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Star Trek's Odyssey-Class Enterprise-F Starship Explained

This weekend, "Star Trek" fans have been hit with a spate of news from New York Comic-Con, where Paramount+ held three panels on Saturday afternoon revealing developments in the series "Discovery," "Prodigy," and "Picard" (per Variety). Among the much-talked-about revelations came a new trailer for the third and final season of "Picard," which is bringing back some familiar villains, such as Moriarty (Daniel Davis) and Lore (Brent Spiner) from "Star Trek: The Next Generation," and giving Worf (Michael Dorn) a new pacifist stance.

Those examining the trailer in minute detail noticed another new addition to the "Star Trek" universe: a version of the Enterprise that's not new to die-hard fans but is now making its way onto television screens: the Odyssey-class Enterprise-F starship. If you're up on your "Star Trek" universe details, you know that its predecessor, the Enterprise-E, first appeared in several installments in the 1990s, and its demise was chronicled in the "Star Trek Online" magazine, issue No. 40, in a short story called "Unexpected Honor" by Christine Thompson. This event made way for a new starship, which will be apparently making its first canon appearance. So, what's the story with the Enterprise-F, anyway? 

The starship was created as a contest entry for Star Trek Online

Back in 2011, Cryptic Design held a "Design the Next Enterprise" contest that was open to fans. Adam Ihle, a Florida-based sculptor and artist, won the competition with a double-necked Enterprise design that is larger and sleeker than previous iterations of the Enterprise starship, with bows at the neck and nacelles. It's designed to work well in the MMORPG's timeline, which takes place in 2409 during an era in which the Federation is at war with the Klingons, with the Romulans, the Dominion, and the Borg Collective as major players and other empires joining in additional expansions.

StarTrek.com's announcement of the win said, "Adam's sketch inspired us. It created internal discussions about the evolution of the Starfleet Cruiser and how this ship represented a new approach to design that would lead us into the future. The silhouette remains familiar and recognizable, yet the ship offers an evolution in design that adds both beauty and function worthy of the name Enterprise ... We're thrilled to have brought this design to life and feel that the final render elegantly captures in high detail the spirit and flow of Adam's original."

The ship was then revealed in a "Star Trek Online" feature episode from 2012 (via TrekNews.com). Given that the ship's design is more than a decade old, it might have been a surprise to Ihle that it has appeared in canon, but he is clearly reveling in the attention the "Picard" announcement has provided. "Don't like the Enterprise F? Well, you can hate it all you want and I'll be over here enjoying being a part of canon Star Trek history," he tweeted yesterday.

The ship's graphics were also rebuilt in 2021 by Thomas Marrone, a Cryptic Studios artist.

The Enterprise F has some impressive specs

According to a fan who analyzed the Enterprise-F's design, you can see both elements of the Enterprise-D and -E in the ship's profile; it has an overall shape and elonged front disc shape borrowed from the Enterprise-E, with a hull design, impulse exhaust ports, main shuttle bay, and a sensor array strip on the ship's saucer section that more closely resembles the Enterprise-D. YouTuber Junkball also points out that the main body of the saucer section has an hourglass section that resembles that of the Enterprise-J, a ship introduced from a possible future in the third season of "Star Trek: Enterprise."

According to Giant Freakin Robot, the size of the Enterprise-F is 1,061.1 meters in length and 371 meters in width, which is much larger than the 685-meter-long Enterprise-E. It holds a standard crew of 1,600 with a crew cap of 2,500 and can travel at a maximum warp speed of 9.99. It is equipped with transwarp and slipstream drives. Giant Bomb further reveals that — at least in-game — the ship has four fore and four aft weapons, and five officer stations. 

However, although the Odyssey-class ship is being made canon, that doesn't mean every detail of it — including the crew's identities — will be. Hopefully, more will be revealed once "Picard" returns to the Paramount+ streaming service with Season 3 on February 16, 2023.