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17 Mar 2018

The Visual Continuity of Star Trek

Star Trek has a legacy of more than 50 years. The franchise is famed for the iconic looks of its characters, species, sets, props and starships. They so far contributed greatly to the continuity of Star Trek. Every new series or movie could rely on what had been established before, also and especially on the visual side, but also had to respect it.

Star Trek's canon incarnations comprise the "classic" five series (TOS, TNG, DS9, VOY, ENT) and ten movies that were produced over the course of almost 40 years, plus the movies of the "Abramsverse", plus the sixth series Star Trek Discovery. The two latter take many liberties regarding the visual continuity with the "classic" Star Trek. At latest the total redesign of the Klingons and other radical alterations in Discovery cross a line. While the producers of the series don't deny that they "re-imagined" the looks of species and other designs in their series, they fail to provide a rationale whether visuals still have any canon value in their view, or whether they are arbitrary from now, like if Star Trek were not TV but a novel series. Some self-proclaimed "loyal" fans go as far as asserting that visual canon never existed in Star Trek!

It is my intention to create awareness for the significance of visual continuity in a visual medium. Read my new article on The Visual Continuity of Star Trek with many examples and pictures.

Bernd Schneider


Recent EAS Updates
  • 27 Apr 2018
    I have posted a season 2 news round-up and a comment on the rumor that Discovery's version of the USS Enterprise was legally required to be "25% different", a rumor that was very quickly refuted by CBS but has some aftereffects.
  • 15 Apr 2018
    Read my updated reviews of the Voyager season 4 episodes "Prey" and "Retrospect".
  • 31 Mar 2018
    It's time to continue my Voyager rewatch. Here are the updated reviews of the season 4 episodes "Message in a Bottle" and "Hunters".
  • 29 Mar 2018
    And while I was at it, I also added a small article on Time Travel in Star Trek: The Animated Series (TAS).
  • 29 Mar 2018
    Here are my considerations about Time Travel in Star Trek: Discovery (DIS) (covering the so far two episodes that featured a time travel).
  • 24 Mar 2018
    The Starfleet Museum is available in print now. Dan Carlson has created a richly illustrated book of 286 pages with the starship designs by Masao Okazaki and their histories. This fan work is made available at no profit, for the cost of printing.
  • 17 Mar 2018
    Star Trek has a legacy of more than 50 years. The franchise is famed for the iconic looks of its characters, species, sets, props and starships. They so far contributed greatly to the continuity of Star Trek. It appears that this has changed with the Abramsverse and ultimately with Discovery. My new article illustrates the visual continuity of Star Trek with many examples and pictures.
  • 06 Mar 2018
    Five new designs in the Journal of Applied Treknology. Cordial thanks to all contributors!
  • 24 Feb 2018
    Still more new pictures in the Galleries, such as HD screen caps of planets from Star Trek Enterprise. I have also added some more ship diagrams from the Official Starships Collection, for instance of the Borg Queen's ship.
  • 18 Feb 2018
    Update of the Links page.
Latest Comments on EAS Articles
  • 26 Apr 2018

    Now that you mention it, it is just too obvious that Section 31 knew who Lorca really was, and that it will be made an issue in season 2.

  • 25 Apr 2018

    Re: Anson Mount Cast as Captain Pike, Section 31 to Return

    The bonus scene makes it quite clear that the "Black Badges" were always meant to be Section 31 personnel, presumably out in the semi-open (on a ship with a classified mission...). It would make a certain amount of sense that Lorca as a refugee from the Mirror Universe would fit right in with them, I'm now just wondering if Section 31 knew exactly who he was, and the recruitment of Georgiou is a logical follow on - someone who will do what is necessary to further the interests of a Terra centric organisation within the Federation (they did after all come out of the Earth Starfleet).

    Whilst obviously events in the Kelvin timeline don't necessarily mean anything to the Prime Universe, Section 31 is very much active there around a similarly uncertain time so it makes sense that they didn't disappear for the 200+ years between ENT and DS9.

    Judging by comments made separately by Jonathan Frakes, it looks like the Enterprise and its crew will be around for at least two episodes in season 2, presumably a bit more. It'll be interesting to see (beyond Spock whose casting news they're obviously going to sit on as long as possible) which familiar characters turn up.

  • 24 Apr 2018

    It seems a bayonet charge is the only thing we've seen Jem'Hadar really do, then go into hand-to-hand combat. The Klingons love hand-to-hand but they've also been shown to use artillery and take cover during ranged engagements rather than just charge into no man's land. Jem'Hadar doing the same thing would prove to be an almost unstoppable force. I think the Founders leaving the dealings of the Dominion Military to the rather un-creative vorta officers is the flaw here.

    Edit: Now that I think about it I do remember one point in "Rocks and Shoals" we do see Jem'Hadar firing from a covered position. I still stick to my point about the Vorta though.

  • 24 Apr 2018

    Which makes me wonder why the Jem'Hadar were not designed or educated to use real tactics. Everything in the Dominion is well thought out and even a mass produced infantry is not for free, so why waste them needlessly? Perhaps the Founders just want them to be predictably suicidal?

  • 24 Apr 2018

    yeah, I do like some "realism" sometimes. I'm willing to go along with the actors having military experience as that's not out of the ordinary. I think the Jem'hadar would have been more of a threat had they used tactics.

  • 24 Apr 2018


  • 23 Apr 2018

    They might have lucked out with the stuntmen playing the Cardies that day I suppose and got some ex-service men and possibly with it being an outdoor location so they had the opportunity to do some decent "running and gunning" which studio locations tend to preclude.

    But whatever the reason, still a pleasant change from "the usual".

  • 23 Apr 2018

    Watching "The Homecoming" last night I noticed the labor camp guards using actual infantry tactics (Fire Team Rush) during the escape scene. I think this is one of the only times we really see something in Star Trek that resembles actual tactics instead of 50 Jem'hadar running and screaming and getting shot.

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