The original USS Enterprise (designation NCC-1701), designed in 1965, is a classic among Star Trek fans. So much so that when the designs for the revamped Enterprise in J.J. Abrams' Star Trek reboot were revealed, certain of them were outraged. Why change something so iconic that so many grew up with?
Well, after a reboot deemed faithful to Trek heritage and a sequel that was a bit of a mess, it can't be denied that the scenes showing of the New Enterprise were extremely cool. The only thing that could improve on the formula would be taking Roddenberry's original and planting it in the new movies. Thankfully, graphic designer Nick Acosta did just that.
At a recent press event, the Smithsonian showed off the original 11-foot model of the Starship Enterprise. Acosta was at the event, and shot photos of the ship at different angles in order to re-composite the images in modern Star Trek film stills. Of course, pasting the images atop frames from Wrath of Khan or Star Trek Into Darkness wasn't enough. He had to get the lighting and texture just right to make the ship fit. As Acosta told Wired, each image took an average of eight hours to complete. It was clearly worth it.
Images courtesy Nick Acosta