Rick Sternbach Joins Star Trek XBy Christian
November 26, 2001 - 9:57 PM
When Paramount passed over Voyager senior illustrator Rick Sternbach for Enterprise, his 20-year long Star Trek association seemed to be over. But today, Sternbach revealed he has rejoined the franchise to work on 'Star Trek X: Nemesis.'
"At the present time I'm working on Star Trek X, the latest feature film," Sternbach told Ex Astris Scientia. "We're in pre-production, and my specific work involves mainly graphics in the film's art department. [..] We'll be doing the feature film first-unit work until roughly mid-March, after which I'll be hunting down any new science fiction feature illustrator jobs that come along."
Sternbach was asked whether 'Nemesis,' rumoured to deal with the Romulan Star Empire, would feature new gadgets and starships for that culture. "I don't know exactly what we're going to see in that area, because we're only just starting," was all Sternbach could say. "The different departments are working hard on various designs; I've come in contact mostly with graphics, and I can't tell you what we're developing! :)"
While Sternbach did not do any design work on Enterprise, he did still offer his opinion of how he would have designed the show's principal starship. "I would definitely have made the Enterprise different than what we see on screen; various circumstances led the production team to choose to Akira class as a starting shape, even though we know of its existence as a "future" vessel. The rationale for the shape similarities might be easily explained in a fictional sense, though I doubt the issue will ever come up in a story."
As for the real-life rationale for the shape similarities, Sternbach offered one possible explanation. "One story I've heard is that the producers thought the original sketches for the NX-01 looked a bit too close to the TOS Enterprise, so one of them pulled out a picture of the Akira and offered it as a ship that hadn't been seen very much, making it a possible contender. They were informed that the Akira was indeed a known vessel, so they instructed the designers to stick with the basic shape but change it to an older-looking ship."
More from Sternbach about the Enterprise, as well as his thoughts about the design of several other Trek ships, can be found in the full interview at Ex Astris Scientia, while another version is available at Star Trek: Dimension.