Video of the Day: Evolution of the Star Trek Warp Effect |
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Video of the Day: Evolution of the Star Trek Warp Effect September 3, 2010

by Staff , Filed under: Feature Films (TMP-NEM),Star Trek (2009 film),Viral Video/Mashup/Images , trackback

One of the cooler new effects in the 2009 Star Trek movie was the "go to warp" effect. The video of the day looks at how the warp effect has changed over the last three decades in the eleven Star Trek feature films. Check it out below.


Evolution of Warp

Compiled by Gizmodo (adding Star Trek 2009 effect to original YouTube video from 2008)

POLL What’s your favorite warp effect?

You can break the history of the warp effect into eras. The Motion Picture had “the tunnel”, the rest of the TOS era movies went with “the streak”, Generations and First Contact used “the stretch”, while the last two TNG era films had a kind of “accelerator” effect, and finally in Star Trek 2009 the ships just “shot” into warp. So which is your fave?

Favorite movie warp effect?

View Results

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1. Chris Dawson - September 3, 2010

First!! ?? That’s cool.

2. NX-03 - September 3, 2010

Nice flare!

3. Capttravis - September 3, 2010

I liked the ‘stretch’ the that the D and E did (though the E seemed to lose it in the end for some dumb reason)

4. mg1138 - September 3, 2010

The 1979 Warp Effect is definitely the best! So Disco!!!

5. Kaiser The Great - September 3, 2010

I like the Motion Picture in the sense that all the rainbow lines makes it seem like some sort of tunnel is being generated. I like TNG because of the actually warping/stretching of the ship, and I like how the nacelles in the latest movie seem to shift around a smidgen before going warp.

6. G - September 3, 2010

Yes, original movies were the best (I, II, III, IV). Next best would be JJ’s.

I never understood The Next Gen movies (ENT-E) warp. It was awful. Smoke contrails coming from the warp nacelles? Really?? It was really odd, and unimpressive.

7. G - September 3, 2010

Plus, the sounds effects that they used for TMP were impressive, too.. Loud and bold and powerful. The sound makes a huge difference, too (even though there shouldn’t be any sound in space) LOL

8. Victor Hugo - September 3, 2010

Third! Nice optical effects in the first movies, i love the prism effects on those too.

The Star Trek 2009 was also nice, but reminds me a little bit too much of “Galaxy Quest”, i don´t know why, maybe it´s the camera angle.

Thinking on this, there´s tons of similarities between Star Trek 2009 and Galaxy Quest, besides the basic fact they´re both Trek parodies.

9. Praetor Shinzon II - September 3, 2010

No NX-01 Enterprise warp?

10. TheDM - September 3, 2010

#8, how the heck is 2009 a Trek Parody if it’s Trek?

11. njdss4 - September 3, 2010

That was one sexy video.

12. DarthMcWord - September 3, 2010

The D’s will always hold a special place in my heard. Nacelle flash, stretch, flash of light. mmhmm. The E lost the nacelle flash, which is a shame. That being said I do love the early warp effect too. and the new one is fine. hell, I like ’em all!

13. Daniel - September 3, 2010

TMP Warp effect rules!

14. Michael - September 3, 2010


15. Lt. Dakin - September 3, 2010

I liked the TOS moives AFTER TMP when they didn’t sort of create the hole and drive into like TMP.

16. Capt Mike of the Terran Empire - September 3, 2010

I like the Warp effect of treks 2 through 6. Tng was good along with Ds9 and Voyager. Enterprise was good as well. Trek09 was good but not the best.

17. AJ - September 3, 2010

It would’ve been better to show the primary hell stretching out before warp (from the Bridge POV)that we see once Sulu learns how to drive in ST09.

18. They call me Stasiu - September 3, 2010

My favorite part about the TMP visual is that we go to warp along with the Enterprise, but we just can’t keep up and are left in it’s dust!

19. Anthony Pascale - September 3, 2010

I added a poll.

I like the TWOK ‘streak’ and the new movie ‘pop’ effects best. I do agree that it would be nice to see that distant flash with the new effect.

20. Weerd1 - September 3, 2010

I love light tunnels!

21. Cmdr Data - September 3, 2010

They are all awesome in their own right… however, nitpick alert…… Sorry Tony cos i know u hate em….

My thought on the Warp Effect was that they had their differences due to the the tech on the ships becoming more advanced therefore the style of the warp effect would differ. (this ties in with special effects & budgets etc).. however. In Enterprise the NX01 would Warp out like a TNG style vessel as would the Phoenix in First Contact…

It just disrupts continuity in my opinion…… They could have easily kept the same style of warp effect prone to that timeline.

22. Happy Russia - September 3, 2010

“One of the cooler new effects in the 2009 Star Trek movie was the “go to warp” effect. ”

Too bad that effect was 40 years too late. Star Wars invented the hyperspace effect back in ’77, remember?

The TMP warp was and is the best. From the deeply resonating sound effects, to the prism tunnel to the thunderous (no pun intended) flash bang at the end. The TNG warp effect was the only one that came close to something as dramatic and exciting ever since.

23. fred - September 3, 2010

i personal thought the warp in trek 5 was the best it had nice blend of colour with a movement never before or since top that with a tention underplayed that with some humor………….im sorry just shitting you T.M.P the best but i do like trek 09 move for its speed than grace and the way it feel like its ripping for space and not saling throu it so not star trek but i do like it

24. Adam Warr - September 3, 2010

Still think the original Motion Picture effect is the best after all these years. It really gives the impression that space is being twisted and the light gets broken down.

Reminds me of a “Galaxy Defractor” filter I once had on a SLR camera…used to love getting “warp effect” shots in London.

25. Joe Sidney - September 3, 2010

gotta go with the tunnelin TMP- i dont know whats scientifically hypothesized to be more correct, but I thought that one was the best

26. Chaz76 - September 3, 2010

Was it ever explained why the warp effect changed during the movie in Star Trek II? The first effect looked like a cheap, imitation of the beautiful warp jump from the TMP.

27. jas_montreal - September 3, 2010

Trek 09’s warp effect was pretty darn awesome. Its gotta be the best one.

28. Schultz - September 3, 2010

Damn. That clip at the end reminded me how terrible GIacchino’s version of the ST theme is.

As for the effect: I prefer the ST09 version, because if warp were possible, that’s probably the closest to what it would look like: gone in the blink of an eye. (Assuming it’s even possible to see a ship inside a warp field.)

29. Vultan - September 3, 2010

As much as I like the TNG stretch, I’d have to vote for the TMP effect. It just seemed more like an event than just a plain old special effect (see Insurrection & Nemesis).

Also, a fun little question for you scientists and nitpickers out there: when we see the Enterprise (or any sci-fi ship for that matter) traveling faster than light (traveling at speed, not the going-to-warp effect), shouldn’t the ship be invisible? I mean, technically they are traveling faster than light… so they shouldn’t still be within the visible spectrum, right? Not that I don’t enjoy seeing those beautiful ships… just asking… :)

30. Will_H - September 3, 2010

I always liked the Nemesis one the best just because I thought it was the most, well at least potentially, realistic. It didn’t just instantly break the warp barrier and there was a plasma trail. I think had they added a warp flash to the ST09 effect it would of been awesome, but they didn’t which kinda disappointed me.

31. Munster79 - September 3, 2010

Star Trek II all the way!

32. Schultz - September 3, 2010

#29 The ships in Star Trek don’t go faster than light. It’s the warp field that distorts spacetime around a ship, but the ship inside still travels below the speed of light.

33. Destroyer Of Virgins! - September 3, 2010

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawn! I saw this on YouTube eons ago………………………………………………

34. emh22 - September 3, 2010

I wish they had the “going to warp” scene from TNG 2.1 “The Child” where you see it from inside Ten-Forward.

35. NCC-73515 - September 3, 2010

Now let’s compare transporter beams ;)
They had a new effect in each series and almost every movie…

36. Phaser Guy - September 3, 2010

Why does the video cut out at the end?

37. Magic_Al - September 3, 2010

The TNG effect is the best. The stretch really suggests something Einsteinian as the ship accelerates and ultimately outruns the light we see it with. The flash of light was carried over from TMP after not being used in any of the movies Roddenberry didn’t produce. I suspect the TNG effect is probably what Roddenberry intended for TMP, minus the rainbow tunnel which today looks a bit “1970s disco”.

The streaks suggest the same idea as the stretch but must have been a lot easier to do. The stretch, I recall, was created in-camera with trick photography (it’s actually on the film negative, not a post-production effect) and was extremely difficult for ILM to achieve, which is why TNG used the same three stock clips for the whole series.

There’s no excuse for the Enterprise E losing the stretch in its later appearances, because it must be easier to do the effect with a CG model, one would think!

38. Vultan - September 3, 2010


Oh, okay. You’re right, Schultz. I totally forgot about the whole warp field distortion thing in Trek. Anyway, it would be novel to see a sci-fi ship with a kind of Predator cloaking effect when it’s traveling faster than light—a faint outline of the ship set against a streak or tunnel of light. That would be interesting—well, if it hasn’t already been done…

39. Sebastian - September 3, 2010

Although ST-TMP’s was the most elegant and visually appealing, I had to go with 2009’s ‘shot’ because it looks (and feels) the fastest!

It’s a kind of ‘punch-you-in-the-gut’ warp drive that feels really primal;
gotta love it!

40. GNDN - September 3, 2010

@8: Humor. It is a difficult concept. It is not logical.
@10: We learn by doing.

41. Michael M - September 3, 2010

You know, they bird of pray going into warp in earth’s atmosphere in Star Trek IV is a bad idea on so many levels! lol

42. Captain Otter - September 3, 2010

From a physics stand-point, the “jump” effect of the FTL drives in BSG are top-notch. A warp device would require little or zero movement by the ship and probably shouldn’t even be described as an engine in the conventional sense of a propulsion device.

That said, the effect in ST09 was pretty damn cool.

43. T2 - September 3, 2010

Now this is a fun and awesome look back. My favorites still are the Enterprise-A from Voyage Home and the Enterprise-D in Generations (finally saw what that ship could do). I hated what they did with Enterprise-E in Nemesis. Too much like…drag racing. The last movie has it much more like a hot rod, but it fits the film well.

44. Jeyl - September 3, 2010

TMP really stands out as one of the original Enterprises first on-screen depiction of really doing something incredible that was treated so lightly in the original series. The way it left a trail of light behind it and how it catches up to the source is really cool, especially when there’s a big bang that makes the ship completely vanish. And of course, the sound effects are spectacular. THAT is warp speed.

TWOK, TSFS & TVH was kind of toned down a bit with the removal of multi-lighted tunnel, but when you see the ship flying past you at warp speed, it’s the best.

First Contact I have a soft spot with it’s stretching of the Enterprise E. It really gives the sense of speed and sense of toying around with light.

Nemesis however is a different story. I’m not a fan of the smoke trails leaving the nacelles or the fact that there is no light distortion at all in the effects. Pretty lackluster.

ST09 could have been good, but somethings just don’t sit well with me. Take the shot of the fleet going into warp. The angle at which we see it is pretty lackluster, and what we do see is nothing but ships just jumping into warp a lot like “Star Wars” with them being shot into warp rather than going into warp, complete with a mechanical like sound to go along with it. The sound effects of the Enterprise flying passed us in whatever that tunnel is isn’t fun either since it sounds more like a car passing by. And you know what else I miss that Trek09 ditched? The stars. Anyone remember those cool shots of the Enterprise trailing through the stars at warp speed? Those immovable objects we’re so accustomed to and they’re passing by like it trees and markings on the highway? That will always be cooler than being in a tunnel of… whatever that was.

45. Gorandius - September 3, 2010

I agree about the lack of a FTL flash in ST09. I always assumed it was similar to when there is a sonic boom when an object breaks the sound barrier. It makes sense if an object would make a loud sound when breaking the sound barrier, then it would create a bright flash of light when breaking the light barrier (relatively speaking of course, since it is actually space which is moving and not the ship itself)

46. Magic_Al - September 3, 2010

^40. I agree the BSG look seems more “probable” but since it depicts instantaneous travel it wouldn’t work for Star Trek, which tells stories that occur during hours or days-long travel between stars. I think Star Trek’s concept is that the warp drive creates a bubble of “subspace” that contains the ship, while the impulse engines continue to provide the thrust but to much greater effect relative to space outside the warp bubble.

47. Viking - September 3, 2010

‘The tunnel’ would be the most scientifically accurate (as in ‘tunneling’ through normal space inside a warp shell), and it was the most entertaining. But, just like a bullet, ‘the shot’ is short, to the point, and final – it just says, “I’m gone right NOW, and I ain’t coming back.”. And I always thought ‘the stretch’ is what would happen if you kicked off your warp drive inside a planet’s gravitational field. You’d stretch – all the way to infinity. And stay there.

48. John in Canada, eh? - September 3, 2010

I think the best part of the warp effect in the latest movie was the view from inside the ship. Rarely did we every see a first-person perspective from inside the ship going to warp (I can think of a few times in TNG in Ten-Forward), but Trek ’09’s view from the bridge, as the primary hull starts to stretch out, was spectacular. Wish I could have seen it in IMAX.

No warp jumps in Trek VI: Undiscovered Country?
And one other visual that’s not included here, but I think is the best warp F/X shot ever: TMP, when the Enterprise reaches Warp 7. There’s an exterior shot within the ‘tunnel’ effect that is just spectacular. The Big E never looked better.

49. New Horizon - September 3, 2010

I voted for the motion picture effect…but…I prefer it minus the tunneling. What I loved about it, and the first time they use it in Star Trek 2, is that it stretches out the actual lights on the ship….whereas in the later TOS movies, they simply painted on red and blue streaks…which looked fake and cheap to me.

Anyway, TMP minus the tunnel.

50. SChaos1701 - September 3, 2010

It’s all about “the shot.”

51. Phaser Guy - September 3, 2010

The Trek 3 effect is easily the cheapest one.

52. Bucky - September 3, 2010

I like the TNG era effect just cause that’s the one used the most over the course of Star Trek and it feels right to me. The rainbow effects of the TOS films have their own charm.

53. Lensflaresforever - September 3, 2010

TNG was the best, but the new movie warp could grow on me and surpass TNG’s Warp if they would hurry up and make a movie or something.

54. Dan - September 3, 2010

For me it’s Generations/First Contact, it was the first one to get ship getting small into the distance right!

55. Vultan - September 3, 2010

I think the warp effect at the end of Voyage Home was the most satisfying, story-wise that is. After a movie filled with the Bounty bird of prey and the whale probe, a quick nod to the Excelsior, we get that beautiful intro of the Enterprise-A and then a “let’s see what she’s got” rainbow jump into infinity…

…and then a screeching halt at Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. Talk about a buzzkill.


56. sisko - September 3, 2010

I gotta go with II through IV. Mmmm, The Streak.

57. Nick - September 3, 2010

I grew up with the Streak, and always pretended that’s what my toy ships did. Although I do really like the “accelerator” effect in the last two TNG ones. Not a fan of the “shot to warp.” No set-up and effect, just result.

58. Tom - September 3, 2010

I like me some moving warp nacelles on Voyager.

59. Tom - September 3, 2010

I like me some moving warp nacelles on Voyager.

60. Scruffy, the vampire janitor - September 3, 2010

I see a lot of people are making a big and important mistake

The ship itself does NOT “Stretch” but the light it reflects, and what we see is what gives the stretch effect, originally called the rubber band effect from the physics at the time.

According to current physics, we would not see anything at all. The ship would continue to appear where it was when the light that struck it was reflected from it to our eyes. Because it moves faster than light and/or outside of Einsteinian Space, no further light would strike the ship, and it would have a proper “Jump” effect.

Sorry, Nick #57, it would just “pop” out of the universe…

61. cd - September 3, 2010

I like them all because each are unique, but I don’t really like STV’s that much, it looked pretty cheesy.
35 – ST09 transporter effect is swirling spaghetti and dirt: I like STII’s transporter effect the best. I love it that they could talk while being transported.

62. Balok - September 3, 2010

ST5 the worst, agree with other comments that ST3,4,6 looked cheap (theonly thing that looked cheap about ST4)…

TOS has the best warp effect. Except season 3 with the Warp 2 pivot…

63. Anthony Thompson - September 3, 2010

TMP and 09 were my faves. The rest looked kind of cheap / tacky.

64. Victor Hugo - September 3, 2010

ST09 swirling spaghetti transporter effect was seen in the 2003 Playstation 2 RPG game: “Star Ocean: Till the End of Time”, which in turn had tons of Star Trek elements on it.

65. Vultan - September 3, 2010

The Enterprise in Trek ’09 didn’t have warp drive; it was LUDICROUS SPEED! ;)

66. CarlG - September 3, 2010

@48: Yes! I absolutely loved how you could see the leading edge of the saucer stretch out in the Trek09 warp jump. I also really loved all the little moving parts shifting around as the Enterprise “gathered her strength” as it were.

I had to go with the streak — but only the first one from TWOK, where the Enterprise outraces the stars. The TMP version, the star tunnel looks way too regular for my taste.

I like the TNG slingshot, too, especially any one with the Enterprise-E. That baby just looks like she was meant to go FAST.

@65: Can’t be. They didn’t go to plaid! (As much as Scotty would be down for it) ;)

67. CarlG - September 3, 2010

Just had a thought — in First Contact, given that the Phoenix was the first warpship, wouldn’t it have been cool if it had its own warp effect?

Something like the slingshot, but bumpy, strained-looking, not so slick as the Enterprise’s version. Like it was hauling itself by its bootstraps into lightspeed under great protest. Thoughts?

68. 4 8 15 16 23 42 - September 3, 2010

I definitely am most impressed with the STXI ‘the shot’ effect, because FTL should be basically imperceptible as human eyes should essentially fail to register the ship departing. My favorite of all is not any Star Trek effect, but the Battlestar Galactica FTL effect of simply “dropping” out of our spacetime and then “dropping” back in somewhere else, with the ship retaining its intra-spacetime velocity.

69. The First Son of Krypton - September 3, 2010

I forgot how AWESOME the Soverigns accelerator was, its beautiful and the only warp effect to this day that looks somewhat realistic

70. Phaser Guy - September 4, 2010

I’d say TWOK has my favorite warp effect – the Enterprise warping away from the destruction of the Reliant. Pretty cool.

71. F31!x - September 4, 2010

I liked the Tunnel effect from TMP the most! But the ST09 effect with the “big bang” is also pretty cool!

72. Mark Lynch - September 4, 2010

TMP beats all the rest by a mile. It is just the most epic space warp effect ever done. Hell, the whole film is epic. Best ST film ever.
Especially after seeing the Director’s edition.

JJ’s warp entry looked exactly like Star Wars. No originality as far as I am concerned. Just seemed lazy to me.

Don’t even get me started on how quickly they got to Vulcan in STXI!!!

73. DarthDogg - September 4, 2010

# 72 What annoyed me the most about how quick they get to vulcan, is the time delay between the Enterprise and the fleet. Sulu stalled the ship for roughly 30 sec, then they get underway. That means the Narada destroyed that entire fleet in less then 30 sec because they were all dust before the Enterprise arrived, (30 sec behind). yeah right! The freakin Kelvin lasted 10 times longer than that! WTF.

74. James Tyler - September 4, 2010

#73. With the time cut that caused ridiculous uproar last year (the whole thing of people complaining how quickly they got to Vulcan by ignoring the time cut/time Kirk was out for) who’s to say that there wasn’t a longer delay?

Though…. it’d be easier to say Nero kicked the crap out of the ships as they left warp, giving them no chance to defend themselves and taking them out instantly. The E was prepared (and late, Nero thought it was over) and then other things happened.

Anyway – warp effect, it has to be the shot. The accellarator was the nicest looking as it didn’t feel OTT, but when I was in the press screening and I saw the way the new E moved around… I was highly impressed. For the first time it made some sense. Bang! Gone. Perfect.

#68 – I agree with that. I saw BSG after Trek09 (I was late to the party) but the jump made a lot of sense to both for me.

75. Disinvited - September 4, 2010


Maybe because it takes place in an alternate universe he sees it as a parody of the prime universe?

76. Jamjumetley - September 4, 2010

I voted for the 2009 version because it is so powerful. Despite that I really liked the “Wrath of Khan” version. It should be listed separately because it differs from STIII – STVI version.

77. Simon - September 4, 2010

Lamest: Digital Domain’s lackluster NEMESIS warp effect with “smoke trails”.

Worst: Ferren & Associate’s FINAL FRONTIER fishtail with poor lighting and jerky animation.

Coolest: Trumbull’s light tunnel from TMP.

Best overall: ILM’s stretch-snap with starburst from GENERATIONS and FIRST CONTACT, using CG to perfect the technique they first developed for the TNG pilot ENCOUNTER AT FARPOINT.

I like the ST:09 effect by ILM quite a bit but miss the starburst at the end.

***Boborci***: I do NOT like the new “warp space” effect, I thought the multicolored streak stars effect introduced in TNG worked the best. You can actually see the ships for one: battles at warp (like in DS9 and VOY) would be unwatchable with the new effect.

78. Dom - September 4, 2010

I liked the TWOK streak effect. The TMP one was camp and silly, like something you’d expect to see in the sort of 1950s sci fi films the original Star Trek drove out. It was also a huge rip off of the effects used for the Millennium Falcon in Star Wars. The TNG effect was a cheap, rubbishy rip-off of the TMP one. I despised it almost as much as I despised the plasticky during-warp effects used in the TNG TV era. Rubbish, rubbish, rubbish.

The streak effect in most of the movies with the Kirk team worked because it got away from the whole Church of Roddenberry fetishisation of the future and Rodders’ weird later-life utopian beliefs. The streak effect simply indicated that it was an everyday aspect of travel, the same way there’s a guy polishing the floor in TWOK. It was also beautiful in the context of the Genesis explosion.

The ST09 effect was a nice compromise, with the ships almost vanishing from sight with a big bang. Indeed, you could argue that the effect ties in with every other incarnation of the warp effect, being the warp jump seen from a different perspective.

79. greenappleman7 - September 4, 2010

I like how BSG did it. ST09 is the closest to the disappearing idea of the re-imagined BSG. The ship[ would look more like it’s disappearing if it was warping space once it actually left our un-warped three dimensional space.

80. captain_neill - September 4, 2010

The Star Trek XI warp effect was not my fav, It was lifted from BSG.

The coolest two was the streak effect from TOS movies and the warp stretch from TNG.

However, I am not surprised that then new movie gets the most votes on this site.

Everything that the new movie does gets the most votes

81. captain_neill - September 4, 2010

don’t get me wrong I like the new effect but the go to warp seemed very similar to new BSG and the travelling at warp effect seemed to be taken from the hyperspace effect from Star Wars.

The other effects were unique.

82. captain_neill - September 4, 2010

IN the TNG era I did love the flash when the ship goes to warp.

83. darthtankerous - September 4, 2010

Damn. The Enterprise-E is a sexy beast.

84. DS9 Forever - September 4, 2010

For me, its the Enterprise-D/Defiant/runabouts/Voyager warp effect.

85. Holger - September 4, 2010

The distant flash of the TNG effect was a neat idea because it effectively creates the impression that the ship covers a great distance in almost no time.

86. Niall Johnson - September 4, 2010

The only one I don’t like is the Nemesis effect where it seems the Big E is leaving smoke trails behind.

87. Chroniton - September 4, 2010

The Trek 11 warp effect is just a ripp off of the Star Wars lightspeed effect. It really shouldn’t count.

88. CmdrR - September 4, 2010

I like most of ’em. The groovy Partridge Family rainbow warp effect is a little much, but it was good for its time. TNG’s bendy, stretchy effect always looked like the bridge was coming off. (LaForge: Oops, gotta go back. Forget the captain!) Anyway, I’m glad they keep re-imagining it. It keeps things fresh.

89. Jeyl - September 4, 2010


But the Enterprise D-E wasn’t stretching at all when it went into warp.

90. Nathan - September 4, 2010

I don’t really like the 2009 Star Trek effect all that much, just because its practically the same effect as Star Wars hyperdrive, minus the star-streaks from inside the ship.

My favorite personally is the TNG era effect, especially as refined in later TNG and DS9. It looks cool, and expresses what’s going on pretty well. Nostalgia talks, too,

The STIV-type streak effect also holds a special place in my heart, just because as a kid I always thought Klingon Bird of Preys were the coolest ships ever, and STIV was the main place where I saw them. And those shiny orange engine streaks were pretty sweet.

91. Green-Blooded-Bastard - September 4, 2010

I liked ’09 warp, where it’s essentially going into light-speed and just disappears. I imagine something suddenly going that fast would.

92. Bubbagump - September 4, 2010

The advertised TNG Warp effect that never was…..

First saw this in the trailers before ST:IV.

93. Simon - September 4, 2010

#92 – That was just for the trailer, it was never intended to be the warp effect. ILM was working on the rubber-band from the very beginning.

#89 – Are you talking about Nemesis? In GENERATIONS and FIRST CONTACT all ships stretched before warp, with the sole exception of the last GENERATIONS shot where the Miranda & Oberth don’t (but the Nebula does). Even the Phoenix in FC stretches.

94. Casey4147 - September 4, 2010

Okay, guys, I’m gonna throw a monkey wrench into this.

I like the PROTOTYPE THG effect best. You saw it once, in the preview to the series that was tacked onto the STAR TREK IV VHS release. They didn’t do a stretch, they did a blur/fade-out effect instead, but otherwise the sequence is the same – nacelle flash, blur-fade to flash as it crosses the warp threshold.

THAT’s my favorite. The stretch effect grew on me since it was used in TNG, DS9, VOY and ENT (nice slowdown of the effect, implying that the NX-01 was a slower or older ship). But I still think they get it right in the preview, not the series.

95. Casey4147 - September 4, 2010

Sorry, that’s PROTOTYPE TNG effect. Sigh, must remember to proofread.

96. Simon - September 4, 2010

#95 – Again, that was a work in progress. It was never meant to be a final effect, something strictly for the preview.

97. Bubbagump - September 4, 2010

Another scene that confoosed me.. Defiant with light streak warp effect..

98. Bubbagump - September 4, 2010

Lastly the warp pollution TNG episode “Force of Nature” where my TOS Movie nostalgia was tickled by seeing the Enterprise-D use the light streak effect during their “warp pulse”

My point is not to demonstrate inconsistencies, but just to share examples of scenes that sorta made me wish (sorta) that the stretch effect were to be dropped for TOS movie warp effects.

99. boxker - September 4, 2010

I was 6 when the Star Trek the motion picture was released. At that time when it came to warp speed (on TV) really only heard warp speed. except in the opening credits. So when the first showed speed in the movies, think that’s what got me hooked on Star Trek. My mom was really into it but I was so so on it. Especially since most of my life at that point Star Trek meant nap time. So I think the motion picture version was the best. I was little disappointed in the following movies since the effect appeared to be watered down and they seemed to go to warp speed less.

for a while I liked the Next Generation stretch but then I started to miss the first version. I began wishing that they could combine the two.

I loved JJ star trek, especially the Enterprise but I thought warp speed was a let down. it seems to copy star wars’ jump to hyperspace.

100. skyjedi - September 4, 2010

I think people picking the JJ cgi effect over the Motion Picture which was painstaking to create, are crazy. Just my opinion.

101. Captain Hackett - September 4, 2010

ST:TMP Warp effect is so cool!

102. Captain Hackett - September 4, 2010

I hope the scientists will invent warp speed technology before I die. We have already found nearly 500 exoplanets so far.

103. CarlG - September 4, 2010

@100: Just cause it’s CGI doesn’t make it automatically easy to do.

104. captain_neill - September 4, 2010


It is only getting the most votes because it’s new and shiny.

I prefer the Warp Streaks and the Stretched stars for warp.

105. captain_neill - September 4, 2010

I can’t believe the new movie’s warp effect is getting the most votes in the latest poll.

Are you not forgetting the cooler warp effects from before?

106. moauvian waoul - September 4, 2010

72. Mark Lynch -“Don’t even get me started on how quickly they got to Vulcan in STXI!!!”

Bob explained this very issue here stating that indeed more time had passed since Kirk was out in sickbay and McCoy had changed uniforms.

107. Sarah - September 4, 2010


108. 4 8 15 16 23 42 - September 4, 2010

#104 — No, it’s getting the most votes because it is realistic. Breaking the laws of relativity to enter FTL shouldn’t be showy, it should be borderline imperceptible.

109. Vultan - September 4, 2010

Oh, I love how the New Trekkies will mock those who criticize Trek ’09’s shoddy science (black/time holes and super-duper supernovas that can threaten the universe), but when it comes to the Star Wars-style warp jump, they love it for its “realism.” :D

110. Tyrone Alfonso - September 4, 2010

I can’t believe I actually prefer the new version… I think that the sound effects really pushes it over the top. This was awesome in the theater…. too bad the ship looks like a mongoloid 3rd graders interpretation of the original, lol.

111. VZX - September 4, 2010

#100: I guess I’m just crazy, then. Other than the fact that there should be no sound in space, the “boom” and then super-fast get-a-away of the 09Trek warp is just cool. And probably more correct. I never got why they always used to show a ship getting stretched going into warped. It should be the other way around, getting squished, according to length contraction. (objects approaching the speed of light will have a shorter length as witnessed by an observer at relative rest)

112. captain_neill - September 5, 2010


You might think it is more realistic but it’s not as cool

113. Holger - September 5, 2010

To all people who talk about “correct” or “realistic” etc. warp effects: Warp Drive is pure fiction. As far as actual science goes, nothing can travel faster than light. According to actual science, namely General Relativity, it is theoretically possible to propel a ship by curving spacetime around it, but that would require energy equivalent to the output of gazillions of stars, so it’s not feasible. Basically, you would have to bend the whole universe in order to bring the distant planet to your ship. And even if you could use that much energy, the effect would not look like any of the shown Warp effects.
Star Trek’s Warp drive technology is based on the fictional concept of the subspace. There is no real world science which could tell you how Warp effects should look “realistically” speaking.

114. captain_neill - September 5, 2010


A great point. It is Science Fiction

I prefer the TNG warp effect as I think its cooler than the one in the latest movie

115. SunnyD - September 5, 2010

I’ve never really liked any of the warp effects throughout the years, actually.
Some are just too cheesy (’80’s TMP!) with the lighting effects, and some are downright unbelievable (the exaggerated stretchy-thing).
I liked the E with the subtle stretch and the plasma trail, but I really dig ST11 and the wicked gunshot. I don’t find it a rip-off of anything, either. I find it the most believable as it seems to me that’s what it would look like if I was floating in space. And it’s simply the most exciting. Like, gone!

116. Khan was Framed! - September 5, 2010

ST’09’s warp effect is too much like a Star Wars hyperdrive:

-the grey swirling around the ship
-the instant snap from standing still to warp with no acceleration
-hell, Pike even says “punch it”

I know the supreme court are Star Wars fans, but it was too visible in their movie.

I’ve always appreciated the differences in both; It’s a good thing to have diversity between the franchises.

Bob & Alex, if you’re listening, here is my please fix list:

-the warp effect: we should be able to see the ship traveling at warp from space & should be able to see where it’s going from the bridge. The hyperdrive tunnel needs to go.

-Hand phasers shoot beams, not bolts/ it’s not a blaster, it’s a ray gun. This was really disappointing, because the external phasers looked so good, I wanted to see the handheld version.

-The view screen on the bridge is not a window if it were every enemy would shoot at it until the bridge decompressed. It’s a TV connected to the external sensors & main computer.

-I’ll forgive the speederbike, cause it looked really cool, despite the fact that there should be no cops on Earth at this point in history, if you go by Rodenberry’s Bible.

Thanks for listening!

117. Tyrone Alfonso - September 5, 2010

I think the TMP effect redone with modern CGI would win out overall.

118. captain_neill - September 5, 2010


Agreed on your fixes

But I do fear that the needs of the mainstream outweigh the needs of the trekkie.

Ergo, we will get a Star Trek more akin to Star Wars.

I know the next film will be good but I also know that Star Trek as I have loved it will not be coming back for a while.

119. Destructor!!! - September 5, 2010

Allow me to explain it to you people.

The TNG effect was the most scientifically accurate. A warp field compresses the space in front of the ship and expands it behind the ship.

To establish this field, the warp nacelles are charged with an enourmous amount of energy, creating the blue flash from the field grills.

The light particles (called photons) eminating from and reflecting off the ship are spread further apart by the expansion of space behind the ship, so the ship appears to stretch.

(An aside: the expansion of the space behind and the motion of the ship away will both lower the frequency of the lightwaves, so the colours of the ship will all shift toward the red end of the spectrum, possibly untill they slip outside our visual range. Viewed from ahead, the colours will shift toward the blue end of the spectrum. This effect was ignored, it would seem, but I can forgive ILM that.)

As this process moves the ship, the photons from the front of the ship have a longer distance to travel to the viewer behind the ship than those from the rear, and the ship appears to stretch more and move away.

Conversely, the photons at the front are bunching up on top of one another, and, viewed from the front, the ship appears to flatten (this was vaguely seen in 2 episodes, one of them was ‘All Good Things’.)

The speed of light is constant, and the speed of the emitting object is irrelevant. Photons travel at the speed of light even if the emitting object is travelling faster than that.

As the warp bubble containing the ship passes light speed, the photons at the front are all leaving the bubble at the same time, so when the sum total of all the photons from the ship, bunched on top of each other, reach the viewer, it appears as a very bright flash, called a superluminal flash.

After that, I find it a little mindboggling to try to work out what a stationary observer along the ship’s route would see (with a sufficiently sensitive high-speed camera) beyond another superluminal flash flying past, perhaps it would be followed by a long, dull, inside-out streaked image of the ship. in any case, the ship would have passed by some time (proportional to the distance from the observer to the ship at the closest fly-by) before the photons actually reach them.

Nevertheless, to my mind, in establishing a look for ‘Encounter At Farpoint’, ILM did a bang up job mixing realism with drama for the warp-out effect. The view from the ship at warp (with the rainbow stars) had a certain scientific merit too.

With the addition of a superluminal flash and a hint of Stretch, STXI’s warp jump would be an acceptable interpretation, since the acceleration must be extreme to reach the appropriate velocities in good time.

I’d love to do a computer physics simulation of how it would really look.

120. Red Dead Ryan - September 5, 2010


None of the various “warp effects” should be considered “scientifically accurate” at this point. Scientifically plausible, maybe, but definitely not accurate since warp drive is still entirely hypothetical and will remain that way for a long time until and/or unless someone invents a fully functioning, bona fide warp capable ship. And even then it may very well turn out that every version of warp drive depicted by the various Star Trek movies and series was way off the mark.

So I say just forget about trying to figure out the scientific “accuracy” of it and sit back and enjoy Star Trek while deciding which warp effect looks best to you. :-)

121. Bill Roberts - September 5, 2010

I like the “streak” and the “shot” equally well. To me, they both convey the idea that warp is a rather violent reaction. TOS always conveyed the idea that the warp engines were powerful and dangerous beasties, but they had to do it through dialogue then. The “streak,” and especially the ’09 “shot” visually convey that the same process that creates the warp field could easily destroy a ship if something went wrong.

122. Scruffy, the vampire janitor - September 5, 2010

113 Holger

Stephen Hawking proved that there is “something” that can move faster than light, a particle that combines all 4 forces that are currently known, he just hasnt found it yet.

Besides, before Einstein, Newton was the end all and be all.

Einstein’s theories are full of holes that even he couldnt rectify.

So dont deny FTL.

123. Scruffy, the vampire janitor - September 5, 2010

If Bob does read this,

FTL particles & even some kind of super photon are needed in the Trek universe for 2 reasons:

1> The ship has to “see” where it’s going

2> The ship has to “Sense” things around it to avoid collisions.

124. 4 8 15 16 23 42 - September 6, 2010

#113 — I have to admit Holger is right, and I also have to admit that Captain Neill’s argument in #112 is also valid.

I think I just find this “finger-pointing” attitude of “you only like the new warp effect because it’s bright and shiny” offensive and simplistic. Why do I have to be made to feel I need any excuses for liking the new movie, when I’ve been into Star Trek in all its incarnations (which is not to say every episode or every movie) since I was old enough to talk? It’s not the newness and it’s not Star-Wars-itis, I just like the new warp effect, period — to me, it’s the best evocation of what FTL would look like to an outside observer.

125. Holger - September 6, 2010

Re 119: Your projections make sense if based on the theory of relativity AND on the supposition that space is already warped in front of and behind the ship by the Warp Drive. BUT you cannot warp spacetime in such a manner based on known physics. (Except you use unrealistically gigantic amounts of energy, but in that case, light from the stars around would be bent into circles, like through a very strong gravitational lense, I think, so it still wouldn’t look the way it’s shown on screen.)
Therefore, the makers of Trek, in particular the makers of the TNG technology, were smart enough to invent subspace. With this fictional concept you can circumvent the problems with real physics. But then you can’t make any scientific projections. You can’t say how subspace effects would look, because they are unheard of in real physics. And this, I believe, gives the SFX people the liberty to make the Warp effect look any way they think is artistically appropriate.
Nonetheless, the TNG people did a good job in mixing facts from relativity theory with cool science fiction light effects. Nice thinking effort, to be sure.

126. Holger - September 6, 2010

I think there is only one sort of realism to Warp drive effects. That would be a certain amount of in-universe continuity about the look of the Warp effect. If it’s the same (fictional) tech throughout, it should look the same or similar throughout.

127. Mark Lynch - September 6, 2010


In ST:TMP Scotty said to Spock on the bridge at the end of the film “We can have you back on Vulcan in four days Mr. Spock.”
To which Spock politely declined.

The distance to Vulcan has been previously determined as around 16 light years where 40 Eridani is located.

This means that the TMP Enterprise would have had to travel at around Warp 7.3 (old scale) to get Spock home in 4 days. The emergency top speed of TMP Enterprise was I think Warp 12. TOS Enterprise emergency top speed, I believe was Warp 9.

Warp 9 will take you 2.15 days to cover 16 light years

Now I know that some time did elapse between Kirk coming on board and the end of Chekov’s (obviously not the first one) briefing. But I doubt it was over two days that Kirk was unconscious in Sickbay. Let’s say McCoy knocked him out for 6 or even 12 hours.

16 light years in 6 hours = around Warp 18.4
16 light years in 12 hours = around Warp 14.6

The Enterprise in the TOS years never travelled this fast without significant intervention from other, more advanced alien beings, such as Losira (14.1) and the Kelvans (19.7)

Bob and his team are avid fans and must know this stuff. So for it to be casually thrown aside to tell a “faster” story is a bit on the amateur side and I think it takes the more involved viewer out of the story to a degree

128. Scruffy, the vampire janitor - September 6, 2010

Ah, poor Holger, I knew him, Horatio…

I dont know how old you are sir, but you have missed out on 60+ years of science/ speculative fiction.

The TNG production team did not invent warp drive or subspace or bussard ramjets or anything. Even the great Bird himself didn’t invent anything.

They just took the best parts of the FTL fiction that came before them, and cobbled together something plausible. No one ever remembers that Isaac Azimov was the science / technology consultant for TOS, and even he had three or four versions of FTL before he finally settled on one that made sense to him. (Azimovs ultimate version of FTL was to combine the shrink ray from Fantastic Voyage with an FTL drive to solve the “mass” problem, which it wouldn’t really since shrunken matter the way he proposed it would simply be more dense, but retain the same mass)

That said, TOS was a jumbled up mess that was never intended to become what it has. So there can be no continuity in the style of warp drive effects.

AND: back to Hawking, there is dark matter & dark energy & “zero-point” energy that we humans cannot currently tap into, but because humans MUST leave Earth before the continents crash into each other and form a Pangaea again, even before the Earth is swallowed by the Sun, at some point in the future FTL must be created. It’s as inevitable as all the technology you take for granted today that was not even thought of by the Greeks.

Larry Niven & Clarke spent so much time not believing in FTL that they came up with elaborate ways to move people through the stars.

Finally here is a link to a group of Humbugs who deny FTL and propose goofy ways to move people to the stars by STL : the Atomic Rocket group.

Have a good one

129. Holger - September 6, 2010

Re 128: I was talking about the TNG Warp effect for the most part, which was obviously invented by the TNG people. But you’re right: I shouldn’t have said in my 125 that the TNG people did “invent” subspace. Rather, they brought in that fictional concept, which had already been around for a long time, along with hyperspace, as everyone knows.

As for FTL travel in the real world: I don’t deny that FTL travel could possibly be invented in the future. Everything is possible, sure. But based on *current* scientific knowledge, no one has even the remotest clue how to build a working FTL drive. Should humankind survive the next billions of years, so that our sun going nova will become an urgent problem, then that will make FTL propulsion very *desirable*. But as you surely know, not everything which is desirable is a reality. So I can’t accept the reasoning: we urgently need FTL drive, therefore it has to be feasible. All we can determine is: Maybe FTL drive is feasible, maybe not. We just don’t know. But what we do know is that we would need a number of major scientific and technological revolutions before we can go FTL.

I don’t quite see why you are so worried about our continents merging into a new supercontinent over a time period of hundreds of millions years. The continents are moving at centimeters per year. So don’t expect a spectacular crash. Continental drift is always happening.

130. DS9 IN PRIME TIME - September 6, 2010

ST 2 threw 6 is my favorite warp affect its the best

131. Balok - September 6, 2010

Yes #127… good points…

132. Damian - September 6, 2010

I liked the effect of going to warp in Star Trek (2009), but I liked the effect of being at warp from Deep Space 9, Voyager and Enterprise. A combination of these two would have kicked ass. (The only thing I would have changed about the going to warp in the new movie is adding the warp flash at the end to better distinguish it from Star Wars, I mean that did look like it was ripped right out of George Lucas’ handbook).

133. Destructor!!! - September 6, 2010

Holger, I must concede the point about the lensing effect you’d expect to see on the stars seen through the warp field, well spotted.

My point was just that, given that a form of space warp drive is the current front-runner in scientific thinking, the TNG folks seemed to have been heavily inspired by a handful of reasonable scientific principles when designing their warp drive VFX.

Of course it’s fictional, and of course, at the end of the day I just sit back and enjoy the adventures, but part of the entertainment value of any fantasy, for me, is picking it apart and seeing how consistent it remains. TNG had astonishing internal consistency, paricularly the technical aspects, and that was what hooked me on Star Trek.

I hope noone is mistaking my good-natured passionate extrapolation for antagonism.

134. Captain Otter - September 6, 2010

@ Captain Neal:

Trek science is always a mixed bag- no matter which era of Trek you are talking about. So it is OK to applaud them for getting the science right in one place even if they miss it somewhere else.

Also, “cool” is subjective.

So I don’t get why you are upset.

Though I prefer the ST09 warp effect, I am in no ways harmed or molested or impaired by your preference for the TMP effect.

In other words- its just a show. Relax. Enjoy. Have fun!

Or if you must keep a stick lodged in your bum, please keep your grumpiness to yourself.

135. Captain Otter - September 6, 2010

@ Mark in #127,

I have been an avid Star Trek fan all of my life and I’m from a family of Star Trek fans and have Trekkie friends out the ying-yang.

I have never, ever, heard someone break down the relationship between warp speeds and distance like that.

Don’t get me wrong- I’m impressed at the detail and accuracy of your argument. I really am. Hell, I learned stuff I’ve never known in 4 decades of fandom.

But here’s the deal: given that Star Trek is fiction, does it matter if the writers violate the tech of a fictional universe?

I don’t have the tech of Trek down as well as you, but I’m 99.9% certain could dig out similar continuity errors in TOS, in the TOS films, in TNG and its films, DS9, Voyager and certainly Enterprise. Even Gene would ignore past technical specs and limits in the name of story telling.

So while I am in awe of you depth of Trek knowledge (no bull- I really am- I’m not being snarky,) I must respectfully ask “and so what?”

136. Vultan - September 6, 2010

Well, I want to step aside from the arguments about which warp effect is best and thank the trekmovie staff for another great article. It’s fun stuff like this that keeps me coming back to this site.

As Dr. Nick might say, “Thanks every-body!”

137. Mark Lynch - September 7, 2010


I thought everyone knew about warp speed calculations… ;-)

I’m a bit (okay, lot) of a techno-freak when it comes to Star Trek, always have been. Since about the age of 7 when I first caught Star Trek on the BBC many years ago.
I have blueprints of the original TOS Enterprise by Franz Joseph Designs, blueprints from TMP, Enterprise D blueprints, all original printings. Various TOS, TMP, TNG and DS9 technical manuals and the list goes on. With so much material and history, It is a miracle everything is as consistent as it is. Which brings an extra level of quality with it.

Don’t get me wrong, I also know how much the mark was missed sometimes.

I guess what it is, with me anyway, although Star Trek as with any other long term show has its continuity problems, it is one of the (only) shows that has a fairly good degree of consistency which makes it seem more real than a lot of the others around. That and the fact, for the most part, the science fiction was often extrapolated from current scientific theory, was always a draw for me.

To see it, in my eyes, casually thrown away, for the reasons I stated before, is just a bit poor and makes the story less science fiction and more science fantasy.

As I said, it is just how I feel about it. ST XI was generally good, but could have been so much more.

If you want to see what I believe to be as “real” a depiction of what serving onboard a Federation Starship would be like. Get a DVD of ST:TMP the Directors Edition. For me that is Star Trek grown up.


138. Holger - September 7, 2010

Re 133: I certainly didn’t perceive any antagonism in your posts.
We’re all one big happy fleet. :-)

139. Damian - September 7, 2010

119–Have you hijacked Rick Sternbach’s brain. The way you describe the warp field effect is exactly how I would imagine him describing it. When he describes something, it makes me feel like I could build it in my garage. I like attention to detail myself. I agree with some of the complaints about the new movie that many of the effects are very Star Warsy. I like Star Wars, just not mixed in with my Star Trek. I thought the shot out of hell look of going to warp was cool-looking, if not scientifically accurate. However I did like the streaking star effect of being at warp in The Next Generation, which was cleaned up a bit for DS9, Voyager and Enterprise. As I noted, the current team should have made the warp effect more consistent with the latter shows to distance themselves from Star Wars.

As a general rule, I like consistency. I never took much issue with the story presented in Star Trek (2009), yes it required some suspension of belief, but didn’t all the movies to some degree. The actors were also excellent. However, a lot could have been made better had they looked at what was persented prior and at least made the sets and special effects resemble prior Star Trek.

140. Mark Lynch - September 7, 2010


That link you posted was a fascinating read. Thank you Sir!

141. Polly - September 7, 2010

This is such a cool article and video. One thing I’ve always loved about Star Trek was the warp effect.

This is kind of off topic but don’t you wish that they would name this new series? (if it becomes one) because if they make another one, their probly going to call it something like “Star Trek 2″ and there is already a “Star Trek 2″. I wich they would name it properly, it would save a lot of confusion….

142. Yammer - September 7, 2010

17 – that IS a cool effect but I saw it in Starship Troopers over a decade earlier. I like that it implies that warpspace is not our space.

In Diane Duane’s books (which Orci reads), warpspace is disturbing/nauseating to look at through the windows, that might be where the milky vortex-tunnel look of Trek09 comes from!

143. Forrest - September 7, 2010

“No one ever remembers that Isaac Azimov was the science / technology consultant for TOS”

…because in our universe the totality of his involvement was writing two pieces about it for TV Guide, the first one titled “Mr. Spock Is Dreamy”.

He did read the script for TMP and suggested that they change the term “wormhole” to “temporal tunnel”, which they didn’t, and got a credit at the end.

(And for my ticket money they should have used the laser-traced wormhole effect (with the hand-drawn xmas-light effects) for warp drive all the time. That was *pretty*.)

144. trekboi - September 7, 2010

I loved ST:TMP affect, thought the JJ ST effect should have had a flash of light.
I hated the TNG strech effect- people never understood it was an illusion & thought the ship was physically stretching- that was lame i never bought it as a kid or now.
the movies 2-6 were good- the basic streaking light effect always made sense

145. trekboi - September 8, 2010

I should say the stretch effect from the Next Gen movies are more subtle- there was a shot in Star Trek VI where the enterprise was at warp going to Khitomar that was streaking stars & blue streaking light that was ok

The JJ Warp jump has a little streak to it but yeah what is with the exhaust in Nemisis?

146. George - September 8, 2010

Hands down, the streak, as it was done in Star Trek III was by far the coolest. Specifically the shot of the Enterprise jumping to warp outside spacedock. The next in line would have to be the Enterprise-A going to warp at the end of The Voyage Home.

147. Andrew - September 8, 2010

In regards to JJ Abrams and flair:

148. Dansk - September 8, 2010

I’ll say this: V had by far the worst warp effect. The ship just suddenly starts to move, and it doesn’t move very fast at that.

I think TNG had the best.

149. kmart - September 9, 2010

143, Asimov’s TMP credit has to do with proving to Paramount the legitimacy of the ‘living machine’ notion.

150. Thasc - September 9, 2010

I’ve always been fond of the Streak from WoK. It starts off as just some generic blue smearing, pleasant enough but unimpressive, with a few odd stars ambling past the ship. Then holy crap I’m tripping balls as the whole rest of the UNIVERSE blasts by as the speed ramps up. Always liked that.

Unlike a lot of commenters I like the Nemesis warp as well. The contrails were odd, but I liked the sound effects – I liked the mechanical ‘ca-chunk’ noise, like a lever was being released that had been keeping the ship sub-FTL, as well as how the ship itself smoothly accelerated, none of this flashy streaking or stretching stuff. Very simple.

And the ‘shot’. Yes, it’s a bit like hyperspace. But Jesus. When I saw this in cinema last year, I didn’t know what to expect. Would the ships be all stretchey? Would it be streaky? Nothing of the sort. Warm up, glows light up, impulse drives shut down, what’s going to happ- BOOM gone. Glorious sound. Glorious vision, as we see a split-second of engine glow stretching away. And such an impression of speed. That’s how you break the light barrier, ladies and gentlemen.

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