Should "Star Trek IV" have introduced a different NCC-1701-A?

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by dswynne1, May 13, 2014.

  1. dswynne1

    dswynne1 Commander Red Shirt

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    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.

    DSW
     
  2. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    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.
     
  3. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  4. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    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 ...
     
  5. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  6. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  7. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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? :confused:

    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. :p
     
  8. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ 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.
     
  9. Khan 2.0

    Khan 2.0 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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)
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2014
  10. Nebusj

    Nebusj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  11. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I thought that seeing the E-A was a highlight of that movie.
    Perhaps giving Kirk a Connie was a backhanded insult?
     
  12. E-DUB

    E-DUB Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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.)
     
  13. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    Pretty much. Back when I saw it in '86, there was actually some applause in the theatre.
    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."
     
  14. Santa Claws

    Santa Claws Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Since the refit is my favourite Trek ship ever, no, I wasn't disappointed at all! :)

    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.
     
  15. Shaka Zulu

    Shaka Zulu Commodore Commodore

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    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.)
     
  16. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Someone more knowledgeable can correct me if I'm wrong, but the reuse of the Constitution class model had nothing to do with being cheap about money.

    ILM always hated filming the Constitution model. It was large and unwieldy, and very hard to get good camera angles for it. That's why the Excelsior was originally built: Because the design was more film-friendly for the handlers and cameramen.

    It was also originally intended for Kirk and his crew to get the Excelsior at the end of STIV for exactly this reason: For any future TOS films, the model would be easier to manipulate for ILM.

    However, fan disgruntlement about this idea at the time made the producers change their minds at the last minute and not use the Excelsior for Kirk's new ship. Unfortunately there wasn't time to built an all new model, and even if they had it would have been cost-prohibitive, as they would have spent a ton of money on a brand-new model that would have only been seen at the end of the movie for just a few seconds before being put in a crate for three years. So they were literally forced to use the original model, much to the dismay of ILM, who would again need to film a model they hated for any future Trek movies.

    So NOT having a new model built was actually the best move financially, but not the best move logistically.

    As for my opinion on the subject, I think that stylistically, reusing the Constitution model was the best thing to do, because that's what the viewing audience would relate to, not some new ship seen for five seconds that they'd have no attachment to (which is also why I've always hated that they callously destroyed the Enterprise-D just to replace it with the soulless Enterprise-E). But I also feel that for that to really have worked the way it should have, that no more TOS movies should have been made after Voyage Home. Then that would have been the last time we saw the ship right before the start of TNG, so the focus could be 100% on the new Enterprise-D while the ultimate fate of the Ent-A and her crew would remain a blissful mystery.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2014
  17. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I am glad that I'm not the only person who feels this way. :) I've seen loads of people saying how much 'cooler' and 'kick-ass' they all thought the 1701-E was... but my God, I've always hated it. :vulcan: As a viewer I feel absolutely no emotional connection to that ship, not like I do to good ol' 1701-D. :bolian:
     
  18. RyanKCR

    RyanKCR Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I was glad to see the refit Connie at the end of IV. I also loved seeing the E after the D. The D never looked or felt right to me. The E brought back the balance that the D was so desperately missing.

    For me the Enterprise will always be the original refit from TMP. All others just don't have it. I do like the second pilot version of the TOS Enterprise. That and the Refit are my favorite versions of the Enterprise.
     
  19. NewHorizon

    NewHorizon Captain Captain

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    Personally, I was a bit torn at the end of Trek 4. I had just spent something like 2 years reading the Trek comics, exploring the universe with Kirk and the crew of the Excelsior. I grew to love Excelsior. When the 'A' appeared from behind Excelsior it didn't feel as satisfying. It felt safe and comfortable.

    What I had thought they might have done is renamed Excelsior to Enterprise. I think Kirk delivering the line, "My friends, we've come home", upon seeing a rechristened Excelsior would have carried a lot more weight for me. For me it wasn't so much what the ship looked like as much as it was that as long as these people were together, they were home.
     
  20. Coloratura

    Coloratura Snuggle Princess Premium Member

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    I was fine with it. I love the Constitution refit design, and I figured they just took the Yorktown, maybe being refitted itself, or something, and slapped the Enterprise badges on it.