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Old July 17 2010, 06:57 PM   #1
N1N
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Starship design retcon

Have there been any design retcons to match the stats i.e. mis-matching number of phaser arrays. Or is it normally just the stats that get retcon to match the ship design?
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Old July 17 2010, 08:58 PM   #2
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Re: Starship design retcon

Ventral phaser array and torpedo tubes on the Ambassador class (they flaked on adding them to the Enterprise-C model). The alteration of the Enterprise-E for Nemesis (which in some ways makes more sense as a retcon, in some other ways it makes more sense as a refit). Both are controversial, and may or may not fit into what you're talking about depending on who you talk to.
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Old July 21 2010, 10:46 AM   #3
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Re: Starship design retcon

The Enterprise-E (and possibly the entire collection of Sovereign classes by extension) received a few more phaser banks prior to Nemesis events and went from the total amount of 12 to 16.
It made sense because it had blind spots on the back of the pylons anyway.
It also received more torpedo tubes ... which was a bit unnecessary really because in the movie (which is a bad example to begin with), they exhausted their torpedo supply rather quick.

The USS Venture was the only Galaxy class ship (in the regular time-line) seen to receive extra 2 phaser banks (one on top of each nacelle) which brought it's total amount of banks up to 13 (with one phaser bank and torpedo tube secluded within the saucer sections inner part of the neck - where the docking clamps are).

Ideally, other Galaxy class ships would receive the extra phaser banks upgrades, but prior and for the duration of the Dominion war, most galaxy class ships did not have them per on-screen visual evidence (although SF had ample amount of time to implement them).

I think there are 2 version of the Ambassador class ... one with more exposed Bussard collectors, and the more up-to date version that has extensions on the top and bottom of the collectors like the Galaxy class (and possibly the inclusion of a ventral phaser array).
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Old July 21 2010, 11:27 AM   #4
Timo
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Re: Starship design retcon

I'm not aware of any instance of a real-world Star Trek starship designer caring one iota about fictional "stats" dreamed up by fans. There are cases where such "serious" designers have created their own set of stats for merchandise or just plain fun, but those would by default be compatible with the observed Trek designs, not needing any retconning.

The cases mentioned above where the specifics of a Starfleet vessel have changed have been relatively blatant, and could always be interpreted as the particular ship or ship class receiving an upgrade, a downgrade or some other corrective modification.

There are more subtle cases, though: the TOS starship changing configuration between various shots is one case that cannot be explained as an in-universe modification. It might be rationalized as the starship possessing variable-geometry elements, though...

Another category of subtle cases is when ships originally portrayed by physical models suddenly start being portrayed by CGI models that differ in detail or in major features. The Dominion medium warship underwent such changes - but since we never followed the adventures of any single such warship, we can always argue that the different ship styles we saw represented different, parallel subclasses, not modifications and remodifications of specific vessels.

Ideally, other Galaxy class ships would receive the extra phaser banks upgrades, but prior and for the duration of the Dominion war, most galaxy class ships did not have them per on-screen visual evidence (although SF had ample amount of time to implement them).
Those phasers may have turned out to have been a misstep and a disappointment, because we later ("Tears of the Prophets") saw a Galaxy class starship named Venture that no longer had the extra phasers.

I think there are 2 version of the Ambassador class ... one with more exposed Bussard collectors, and the more up-to date version that has extensions on the top and bottom of the collectors like the Galaxy class (and possibly the inclusion of a ventral phaser array).
The two versions also have their engines and hulls attached in a subtly different manner. Such a change would represent a rather massive refit, but fortunately we don't really see any single individual Ambassador class ship exhibit both configurations. So apparently there were two models built by Starfleet, the latter one installing the hulls and engines in a more optimal manner (in addition to altering the ramscoops, lifeboats, stern shapes etc. and possibly adding the ventral strip).

This pales in comparison with the refit done on the E-E, though. Forget about the added weapons or reshaped pylons or whatnot: any decent dockyard could swap the respective components and effect the changes. But the secondary hull curves were also subtly altered - and this would mean in in-universe terms that the entire hull was torn down and then rebuilt! That's massive - way more laborious than, say, installing a third nacelle or a triangular primary hull.

I doubt this was done on every Sovereign, then. Perhaps the E-E suffered catastrophic damage to her secondary hull and had to be completely rebuilt between ST:INS and ST:NEM?

Timo Saloniemi
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Old July 24 2010, 03:05 PM   #5
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: Starship design retcon

N1N wrote: View Post
Have there been any design retcons to match the stats i.e. mis-matching number of phaser arrays. Or is it normally just the stats that get retcon to match the ship design?
The technical manuals and whatnot with the stats are non-canon and have no bearing on the TV show or films beyond being a rough reference for writers which they're free to ignore if they so choose.

The stats for starships tend not to hold up very well anyway: The DS9 tech manual supposedly got the sizes of all the ships wrong because they calculated them from an incorrectly scaled chart. The Oberth class was clearly designed larger than the 120-ish meters it's listed at in some manuals. The Klingon bird of prey is never the same size twice. The DS9 Defiant had landing gear in the diagrams that the writers never even knew about.

Take Star Trek's technical side with a pinch of salt or go mad
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Old July 24 2010, 05:42 PM   #6
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: Starship design retcon

Uh, what?
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Old July 24 2010, 06:10 PM   #7
Captain Robert April
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Re: Starship design retcon

I think that was a "no."
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Old July 25 2010, 03:41 AM   #8
Unicron
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Re: Starship design retcon

KingDaniel wrote: View Post

The stats for starships tend not to hold up very well anyway: The DS9 tech manual supposedly got the sizes of all the ships wrong because they calculated them from an incorrectly scaled chart. The Oberth class was clearly designed larger than the 120-ish meters it's listed at in some manuals. The Klingon bird of prey is never the same size twice. The DS9 Defiant had landing gear in the diagrams that the writers never even knew about.

Take Star Trek's technical side with a pinch of salt or go mad
I will admit sometimes that such things bug me, in the sense that one gets the impression that the creative staff will toss anything on the screen and not worry about whether it's consistent, even though that's naturally not the case most of the time. They put a lot of work into it. The separate classes for the BOP were only invented because of the glaring scale issues between the model and the Galaxy class design. I've always preferred FASA's variations myself, the largest of which still isn't much bigger than the movie-era Enterprise.

* shrugs * I guess at worst, I'd rather have a consistently used set of figures which might not seem the best than a ship whose dimensions and capabilities seem to jump all over the place. Transformers has a lot of facts that would be difficult to consolidate into a single continuity, and much of that is due simply to communications issues between the different areas of production. They actually work better as separate, self-contained universes with largely the same cast.
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