[opinion] The lack of creativity in current Trek design

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by BorgMan, Aug 8, 2019.

  1. BorgMan

    BorgMan Captain Captain

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    It's been bugging me for quite some time now, but I think I finally have an answer as to why the latest Trek ship designs seem so... Bland. Back in the practical effect days, you'd have a writer go to the design department and tell them that oops, they need another ship of the week. Shooting will commence in about a week. Have fun! So then either design took a sprint to the local hardware store, bought everything they thought of "hey, we can make starship out of that" and got to work, or they butchered an EMT model into something new.

    Nowadays, you have some guys behind a computer who whip up some generic ships in no time. Gone are the constraints of working with pre existing crap, digital assets for the win!

    However, in my opinion this makes it so that the current generation of ships all look alike (with the real sole exception being then new Enterprise) and I'm not liking that at all. There's some nice designs in the new Flat Universe, don't get me wrong, but for a history in which we've seen so many differing designs, each with their own distinctive shapes, it's kind of a bummer. I don't think Fuller's decree of NO ROUND NACELLES really was unnescesary; you can make so much cool stuff and still make it look like it's a bit older than the Constitution...

    This is, as headlined, an opinion. I'd love for you guys to pitch in, prove me wrong or agree with me!
     
  2. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    We also didn't see that many different types of ships back in the day. The time and budget restraints that came with building physical models only allowed a limited number of designs compared to what we have now. Some ships were indeed simply redresses or slight modifications of pre-existing models. As far as the quality of designs between now and then...ahh, that's debatable. I think a lot of the starship designs from DIS are really cool myself and kinda reinforces my own head canon that Starfleet prefers to build lots of new designs rather than continuously update older ones.
     
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  3. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The latest batch of ships are absolutely hideous!
     
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  4. 1001001

    1001001 Pull Up a Groove and Get Fabulous! Moderator

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    Disagree!

    [​IMG]
     
  5. BillJ

    BillJ History’s Greatest Monster Premium Member

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    There’s good and bad designs littered throughout all the various shows.
     
  6. 1001001

    1001001 Pull Up a Groove and Get Fabulous! Moderator

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    [​IMG]

    Gloriousness!
     
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  7. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    It's visual shorthand for the audience to spot the good guys.
     
  8. BorgMan

    BorgMan Captain Captain

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    But Discovery is the base; the other designs are reminescent of her. Plus: Disco's an old design as it is ;-)
     
  9. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

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    It took a bit for the design of USS Disco itself to grow a little on me. I never was big on that 1970s design that it was based on. I always felt that it had been relegated to the archives for a reason.

    Kor
     
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  10. Rahul

    Rahul Commodore Commodore

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    I agree with the disappointment in current Trek ship design, bit I think the reasons are a bit different: The writing.

    All new ships we encounter, are functionally the same type of ship: An armed military vessel roughly the same sitze and strength of the main ship, with a humanoid crew.

    Back in the days, we had more variety: alien superstructures like the Doomsday machine, the Fesarius, the Borg, fascinating stuff like the Tholian web-ships, the crystalline entity, various little rocket ships, or just flashing lights and geometric shapes...

    There needs to be more story variety, that then allows designers to do more different stuff.
     
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  11. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I like that the Discovery was based off a design from the '70s because, had it been made, it would've been a 23rd Century design to begin with.

    I don't like the "no round nacelles at all except for the Enterprise" decree, but I guess they need some way to differentiate the Disco Ships from the Kelvin Ships. I don't think it should've been a problem, though. In the late-'70s and early-'80s, you had cars with circular headlights and actual body designs driving side-by-side with cars that had square headlights and just looked like a box. "Round" is "old", "square" is "new", and since Discovery was commissioned in 2256 and the Enterprise was commissioned in 2245, that makes the Enterprise older.

    They missed an opportunity to make Discovery completely top-of-the-line. It was already a concept starship anyway. Kind of like we have concept cars. I don't know how they could've fit it into dialogue without sounding unnecessary but, behind-the-scenes, they could've said there's a mix of square and round nacelles, Discovery's one of the first to have square, and that they'd be gradually phased in over the next 15 years... right in time for the Enterprise's refit in TMP!

    So there are ways they could've had both and shown how the TOS Look becomes the TMP Look. In the process, it would've made the Enterprise seem as old as it actually was in TOS, so in-universe it looks like it would make total sense why it would have to be refitted so extensively at the end of the five-year mission.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019
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  12. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I think the USS Discovery looks cool, as do the rebooted Klingon ships (especially the new Bird of Prey). Many of the other ships, including their reimagined Enterprise, are bland IMO.

    I was hugely disappointed with 90's Trek's alien guest ships, which were always bland wedge shapes, without any of Trek's distinctive visual features like nacelles or whatnot. They could have come from any sci-fi series (and some Voyager guest ships were used as background ships in Firefly, showing how interchangable they were)
     
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  13. Rahul

    Rahul Commodore Commodore

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    The one ship from "Discovery" that I absolutely adore is the Shenzhou. Yes, it doesn't really look 23rd century period accurate. But holy hell is it a great design. From the top it IMO looks a little bit like that "generic Starfleet shape" (saucer + secondary hull + nacelle). But once seen from the front or from below, it looks like an absolute beast.

    [​IMG]

    Like the monster truck of starships! And at the same time, still weirdly elegant. This is IMO the one design that looks like a totally new iteration of Star Trek the like we haven't seen before! WIsh it would have stuck around longer...

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    I dunno...seems like it's trying a little too hard to me.

    I liked the early teaser version that was more closely based on that design better than what I've seen of the final version...the main difference being that it didn't have nacelles that look like letter openers.
     
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  15. NewHeavensNewEarth

    NewHeavensNewEarth Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yeah that golden age of creative ship designs, when the Federation's mortal threat consisted of giant cubes (which sometimes contained large spheres). :cardie:

    As always, there's a mix of some designs being cooler than others, but not every one of them has to be a homerun.
     
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  16. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Back in the practical effects days ship designs got routinely reused as a matter of course. How many times did that triangle ship, the merchantman, and generic freighter get recycled throughout the 24th century?
     
  17. Cutie McWhiskers

    Cutie McWhiskers Commodore Commodore

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    For the same reason that what would become TNG would originally not have a ship but transporters with the range spanning the galaxy... by STID they have both ships and transporters that render the need for ships fairly moot. They must be powered by tribble magic blood. :D
     
  18. publiusr

    publiusr Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I would like TNG remastered but done over time.

    Let us, say have Rick unlimited time to do a new model for this vessel:
    https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Sheliak_colony_ship

    When he is done at his pace--even if it takes years, then a new remastered version with new ships can be shown.

    This ship was supoosed to be primitive--yet it doesn't look it.
    https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Tarellian_starship

    The Malon ships look like something from a primitive culture. If the ship were made three miles down in the deep--then a Malon/Man From Atlantis look would make sense
    https://gmd3ddesigns.com/tag/man-from-atlantis-submarine-2/
     
  19. Infern0

    Infern0 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The Borg Cube is an iconic design.

    Simple, yet unmistakable and unforgettable.

    By contrast the mirror universe mothership from disco season 1 was a lot more detailed, creative and intricate and I can't even remember what it looked like.

    Current star wars has the same issue, other than the old classics, who honestly remembers any of the new ships. I mean the prequel trilogy got a lot wrong but who can forget the giant space dohnuts
     
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  20. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I don't watch Discovery because of the pay wall, but, OMG is all that spinning stuff for real?? :lol: that's hilarious! It's like some kind of sarcastic parody of sci fi! :lol:

    The Shenzhouis indeed a pretty ship, but it looks more 24th century.