Topic: What ever Happened to the Consitution and what is the difference between the Con  (Read 52967 times)

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Offline TAnimaL

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Personally I've come to loath the FJ manual over the years and think it's about "canon" as that chart in "Court Martial" - too much can be inferred/assumed from the glimpses we see. The Yorktown in STIV could have been anything, and while the hypothesis that it was re-commisioned as 1701-A is popular, there's nothing on-screen about it ever. Like Don Karnage sez, we'll just have to move on with our lives.

There's anecdotal evidence from STV that 1701-A was a new ship, with "fine engines but the ship must have been put together by monkeys! Half the doors won't work!", as Scotty puts it. It's always possible that it was a recommission that got new engines though.

Offline Lieutenant_Q

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It is inferred that it is a new ship, with a boat load of shakedown glitches that need to be resolved, but its also possible that the Whale Probe did serious damage to it's systems (and possibly the chief engineer's attempts at saving the crew helped in that regard) which gave it a bunch of glitches.  I am really of the opinion that it is not the Yorktown, to me it makes little sense to re-commission an active ship with a history of it's own just to give an insubordinate Captain and crew a ship that bore the name of their previous ship (even if his insubordination ultimately led to the saving of a planet that was rapidly becoming one of the most important in the Federation).  If it was a ship that was just about to be commissioned, fine.

It's just real hard to overlook the fact that so much of FJ's work was used in the movies, and TNG, I have to go with his work on the fleet.
"Your mighty GDI forces have been emasculated, and you yourself are a killer of children.  Now of course it's not true.  But the world only believes what the media tells them to believe.  And I tell the media what to believe, its really quite simple." - Kane (Joe Kucan) Command & Conquer Tiberium Dawn (1995)

Offline knightstorm

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I think it is the Yorktown, but not the same Yorktown as TOS.  If the crisis is pressing enough, they could have pressed a newly completed ship with glitches into service.  There is real world precedent.  The HMS Prince of Wales still had civillian contractors onboard, and was experiencing teething problems with its main battery when it confronted Bismark.

Offline TAnimaL

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A "recommission an existing ship as 1701A" does also makes sense for why Enterprise-A was "retired" (along with it's crew) a few years later after STVI (about 5 according to the official timeline). Yorktown or not, a ship undergoing recent refit or upgrade could be ready much quicker than a new build, and then be used for a few years and still reach it's end of life after STVI.

Then again, we don't know enough about Fleet Ops, build schedules, phase out of equipment types - there might be plenty of reasons to replace the Constitution+ ships with the Excelsior types. I know! Maybe the Connies were Windows XXP and MS had discontinued support! We know after the disastrous MacOSX/Excelsior interface failure in STIII that they switched them to something else. Maybe Linux  :D

Don't give the credit to FJ, Q, you did a great job back there squaring ship names to actual canon appearances.

Offline knightstorm

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The A was decommissioned due to battle damage and a pending arms limitations treaty.  The dialogue from earlier in the film indicated that it was originally planned for the ship to remain in service with a different crew.  Unless Spock was going senile when he offered to recommend Valaris for the role as first officer upon his retirement.

Offline Lieutenant_Q

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Wow... Something I just realized... When Kirk mentioned to Captain Christopher in Tommorow is Yesterday that there's 12 like her in the fleet.  I had just listed 11 Constitution Ships (if I we count the Yorktown and the Republic as Constitutions)  Coincidence?  Add Enterprise and that makes 12.  Is it possible that that's all the Constitutions that they built?
"Your mighty GDI forces have been emasculated, and you yourself are a killer of children.  Now of course it's not true.  But the world only believes what the media tells them to believe.  And I tell the media what to believe, its really quite simple." - Kane (Joe Kucan) Command & Conquer Tiberium Dawn (1995)

Offline TAnimaL

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At the time that ep was written, yes, as per what's mentioned in "The Making of Star Trek," from the TOS writer's guide, p. 203. That was the intent of the producer's at the time but can (too easily) drawn into question, hence this thread. I'm surprised this hasn't been linked to yet, but the best "facts" we can collect are listed here:
http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Constitution_class

Since "twelve like her in the fleet" can be read to exclude any variants and/or missing & destroyed, and that on-screen lists like seen in "Court Martial" chart don't assign ship names to classes, it's really open to interpretation. As you can read in the article linked above, there was a definite intent to include "historic" names from different nationalities. Heck, 1701 and her sisters were never even called "Consitution-class" on-screen until TNG's "The Naked Now." So I'm sure this is topic without any real end.

I can see the point about the battle-damage in ST6 but no such arms limitation treaty is ever mentioned. An interesting idea but with the scores of Excelsiors about to be uilt, I don't see it.

Offline knightstorm

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The arms limitation treaty was the whole point of the film.  Gorkon was being transported to earth for peace talks which would have involved dismantling of space stations and starbases along the neutralzone along the neutral zone.  The people at the meeting also seemed to believe that such reductions would also likely involve mothballing part of the fleet

Offline Lieutenant_Q

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That part of the dialog made no sense at all... I know they were trying to draw a lot of Cold War references there.  Soviets (Klingons) vs. NATO (Federation)  But there is a different situational reality.  What about the Romulans?  I'm sure their grand plans for a universe dominated by them would be bolstered by a peace treaty between the two other powers that included a significant reduction in both nation's navy.  Gorn, Tholians, even if there had been no contact with the Cardassians or the Ferengi at that point in time, who is to say that the Klingons are the ONLY threat to the Federation?
"Your mighty GDI forces have been emasculated, and you yourself are a killer of children.  Now of course it's not true.  But the world only believes what the media tells them to believe.  And I tell the media what to believe, its really quite simple." - Kane (Joe Kucan) Command & Conquer Tiberium Dawn (1995)

Offline TAnimaL

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yeah, the dialog there isn't the best. "Bill, are talking about mothballing Starfleet??" No you idiot, you remeber that exploration thing we used to do? The plot of the film was to relax the tensions between the Klingons and Fed, and starbases along the neutral zone must mean a different thing than starships, making the whole thing an (painfully) obvious Cold War analogy. Much like the U.S. initiative in the 80s to stop matching the Soviets in building nukes and concentrate on "strategic defense" made the Soviets feel like they could relax their posture.

Offline knightstorm

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That part of the dialog made no sense at all... I know they were trying to draw a lot of Cold War references there.  Soviets (Klingons) vs. NATO (Federation)  But there is a different situational reality.  What about the Romulans?  I'm sure their grand plans for a universe dominated by them would be bolstered by a peace treaty between the two other powers that included a significant reduction in both nation's navy.  Gorn, Tholians, even if there had been no contact with the Cardassians or the Ferengi at that point in time, who is to say that the Klingons are the ONLY threat to the Federation?

I think the idea is that they're diverting forces away from their mutual border.  Remember, even with the other powers a large portion of Starfleet would have had to be stationed at the Klingon border at all times.  They could have also included escalator clauses in the treaty to allow them to increase their fleets to deal with any precieved foreign threats.

yeah, the dialog there isn't the best. "Bill, are talking about mothballing Starfleet??" No you idiot, you remeber that exploration thing we used to do? The plot of the film was to relax the tensions between the Klingons and Fed, and starbases along the neutral zone must mean a different thing than starships, making the whole thing an (painfully) obvious Cold War analogy. Much like the U.S. initiative in the 80s to stop matching the Soviets in building nukes and concentrate on "strategic defense" made the Soviets feel like they could relax their posture.

I'm thinking that while the film was analogous to the end of the cold war, agreements that they might have reached would have been more analogous to the naval arms limitations treaties of the 1920s and 1930s.

Offline TAnimaL

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Fair point, and this brings it back to what I was saying - there's no line saying "the Connies are being retired because they're old, or being dismantled because of an arms treaty, etc" or any other on-screen mention, they just stop. It'll remain another unsolved TOS mystery, open to interpretation forever.

I don't play ST Online but apparently there's a 2400s-era "refit" of some Constitution-class. An interesting notion to see them still flying, although I completely agree with why the producers chose to avoid seeing Connies throughout TNG et. al.

Offline Corbomite

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Fair point, and this brings it back to what I was saying - there's no line saying "the Connies are being retired because they're old, or being dismantled because of an arms treaty, etc" or any other on-screen mention, they just stop. It'll remain another unsolved TOS mystery, open to interpretation forever.


The nearest reference to that on-screen is in STIII when Kirk is first pressing the commander of Starfleet to allow him to take the Enterprise back to Genesis and the commander orders Scotty to the Excelsior stating that there will be no refit of Enterprise due to her age. Whether that means that they were phasing out the design entirely or replacing it with a newer version is unclear, but it is entirely possible that 1701-A was the last of her kind to be built. Those newer versions could have been refit and used as training ships and auxiliaries well into the next century.

Offline TAnimaL

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yeah, it's always about Enterprise, isn't it? The refit 1701 was definitely 40 years old (despite the dialog in the movie that sez 20), so we can infer that, if 1701A is a renamed older Connie "Yorktown," it's up there in years too and ready to be retired, as opposed to a recent (ST4 era) build that's being phased out.

Offline knightstorm

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Fair point, and this brings it back to what I was saying - there's no line saying "the Connies are being retired because they're old, or being dismantled because of an arms treaty, etc" or any other on-screen mention, they just stop. It'll remain another unsolved TOS mystery, open to interpretation forever.

I don't play ST Online but apparently there's a 2400s-era "refit" of some Constitution-class. An interesting notion to see them still flying, although I completely agree with why the producers chose to avoid seeing Connies throughout TNG et. al.

I said pending treaty.  They never said anything explicitly but, Its likely that if negotiations went forward, the federation would have ended up signing a treaty which would have required them to scrap a bunch of Constitutions.  The Enterprise would probably have remained mothballed until negotiations were concluded, and the treaty was signed.

That said, some Constitution class ships apparently survived the treaties and were still in service in the late 24th century as is evidenced by the wreckage in The Best of Both Worlds and The Sound of Her Voice.

Offline TAnimaL

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again, all supposition on your part. We'll never really know, will we?

Offline knightstorm

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Well, I remember reading that Berman confirmed that the wreckage seen in The Sound of Her Voice had been from a Constitution class ship.

Offline Corbomite

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They were so hurting for ships that that was the one in the fleet museum that Picard referred to in Relics. ;)  Heck, you saw what they had to do to get 23 ships to make a blockade in the Klingon Civil War, it wouldn't surprise me.

Offline knightstorm

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According to the episode, the USS Olympia was on an 8 year long exploratory mission of the Beta Quadrant. I very much doubt that a Constitution Class even refitted would be sent out that far with the current level of technology the Federation has at its disposal. It was more likely even if we had Constitution vessels in service; they were either transports or training vessels. But to take a long mission like that. Hmmm. Sounds fishy to me.

Why not, modern Miranda class ships were still seeing front line action in the Dominion war.  The Constitutions had the range, and with modernization would have had the space to accommodate improved labs and sensors.

They were so hurting for ships that that was the one in the fleet museum that Picard referred to in Relics. ;)  Heck, you saw what they had to do to get 23 ships to make a blockade in the Klingon Civil War, it wouldn't surprise me.

Since he recognized it from the TOS bridge, its possible the ship he was referring to never received a TMP rebuild.

Offline knightstorm

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I guess its a difference of opinion about the theoretical defensive capabilities of a modernized Constitution class.  I think they would be similar to the Interpid class, but I don't really have any evidence to prove that claim.