Sulu’s ship vs Style’s ship - The story of 2 Excelsiors...Theory

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by anh165, Nov 9, 2020.

  1. anh165

    anh165 Commander Red Shirt

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    I have been baffled by the statements that the ‘great experiment’ of the 2280’s ended up in failure that it was conveniently dropped like a hot plate - it reminds me of how Starfleet had to desparately erase all acknowledgement of other significantly disruptive technologies such as the S31 Time Suit, the spore drive on the Discovery 30 years prior.

    The theft of a battered old USS Enterprise controlled by 5 crewmen was no grounds for desparate measures i.e gambling the lives of 800+ crew members by chasing the big E into Transwarp speeds if the NX-2000’s capabilities has not yet been validated and proven. Why SF command not utilise a tractor beam from space dock? Or another ship within intercepting range? These options would have been a reasonable course of action if the NX-2000 was not tooled up to restrain the Enterprise or not fit to perform Transwarp.

    Something so new and game changing such as Transwarp drive would / should have yielded reliable and tangible results beforehand, only then you would make the call to commit so many officer’s lives and a new ship which is of high tactical value into a pursuit with an expectation of success. Scotty having spent reasonable time on the Excelsior must have realised by then even with a headstart the Enterprise could not outrun the NX-2000 (not when you have all speeds available through Transwarp drive!) otherwise he had not needed to go through all the trouble of tampering with the ‘complicated plumbing’ of the Transwarp drive, removing of the vital components and even trolling the Excelsior captain with an embedded ‘good morning’ message.

    We fast forward to the 2290’s - now with Captain Sulu, master of the ......NCC-2000 Excelsior, the most advanced and powerful ship Starfleet (not S31) has ever created - fit to publically represent the United Federation of Planets... And doing what exactly? A Fact finding mission on interstellar gasses. Surely an officer of Sulu’s experience and pedigree (ex Enterprise helmsman) coupled with the best ship should set sights at venturing beyond any other ship has gone before? Was it doubt regarding the ship among the Starfleet ranks?? The Excelsior is 5-6 years old at this point, which by such time the 2260’s era Constitution class had completed it’s primary deep exploration mission. Why has this new ship whilst in a call to arms ended up being a punch bag for old Klingon battlecruisers (VOY: Flashback) and got toyed with by a BoP? (ST:TUC)

    Even the bridge module looked unremarkable and unambitious, it is cramped and nothing on show to flex any ‘great experiment’ credentials, in contrast to the NX-2000 all business looking spacious bridge with black wrap around glass facias (check out the early concept art as it shows the main viewer with a wide 180 degree viewing angle with data & tactical overlays!). Instead we only remember the NCC-2000 as the only ship that sports a captain’s coffee table.

    I just cannot ignore the significant gaps between the depiction of the NX-2000 ship
    in ST3 and the NCC-2000 version in ST6. We go back to the widely accepted canon of that Transwarp drive failed so hard off the back of the failed pursuit of the Enterprise that the prototype Excelsior instead ran on conventional warp drive, end-of-story angle, this takes much suspension of disbelief to compensate for unimaginative writing.

    “But someone found a flaw in the Transwarp system design after undoing Scotty’s meddling, it prevented a disaster.”

    This would be a plausable reason, but only during early experiment and testing phases on unmanned test beds where fireworks would ensue from flawed design. Why is any significant flaw is only realised after the stage when TW is fitted on a one of a kind hull and effectively signed off for active duty? What if Scotty obfuscated the plumbing insidiously that it threw the Transwarp engineers into thinking the whole thing is fundamentally wrong? ......Scotty never believed in Transwarp afterall.

    In-universe reasoning tells me that based on the close observations and statements in ST3 and ST6 is that the ship that is commanded by Cpt Sulu is NOT the same ship as the NX-2000 under the helm of Cpt Styles.

    What happened to Styles anyway? He was regarded as unremarkable and somewhat arrogant - however deemed suitable for the plum job. What he lacked in nouse and leadership, was compensated by the promised advancements of the ship. What about his helmsman? Did the latter really end up working for OCP in the 21st century instead?

    Theory: The original NX-2000 Excelsior under the command of Cpt Styles acheived Transwarp speeds and in another attempt to break its previous record - just like that, the ship was gone...

    In 2286(?) Cpt Kirk (along with Sulu) are assigned to the Enterprise-A. The NX-2000 is seen briefly inside spacedock at that time, and again in 2287 in ST5. Was it the same ship as the one under Styles’ command? I dont know. We didnt see another Consitution refit ship (Enterprise-A) in Space dock when the original Enterprise was stolen, so there are reasons to believe some rapid construction and/or re-christening have taken place between the events of ST3 and the end of ST4 inside or near Space dock.

    So what happened to Styles’ ship then? If it disappeared, did it reach as far as another galaxy and was unable to make the return trip due to navigation limitations being too far out? Or ‘when’ did it go to? Was this the epic failure that only few in SF command knew about? It got so bad that Admiral Cartwright (who liked a cover up or two) gave up hope searching and had to terminate all useage of the Transwarp technology - especially if true, the worrying implication of any time travel capability.

    With the NX-2000 gone from 23rd century knowledge, and so did much of her prototype defence and science capabilities. Starfleet could not replicate all
    this in short order - so another USS Excelsior was assembled with conventional systems and bridge module design of the time - even some exterior differences to the original can be spotted easily - possibly as a result of the missing prototype systems or lack of time and resource. SF command called upon Hikaru Sulu who’s ambition to serve on the Excelsior was well noted, adding to his loyal and unquestioning character, promoting him and giving him the replacement Excelsior to go on a benign mission was the perfect smoke and mirrors they needed to fool the UFP (and more importantly) the Klingons and Romulan Empires that they are pressing ahead with plans for expansion with their next generation of multi purpose starships. The rest of what we know of the Excelsior class is history.

    Yet somewhere ..... or somewhen - the NX-2000 is out there living up to the great experiment billing.
     
  2. Grant

    Grant Commodore Commodore

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    Very interesting. Please elaborate
     
  3. TheMadCloner

    TheMadCloner Commander Red Shirt

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    My guess is it accidentally travelled 850 years into the future and we will see it as a Easter egg on Discovery. ;)
     
  4. publiusr

    publiusr Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think it was a boilerplate for perhaps larger ships, a modest increase in warp speeds (new scale) and it became the Connies’ replacement
     
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  5. Vger23

    Vger23 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The original transwarp drive used a singularity to create a gateway that allowed the ship to travel FTL.

    Unfortunately, the ship was lost, only to appear in Neptune orbit 7 years later with all hands lost, having apparently visited a dimension of pure chaos and evil.

    So....that was the end of that.


    Or WAS IT?????

    [​IMG]
     
  6. valkyrie013

    valkyrie013 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    There's no cannon explanation of excellsiors transwarp drive, or of its possible failure.
    More than likely it did work in some way because the warp scale was adjusted seemingly a short time latter. And Transwarp speeds were just the adjusted warp scale.
    And the odds of it being another ship with the same name and ncc # is small.
    But if it gives you story ideas , continue on! :techman:
     
  7. Vger23

    Vger23 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That's how I've always taken it...and "transwarp" was terminology used in the 23rd century that was later re-defined in the 24th.

    No biggie.
     
  8. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah probably this. But it's possible that the transwarp engines of Excelsior had teething problems and had to be removed while the kinks were ironed out.
     
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  9. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Same here.
     
  10. StarCruiser

    StarCruiser Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Could also be that Transwarp didn't work - as well - as expected but, was still faster that conventional warp drive at that time.

    This may explain why the Borg 'Transwarp' Conduit thing in Voyager was such a big deal.
     
  11. Dukhat

    Dukhat Vice Admiral Admiral

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    There's absolutely nothing to indicate transwarp drive was a failure. Scotty only sabotaged the ship to the extent that it konked out when they tried to engage the drive. It's analogous to someone removing your catalytic converter in your car. The car will still be drivable once it's reinstalled, but try driving it without one...

    Anyway, it's an interesting theory, but one that only works if you accept that a) transwarp drive was a failure, and b) that Starfleet built another Excelsior not long after the first one disappeared. I've already posted my thoughts about option A. For option B, the only evidence is that there are relatively small cosmetic differences between the two designs, and that Sulu was on what was, in the OP's judgment, to be a relatively uneventful mission for a ship that seemingly should be engaged in missions more suited to the technology it has.

    Here's the thing, though: even the Enterprise-D, the most advanced ship the Federation had in the latter part of the 24th century, was also given relatively dull jobs every once in awhile. One mission is not a good enough indicator that the ship in question couldn't have conducted more extensive missions. Plus, Starfleet could have built more Excelsior class ships in the intervening time between the launch of the Excelsior and Sulu's command of it by STVI, and they could have been conducting those more 'important' missions.

    As for the internal differences in the bridge: Well, the Enterprise-A had a different bridge in STV than it did in STIV, but it was still the same ship. Replaceable bridge modules have been widely accepted (and official, if you count authorized publications like the TNG Tech Manual) as normal for Federation starships.

    *EDIT* Also, the Excelsior’s dedication plaque in STVI states that it is the first starship of her class, launched in 2285. So it’s the same ship.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2020
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  12. Khan 2.0

    Khan 2.0 Commodore Commodore

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    Once they repaired what scotty did they did a transwarp test which resulted in the Excelsior warping into the mirrorverse where Styles did battle with mirror movie Kirk who wanted the Excelsior transwarp capability to cross back into the Prime verse
     
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  13. 128bits

    128bits Ensign Newbie

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    Remember when they stopped announcing speed increases and engines stopped audibly accelerating?

    I don't think Excelsior was a failure, it was never actually stated on screen. I actually think was they deemed as "transwarp" worked (once Scotty's tampering was identified and fixed) and all engines were replaced with this new design.

    Basically, "transwarp" per the Excelsior definition was the ability to instantly (or rather quickly) jump to a high warp factor vs accelerating to it from Warp 1. By the 24th century this is fairly standard, wherein people arbitrarily name a warp factor which is put into motion immediately.

    This doesn't completely rule out acceleration entirely, it may be necessary to accelerate from say, warp eight to warp nine but not sunlight to warp eight, for example.
     
  14. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    I remember in the prehistoric pre-internet days, transwarp was believed to be any speed over Warp 10 on the "TOS scale," and that Scotty's minor sabotage of the Excelsior did nothing to really derail the program, but expose a previously unknown system vulnerability.
     
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  15. publiusr

    publiusr Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That’s a good compromise
     
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  16. anh165

    anh165 Commander Red Shirt

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    I wrote the original post before the
    seeing the Discovery episode Die Trying - would have been hilarious if the Discovery crew found the ‘real’ Transwarp Capable Excelsior along side all the other futuristic ships at NuStarfleet HQ - but there’s hope yet if producers are reading this!
    *wink wink*

    ETA: The moderator has spoiler coded this post, as it spoils a recent episode of Star Trek: Discovery. Thanks, The Management
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 7, 2020
  17. Dukhat

    Dukhat Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I wouldn't get my hopes up.
     
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  18. anh165

    anh165 Commander Red Shirt

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    The Enterprise’s speed record of warp 14 was broken - with ease it seemed.

    It was all going well and the order of play was to travel well into double warp factor speeds via TW, and bring back the data for additional predictive modelling

    Warp 16.775 sir ..... one more big push - that was the concensus of the Chief Engineer and the TW engineering task force monitoring the ship at various points in space along the ship’s trajectory - the feedback data looked promising, all safety margins and co-efficients looking favourable - confidence was high. News got to the SF top brass, and they were keen to see their great investment come into fruition. Let this not be another Genesis!

    Captain Styles found it difficult to contain a sense of rightful triumph - he played a safe game, took on any assignment no matter how small and well away from the major incursions of the turbulent 2250’s and 60’s. Styles made his bones by finally taking command of an unremarkable patrol frigate operating in the Alpha quadrant as part of a anti-orion pirate operation from 2276. His no questions asked approach to participating in what most other captains find as non-inspiring work eventually aligned him into the Commodore’s good books - and it didn’t matter if Starfleet or even his crew mates liked Styles or not - he was liked by the right person at the right time - and that’s what gave him the captain’s chair. While Kirk created so much noise and heroics on the Enterprise - this took attention away from the controversies of the anti-orion operation - freeing the commanders from media and Federation scrutiny.

    Style’s was fine to play human guinea pig by accepting commanding the Excelsior, as the chatter and laughter subsided in the space dock lounge bar - Styles left the gathering with a parting shot to the other drunk captains that history will redeem him - for what he and his new ship will acheive, that is chasing and breaking records -all the while his fellow captains are being chased and being broken by Klingons.

    Full power available.

    The bridge ambient lighting dropped, the sophisticated wide angle viewer then plotted red themed info graphics depicting an altered subspace field - a transwarp alert glowed on the bottom center of the viewer.

    Ths Helmsman plotted the co-ordinates to the final monitoring outpost - some 27 light years away - it is projected that speeds above Warp 17 would bring them there in less than an hour if not just several minutes. High warp velocities towards specific co-ordinates was always a challenge - hence the Enterprise never re-attempted Warp 14 unless the sole purpose to reach these speeds were to escape as quickly as possible - the ship could arrive anywhere, millions of kilometers off the intended co-ordinates from a few minutes travel. The Excelsior TW drive computer is outfitted with next generation course auto-correction sub processors - it would analyse and fine adjust the ship’s trajectory upto 42500 times a second - the greater the speed and distance, the more corrections needed - every correction has the potential to modulate the Transwarp engine output in fine increments to aid trajectory correction if required. Decceleration control and timing is critical - to taper and shut off Transwarp power at the right time and all this dependent on the auto-correction system.

    The message from the TW eng task force piper through. Modelling predictions from the Warp 16+ test reveals that Warp factor 23.350 can be acheived @ max auto correction capability over the 26 light year distance. We’ll arrive at the final monitoring post in mere seconds?!! - the helmsman exclaimed to Captain Styles. The rest of the bridge crew all turned to center in astonishment - all eyes on Styles.

    Let us do this, inform monitoring outpost 12 we will be there well before the time they receive this message - Execute ...

    The TW cores illuminated in unison, the Chief engineer took a step back - still partly in disbelief - a deep resonance accending in pitch travels through the Excelsior’s bulky hull and is felt on the floor panelling at every deck, the bridge officers braced - motion was inevitable now.

    4 scientists of the TW eng task force posted at monitoring station 12 gazed through the observation windows - sensor arrays peeled but say nothing. They waited and they wait some more. What was anticipation and excitement decended into confusion and worry. A subspace message arrived - from Earth Space dock and another from Captain Styles - confirmation that the Excelsior departed approx 1.5 hours ago with Style’s message yielding a timestamp from that same moment. Monitoring stations 1 through 5 had reports with deminishing certainty of supralative-subspace transit signatures - indicating the Excelsior did pass by in that run. Stations 6 to 11 report their sensors not detected anything resembling what was previously captured on the Warp 16 run.

    Back at Starfleet HQ, the silence in Admiral Cartwright’s office was no longer bearable - he had waited over a day - the TW eng task force posted at Earth Space dock and monitoring posts 1 to 5 were summoned to provide explanations and plausable theories. All flight data streamed from the Excelsior prior to and what was captured at Transwarp engagement was on hand for processing - the finest minds of Federation warp science found themselves battling with frustration and self-doubt. All though the logic playing on everyone’s minds, including those of non scientific grounding such as Cartwright suggests if the Excelsior is still out there and functioning, she would have returned already knowing the velocities she is capable of - the consensus was it has been a terrible disaster, and what good is it for the public domain to know of it if it cannot be rationally explained? How will the Klingons interpret and respond to this incident off the back of the Genesis fiasco? Cartwright in classic fashion, quickly deployed his ‘Plan B’ .....

    Captain Styles composed himself - he gripped his chair for assurance and gazed around the bridge, watching and waiting for his crew to snap back into focus - they all wanted to ask the same question ...... where are we? when are we?!!
     
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  19. diankra

    diankra Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I just assume that transwarp is a generic term for a new breakthrough in ftl. The warp of the 2360s is the transwarp of the 2280s, and before that the talk in The Cage of time warp factor is them being precise during the transition between the new systems of the Enterprise and the older warp drive on older ships.
     
  20. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Vice Admiral Admiral

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    There's nothing to say what 23rd century scientists classed as "transwarp" is the same as what the Borg utilise. They could've devised some great breakthrough but the outcome wasn't what they'd hoped for due to fuel consumption being too great, or the new drive generated unknown instabilities in the warp field, or a radiation hazard made it dangerous for the crew.