Book Review | Star Trek Shipyards: Starfleet Ships 2294-The Future
“Star Trek Shipyards: Starfleet Ships 2294 is an incredible encyclopedia, just what every Star Trek fan wants, needs, and deserves.”
Carl heads to the final frontier to explore Star Trek Shipyards: Starfleet Ships 2294-The Future.
I adore ‘Star Trek.’ I love everything about it. From the characters and the technology through to the storylines, I can’t get enough of it. But when it comes to the ships, I’m in my element. I study every craft, every curve, and line that makes up the starships and the like. That is why when I got my hands on a copy of Hero Collectors revised and updated ‘Star Trek Shipyards: Starfleet Ships 2294-The Future’, I couldn’t wait to tear into it. Just by looking at the front cover was enough for me to hand over the cash to own it. The Enterprise-D and Enterprise-E had me from the start. Add in the Discovery and It had to be mine. Even ships from ‘Star Trek: Picard’ get a look-in. I’m like a kid in a candy store.
REVIEW: STAR TREK SHIPYARDS: STARFLEET SHIPS 2294-THE FUTURE BY BEN ROBINSON, MARCUS RILEY, AND MARK WRIGHT.
As I said, the book has a front cover that makes us want to grab it off the shelves without pause. The back cover tells us exactly what we will find inside the pages contained within. This new edition includes the ships from ‘Star Trek: Picard.’, ‘Star Trek: Lower Decks.’, and the third season of ‘Star Trek: Discovery.’ As we eagerly turn the book over to the front cover again, we open the pages in anticipation. As we reach the contents page, we find the book is separated into five chapters in total. After reading through the Acknowledgments page and the foreword, we turn over to start our look at what the book has in store for us.
CHAPTER 1: SMALL TRANSPORTS
We start with a look at the S.S Raven (NAR-32450). This nifty little Federation exploratory vessel is shown here, as are all the ships via CG artwork, original VFX models made for their respective shows. The ship is accompanied by a profile of its history, its uses, and its eventual demise. Photos from the episode of ‘Star Trek: Voyager.’ where the ship is discovered are here to give more depth to the ships’ story. We are given plan views of the little craft which include detailed descriptions of some of the features that are installed aboard it. The Starfleet Runabout gets its time to shine on the following pages. As does The Federation Mission Scout Ship. This craft played a role in ‘Star Trek: Insurrection’ with Data at the controls. Again, images and informational looks at the craft are given to us to read and learn.
CHAPTER 2: FIGHTERS
We now move on from the transports to focus our attention on fighters. The title alone tells us what we need to know before entering this chapter. We start with the Maquis Raider. Here in every detail. Once again, we are given a full rundown of the craft and its history and uses. The Starfleet Academy Flight Training Craft decides it wants in too and makes an appearance. We know the craft from ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation.’ where Wesley Crusher and his fellow cadets were found guilty of negligence. He and Nova Squadron attempted to pull off the dangerous Kolvoord Starburst maneuver. This led to an accident that claimed the life of another cadet. Not to be outdone, the Federation Attack Fighter stakes a claim on the following pages.
CHAPTER 3: MULTI-MISSION EXPLORERS
We now come across a terrific chapter focussing on the Multi-Mission Explorers. This incredible section is devoted to all those crafts we have come to know and love over the years. And even some we may be unaware of. We start with the U.S.S Lantree (NCC-1837). This poorly-armed ship, used mainly for supply runs became a harbinger of death. Thanks to Dr. Sara Kingsley’s work on genetic modification, and a rather untimely bout of Thelusian Flu, airborne antibodies caused the humans it came into contact with to age rapidly. Thankfully, a cure was found. And a single Photon torpedo from the Enterprise-D destroyed the ship completely, ensuring no one else could ever be infected again. Photos and illustrations accompany the little ships’ story.
THE STARGAZER AND THE ENTERPRISE-C
Next up is the U.S.S Stargazer (NCC-2893). This ship was commanded for almost all of its service by Captain Jean-Luc Picard in deep space. Once again, the ship gets a full biography with her eventual fate revealed alongside her design. The U.S.S Enterprise-C (NCC-1701-C) makes her appearance. This fourth incarnation of the beloved Starship (after the original, The A, and the Enterprise-B) was an exploration craft that spent most of its days charting stellar phenomena. She was lost in 2344 with all hands while defending a Klingon outpost from a Romulan attack. Although the ship was seen in an alternate future in 2366, it returned to its original timeline where she met her demise. The ship was an impressive version of the Enterprise, which took the design of the original and merged it with the design of the future Enterprise-D.
THE PHOENIX, THE SARATOGA, AND OTHERS
The U.S.S Phoenix (NCC-6542) gets to show itself to us. As does the U.S.S Saratoga (NCC-31911) makes a welcome appearance, her demise at the battle of Wolf 359 is described in every detail. The Akira Class, the Cheyenne Class, the Springfield Class, the Freedom Class, and the Challenger Class starships are looked at in great detail. Amongst other classes that we have seen throughout the years. As is the U.S.S Defiant (NX-74205). the ‘Tough, little ship’ is presented here for us to once again marvel at. As is the U.S.S Equinox (NCC-72381). Her design is one to look at, ponder over, and find beauty in. The Federation Tug is also here for us to peruse.
But these pale in comparison when we come across what we have been waiting for. First up is the U.S.S Enterprise-D (U.S.S-1701-D). The world fell in love with this new incarnation of the beloved ship back in 1987 when ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation.’ was first transmitted. Ok, so we got our first look at her during the opening credits but when she swept into view for the first time, she was and remains breathtaking. It did take some getting used to at first, compared with the original, the refit, and the Enterprise-A. But you have to admit that she is worthy to carry the name of Enterprise. And I defy anyone to say they DIDN’T feel a wave of sadness as she met her demise in ‘Star Trek: Generations.’
THE U.S.S VOYAGER
We now come across what is considered to be one of the favorite ships ever designed for ‘Star Trek.‘ The U.S.S Voyager (NCC-74656). She appears here in all of her glory and remains a sight to behold. We followed her for seven years, walking her corridors alongside the crew. Hoping she would survive and find her way home. Her story is presented here for everyone to discover and to learn. From her being stranded 70,000 light-years from home and a 70-year journey to return, through her battles amongst the stars, the joining of forces with the Maquis vessel stranded with her onboard her corridors. Right up to her triumphant homecoming, it is all here for us to discover.
But we now come across my own personal favorite ship of them all (with the exception of the Enterprise-A), The U.S.S Enterprise-E (NCC-1701-E). After the destruction of the ‘D’ in ‘Star Trek: Generations.’, I was wondering what the new design of the classic ship would be. When she made her first appearance in a true beauty shot in ‘Star Trek: First Contact.’, I have to admit, my breath was taken away. She is, quite frankly, one of the most beautiful ships there has ever been. I’m sure the designers of her knew that we, the fans, would fall in love with her. That’s why during her three big-screen appearances, she has so many beauty shots added in. Her entire history is here for us to digest. Nothing is left out. And it is like meeting an old friend once again.
THE TITAN, THE CERRITOS, AND THE VANCOUVER
We are given very brief looks at some of the newer vessels that have appeared in the ‘Star Trek’ franchise. The U.S.S Titan (NCC-80102) appears. Commanded by Admiral Riker, the ship came to the aid of the U.S.S Cerritos (NCC-75567) which also makes an appearance here alongside the U.S.S Vancouver (NCC-70492) in ‘Star Trek: Lower Decks.’ The Wallenberg Class tug is featured as well. This ship is heavily featured in ‘Star Trek: Picard.’, thanks to its vital plot point in the destruction of the fleet by rogue synthetics. This happened in orbit of the Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards on Mars.
THE ZHENG HE
The section wouldn’t be complete without a look at the U.S.S Zheng He. The ship responded to the distress call from Jean-Luc Picard about a Romulan fleet planning to attack the planet Ghulion IV. this was an attempt to destroy an entire synthetic species. Led by Admiral Will Riker, who took command of the ship, after a standoff in orbit, both Riker’s fleet and the Romulans retreated without engaging each other. As Riker himself said it was “The toughest, fastest ship Starfleet has ever put into service.”
CHAPTER 4: THE FUTURE
We now come to the section devoted to the future starships we can expect to see. We start with the U.S.S Enterprise-J (NCC-1017-J). This 26th-century version of the classic ship has more in line with the very first Enterprise (NX-01) than before. The nacelles on the ship are reminiscent of those found on some of the other Enterprises from throughout the years. The 29th-century ship, the U.S.S Relativity (NCV-474439-G) is here for us to see and digest. This ship was seen during ‘Star Trek: Voyager’. where it returned Seven Of Nine back to the Voyager during its final phases of construction. And the Federation Timeship Aeon closes out this chapter. This ship was assigned to guard the timeline against any which attempted to interfere with history.
CHAPTER 5: 32ND CENTURY
Our final chapter covers the ships that will take to the universe in the 32nd century. We begin with the U.S.S Discovery-A (NCC-1031-A). We don’t have to worry that the original Discovery was destroyed. The Discovery-A was recommissioned with its new prefix after undergoing a three-week refit. This was to make it operate more efficiently in the post-burn era. The Constitution-class ship the U.S.S Armstrong (NCC-317856) makes an appearance. The ship features a classic saucer section and nacelle configuration, marking it out as a classic starship. The U.S.S Voyager-J (NCC-74656-J) appears to us. The design of the ship drags the Voyager into the future while paying tribute and honoring the original ship. These three ships are amongst many others in this closing chapter of the book.
This book is, quite frankly, an incredible encyclopedia. And it is exactly what every Star Trek fan wants, needs, and deserves. What is written about in this review is just the tip of the iceberg. There are over fifty starships for the reader to discover and admire within its esteemed pages. Just looking at what the book contains is enough to get our pulses racing. It most certainly isn’t a thin book (it is quite large and weighty) but not one page is wasted.
The authors have also included size charts for the ships so they can be compared against each other. This feature is also handy and informative to the reader. Any fan of the ‘Star Trek’ franchise and devotee of the starships we see throughout its history cannot do any wrong by having a copy of this incredible encyclopedia in their collection. And I defy them to not “Make It So!”
Star Trek Shipyards: Starfleet Ships 2294-The Future is published by Eaglemoss/Hero Collector and is available to buy now!
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Carl Roberts is the News Editor of The Future of the Force. Aside from being our horror genre aficionado, he is also passionate about Star Wars, Marvel, DC, and the Indiana Jones movies. Follow him on Twitter where he uses the force frequently!