Sternbach Talks 'Nemesis' Logo

By Lisa
July 12, 2002 - 10:42 PM

One of the most striking images thus far of 'Star Trek: Nemesis' is the majestic Romulan hawk which appears on the movie logo. Rick Sternbach today talked about why there was a need to update the older Romulan logo for the movie.

"The original warbird logo developed for the Next Generation, while strange and spooky and alien, was also considered too indistinct as an identifying symbol of the Romulan Star Empire, and so I was asked to submit a new look," Sternbach told TrekWeb in an interview.

The illustrator went on to discuss the process that went into creating the logo. "I began with some naturalistic sketches of the bird, as if it were a flesh and blood creature, holding two spheres in its talons. [...] Along the way, the producers requested changes to add to the menacing qualities of the bird, including a widening of the wingspan, the bending forward of the wings to give them more of an enveloping feel, and the hunching down of the head. [...] The final shape is then usually given a hard gel coat sealant. I'm sure different surface treatments were discussed, since I saw the almost-finished piece on stage in jet black (which immediately made me think of the great Maltese Falcon) and a few shades of dark copper and green, but ultimately the producers settled upon the burnished silver foil you see in the film."

Sternbach was responsible for the design of a number of familiar Trek starships - including Voyager, the DS9 station, and the runabouts. What did he think of the design for the NX-01 Enterprise? "As to the NX-01, with the approvals process and the marching orders Doug [Drexler] and John Eaves undoubtedly had to follow - re: the identifiable Akira hull structures - the result is a decent looking vehicle, just not for the show's time period," he said.

"I could see the design as something to come after the Original Series Enterprise, not before, despite the producers' high RPM spin about the updating of the look and feel for a hip new audience and the comments about the visual inspiration of the Lockheed P-38 Lightning," he explained. "The deflector hardware, the aztec hull plating, the rapid 'upgrading' of weapons systems to almost Voyager levels of technology feels totally anachronistic, which is somewhat amusing given the temporal cold war thread of the series.

"Would that they had made something of an SF connection between the ship design and the storyline; that would have been original and clever."

Much more from Rick Sternbach, including his thoughts on returning to the Trek franchise, other movies and books, can be found in the complete interview here at TrekWeb.

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