Star Trek features plenty of iconic starships, but it really does all come back to the USS Enterprise, which has been destroyed on-screen more than once.More often than not, Star Trek revolves around the adventures of Starfleet's flagship vessel, whetherthe Enterprise captainbe Kirk, Pike, or Picard. If Star Trek has a non-human protagonist, it's the various iterations of the USS Enterprise.
On a typicalStar Trekepisode, the show's focal ship is required to withstand significant forces, often requiring emergency repairs.In Star Trek: The Original Series,Star Trek: The Next Generation, andStar Trek: Enterprise, various iterations of the USS Enterprise served as the primary ship in the series. Unfortunately, ships called Enterprise tend to experience explosive endings. More often than not, the Enterprise goes down in a blaze of glory, a sign that things have taken a truly dire turn.
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Not every Enterprise suffered a fiery end inStar Trek — some of them were simply decommissioned after long runs — but every single one has a story worth telling, and successfully traversed the final frontier on behalf of the Federation's idealism.
The first starship to bear the name Enterprise, the NX-01 was helmed by Captain Jonathan Archer in the 22nd century, and was the first Earth spacecraft to explore the depths of deep space. That ship took its share of poundings but is actually one of the few ships called Enterprise to survive its run relatively unscathed. According to the controversial Star Trek: Enterprise series finale "These Are The Voyages," the NX-01 was retired in 2161 to make way for more advanced starships.
The ship first seen in Star Trek: The Original Series had a long, eventful life. Commissioned in 2245, it saw several captains, most notably Christopher Pike and James Kirk, and boldly went where no one had gone before for decades. The ship enjoyed two refits during its 40 years of service, including the sleek, iconic look introduced in Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
After the ship was decommissioned after the events of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Kirk and his crew stole the vessel in Star Trek III: The Search For Spock in order to return to the Genesis planet and revive their deceased Vulcan crewmate. Along the way, Kirk and friends ran afoul of some Klingons intent on unlocking the destructive power of the Genesis planet. After the ship took severe damage — and the Klingons executed Kirk's son — the Enterprise's auto-destruct was activated as Kirk and the crew escaped to the Genesis planet and the Klingons boarded the ship.The gambit worked — the Klingons were defeated and Kirk and crew lived to fight another day and save Spock — but the cost was high.
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Enterprise NCC-1701 (Kelvin Timeline)
The Kelvin timeline Enterprise may be the most abused of any of the Federation ships called Enterprise. It took heavy fire from the time-displaced Romulan mining ship commanded by the crazed Nero, and it took serious damage from the USS Vengeance, a ship controlled by Section 31 intent on killing Khan and any witnesses to his part in their scheme.
The Enterprise survived both of those encounters but swiftly fell in Star Trek Beyond, decimated by the Swarm ships under the command of the mysterious Krall. The ship's ruined hull fell to Krall's planet, as a young Captain Kirk faced his greatest challenge yet.
After some time-travel shenanigans to save Earth in the classic Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Kirk and his crew are given a brand new Constitution-class starship, the Enterprise-A. Visually identical to the refitted Enterprise, the ship spends most of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier malfunctioning, much to the chagrin of Scotty. The ship gets a more serious sendoff in the final TOS cast film, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, where after a pitched battle with a group of Klingons who oppose making peace with the Federation, the damaged ship is ordered back to baseto be decommissioned.
The Excelsior-class Enterprise-B was launched in 2293 under the command of Captain John Harriman. The only adventure audiences got to see of the ship was its first one, the inaugural cruise featuring Captain Kirk, Scotty, and Chekov as special guests. The ship would end up being called into emergency action, forced to rescue a group of El-Aurian refugees who were fleeing the Borg after the destruction of their planet. Captain Kirk would seemingly die during this adventure, though he was actually sucked into an alternate reality energy ribbon known as the Nexus.
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Little is known about the fate of the Enterprise-B beyond its maiden voyage, but it was said to have served for many years with distinction in the tie-in novels before it was decommissioned.
The Ambassador class Enterprise-C was commanded by Captain Rachel Garrett. The handsome ship infamously traveled through a wormhole and ended up two decades into its own future in the stone-cold classic Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Yesterday's Enterprise." The Enterprise-C was fated to come to the rescue of a Klingon ship under attack from Romulans, but when it was displaced in time it radically altered the timeline, creating a reality where Picard and crew were engaged in a brutal war with the Klingons.
Rather than stay in the new reality, the Enterprise-C went back to their own time — with Tasha Yar in tow — to sacrifice themselves and set the timeline back to the way it was supposed to be.
The iconic Federation flagship featured in Star Trek: The Next Generation, the Galaxy-class Enterprise-D was the crown jewel of Starfleet in the mid-24th century. The massive, powerful ship took on everything from diplomatic missions to Borg attacks under the watch of Captain Jean-Luc Picard.
The Enterprise-D met an untimely demise in Star Trek: Generations, the first film to feature the cast of TNG. After kidnapping Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge, rogue Klingons Lursa and B'Etor found a way to penetrate the Enterprise's shields, stunning the ship's crew and inflicting serious damage before the Enterprise was able to destroy the Klingon vessel. Despite their victory, too much damage was taken by the Enterprise; the crew evacuated to the saucer section just moments before the drive section exploded, sending the saucer hurtling into the atmosphere of a nearby planet. The majority of the crew survived the crash landing, but that was the end of the line for the Enterprise-D.
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Many fans were shocked to see the Enterprise-D meet such a sudden end, but there was a practical reason for its destruction; the main bridge of the Enterprise-D was a standing set that had been living on the studio lot for the previous eight years during TNG's television run. The set had to be struck to make way for the next TV show's bridge, Star Trek: Voyager. So in a way, Voyager destroyed the Enterprise.
The Sovereign-class Enterprise-E was designed as a battleship, specifically to take on the threat of the Borg, which it did in style in Star Trek: First Contact. The ship took a beating during the three movies in which it was featured, most notably in Star Trek: Nemesis, where it is rammed the Romulan Praetor Shinzon's ship, smashing the front of the saucer section.
The Enterprise-E was never destroyed onscreen — with many fans hoping it will make an appearance in Star Trek: Picard— but underwent a massive refit after the battle with Shinzon. If the Enterprise-E does show up again in Star Trek, it might look quite a bit different.
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