Every Version of The Enterprise, Ranked

The Enterprise NX-01 from Star Trek: Enterprise and Enterprise C from Star Trek

Star Trek gave sci-fans the world over the greatest starship in genre history: the starship Enterprise. The classic vessel debuted in 1966 with a deceptively simple but considered design — a very sci-fi saucer attached to a rocket-like fuselage and paired with twin warp nacelles. This design does what every practical, real-world design does: it follows its function.

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Because of that, the original starship Enterprise has endured over fifty years through numerous updates and interpretations. The Star Trek franchise has expanded through myriad live-action and animated television series, as well as feature films. A new Enterprise is generally at the heart of most updates, and each carries on the proud tradition of the first.

Updated on April 28th, 2023 by David Harth: The Enterprisehas always been the core of Star Trek. When the show first debuted back in 1966, starships were all either rockets or saucers. The Enterprise changed that, taking familiar design elements and mixing them together to create an iconic vessel that nearly everyone could recognize. Over the last six decades, there have been multiple Enterprises. Two versions of the ship appeared on Star Trek: Picard — one for the first time in live action and another that is totally new.



13 NCC-1701-J (Star Trek: Enterprise)

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Star Trek has taken viewers to alternate universes and strange futures. It’s also taken viewers into the past, which is why it’s so ironic that the series that took viewers furthest into the past also showed them the most advanced Enterprise. Star Trek: Enterprise took place in the 22nd century, but Captain Archer received a glimpse of the distant future in the episode, “Azati Prime.”

The Enterprise-J is a Universe-class vessel and serves in Starfleet during the 26th century. Unbelievably massive, it had time travel capacity, like other Starfleet ships that have been portrayed from that time. Fan reaction to the ship was resoundingly negative. Even ship fans didn’t enjoy the design, and it’s the least loved Enterprise of them all.

12 Future NCC-1701-D From “All Good Things” (Star Trek: Next Generation)

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Star Trek Enterprise firing its main phaser from the final episode of TNG All Good Things

An amped-up version of the Enterprise appeared in the series finale for Star Trek: The Next Generation, “All Good Things,” one of its very best Star Trek episodes ever. In an alternate future, the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D packs in a lot more power.

The previously graceful Enterprise adds the third nacelle on the back and a gigantic phaser canon on the underbelly of the saucer. This canon blows Klingon ships to bits in one shot, which is kind of nuts. The future version of the ship also featured a cloaking device, something Starfleet ships generally avoided.

11 The Kelvin Timeline NCC-1701 (Star Trek 2009)

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>USS Enterprise Star Trek reboot

When J.J. Abrams rebooted the franchise in the 2009 Star Trek film, the Enterprise got a major makeover. Kind of. The saucer section of the ship is essentially that of the refit Enterprise, but the rest looks different. The body, neck, and nacelles all feature a much more sweeping, fluid design than the original version of the ship.

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The nacelles are also much larger in comparison to the rest of the ship, and much closer. It’s unclear whether fans have seen the last of the Kelvin-era Enterprise and her crew, though it remains a possibility that they will.

10 The NX-01 (Star Trek: Enterprise)

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>The NX class Enterprise from Star Trek: Enterprise

By the time the 21st century rolled on, Star Trek had oddly gotten a bit tired. To change it up, the producers of the franchise went back to the future. They set a new series, Star Trek: Enterprise, a hundred years before Kirk and introduced a never-before-seen version of the starship. The NX-01 actually had some links to ships previous.

The NX-01 Enterprise‘s design is essentially that of the Akira-class vessel from the feature film Star Trek: First Contact, featuring one of the coolest alien races ever, the Borg. The designers flipped the ship upside down and called it good. Fans kind of didn’t like the series, but the ship remained cool.

9 NCC-1701-B (Star Trek: Generations)

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Star Trek Enterprise-B from Star Trek: Generations

For a long time, the Enterprise-B remained the question mark in the lineage between Kirk’s ship and Picard’s. Fans knew it was an Excelsior-class vessel thanks to a mural on the Enterprise-D, but not much else was known about it. The ship appeared in Star Trek Generations, and despite the fact it was based on a design people knew, it had some cool new details.

Star Trek Generations modified the secondary hull of the original Excelsior, sweeping out the hull around the deflector dish. This change was actually made to preserve the existing Excelsior-class model, since the move still used physical models and the scene called for the part of the ship Kirk was in to be destroyed. It also added two huge impulse engines and changed the caps of the nacelles.

8 NCC-1701-C (Star Trek: The Next Generation)

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Star Trek Enterprise-C from the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode

The Enterprise-C had been introduced during the run of The Next Generation, in the episode “Yesterday’s Enterprise.” The Ambassador-class vessel was another link in the chain between the 23rd and 24th centuries and showed how Starfleet got from Kirk to Picard. The Enterprise-C essentially combined elements of the Constitution-class that preceded it and the Galaxy-class that superseded it.

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The dynamic curving lines of Picard’s Enterprise weren’t present yet, but the size and uniquely colored red and blue nacelles were. This Enterprise fell to the Romulans, among the greatest villains of the Federation, at the Battle of Narendra III.

7 NCC-1701-F (Star Trek: Picard)

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>The Enterprise F as seen in Star Trek: Picard Season 3

The Enterprise-F made its first appearance in Star Trek Online, an MMO that took place thirty years from the end of Voyager. The Odyssey-class vessel was the flagship of Starfleet at the time Its unique design included a connecting boom between the saucer and stardrive section. The NCC-1701-F Enterprise made an impact on fans, so they were excited to see it in the trailer for Star Trek: Picard.

Star Trek is no stranger to retcons, and games aren’t usually canon anyway, so bringing the F back to 2401, instead of further in the future was a cakewalk. The NCC-1701-F Enterprise had a great reputation with Star Trek Online fans, although it rarely in the show. The NCC-1701-F Enterprise was scheduled for decommissioning, and the new Borg threat in Picard made that a reality.

6 NCC-1701 (Star Trek: Discovery And Star Trek: Strange New Worlds)

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Star Trek Enterprise from Discovery and Strange New Worlds

Setting Star Trek Discovery only ten years before the Original Series meant that the U.S.S. Enterprise was destined to show up. It eventually did at the end of the first season. The show updated the classic 60s elements for a modern audience, and the NCC-1701 was no exception.

The original Matt Jefferies design largely remains the same but incorporates elements of the refit from Star Trek: The Motion Picture. The nacelle pylons are swept back, giving it a greater sense of fluidity. Star Trek: Strange New Worlds has taken its place among Star Trek‘s most beloved shows, a mix of old and new, much like this great new design.

5 NCC-1701-E (The Next Generation Movies)

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Star Trek Enterprise-E from Star Trek: First Contact

The EnterpriseE provided the single greatest design change in the storied ship’s history. Producers wanted something faster and sleeker, and they got it. The Sovereign-class starship resembles a hot rod, with a flat, elongated profile that is in stark contrast to the big, swan-like grace of its predecessor.

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Designers accomplished this by removing the neck out of the design entirely. Starships during this period, like the Voyager, basically abandoned the neck element and stacked the saucer directly on the secondary hull. This Enterprise was one of the fastest and strongest of them all.

4 NCC-1701-G (Star Trek: Picard)

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>The Enterprise-G in Spacedock from Star Trek: Picard

Star Trek: Picard‘s third season helped the series become one of the most beloved Star Trek spin-offs, bringing together the crew of TNG for one last ride. It also introduced fans to a new Enterprise. The Enterprise-G took things back to the old school look in some ways. Originally appearing in the show as the U.S.S. Titan-A, Picard and his crew used the vessel to figure out who was attacking the Federation.

The G is a Constitution III-class ship, sometimes called a Neo-Constitution. Star Trek: Picard fans came to love the Enterprise-G. Its design took elements from Constitution-class and the refit from the later motion pictures and added design flourishes from newer ship designs as well. A mid-sized vessel, it wasn’t the most powerful warship, but it had the feeling of a great jack of all trades vessel. Captained by Captain Seven Of Nine, fans are hoping to see more of the Enterprise-G in the future.

3 NCC-1701 (Star Trek: The Original Series)

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Enterpise from Star Trek The Original Series

The first is usually the best, and in many ways, the original Enterprise from the 1966 series remains the most iconic design in science-fiction. It’s hard to argue with its basic simplicity and instantly recognizable silhouette. Due to budgetary constraints, the original model of the ship lacked the detail that later versions did, but it’s still an incredible work of art.

The original Enterprise appeared in all the most memorable episodes of the classic Star Trek series. The first starship Enterprise established a design lineage that informs every single ship in the Star Trek universe to this day. That goes for Starfleet and alien vessels alike.

2 NCC-1701-D (Star Trek: The Next Generation)

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>The Enterprise-D from Star Trek The Next Generation

Later versions updated and improved on the already awesome original design. Lots of brutal things happened in Star Trek: The Next Generation, but on the positive side, the Enterprise-D received an upgrade. Designer Andrew Probert took the largely static lines of the original and transformed them into flowing, graceful lines that made the Enterprise look more like a glass sculpture than a machine.

Some Star Trek fans didn’t take to the new design because of how different it was, especially in 1987, upon its debut. However, the Enterprise-D has aged very well and defines an era of the franchise hailed for its creative endeavors.

1 NCC-1701 And The NCC-1701-A (The Original Series Movies)

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Star Trek Enterprise Refit from the Star Trek motion pictures

The best update the original Enterprise ever received came in The Motion Picture. Legendary concept designer Ralph McQuarrie, responsible for some of the most iconic Star Wars concept art, helped reimagine the Enterprise. The ship got a top-to-bottom makeover, receiving the biggest changes in the secondary hull.

An embedded blue disc replaced the original gold deflector dish, and a weapons port provided the base for the neck. The nacelle pylons were swept back, and the nacelles completely redesigned, becoming more wedge-like and less tubular. It’s the perfect redesign of the quintessential starship and remains a huge inspiration for Enterprise designs all these years later.

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