A Closer Look At The New USS Enterprise From Star Trek Into Darkness – Notice Something Different?

TrekMovie continues our deep dive of analysis into Star Trek Into Darkness. Today we bring you a closer look at the USS Enterprise from the movie, including a surprising details you may have missed. We also have some exclusive insider details. Check it out below (beware of spoilers).


Enterprise gets refit in Star Trek Into Darkness

In Star Trek Into Darkness the USS takes some serious damage. They even played up this notion in the marketing often showing a ship crashing into the ocean and the Enterprise falling toward Earth was featured on the posters for the movie.

Domestic poster featuring falling Enterprise

But if you have seen the movie you know that in the end the ship makes it through (it was the USS Vengeance that takes a dive into San Francisco Bay). But the USS Enterprise is certainly not spaceworthy after the battle above Earth. The final scene of the movie jumps forward almost a year after that battle with a ceremony to ‘re-christen’ the USS Enterprise. We then see the crew on the bridge as they set off on their new five-year mission and then the ship warps away. While the bridge itself appeared to be exactly the same, if you looked closely the ship’s exterior you would spot differences. Just compare the images below (taken from one of the movie trailers and from a behind-the-scenes video about the music)

USS Enterprise in “Star Trek Into Darkness” (right before encountering USS Vengeance)

“refit” USS Enterprise from end of “Star Trek Into Darkness”

A source confirms with TrekMovie that ILM did make changes to the digital model of the Enterprise in order to show it has been ‘refit.’ According to the source there are “big and subtle changes” to the ship. The most obvious difference is the now much wider impulse engines. While the nacelles do appear different in the above image that is mostly due to distorted angle of the pre-warp-effect. However, the source did say there are some small changes to the nacelles as well. The following video gives you a better look at the refit.

The original ‘refit’

While there are differences for the new universe Enterprise ‘refit,’ they are not nearly as pronounced as the original ‘refit’ Enterprise from Star Trek: The Motion Picture. In that case the ship had gone through a complete redesign to transition from the 60s TV series to the big-budget 1979 film.

Original TV series USS Enterprise and ‘refit’ from movie era

Obviously we will see more of the new refit when the Blu-ray comes out and of course we will have to wait for the next movie to see the refit completely, and find out if the ship has any new technologies or features.

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Cue the fan rage :P First?

Sweet! I can’t wait for some orthographic views of this refit. Maybe some aftermarket parts for the revell model… :) Thanks!

Is it me or are the rear of the nacells more raised on the refit? In the first shot you can see the “ring” of lighting further up on the nacell but it doesn’t look like you can after the refit

Still doesn’t look good.

Original Connie and Connie Refit for the win!

I wish they would do a Hayne’s Book covering just this version of Enterprise.

It doesn’t look all that different to me aside from the impulse engines. I also remember the phaser banks being recessed inside of having the bulbs a la the original Constitution refit.

I like the look of the Enterprise and its ample, juicy nacelles in the picture just before the USS Vengeance does its dirty. The later refit does not look quite as attractive…

I notice the strip that’s behind the bridge and leading to the impulse engine is different. It looks narrower and more elevated

What I see is more weighty and slightly lofted coalescing into a soft yet defined tip.

Oops, sorry. My girlfriend’s boobs were blocking the photos.

I dunno man, one of the aspects of the jj-prise that I really liked was how similar it looked from behind to TOS / TMP Enterprise… but now they’ve taken away that familiar impulse design! FFS if you’re going to make changes, sweep back the nacell supports! That looked SIKK on the refit in tmp! So streamlined, graceful and powerful, like a predator ready to pounce.

I hated the jj-prise initially and now I’ve come to really like it but it definitely could be made better imo… but I’m well biased towards anything that is similar to the constitution refit :p

I wonder… would you have to be as crazy into Star Trek as I am to even notice the impulse difference??

I didn’t think they could make it look worse.
But they did.

I don’t think I ever realized those red lights on the back of the saucer where impulse engines. I thought they were just, I don’t know, decorative or something. lol

I do love the Abramsprise, although it took some getting used to at first. Glad they didn’t change it too much.

@ 8 Chris

I think that’s the warp effect distorting the image…

I always thought the “refit” was too drastic between TOS and TMP. I always said, “they should’ve never called it a refit. That’s a complete redesign.” This is worthy of calling it “refit” for NuTrek.

The saucer section is way different . . . flatter, thinner. The nacelle pylons are more “angular,” and more at a slant . . . closer together, and don’t “bow” as much. The nacelles are redesigned. This is a big time refit, not a “warp distortion.”

Fascinating. I did not know the nuEnterprise underwent a refit, which I thought it was more minor than major. Thanks for sharing! Live long and prosper!

I hardly noticed and thought it was just distortion.

Too bad there is no 5min flyby treatment to see all the angles and changes.

The orginal refit is still the best, something about slow moving starships in space makes it more epic.

Yes, I noticed the refit (including the dorsal spine lighting and the winglets on the nacelles). You missed those.

I also noticed that Praxis has already blown up, and that Quo’Nos was impacted by a nuclear winter without the help of it’s neighbours.

I noticed that the Klingon’s were ‘starting to expand’, having only recently taken over a few other worlds as pointed out by Admiral Marcus.

I noticed that Section 31 was much larger than it was in the original series.

I noticed that Admiral Marcus has both the NX-01 & Drexler refit, and the Dreadnought among his ship collections on his desk.

I noticed that Starbucks was still around in London. AWESOME!

I noticed that [THE VILLAIN #2] wanted the torpedoes fired at him, delivering the [SOMETHING] to him. He had another plan in case [VILLAIN #1] didn’t show up.

There were tonnes of things in the movie that will require many repeated viewings to fully comprehend. Having TrekMovie point them out is cool too.

#11 I noticed!

Thank god they fixed the sagging Nacelles and I just got back from seeing the movie too


I thought they changed the impulse engines…….

and I am pleasantly surprised how good it was, the film I mean, and I figured after the scotty comment in the film that they were going to do this

Impulse I’m sort of on the fence about but it IS congruent with the changes they did to the ship in the TV show with that


they’ll probably go back to it latter, but all I ask is that you make the hotrod seem more balanced and asthetically pleasing, cut down on the blue glow

and maybe rebalance the saucer so its not much wider than the space between the nacelles, like take a line or two of its grid line off of its diameter

maybe give it a light grey simple paint job, just a few key tweaks and they could have something great on there hands.

But as is I am glad they toned down the damn lense flares and toned down the whites, made it seem more like a legit ship.

Good job guys, and that is HIGH praise coming from me

and thank god you remembered your own damn plot lines and things that happened in your own film unlike in the old rick berman star suck shows and movies he made.


I’ve seen the movie twice and paid special attention to the models both times. Where was the Drexler refit? I just saw the regular NX-01 between the Phoenix and Kelvin.

LOL at TrekMovie deleting my constructive criticism in this thread.

I believe I noticed the font on the registry on the saucer section was different. On the JJ Enterprise from the first movie and STID it was a simple font, whereas after the “refit” at the end of STID it seemed to have the outline around the lettering from the prime versions of the big E. Can anyone confirm this?

What a great article, noticing the lettering is a good spot. Thought she lookedvdifferent but she was always being refit, assume the JJ Enterprise is modular like the D. Agree 100% we need a Hanes manual and a Technical Manual. Think we’ll return to the Prime Timeline at some point. Once we get past TMP era there’s ten years to TWOK. Good time to revert?


Brake lights.

Honestly, I think this refit is more akin to the refit between the two pilots and the rest of TOS than the TMP refit.

I’ve showed dozens of non-Star Trek fans the comparisons between the Original Series/ Motion Picture Enterprises and the new JJTrek one… it boggles their mind when I tell them that some trekkies prefer the “old” models to the new one. They understand the nostalgic feelings involved, but that can’t be an objective reason for preferring the old look. And they aren’t dumb. A lot of trekkies dismiss non-fans as “dumb” or that they “don’t get it”, which is a thinking that got Trek dead for some years or just limping along.


Well, for me, my issues stem from the size/shape of the nacelles are unappealing to me as well as some of the subtle differences in the curves and silhouette of the JJ Enterprise. The saucer itself I’m pretty ok with, but beyond that…..it’s off-putting aesthetically, and that’s not just nostalgia talking either.

only logical changes. a big ship needs big impulse engines.

If I had my way, I’d get rid of the saucer part. I would keep half of one nacelle, and remove the entire lower hull. In fact, I’d keep just the deflector dish and one nacelle. MAKE IT SO!

now it looks like an ugly american car with that red strip (no offense, there are nice american cars, and there are ugly american cars)

I’d call this refit more akin to the “refit” that took place in between “Where No Man Has Gone Before” and the rest of the first season of TOS.

Only thing that bugs me about it is that now my Playmates Enterprise won’t match the one we see in the new movie.

Doug Drexler’s Season 5 refit is not seen on Adrmiral Marcus’s desk. You have the Vengeance, the Kelvin, the NX-01 (plain old NX-01), the NX-Alpha/Beta test ship from the Enterprise episode “First Flight”, the Phoenix, and the usual rest of the lineup of explorer ships, to include the XCV-330.

The poor guys who bought that 5.000 USD model will now be angry, and the company will double its income by sending out the refit.
Same as with IRON MAN and his 1500 suits in IM3. You can sell the Enterprise now twice.
I bet in TREK 3 they will introduce yet another subtile refit.

I did not notice the refit, but i realised the 1 year gap while watching the film in the cinema, and that was unnecessary.
Were they just sitting on their backs for 1 year or what?

I noticed the refit when I watched the movie – I think they also added some more lights; yeah, that’s right: an even SHINIER Abramsverse Enterprise.
Well, apart from that, I didn’t really like the new impulse engines – See, I actually loved that moment in Trek 09 when they fly around the ship and you can see just how big and detailed the impulse engines alone were. So I wondered why they thought they had to make them even BIGGER.
Now they remind me of that flawed toy model of the Enterprise E, that was released when “First Contact” came out, but actually looked nothing like the Enterprise in the movie.

Why a refit after the ship has been just one year in service?
In TOS it made sense because the ship was already 20 years old.

PS: Here’s a picture of the Playmates toy I was referring to (the left one of course):

What 1 year gap? I don’t necessarily doubt you but i don’t remember that part….


I have the one on the left….the original is it not?

I also have the other version of the Enterprise E that were made by another company.

@38 the ship was pretty banged up by the end of the film so in need for some serious dry dock time, while it was there no doubt the engineers altered the design slightly to improve performance such as a larger impulse drive.

@40 During his speech at the end Kirk mentions it being almost a year since the events of the London bombing, Pikes death etc.

KHAAAN the weasel

Yeah… both are completely wrong, eventhough the INSURRECTION model at least has it’s impulse engines in the right place.

Get the DST NEMESIS Enterprise-E. That’s the only model so far which has the right proportions (it was scanned from the original CGI model).

36: The ship was thoroughly damaged, both engines taken out, most of the hull burned. And Mr Scott in the movie said he had been making progress, changes and advancements to the ship before the end of the film, hinting about a refit he wanted to do.

and with Kirk out for 2 weeks, the ship badly damaged and half of frisco, starfleet command’s main command post taken out by one of there own ships and it being 2259 to 2260.

the ship was probably refitted and being repaired for 6 months, plus all the paperwork, the red tape and just figuring what the hell happened and who’s to blame.

Basically its a wonder the end of the film wasnt set it 2265 with that kind of stuff going down.

and for the guy who said that people couldnt get the trekies liking the old one better its a proportionally unbalanced ship, I havent liked it since I’ve set eyes on it and I’ve seen numerious better looking renditions of it, a refit is more than welcome.

I’ve even seen a doodle of it on paper that looked much better than what they came up with on deviant art, basically arching everything forward.

doing the hotrod thing in a much better way, if I find it ill post it here

@ KHAAAN the weasel

Flawed as it may have been, it is literally the best childhood memory I possess, recieving this ship for Christmas, probably before even seeing First Contact.

There was a lot of hype over the 1701-E and I had the model!!!
Ah man ship models are the cats pyjamas :)

I went to see Star Trek Into Darkness on Saturday, and I have to say, I was a bit disappointed. From the media coverage, I was expecting something very special, but what I got was a pretty charmless pastiche of Star Trek II. Yes, the special effects were good – and Benedict Cumberbatch’s acting was good. But the revelation of his character, as well as the obvious parallels with TWOK, made it tired viewing. Especially in the last act of the film, it just seemed to scream, ‘I want to be Star Trek II!’

I think it was a wasted opportunity – it had the potential to be so much more, and I don’t think it was anywhere near as good as the original Star Trek II, nor the 2011 Star Trek. I sincerely hope the next instalment stops trying to do homages to what has gone before, and start doing something different.

Any changes made to the Phaser Pulse Turrets?

“Bottom line is this,” I say with a smile, “I won’t believe it until I read the full story in Nacelles Monthly.”

@27 @33
I also think this refit is more akin to the refit between the pilots and the first TOS episodes than the TMP (redesign) refit.

From Memory Alpha: “The Enterprise’s first documented refit occurred sometime between 2254 and 2265. Minor changes were made to the ship’s exterior, most notably the impulse engines, warp nacelles, running lights, and hull markings. A second, more extensive refit occurred at some point after her encounter with the galactic barrier in 2265. It involved replacing the bridge module, a newer, smaller deflector dish, and refinements to her warp nacelles”.

The Abramsprise is my third favorite Enterprise coming behind the TMP/Refit and the TOS ships. (What can I say, I love Kirk’s ships!) I prefer the older/narrow impulse engines than the new and wide. The refit impulse engines remind me of KITT’s red scanner.

I can’t decide if the nacelles are different or not. We need new orthographic views. (And a technical manual. And a Haynes Owners Workshop Manual. And an Art Of/Making Of book. And a…..)

Not radical enough, it needs a completely new engineering section ;)