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Star Trek Movie ‘Rising From Titan’ Images Available Online September 15, 2009

by Staff , Filed under: Star Trek (2009 film) , trackback

One of the more dramatic moments from the Star Trek movie was when the USS Enterprise rises from the clouds of Saturn’s moon Titan. This scene was actually suggested by the science advisor Carolyn Porco, who also leads the imaging science team for NASA’s Cassini mission to Saturn. Now Paramount has given Porco a couple of beautiful high res images of that scene for her website.


Enterprise Rises From Titan
One of the more dramatic images from the Star Trek movie was when the USS Enterprise rises from the clouds of Saturn’s moon Titan. This show was actually suggested by the science advisor Carolyn Porco. No Paramount has given Porco a couple of very high resolution images of that scene exclusively for her website.

USS Enterprise rises from Titan
(click to get higher res images)

USS Enterprise rises from Titan
(click to get higher res images)

Cinefex cover
The lower image also graced the cover of Cinefex magazine in their July issue, which also has more images and details on the making of the effects for Star Trek. You can order that issue online for $15.



1. SolitaryT - September 15, 2009

Awesome image!

2. Commander DJ - September 15, 2009

Awesome – need the movie, need the movie, need the movie….

3. bill hiro - September 15, 2009

Wow, I had no idea Cinefex was still being published.

4. Q - September 15, 2009

Its well cool, loved that part of the film. Wonder how long it takes for the nitpickers to tune in with the whole ‘oh if the had came out of titan at that position you wouldn’t have seen saturns rings etc etc

5. steve z - September 15, 2009

i was on a cruise ship the had it on their on demand..i saw it 3 times..its also playing in most hotels with on demand service..

6. Duncan MacLeod - September 15, 2009

look at the high rez images of the ship… you can really see the detail in these shots. MAGNIFICENT!

7. Duncan MacLeod - September 15, 2009

I am referring specifically to the PNGs didnt bother with the JPG

8. Crusade2267 - September 15, 2009

Very nice. It almost looks like the TMP Enterprise in that shot with Saturn’s Rings.

9. Trelane's Mirror - September 15, 2009

Beautiful mirror. Shame it’s such an unsalvageably ugly ship. A soulless bastardization of a Grand Old Lady perpetrated by videogame junkie Star Wars designers.

10. Trelane's Mirror - September 15, 2009

Sorry, meant to say “render”, not “mirror”!

11. Sebi - September 15, 2009

Oh boy here we go again…

12. Captain Otter - September 15, 2009

Gee, Trelane, troll much?

The JJ-Prise doesn’t look a dad gum think like any Star Wars ship- nor does it resemble the ships of any video game series I’m aware of. It is simply a fresh take on the traditional design.

I’m not saying you have to like it. Of course you are free to dislike the new design.

I’m just saying you shouldn’t be such a jerk about it.

13. Capt. Tony - September 15, 2009

Jesus Christ, every time there is a picture of the new ship theres someone bitching.

14. Sho - September 15, 2009

Personally, I just don’t like the retro aesthetic. It looks more dated than the 60s version to me.

15. Allen - September 15, 2009

That is awsome, but i think it further proves that the size is comprable to the TMP one. Maybe its a little longer, but its definitely not taller.

16. Captain Otter - September 15, 2009


I agree. Other than the nacelles, I find JJ’s version to be very similar to TMP.

17. Trelane's Mirror - September 15, 2009

Allen: Actually (and this is part of my beef) it specifically shows the opposite, despite (and I agree with U here) that the design obviously started out intended to be the same size. Look clsoely at the rim of the saucer in the 6000px image, you can see low ceilings close behind the windows. Filling in the parts you can’t see, you get 4 or 5 decks at the rim — there are only supposed to be 2!

18. Repo Code - September 15, 2009

Your right Trelane. I dont understand why anyone who thinks the JJ-prise is a bloated ubership gets yelled at here. It will never be our big E

19. Captain Otter - September 15, 2009

If you look at the comparison ( you will see that all JJ’s team did was fill out the saucer- which is actually logical. One of the problems w/ the TMP design is that the “bump” on the underside was too shallow compared w/ TOS.

The new design takes the TMP vibe and actually adjusts it to be closer to (though slightly larger than) the TOS design.

If anything, the new saucer design is an homage to both the TMP and TOS designs.

Not bad for “video game junkie Star Wars designers.”

20. Trelane's Mirror - September 15, 2009

Otter: Look at teh deck plans for the TMP girl (or notice the size of the gangway hatch on the port rim) – the classic ship’s saucer is only two decks tall at the rim. Now look closely at the windows on the new render (or read any of the dozens of posts from the ILM peopel who made the model) – the new saucer is 4 or 5 decks tall. Since, as you hint at, the saucer is about the size relative to the rest of the shiip as on the old ship, that means the ship as a whole is more than double the length with many times the interior volume, a totally absurd size. That’s no “homage”!

21. capt.Roykirk - September 15, 2009

11 and 17. Let me just say I agree with you guys. Not sure I would go as far as you Trelane to say “A soulless bastardization” but I this is not our Enterprise. That’s part I don’t get, why is the Enterprise all of a sudden so freaking huge?! I think if they would have left it alone, they’d have a lot less bickering from the fans, and I doubt any new watchers would have said “I wish they’d have redone the ship” a bit of advice for Mr. Abrams. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

22. Captain Otter - September 15, 2009

First of all, I see four decks on the TMP design. Look at the layering, man! The saucer clearly has . Second of all, in the TOS design, there is all sorts of “hidden” space- Jefferies tubes and the like.

In other words, it is not at all necessary to imagine that there was room for four of five decks in the previous designs- two decks used as decks, and two or three decks-worth of crawl space.

Considering that in the 60s and even in the late 70s and early 80s, we assumed that massive computing power would require such “mechanical levels” to accommodate the massive technical gear required to keep the bridge and other command functions in the saucer section functioning.

But these days we know that computing technology is getting smaller. Thus for someone designing in 2009 using the same scale used by Gene, we should assume that the Enterprise would gain vast amounts of usable space- perhaps even whole decks-worth- versus previous designs.

But maybe you’d prefer Spock keep using those 2-inch square data tapes with, like, three megs worth of data each and we pretend that the silicon revolution has never happened.

If Trek is going to remain relevant, we cannot keep pining for a vision of the Enterprise which is actually technologically laughable by our modern standards.

23. Captain Otter - September 15, 2009

The first paragraph third sentence should read “The saucer (referring to the TMP design) clearly has more than two layers even if there are only two “decks.” Sorry for the error.

24. Harry Ballz - September 15, 2009

Never mind the shape or size of the ship…..I saw the movie three times and enjoyed it, but with every shot of the Enterprise I never felt like we were looking at a real ship! With current day CGI and models, can’t they do a better job than this??

25. CmdrR - September 15, 2009

The detail is breathtaking.
So, that means this is an actual picture. I mean they’ve built it and it’s out there in space and I can go aboard her, right??

OH COME ON! IT’S FRAKKIN’ 2009 ALREADY! Where’s my starship??

26. OneBuckFilms - September 15, 2009

I loved this shot, probably one of my favorite shots in the movie.

The size was necessary to convey how vast and powerful they were.

27. Mike Mike - September 15, 2009

I’ve been waiting for this image for a long time. I think the ship can tend to look “less real” during certain scenes because of the lighting used. The initial side profile we see of the ship in the movie looked the most real to me, while the shot with the shuttle craft entering the docking bay did not seem to look as good. It is the same high quality model, just light differently in various scenes. Brighter lighting tends to remind me of how the original models were filmed in the Original Movies, so I think that is why I equate a brighter ship to being a real physical ship.

28. Trelane's Mirror - September 15, 2009

Otter: We’ll just have to agree to disagree then. For me, it is EXACTLY a lack of respect for the original Vision of the Enterprise and a misplaced desire to remake everything in order to make it “relevant” that ruined the designs in the new movie. There is NOTHING “laughable” about the visionary work of Matt Jeffries, Andy Probert, R Sternbach, etc. – in contrast to the silly, totally unrealistic gratuitous curvy hotrod shapes and ridiculous scale of the new design. There have been few sci fi designs as timeless as theirs, and it is a shame that some felt the need to trample all over them in order to fill some imaginary need to meet “modern standards”.

29. davidfuchs - September 15, 2009

Agree with the chaps above. I can just plop the good old refit or -A into that scene and it looks so much better. That’s just it–not only is it in my opinion not as good a design as the original, but it has less good angles overall due to its swept-forward engine struts.

30. sensor ghost - September 15, 2009

YES. That was my favorite shot in the whole movie. <3

31. spider1981 - September 15, 2009

@28. Trelane’s Mirror

I think the polar opposite of pretty much everything you just said.
Eh well, IDIC, different strokes for different folks and all that.


32. Shane - September 15, 2009

More like Trelane’s Troll….

33. The Geek Who Gets Laid Often - September 15, 2009

Just the way I see it:

An alien ship from the future showed up and presented a huge threat for the Federation, altering the time-line. In the twenty-something years following the incident, Starfleet has worked hard at making its ships bigger and stronger and a little more brewery-like.

If you’re not content with that, there’s also the real-world reality of the old Enterprise being horribly dated. It was horribly dated by the 80’s. That’s why they had constant ”refits”.

I can’t understand canon fascists. How can you sleep at night knowing that James R. Kirk, ion drive being way beyond warp drive, Klingon foreheads and the 1990’s Eugenics wars can bring your whole belief system crashing down on you?

34. Captain Otter - September 15, 2009


Let me be clear- based on the state of techonology in the 60s, Mr. Jeffries was indeed a visionary and there was nothing laughable in the dsign.

But for a modern film maker working on the Big E, to make work within the framework of a 1960s-era vision of future technology would be utterly laughable.

Or to de-Trek this debate, I think we can both agree that who ever invented the Katana was a bloody brilliant weapon designer. But it would be a joke to walk onto a modern battlefield and face a well-equipped US Marine armed only with an old sword.

Coming to grips with such realities doesn’t require besmirching the sword maker.

Nor does my argument besmirch Matt Jeffries or anyone else.

Likewise, your luddite devotion to “the way things used to be” doesn’t honor Matt Jeffries.

35. wkiryn - September 15, 2009

I tend to wonder about people who think the 1990’s eugenics wars are a problem for a fictional universe.

36. Jesse - September 15, 2009

I love these pictures. I would love them a lot more if they were of a different Enterprise. Still, there’s no use complaining at this point. I just have to accept the way things are now and live with it.

37. The Geek Who Gets Laid Often - September 15, 2009


They certainly are not as far as I’m concerned. Science fiction, as a term, is pretty self-explanatory (in this case for the latter half of the term). I’m just dumbfounded by the way people pick and choose what they consider to be rock-solid fandom dogma.

38. Devon - September 15, 2009

That’s a very good and funnily faithful rendition if you ask me. Sorry your missing the party Trelane.

39. I'm a geek too, but - September 15, 2009

The saucer has the wrong number of decks?

Get a life, people. It’s a #@&$% movie.


40. Enterprise - September 15, 2009

That light in that one window is off.

41. Paulaner - September 15, 2009

Wonderful pictures and, imo, wonderful ship.

42. richpit - September 15, 2009

It’s a nice ship. It was a good movie. That’s all I’ve got to say. Buh bye.

43. Spockish - September 15, 2009

The JJ Abrams Starship images look great (just enough detail to make the New Enterprise look real). I forgot who said the saucer deck count is wrong, great observation, I would have missed that until after I printed a poster of NCC-1701.

So were did the missing deck go? But still the picture looks almost perfect. As for lights off in the image, it may be imperfect, but little things like that make pictures look real. Minor errors make things look correct because life has yet to be perfect, and if it is not perfect the more we think it can be real.

100% Perfect = Not Real, and major errors make things look wrong, but things like a Deck missing in the saucer section rarely gets noticed.

44. CarlG - September 15, 2009

@42: Very succinct, I approve.

@40: OMG, you’re right! Star Trek is Ruined FOREVER!!!one1!

Thank you, Dr. Porco for such an amazing image!

When I saw this in theatre, my jaw was on the floor. Just… wow. I know that real atmospheres probably don’t work that way, but this is perfectly alright by me. ;D
As usual, ILM’s work is nothing short of exquisite.

I don’t suppose we could get a nice big pic of that shot just before the main titles, where the Narada is damaged and listing, and the little fleet of shuttles slowly making their way to safety, all silhouetted by the massive star in the background… that was my other “wow” moment, effect-wise.

45. Sci-Fi Bri - September 15, 2009


46. CarlG - September 15, 2009

If they do change anything on the Enterprise for the next film, I rather hope they put in more windows, and add the NCC number to the saucer underside. Right now it looks kind of… barren (is that the right word?).

And I just need to get this off my chest — it’s not the “JJ-prise”. This version of the Enterprise was designed by Ryan Church. Assign blame/compliments to the right person, FFS.

47. Spockish - September 15, 2009

#35) wkiryn, there was a 1990’s genetics war, it just was not a eugenics. Do you remember the race to map the Human DNA chain. And Slick Willie got to announce the winner in 1997.

The war aspect was in the battles and fights for money donors and who would finish the race first. You have to realize today’s wars are not guns and bombs they have become bank accounts and credit limits.

Only primitive people use guns, bombs and death, as the US creates Robotic Terminators. Battles are becoming robotic starting with the Cruise Missile. This started with Hitler’s use ov Van Braun to create the V1 & V2. Van Braun the showed us how to bet Russia to the Moon.

Next is optical EM proof 64bit CPU’s to run the Robots then Human death in war will be greatly lowered, and thus war will happen more often. Thus our creative powers will need to move faster. Thus education must move from the Union Self protection control of the teacher into a learning and engineering new things to win. Otherwise we become history and so will freedom be killed by those that want to be bosses.

And in the worst case there will be no more dreams of Star Trek and technology’s advance and improvements.

48. Carolyn Porco - September 15, 2009

Q: The nit-pickers have already been all over me about all the things that aren’t exactly right in this image. And I’ve commented on some of them before. At this point, let’s let it lie, and enjoy the pics. I’m glad to see many of you already are. Let’s hope they’ll be more real planetary scenes in the next one!

49. Lord Ravenwood - September 15, 2009

Quoted from the Diamond Sky Productions website:

“We, of course, are biased, but we think you’ll agree: The Enterprise has never looked so good.”

I don’t agree.

Obviously, they’ve never seen an episode of “Star Trek” the original series re-mastered or the first six “Star Trek” films.

I do agree with Trelane’s Mirror (#9).

50. Gary - September 15, 2009

WOW…. just wow… i’m taking this to get printed right away

51. wkiryn - September 15, 2009

Well there is the future that never was.

That mission to saturn that jet pilot’s son was destined to lead wasn’t some voyager style mission – it was a reference to the atomic Orion Rocket program – a 1950’s rocket that would reach Saturn in a 5 year trip! (Tomorrow is Yesterday)
From that rocket we’d have Mars populated by now if it had followed the Apollo program.

The eugenics war – imagine if this supermouse was discovered 50 years ago too (when the gene itself was identified) – an over expression of ONE gene produces every trait that Khan and his kind had over normals.

52. Rocket Scientist - September 15, 2009

Of all the characters in this movie, it’s the E that feels the least like the original. Inside and out. I guess I can accept that. No. I *do* accept it. It’s a whole new ball game, and there are certain adjustments that need to be made if we want to keep playing.

But it’s OK to miss the original E and her descendents. They were real beauties!

53. Rick Sternbach - September 15, 2009

#48 – Carolyn – It’s interesting that most of the comments here focus on the ship and not the impossible tilt of Saturn’s rings, which most of us in the IAAA discussed months ago. As I recall, I told you the producers might or might not listen to reality. :) I wonder what Bonestell or McCall would have done in this situation.

54. Adam C - September 15, 2009

the background is a bit of a let down, should of used the starbase scene :(

55. cd - September 15, 2009

28 – agreed. They feel they have to make it different for difference’s sake, I suppose. The windows have a nice realistic effect, and the primary hull, being a very close copy of the TMP primary hull, is decent enough. I do like that the concave area is filled in underneath: I always thought that was an unnecessary waste of space on the original. The rest of the ship, however, was the part that was, in my opinion, changed in an unflattering way, and also, BTW, looks the least realistic in this picture.

56. MikeyShingles - September 15, 2009

Oh man – twice the size, half the size 10x the size of the original. WHO CARES????? Be glad any Enterprise is on the big screen again. Oh my god!! “There should be 2 decks – there are 5 now. Death to all involved with this bastardization” I know you have a right to not like it but for Jeebus sake – THE SHIP DOESNT EXIST IN REAL LIFE!!!! ARGH!!! Take a fistfull of XANAX and chill, dudes!

57. Capitano Alberti - September 15, 2009

That scene gave me chills down my spine. It was 100% Certified Choice Trek-gasm.

58. DeanMH - September 16, 2009

Nice image. Seriously though… I just don’t get the rampant negativity by some small-minded souls out there who cling to 40 year-old design aesthetics. I’ve been a fan for 35-plus years myself, and I LOVE the original designs, but there are far too many dorks out there (yes, DORKS) who don’t have the true spirit of Star Trek at heart. (IMO)
Sure, there are subtleties here and there I prefer old-school vs. new, but so what? It’s a nice new take on the old girl, and I’d still take her out for a fun ride. (Dork humor ;)P

59. Mother Wore Tights - September 16, 2009

Thes shots make me want a model kit of the new Enterprise even more than ever!

60. David B - September 16, 2009

This should have been on the dvd cover under the three heads, can some do a quick manip and show how much better the DVD covers could have been with this pciture.

This picture has got Star Trek written all over it, awe inspiring discovery.

61. JB - September 16, 2009

Beautiful picture. I just realized from looking at it that this version of the E has very few windows – there are no windows in the underside of the saucer, and none that face forward.

62. John-eh Boy - September 16, 2009

Seeing as how most people are arguing about the ship, has anyone else noticed that Saturns Ring Spokes are missing??

63. DAK23 - September 16, 2009

This scene was the best in the entire movei I believe (yeah, I thought it sucked, but it’s my opinion & right not to praise JJ as the new messiah). I spent weeks looking online for the ‘enterprise’ rising out of Titan’s atmosphere.

As to the size of the ship, all the producers & his majesty JJ stated it is at least 3000 ft long.

Now, if you want to se what could have been… check this guy out;

64. KingDaniel - September 16, 2009


The ship is >700 meters long. The windows around the saucer rim are about the same size as the bridge window, which is huge.

The brewery wouldn’t fit in a 366 meter ship. The shuttles wouldn’t fit in a 366 meter ship. The corridors off the bridge wouldn’t fit in a 366 meter ship.

The Kelvin was huge too (again, corridors off the bridge, tiny lady sucked into space next to giant phaser turret, 800 crew).

How can people claim all but one shot in the film (the over-Kirk’s-shoulder one) is a vfx error?

…not that the size of the ship matters at all outside of some guy’s size-comparion chart ;-)

65. KingDaniel - September 16, 2009

Oh – almost forgot.

The pics look great :-)

66. Imrahil - September 16, 2009

Man that design is awkward.

67. jonboc - September 16, 2009

Beautiful ship.

68. William Kirk - September 16, 2009

Beautiful pictures, ugly ship. I can´t help.

here we go again… :-) LOL – reminds me of Reagan :-)

69. dredre2k - September 16, 2009

Personally, I love the fact that the ship is around 600 to 700 meters long. I always felt that the original Enterprise (while beautiful) was entire too small. I don’t have a problem with the larger ship, because clearly the Enterprise owns the space she’s in! :-)

I only wish the nacelles were a little farther apart and the design would be perfect!

70. VZX - September 16, 2009

The ship is not perfect, but it’s good enough. I mean, what if they designed the Enterprise to be totally different? Like, no saucer section, etc. At least it looks like the Enterprise.

71. Rogersen - September 16, 2009

Why sure, I’ll get snarky here. “At last, a shot of the new E that makes it look good.”

72. Enterprise - September 16, 2009

Anyone think that shot should have been the poster?

73. Jesse - September 16, 2009

Deg’s Enterprise (and others also) proves that the the Enterprise can look modern without significantly changing lines, proportions, or colors.
Also, the Enterprise actually DOES have windows on the bottom of the saucer, and some of them DO face forward.

74. CarlG - September 16, 2009

@53: What’s wrong with the rings? Are they not at the right angle relative to Titan’s orbit, or something?

I really have no idea; my astronomy-fu is weak.

75. Lord Ravenwood - September 16, 2009

CarlG (#46)

Yes, this is Ryan Church’s design, to a degree.

But, it had to go through several stages of development first. The director takes a look at the initial design then has the artist “tweek” it until he (In this case JJ!) is satified with the final “look and feel” of things. That’s when the director “signs off” on it.
Believe me, I have been a designer on several productions and I know how the process works. If a director (or producer) is difficult to work with, there are a lot of “back to the drawing board” moments.

Taking nothing away from Mister Church: He’s a very talented gentleman. In this case though, Church had an existing design that JJ wanted “tweeked” to his satisfaction, therefore it is the JJ-prise. Church was simply following orders.

In “The Trouble with Tribbles,” when the Klingon states, “…the Enterprise should be hauled away AS garbage!” I’m convinced he had seen the JJ-prise BEFORE he’d seen the original!

76. Matt - September 16, 2009

the windows look to be around the same size and pattern.

77. Matt - September 16, 2009

pic here.

78. Rick Sternbach - September 16, 2009

#74 – Titan lies pretty much in the same plane as the rings, so an observer near Titan would see the rings as a thin line. The Cassini spacecraft orbits way out of the plane, which is why we see the spectacular views that were adapted for the movie. Pretty, but wrong; director/producer’s prerogative, of course. What really would have made -great- use of the scientific reality of the Saturn system would have been to see the Enterprise rise out of Titan’s atmosphere, see the rings as a thin line at Saturn, and then have the camera stay with the ship as it thrust away from Titan and “up” away from the plane, with Saturn’s rings getting dramatically wider and wider, with the big music. But then nobody asked me. :)

79. DAK23 - September 16, 2009

Mr. Sternbach… as far as I am concerned sir, you are just as much a part of Star Trek as ANYONE (more so than his highness ‘JJ’). I find it terribly exciting that you read, much less comment on this post. Heck, I’ve followed your design work for years! Kudos to you on… shoot, just about everything!

Dr. Porco… I don’t believe anyone could possibly be more qualified to act as a technical/science consult. I’m just soooo disappointed that ‘they’ decided to just whisk ALL scientific credibility away for the sake of flashy lensflares & blowing things up ala Michael Bay. A terrible waste of your skills.

Just imagine how much better this movie oculd have been had the two of you been better utilized (or at all in the case of Mr. S).

A Fan

80. JB - September 17, 2009

73: Where are they?

81. CarlG - September 17, 2009

@78: Ah, I see. Thanks for explaining.

Yeah, that would have been awesome, but I’m pretty happy with the shot that we got anyways.

@75: Fair enough. It just bugs me, that whole “JJ-Prise” thing — it always gives the impression that he scribbled it out on a cocktail napkin, handed it to Mr. Curch and said, “Make this, peon. Now I must return to trekmovie and pick a trekkie to infuriate…”

82. Jon Carling - September 17, 2009

Am I right in thinking the second image uses as a background actual NASA imagery? It looks like it does. If not, then they’ve got some nasty render errors there. (ok, so they are tiny – but hey I’m supposed to notice these things, it’s my job)

83. Rastaman - September 17, 2009

I really like these detailed shots. I only wish for the first one they sent him a capture about a second later, when the saucer is more visible and the cloud sort spills off of it. I loved that!

84. Jesse - September 17, 2009

@80: On the original Enterprise (not the new one), there were forward and side facing windows on the “bulge” on the bottom of the saucer. They’re barely visible in this picture at
which I chose because it happens to include the new ship to compare with the old one. How convenient! There are better pictures at Ex Astris Scientia also.

85. JB - September 17, 2009

84: Thanks, but I when I commented that there were no forward-facing windows/viewports (or at least none I could identify), I was referring to the new ship, not the original.

86. Admiral New - September 17, 2009

Hi res image is hi res. 0_0

87. Paul B. - September 18, 2009

I’m not going to complain about the flaws–uh, questionable artistic choices?–in the new ship. Nor about the tilt of the rings.

But I have to say that I really did NOT like this scene at all. From the cheesiness of the entire set up (hide in Titan’s atmosphere, beam across the Solar System, blahblahblah) to the silly clouds-pushed-up-by-the-ship (might be realistic but LOOKS stupid to me) to the ripping off (sorry, homage) of the TWOK scene of Enterprise rising behind Reliant before attacking, this was NOT a dramatic scene, nor was it the “money shot” or any other such thing.

To me, it was a weak and pointless bit in an otherwise entertaining movie. The only good thing is that it’s almost the only scene where JJ lets us see the ship in something like her full glory. The rest of the movie never gives us a sense of her grandeur and majesty, just size and speed.

88. Carolyn Porco - September 18, 2009

Rick Sternbach: Well, they did ask me, and that is exactly what I suggested, but the suggestion was not taken. The reason given: It would require too long a camera move. And to others, as I’ve said many times, I was not consulted on anything scientific in ST09 other than the problem of getting the Enterprise back into the solar system `under cover’. And my interactions with the ILM folks and with JJ were all finished before the script was finalized. Otherwise, I would have told them the rings have no magnetic field to scramble the Enterprise’s signals. So, it’s not perfect, but in my mind it was a small step in the right direction. And since the journey is not over yet, there’s hope for improvement. And to Paul B….I don’t even know what the TWOK scene is! The idea of having the Enterprise hovering over Titan is a scene that has been with me since the days of Voyager, when it felt to me, as we were first encountering Titan in 1980, that Building 264 at JPL, where all the imaging scientists were located for Voyagers’ encounters, was like the Starship Enterprise and we all were the crew inside. So, personally, for me, it was like a dream come true to see that scene make it to the big screen.

89. Rick Sternbach - September 18, 2009

#88 – Well, I’m glad you tried. Not being familiar with that particular production crew, I don’t know what I would have been able to push had I gotten hired on. As far back as Star Trek: The Motion Picture, I was able to offer Robert Wise a couple of script tech changes and actor direction, but needed to do it gingerly. Fortunately, for the TNG/DS9/Voyager era, we got science and tech fixes punched through about 80% of the time, which to this day I find amazing. Our producers and writers were very good listeners. Sure, some dramatic points trounced the science or “accepted” 24th century starship technology, but I think we left the franchise canon in better shape than when we first encountered it.

Heh. I remember hanging out in von Karman for Voyager 1 with Carl Sagan (a bunch of us were on COSMOS, of course) talking with Larry Soderblum about why so many craters on Ganymede looked like perfect doubles, one inside the other. The pix were just then coming down. Giddy times, indeed.

90. Carolyn Porco - September 18, 2009

Yes, some of my fondest memories are from Voyager. We were blessed to live through that one.

By the way, can someone (maybe you, Rick) tell me what the big deal is about the way the Enterprise looks in ST09 and the way it looked `way back when’? I’m not following. What has been violated that was so sacrosanct ?

91. Rick Sternbach - September 18, 2009

#90 – Carolyn – Some of us feel that the basic planform or outer mold line or style of the ST09 Enterprise is too radical a departure from the Original Series Enterprise, aside from it being -way- too big in comparison, bigger even than Picard’s giant-sized Galaxy class Enterprise from Star Trek: The Next Generation. By now, you’ve probably gotten and “earful” of the online comments; there are fans who, at one extreme, are quite learned about the way this fictional technology is “supposed” to look and operate, and I’ve gotten in on some pretty intelligent BBS discussions about this stuff. I invented a pretty decent amount of it over 15 years, and even I get surprised about how some ideas just click. Some of the objections to the new ship are anchored in how it borrows heavily from the NCC-1701 “refit” from the first feature film, how the warp nacelles may not work stylistically with the rest of the vessel, how it took off from Iowa and not an orbital dock, and a number of other points. As an artist/designer, I feel their pain; I babbled on about it myself in this forum. Some folks may see the nitpicking as whining, but I believe there’s more to it than the stereotype of the nerdy fanboy, and the franchise has lasted this long -because- the fans talk it up. And I know they appreciate it when we go the extra distance to talk with respectable scientists like yourself.

92. Lord Garth, Formerly of Izar - September 19, 2009

As amazing as CGI is
Even in this day and age, still not kind to still photos. Blown up Galactcaprise looks like art (beautiful art but art none the less), blown up Doug Trumbull’s ship looked like a photograph of a real life battleship in space

The new design and size has grown on me quite a bit. We all know Kirk could beat Picard in a battle of wits and or fists but he should have a ship that could crush the Picard USS Toomanyportholesand neon La Quinta innprise as well. Now he does.
However I still hope they address the skinny tampon looking secondary hull and give it some more meat underneath for it’s refit or tweeking

93. Jeff C - September 20, 2009

It’s great to see both Carolyn Porco and Rick Sternbach here. is represented by Gorilla Nation. Please contact Gorilla Nation for ad rates, packages and general advertising information.