US Naval Academy Professor Argues For Single Ship Design Seen In ‘Star Trek: Picard’ Battle Of Coppelius

A pivotal moment in the season one finale of Star Trek: Picard came above the planet Ghulion IV with the arrival of a Starfleet task force to turn the tide in the defense of the Synth settlement Coppelius, which was facing an attack from a Romulan fleet. The incident and composition of the Federation fleet has been the subject of much fan discussion and some controversy. It turns out this battle was also the subject of a discussion at the United States Naval Academy.

Battle of Coppelius at NavyCon 2020

Commander Claude Berube, USNR, PhD is the director of the United States Naval Academy Museum and an assistant professor of history at the Academy. In addition to holding three advanced degrees, Commander Berube has written and co-authored a number of books on naval history along with a couple of naval-themed fictional thrillers. He is also a fan of science fiction and particularly Star Trek, and he combined his passions with the launch of the first NavyCon in 2017, a sci-fi convention held at the Naval Academy Museum, focused on fictional navies.

The second NavyCon was held in June of this year and was done remotely. The subject of Commander Berube’s talk was “How the Federation Overcame the Shipbuilding Gap before the Defense of Coppelius in ‘Star Trek Picard.’” The commander has shared his presentation with TrekMovie, outlined below along with the full video of his presentation.

Defining the problem: Starfleet’s decades of losses

Commander Berube began his discussion by setting up the challenge faced by the Federation in the late 24th century, noting that Starfleet had previously suffered a number of losses starting at the Battle of Wolf 359 with the Borg and later during a brief war with the Klingons and the longer war with the Dominion.

In addition to the losses, Berrube infers that following the Dominion War there was a traditional drawdown of forces. This follows real world examples and was also exemplified by the decommissioning of the relatively new USS Enterprise-A after the Khitomer accords in the 23rd century. Making matters even worse, the Federation’s primary shipyard Utopia Planitia on Mars was destroyed, as depicted in Star Trek: Picard (and the Short Treks episode “Children of Mars”).

Berube concludes that part of Starfleet’s response to these challenges was the launch of the Inquiry-class Starship in 2390, the class of ship seen at the Battle of Coppelius, including the task force flagship under the command of acting Captain William T. Riker. He then begins his main arguments by setting up the following question within a historical context:

How did the Federation recover from that ship deficit due to the Borg incidents, and Klingon and Dominion wars as well as the destruction of its primary shipyard to stop the Romulans at Coppelius?

In line with this event, how does a great power recover from a shipbuilding deficit to deter another great power if the situation warrants it?

Starfleet learning lessons from history

Berube then lays out five lessons drawn from naval history that he concludes were learned by the Federation and Starfleet.

Lesson 1: Distribute your shipbuilding capability

Berube concludes that Utopia Planetia Shipyard “was simply too big to fail,” pointing to the experience of the United States during World War II, where it built ships at up to eighteen different shipyards “thus reducing vulnerability of any one, and increasing the ability to produce ships and scale up production.”

Lesson 2: Have a common ship architecture

Much has been said by fans about the “copy and paste” look of the Starfleet task force at Coppelius. While some fans may long battles with many different Starfleet ship classes, as seen in Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine or the film Star Trek: First Contact, Berube argues that the single class of ship (with some minor variants) seen at the Battle of Coppelius was a smart move on the part of Starfleet.

Berube suggests that the Starfleet task force deployed to Coppelius “could be a pre-positioned, strategic reaction force set to deal with ad hoc crises.” He then explains the advantages:

A common ship architecture encourages a stable industrial base allowing you to plan years in advance, it reduces the cost per unit since there are economies of scale, and it reduces the time to build them based on gained expertise…Two examples in U.S. naval history might be the World War II era Gleaves- and Fletcher-class destroyers, though, we can assume from Captain Riker that Inquiry-class ships were more in line with WWII cruisers in capability especially since this Inquiry-class cruiser appears to be smaller than the Galaxy or Sovereign classes.

In his talk, Commander Berube points to other historical and modern examples of a single architecture, arguing these have always introduced efficiencies in training, design, construction, and maintenance.

Lesson 3: Deterrence requires sufficient force (especially when dealing with Romulans)

Berube then argues that only through learning the first two lessons could the Federation “build a sufficient fleet to meet the Romulans at Coppelius in a Mahanian battle.” There Berube is citing Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan, the noted 19th-century naval commander and historian whose teachings still influence naval strategies to this day. He cited the historic examples of the Battle of Midway and the Battle of Coral Sea showing this strategy at work.

Berube also shows his Star Trek cred, noting how deterrence has worked when dealing with this particular Star Trek adversary:

Romulans will likely back down when confronted by a superior force. Two examples from Star Trek Next Generation when Commander Tamalok has two D’Deridex class warbirds about to destroy the Enterprise-D but backs down when three Klingon birds of prey decloak. The same is true when Admiral Sela’s force supplying the Klingon Civil War is uncovered.

Lesson 4: Build alliances

The NavyCon talk on the Battle of Coppelius also took a moment to talk about a long-running theme within Star Trek about building alliances, and how it is a lesson from our own history that continues to be heeded:

In Star Trek Enterprise [The Federation began] as a loose-nit alliance. Even the Klingons and Romulans became allies when shared interests necessitated it [during The Dominion War]. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Babylon 5 were certainly brain-candy for the international relations realists. Even in the 21st century, we need to build partnerships and alliances.

Lesson 5: The human factor (or the Picard factor)

Almost all of the fighting during the Battle of Coppelius occurs before Starfleet arrives, with the Romulan fleeting fighting off the Synth’s defensive system of space orchids and Picard’s use of “electronic warfare” by creating a fleet of sensor copies of La Sirena. Berube argues Riker’s “Mahanian force” of Inquiry-class Starships was there “to back up diplomacy, in the hope that sanity will prevail, which is what happens at Coppelius.” This gave Piard “more time to persuade the Synthetics to stand down, and eventually the Romulans, thus precluding a wider conflict.”

Berube concluded his talk by arguing that even with naval strategy, it still all comes down to the people:

With all the technology, with all the ships, with all the weapons, and with all the artificial intelligence that is so attractive to some, it came down to the best of human traits. It came down to Picard and communication, the ability to rise above past mistakes, understanding one another, trust, hope, belief, forgiveness, and the ability to choose what is right, to de-escalate crises.

As Picard says at the end: “That’s why we’re here – to save each other.”

And that’s what science fiction teaches us whether in 2399 or 2020.

Representing Starfleet at the USNA

You can keep up with Commander Berube on Twitter @cgberube where he muses about all things naval, along with occasional thoughts on Star Trek.

As director of the US Naval Academy Museum, he is keeping it 24th-century real with their social media as well.

Commander Berube hosts the US Naval Academy Museum podcast Preble Hall, which also includes some discussions of navies in science fiction. His next book on military history is The Great National Destiny: The Navy and Andrew Jackson, due out in 2021 from the University of Alabama Press. His latest novel The Aden Effect: A Connor Stark Novel, is available now in hardcover, ebook and audiobook from Amazon.

Watch NavyCon 2020

The full video of NavyCon 2020 is available online, The video below is cued up to Commander Berube’s presentation on Star Trek: Picard. The event featured a number of other military and civilian experts in naval history and strategy, with talks discussing navies in science fiction including one on the Battle of Endor from Star Wars.

Keep up with all the Star Trek: Picard news, reviews, and analysis at

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Great argument and explanation, but with all due respect, copy and paste was the solution for the approved budget.

Both of you guys have a point.

Berube makes a good argument why the kind of ‘hide and seek’ submarine warfare approach of TOS and early TNG isn’t a good fit for the Federation in a complex strategic environment, especially when adversaries respond to show of force as much as pure threat.

As much as I love the suspense of submarine warfare tactics, they make most sense in a contained space (like the Earth’s oceans), and when sensor technology is relatively modest.

Nah, they could easily have quickly thrown in a couple other CGI ship designs if they had wanted to. This illustrated how carefully Chabon and company thought this through — this is the only way Starfleet could have quickly built ships following the Mars shipyard disaster.

Well done Kurtzman and Chabon!

Last edited 1 month ago by Methusalah

I agree with Methusalah. CGI has so radically lowered the cost of F/X that surely it would have been possible to create a few subtle differences within the budget — after all, they recreated both the Enterprise-D and original Enterprise for “Remembrance” and “Maps and Legends.” This smacks of a deliberate choice.

Now, whether it’s a choice that made *sense* is a bit more open debate. The Naval Academy historian makes an interesting and plausible case — but I think he’s forgetting the element of innovation. Even if Starfleet basically sought to manufacture mass quantities of the same basic ship after Utopia Planetia, there would surely be some “lessons learned” in the process and minor refinements.

Take the venerable WWII-era DC-3, some examples of which are still flying. It was mass-produced in the same way that these starships must have been, and indeed serial production was licensed to the USSR, where it was called the Li-2. All of these planes have several variants.

So I ultimately think the culprit may have been production time, rather than budget.

One point I disagree with the Naval Historian on, is regarding the Federation shipyards. While Utopia Planitia is the most famous, and likely their primary shipyard. It’s not their only shipyard. The Federation consists of over 150 member worlds, spread across 10000 lightyears. The loss of a single shipyard, while devastating in the near-term, wouldn’t be as devastating over time.

And the Mars disaster happened 15 years prior to the main events of the show, which gives them ample time to rebuild their fleet, and even produce new designs. Where the historian’s argument falls apart, is that he thinks its a good thing to have all the ships be of the same design. Even the US Navy doesn’t have all ships be of the same class. You have a dozen nuclear aircraft carriers, dozens of cruisers and frigates, destroyers as well as submarines.

And why? Because ships have different Roles. While Starfleet tends to build more generalized ships that can deal with multiple situations, we’ve seen more specialized designs as well. Combat-oriented ships like the Defiant or Prometheus. Science vessels like the Nova or Oberth.

As I’ve mentioned elsewhere – and in my talk – there were other shipyards. Utopia Planetia was the most significant. I also did not say just build one type of ship. I was explaining why we might be seeing this particular force at Coppelius.

I think people assume the Federation has unlimited resources. No country or civilization does. Nor can a ship magically appear. Keep in mind that the Ford-class aircraft carrier began development in the mid-1990s. It is not yet deployable 25 years later. The LCS program has issues. And we only built 3 ZUMWALTs despite the original intent of 36 ships.

Also, I’m not just a naval historian. I’ve worked for NAVSEA (which designs, builds, & supports ship programs), Office of Naval Research (which does the R&D), two U.S. Senators from a shipbuilding state, and the Office of Naval Intelligence. I tried to draw from my various experiences and research to provide an assessment of why Riker’s force was at Coppelius.

I was puzzled, though, that SO many ships were able to deploy SO quickly to a location that for some, must have been a vast distance away.

And some of us are sad that while hundreds of ships seem impressive, the scene lost some dramatic impact; fewer ships [at first] would have had more of an element of danger. Federation ships coming from a greater distance could have popped out of warp as Riker spoke with the Romulans.

We’ve tended to see this in Trek for a while now, though. Even though ships (and fleets) are in space, they do tend to operate somewhat two dimensionally. Particularly so at warp, why would you not position your forces strategically in a sector so they could maneuver in at sub-light to gain an advantage? If the goal was to drive off the opposing force, showing up as a massed fleet had potential to be a disaster if the enemy commander called Rikers bluff…..

Remember Spock telling Kirk that Khan, while brilliant, was thinking two dimensionally? That would suggest that Starfleet did train their commanders in three dee…..

>  it would have been possible to create a few subtle differences within the budget

Which is exactly what they did. If you look up Chabon’s articles about this, there are 3 ship classes present at the battle. People are just making assumptions and jumping to conclusions rather than taking the time to investigate.

> they could easily have quickly thrown in a couple other CGI ship designs if they had wanted to

They did. There were at least 3 ship variants. The showrunner Michael Chabon discusses it in interviews. Whenever we see enemy military fleets, we typically see only 2-3 major ship designs and no one complains. A dedicated military will not be a mish mash of ships. That was only the case in the Dominion War because Starfleet wasn’t ready for war and had to pull in every ship they could find which were mostly built for specific peace time operations.

The budget was huge!!! So then, what did they spend the money on? I can at least see where the money goes on THE ORVILLE. But PICARD and a slightly lesser degree DSC, I do not.

there is the cgi de aging of brent and patrick for flashbacks and dreams there is all the cgi backrground stuff that was not set pieces there were the cgi borg stuff the cgi free cloud city and all the hologram interfaces there was the giant space orchids the cgi mars flacebacks the cgi butterflies more then 50 percent of picard season 1 was cgi and other digital special effects before they got to that final battle and the they ran out of time and money in the cgi budget k there was 3 ships designs approved for rikers fleet the other two were variant on the main inquiry class one with a enlongated saucer with a suttle bay down the center which was a carrier variant called the equity class and a ringed saucer which was a explorer varient called a seeker class

Punctuation. Capital letters. Grammar.

Cellphone. Probably.

I just don’t think de-aging works very well. They could have gone to the trouble, for example, of narrowing Data’s face to its previous proportions.

What I’ve seen of de-aging [to wit: “The Irishman” and “Picard”] has not impressed me at all.

I think the problem is the typical project management triangle. You can notice a huge drift in the story, the first episodes nearly nothing is happening and then in the end everything at once (especially concerning the Romulans and the event). This looks to me like there were quite some rewrites happening. Which likely also result in redesign of CGI or late approval of the renderings. And then we are in the normal project management triangle, you can spent time to lower costs and ensure quality, or you just throw money on it, but its costly, because it has to happen in a short time. The quality of the CGI was OK, but nothing spectacular beside the useless planet defense, so likely money was spent to rush it.
The rush you could also notice on the not really well fitting uniforms. The last time we had such a mess in the costume department in Star Trek (to my knowledge) was Generations.

Last edited 1 month ago by invincible warrior

I think maybe YOU oughta write a Trektech article looking at things from the project mgmt triangle position.

Also, I guess I should have been more specific in my $ criticism. I wasn’t just wondering where the VFX dollars went or why the visual concepts are such a huge step back from the opening pullback in FC and the motion-control greatness that dominated the first 8 trek features, but also where the money went that clearly didn’t get spent on sets, which were just a huge and consistent letdown, from the space barn interior of the hero ship to the borg interiors. It was like the very worst of Galactica (the base star interiors there reminded me of 70s 6MILMAN bigfoot alien ship scenes) mixed with Roger Corman warehouse sets that hadn’t yet been festooned with all the neat greeblies. Visually, the show was just not only a mess, it wasn’t even there.

Agreed, the laziest and least inspired set design. I honestly think there wasn’t a lot of money given to this show. The producers were told, here’s as little money as possible to throw some ideas in front of a camera and slap a Star Trek label on it so we can rake in the cash. But we’re not gonna spend any of it on the shows; that money goes to our CEOs.

The thing that is amazing to me is that TOS is the one where so much money got siphoned off at the top — Desilu’s overhead was tens of thousands on each ep if I recall correctly, so the 186 grand per episode may have actually translated to 150.

Me neither.

Given how much the show cost, I thought we would be in for some epic space scenery/battles/alien worlds, alas it was less impressive than the 90s shows.

Sad but true. I did like the one battle with the crew, Seven and the old Romulan BOP. That was cool!

Agreed Jay. But I do love this idea a lot!

I’d urge a look at naval history through the comparison of the escort carriers versus the fleet carriers of World War 2. Yes, the US eventually mass produced hundreds of escort carriers. I think there were over 50 of the Casablanca class. Now that being said do we want a “Star Trek” where starships are mass produced escort carriers / snub-fighters or do we want to treat them as fleet carriers?
From a story telling perspective do you want to hear about the fleet carriers where the loss of Enterprise, Lexington and Yorktown could potentially mean the loss of the Pacific and where the enemy is so powerful that no modified Liberty tanker would last long in combat? Do you want a story where fleet command puts out the quickly repaired Yorktown because she is that important in combat and the battle of Midway with three fleet carriers on five fleet carriers decides the fate of the world? Or do you want it where hey, we’ll just send in hundreds of super cheap to produce ships and they’ll do fine?
How about the American Navy where the six original frigates ARE the fleet? Where if the Constitution goes down the very existence of the US is in jeopardy? Where John Paul Jones taking the Bonhomme Richard to go raid the enemy homeland is a major risky endeavor? Where even waging war on far off pirates in Tripoli requires a major effort (including an Enterprise) where the capture of a frigate requires a crazy effort to burn her so valuable is the asset?
Or do we want it where ships are a dime a dozen, lose one and here comes the replacement? Fleet combat is just a big line of ships rushing each other as if it was fighter combat?
In my opinion because the television media allows us to only follow one or two ships and the focus is on the bridge and the crew of a single starship, they should avoid this mass production of starships from a storytelling perspective and focus on the historical analogs where single crews and single ships matter (aka. Horatio Hornblower in space).

Last edited 1 month ago by Cmd.Bremmon

By the 23rd century, there are already 7,000 starships.

Discovery has made that canon:

“According to Control, Starfleet consisted of approximately seven thousand active ships in service during the mid-2250s. (DIS: “Perpetual Infinity”)”

I know what you mean, but that starship has warped long ago. My guess is since the Romulan war, starfleet started mass producing ships when Archer was around and why so many existed by Pike’s/Burnham’s time.

And while I doubt it was suppose to be thousands of starships in TOS, it probably was still suppose to be several hundred at least to get around the Federation and set up so many colonies. But not anymore.

Last edited 1 month ago by Tiger2

TOS and the movies is best watched believing there are twelve starship class capital ships (most named after fleet carriers). Even Operation Retrieve, a raid on the Klingon home world, is shown having just a dozen starships.
This is one the reasons why TOS has magic other series can’t seem to capture.
Discovery best watched thinking the majority of the 7000 ships are runabouts.

Not to me. Because I understand space is really really really big! In our galaxy alone it’s estimated to have 100-400 BILLION (with a B) stars. Even if you go by the lowest estimate and you divide that up by the four quadrants, Alpha, Delta, etc, then that means the Alpha Quadrant can still have 25 billions stars (once again with a B) to explore. If you actually look at it on the ridiculous scale of the galaxy we are talking about then yes even 7,000 ships is still a tiny, tiny spec in terms of actual exploration.

And 12 ships is just ridiculous to me. If we were talking ONLY about our solar system in terms of exploration and colonization, I can buy that. But not when discussing star hopping across the entire Federation of thousands of light years and over a thousand colonies created by the 23rd century. To me that would be the equivalent of just having 12 airplanes circumvent the planet today and somehow providing for all our needs even if we do still have ships and trains. It’s just not realistic, even for a TV show.

This guy is an expert for sure. Now I have a better understanding of these battles. The part about build alliances is very true. No matter if it’s a real world alliance like NATO or the Federation. Alliances and partnerships are essential.

A lot of these ideas apply even now in 2020. Not just in the distant future. I agree about the human factor too. The advanced technology is not enough to win a battle. Leadership and communication also counts.

The ship design is identical but maybe that’s a good thing. Easy to manufacture and keeps the costs low. Starfleet should have shipyards across the Federation. Mars shouldn’t be the only shipyard available.

I liked reading this article. Thank you Trek Movie for this fun read on a Sunday night.


Awesome work, Commander. Thank you for these insights!

Thank you. But I look forward to counter-arguments if I missed or failed to consider key data.

Starfleet had limited time to rebuild its fleet and the best way to do this was to concentrate more on the actual ship-building and less on the design of different classes. Given this, it makes sense to choose a ship class that is more versatile in its capabilities as opposed to more specialized designs and concentrate all your efforts on building as many ships as possible. The goal here after all was deterrence. Starfleet did not expect to go into battle with the Romulans. Their strategy was the brute force approach. Show enough strength from the outset, and they won’t dare challenge you (as you mention in your discussion) and this is what Starfleet was hoping for. However if they had gone in battle, their fleet composition would not have been optimal.

So for a counter-argument I offer you this: Starfleet’s strategy to deploy a large number of same-class ships was a compromise given they had limited time to rebuild the fleet. I say compromise because had time not been an issue, I believe the optimal fleet composition would have been to have different classes of ships with different capabilities and specializations (but not like some other battles you see in the show where you have a plethora of different ships). An actual battle group should be organized with different units assigned to different roles. Just like you have with carrier groups. With this versatile force they would be able to deploy a much more flexible, adaptable fleet to face whatever the Romulans would throw at them.

Who were they deterring, though? Relations with the Klingons appear to be cordial, at least judging from the “Countdown” novel. The Romulans are suddenly a dismembered empire, thanks to the Dominion War, then Shinzon, and then most spectacularly the supernova. It sounds like Starfleet would be somewhere around 1991 on the graph above, i.e., immediately after the Cold War, when a lot of US Naval vessels were being demobilized.

 The goal here after all was deterrence. 

After 1991 and the Soviet Union collapsed. The Romulan empire collapsed. Relations with the Klingons is somewhat peaceful. Starfleet needs new ships

I hope this is the real CMDR Berube!

At any rate, I’m not a military historian, but a number of years ago, I had the chance to preview Max Boot’s book on war as a source of technological innovation. I don’t disagree with your core thesis that Starfleet would have wanted to consolidate its ship design into a single class immediately after Utopia Planetia. But Boot reminds us that actual use in the field spurs innovation. Engineers learn over time and incorporate their lessons into existing designs. That is why I think you would see some subtle differences in the ships emerging over time. (Again, the example of the DC-3 comes to mind — they look *almost* alike, but you do see some subtle differences.)

Finally, Starfleet obviously suffered some losses since Wolf 359, but there should still be some older ships remaining in service. We have no indication that the Enterprise-E has been retired, for starters.

Utopia Planetia shouldn’t be the only shipyard. Since that was destroyed. You forgot about the Dominion War. Maybe Starfleet had other ships in service before Picard.

In terms of common ship architecture, it should not necessarily mean identical or near identical ships. Previous designs, such as the original Constitution and its variants, specifically as shown in the Star Fleet Technical Manual, (I know not really canon but a) it was the first real work on different ship classes, and b) what does canon really mean anymore anyway?), were modular. The heavy cruiser, escort, destroyer and freighter had the same primary hull, same/similar dorsal, same nacelles. The Manual even showed different mount points on the nacelle for the different types of ships. 

The Inquiry class ships in Picard show only some variation in nacelle location (Is that a different class?) The evolution toward a unified primary and secondary hull makes the modular aspect of the Constitution and variants not as able to achieve.

Maybe, as suggested, these were mass produced quickly to get a response fleet in service. 

I would hope there would be some other designs being produced. I think Starfleet would still need some specialization of capabilities. Maybe they can make a ship that can do everything wonderfully, but usually you end up with a ship that can do everything to a degree, but not as well as a ship specialized for that task. Also, if you have one design, there could be flaws in that design, and you would a fleet full of similarly flawed ships. The Joint Strike Fighter is an example of this. The flaws could potentially be exploited and every ship would be vulnerable. 

Aesthetically, different designs just look better also, a bit more variety. The fleet, as shown in Picard, did look just copied and pasted. If they were going to have the same/similar ships over and over, they should of had them in uniform rows, like a line of soldiers, not the haphazard way they were arranged. And, still speaking aesthetically, they were ugly. They looked like bad Galactica ripoffs, or alligator heads. They just did not look good.

Again, great presentation! It is good that the Navy is thinking out of the box, and it is fun for us, too. Thanks!

You’re welcome

I read this point (“alliances are important in the 21st century too”) a subtle swipe at the Trump administration. The military is supposed (for very good reasons) to be apolitical, but not for the first time, Star Trek gets used as an allegory.

The part about build alliances is very true. No matter if it’s a real world alliance like NATO or the Federation. Alliances and partnerships are essential.

Last edited 1 month ago by The River Temarc

I didn’t mention Trump by name but my point about alliances stands out. He doesn’t like alliances. Trump hates NATO and global cooperation. He attacks American allies and whatnot. Donald Trump works for Russia. A Russian agent in the White House. All roads lead to Putin in Trump land.

I will have nice things to say about Russia after Vladimir Putin is gone and Russia is a normal democratic country. Russians are great people The River Temarc.

No “swipe” was intended. I have worked with allies when I was on active duty. Everyone has strengths. There are few instances in which any nation can go it alone.

That was a battle?

There were phases of the battle when taken as a whole: Phase I – Romulans and Flower ships firing at each other; Phase II – La Sirena’s actions; Phase III – the standoff between the Romulan and Federation fleets.


Fair enough. All I remembered was the shooting of flowers. More gardening than warfare. ;-)

The flowers were weird, trippy and fun, but they were still a kind of smart artillery.

And I’m always here for artillery.

Well, they brought down what characters needed to be taken down to the planet. So they were smart plot artillery, I guess.

It wasn’t great, and neither was Discoverys. Just feels like there are a MILLION things going on on screen and it doesn’t give you the same exhileration like it did in the past when a torpedo is launched or phasers are fired. I mean DS9 had great epic battles but it still looked cool as hell!

Can we acknowledge that the chaos/fog of battle might most appropriately look like “a million things going on?”

Not so much suspense, hard to follow, and perhaps less dramatic for all that than I’d like, but I can accept that it makes sense as a battle.

Last edited 1 month ago by TG47

Star Trek fans truly are EVERYWHERE! :-)

I assumed as much when we saw all the ships of the same type in Picard. That’s really the only way Starfleet could have quickly built ships following the Mars shipyard disaster.

If fans would just think these things through, we wouldn’t have to hear all the negativity and whining about other elements of the Picard series as well.

Last edited 1 month ago by Methusalah

The Mars shipyard disaster happened 14 years before the events of ‘Picard’ & it affected one shipyard. So no, this wasn’t the only way for Starfleet nor it made sense to manufacture single ship design!

Good luck building ONE new of the worlds largest shipyards in world today in 14 years. LOL

Last edited 1 month ago by Methusalah

No need for luck in the future, the Federation already have 18 other shipyards beside Utopia Planitia. Those includes San Francisco Fleet Yards, 40 Eridani A Starfleet Construction Yards, Copernicus Ship Yards, Antares Ship Yards and many more.
The full list is available on Memory Alpha:

Federation shipyards

I’d go one step further: The Romulans and Starfleet should have had the same ship design! ;-)

LOL… War doesn’t work that way!

You are right… Oh… wait! For Com. Oh (!) it worked to disguise herself as a Vulcan… ;-)

I am sure everyone who plays star trek online would be happy, if starfleer had the same poorly designed ship copied and pasted over and over again!!

Also to call it a battle is abit rich! Neither fleer fired a weapon at each other! Too expensive to animated!

Stop defending awful Alex Kurtzman TV shops!

As I’ve pointed out elsewhere, the battle had three phases: the Romulans firing on the flower ships, La Sirena/s vs the Romulans, and the standoff between the Romulans and Riker’s task force

This is at least some dope discourse! I can get behind it as long as we transition away from it and relegate it to this series and season.

It would have worked better if they showed their work, have part of Riker’s retirement plan be overseeing this particular mass production.

Replying to meself here, but post Dominion War I suppose the same principal could be applied to this rather specific Zhat Vaash fleet, too. The Tal Shiar, they are not. But the proper Tal Shiar fleet is floating in pieces in the Omarion Nebula. The proper new Romulan Fleet remains to be seen.

Lesson 1:
A Trekker should know Utopia Planitia certainly wasn’t the only shipyard in the entire Federation. Perhaps merely the largest.
Off the top of my head I remember Beta Antares and San Francisco Fleet Yards, but Memory Alpha lists more than a dozen Federation shipyards. In fact, both Beta Antares and Eridani A are mentioned in PIC 1×03.

His other arguments are pretty valid though.

Last edited 1 month ago by Spectre-7

If you watch my remarks, I did In fact mention that the Federation had other shipyards, but Utopia Planitia was the most significant.

Yep, you certainly did!

Yeah not buying it. They cut corners, it looked like a cheap choice.

First off, I’m just in awe of this article lol! And clearly Berube knows his Star Trek and that video in general is very impressive using real world military operations with various science fiction works. I only watched Berube’s portion of it but when I have more time I want to watch some of the others and their analysis.

But I love all the Star Trek history and lore that backed up his points and made me see Riker’s fleet in a different light for the first time. And I know ZIP about how actual military strategy or battles work besides what I seen in movies and TV, so I’m not going to even try argue that point.

I also think the author brought up a GREAT reason why we never saw other classes of ships during that conflict between the Romulans and Riker’s fleet because most of them probably were destroyed or damaged after the Dominion war. The irony is the Dominion war has been brought up as to WHY it was ridiculous we only saw one class of ship during Picard and why it didn’t make sense. But now seeing it from that viewpoint with all the carnage that war created PLUS Mars operations being destroyed after the synth attack then yes I think its a good argument that Starfleet had to rebuild its ships fast and decided to focus on one class to get the fleet up to snuff and probably for military purpose.

BUT there is one flaw in that argument and why I don’t really buy this is what the writers themselves were thinking and that is simply due to Riker. If this IS true you have to wonder why is Riker the one leading it??? The guy was retired. Wouldn’t there just be an active commander waiting to go anytime Federation needs this reaction force ready? I LOVE Riker but wouldn’t you want a leader who is currently part of the command structure who actively trains with the rest of the fleet, is up to date with all the new strategies and defenses? Just seem like common sense to me. So why I have a bit of trouble buying into this theory.

But yes, I can completely buy the idea of it because not only what Berube laid out, I’m actually surprised he didn’t bring this up in his presentation and that Starfleet had ALREADY considered this idea decades ago pre-Dominion war with the U.S.S. Defiant. We know that ship was built solely to combat the Borg if they ever showed up in huge numbers to attack the Federation. AFAIK it was the only time Starfleet ever created a warship. And my guess is if the ship was given the green light, they would’ve built hundreds of those and would’ve solely been used as a defense force; something Starfleet hasn’t had since the MACOS pre-Federation (but didn’t actually have their own ships because Starfleet was still very small at the time). So there is actually some precedent in what he’s suggesting here. Just like the battle of Wolf 359 convinced Starfleet they needed to go a different way to defeat a formidable enemy (at least temporarily) you could argue the exact same thing happened after the Dominion war ended.

UNFORTUNATELY, as I said I still doubt the writers themselves thought this hard about it and just did it to save time or money. I mean if they AT LEAST had a few lines of Riker explaining that’s exactly what those ships were, a defense force of some kind (even give it a name to really bring it home ;)), most people would’ve been fine with it. But I don’t think that’s what it really was suppose to be unfortunately. But yes I LOVE this idea and I now could look at that scene differently. I thank the author for explaining why it would be feasible in a real world setting, especially to lamens like me.

Hopefully the writers are reading it too. ;)

Last edited 1 month ago by Tiger2

Riker wasn’t retired though. He was on “Active Reserve”.

Even today, there are reservists who are still on Activty Duty, while not necessarily part of the main operating forces. Who still train like normal, and stay up to date on current events, and who can be “activated” should the need arise for additional forces.

OK but how many ‘active reserve’ do you know runs an entire fleet after showing up again in a day after years of being away? I can buy that he would be called in for duty, it’s a little hard to stretch he would be commander of a fleet IF this is a fleet that is always active. That’s why it’s harder to go with this theory.

Now if it’s just Starfleet scrounging up a bunch of ships in a moments notice, still kind of a stretch but it’s more plausible if more active and experienced captains are too far away.

For all we know, Riker contacted Starfleet immediately after the events on ‘Nepenthe’, and managed to convince them to send a fleet to assist Picard. Being that he was on Active Reserve, I would assume he volunteered to lead the fleet, if given the option.

^Exactly. And Admiral Clancy herself probably agreed to put Riker in command precisely because he knew both Picard and Data from the TNG days, and had the most experience at ascertaining whether (1) Picard really had stumbled onto something, and (2) whether the synths posed a thread.

Yes for all we know….that’s the basis for half this show lol.

It still doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. Again not the end of the wold but yeah.

Hey Mike and Tiger2, I think that practically some of the ‘rules’ of drama made the decision that Riker would lead the fleet.

We’ve heard already that the original plan was to have Admiral Clancy ride to the rescue with the fleet. In fact, the actor (or Frakes) has said in interviews that they went to the extent of shooting it.

That would have been hard to believe given the distance from Earth.

So, if a fleet was brought together from assets already at the perimeter of the Federation or in the former Neutral Zone, it would make more sense in terms of what we were shown for a few reasons:

1). There would be a large number of deployable ships in reach to cover a volume of space that has so much instability in governance.

2) The new class of ships were designed with fast deployment and heavy firepower in mind, as Riker says from the bridge. (If other new classes of ships exist, or older slower assets, they wouldn’t have been in range because they would have other assignments or couldn’t arrive on time. Berube didn’t put this forward, but Riker’s comment on the ship’s speed, is something the writers wanted us to understand.)

3). Riker may not have gone off active duty as an admiral, but he would have been a senior captain, with not only knowledge of Picard and Data, but also experience in finding creative solutions (e.g. Best of Both Worlds pt. 2). But more importantly, Riker was the only qualified officer that we had seen previously in the season so from a Chekov dramatic plotting point of view, he was the gun we were shown that needed to be shot.

Last edited 1 month ago by TG47

These are definitely all great points. And I want to make this clear, I definitely wanted to see Riker show up like everyone else, so I don’t really care if it made a lot of logical sense or not; I wanted to see the guy back in uniform and back on a bridge like everyone else.

But I’m sorry I just still have a hard time buying IF this was an active defense force like the author is suggesting it would be Riker the first one to lead it. But yes that said as you and Mike pointed out, it doesn’t mean he couldn’t either. So I get that too. Since we don’t know either way there is an argument for both. For me, I’m just applying this to real world standards mostly but I always say the last thing we should do is apply Star Trek to anything in the real world most of the time lol. But that’s what this entire discussion was created around.

I wish the author himself gave me a response of my post of how likely something like that could ever be done in the Navy itself. Maybe it could.

As I said it doesn’t really matter in the scheme of things and I don’t really buy the theory as I said multiple times with or without Riker. But nothing stops them from retconning and using this idea later on.

Mars was attached so that was a setback for Starfleet. They immediately had to rebuild new ships. Riker is not retired yet as we know. The Romulans are recovering after their empire collapsed.

Starfleet should create a warship. New weapons and faster warp drives. Yes.

I agree on this point. Riker wouldn’t have been the logical choice as an acting Captain pulled from reserves to command the fleet. It would have been an active duty admiral. No reservist (myself included) is recalled to command a ship, much less a fleet. It’s possible that Riker was in command and serving as the face of the fleet or as fleet captain, in which case there’d be an admiral. But I think it was just a way to bring Riker back for the final scene since there wouldn’t have been many other options unless there was an Admiral Laforge or Admiral Worf as guest appearances.

Apart from any in-universe explanations, one reason I liked the greater variation in Starfleet ships we saw in previous Treks is because it subtly reminded us, perhaps unintentionally, that the Federation is made up of many different worlds (presumably many different ship designers as well), and it was different from, say, the Romulan Empire, where there was less variation and more a focus on conformity in their society.

So the same basic shape for many ships may be logical engineering wise. Thematically speaking, however, I find it a bit disappointing.

Last edited 1 month ago by AllenWrench

Agreed, but for the record, I don’t think the author is saying Starfleet would ONLY have one class of ship now. What I got from it is he is saying these ships would be mainly deployed as a defense force and built in masses to get them out faster. But there would still be other classes of starships as before.

I made this direct point that’s what the plan was for when the Defiant was built and it was suppose to be a fleet of warships all done by one design. So this wouldn’t be the first time this was considered, just be the first time it was implemented.

But I definitely agree with you, I love seeing the huge masses of different starships and a reminder of how big and diverse the Federation is. There are thousands of starships in the 23rd and 24th centuries with probably dozens of classes. But I don’t think any of that has changed because Discovery still has tons of diverse ships and in fact the show runners went out of their way to create many new classes of ships including Discovery herself obviously.

So I don’t think that would change in the Picard era. It just seems like they didn’t want to devote a lot of time coming up with a massive new fleet of starships for what amounted to a three minute scene, the only scene with a starship shown all season and this is what we got sadly.

Last edited 1 month ago by Tiger2

Regardless having starships be a dime a dozen and generic = less fun universe versus one where a starship is a rare massive construct whose fate can decide the fate of the quadrant.
Also now that AI = life guess each of these ships can be alive with a hologram/robot crew

Listen, even Apple makes four different kinds of iPhones.

Only four types, surely not. If thought it was one for every hour of the day. LOL

This presentation makes Picard’s statement about not getting science fiction even more nonsensical.

It’s certainly an interesting discussion, and it makes a lot of sense for a navy whose primary function is defense of a nation-state, its assets, and its allies. That’s definitely A function of Starfleet… but not THE function. Starfleet has always been shown as primarily a scientific and exploratory body, with a diplomatic bent. So, as we’ve seen it up until now, it makes sense for Starfleet to be more like a Swiss Army knife than just a knife, hence the wide range of design for different missions. Obviously, they can repurpose that fleet for war if necessary.

Starfleet is a military, but its goals are not militaristic, if that makes any sense.

I refuse to try and justify Star Trek Picard’s crappy attention to detail by coming up with elaborate explanations. It was poor planning, period. In fact I refuse to even call that show canon. It’s basically the studio-produced equivalent of Star Trek Renegade. Fan fiction, in other words, from someone who isn’t even an actual fan.

As for the naval explanation in this article, the US Navy has never used a fleet of identical vessels for any operation. Carrier groups are a mix of vessel types. Even submarines are divided into specialized roles. The copy/paste fleet we saw was exactly what it appeared to be: Laziness.

Thank you, Commander Berube! This presentation, as well as the entire NavyCon 2020, is incredible!
It is very cool, and reassuring, that the Navy looks at science fiction as a multi faceted resource.

Thanks! We all really enjoyed putting on this second NavyCon. The first was in 2017.

I am not too opposed to the “copy and paste” feel of the Federation and Romulan fleets. It’s the severe lack of detailing on the ships that makes it… poor. A lot of details we have come to expect as being visible on Starfleet ships, were completely absent during the showdown between the two fleets. None of the Starfleet ships had visible phasers, or torpedo tubes.

Like all things in “Kurtzman Trek”, everything is super dark and hard to make out. If they had gone with more traditional lighting of the ships, and made the ships more detailed (more like a Hero ship Enterprise detailing, rather than a fast ship-of-the-week model), would’ve helped a whole lot.

“Budget” may have been the reason for not being more detailed, but come on! This is 2020. Ships are done almost entirely through computers these days (I think Orville uses physical models as well as CGI). The only thing that prohibits large fleets of detailed ships, is time. It takes time to render models, takes time to animate them to move. Maybe instead of having 200+ ships all of the same style, and all in a static position, reduce the amount to 50 ships, with more detailing and more movement. Helps the credibility along.

I want to look at this issue from a bit of different perspective and I would appreciate if people with more knowledge than me can acknowledge this issue, but wouldn’t having a fleet made up of mostly similar or same type of ships have the danger of having one same weak point that an enemy can potentially use to its advantage. By hitting this point they can disable all the ships in the fleet with a single strike. So strategically I think more variety is needed, because there would be less chance of an enemy exposing the same weak spot in different ships.

That could be a disadvantage. Every ship having the same weak point could be dangerous especially if it’s exploited by the enemy.

Having some diversity is needed in ship design.

This my friends is called clutching at straws.

Picard was a mess and the fleet was a last minute panic addition to the story.

Star Trek is a beautiful mess.

TOS Galactica (1978) on the cover! LOVE IT!

CBSTrek needs to stop thinking that putting a million things on screen automatically makes something memorable and epic. It doesn’t. Less is more sometimes, most of the time in fact. The Discovery season 2 premiere, the season 2 finale, the Picard finale… you don’t need to fill the screen with noise to make something cool.

As for the point of this thread itself, that’s one way to look at it, but it was done for budgetary reasons.

There should be more variety of ships in Starfleet by this time. Obviously Utopia Planetia shipyards was destroyed so building the same ship design in a shorter period of time made sense. It could be vulnerable to enemy attack since each ship is almost identical. It goes both ways.

Last edited 1 month ago by Faze Ninja

I’m not arguing that it’s illogical, I’m arguing that it’s further muddying Starfleet into a *military* – which it never was, and shouldn’t be.

Every other sci-fi has a space military. Star Trek was different in that it wasn’t a military; it didn’t have fleet-experience because they had no reason to operate in fleets until forced to pull together.

They had no single ship-class because they weren’t building a war fleet, they were building utility ships that served many roles. This, in turn, made them more adaptable than your average military.

Starfleet is and was inspiring and interesting because it was different. DS9 sorta muddied that, but Picard only drove home the pessimistic notion that the galaxy has turned Starfleet into an organization of warfare, not exploration or scientific discovery. It’s logical, but it’s also depressing. That’s not a future to look forward to.

Last edited 1 month ago by Lego

Starfleet is no military. Not an army to be reckoned with. Goes against the ideals of Star Trek. Not what it should be.

I hear you but I always thought that was just ridiculous on its head. Star Trek is about peace and optimism but I never seen a show that preaches so much about diplomacy finding SO MANY people to hate on it. I mean even in Star Wars, things are bad, but they only have one real bad guy to worry about. Star Trek has had jerks from the Xindi to the Borg and everything in between.

I just don’t understand when you live in a area of space where people are constantly threatening to end your way of life why you don’t have a self defense force at the VERY least?? Why not just have ships to protect Earth a bit more then? This is a universe where the Borg made it there TWICE, almost attacked by the Klingons in that war, actually was attacked by both the Breen and the Xindi, infiltrated by the Founders and finally a god damn space probe incapacitate the ENTIRE planet just so it can talk to whales. A SPACE PROBE!!!!!

I mean seriously, just get a few dozen ships to orbit Earth at all times. Build more listening posts so you may know things are coming and have just ONE reserve fleet ready to go when shit gets real. You don’t have to call it a military but considering Starfleet’s bad war record is and that Earth apparently has no real defenses in the centuries Starfleet has been around, I just think it would be common sense to add that if nothing else.

Last edited 1 month ago by Tiger2

Starfleet was always multipurpose, but it had to pivot to respond to the Borg and the Dominion and be more military oriented.

It’s always seemed to me that the purpose of Starfleet was always an ongoing discussion.

The science officers in particular focused on that mandate, but it was never the only one. I’d say that lines up with my experience in large multi-disciplinary, multimandate organizations : people value their own work and expertise and so tend to focus on the aspects of the mandate that relate to that.

By the way, I don’t think that Sol System was undefended. There were references in more than one episode to a fleet out past Jupiter system and inner system defense platforms. in fact, I believe that in BOBW the fact that the Jupiter defences didn’t slow the Borg down was part of the crisis.

The fundamental problem is that with over 100 planets in the Federation and a large volume of space to defend, the “home fleet” and standing “system defence” for any single major Federation homeworld were never going to be greater than the combined force of a determined opponent. So, there was always an expectation of redeploying ships from other assignments, and a reliance on diplomatic and multilateral relationships to deescalate developing situations.

That assumes however that the Federation ships can travel fast enough to arrive on time or to make a stand at an intervening point like Wolf 359.

When the Federation started to encounter enemies with faster than maximum warp FTL capabilities (like the Borg), who could leapfrog Federation ships coming in from the perimeter, this approach became unviable.

So, my question is actually, “What FTL technology is this new class of Federation ships using that they could assemble and arrive not long after La Sirena?”

Has the Federation successfully integrated slipstream technology that Voyager brought back from the Delta Quadrant?

Last edited 1 month ago by TG47

I wasn’t suggesting they should have a fleet around every planet, I was mostly referring to Earth since that is basically where both Starfleet and the Federation main seat of power is. Starfleet itself is obvious but even with the Federation that’s where the President’s office is (although I guess he/she could have offices on other planet’s too) so it would make sense that would be the place that is protected the most.

And we never seen the Borg try to attack Betazeid or the Klingons threaten to take out Vulcan. It’s always Earth that every enemy species looks to destroy most of time because it does seem to represent the power of the Federation.

That’s why at the very least that planet should have a heavy defense force, especially after all the examples I gave and just how vulnerable it is. Yes we saw small drones (at least I think what they were) try to attack the Borg at BOBW on its way to Earth but that was basically negligible. I mean if they have defenses now, they clearly aren’t very effective if you can have so many enemies make it to Earth so easily.

But I did forget we did see a large armada of ships ready to defend Earth against the Borg when Voyager was coming home through the transwarp conduit at the end of Endgame. So maybe I could be wrong and they do have more preparedness there now. But they have never to this day made it clear there is a real defense force protecting Earth. It just seems like they all just warp in when they hear trouble is coming and as you showed that’s not a very effective defense.

And we never heard a peep about slipstream tech since Voyager came back, at least not in Nemesis or first season of Picard. Maybe we will in the future now that we have multiple shows in this era again.

Might as well have been cardboard cutouts. It was just like the rest of the series. Flash with no substance. Only Riker made the series watchable. Chabon should have his Pulitzer revoked and be stranded on a desert island with JJ, Kurtzman, and Goldsman.

Sad to see that someone from the military doesn’t understand the reason why their copy paste graphics of the same ship isn’t reality in the world of the Federation! It was for lazy show production costs. Sure that might be what the military does today, but Star Fleet isn’t a navy military, Star Fleet is an Armada of Peace & Science dedicated to learning from new life forms, anomalies, and research hubs. That’s the reason why this is so bad on the part of the producers of Discovery, Discovery never even discovered anything they were always dying or being blown up etc because their ship wasn’t a Star Fleet ship! I feel if he took the time to research it he’d understand why people are so angry at the copy paste nature of this show!

I disagree on the “Armada of Peace & Science.” That’s the ideal but if that were the case, the only ships we’d see are Oberths and Mirandas. Those ships would not have been able to hold off Klingon, Romulan, Borg, or Dominion threats, hence you have heavily-armed starships that could do both science missions

I like seeing a lot of different types of ships too. And I understand the “cut and paste” production argument and anger, but outside of production issues, I was trying to explain why we might have seen this case with historical examples (WWII) and ST history. I think as a Star Trek community we should focus on cooperation and finding answers rather than exporting hate and insults.

Well, I’m glad you’ve joined joined in this discussion Commander Berube.

Your piece really got me thinking, and made me realize that the sub warfare style stories of TOS and TNG are specific to certain kinds of frontier scenarios and positioning.

As much as I may love the drawn out tension sub movies, I can get behind disruptive changes in strategy, tactics and technology. If what worked before will always work, then we wouldn’t be concerned about “old generals fighting the last war.” So, I’m adding a lesson beyond number 5 : technology, strategy and tactics need to evolve, adapt and respond to the context. (Even though I’m surprised it seems to need to be said.)

Overall, I agree that it’s a lot of fun to try to find an in-story explanation rather than just grumble because it doesn’t look the way it did in the 90s, especially when the whole point is to tell new stories in a new context and time. Others here have commented about missing that playful “what would make this make sense” dimension that was more common on 1990s discussion boards.

So, sincerely thanks and please don’t let the negative voices gatekeep the playfulness.

Last edited 1 month ago by TG47

Common hulls/designs idea is all wrong. If your entire fleet is cookie cutter/cut and paste and the enemy discovers a flaw in the design or a weakness and you’ve lost your entire fleet and the war in one fell swoop.

I was a CVN-70 Electronics Tech, even amidst the Nimitz class there are two variants. We still kept other classes until very recently, the Enterprise was a reactor testbed (8 of them on her!) and the conventional carriers to keep Japan appeased. They wanted us to keep nuclear powered ships out of their country, so what was the Navy’s first choice when the last of the conventional carriers were decom’ed? USS Harry S. Truman. (Think about that for a minute…) — that was quickly changed.


Very good point IMO.

Kind of points to the flaws that happen with engineering and programming. A fiction fave of mine is Tom Clancy’s RED STORM RISING, when shipboard AA guns detect a pair of incoming missiles, but the system’s brain can’t decide which one to fire on first, so the guns just go into reset mode and don’t fire at all, permitting the ship to become crippled by repeated strikes.

The TRUMAN bit is funny — dark, but funny.

Did you watch the video? I did not dismiss the idea of other classes. I also used WWII examples of certain classes that had common hulls or systems. This is not unlike the various flights of Arleigh Burkes as I saw when I worked for NAVSEA

Last point, Starfleet doesn’t have the same variety of ships as the navy dies. We’ve never seen comparable aircraft carriers or submarines. We only see that in Star Blazers.

That’s like arguing for the current US Navy, or any military force, to use a single ship/ aircraft design!

Active US Navy ships: Aircraft carriers, amphibious assault carrier, dock landing ships, cruisers, destroyers, frigates, littoral combat ships LCS, mine countermeasures vessels or MCM, patrol ships, ballistic submarines & attack Submarines.

Active US Navy aircrafts: C-130 Hercules, F-16 Fighting Falcon, F-35C Lightning II, P-3 Orion, V-22 Osprey and many more. 

The attack on Mars, to one major shipyard, happened 14 years before the events in ‘Picard’. Are you telling me that Starfleet, the same Starfleet that developed Defiant-class battleship & put it to use within five years of its development, was unable to produce other ships over the course of 14 years? They had other shipyards to manufacture new starships.

The copy-paste from an “expensive” show like ‘Picard’ was a poor decision just like their editing problems and story issues.

I disagree that it’s like arguing for the current Navy with its various ships. For example, you saw carriers and space subs in Star Blazers, but never in Star Trek. Most ships, regardless of class, have multi-mission roles – science/exploration and defensive/offensive capabilities. Although the range and capabilities may differ, a Galaxy-class is just a large Intrepid in terms of multi-missions. One of the only uniquely militarized class was Defiant or maybe the Steamrunner and Akira.

Regarding the “same Starfleet,” it’s probably not the same Starfleet after a couple of wars. Even Picard notes differences in Starfleet and with a Chief of Starfleet Security like Commodore Oh, maybe other Romulans were in the remaining shipyards or slowing down the design of other classes. But nowhere in my talk do I say that Inquiry is the only class developed or that Utopia Planetia is the only shipyard. But if we’re to compare Starfleet construction to today’s navy, we could point to the Ford-class aircraft carrier which began design development in the mid-90s and it’s not deployable yet. And for most of that time the US was the dominant global superpower. Maybe the Federation has shortcomings as well.


The point being, that in all previous major battles in Star Trek, from the Dominion war to the Battle of Wolf 359 & the Battle at the Binary Stars we’ve seen Stafleet engaging the enemy with various types of ships, never a single class.

As for Starfleet being different, I think after all the wars they’ve been through it’s reasonable to think that Starfleet will be more aggressive in acquiring better warships like they did when they developed the Defiant-class battleship in five years to fight the Borg.

Starfleet had 14 years to recover from the Mars attack and to improve their ships. Given that; I just don’t see them sending a single class ships into a battle. It makes no sense in-universe.

Also I don’t see the point in comparing Star Trek to Star Blazers, they’re two different universes.

Can’t really compare “today’s navy” to the Federation 400 years from now.

For one thing, the US navy is but one organisation, in one country, on one planet in our galaxy. The Federation is made up of over 150 member worlds, with their combined resources and capabilities. A world is not admitted into the Federation until that planet has come to be at peace with their neighbours, and formed a global cooperation between nations. We don’t even have that cooperation in today’s Earth.

14 years since the attack on Mars, and while it dealt a severe blow to the Federation (and Starfleet in particular), there are other shipyards throughout the Federation. There is no reason why they couldn’t produce more ship designs over that time, or even produce more ships of existing designs. Even if a ship class is old, it may yet be very reliable and could be preferred to be reproduced, and updated with modern tech. Case in point: The Excelsior and Miranda Classes, who were around for 80+ years.

Again, I didn’t say INQUIRY would have been the only class, just a concentration of resources to it. Keep in mind Riker said it was the “toughest, fastest, most powerful” type of ship. Each of those have important connotations in terms of resource management, investments in capabilities, etc.

Good to see you back Ahmed! :)

And I agree with most here, while I definitely like the author’s idea, I still can’t believe it was any more than a lazy copy and paste idea by the production. I don’t remotely buy they had any foresight into this other than how can they throw up as many ships as possible as fast and cheaply as possible sadly.

Thanks, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted here.

> I don’t remotely buy they had any foresight into this other than how can they throw up as many ships as possible as fast and cheaply as possible sadly.

Yep, that’s how I see it too.

And if my grandmother had wheels, she’d be a wagon.

He’s missing the point. It was just laziness.

I understand the “cut and paste” outrage. I was trying to find an explanation within the ST universe rather than this one.

The graphic fx guys admitted they were rushed. They finished six days before airing.

Someone just fired off a truth bomb!

Again, lovely idea but this statement is probably just the reality.

That is much more the norm than you’d probably think. Read Rob Legato’s comments about TNG’s THE BATTLE. He was shooting tests with 35mm still cameras and getting the stuff developed at 1hr photo before shooting movie film stuff for finals that aired the same week as I recall. And Roddenberry said they put together the TOS title sequence out of rejects less than 48 hrs prior to going on air. The series PAN-AM had all of its work done on its pilot ep (over 1000 shots, including full settings) in somethiung like 2 weeks, so in the digital era, stuff can get done faster, leading to even more leave-it-till-last thinking that does nothing for quality.

Despite the massive budget for Picard, the finale resulted in an inadvertent throwback to the original series by featuring a single ship design and a redressed bridge set. While the original series was dealing with a limited budget and the technology of the time period, Picard simply ran short of time. What should have been one of the highlights of the season turned out to be one of its biggest disappointments. That the effects team had all of six days to pull everything together is indicative of late revisions to deliver a punchier ending that they weren’t prepared for.

Picard had a strong start, muddled middle and a weak finish.

…and now I have a new Convention to go to post-COVID.

Great article. Thanks for sharing.

Building a fleet out of a single ship design was the main idea behind the Defiant class, so why shouldn’t the Federation take that concept and use it with larger vessel?

Besides (since it was mentioned): We saw the same in Babylon 5, when a whole fleet of White Star vessels engage the Shadows & the Vorlons. We saw a fleet of Minbari ships moving against Earth. I don’t know of any B5-fan who groans “oh, its just crappy/cheap/lazy c&p”. (And B5 had no budget to speak of.) No, it was impressive.

My problem with the Inquiry class ships was that they weren’t displayed with high detail. That’s what gave the scenes this cheap look & feel. At least in my opinion.