USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-A)

From Academic Kids

U.S.S. Enterprise, NCC-1701
U.S.S. Enterprise, NCC-1701

The USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-A) commissioned in 2286 was a Constitution class starship in the Star Trek fictional universe. It was placed under the command of the newly demoted Captain James T. Kirk at the end of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

It is speculated by fans that the ship was originally the USS Yorktown (NCC-1704), and was rechristened as the Enterprise-A after the Probe incident in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. However, the only basis for this was a comment by series creator Gene Roddenberry, and no solid evidence has ever been provided about the ship's history prior to that film. The book "Mr Scott's Guide to the Enterprise" states that the starship re-christened was the USS Ti-Ho, but this may be subject to change or speculation.

Between the fourth and fifth films, the Enterprise returned to spacedock for refitting. The existing Enterprise sets from the first through fourth films were redressed for used on Star Trek: The Next Generation, so some new sets were constructed for the fifth film. The producers explained that the reason the bridge appeared so different was that the bridge module was replaced during this refitting. Although never confirmed on screen, additional extensive refits must have occurred to the rest of the vessel, since it is shown to be on a shakedown cruise in the fifth film (which otherwise would contradict the view that the 1701-A was simply a previously existing starship, renamed).

In Star Trek V: The Final Frontier the ship was dispatched on a mission to rescue hostages, despite being not operational. It was then hijacked by the Vulcan renegade Sybok, who took the ship to a mysterious planet, where God was supposedly found. After a short while there, the crew were caught off-guard by some Klingons, and they caused minor damage before being called off.

In the next film, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, the ship encountered a Klingon ship that could fire while cloaked (this had been previously impossible). It suffered major structural damage before being able to track and destroy the Klingons, with the help of the USS Excelsior (NCC-2000). At the end of the film, the Enterprise-A was decommissioned. Although the exact number of years elapsing between the fifth and sixth films has never been confirmed, it is unlikely that Starfleet would want to decommission a relatively new vessel, adding more credence to the suggestion that the Enterprise-A was a renamed, older (but refitted) vessel.

The fate of the vessel after this point has never been established in canon. Many fans assume that the ship was put in the Starfleet Museum (due in part to Jean-Luc Picard, in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, "Relics", stating that a Constitution class vessel was housed in said museum, although Picard never says which vessel was so preserved). Kirk's speech about passing control of the ship on to others at the end of the film suggests that a new crew took over command of the vessel (although this contradicts the earlier reference to decommissioning).

The command structure of the NCC-1701-A is unlike anything ever encountered in Star Trek in that the senior crew of the vessel consisted of no less than three officers of Captain rank: Kirk, Spock and Montgomery Scott.

According to the (non-canonical) Star Trek novel The Ashes of Eden, written by William Shatner, the Enterprise-A was decommissioned at the behest of the new Starfleet Commander-in-Chief Admiral Androvar Drake, a rival of Kirk's since their early careers. The Enterprise-A was to be used in war games and weapons testing and thus committed to her destruction, but intervention on behalf of the Chal government saved her. She was later subsequently destroyed to prevent Drake's completion of a disastrous personal agenda.

See Starship Enterprise for the starships with the same name, before and after her launch.


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