Was the Enterprise A actually the Yorktown?

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by CharlieZardoz, Jul 18, 2013.

  1. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The fine line between continuity and fanwank.
    We should remember that the Yorktown suggestion was based primarily on the fact that the original name of the Enterprise in concept treatises was Yorktown (back when Kirk, er, Pike, was called Winter.) It's an in-joke. And yes, there's no "right" answer unless a canon production intends to address it.

    My personal take is that the E-A was built from leftover parts from the Constitution refit cycle, similar to how the Space Shuttle Endeavour was built. This would explain why a new ship of an older design would be built while its successor was undergoing trials. I also subscribe to the notion that a new Enterprise was intended to be built as an Excelsior-class ship, but problems with the transwarp drive and Kirk's heroics foiled this plan.
     
  2. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Personally, I disbelieve in both aspects. Rather than being built, NCC-1701-A was probably just renamed, with minimal effort. If we believe that she was created for Kirk, then it wouldn't make sense to cobble together a cluster of spares at great expense when either of the two alternatives - giving Kirk a proper, modern ship and giving Kirk a nostalgic leftover vessel no other skipper would agree to fly any longer - would be so much more cost-effective. And if we believe she was created for Starfleet, it wouldn't make much sense to waste time and money in building an outdated design, even if the spares existed for doing so. (If starships were as expensive as space shuttles, relatively speaking, there wouldn't be a Starfleet!)

    And rather than being a designated successor to the Constitution class, the Excelsior was probably its own thing... Real successors would probably already be in service, perhaps for their second decade or something, considering how outdated the Enterprise was already considered to be.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Eh, I could buy it just being a graft of new OS onto an older, easily renamed ship. For the record though, I didn't mean to say they cobbled the ship together for Kirk and company - rather that they had the ship laying around already, essentially useless once its testbed function had been completed, and gave it to Kirk.

    You may be onto something about Excelsior not being the Constitution replacement, but then again maybe not. The crew's reaction to the ship in III seemed to be skepticism of the "Great Experiment," plus Kirk's line about "new minds, fresh ideas..." somewhat implied that this was the thing replacing them.
     
  4. Roboturner913

    Roboturner913 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    The whole Yorktown story was nothing more than Roddenberry's vanity speaking because that's what the ship was named in the original TOS draft.

    I'm inclined to disbelieve it for the simple reason that, as somebody already said, the actual Yorktown was in the same movie and likely had a full crew aboard (the captain was putting all "non-essential personnel" into stasis when the power went out).

    Another possibility I read about somewhere suggests the E-A was put together from salvaged components from various other ships. Since the Constitutions and Mirandas (and maybe even more classes) both were built from the same basic components, there could reasonably have been enough spare parts hanging around to make up a whole new ship with not a ton of effort.

    This would also explain why so much of the ship's interior design doesn't seem to match. The corridors have an E-D aesthetic, while the bridge looks more like the original E, and the shuttle bay is tiny, much smaller than it should be.
     
  5. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I don't see how that would be relevant. If Starfleet wants to give the ship to Kirk, it tells the previous batch of officers to fuck off and Kirk to sit down. That's simply how it works.

    ...Except perhaps in Starfleet, where starship crews appear to train for long missions as a single team, astronaut-style (see McCoy's comments about the training going on at the start of ST2). But that wouldn't change much, either: Starfleet would then simply tell the previous officers and crew to fuck off and have Kirk and his crew sit down.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  6. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    Actually, it was Roddenberry's attempt to explain why there was another Constitution-class ship conveniently there and ready to go for Kirk. Having it previously been the old Yorktown made sense for Roddenberry.
    Most of the Yorktown's crew could have been stayed after the renaming or reassigned to a brand-new USS Yorktown launched sometime after the Enterprise-A. The same thing could have happened to the conveniently existing Sovereign-class ship that became the Enterprise-E.
     
  7. Roboturner913

    Roboturner913 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    It may have made sense to Roddenberry; that doesn't mean it actually makes sense.

    If the Yorktown at the beginning of ST4 had a full crew aboard, then it had to be a fully operational ship. The E-A at the beginning of ST5 quite obviously is not, even after what appears to be several weeks of work.

    Kirk: "You told me you could make this ship operational in two weeks. I gave you three. What happened?

    Then there's this:

    Scott: "All I can say is they don't make them like they used to."

    Doesn't sound like he's talking about a ship that's been around for a number of years here.
     
  8. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Supposedly, the Yorktown was not operational when the Probe departed. The silencing of the Saratoga involved fireworks going off on the bridge; if she and the Yorktown ever were salvaged, then installation of all-new bridge consoles and other fried components would be quite likely. And something of an integration nightmare, no doubt.

    Sure, the E-A is different from the E-nil-refit. But not necessarily "newer" in the specifics. Rather, she could be a hodgepodge of older, "less refitted" tech inherited from the Yorktown years (the old-fashioned shuttlebay and the GNDN tubing), and modern duotronics replacing the stuff fried by the Probe. Plus some new vanity covers in the corridors, the old ones having had to go to remove the stench of the corpses.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  9. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    Actually, it does.

    If the Yorktown was severely crippled by the "whalesong probe," then she was out of commission for repairs. It's definitely plausible that most of her crew are either recovering from the ordeal, and/or have been reassigned elsewhere during its downtime. Eventually, the Yorktown becomes a quickly-patched up Constitution-class ship just sitting there in Spacedock awaiting a new crew and a new mission. Starfleet decides to rename the ship Enterprise-A and assign it to Kirk's command.
    Exactly. The Yorktown idea is just as plausible as any other for the Enterprise-A.
     
  10. Roboturner913

    Roboturner913 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    The main problem with this is the time issue. With all that was going on, it doesn't seem to me that Starfleet would've been able to salvage the Yorktown, tow her to spacedock, decommission, rebuild/refurbish, then make the decision to recomission all in the span of a few days. Not if it was that badly damaged. We are talking about government agencies and beaurecrats here, after all.

    In addition, the Saratoga didn't appear to have damage that extreme from the probe's effect. So why would the Yorktown?

    Also take the corridors and other sets that more closely resemble the Enterprise-D...ie more modern. I doubt the Probe's energies would've damaged the Yorktown to the point where it needed new corridors.

    The Ti-Ho theory makes much more sense, as do some others. "Because Gene said so" is not good enough reason to me, considering his history of arbitrarily canon-izing and de-canonizing whenever it suited his fancy or because he didn't "like" something.
     
  11. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    <Khan> Time is a problem you don't have, Admiral... </Khan>

    There's no indication how much time passes between Kirk's trial and the day he gets the E-A. Could be years for all we know. Certainly there's no indication it would be mere days.

    The Saratoga was completely destroyed and everybody aboard killed for all we know. Just because her exterior was pristine doesn't mean a thing.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  12. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    As Timo already mentioned, the time between the trial and the time the Enterprise-A was launched could have been more than a few days. Long enough for the Yorktown to be recovered, somewhat repaired, and then renamed.
     
  13. BK613

    BK613 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Just out of curiosity, can anyone post a link to the Gene Roddenberry quote saying that it is the Yorktown? :)

    And would we be having this conversation if anyone else had made this kind of comment, especially anyone not directly involved with the making of the movies? :)
     
  14. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    Like so many things in the pre-internet era, it was cited from a variety of different sources, but Memory Alpha listed most of them.
    Memory Alpha article:
    Gene Roddenberry, in a nod to his original name choice from 1964, suggested that the Yorktown was renamed USS Enterprise-A at the end of Star Trek IV, explaining why the latter ship seemed to be launched so quickly at the end of the movie. The Next Generation fourth season writer's technical manual also indicated this to be the case. This was further validated when, in the [Star Trek] Encyclopedia, Mike Okuda described the Yorktown in 2293 as [the renamed Enterprise-A].
    http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/USS_Yorktown_(23rd_century
    Definitely, because it's still a very plausible idea that the Enterprise-A was a renamed existing vessel (be it the Yorktown or some other Constitution-class ship).
     
  15. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    It was probably in one of his hundreds of random "I think we should..." gripe letters to the studio that he wrote during filming. IIRC, he didn't much of how any of the movies after TMP were written and went to great lengths to be a burr in the sides of the other writers, directors and producers working on them. I think by this time the studio relegated him to the emeritus status of "Executive Consultant", or something, and he had been fighting a losing battle for control over the property for years. I think he lightened the pressure over the films once he got TNG, but he still sniped at them on occasion when he thought the situation warranted it. Shatner's "Movie Memories" went into some detail about it.
     
  16. BK613

    BK613 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yes I have read all of that stuff too but I have yet to find anything other than someone else saying he said it. Now, don't misunderstand me; I am not doubting the veracity but I am interested in the context. A flippant answer at a convention, a TNG staffer asking him about it, and him originating the idea himself each could have led to this discussion.
    New build vs. existing is a different discussion than Yorktown vs. any other ship name. I was referring to the latter (per the thread title.) Sans Roddenberry's opinion, I think we would be talking up the former but the later? Not so sure about that...
     
  17. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    Who is John Galt?
    If it was the Yorktown, then it was likely Roddenberry's idea, based on the known fact that that was supposed to be his ship's original name, despite the actual existence of said vessel in a probe-damaged state earlier in the film.

    And I agree that, unless someone can show a date-correct pic of an ash/coffee bespeckled memo with his signature on it proving it was his idea, then it's just as valid (or not) as Ti-Ho, Atlantis or any other theory.
     
  18. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    In the end, it really doesn't matter. It was really just a harmless suggestion on Roddenberry's part, but it's as good an idea as any other.
    As I said earlier, some of us would still be talking about the Enterprise-A being a renamed earlier ship, and I do think it's likely the Yorktown might have been brought up by a few as a possible contender. It's as plausible a concept as the Enterprise-A being an all-new build.
    That's the thing, more than one theory will work (and some have already been presented here). All Roddenberry did was suggest that the Enterprise-A was originally the Yorktown, and that theory can work too.
     
  19. Galileo7

    Galileo7 Commodore Commodore

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    Agree.:vulcan:
     
  20. Brainsucker

    Brainsucker Commander Red Shirt

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    if the Enterprise A is actually a new ship, why they bother to build a new constitution refit class when the Excelsior is already available?