TMP Refit - Why?

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by austen_pierce, Sep 2, 2013.

  1. austen_pierce

    austen_pierce Captain Captain

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    Aside from the obvious, that the refit looks better on the big screen, why would a ship nearly twenty years old get such an extensive makeover as opposed to being demolished and replaced with a fresh vessel?
     
  2. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    Even if we ignore retconned details about Enterprise's age, it's still not entirely clear why the ship got a refit instead being replaced outright. A few of the novels suggest that Starfleet had been wanting to try out several new designs on already existing ships because it would be less costly in terms of manpower and equipment. Others merely make the argument that the Enterprise is more or less a new ship even though bits and pieces of the old vessel's configuration were recycled into the new body. But it's never stated clearly on screen why the refit happened. We just know that it did.

    Interestingly enough, Nick Meyer and Harve Bennett seemed to ignore the refit. Meyer went so far as to suggest that the Enterprise actually looked the same as she did during the television series but they were now able to show it (similar to Roddenberry's explanation about Klingon ridges) because of a bigger effects budget. This would explain why the ship was headed for mothballs before Kirk stole it from spacedock in TSFS. Roddenberry hated the idea and also threw a fit when Bennett told him they were blowing the ship up. But I digress...

    Christopher has an interesting take on some of the political reasons behind the refit with certain Starfleet officers using it as an excuse to get their hands on the ship's engine components for reasons I won't elaborate on here. I'll let Mr. Bennett comment if he so chooses.

    --Sran
     
  3. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    To sell copies of Mr Scott's Guide to the Enterprise ;)
     
  4. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    A fairly obvious reason would be to circumvent the treaty with the Klingons. It's rather inevitable that such a treaty would have clauses on how many ships of a given type the two sides could have, and so forth. Pretending that an essentially all-new ship is a "refit" would no doubt allow Starfleet to exploit a loophole of some sort! Or, refitting could be for real, as Starfleet just plain wouldn't be allowed to build another heavy cruiser from keel up and would just have to make the best of the ships it already had - until the right moment came to break the treaty and start the war. Starfleet would feel much happier about starting the war with refitted rather than unrefitted ships...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  5. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I've always thought Starfleet ships were somewhat modular. Swap out the sensor suite / warp core / deflector, plug in the new type and off you go. Thus really old space frames like The Excelsior remain viable and in service into the TNG era.

    Add to this, every light year explored brings a huge volume of space into play - more and more ships are required all the time. Older models are perfect for run of the mill operations, freeing state of the art ships up for front line exploration.
     
  6. arch101

    arch101 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    As we celebrate the conclusion of WWII on this day in 1945, some interesting related reading would be about USS Missouri. She was 40 years old when she was extensively modernized and updated in the 1980's. Sometimes, a unique design is worth modernizing rather than building a whole new ship.
     
  7. SeerSGB

    SeerSGB Admiral Admiral

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    Don't count out how much pull Kirk (an Admiral) had in the decision. He could have pushed to refit over replace.
     
  8. Nebusj

    Nebusj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Because it's normal for big ships to be refitted when they're sufficiently old or when their primary tasks are changed? Note the USS Intrepid (CV-11), after being decommissioned between the end of World War II and the start of the Korean War, was extensively refitted in 1962 to become an anti-submarine vehicle, and again in 1972 (I forget what it was reconfigured to), and that for a vessel which was (finally) decommissioned only two years later. That's pretty big refurbishments every decade for its operational life.
     
  9. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    But is it, when the E-nil is our only onscreen example of such an extensive refit?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  10. BoredShipCapt'n

    BoredShipCapt'n Commodore Commodore

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    That's a good point. And not just any Admiral, but Chief of Starfleet Operations.
     
  11. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I've always liked Shane Johnson's idea that it started off as an engine upgrade that spiraled out of control and wound up being a total redesign. The Enterprise wound up being a testbed for new systems and components that were incorporated into other designs such as the Miranda- and Constellation-classes.
     
  12. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    Didn't Mr Scott's Guide claim the Ent-A had transwarp drive?
     
  13. jpv2000

    jpv2000 Captain Captain

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    True.

    I'm just glad they did the upgrade. The nacelles on the TV version of the Enterprise always looked super weak to me and the refit nacelles were a nice step up. I also loved the torpedo bay. The refit Enterprise is still my favorite ship design. :techman:
     
  14. Galileo7

    Galileo7 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Agree.:vulcan:
     
  15. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Like a great deal of the book, it was purely his conjecture based on some of the other reference materials at hand at the time (pre-TNG). He proposed that the Enterprise-A was a brand-new--but renamed--Enterprise-class ship with a different model of transwarp engines built to be incorporated into an existing design (unlike the Excelsior).
     
  16. Leto_II

    Leto_II Commander Red Shirt

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    And at that point in time, there was really no reason for Johnson or anyone else involved in the production of Star Trek IV (TNG was still in utero) to think that the Transwarp experiment of ST III would be completely jettisoned between the release of The Voyage Home and The Final Frontier by the TNG writing staff.

    When Johnson was granted access to the ST IV soundstages (the Enterprise-A bridge sets had not yet been struck), he stuck as closely as he possibly could to what had already been established onscreen, and to the Okudagram graphics on the bridge consoles, which was the only proper thing to do, given what he was attempting to produce.

    What's surprising is that the book has aged so well in the decades since its publication, even considering the continuity and dating-changes later official sources brought to the franchise.
     
  17. Nebusj

    Nebusj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    As far as I know there's only one other example of a regular-duty ship being seen across multiple decades of service, and that's the Enterprise-D from the alternate ``All Good Things'' future ... which, of course, was prominently refitted.

    Yeah, we see Excelsiors and Grissoms in Next Generation that don't look too different from what they did in the movie era, but when we get interior shots they look like redressed versions of a Galaxy-class battle bridge at least. If (if!) they're three-quarters of a century old, they're not running the same gear they were when Genesis and Transwarp Drive were going concerns.
     
  18. Leto_II

    Leto_II Commander Red Shirt

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    True, and about the only times we do see a TNG-era starship bridge/interior that remotely resembles its movie-era counterpart, it's aboard a vessel like the Stargazer or a literally-time-displaced ship like the USS Bozeman. Every other time, such interiors tend to conform to 24th Century design aesthetics.
     
  19. Gojira

    Gojira Commodore Commodore

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    That is the way I have always seen it too.
     
  20. wjaspers

    wjaspers Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Because this is SciFi. Is your question serious, or are you joking?
     

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