Thanks to Entertainment Weekly, you are looking at the first full image of the redesigned USS Enterprise from the new Star Trek movie (you can head over there for a larger version).
As a long time Star Trek fan, whose favorite series is the original, my from-the-gut reaction when I first came across this was:
That is one ugly ship.
Here is what J.J. Abrams had to say in regards to the new design vs the original:
"If you're going to do Star Trek there are many things you cannot change. The Enterprise is a visual touchstone for so many people. So if you're going to do the Enterprise, it better look like the Enterprise, because otherwise, what are you doing?"
I don't know... maybe it'll grow on me or it will look awesome while in flight on the big screen, but at the moment it's not doing it for me. While he went pretty "classic" with the saucer section (that's "primary hull" for the Star Trek fans out there) the connecting pylon and the secondary (lower) hull just look... incongruous.
If I had to pick one word that comes to mind when I look at that image, it would be:
You know, that stretchy carnival candy? You get it warmed up and then you can pull on it and it stretches and thins? That's what the secondary hull and the nacelles look like to me. The lower hull looks like it was molded out of clay, rolled between two hands and rolled narrower at one end.
Almost exactly one year ago I wrote a speculative post asking "How radical is the USS Enterprise Redesign?"
Pretty damned radical, it seems.
Here are some comparative images from that post to help put things in perspective:
The Original USS Enterprise NCC-1701
JJ Abrams' Redesigned USS Enterprise NCC-1701
The USS Enterprise NCC-1701-A
Tell me the new design doesn't look like the movie Enterprise saucer section tacked onto some completely different alien ship.
In another post, I tried to guess how a redesign of the Enterprise might equate to the modern trend of doing design updates of classic cars. As it turns out, I think my 1960s to 21st century Camaro comparison turned out to be the closest in design ideology:
At the time I wrote:
"Let me say that I think the new Camaro is really, REALLY hot and from a design standpoint pays homage to the classic version, but that degree of change for the Enterprise would be completely unacceptable."
Or... is it just me? Do I need to give it time to sink in and see it in action? I'd like to hear opinions from both Star Trek fans and non-fans.
[UPDATE: Thanks to "Spockboy" check out this minor change to the design via Photoshop that makes the new NCC-1701 look FAR better by adding some bulk to the lower part of the ship.]
Star Trek opens on May 8, 2009.