The lack of “the Federation” in Starfleet

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Gotham Central, Nov 28, 2022.

  1. Gotham Central

    Gotham Central Vice Admiral Admiral

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    One of my biggest gripes with some of the design choices in Star Trek has been the fact that Starfleet ships are basically just Earth ships. Enterprise was the series that made it clear that Starfleet was basically just the UESPA carried forward. The NX-01 was basically a traditional Starfleet design despite the fact that it predates the Federation. The problem is that it means that Starfleet did not obviously benefit from the technological innovations of the other members of the Federation. Compare this to the Babylon 5 universe, where each of the member races of the Interstellar Alliance had distinct ship designs, but eventually the ships used by the Rangers and on Crusade looked like amalgamations of at least Earth, Minbari and Vorlon technology. In the Stargate universe, the SGC/IOA eventually ends up with ships and technology that looks like amalgams of earth designs with alien tech.
    In making early pre-Federation ships look exactly like what would come later, the creators of Enterprise missed the opportunity to show one of the biggest benefits of the nascent Federation. Suppose the Andorians had been traveling in flying saucers, the Vulcans could keep their ring ships but the core of the ship could have been long and cylindrical like a secondary hull. Earth ships could have been bricks with warp nacelles or even featured the spherical primary hull of the Dadelus class. When you put all of those elements together you start to see the origin of the Constitution class.

    it seems like a wasted opportunity.
     
  2. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Well, this is like putting the cart before the horse, given that "the Federation" did not exist when Star Trek was first imagined. It was an Earth vessel, and carried forward until the Federation was imagined much later on. By then, much of the iconography was laid in to the ground work, as a cooperative "combined service" that reflected a United Earth.

    Only if you are looking at Star Trek from a modern concept. But, Trek's history was laid out in the 60s, with science fiction focusing on Earth vessels going out in to the cosmos, rather than a combination of races.
     
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  3. Orphalesion

    Orphalesion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Of course there's also the cost and time factor when it comes to applying alien makeup on actors, let alone extras who might just be in a couple of shots.
    It's more feasible now than it was during the Berman era and during the Berman era it was more feasible than it was during the 1960s (back then Spocks' Vulcan ears were already such an expense that it kept the Romulans from appearing more often, leaving the production to favour the Klingons more, who were just guys smeared with grease paint). But it remains an investment that could just as easily be cut by having the character or extra just be a human.
     
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  4. somebuddyX

    somebuddyX Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah I once thought like this when I was a teenager but I think it's fine that UFP Starfleet ships don't look like an amalgamation of all the member races and design history doesn't go the way people expect. I feel like in 2161 the Starfleet was made up of ships from all the races but at some point they decided to make their ships uniform and it wasn't an accident that Earth got it's way that it's designs were chosen, the same way most top UFP and Starfleet installations are on or around Earth. But they probably used tech from every race internally and there has to be some customisation for all the races that don't conform to what environmental conditions humans need. The Vulcans like it hot, Andorians like it cold. Are there Xindi-Aquatics swimming around the corridors with the dolphins and humpback whales? It feels normal to me that a huge corporation wants to absorb the best parts of smaller groups into itself.
    I love the Stargate designs of the BC-304 but they don't look anything like Asgard or Goa'uld technology. They look like big blocky space aircraft carriers and are also uniform in that Russia's Korolev and China's Sun Tzu look exactly like Odyssey, Apollo, and Hammond.
     
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  5. Notsubway

    Notsubway Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    From an In-Universe standpoint, an easy explaination of how Earth ships became the basis of Starfleet could be that coming out of the Earth-Romulan War, Earth had emmassed a fleet that was vastly oversized for it's needs post-War and offerred them up for use by the Federation and the other speices agreed for the sake of standardization as well as the fact the Earth spaceframes were found to be the easiest to adapt the various techological contributions from the other 3 speices to implement.
     
  6. Sisko_is_my_captain

    Sisko_is_my_captain Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I also would have liked to see Starfleet assimilating Federation worlds' technologies. Maybe the Tellarite computers would have used an early LCARS gui. Or the Andorian phase pistols would have looked more like TOS phaser designs. Vulcan tricorders. Um...Betazoid interior decorators?
     
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  7. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Punk Premium Member

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    My head canon is comfortable with the idea that many systems on Starfleet ships come from other member worlds.
     
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  8. Vger23

    Vger23 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think sometimes we forget that this is not really meant to be the most accurate and prophetic science fiction franchise with regard to realism and futurism.
     
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  9. Farscape One

    Farscape One Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The reason why the BC-304's you mentioned look the same is because they are the same class ship, Daedalus class.
     
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  10. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Well ACKTUALLY. . .

    TNG style windows and TOS blue phasers and the iconic helm/nav console come from Andorian ships in ENT.

    Classic movie style UI/LCARS comes from ENT era Vulcan ships.

    ...although yeah, they should have done a LOT more with the premise of ENT.
     
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  11. Dryson

    Dryson Commodore Commodore

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    Each warp capable planet had their own starship hull designs, which created a unique design that identified each planet from another planet.
     
  12. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Honestly, I figure that the Constitution class is descended from all of the Federation founding worlds' ship lineages. The saucer is a descendant of the NX class of the United Earth Starfleet; the cylindrical secondary hull is descended from the semi-cylindrical Kumari class of the Andorian Imperial Guard; the dual hull with a semi-vertical link is descended from the Suurak class of the Vulcan space service. I imagine that some internal system of the Tellarite starship lineage is the ancestor of the analogous system aboard the Constitution class.
     
  13. Kor

    Kor Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It would be interesting to see the Vulcan "ring ship" design used in Starfleet.

    Kor
     
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  14. Citiprime

    Citiprime Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Earth as the capital of the Federation and Starfleet as the basis of its defense makes sense when you remember that humanity is basically presented as the glue which brought the founding members of the Federation together and unites them.
    • Of the four founding members, the other three (the Vulcans, Andorians, and Tellarites) besides Earth had been at war with each other in their recent history before the creation of the Federation in the late 22nd century.
    • It's in their interactions with humanity that brings all four species together to both make peace with each other and face the Romulan threat together. So humanity and Starfleet become a trusted entity that could be embraced by all participants.
    • Since it's called the "Earth-Romulan War," that would imply that Earth and Starfleet took the lead in facing the Romulans. Therefore, one could assume that Starfleet was positioned as the go-to organization for the defense of Federation space coming out of the war and in the early days of the Federation's existence.
    To borrow from something said about humanity in Babylon 5, what makes humans different is they build communities.

    One of my favorite fan-theories which plays into the idea of how human-centric the Federation is in basically holding all of these species together are "the three bright stars" of the Federation insignia.
    [​IMG]
    There's no official canon explanation for what those stars are. But my favorite idea is that it represents the founding members of the Federation. How exactly do you represent FOUR founding members with THREE stars? Those three stars represent Vulcan, Tellar, and Andoria as seen in the night sky from Earth. Basically, the very symbol of the Federation shows how Earth is at the center of defining and holding together the union.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2022
  15. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The Federation being so human centric stops making sense in the 32nd century when Earth isn't a member of the Federation anymore, yet the Federation and Starfleet continue to be predominantly human with Starfleet's CinC being human, the Federation President being part human, and even the enigmatic guy who holds everything together being probably human. English is still considered "Federation Standard" and the human Gregorian calendar is still the official calendar for the Federation.
     
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  16. Orphalesion

    Orphalesion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    TBF very little about the 32nd century makes any sense. 800 years in the future and the galaxy looks and feels largely the same.
     
  17. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    By then everyone human should be homogenised into one race, like on South Park.

    And there should be weird-ass shit out there, like Ferengi-Andorian-Vulcan-Klingon hybrids.
     
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  18. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Or the Human-Bajoran-Cardassian hybrid serving as Federation President.
     
  19. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Since humans are the only sentient lifeforms we are aware of who watch the shows, I think all of those things will continue for the foreseeable future. ;)
     
  20. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Much to the consternation of the Thermian market.