Analysis of the Star Trek USS Discovery (NCC-1031) series teaser

Analysis of the Star Trek USS Discovery (NCC-1031) series teaser

So today the Star Trek’s social media accounts and website released a teaser for the new Star Trek series coming in January 2017 titled Star Trek Discovery. This follows immediately after the movie release of Star Trek Beyond yesterday, on Friday July 22nd.

We got a few things:

  1. The name of the series (Discovery)
  2. The name of the ship (Discovery)
  3. The design of the ship’s exterior from the video
  4. The registry number (NCC-1031)
  5. Hints from the logo’s aesthetics possibly

So if you haven’t seen the teaser for the series, watch it below:

So now let’s break down what we know and apply it to Star Trek canon lore bullshit. I’m gonna explore how this teaser may reveal what era this series is in.

The ship’s name and registry

USS Discovery is a name that isn’t really used on any known Federation Starship. The exception is that there was a Discovery NX-04 just after Enterprise NX-01, Columbia NX-02, and Challenger NX-03.

The name does show up in Star Trek The Next Generation in an episode, but it has no registry number. So we have no real history on any previous ships in the series.

The registry number is NCC-1031. Here is a list of all NCC registries. NCC is used for almost all Starfleet starships after 2161. Nothing special here, 2161 is the founding of the Federation. NX is used for prototype and experimental ships after 2161. So this is a standard fleet ship and not something in an early stage of prototype or experimentation.

Being NCC-1031, which is a low registry number, may mean that the ship is an early era ship.

earliest ncc registry numbers

I would say the registry number puts it between year 2235 to 2255.

Here’s some relevant year numbers for multiple series:

  • Enterprise – Enterprise NX-01 – 2151
  • TOS – USS Enterprise NCC-1701 – 2250s & 2265
  • TNG – USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D – 2363
  • DS9 – USS Defiant NX-74205 – 2370
  • VOY – USS Voyager NCC-74656 – 2371
Star Trek Timelines

USS Discovery’s Ship Design

USS Discovery has a pretty unique look going for it. But it has major design language hints to the era it’s supposed to be set in in the Star Trek universe.

USS Discovery tease
Discovery tease 4

The saucer section I think tells a lot. The design has a flat top and bottom for the post part and has sharp and flat angles on the sides. This is very similar to the Original Series era of Starfleet starship saucer designs.

USS discovery saucer 2
USS discovery saucer

To compare, here’s a chart of Enterprise NCC-1701 era ship designs.

Click to view the full image
Some more side views of other Starfleet ships
Some more side views of other Starfleet ships
starfleet ship chart pin
More TOS ship designs

Of all the ones I posted, check out these I picked out as being the MOST SIMILAR to the USS Discovery design language:

NCC-617, NCC-585, NCC-3201

They’re older style ships from the TOS and PRE-TOS era. Not all the same elements are gonna be the same. Some design standards have changed since these designs were originally drawn out for TOS.

Discovery tease 3

The USS Discovery has a very large array of impulse engines. They’re also colored blue, which is weird considering most impulse engines are colors red.

Voyager impulse engines
Klingon ship
Constitution Class (Enterprise 1701)
JJ Abrams Alt Timeline Constitution class (Enterprise 1701)
defiant back
Defiant’s aft view (back), the red circles are the impulse engines
Enterprise 1701-D impulse engines in red

HOWEVER. The NX-01 had blue impulse engines and at least 4 of them.

Enterprise NX-01 impulse engines
Discovery tease 2

The deflector design is strange. But it seems similar to the style Enterprise 1701-A had back in the 2260s with the refit. Afterwards, later ship designs had more oval and wide deflectors.

USS Enterprise NCC-1701-A
USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D
USS Voyager NCC-74656
USS Defiant NX-74205
Discovery tease 1

It’s strange though. This seems very much like a Klingon ship design with it’s sharp angles and triangular aesthetic. Specifically a Klingon cruiser. Like the D-33 Heavy Cruiser or D-4 Cruiser.

Klingon Fleet_Chart

Let’s take a look at the Discovery series logo and then some Star Trek series logos. See which ones seem familiar in style.

Star Trek Discovery header
The Original Series (TOS)
The Next Generation (TNG)
Deep Space Nine (DS9)
Voyager (VOY)
Enterprise (ENT)
JJ Abrams Reboot movies
JJ Abrams Reboot movies
Star Trek beyond movie logo
Star Trek Beyond movie logo

I don’t know about you guys but the new logo is very similar to the Original Series Star Trek logo (and the TOS reboot alternative timeline movies).

I mention the JJ Abram alternative timeline only because it has modernized Star Trek The original Series designs in it. But the writers said it will not take place in the alternative timeline of the rebooted movies. But the logo style oozes The Original Series era aesthetic.

Ralph McQuarrie design

ralph mcquarrie films
Films involving Ralph McQuarrie

Someone showed me these two images below as I was writing this post. Looks like the Star Trek Discovery design is based on concept art for Star Trek Planet of the Titans by Ralph McQuarrie. Ralph is known for designing the ships in Star Wars.

planet of the titans concept art vs discovery
USS Enterprise concept painting by Ralph McQuarrie
USS Enterprise study model
B-24-CLN study model

The Enterprise study model is seen in Season 5 Episodes 7 of TNG in the Surplus Depot Z15. It is shown in wreckage and abandoned old ships.


AND ALSO in an Earth Space dock during the movie Star Trek III: the Search for Spock.



So here’s my summary, take, and prediction from the teaser.


Star Trek Discovery takes place on the Starfleet Starship USS Discovery NCC-1031 during the 23rd century around 2240-2255 in the main Prime Universe timeline before Captain James T Kirk captain’s the USS Enterprise NCC-1701.

The name doesn’t mean much, but I feel giving the ship the name “Discovery” means it’s an exploration vessel and not “militaristic” in design. No military specific designed ships were really ever made by Starfleet until the USS Defiant NX-74205 during Deep Space 9.

However, the ship’s design looks pretty militaristic with it’s Klingon aesthetics. We’ll have to wait until January to find out I suppose.

This news just appeared as I was writing this. Prime universe confirmed. Show’s initials are "DSC". (Update from the future: We call Discovery "DIS")

Star Trek Discovery DSC prime