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Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

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Old October 21 2013, 01:27 AM   #1
Mr. Laser Beam
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Why the gap between Enterprises C and D?

I have probably asked this before, but forgotten. If this is so, please forgive. Anyhoo:

Is there any mentioning, in any Trek novel, as to why Starfleet waited so long after the destruction of the Enterprise-C before the Enterprise-D was built and launched? IIRC, almost 20 years went by. Does any novel give an explanation as for why a replacement vessel was held up for that long?

I mean, the 'real' reasons could be anything - either Starfleet did it deliberately as a memorial to the Ent-C's crew, or they were already working on the Galaxy class and wanted to save the next Enterprise for one of them. Or both. I'm just curious as to whether any novel gave any kind of explanation at all.
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Old October 21 2013, 01:32 AM   #2
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Re: Why the gap between Enterprises C and D?

^I've always thought the decision was based on the Federation's desire to honor the sacrifice of the vessel's crew. The Enterprise-C was lost with all hands (save a few survivors). Starfleet probably thought building a new ship so soon after the loss of the old wasn't appropriate. It's sort of analogous to leaving a board member's seat open for a time after his or her death as a way of remembering the deceased (no one can replace him, in affect).

And with the Galaxy-class designs likely in the works as far back as the late 2340s and early 2350s, it's possible Starfleet thought it would be better to wait until the new design was ready before making the Enterprise an active ship again.

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Old October 21 2013, 02:06 AM   #3
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Re: Why the gap between Enterprises C and D?

Well if the TNGTM's to be believed, the Galaxy class project had started by the 2340s. Once the E-C was lost, I'd guess the result was that Starfleet Command decided they'd reserve the name for the biggest and greatest (most ambitious?) ship in Starfleet history.
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Old October 21 2013, 02:19 AM   #4
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Re: Why the gap between Enterprises C and D?

In real life, there have often been decades between consecutive naval vessels named Enterprise. In the US Navy, there was no USS Enterprise between 1777 (actually the Continental Navy) and 1799, between 1844 and 1877, between 1909 and 1917, between 1919 and 1938, or between 1947 and 1961. The latest Enterprise was decommissioned last year and its replacement isn't due to be commissioned until 2025.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Enterprise

So it's not unusual for there to be gaps of c. 15-30 years between consecutive ships of the same name. Therefore, I don't see it as something that needs a special explanation. If anything, going immediately from one Enterprise to the next, as was done with the A, B, and E, is the anomaly. The gaps between the B and C (maybe up to a decade) and the C and D (about 20 years) are more normal.
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Old October 21 2013, 03:19 AM   #5
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Re: Why the gap between Enterprises C and D?

Well there's also the gap from 2161 - 2245 of 84 years between ships named Enterprise, I guess.
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Old October 21 2013, 03:57 AM   #6
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Re: Why the gap between Enterprises C and D?

^ True dat. But at that point, the Federation was brand new, so they get a pass.
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Old October 21 2013, 04:02 AM   #7
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Re: Why the gap between Enterprises C and D?

They explaine that in enterprise archer did'nt want another enterprise while he was alive. So they went with the endevor.
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Old October 21 2013, 04:10 AM   #8
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Re: Why the gap between Enterprises C and D?

^ When did they say that?
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Old October 21 2013, 03:57 PM   #9
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Re: Why the gap between Enterprises C and D?

George Steinbrenner wrote: View Post
^ When did they say that?
In Rise of the Federation: A Choice of Futures.
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Old October 21 2013, 04:08 PM   #10
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Re: Why the gap between Enterprises C and D?

Actually I said it was a mix of factors. Partly it was that there were a lot of politicians jockeying for ship-naming privileges, so their preferences might crowd out names like Enterprise (there's some precedent for this in reality, according to my research). Partly it was because NX-01 was a controversial ship to the Klingons and others, and the Federation didn't want to anger them any more than they already had by making Archer an admiral. Sure, I did say that Archer preferred not having another Enterprise in his lifetime, not wanting his own ship to risk being overshadowed; but it's not like he had the power to make that decision all by himself.
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Old October 21 2013, 07:13 PM   #11
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Re: Why the gap between Enterprises C and D?

I liked that little piece in the In a Mirror, Darkly backstage info about Archer dying the day after he went to commission NCC-1701...

On the ship-naming privileges, I've often wondered whether a number of the "generic" sounding names like Defiant or Reliant or what not weren't just english names, but also reflected equivalent names from various other fleets. I understand the inclination of people not wanting to name ships in gibberish, but it's always kinda bothered me that so many of the names for Starfleet ships are explicitly either English, American, or some western navy. Like why would Starfleet ever name a ship "Cortes" or for that matter "Tirpitz"? I mean Hernan Cortes is probably the very antithesis of Starfleet ideals, and Alfred von Tirpitz isn't exactly a shining figure in history, either. (Magellan, too for that matter, even if he was an important age of sail figure)

Oh, P.S. Christopher, I sent you a PM a couple days ago, did you get it? Or do you take a "no PMs" policy?
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Old October 22 2013, 05:04 AM   #12
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Re: Why the gap between Enterprises C and D?

Nob Akimoto wrote: View Post
I liked that little piece in the In a Mirror, Darkly backstage info about Archer dying the day after he went to commission NCC-1701...

On the ship-naming privileges, I've often wondered whether a number of the "generic" sounding names like Defiant or Reliant or what not weren't just english names, but also reflected equivalent names from various other fleets. I understand the inclination of people not wanting to name ships in gibberish, but it's always kinda bothered me that so many of the names for Starfleet ships are explicitly either English, American, or some western navy.
One of the things I liked about Rise of the Federation: A Choice of Futures is that we see ships of the early Federation Starfleet that originated from non-Human fleets, like the U.S.S. Thejal and the U.S.S. Vinakthen. And we also find that there are other Federation languages with terms often used as ship names with roughly the same meaning as "Enterprise:" Vol'Rala (Andorian) and Hrumog (Tellarite).

I hope these kinds of non-Human names are followed up on in future TrekLit. I like to imagine that the Federation Starfleet is so big that there's a whole lineage of ships out there named U.S.S. Hrumog, from NCC-1703 to NCC-1703-D, with just as many legendary adventures as the lineage of the Enterprise. We just haven't heard about them because it's such a big quadrant.

Like why would Starfleet ever name a ship "Cortes" or for that matter "Tirpitz"? I mean Hernan Cortes is probably the very antithesis of Starfleet ideals, and Alfred von Tirpitz isn't exactly a shining figure in history, either.
Umm. Umm.... Don't be silly, that wasn't named after Hernán Cortés! That ship was named after Paulo Cortés, early Federation Councillor from Mars!

I never got why DS9 introduced the Cortés, either. I didn't know who von Tirpitz was until I looked him up in response to this post, but now I'm curious why David Mack introduced a ship named after him in Destiny. Memory Beta says the ship name was first used in a video game; perhaps David was just looking up ship names on Memory Beta and used it without knowing its origins?
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Old October 22 2013, 07:56 PM   #13
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Re: Why the gap between Enterprises C and D?

Nob Akimoto wrote: View Post
Well there's also the gap from 2161 - 2245 of 84 years between ships named Enterprise, I guess.
Whose to say that there wasn't another Enterprise between the NX-01 and the NCC-1701?
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Old October 22 2013, 08:38 PM   #14
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Re: Why the gap between Enterprises C and D?

Admiral Rex wrote: View Post
Whose to say that there wasn't another Enterprise between the NX-01 and the NCC-1701?
There have been plenty of references making it clear that there was no Federation starship named Enterprise prior to 1701. The dedication plaques on several of the Enterprises have said "Nth starship to bear the name" with a count consistent with 1701 being the first (e.g. the E is called the sixth to bear the name). Kirk's ship has been explicitly referred to in dialogue as the first Enterprise, in "Trials and Tribble-ations" and possibly elsewhere. Of course, the existence of NX-01 is a retcon, but this can be handwaved by assuming that the earlier references were to Federation starships of that name, since NX-01 was a United Earth ship. But that rules out the possibility of UFP Enterprises between NX-01 and NCC-1701.
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Old October 23 2013, 04:29 AM   #15
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Re: Why the gap between Enterprises C and D?

Christopher wrote: View Post
If anything, going immediately from one Enterprise to the next, as was done with the A, B, and E, is the anomaly. The gaps between the B and C (maybe up to a decade) and the C and D (about 20 years) are more normal.
This -- and in the cases of the A, B, and E, it was real-life production-reasons dictating the super-short gap between Enterprises (a mere two years between feature films), but since the Ent-B and Ent-C were "non-hero" starships at the time (i.e., not crewed by "leading" cast-members; and existing mainly to advance backstory, and little else), there could be lots of storyline-spacing between the B, C, and D.


Admiral Rex wrote: View Post
Nob Akimoto wrote: View Post
Well there's also the gap from 2161 - 2245 of 84 years between ships named Enterprise, I guess.
Whose to say that there wasn't another Enterprise between the NX-01 and the NCC-1701?
There was in the Abramsverse split-timeline -- Robert April's predecessor to the new movie-Enterprise in the comics (commanded by him in 2229, and XO'd by Alexander Marcus), which fell between the NX-01 and the NCC-1701.
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