Thoughts on merging/melding B5 and ST technology

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by DigificWriter, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Hi, everyone. I've been mulling a rebooted version of Star Trek that takes place in the era of Star Trek Enterprise and uses characters from that series, but it wasn't until I read Methos' Babylon 5/Star Trek crossover fic Aventine that I was inspired to try something else that I'd been mulling, which was to combine elements of the two universes (Star Trek and B5), and to use my rebooted/re-imagined Star Trek as a way to do so.

    The way in which I've chosen to try and meld the two universes is to try and create technology and ship designs that feel like they could be a hybrid of what we see in both ST and B5, and to do so for not only the Earth ships that we see, but the ships of the other major races (Vulcans, Romulans, Andorians, and Tellarites) that will feature most heavily in my new version of ST.

    I've decided that I want most of the Earth-based ships that are seen in my new version of Star Trek to be based primarily off of the Earth Alliance Hyperion-class ships from B5, but am not entirely sure what the inclusion of artificial gravity generation systems would do to the ship's design, proportions, and dimensions, so thoughts on that score would be appreciated.

    I'm also looking for suggestions on a design for my version of the Enterprise NX-01, because I'd like to try and come up with something that could be a hybrid of B5 ship and designs and ST ship designs.

    I'd also like to try and find a way to re-imagine the tehcnological capabilities of the most prominent races from the ST universe (the Vulcans, Romulans, Tellarites, Andorians, Klingons, etc.) so that they feel slightly B5-esque, so suggestions on that front would also be appreciated.
     
  2. Hound of UIster

    Hound of UIster Vice Admiral Admiral

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    These are completely different universes. Merging them together makes about as much sense as merging Star Wars and Farscape or Warlord of Mars and BSG. It's arbitray and the ensuring product isn't going to fairly represent the themes, concepts and characters from either series.
     
  3. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    You should post this in fan fiction. Might get more responses.
     
  4. Methos

    Methos Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    it takes a lot of thought and research...

    for example, the weapons in B5 are strictly fusion and x-ray laser based... with power sources being fusion power cells with only the slightly older races, such as the minbari and centauri having minor antimatter based power systems...

    another thing to take into consideration is the views on aliens in B5... from a human perspective, a lot of the human / earth alliance anyway, the humans in B5 are mostly quite racist... with other races following the same views...

    The minbari are extremely xenophobic, having barely any contact with other races prior to the Babylon project...

    The narn are open to outsiders but cautious, willing to sell weapons and technology to the highest bidder no matter who it is, also willing to buy technology from any source, even black market and drug dealers...

    The centauri are as xenophobic as the Minbari in their own way... having waged war with the narn for centuries on and off, and during the B5 seasons also had wars with 6 other races...

    The drazi are at best bullies, at worst dictators and murderers... having treaties with raiders along their borders to keep the neighbouring worlds crushed down so they could never grow into a threat, and supplying the raiders with technology and fleet support to bomb them helpless worlds if they dared ask for help...

    Bringing Star Trek into this sort of world is a lot of work, as i've found out... the Trek characters will have a lot of prejudice to fight through from their perspective, with Earth Alliance not trusting them because they work with aliens regularly, and most alien cultures trying to buy or steal the technology from them...

    M
     
  5. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It is more of a case of bringing B5 into Star Trek to create a reimaginef shared universe than it OS combining one or both universes as they currently exist.
     
  6. Methos

    Methos Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    gotcha...

    well technology wise... building artificial gravity into the ships would drastically alter the shape of them... the B5 Earth ships are large, slow and bulky... with large rotating sections built to create artificial gravity for work and living sections...

    with artificial gravity throughout the entire ship, the rotational sections can go immidiately... leaving room to streamline the ship more and have different designs...

    take a look at the Warlock Class Destroyers that came during B5 season 5 when the Earth Alliance got their hands on gravity tech, that's the sort of thing the Earth Alliance worked towards once then had artificial gravity...

    M
     
  7. shivkala

    shivkala Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    When merging the two, you definitely have to consider the technology. As others have pointed out, Federation technology is more on par with Centauri and especially Minbari levels than Earth or Narn.

    With the exception of cloaks (which, by the 24th Century was more due to politics than technology levels) and the Romulan's quantum-singularity powered Warbirds, most of the major races are on-par, technology-wise. You'd have to come up with an interesting backstory why that's the case and yet, the Narn are so far behind. The Centauri occupation could explain this, to some extent.

    The other major issue is the technology in Star Trek is a bit more, um, shall we say, theoretical, while JMS consulted with NASA's Jet Propulsion Labs for Babylon 5. Thus, Warp vs. Jump Gates and the existence of transporters would also be tricky issues. Setting it in the time period of Enterprise, when the transporter was still relatively new might help with that, though Babylon 5, itself takes place, for the most part, from 2257 ("The Gathering") to 2262. "Where No Man Has Gone Before" takes place in 2265.

    I think you could work it if it was in an alternate reality which is a mix of ST and B5. In 2265, the Interstellar Alliance is in its infancy and could easily be merged with the United Federation of Planets. After forming the IA/UFP, in a universe where the Vulcans were as equally involved in the Babylon Project as the other races we saw in the show, they could have to deal with the Klingons, who see the IA/UFP as a threat. Of course, the first reported viewing of a Romulan could still occur in 2266, with random sightings and rumors being mentioned previously in this "new" amalgamated universe.

    As you can see, as a kid, when B5 was still on I thought about this and continue to do so on and off as a mental exercise. It does bring up some interesting issues to figure out on a sleepless night or when I'm bored!
     
  8. Methos

    Methos Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    i'd put Federation technology above Centauri... they're only just figuring out Plasma weapons during the B5 arc, still using X-Ray lasers on their capital ships... neither Minbari or Centauri have any clue on shield or transporter technology though...

    As for a way to 'blend' the two, i'd actually be tempted to jump back a bit, perhaps during the Dilgar War for B5 timeline, and have some Federation technology / ship fall into Earth Alliance hands during that time... then explain how the Earth Alliance / Timeline changed due to the inclusion of Federation tech...

    say you use the Enterprise NX... think of the tech the Earth Alliance could get from the wreckage of the ship... Warp Drive, artificial technology are just the start... even the NX is a step or two above anything the EA has access to during the Dilgar War

    M
     
  9. shivkala

    shivkala Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    True, but I did want to stress that Centauri were one of the more advanced races. Not at Minbari level, but neck and neck with Earth (due to their decline and Earth getting a lot of their technology from them and from the Narn).

    The other issue to work out is the logistics of space battles. Trek is ship versus ship, while B5 relies heavily on fighters. I can never seem to reconcile fighters and Federation starships, they just are not designed to carry squadrons of fighters. Even if they could, the ships are just not designed to have them land.
     
  10. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    If it's a merger of histories as well as technologies, I think replacing the Dilgar War with the Romulan War would make sense, but instead of leading to the Federation it would just solidify Earth's status as an interstellar power, as the Dilgar War did in B5. That would keep the Shadow War as the impetus for the Federation. In this amalgamated universe, the Vulcans would probably be the Minbari, the Andorians could be the Centauri, and the Tellarites could be the Narn. The Romulans could also take the place of the Drakh.

    Maybe the NX-01 of this universe would use the fusion power sources and laser- and missile-based weaponry of B5's Earth Alliance, and then post-Shadow War Federation ships would have more advanced technologies thanks to the Minbari and Centauri.

    Regarding shivkala's last point, as a fan of fighters (both real and fictional), I vote for keeping the Starfuries. :techman:
     
  11. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Since I'm essentially building a new universe that melds the two franchises together under the 'Star Trek' moniker, I have the flexibility to redesign/retool all of the various races' technological capabilities at will. The initial idea I had was to make pre-UFP Earth ships - with the exception of the Enterprise - more on the technological level of the Earth Alliance from B5, except for the addition of gravity tech, warp capability, and primative shielding, phaser, and torpedo tech, but what I could do is make all of the Earth ships besides the Enterprise almost identical, tech-wise, to the B5 Earth Alliance and make the Enrerprise's tech more similar to what we are familiar with from ST, which could help distinguish it as something special.

    BTW, I was really looking towards B5 more for technological influence than anything else, but actually like the idea of introducing some of the B5 races into the picture, although I'll have to sit down and think about how I'm going to do so, especially in terms of warp, weapon, and shielding tech... unless anyone has any suggestions.
     
  12. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm back with some basic ideas on what the primary races of B5 might look like, technologically, in a 'hybrid' universe, and how they might fit into the grander scheme of things as far as the future of the Federation and whatnot.

    The Centauri
    I came across a suggestion online that when JMS originally took his B5 idea to the folks at CBS, he did so with it being a spin-off of ST, and with the Centauri being the 'smooth-head' Klingons from the original Star Trek. I actually like the idea behind that idea in principle, so in my little 'hybrid' universe, the Centauri are a fairly aggressive and prideful people who are continuously trying to expand their territory in order to get back what they once held but lost due to an inability to keep all of the territory they'd laid claim to, which is an attitude that will inevitably bring them into conflict with other people, particularly the Federation. They'll have an encounter - and skirmish - or two with the Enterprise and her crew, but won't really become a major player in universal events until much, much later. I also see their current territory being fairly close to Klingon space, and them having an alliance of sorts with the Klingons because of similarities in their desires for conquest and expansion.

    The Narn
    When I think about the sort of role that the Narn might plaly in a 'hybrid' universe that melds and merges both B5 and ST, I think of them as sort of a cross, culturally, between the Cardassians and the Ferengi, with a bit of the Klingon superiority complex factor tossed in as well, which is an angle that I think could fit very well into a tale of the formation of the United Federation of Planets, particularly in terms of them being weapons dealers. Since they're a rebuilding society, their space-faring tech is fairly primative, but they're still able to travel sufficiently enough to serve as arms dealers and make contacts with people. I can also see them working with the Orions, Ferengi, and other races such as the Nausicans and basically making up the 'criminal contingent' of the universe's various alien powers.

    The Minbari
    I sort of see the Minbari as being parallel to the Vulcans, albeit with a bit more mysticism to them and their culture. I see them as being a fifth pillar in the founding of the Federation, but don't see them really playing a major role in universal affairs until after the events of the Romulan War. Technologically, they're also the most advanced of the races, which is another reason for them not to have anything to do with major universal events until after the Romulan War. Alternatively, they could end up being the first race that Earth encountered - in place of the Vulcans (who would then be the second race that Earth encountered), although it might be tricky to figure out how to prevent Earth from becoming sufficiently more techologically advanced than I'd like them to be if the Minbari were the first race they encountered.

    The Dilgar
    Someone above suggested possibly substituting the Dilgar for the Romulans, but I actually like the idea of the Dilgar and Romulans being allies and 'sister powers', with their home territories bordering each other, and the Dilgar providing the Romulans with resources that they might not otherwise be able to obtain. Technologically, I can see them being very similar to the Romulans, which puts them on par with the Centauri and Klingons as well.

    I also nailed down where I want to go, technologically, with Earth. Not counting the Enterprise, all of Earth's ships have basic FTL tech (although nothing like the Warp 5 engine), plasma-based weapons tech, and the hull polarization defense technology that was seen on the NX-01 in Star Trek Enterprise, whereas the Enterprise NX-01 itself has the aforementioned Warp 5 engine and the first prototypes of phaser and shielding technology.

    I've also decided to limit the variety of design in Earth's ship technology, with a lot of their ships either falling into the Daedalus, DIY, or 'Ring Ship Enterprise' design categories from ST or the Hyperion-class design category from B5. This doesn't include the Enterprise NX-01, which is more of a hybrid between something like the Intrepid class from ST and the Warlock class from B5.

    In terms of culture, I'd like the pre-Federation Earth society to be somewhat of a hybrid between the ST utopia and B5's more realistic take on things societally, since I think it gives you somewhere to go, from a societal and cultural standpoint, narratively.

    Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2012
  13. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well, the 3rd World War in Trek did a lot to change things. Mainly, the idea (postulated by Trek/B5 fans who do these fusion universes) is that the war pretty much wiped out the MegaCorportations and most of the more corrupt elements of Human Governments. That the survivors were brought out of the dark times by benevolent aliens did a lot to nip xenophobia and pro-human forces in the bud.

    There are still Anti-Alien groups like Terra Prime around. So the MegaCorps and Xenophobes would have less power in the fused universe.
     
  14. The Badger

    The Badger Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    In my fanfic (an alternate take on Enterprise) the ring part of the ringship was originally intended to rotate to provide pseudo-gravity in the living areas by means of centrifugal force, much like on B5's Omega class destroyers.
     
  15. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Culturally, I'm seeing this version of Earth as being equivalent to the Earth Alliance from B5, with a single united government, but with everyone still retaining individual cultural identities.

    I also figure that there are folk in the hierarchy of the UEAS (United Earth Alliance Starfleet) who would advocate Earth cutting ties with alien powers (either the Vulcans or Minbari, depending on which superpower makes more sense to have been our 'first contact') and staying fairly 'close to home' in our exploratory efforts, but that they're more or less overridden by the people who want to explore and have us take our place in the wider universe. I also figure that there'd be xenophobic - or slightly xenophobic - folk in the crew of the Enterprise, which would be a great way to play off of the tension of having either a Vulcan or Minbari representative onboard the Enterprise.

    BTW, I'd really like some opinions on which species - Vulcans or Minbari - would make for a better 'first contact', and, if it were the Minbari, how you'd go about offsetting where I'd like Earth to be technologically with the Minbari's super level of technological development and the influence they would undoubtedly have on the development of Earth's space-faring tech.

    Hmm. I could go with the idea of all of the Earth ships besides the Enterprise having to generate gravity through the use of rotating sections (ala B5), but that begs the question of where you'd put the rotating sections on the Daedelus, DIY, and Hyperion-class ships. Anybody got any ideas on that front?
     
  16. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Hmm, like I said xenophobia doesn't make a lot of sense since it was the aliens helping that Earth recovered as fast as it did from WWIII.

    But I can see the crew being xenophobic could be a plot element of the internal feuding between the Xenophobic "Stay to Earth" guys and the more open-minded ones: Once the Government decided to approve the deeper exploration missions the Xenophobes pulled strings to make sure some of the ships would be crewed by their own choices, with the potential hope being that their exploits would either result in anything they find being for Earth's advantage and Earth alone, or negative results which they could use to shut down the Deep-Space mission altogether.

    I'd say go with the Vulcans, because the Minbari are too isolationist at that point. The Vulcans can be a "failed experiment" of the Vorlons: They taught the violent but powerful Vulcan people the way of logic and control and banished the original Vulcans who disagreed with this (the Romulans) meaning the Romulans are closer to "True" Vulcans than present-day Vulcans. But the Vulcans' couldn't be totally brought under control as Vorlon Vassals like the Minbari so they withdrew their support and left them be. The Minbari and Vulcans have a sort of "estranged brothers" relationship as a result.

    The Andorians should be the toughest military guys on the block, perhaps the Narn are in a junior alliance with them (the Narn are weak partners) and still have their Cold War with the Vulcans.

    This would be the Vulcan impetus for helping Earth, they don't want them to become Andorian Vassals as well.

    How to fit the Romulans into the shared Vulcan/Minbari history...hmmm.
     
  17. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    One of the reasons I like the idea of the Minbari being Earth's 'first contact' is that I could then use the Vulcan/Andorian conflict/cold war as the 'first contact' opportunity for both races, which would help cement Earth as a major player in interstellar politics and whatnot and make for a bit of an interesting transition to both the Vulcans and Andorians being part of the founding of the UFP, since the Enterprise and her crew would be a key player in the cessation of hostilities and animosities between the Vulcans and Andorians.

    I did just think of a way to offset the Minbari's technological superiority with where I'd like Earth to be, which is that the Minbari keep most of their technological advances secret.

    I hadn't figured out a way to bring the Vorlons into things, but I do like the idea of them taking the place of the Preservers, Progenitors, and the aliens from "The Chase", and also sort of filling the same role - eventually - of the Organians, albeit much more 'behind-the'scenes'. I could also tie them into the reasoning behind the Minbari keeping most of their technological advances secret.
     
  18. shivkala

    shivkala Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I do, too. I just wanted to point out that it would be a drastically different type of ship Starfleet has if you account for fighters. That being said, in addition to how much I love the Starfury design, I think having fighters allows a writer to use more creativity when detailing space battles. Star Trek battles between two ships are rather limiting, whereas two ships, plus their fighters allows you to add details about the capital ships and the fighters.

    The Enterprise could be something similar to the Whitestars and the Excalibur, a joint collaboration using know-how from the First Ones and retro-engineering the rest based on what's known about First One technology.

    Or, have rumors spread of alien influence on the part of parties such as the Eastern Coalition. Of course, you could have that being true, as almost assuredly, agents of the Shadows would be involved, sowing the seeds for the return of their masters. Then, you could have a group that feels wary of any alien help.

    Fascinating. :vulcan:

    This might work better than the Narn being like the Cardassians. The Narn would be more akin to the Bajorans than the Cardassians.
     
  19. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The Centauri's fall from being the top dogs could be the result of a war with the Andorians, which would further explain the Narn being allied with them. Then the question is what happens to the Andorians when the Narn/Centauri war happens, since the Andorians are a Core founder of the Federation.
     
  20. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm not sure how to incorporate 'snubfighters' outside of a base (i.e. space station) situation, but will keep the idea in mind and see if anything comes to me.

    Having the Enterprise be the partial result of technological cooperation is another reason to have the Minbari be Earth's 'first contact' instead of the Vulcans, because it sets a precedent that can later be referenced were I to adapt B5's storyline for a series of future spin-off stories.


    At this stage, I'm not even sure if I'll get to adapting B5's storyline for this new hybrid universe, although having the Shadows in the background exerting their influence regardless might be a neat angle from which to explore the whole Romulan War storyline.