Starships hold a special place in science fiction lover’s hearts. This is especially true for Trekkers or Trekkies. The Enterprise – A through E – remains the singular ship which fuels the dreams of Star Trek fans. The Excelsior, Defiant, Voyager and now Discovery certainly are popular, but it’s a certain bet none will ever take away the limelight enjoyed by lady Enterprise.
Gene Roddenberry had this to say on his starship of the imagination,
“The Starship Enterprise is not a collection of motion picture sets or a model used in visual effects. It is a very real vehicle; one designed for storytelling.”
“You, the audience, furnish its propulsion. With a wondrous leap of imagination, you make it into a real spaceship that can take us into the far reaches of the galaxy and sometimes even the depths of the human soul.” – Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual, By Rick Sternbach and Mike Okuda.
Taking Gene Roddenberry’s description, using the starship Enterprise as a vehicle of one’s imagination, has always been one of the irresistible attractions to Star Trek. Warp power – the faster than light ability – is also the main fascination about sci-fi adventure. Enabling man to break free of his own solar system and travel to other parts of the galaxy will only be possible once the FTL limitations are overcome. Roddenberry’s Starfleet has not only overcome such extraordinary technical hurdles, it has enabled humanity to live, work and play in outer space all over the known galaxy – and then some.
The starships given to us by the Star Trek TV shows and films delight our sense of wonder; Enterprise with its graceful angles and birdlike construction, the Defiant with its tanklike, beefy form and Voyager boasts rotating engines and a ‘living computer’ – in the fantastic form of logic circuits powered by bio-neural gel packs.
And then there’s just pure speed.
It’s a lot like being a drag racing fan or a muscle car enthusiast. When all is said and done, it’s all about achieving the fastest velocities possible. Excelsior boasts transwarp – FTL travel which makes warp power look a bit slow by comparison. Captain Picard’s Galaxy vessel can travel much faster than Captain Kirk’s Constitution class ship – yet Excelsior leaves them both in the dust. Fans love to speculate on just which starship would be the ultimate in space based speedy travel. Perhaps one day, when faster than light travel has been realized, we’ll get to see something of speed races between starships. Who’d you bet on to be the ultime Grand Prix champion of the galaxy?