When it came to making a new design for the USS Enterprise for Star Trek XI, Star Trek XI‘s J.J. Abrams kept it simple with a short directive to artists at Industrial Light & Magic (ILM.)
As reported by Sci Fi Wire, “He wanted a hot-rod type of vehicle, but they also wanted to preserve the Enterprise kind of look,” explained model-maker John Goodson.
Goodson went on to explain that there was plenty of room to experiment in creating a new Enterprise. “It was really interesting working with J.J. for this ship,” he said. “They gave us a lot of latitude to kind of play with it. They had some specific ideas of what they wanted. He wanted a hot-rod type of vehicle, but they also wanted to preserve the Enterprise kind of look. They gave ILM a tremendous amount of leeway in terms of the design.”
“It’s got this sweeping line that’s kind of giving it this real hot-rod kind of car feel,” Goodson added. “It’s ILM’s job to sort of take this and start to flesh this thing out and make it more real and convey the scale and all those things that you need, so it’s just a leaping-off point for us.”
Visual Effect Supervisor Roger Guyett explained that this Enterprise, unlike the original, has more movement. “When I was a kid, when I bought toys or when I built things, I always wanted stuff to move. And one thing that frustrated me about the original Enterprise was that nothing moves on it. It was just a very static thing.”
The new updated Enterprise won’t have the same problem. “I don’t know how familiar you are with all of the terminology of the Enterprise,” said Guyett, “but there is a main hull, which is the big disk. There is a secondary hull, which is a tube, and then you have two engines. And at the front of the bottom sort of cylinder there is this thing called the “collection plate” [aka the navigational deflector, in Trek parlance]. We made ours move, so it actually sort of comes out, and it grows, and you can move it around. We just made the whole thing much more contemporary.”
To read more on the design of the Star Trek XI Enterprise, head to the article located here.