that spiraled out of control and wound up being a total redesign. The Enterprise wound up being a testbed for new systems and components that were incorporated into other designs such as the Miranda- and Constellation-classes.
Didn't Mr Scott's Guide claim the Ent-A had transwarp drive?
Like a great deal of the book, it was purely his conjecture based on some of the other reference materials at hand at the time (pre-TNG). He proposed that the Enterprise-A was a brand-new--but renamed--Enterprise-class ship with a different model of transwarp engines built to be incorporated into an existing design (unlike the Excelsior).
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