Greetings, QMx Insiders!
Deb here, your friendly neighborhood Social Media Content Manager and self-proclaimed Star Trek n00b. In order to "boldly go where no one has gone before" you need the right vessel for the job. What is Star Trek without its ships to carry a daring crew across the galaxy and beyond? Star Trek Day is here, and in honor of this auspicious occasion, I've put together a countdown of my own personal favorite Star Trek ships from the last 56 years of this incredible franchise.
USS Enterprise (TOS)
I had to start off with a classic. The USS Enterprise NCC-1701 is probably the first ship you think of when you hear Star Trek. Captained first by Robert April and then Christopher Pike, the USS Enterprise was transferred to Captain James T. Kirk in 2265, assigned to another five-year mission of deep space exploration. Its unmistakable iconic design is the work of the late Walter Matthew "Matt" Jeffries. And yes, he is also the namesake for the ubiquitous service ways known as Jeffries tubes.
USS Cerritos (Lower Decks)
Skipping ahead to a modern-day incarnation of Star Trek (presumably by taking "605 to South street"), the USS Cerritos is home to the crew of the animated series Star Trek: Lower Decks. For any astute Southern Californians reading this, the reference to this city in the Los Angeles area is delightfully intentional. Captained by Carol Freeman, the USS Cerritos has already seen its share of adventures in the first two seasons of Lower Decks. I, for one, can't wait to see what's in store once I get my third season binge-watch on!
Klingon Bird-of-Prey (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)
First designed by Nilo Rodis of Industrial Light & Magic, this ship made its debut in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. Drawing inspiration from the Romulan Bird-of-Prey in the classic TOS episode "Balance of Terror", the Klingon version is also equipped with a cloaking device. Fun fact: the size of this ship is a highly controversial topic as it appears to change between its various appearances in Star Trek TV shows and movies.
Deep Space 9 (DS9)
Granted, DS9 is a space station but I'm including it in my list because hey -- I can! The setting for the 1993 series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, this space station includes a variety of facilities such as Quark's Bar, a Bajoran temple, and even a Klingon restaurant -- if "revenge is a dish best served cold" I can only wonder what's being served up there! Commanded by Captain Benjamin Sisko, Deep Space Nine serves as a hub for meeting, travel, and trade among a variety of characters in the Star Trek universe.
Borg Cube (TNG)
If you're wondering what could be so scary about a cube, then you haven't yet examined the depths of this massive and intimidating starship. Considered one of the most destructive weapons ever known, this ship was used by the Borg Collective to achieve their unilateral goal of total assimilation. I mean, if it has the audacity to capture Captain Jean-Luc Picard and assimilate him in "The Best of Both Worlds" (parts I and II), then you can be sure the Borg is not afraid of anything and the Borg Cube is a powerful reminder of this.
USS Voyager (Voyager)
An Intrepid-class starship captained by Kathryn Janeway, the USS Voyager is one of the most storied ships in all of Starfleet. It is best known for having completed an unscheduled seven-year journey across the Delta Quadrant. It is also the first ship to be named "Voyager" in a long line of many that followed. Designed by Richard D. James and illustrator Rick Sternbach, most portrayals of the ship in the show were made with CGI (Computer Generated Imagery). The Voyager's motto is: "For I dipt in to the future, far as human eye could see; Saw the vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be." a quote from the poem "Locksley Hall" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. As a literary nerd myself, I definitely appreciate that!
USS Discovery (Discovery)
This 23rd-century Crossfield-class Federation starship was captained initially by Gabriel Lorca and later by Christopher Pike. Oh, and did I mention it time-traveled to the 32nd century? And let's not forget about the Spore Drive. The USS Discovery from the Discovery series (a prequel to TOS) along with its sister ship the USS Glenn is equipped with an experimental Spore Drive, an organic propulsion system that used mycelium spores to travel by "leaping" across the mycelial network in the mycelial plane. In fact, the USS Discovery was built to test this experimental drive. That's pretty mind-boggling to a newbie such as myself.
USS Excelsior (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)
The prototype of her class and known as part of "The Great Experiment", the USS Excelsior was the first Starfleet vessel to feature a transwarp drive. Captained by Lawence H. Styles in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, this faster-than-light speed vessel was ordered to pursue the USS Enterprise which had been hijacked by Captain Kirk and crew to make a "brief detour" to the Genesis planet to retrieve the regenerated body of Spock and sync it back up to his katra (living spirit). Although the Enterprise was able to outrun the Excelsior, it is still remembered for being a powerful and technologically advanced ship.
USS Vengeance (Star Trek Into Darkness)
This ship is particularly unique as it was created and operated by Starfleet in secret. It had no registry number or markings and was designed specifically for combat. Admiral Alexander Marcus was its first -- and only -- commanding officer. Oh, and did I mention this notable spacecraft was designed by Khan Noonien Singh?
USS Reliant (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)
Speaking of "Khaaaaaaaan!" I couldn't list my favorite Star Trek ships without mentioning this one from the classic feature film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. The USS Reliant served as a research ship for Dr. Carol Marcus and Dr. David Marcus while they conducted research on the Project Genesis. It also ran afoul of one Khan Noonien Singh who ambushed its crew on Ceti Alpha V when the crew thought they had landed on Ceti Alpha VI. Commandeered by Khan, the Reliant battled the USS Enterprise in a final engagement in the Battle of the Mutara Nebula, during which Khan detonated the Genesis Device and we got to hear the classic line: "I have been and always shall be your friend".
Agree with my picks? Want to challenge any of them? Drop a line in the comments and share your thoughts. And, if you're looking to preorder any or all of our upcoming Qraftworks Puzzlefleet, click here!
Until next time,
Live Long and Prosper