Fan-made Image Inspired Teaser Trailer

The story of the week is the new Star Trek teaser trailer. And the discussion of the week is that it is built on land (and not space). has now learned how it all started.

Fan art makes the big time
Trekkies are famous for dabbling in fan films, fan fiction and fan art. It appears that these kinds of things can get the attention of the bigwigs in Hollywood. A trusted source tells that the idea for the trailer came from a fan-made image (below) showing the USS Enterprise being built in a naval ship yard. The origins of the image are unknown, but it has been circulating on the web for a long time.

Fan-made image

(click to enlarge)

Official Paramount image

(click to enlarge)

Newport News…birthplace of Enterprises
The fan-made image shows the Enterprise being built at ‘TENNECO Newport News’ which is now Northrop Grumman Newport News in Newport News, VA. It just so happens that both aircraft carriers bearing the name ‘USS Enterprise’ were built there. [NOTE: is not reporting this is where the Starship Enterprise is seen being built in the teaser. We have no idea, except that it is not Area 51.]

Full Coverage of the Star Trek Trailer: Roberto Orci Q&A On Teaser

Review – Star Trek Teaser Trailer [w/TRAILER VIDEO]

First Official Image of the USS Entperprise

Review – “Cloverfield”

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Robert Orci said this was the image that inspired them in one of the other threads..

Glad to know they do listen once in a while.

I knew it! I had see this image, and remembered it when I saw the teaser, and couldn’t find it anywhere on my computer.

There she is. That’s the image I was referring to in an earlier post; I liked it so much I had it on my desktop for a number of months. Makes me all warm and fuzzy about the potential of the Internet in general. Fascinating story!

Well, the plaque said San Francisco so I expect the “real” construction sute will probably be in the Bay area.

By the way, does anyone know the real reason behind the whole San Francisco connection to Trek? What with the ship being built there, Starfleet HQ there, numerous bay area names being used for colonies and planets in TOS….etc.

I’ve read a lot of Trek real-history books, but never seen a discussion of why GR referenced San Francisco so much. After all Hollywood is in L.A. Did he live there when he was little or something?

(No complaints, BTW. I’ve been to Frisco and it’s very nice :-) Just curious why it became a Trek Mecca )

Maybe I’m easy to please, but I’m as happy as a pig in sh** that we’re seeing it built on a grand scale at all, much less where.

It’s from a modeling website…’s been around for a while and a lot of people know the creator.

fascinating…and good to know

5 maybe its a naval theme rather than a startrek reason fo SF as star trek pretty much is navy in space ….. maybe

I remember this image from, oh God, at least five or six years ago. Compared to how powerful today’s graphics software is, it’s kind of primitive, but I always thought the artist did a great job conveying a tongue-in-cheek message. If he (or she) could be postively Identified, they should be given kudos for their role as an unintentional catalyst in kicking-starting the whole franchise back to life.


to my knowledge, Trek extensively used San Francisco as that city is well known for it’s diversity and tolerance. In the 60’s in particularly, it was the center of The Hippie movement.

The teaser gave me a feeling like the Enterprise credits did. I don’t think that’s a bad think as I loved the idea of that show, and on the occasions they pulled of good episodes I liked the bridge between now and then/the future that it provided.

If this movie can take that idea, that promise that Enterprise never delievered on then I find that a very cool prospect.

With Shatner’s involvment of course! : )

Wow! That’s what I thought. When I first saw the teaser-trailer, that above image came immediately to mind.

Love the symmetry; Trek inspired fans to make videos, movies, etc. Now the makers of the new film are inspired by the fan fiction! It’s a loving tribute to the ‘unknown Trekkie!’ And I don’t care what anyone’s negative opinion on the subject is, that new photo from the trailer looks incredible! After 41 yrs, ol’ NCC-1701 has never looked better!

Details, details.

As far as that goes, the story (of ST XI) could simply state that ‘certain components’ were constructed at the Newport News site, and the basic overall vessel assembled well as [some future] shipyard in the greater San Francisco area—which is where Starfleet HQ is located in all 5 versions of ‘Trek to date, from ST:ENT clear up through ST:VGR (in the existing time-line). The “Big E” aircraft carrier CVN-65 is across the James River from NN in Norfolk RIGHT NOW (January 2008), having returned the week before Christmas 2007 from a deployment in the current “world hot spot.” One of the chief engineers, a fellow named Dennis–, is an aquaintence of mine; I met him once last year at the Gloucester County Public Library. Wearing his full uniform and ENTERPRISE cap that day, he stated then that “STAR TREK” has a large presence on the aircraft carrier, and comically quipped about them [sometimes] pushing his engines too hard (yes, in a Scottish accent!).

About the awesome photoshopped pic: I never could “zoom” in on that shot previously on the internet (the link didn’t work for some reason), and now seeing that it’s set in Newport News, 30 minutes south of where I live, I just had to stop and blink: WOW—what a legacy, if 200 or 300 years from now, that shipyard (under whatever name it will have then) might actually construct ANY part of such a “United Earth” starship—and perhaps even name it the Enterprise. What an awesome thought.

I have heard that some present-day CVN-65 officers may feel they seem to operate “in the shadow of [the Star Trek] television series,” but it is the feeling of many others that that view is in error, and that it is exactly the other way around: that Gene Roddenberry himself was INSPIRED BY THAT VESSELS’S REAL HISTORY to name his starship USS ENTERPRISE, after the aircraft carrier. If so, then the carrier vessel has perhaps the truer legacy of what Star Trek has become in the minds of us all. (Maybe when the carrier is retired in 2012, it might be re-commissioned to become the world’s greatest RESTORATION of humanitarian hope, where hardships such as disaster relief and other tragedies can be overcome, at least in part, due to help provided by THE CREW OF THE ENTERPRISE as she is in our time (even after 2012), wherever help is needed aruond the world. That way, the “USS ENTERPRISE” would live out Gene Roddenberry’s dream in real life, with a real crew, on a real mission to help humanity. Would it not?

So, finally, Newport News vs. San Francisco? Why would they need to compete in the 23rd Century? How about, instead, “…in cooperation with other sites around the world, and CENTERED in San Francisco, for the UNITED EARTH SPACE PROBE AGENCY in the year 2245?” Hmmm…….

(—With any apologies to ‘canon’ factors that might indeed state that the starship is constructed at the San Francisco navy yards in the 23rd Century. As a matter of fact, wasn’t the S.F. navy yards site stated as where the starship IS built, in one of Gene R’s own books [published in the late 1960s] about the making of the original series? VISION, folks, and CREATIVITY IN WRITING, is all that is necessary to making it “logical” …. with a little bit of inspired ‘help’ from Industrial Light and Magic.)

You know, when I first saw the teaser, just a few moments after it ended, this was the image that came to mind. I was wondering if it was some kind of inspiration… now I know, lol!

Ah, good ol’ Newport News Shipbuilding. :)

Anthony if you can figure out who the original creator of that image is, you should do an interview with them. I wonder if he or she is a big trek fan.

For this new Star Trek, I guess it makes sense to literally ground the Enterprise in reality and have it built on the Earth, instead of in orbit as was intended by Roddenberry. Since the intention is to bring in a new audience who don’t really particularly know anything about the original Trek canon, having the ship built in space isn’t as ‘real’, ‘gritty’ or as close-to-home as what we see in the teaser.

This isn’t TOS Trek. This is Nu Trek. Fans like me may not like O&K’s idea for the Enterprise’s construction, but this film isn’t for us. Though, I do wonder if people would have less of an issue with it if the Enterprise looked like it used to, as in the picture above ;-)

As long as they bring back the mini skirts with “Britney” type 21st century undies, I’m a happy trekker.

Newport News is on the east coast.

Scale looks right, though.

Some 40’s style guy welding with goggles in the 23rd century?they should get up to speed on manufacturing and have some sort of vision for the 24th century because everyone uses robotics to weld today.It’s a nice gritty kind of shot ,but I’m expecting more technological advances.

Although the first time I saw that specific picture was here, I found one that is the same except they use a Miranda class ship rather than the Enterprise

It’s a good reference image for persons unable to comprehend the size of the Big E, or the size of an aircraft carrier for that matter. Works for me.

If they track dow the creator, I hope they at least give him some movie tickets ;)

Time was when Paramount had a triple-strength deflector field up between themselves and fan creativity (and for that matter, the work of those who labor in the licensed-but-non-canon salt-mines professionally), and it’s really nice seeing the trend over these past several years of newer Trek honchos approaching the matter differently.

When I was on the writing team for the Star Trek RPG several years ago, we had strict orders that we weren’t allowed to reference anything but our own stuff and canon: we couldn’t make visible nods to Trek novels, Trek comics, Trek fanstuff, anything. Partly it was a matter of legal protections, but there was also a palpable air of wanting to avoid any kind of “consensus” arising in the non-canon material.

And then, years later, the producers of Enterprise made multiple nods to not one but two of the books we did, and said nice things about them on the record in the process … and that was just really nice. Felt like family. This feels the same way, and it’s a feeling that belongs in Trek fandom whenever possible. We are ALL Star Trek. Every one of us, and when connections like this one happen it warms the Jefferies Tubes of my heart, or words to that effect.

Get that guy some movie tickets, someone :)

So own up… who did the photoshop work on this?

In “Flag Full of Stars,” Decker flies the primary hull up to orbit to the “engineering hull.” They launch from outside of San Fransisco. The opening chapter of the book explains that it was more cost-effective and easier for some tasks to complete the refit on the ground. And it gives Kirk a good excuse to keep the old girl nearby! The cover of the book shows the primary hull with a Space Shuttle, the ENTERPRISE of course, beneath it. The primary hull lifts off on it’s landing gear, Kirk can see it from his office in the Admiralty building. That’s one of the places where the “built on the ground” mythos starts.

More likely that the entire ship was (will be?) built in orbit, in a dock from material mined from the Asteroid Belt or the Moon. That would be much easier than mining the Earth (and more eco-friendly). And the dock was named after a major city it happened to orbit over, or because it’s major port. (Or Gene could have had some attachment to San Fransisco.) I would expect there to other docks floating around, perhaps for important Russian, English, or other ship-building sites.

The image is very very old but great :)

At first I was a bit shocked at the concept of building on land. The technical manuals (yes I read them) said that the ship would buckle under a 1 g load without the Structural Integrity Field. During building, the SIF would not exist, so I figured that’s that.

However, upon thinking about it, I see no reason why you can’t just use a scaffolding and then turn on the SIF just before launch.

My other objection had been that we’ve actually seen the Utopia Planitia Shipyards in Voyager and they were in space, despite being named after a [fictional] city. Although this was the 24th century, it had presented compelling evidence that the San Francisco shipyards would also be in space. Add to this the fact that the NX-01 was launched from space and you get a two century history of building in space.

However, having thought about this one, I realise that all starships in the Utopia Planetia Shipyard in the Voyager shots were complete or nearly so. No reason why they couldn’t be nearly completed on Mars and then taken into orbit for that last part of construction. This mirrors the way ships are build in reality. Putting the ship into the water is just one step of the building process and the actual commissioning of the vessel may not occur for quite a while after that.

A nice case of life imitating art. Or is it art imitating art? Fans come up with some pretty goofy stuff a lot of the time but sometimes they make something that really resonates. Wasn’t “Yesterday’s Enterprise” based on a story that was originally fanfic? That episode remains one of the finest hours of aired Trek.

I know they already have an ending to this Star Trek, But I really think they should use the alternate ending from Star Trek 4. I know it’s probably not canon, but it would be a great ending. Check it out here. What do you think Mr. Orci?????

Does this trailer mean that the characters in the film will resolve problems by actually doing things rather than by looking constipated while talking to a computer console about subatomic particles? I was really a big fan of the constipated+computer+particles plot structure in Voyager… I could just see the writers: “The dramatic conflict has been resolved because a character will say some gibberish and then assert that the problem is, in fact, resolved!”

Bulding the enterprise on land is ok, but assembling it on land is stupid.

This looks so silly its a joke…

No matter how many effects they put in, it will still be a laughing matter.
Star Trek will be the endless joke of the scientific community and whoever knows anything about space. WHY DIDNT THEY ASK NASA???

Whats next? Build Enterprise B in my backyard GARAGE??? LOL!

Simply put, big space ships are always assembled in space.

It is true with our current space stations, and thats what they planed for ORION and DEDALUS in the future…

The 2 true starships that Nasa has been planning.
Its funny but ORION technology has been mentioned in STARTREK too, read this page to find out whats its all about

I Quote : ” The Star Trek:TOS episode “For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky” features a generation ship, constructed out of a hollowed-out iron asteroid, propelled using “Orion class nuclear pulse engines” in which fission bombs were detonated in shafts. It appeared to have been traveling for about 10,000 years, and had traveled about 30 light years on its own power.”

Dedalus is another one

I believe the idea of actually seeing the construction was Damon Lindelof’s idea. Just one of a million.

#28 “My other objection had been that we’ve actually seen the Utopia Planitia Shipyards in Voyager and they were in space, despite being named after a [fictional] city.”

On the contrary, both Wikipedia and Memory Alpha refer to Utopia Planitia as a “plain.” We’ve seen surface structures, but there’s no reason to think there’s a city down there. In orbit, the dry docks are fairly tightly clumped for space-borne objects, so is it much of a stretch to say that they’re more or less “above” the plain?

Now, I would have made the same argument for the SF Shipyards before the trailer, but I’m flexible. =)

Cool! It’s nice to know someone’s fan project can inspire the big boys to act on that work, and see some fruition of imagined, yet unrealized dreams.

I like it, but the fonts are wrong and the bridge dome/upper saucer is off…

Also, nice to know the little guy can have ideas that the IDEA people haven’t come up with.

I should start a site to gather people who want Enterprise to be assembled in SPACE, to make a global internet petition, then millions of letters to be sent to PARAMOUNT!

This is a disgrace…!!!!

Roddenberry will be doing CARTWHEELS in his Grave!

According to CURRENT science big spaceships must be built in space. However a warp ship has several technologies that might make that unnecessary. Antimatter-powered engines, artificial gravity, structural-integrity fields, etc. could make the cost of hauling a large mass out of the gravity well insignificant. For initial construction there would be more people and resources on the ground. Once the thing is built, you’d maintain and upgrade it in space just to avoid unnecessary strain of landing and re-launch, but in the world of Star Trek I don’t think initially building a starship on the ground is a crazy idea.

The welder, I assume, is there because he’s a nut who really likes welding and wants to be personally invested in the starship. Surely in the 23rd Century nobody HAS to do a job like that.

I still think that’s my ’83 Gremlin in the parking lot. You just can’t kill those things.

36: Not to mention the endcaps on the nacelles.

I see that I am only one of many to make a connection between the Newport News image and the teaser. We don’t create the media, it creates us, right?

As for the brouha-ha over Earth-based construction versus space dock, I don’t recall a single episode that says one way or the other. That teaser, though, is visually arresting and says so much about what Star Trek was, is, and always will be: to boldly go….

Number 39,

Enteprise in all the TOS scripts always had a problem with landing and going into the earths atmosphere, except for one Episode.

This is logical… remember thats why they made transporters so they wouldnt have to land the ship, also just imagine how many plots this Breaks…

Oh no Kirk is stranded on the planet… we cant beam him up because of the atmospheric distrurbances…


You see this does not work, its a bad scientific idea, even for the future, its a bad artistic idea, showing the magistic feeling of something built in space is far more powerful, and its not good for the PLOTS and SCRIPTS of all STAR TREK.

I like the white/gray paint better than the metallic look. It is said that the paint had the ability to “glow” so it would be visible in the darkness of space…

“Roddenberry will be doing CARTWHEELS in his Grave!”

I bet he rather will laugh out loud.
Fans usually are more fanatic about consistency than the creative writers, who just want to bring over a message, feeling, good story or entertainment.

Well hey, what do you know… no criticisms of the font, or the scale…

Also I must remind you the different ways the klingon WARBIRD was used in startrek IV the Voyage Home.. that had that landing everywhere….

We had never seen Enterprise going around in planets atmoshperes.. and for a good reason Gene NEVER intended that!!!

Even with the transporters they would use shuttle craft and not bring the Enterprise down…

anti-gravs guys, anti-gravs, perfectly “cannon”…

#45, see #36…

Boldly be constructed on Earth, where no WELDER has gone before! lol…

SPACE SPACE SPACE!!!! Enterprise should be assembled in space!

I mean com on, welders in a construction site? What are they making? The Titanic back in 1912???

I think the new star trek will be a comedy…

^42. As I said in my post, once the thing is built and put in space, you’d keep it in space. My point was that bringing all the parts together for the first time would be a more efficient on the ground, for the same reason ocean-going vessels aren’t usually built in the water. Assuming power is not a problem, taking off is easier than landing.