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TrekToday - Rick Sternbach Q&A Session

Rick Sternbach Q&A Session

By Amy
November 3, 2000 - 5:13 AM

The official site has posted the second half of it's Q&A session with Rick Sternbach, Voyager's Senior Illustrator. The session which is quite lengthy, covers a variety of topics, from technical aspects of the job to sources of Rick's inspiration.

Brandon Y.: When you design a ship, how do you know what a certain part does and where to put it?

RS: With Starfleet, that's particularly easy, though I have changed some shapes like the phasers over time. The functions are pretty stable and will remain so until the writers come up with some radically new scheme. Alien vessels and hardware can be a bit more arcane, and that's half the fun. I love it when we can invent a device or ship that is so bizarre that we can't immediately tell which end is which or what it does!

Evan H.: Why didn't they design the Voyager to separate like the Enterprise?

RS: The producers decided fairly early on that Voyager would be a smaller vessel, able to land intact on a planet and take off again, there would be no deliberate inclusion of families, so the thought of hull separation was somewhat unnecessary. Possibly even a duplication of what we did on TNG, so this gave us a chance to do something new.

Stephane G.: Do you often get remarks by real scientists about the Star Trek based Technical Manuals?

RS: When Mike and I did the "Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual," we consulted with a few scientists and engineers over issues like warp drive, spacecraft structures, terminology, measurements like temperatures and pressures, and so on. While we had a bit of leeway in the 24th century technology, we didn't want to trip over any real science that we might have been unsure of when writing the manuscript. We've had a lot of positive reaction over the years the book has been in print.

For the full Q&A session, click here.

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