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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 May 13 2014, 04:45 AM   #1
dswynne1
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Should "Star Trek IV" have introduced a different NCC-1701-A?

Sorry, if this isn't the right place to have this thread...

I remember back in 1986, hoping that by the end of "The Voyage Home", there would be a newly-designed Enterprise. In fact, I was hoping that it would have been an Excelsior-class ship, which would have been a clean break from the not just TMP, but also from STII thru IV. Then the big reveal came, and the new Enterprise had the exact same design as the previous Enterprise. Later, I read an issue of Starlog which featured a possible design for the NCC-1701-A. It was more or less the same, but had the Excelsior-class nacelles, indicating a faster, newer ship. But, alas, it wasn't meant to be, and then we get the silly "ship malfunctions" nonsense in TFF.

I just want to know if I was the only one disappointed by the look of the NCC-1701-A. Not because it was terrible, but that the studio simply recycled the same prop in order to save money.

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Old May 13 2014, 05:03 AM   #2
ZapBrannigan
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Re: Should "Star Trek IV" have introduced a different NCC-1701-A?

If I'm not mistaken, the Excelsior miniature was a much cheaper piece of craftsmanship, kind of a quickie, and would not have looked very good in a starring role, whereas the 8-foot TMP Enterprise was a high-end beauty model. So they saved a ton of money and got the better-looking ship by re-using the 1701 job.

What I regret about it is, they thought this "-A" thing, a shortcut by the art department, was a precedent to be carried on forever. I wish that when TNG came about, they had given the Galaxy class Enterprise its own original hull number instead of a D.

The Enterprise B and C should have had their own original names altogether, for my money. The stories would have been just as good, and less wrapped up in an unrealistic reverence for Kirk's ship and its number.
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Old May 13 2014, 05:04 AM   #3
trevanian
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Re: Should "Star Trek IV" have introduced a different NCC-1701-A?

Seeing the refit was easily my happiest moment in the whole movie. Wasn't disappointed in the 'repeat starship' approach in the slightest, since none of the other movie-era ships looks as good (though RELIANT is nice from some angles.)

Even back then I knew that the expense of a new model was prohibitive, especially with no guarantee it would be amortized over more than one other film.

That links to one of the biggest oddities in all of trek finance for me, that Par paid for a really elaborate E-e model in FC, only to dispense with the miniature completely (except for scanning purposes) on the next film. They could have at least hung it up over the area where they greeted the little people at the start of INSURRECTION, just to give it a bit more screen time.
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Old May 13 2014, 05:06 AM   #4
trevanian
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Re: Should "Star Trek IV" have introduced a different NCC-1701-A?

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
The Enterprise B and C should have had their own original names altogether, for my money. The stories would have been just as good.
No, the curse of being the Enterprise-B has real dramatic potential, like it has to earn its name back after losing Kirk. Been kicking that story around in my head since opening night on GENERATIONS ...
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Old May 13 2014, 05:17 AM   #5
Hartzilla2007
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Re: Should "Star Trek IV" have introduced a different NCC-1701-A?

trevanian wrote: View Post
ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
The Enterprise B and C should have had their own original names altogether, for my money. The stories would have been just as good.
No, the curse of being the Enterprise-B has real dramatic potential, like it has to earn its name back after losing Kirk. Been kicking that story around in my head since opening night on GENERATIONS ...
Plus what is the point of Kirk being at the launch of a ship that isn't the Enterprise. Why would he give a crap about some other ship.

Also I find it laughable that Yesterday's Enterprise should be about some random ship not named Enterprise, when the plot calls for the Enterprise-D's immediate predecessor.
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Old May 13 2014, 05:18 AM   #6
C.E. Evans
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Re: Should "Star Trek IV" have introduced a different NCC-1701-A?

No, it was very appropriate that the Enterprise-A was another Constitution-class ship. It was more symbolic both "in-universe" and from a dramatic standpoint for Kirk and his gang to get another ship like the original Enterprise, IMO.
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Old May 13 2014, 03:05 PM   #7
Lance
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Re: Should "Star Trek IV" have introduced a different NCC-1701-A?

I think the problem, if there even *is* a problem, is simply one of credibility for me: TWOK and TSFS are emphatic about Enterprise being in her twilight years. TSFS especially basically hangs a plot thread on "She's an old ship Jim, we don't need her anymore". So seeing a new Connie being wheeled out at the end of TVH, although a punch-the-air moment on an emotional level, ultimately contradicts Starfleet's previous stance on them not being fit for service any longer. You don't have an obselete car, but still continue to roll them off the production line just because a minority of people have an emotional affection for that particular make and model.

The lampshade we might hang on it (let's call it POPULAR FAN THEORY #1) is that Starfleet got egg on their face after Excelsior shat itself inside their own Earth orbiting spacedock, and that they had to hastily backtrack on their grand plans to mothball the existing fleet and replace them all with Excelsior clones (until they got the kinks in the design ironed out). But frankly, this excuse itself ignores the fact that Scotty sabotaged Excelsior. There really is no big design flaw, and if they hadn't given Scotty carte blanche access to Excelsior's engines then she might've made mince-meat of the Enterprise.

All of this is basically why we have POPULAR FAN THEORY #2: That Enterprise in TVH is not a new ship, that she's a rebadged Constitution that has been "gifted" to Kirk for saving Earth and the Federation. But if we're to accept that, it's still something of a dodge. Why refit an outmoded ship with state-of-the-art tech? If it's that easy to do, why retire the Connies at all? What, exactly, is it about the Constitution Class which Starfleet sees as being so God-damn inferior to the Excelsiors?

Hmm. (un)POPULAR FAN THEORY #3: Connies didn't leave service, they were just turned in pleasure cruisers like Queen Mary II. The 1701-A wasn't mothballed and broken down, but instead became an intergalactic Love Boat.
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Old May 13 2014, 03:22 PM   #8
Mr. Laser Beam
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Re: Should "Star Trek IV" have introduced a different NCC-1701-A?

^ The problem isn't the age of the class; it's the age of the specific ship in that class.

The problem with the original Enterprise is just that the ship was old. A new Constitution-class ship, such as the Enterprise-A, would be just that - brand new.

The Constitution class was still viable. Brand new ships of that class would be useable for decades. But the original ship already had been in service for that long.
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Old May 13 2014, 03:27 PM   #9
Khan 2.0
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Re: Should "Star Trek IV" have introduced a different NCC-1701-A?

what if Starfleet had given them an old TOS era Constitution class (from a museum), upgrading the interior (they do stuff like fast) so it looked all retro futuristic.

or maybe something like the JJprise (combo of TOS and Movie Ent)

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Old May 13 2014, 05:54 PM   #10
Nebusj
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Re: Should "Star Trek IV" have introduced a different NCC-1701-A?

In hindsight, it probably would have been better for the franchise if 1701-A had been a different class starship. (For that matter, also if Spock had stayed dead.)

If the Trek movies existed on their own (or as the end of the franchise), having life kicked out of order (the backstory to Wrath of Khan) and then put back as it should be works nicely. But it did encourage a nasty attitude of The Status Quo Must Be Upheld which gave us dopey things like Riker spending fifteen years as Picard's first officer. Establishing that crews do turn over, go their separate ways, and come back for Very Special Events would have probably given more flexibility in plotting to Berman-Era Trek.
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Old May 13 2014, 06:45 PM   #11
Ronald Held
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Re: Should "Star Trek IV" have introduced a different NCC-1701-A?

I thought that seeing the E-A was a highlight of that movie.
Perhaps giving Kirk a Connie was a backhanded insult?
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Old May 13 2014, 06:56 PM   #12
E-DUB
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Re: Should "Star Trek IV" have introduced a different NCC-1701-A?

I think so. Maybe the Excelsior, rechristened Enterprise-A, or perhaps a new class entirely, something like the "Churchill". (Even though that hadn't been designed yet.)
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Old May 13 2014, 09:12 PM   #13
C.E. Evans
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Re: Should "Star Trek IV" have introduced a different NCC-1701-A?

Ronald Held wrote: View Post
I thought that seeing the E-A was a highlight of that movie.
Pretty much. Back when I saw it in '86, there was actually some applause in the theatre.
Perhaps giving Kirk a Connie was a backhanded insult?
I kind of doubt it. The original Enterprise may have been old and scheduled for decommissioning, but for all intents and purposes, the Constitution-class was still a first-rate design even with the introduction of the Excelsior-class. The Enterprise-A may have got off to a rough start, but her teething problems seemed to be fixed en route to Nimbus III with the exception of the transporter (which could have been fixed with more time, IMO).

But there might be a case that Starfleet didn't want Kirk and his gang anywhere near the Excelsior.

"We gave you another ship like your old one, but you're not getting your hands on our Great Experiment."
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Old May 14 2014, 03:47 AM   #14
Avro Arrow
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Re: Should "Star Trek IV" have introduced a different NCC-1701-A?

dswynne1 wrote: View Post
I just want to know if I was the only one disappointed by the look of the NCC-1701-A.
Since the refit is my favourite Trek ship ever, no, I wasn't disappointed at all!

Lance wrote: View Post
I think the problem, if there even *is* a problem, is simply one of credibility for me: TWOK and TSFS are emphatic about Enterprise being in her twilight years. TSFS especially basically hangs a plot thread on "She's an old ship Jim, we don't need her anymore". So seeing a new Connie being wheeled out at the end of TVH, although a punch-the-air moment on an emotional level, ultimately contradicts Starfleet's previous stance on them not being fit for service any longer. You don't have an obselete car, but still continue to roll them off the production line just because a minority of people have an emotional affection for that particular make and model.
I have to agree with Mr. Laser Beam on this. To liken it to your car analogy, if someone had, say, a 1982 Toyota Camry, it might be too old to maintain cost-effectively. But since the Camry is still being made, you can go get a perfectly good 2014 model... which doesn't change the fact that the 1982 one might not be fit for use.
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Old May 14 2014, 04:17 AM   #15
Shaka Zulu
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Re: Should "Star Trek IV" have introduced a different NCC-1701-A?

E-DUB wrote: View Post
I think so. Maybe the Excelsior, rechristened Enterprise-A, or perhaps a new class entirely, something like the "Churchill". (Even though that hadn't been designed yet.)
I too, believe that Kirk should have been given an-Excelsior class ship instead of a Constitution class ship (but then again, I think that there should have been a better script for the fifth movie.)
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