Check Out 32nd-Century Starfleet Concept Art And More Behind-The-Scenes On ‘Star Trek: Discovery’

Season three of Star Trek: Discovery wraps up on Thursday with “That Hope is You, Part 2.” Before diving into that, we have gathered together some behind-the-scenes images from the work on season three, including some new concept art.

Federation ships concept art

Today CBS shared two images of season three concept art, each with a collection of 32nd-century Federation ships. These ships were first revealed at Starfleet HQ in episode 5 “Die Trying.” We have zoomed on each of the new images to get a closer look at each ship and provided details for each.

USS Voyager-J – Intrepid Class

Obviously inspired by the original 24th-century USS Voyager from Star Trek: Voyager.

USS Nog – Eisenberg Class

Named in honor of the late Aron Eisenberg, who played Nog on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and passed away in 2019.

USS Le Guin – Mars Class

Named for speculative fiction author Ursula K. Le Guin. This ship is under the command of Captain Bandra.

USS Maathai – Angelou Class

The ship is named for Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai, founder of the Green Belt Movement. The class is named for the late poet Maya Angelou.

USS Jubayr – Courage Class

Named for 13th-century Arab geographer Ibn Jubayr.

USS Annan – Saturn Class

Named for Ghanaian diplomat and former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

And here is the original Tweet with the combined images.

More behind-the-scenes on Discovery

Below, a number of behind-the-scenes photos from last week’s “There is a Tide…” that were shared on social media by CBS, co-showrunner Michelle Paradise, and director Jonathan Frakes.

Composer Jeff Russo posted a brief video clip of singer Ayana Haviv performing Andorian opera from last week’s episode.

Finally, Discovery star Sonequa Martin-Green shared some of her favorite off-camera images from episode one’s location shoot in Iceland.

New episodes of Star Trek: Discovery premiere on Thursdays on CBS All Access in the U.S. and on CTV Sci-Fi Channel in Canada, where it’s also available to stream on Crave. Episodes are available on Fridays internationally on Netflix.

Keep up with all the news and reviews from the new Star Trek Universe on TV at

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The future is a kitchen appliance trade show.

Please show us your designs for us to compare….haha – actually, I kind of agree with you but I really don’t think there is much places left to go with ship designs nowadays….hasn’t everything already been done?

Only kidding. But yes, I tend to agree.

“Please show us your designs for us to compare”

That’s what “not understanding the core concept of “criticism”” looks like

True that.

Man, I sure wish they still had Jim Martin designing spaceships. He did some great stuff in the 90s for TREK tv, and a few of his unused designs, like one for a Gorn ship, were outstanding. Did good stuff for ALIEN REZ too.

nope ! not by a long shot ! There’s all kinds of futuristic shapes to choose from, even four, five, six dimensional hypercubes with black holes inside them, all kinds of things that would challenge the human mind, it’s just that there seems to be a lot of limits put on what is acceptable insofar as what people will accept, can’t please everyone, especially when the majority of people know nothing about the possibilities of future tech, what is impossible and what is theoretically plausible.

Haha. I like the designs – but I also agree.

Wasn’t there a new Constitution class? Show us that!

They did. It’s cloaked.


These concept designs are much clearer than what we saw in the actual episode, thanks to the show’s low-light aesthetic.

Haha I stopped watching the show 5 episodes ago (for reasons which I won’t go on and on about) but I have an affection for this website so I come back here a few times a week to stay updated. But from what I remember, the lighting was fine when we had to show a close up of one of the characters crying or hugging each other so I think the visual aesthetic reflects the priorities of the show runners. Less science, more feelings.

Despite your assurance that you would not “go on and on about” why you stopped watching the show you made it quite clear why you stopped watching the show.

In all fairness, I didn’t go “on and on”….. I just went on. If you want me to go on and on like a middle-aged grumpy you-tuber that doesn’t like anything new, I can certainly oblige haha – just kidding!

Lol – the lighting’s also blue… so very, very blue!

We are all so lucky to have you participating when you don’t even both to watch the show that these articles are based on.

Thank goodness we have your involvement here. THANKS!

I appreciate your reply. I guess I respectfully disagree with your point that I don’t have cause to join this discussion – but I am inferring from your comments, if I got this wrong, I apologise.

I have grown up with Star Trek. When I was 6 years old I got my first action figures and a Star Trek Duvet cover. My first taste of ST was Wrath of Khan and I was hooked, so I watched Space Seed and still hooked. Watching ST TNG got me through being bullied at school when I saw that Data and Worf were different too and they could earn the respect of the people around them.

I have introduced my friends to Trek, my daughter to Trek (who doesn’t care if the protagonist is a ‘strong female’ or not) and I have engaged enthusiastically and for the most part positively with the Trek community. I have carried the ethical and moral messages of Gene Roddenberry forward.

I feel that the number of shows someone chooses to watch of Disco should not qualify or disaqualify someone from participating in the discussion. I happen to not like Disco. I’m not alone. But I don’t hate it, I don’t hate the characters, nor do I hate the fans, I do not hate Star Trek because of one disappointing production. I hope this allows me to participate still in these discussions.

Live long and prosper (yes, I say that to people in real-life)

yes, and it seems to be getting worse.I could swear I am watching Young and the restless or days of our lives instead of a sci fi show

Space isn’t bright. Much more realistic.

Except for maybe Voyager, these designs are disappointing. It’s like no thought went into these. They are way worse than the rejected designs for previous movies/shows. I could see these as ‘alien’ ships but not as Starfleet.

Seriously, these look both very fresh and very much in keeping with the clean Starfleet aesthetic.

I’m so happy to see the end of awkward and chunky ships in the style of Star Trek 2009.

They might look fresh, but I can’t see how they look Starfleet at all. Awful ship designs, but it’s okay given their limited screen time; the Discovery on the other hand 🤮. What a minger!

How would you know what looks Starfleet? That makes no sense.

It’s 900 years later. Things change. Me, I think they’re neat – although I’m not crazy about this Voyager (too 24th century).

Who knows which alien races joined Starfleet in these centuries? Why shouldn’t their designs influence the look? Therefore they have to look different. ENTerprise made a mistake in that way, that they “downgraded” a starfleet ship and made it an earth ship, while the designs of the Vulcans and Andorians looked totally different from each other and were distinguishable. This was a good idea in ENT per se. But from that point of view into their future, starfleet ships should have looked like elements from earth, vulcan and andorians ships combined and not like an earth ship was used as a blue print for the basic designs of later ships, while elements of vulcan and andorian ships were ommited. Made no sense, since they were way more advanced.

The Nog and Jubayr remind me of the Minbari ships from Babylon 5.

The Jubayr looks like something that Gaudi would have designed – a flying Sagrada Familia. Good name for a ship, though. Not sure that Kofi Annan was remarkable enough as UN Secretary General to be memorialized on a starship 1100 years from now, though, particularly when the fleet is relatively small.

Aren’t there two more not seen in this feature, one of which was said to be a Constitution class and another with long slender nacelles? I like the Nog. Still not a fan of detached nacelles and mighty morphing power ships though.

First ship is nice future take on Voyager. Second ship is a ripoff of the Star Wars hospital ship. I don’t understand the USS LeGuin (love the Oregonian author though!). USS Maathai is cool and reminds me of some agrarian utopian future-city. Must be huge!!! USS Jubayr — fugly nonsense that looks more like a phaser than a starship. USS Annan … meh

With all that said, I like the departures from traditional Starfleet design. To see the same bunch of saucers with primary hulls and two nacelles 1,000 years later would be way more dissapointing. I think they did some good work here and tried to think outside of the Trek box.

I want to like the Le Guin (as I too love the author), but I cannot even tell what angle the picture is from. Schematics needed.

I like the Le Guin best – it’s got something. The Maathai is interesting because it is basically a flying disc of autonomous landscape (including what looks like forest, coastline and sea). So, I guess the world’s finally a disc then :-). I wonder how they light the sky, it can’t just be transparent because that would make the sky quite dark in space. The Jubayr I don’t like, its intricate design does not look to be tied to function and thus seems to waste a lot of building material.

As a general comment about design on Star trek Discovery: A lot of the new tech in STD seems a little too “organic” for my taste: Maybe the writers decided to answer the question “where will future technological development lead us” with “it will merge technology with biological/organic life”. I think it’s a legitimate idea but I don’t really like the resulting tech & design aesthetic (like spore drive, giant flowers planetary defense system, and also the Jubayr looks a little like a veiltail fish…), because to me it feels more “trippy” than Star Trek. The Su’Kal story also fits into that concept of linking technology with organic life.

What was always fascinating about Trek tech was that it presented new technology that had a real, new practical use (transporters, communicators, Padds,..) that viewers could admire & covet. Now that so much of it has become reality, it’s becoming harder to creatively think of new future breakthrough technological devices that adress a real need. So in Discovery we have faster transporters, customised controls, legless chairs etc. which are basically enhanced versions of the same..
It would be great to have a post about future tech in Discovery & other new Trek series, discussing where they further developed pre-existing Trek tech, and where they came up with some really new tech that adresses a special or everyday need or desire.

I hate that we learned nothing about any of them! We don’t get to see the insides, propulsion, nothing…..

It would have been cool to see them featured more.

I totally agree!

More to look forward as Discovery goes forward.

And who knows, maybe another series will be set in this new era.

Totally. We can’t get all at once in one season. I am glad I was able to see the upgrade Discovery, the new federation Headquarters, and Book’s ship which I really really like. Those scenes on the Nebula, changing its shape its something new for Star Trek.

Hopefully in Season 4 we will see one or two more ships in detail. More sets. Everything looks so elegant, they are spending a fortune on each season, movie quality sets, I give them credit for that. Also for the designers and builders, the knowledge to build these futuristic sets it is pretty amazing.

That would require some imagination and intelligence from the showrunners and writers, both of which they lack.

Maybe Trekyards can come up with something? It seems like the fan community has a double duty nowadays of filling in the gaps left by the show runners

Would that add to the story in anyway?

Ah the Courage class, named after Sandy Courage–the composer of the original Star Trek theme tune.

I absolutely love the new look of these ships. Voyager, so cool. We see the impossible, detachable nacelles…the USS Maathai, a transparent spaceship with a green forest.

At the beginning (Season 3) did not see too much differences between 24th and 32nd century. Glad each episode gave us something new. I was impressed with the Discovery retrofit.

Berman era Star Trek is my favorite. For the stories. But for the visual aspect, I really enjoy what we are watching now. I like this team for all the new ships, special effects, makeup, and costumes. Taking full advantage of the latest in technology. Can’t wait to see the new episodes with the virtual screens. :P

Agree with so many of your points Jay! Berman era will probably always be my favorite era by far because it just expanded Trek in so many ways. But I am enjoying the new shows a little more at least. PIC started off amazing but stumbled badly by the end. But both LDS and DIS this year have been generally great even if DIS still has tons of flaws IMO. But I think putting DIS in the 32nd century has given it a shot in the arm and really liking the new visual look of the show the most. Going (very) forward has done this show a lot of favors.

But the issue for me with the newer shows, with the exception of LDS, they are not as rewatchable as all the older shows are. But I guess a big part of that is they are much more serialized so you can’t just watch them individually the way you can TOS, TNG or VOY for example.

I was watching DS9’s “Duet” today and having the exact same thought about rewatch-ability. There are dozens of Berman-era episodes I could watch over and over like “Duet.” I just cannot say that about the hyper-serialized modern Trek. I am really looking forward to Strange New Worlds for the return to episodic Star Trek. I really have tried to buy in to the season long arc concept, but I just think it is too limiting and hard to return to for future re-viewing.

But especially Duet needed a follow-up, because it was never quite clear if Kira murdered that Clerk in cold blood or if her failure to render assistance was an unconscious act resulting from her hatred of Cardassians. It angers me that this was written so ambiguously.

Sorry, who was the clerk Kira murdered? I don’t remember that in the episode, but it’s been some time since I last watched it.

The episode was based on “The Man in the Glass Booth” by Robert Shaw.

But the clerk reminded me of German officer Wilm Hosenfeld, who wrote in his diary: “The whole ghetto is a burned ruin. . . These beasts. With this terrible mass murder of the Jews we have lost the war. We have brought upon ourselves an irredeemable disgrace, an inextinguishable curse. We deserve no pity, we are all complicit. I am ashamed to go into the city, every Pole has the right to spit at us”

Thank you for sharing that. I wasn’t aware of the allusions.

You’re not recalling it accurately. Kira doesn’t murder anyone or fail to render assistance. It’s a perfectly self-contained story that needed no follow-up. It does expertly draw upon ongoing themes related to warcrimes during the Bajoran occupation. One of DS9’s best episodes in my opinion.

You can be sure that if Sisko would have been attacked on the promenade with a knife, Kira immediately would have started an emergency transport to sickbay and Bashir would have saved him in a second. (How can a knife wound be lethal in this environment). Instead she showed no intent to rescue him but took him into chokehold until he was finished. I’m sure the writers did not intended to read it that way, but it is how they presented it in the scene. If people call out Discovery writers for such blunders, I find it fair to hold DS9 writers to the same standard. It was not a coherent written scene.

For one, they needed to wrap up the episode quickly; a lengthy death bed scene in sickbay wasn’t needed. Two, he died instantly, which can be written off as being stabbed in some vital Cardassian organ.

Anyway, she didn’t “murder” anybody. You’re reaching for something that isn’t there.

They rescued Jean Luc after he got stabbed through the HEART. Don’t tell me they could not have saved this guy. Kira not even tried and she murdered Cardassians before. Kirk and McCoy were prisoned for less.

It’s pretty clear that the writers had no murderous intent behind Kira’s actions there. She has a change of heart and confronts the killer with her words.

These ships look like works of art, not functional exploratory/ military vessels. They are interesting, but lame for starships. I don’t care for Books ship and others that can pull apart mid-flight. Again, how realistic is that? basic laws of physics stil apply then as they do now. What happens if someone is in that part of the ship when it reconfigures??

I don’t think ship’s shapshifting is that impossible to accept, if you are willing to buy into other Star Trek concepts like warp drive, transporters, or holodecks. Warp drive literally bends the laws of physics. Transporters turn individuals into pure energy beams (or something). And the holodeck concept implies plenty of magical smoke and mirrors that ultimately defy belief to some extent.

Aa for the visual paradox with Booker’s ship, I can imagine space warping around the pilot or passengers but still managing to keep them safe through force fields and what not. Perhaps Booker and passengers sit in essentially a holographic or extra dimensional bubble of some sort that maintains the visual continuity of the ship interior while the ship is actually “shapeshifting” all around them. I would prefer to see some attempt at showing what is happening inside Booker’s ship. Personally, I wish they hadn’t gone there with the ship mechanics because it desperately screams, “Engage! Full speed!! Cool Factor 9!!!”, but to say something is impossible in Star Trek because it defies the laws of physics? It’s more than meets the eye is enough to suspend my disbelief.

All Trek ships, ever, are works of art, and not functional in any way, shape, or form. If you don’t like the asethetic, that’s your perrogrative, but they have always been designed to be pleasing to the eye.

Matt Jefferies, Andrew Probert, Doug Drexler, maaaybe John Eaves to some extent, and maybe a few others were very keen on making some functional sense out of their designs, as well as making them look good. Modern Trek seems only interested in making things look ‘cool’ and flashy in some way, with little care for practicality or functionality. Especially now when they can literally make up anything and run with it.

Functional only to the extent of the existence of a few of the things that may have been necessary to space flight. Form never followed function in Trek design, and as the series continued form became even more straightjacketed, down to the color and lighting of the ships of various Trek races.

Well they look a bit as if different designers each got their go at one artistic starship design, but therefore don’t feel quite consistent between each other (as in one consistent design aesthetic), but a bit all over the place. And it does bug me when, like with the Jubayr, its intricate design is not linked to function in a way that on a large starship scale would waste a lot of building materials and thus would make this ship unlikely to be built (…unless it houses a mobile galactic art exhibition and is actually meant to be lavish :-D – maybe it’s a museum ship or some other kind of representative building like a conference center?)
Even in a fictional world, I appreciate the beauty of in-world plausibility besides the beauty of aesthetics :-)

Really love the look of Voyager J! Feels like it’s own thing but you still see elements of the original ship. I really hope we see her in action in the finale! Not holding my breath but fingers still crossed.

Like the other ships as well, but the Le Guin, I can’t make heads or tails of it lol. It’s so strange looking. That’s not necessarily a bad thing I just need to see it at a different angle. But overall I think its nice to see a shake up of what we think of starship designs in the 23rd and 24th centuries. But same time yeah they are a bit funky looking to say the least. But I’m up for it! I am hoping next season we actually get real some real 32nd century starship action and see other ships around and not just Discovery, Burn or no Burn.

I like the attempt to create something truly futuristic here instead of just upgrading traditional designs. However, it is true that some of these designs are oddly reminiscent of household appliances and other franchise designs.

Voyager’s nacelles remind me of my Wi-Fi router. The Annan is the lovechild between a Golden Snitch and a Stargate. Jubayr and Nog are Star Wars fregats.

I appreciate the effort but I just don’t think these designs are too impressive, compared to the Timeship Relativity for example…

These are some of the ugliest starship designs I’ve ever seen. What is the creative team smoking? Simply awful.

Thank you for commenting this. My thoughts exactly. I can’t believe some Trekkies give the people making Discovery so many free passes.

I’m going to assume that these names are jokes, like the shuttlecraft Indiana Jones and the like. Let’s be honest, no one even remembers a nonentity like Kofi Annan even today, and if Maya Angelou is remembered any more than a few decades from now, we’re in trouble. (Continuing the honesty, there’s one reason she’s even known today.)

On the other hand, I have no problem remembering Aron Eisenberg for over a millenium. :-) More deserved than even the transparent telegraphing they used for his ship in the DS9 documentary.

I wonder why they never named a ship after Hans Beimler. Maybe it seemed to nepotistic with his grandson on the writting staff, maybe because he was a communist or maybe he was really to unimportant. But since he was important enough for P. K. Dick to reference him, I think he should be important enough for Star Trek.

No communists, please. Thank you.

A man who gave his life fighting fascism at least deserves to be remembered.

To be plain, he fought one murderous totalitarian regime on behalf of another…which may have been the one to kill him in end in any event. (The Commies killing their own was what Orwell noted in Spain, and what turned him against them too.)

How quaint of you. Don’t you know that communists are A-OK?

A hundred million dead? What’s that?

Well, you learn something new every day. When did Dick reference him?

And why would they name a ship after him? Apart from any negatives, of course.

In Radio Free Albemuth Dick quotes the first stanza of the Hans Beimler Lied.

They named a whole class of ships after a Nazi (Oberth if you ask), they could at least name one ship after someone who fought the Nazis.

Oberth was a Nazi-era German rocket scientist.

If you want, the entry “Russian” on Memory Alpha lists a whole bunch of ships and classes named for Soviet rocket scientists, spacecraft, and astronauts. The Soviet Union murdered tens of millions of people. That’s more than enough balance.

I don”t know what you are talking about. I said nothing about the Soviets. I only said that Oberth was a Nazi.

You said that Beimler fought the Nazis. He was a Communist. The Soviet Union also fought the Nazis. That’s all.

But that doesn’t put me on the side of the Soviets, does it? Beimler fought for the freedom of my people, the Soviets not so much.

Which people did he fight for? The Spanish?

Let’s be frank here, one side of that war were proxies for the Nazis, and the other side were directly controlled by the Soviets. Neither had the best interests or freedom of the Spanish people at heart. (Although individuals fighting may well have, of course. But they didn’t last.) It was a mess.


You mock Maya Angelou? You insist that memory of her works be prevented?


If society comes to its senses, no preventing will be necessary. They’ll pretty much disappear on their own.

Obviously copies should be preserved and be available, if only to see the depths to which the folly sunk.

So 930 years in the future, all of the ships are named after 20th century ‘giants’ like the useless and corrupt Kofi Annan who couldn’t be bothered to care about any of the world events around him, from the genocide in Rwanda to mass killings in Bosnia and corruption in the oil-for-food program in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq..

Nobody is perfect but I think it isn’t a good idea to name starships after politicians unless it’s someone larger than life like Gandhi or Lincoln.Otherwise I prefer more abstract ideas like Enterprise, Voyager, Intrepid, Discovery, Bonaventure, Fidelity, Donager :-)

I agree with you. I prefer these type of names. Abstract names. However, I have to admit, I was emotional to see U.S.S. Nog. However Nog is a character, not a real person.

I guess I got emotional because of Eisenberg. He played such a great character, and he was amazing in real life. (-_-)

It’s probably a good rule that you don’t honor someone in that way until they’ve been dead for a certain amount of time and history has judged. I think the USPS has a rule- or did- that no one apart from a president (who has to wait a year after death) gets on a stamp until they’ve been dead twenty years or so. They should have a similar rule for currency- make it 150 or so. Only a handful of US Navy ships have been named for living people, usually retired.

Of course, Annan, he should live and be well, would be long gone by this point. But in the real world, they named the ship *today*.

Nachum, neshama, Kofi Annan isn’t gonna live and be well any more, he died a couple of years ago.

I do thank you for that update. RIP.

Yeah, s**t happens. Patterns of Force was on last night, who knew the Vulcans appreicated the Nazi’s efficiency.

That was not an uncommon progressive view of fascism in the 20’s and 30’s. It’s just really weird people would still be saying it in the 60’s.

Spock’s line from A Taste of Armageddon applies here too. “I do not approve. I understand.”

Well, if you want to go that far, I suppose I could say that I “understand” why that same regime took all my relations in Poland, men, women, and children, to pits and shot them in the head.

But I wouldn’t want to say it.

Then again, I’m not a Vulcan. And ever since ENT or so we’ve seen the dark side of that “understanding.”

Well, with all due sympathy to you and your family, I wasn’t going that far. Neither was Spock, since that wasn’t the specific thing he was talking about.

This doesn’t come up in conversation much, but Spock was pretty detached about rationalizing questionable behavior in “logical” conversation. Spock’s failure to grasp anything other then the “logical” uses of Genesis in TWOK, while McCoy is practically choking on just how bad the device could go wrong is a classic example. Logic isn’t always a virtue.

He wasn’t rationalizing anything. He was pointing out the purpose of Genesis and other things, because he’s a scientist. He wants to understand how things work, and sees it as his duty to point out how things work.

Understanding the use of terrible weapons and philosophies doesn’t automatically make one a proponent of their use, anymore than understanding how fire works automatically makes one an arsonist.

And Spock could just as well make moral judgments of immoral people. As he said to Trelane:

“I object to you. I object to intellect without discipline. I object to power without constructive purpose.”

Voyager will be a bottle opener on the shop or Calling it now.

Great. Will be a great success. The Enterprise pizza cutter is in my wish list. :P

More the Annan, I’d think. In fact, the Annan *looks* like a bottle opener.

Someone has to say it…..some of these ships would also make spiffy adult toys.

I don’t get why in a world of advanced CGI where you can have things like the Marvel Helicarrier in all it’s detail without breaking the bank all the new Star Trek ships look not real, plain, not functional nor detailed (exception – Lower Decks, which is a cartoon!). These Discovery ships (when you can see them given the refusal to focus or light external scenes with the exception of their beautiful second season Connie) look less real than even the TOS models used in the 60s. All the new ships look like they are using a CGI modelling program from the early 80s. Hell, the Star Trek II CGI of the genesis planet looks more detailed and real then these. Even the detached nacelles, maybe put some cool effects as opposed to just having pieces “out there”; looks like they did that just because the CGI can’t model the connections and it was all on the cheap.
None of these ships look attractive or capture the imagination. It’s like the 1960s Klingon D-7 battlecrusier, it was way more memorable and visible than all the 2020 Klingon ships put together.
What is going on?? There are 3d modellers on that do way better work for their own enjoyment, why not hire some of those guys and gals??

Are you kidding?! The Marvel and CBS banks are not equal. Also, CBS hired union workers which impacts cost. Sure, amateur modelers could do an equal or better job sometimes, but they might not even have food on the table.

Why not pay them (those on scifimeshes) and reward them for doing such great Trek work vs. paying for this subpar work?? Hell, buy their meshes, that would have been x 10000 then a generic fleet in Picard or a bunch of white disconnected blobs in Discovery (are those Klingon and Federation ships, or a poorly modelled rebel fleet from Star Wars?)

I thought the NX-01 was the ugliest starship design that I would ever see. Now in seeing the Eisenberg Class, I am not so sure.

Love the Saturn Class though.

Why would you have a large hole in the middle of the ship? It just makes it that much more difficult to get from point A to point B.

You mean like a Romulan Warbird? Or the USS Grissom?
At least in this time period they have personal transporters to move around the ship.

The GRISSOM is just horrid. I guess the Rom can skate by since that is an alien design, but the GRISSOM just should never have gotten past the sketchpad. A lot of ILM Trek designs suck, actually, though I like the BoP. But Mike Minor’s RELIANT (which ILM only built, didn’t design) works better for me than any of the later ones in the movieverse, even if the design was approved while looking at it upside down.

I’ve wondered if the reasoning behind the Grissom design is the bottom section is meant to be a large piece of tech, like a sensor pod, and isn’t inhabited.

Honestly, I don’t think that much thought went into it, they just wanted a silhouette that was easily recognizable as not the Enterprise. If you look at ILM interviews from the era, it sounds like there were only a couple design passes for EXCELSIOR, a few for the BoP, but everything else was just ground out fast. The merchantman ship was just put together from kit parts, according to Cinefex.

The fact ILM was even able to get into designing stuff they had no business designing, like hand props including the tricorders and a Klingon communicator that (as a good friend who occasionally frequents this site pointed out way back when) looks like nothing but a glorified heat-sink, speaks volumes about how the film was mismanaged, starting with dispensing with the Paramount art direction team from TWOK who DID design RELIANT, and had a more interesting Genesis Cave design that ILM apparently couldn’t successfully execute (not that their final version is successful either.)

To give an example of how ILM working on props seems WAY outside the guidelines, when Abel’s people started trying to redesign the first film by encroaching on other departments, unions had to turn up there and flame them about it (that’s from TMP/TWOK art director Mike Minor interview in ENTERPRISE INCIDENTS.) So the idea that Bennett and Nimoy seem to have actually encouraged this on TSFS suggests a total lack of faith in their new art department (and going by the goofy BUCKROGERS-looking EXCELSIOR interior, maybe that was warranted) and a blatant disregard for who is supposed to do what on a film production, and that latter aspect is inexcusable and should have been actionable (besides being creatively stupid, IMO.)

Sorry for going on and on, just still really PO’d about all the crap going down yesterday … not surprised in the slightest, but mad as Hell.

The Grissom was supposed to be the equivalent of an AWACS, and part of a literally modular-component design.

The main platform was the only “standard” part, with all main computer and engineering systems.

The saucer was an add-on module for when the ship carried a crew. It could be swapped out for a “robotic” module, too.

The nacelles strapped onto the energy interface points on the outboard platform ends… either top or bottom. It could also take a single nacelle on a roll-bar.

The Grissom, as we saw it, was being used to deploy a massive, high-resolution sensor package, which is what you’re thinking of as the “secondary hull.” That was not originally intended to be inhabited at all. Perhaps accessible for maintenance through crawlspaces.

When TNG reused the Grissom model, they misused it, treating the sensor pod as a “hull” rather than as a “nacelle” containing special sensor hardware. And the original intent fell apart after that.

The design, as originally created, made perfect sense. But as happened so often, the original design intent was forgotten at the earliest opportunity.

Which is a real shame. Because the “modular starship” concept, borrowed from FJ and expanded upon, could have given us dozens of unique, easily made, models with very little cost to produce. That was the original designer intent, at least. And, despite it being abandoned by the studio, it was continued, non-canonically, by fans, for years.

The most popular of these was the Jester-class corvette, similar to the Grissom but replacing the high-res sensor pod with a Reliant-style torpedo pod.

I still love the “modular starship design” concept.

I remember when the Warbirds first appeared on TNG there was a suggestion that that space was meant to contain smaller ships and carry them in their warp bubble, saving energy. But I don’t think we ever saw that.

In some ships, of course, there just aren’t many people in the remote parts, like engine nacelles. But a ring in the middle of the main saucer?

(And yes, I think the same about Discovery’s empty space.)

The Saturn Class looks like a toilet seat.

Have we finally seen a toilet in Star Trek somewhere?

Star Trek V: Final Frontier. When the trio are locked up in the brig.

I need to rewatch that, did they have 23rd century Charmin handy? Enjoy the go in zero gee?

They use bidets.