Starship Size Argument™ thread

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies: Kelvin Universe' started by WarpFactorZ, May 1, 2013.

  1. The Mighty Monkey of Mim

    The Mighty Monkey of Mim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2001
    Maybe it shouldn't be taken for granted? I am vaguely reminded of people complaining about ships whose nacelles looked "too advanced" in ENT, forgetting that these things aren't products of some consistent internal process of technological development, but merely of particular designers' and directors' aesthetic predilections. Such expectations are externally imposed by us on the fiction; some impossibly expect it to match up with their own projected view of what things "should" have looked like prior to TOS and decry it for not doing so, while others more readily and sensibly recast their views to match what actually gets shown. That's no different now than it's ever been.

    The only one of these that is actually supported at all by the films themselves is the first.
     
  2. JHarper

    JHarper Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2014
    Location:
    Florida
    Sure.

    Don't see why not.


    Again don't see why not.

    We see all of one type of Starfleet ship in TOS really. Other Trek eras depict Starfleet ships of multiple sizes being contemporary, with some being more capable or advanced in some areas than the really big ones.
     
    saddestmoon likes this.
  3. Captain_Amasov

    Captain_Amasov Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2008
    A big problem is that from 2161 to 2254 we don't actually know much about what Starfleet was like, outside of the Daedalus-class, after that though it is entirely possible that they built larger vessels during this rather large period of time.

    It also doesn't mean that they only built large vessels either, Starfleet has been seen to operate ships of vastly different sizes, usually based on what their overall designated role is. Even in the 2009 film we see ships that appear to be very small in scale, you can see a couple of them docked to the station here.

    Edit: Clearer reference to smaller ships here.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2016
    SpaceLama and saddestmoon like this.
  4. SpaceLama

    SpaceLama Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2009
    It's not impossible, but does make one wonder why they wouldn't want to send more people and equipment on the famous "five year missions". The ships are huge; larger than the Enterprise D. And we don't really see anything on that scale until TNG in the original timeline; the Romulans and Klingons also build to the same scale, where huge starships would be able to bear more of a beating. So although it could be the case that Starfleet did have huge archaic vessels, it also suggests the original ILM scale might be more realistic.
     
    USS Einstein likes this.
  5. SpaceLama

    SpaceLama Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2009
    P.S. It also raises the question of why the Enterprise NCC-1701 is considered a "heavy cruiser" or "battlecruiser", since a 300m ship would be a mere scout or destroyer in comparison to the older ships, in terms of tonnage.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Like a vessel at sea, in Newtonian physics, a larger starship would be harder to move with the same amount of thrust, making them something like a "dreadnaught" by comparison. We see several classes of these super heavy battleships, and no destroyers, departing Earth for Vulcan. So, the visual evidence supports a larger Enterprise, but logistical sense, which is what folks like Bernd Schneider consider, does indeed make things look less likely.

    [​IMG]

    I think the majority of people who dislike the size would agree with this; they see it as a mistake, but don't ignore visual evidence or anything. @USS Einstein for example argued that although he knows there is visual evidence of a large Enterprise "maybe we should ignore it, because Trekkies have ignored on-screen evidence in the past", or something to that effect. I would tend to agree. It wouldn't bother me either way greatly, but a 300m Enterprise just seems neat to me.

    Thats why I would personally "like" this chart to be official scale:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2016
    USS Einstein likes this.
  6. Mytran

    Mytran Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Location:
    North Wales
    Bigger does not necessarily mean more advanced. Perhaps the Kelvin Timeline Starfleet could only achieve better and faster ships by scaling up the existing tech to greater and greater proportions? Such monstrously sized machines required disproportionately sized crews to run & maintain them, and those crews needed to be berthed. Hence; larger ships overall.
    Prime Timeline Starfleet took their tech in a different direction, leading to leaner ships requiring smaller crews.

    As for the Kelvin; assuming it existed in both timelines, I see no reason why it couldn't be a colony transport vessel. It's the only ship we see prior to the Narada Incursion, so conclusions about the rest of Starfleet at the time are sketchy at best
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2016
  7. SpaceLama

    SpaceLama Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2009
    If the ships seen in orbit of Earth are indeed contemporary to the Kelvin, as they seem...

    How do you explain the tonnage argument?

    I.E. the original TOS Enterprise being considered a "heavy cruiser", when it is like a scout/frigate/destroyer by comparison?

    Is every ship that goes to Vulcan a super-heavy battlecruiser or dreadnaught?

    4 classes of them? The Newton type, Mayflower type, etc.
     
    USS Einstein likes this.
  8. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    Location:
    England
    Perhaps the original was a Heavy Cruiser by the definition of Prime-2260's, which had changed quite a bit since the 2230's?
    But that said, is that classification of the original Enterprise even canon? As far as I know, it's from the original Star Fleet Technical Manual.
     
    Gonzo and saddestmoon like this.
  9. The Mighty Monkey of Mim

    The Mighty Monkey of Mim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2001
    A diagram from that book bearing this classification was seen onscreen in STIII, but that's it, I think. There was also one in TOS that called it a "space cruiser."
     
  10. SpaceLama

    SpaceLama Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2009
    I think the Klingons referred to her as a battlecruiser or heavy cruiser (almost interchangeable terms) in one of the movies, if I remember right.
     
  11. The Mighty Monkey of Mim

    The Mighty Monkey of Mim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2001
    Yes, the Klingons call it a "battle cruiser" in the same film, The Search For Spock.

    In any case, I'm not sure we should assume that such designations remain correlated to size/tonnage in context of starships as they (sometimes) have been in naval history. And really, we're dealing with a different continuity in the Abrams films anyway, apart from the Kelvin herself. And most of the ships of comparable size to the Enterprise there have registry numbers higher than hers, and still much higher than the Kelvin's in the case of the Mayflower, so I don't think we should assume they predate her at all, let alone are contemporaries of the Kelvin. (Not that we should necessarily take registry number sequences as direct indications of construction timelines, either.)
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2016
    USS Einstein and SpaceLama like this.
  12. SpaceLama

    SpaceLama Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2009
    Simon Pegg just said something, which, if taken as canon, would end this once and for all.

    To paraphrase:

    "The Kelvin timeline was separate from before the incursions of Nero and Spock. It was in the sense of quantum physics, already a separate quantum possibility. Spock merely arrived via time travel in a different quantum variation of his own timeline. Thus, things may have been different before."

    Translated into drama terms:

    "It's a complete reboot."

    Thus, the sizes were always different, and essentially Star Trek: Enterprise happened differently too. This basically solves everything if true, because in the Kelvin-verse, ships were perhaps never small.
     
    Longinus and Gonzo like this.
  13. The Mighty Monkey of Mim

    The Mighty Monkey of Mim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2001
    Interesting. I know some others around here argued much the same when the first Abrams film came out. Not canon (yet) I would say, but an intriguing possibility.
     
  14. Mytran

    Mytran Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Location:
    North Wales
    Interesting that Pegg said that - certainly a lot of the continuity problems are resolved if the Kelvin Timeline was a pre-existing parallel universe to begin with, rather than a divergent timeline as often assumed.
     
    USS Einstein likes this.
  15. USS Einstein

    USS Einstein Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Location:
    NCC-0500
    Nah - I know what you are saying, but everyone from Rick Sternbach to Mike and Denise Okuda have always made it clear that was the intention. See a starship with nacelles and a saucer like that on an Excelsior class? It's more or less contemporary, in their view. That is how the Encyclopedia, by the Okudas always treated it, and therefore how Trekdom treated it - stuff like Ex Astris Scientia just follow that precedent. It makes sense, from an Air Force/Navy POV.

    [​IMG]

    In real life, what tends to happen is, say a new jet fighter will go into production - then there will be spinoffs of it, roughly contemporary. Like a Navy spinoff just for aircraft carriers, or a ground-attack bomber variant. These might even outlive the original, and serve side-by-side with entirely new designs, using the same production infrastructure that the original left, to save costs. So you get relics that have the appearnce of an earlier generation of fighter serving with a later generation - like second generation Mig-21s being used in the Indian Air Force along side fourth generation Sukhoi Su-30s.

    [​IMG]

    This is probably what happened with the Miranda class as far as we can tell. A cheap and cheerful starship of great utility, with an established production chain, that served long after contemporaries like the Constitution II (Refit) and Contellation class were retired.
     
    SpaceLama likes this.
  16. WarpFactorZ

    WarpFactorZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2013
    To be fair, I wouldn't take the word of Torg as technically accurate. I'm sure to the Klingons, every Starfleet vessel is a "battlecruiser".
     
  17. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2001
    Location:
    Per Ardua
    I don't really see any continuity issues if we treat the Kelvin Timeline as diverging from the original. In TOS, we saw exactly one class of starship, the Constitution.
     
  18. USS Einstein

    USS Einstein Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Location:
    NCC-0500
    This, for me, is the most damning criticism of the arbitrary change in scale; I think this is what many people's irk with it boils down to - the implication that even older ships are massive compared to TOS ones - the almost unnoticed way in which this casts doubt on the original Enterprise being a "heavy cruiser" - the way it casts the entire design history from the prime timeline, which was built with a detailed scale in mind, out of the window. So it isn't just Bernd Schneider being a fanatic or subjective is it? He has an objective point when he writes emotive stuff like that.

    [​IMG]

    "Dwarfs any other Starfleet ship without reason" - I guess this is what was meant by that.

    It can be explained away, with some gymnastics, but it basically undermines the logistical work done by Sternbach and Okuda and everyone - how they would have sent a ship the size of the Newton type or Mayflower type on Kirk's five year mission.

    Yes, there is some visual evidence to suggest the new Enterprise is far bigger than the original - but I really think, discounting what Simon Pegg said - if you feel that the new timeline really is a spinoff of the original - we should "opt" for the smaller scale, and just choose to ignore the visual evidence.
     
    Longinus and SpaceLama like this.
  19. WarpFactorZ

    WarpFactorZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2013
    My beef with the rescaling has always been that it was just that -- a rescaling. Someone highlighted the ship and pressed "Scale image", then entered 2x. Following that, explanations were made for why this scale was appropriate, even though the infrastructure didn't match (e.g. decks without windows, and decks with 2.5m high windows, etc...).

    Yes, the "visual evidence" points to a big ship. Fine, whatever. But that visual evidence doesn't make any logical sense in-Universe, assuming there was ever really a timeline split.
     
    Longinus, SpaceLama and USS Einstein like this.
  20. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Location:
    Your Mom
    Yes, although I also accept that this is just window dressing for what is basically a continuity reboot anyway.

    Not think, KNOW. The Vulcan "Seleya" and D'kyr class starships of the 22nd century were 500 and 600 meters long, respectively. Both were larger, volumetrically, than the Constitution class of a century later.

    Moreover, NX-01 encountered quite a few very large starships during its travels operated by people who would eventually become Federation members. It would be hard for me to accept that 100 years of economic prosperity and shared exchange of technology would leave a Federation of such limited resources that the 286 meter Constitution class was the biggest thing they could put into space when a century earlier their EXPERIMENTAL starships were only 20% smaller.

    indeed. Why should that be surprising? USS Voyager was one of Starfleet's premier front-line deep space explorers in the 24th century, but that vessel is TINY compared to the hulking Galaxy and Nebula class ships or even the Ambassadors and Excelsiors preceded it. I believe that Starfleet operated something equivalent to the Galaxy class -- in terms of size and complexity at the very least -- even in the 23rd century, and those ultra-long range explorers probably looked a lot like the Kelvin and the Newton.

    The reboot Constitution class is probably a consequence of Starfleet realizing that its ultra-long-range explorers were in need of modernization ("Why, just look what happened to the Kelvin!") and the fleet decided to press a new generation of those superships into service earlier than they would have otherwise. Whatever hull would have been named "Enterprise" in the prime timeline probably got assigned a different NCC number and is now cruising the galaxy as USS Voyager (NCC-1656).

    It definitely isn't.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2016
    Gonzo and Mytran like this.