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Poll of the Week: Small Craft in Star Trek

Laria Herren

Poll of the Week: Small Craft in Star Trek  

20 members have voted

  1. 1. What do you think of the way Star Trek uses small craft?

    • I don’t think shuttles and other small craft should be used all that often.
    • The small craft work well in their current role, doing the jobs the transporter can’t.
    • I think the shuttles are a good plot device and can be used to tell interesting stories.
    • Shuttles and other auxiliary craft like the captain’s yacht aren’t used as often as I’d like to see.
    • Auxiliary craft should play a much more prominent role, and I’d like to see more variety in the types of small craft used.

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The transporter was originally invented out of necessity. With away teams going to and from alien planets regularly, the team behind Star Trek needed a way to get them to the ship and back again. They had shuttles that could solve this problem. Unfortunately, this wasn’t a feasible option. Landing a shuttle every episode would have been too much for the show’s limited budget. Instead the transporter was born. In the years since the transporter has remained, but small craft of all kinds have gained a more prominent role in the series with new shows.

Starfleet has access to more than just the normal shuttles used to ferry landing parties from the ship to a planet. They also have larger runabouts for longer trips, attack fighters for combat, and workbees and other maintenance craft to name a few. The runabout did play a major role in Deep Space Nine, but attack fighters and workbees rarely play a part beyond appearing in the background. Both the Enterprise-D and Voyager featured special auxiliary craft (the captain’s yacht and the aeroshuttle respectively) but neither were ever used. Are the small crafts of Star Trek underutilized? Would you like to see shuttles and fighters used in new and interesting ways, or do you like them the way they are? What do you think of the way Star Trek uses small craft?

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Being that my character was in a transporter accident, he now prefers the shuttle crafts. lol


Ensign German Galven

Science Officer

USS Veritas NC-95035


Galven S4U1 banner.png

Edited by German Galven
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Everyone always focuses of the "heavies" but DS9 used the smaller craft quite well, and introduced fighters. We use them quite often at the Embassy, as well as runabouts and other smaller craft.. They can be quite useful in storytelling.

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Atlantis has used a shuttles or it's aeroshuttle support craft at some point in every mission we have had so far! The story telling avenues they can open up are endless. Even if some of those are "OMG, we have to save the shuttle!"

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Brell brings up a good point- the vulnerability of shuttles makes them an excellent storytelling element, but from an in-universe perspective, I'd hate to get inside one. They get a raw deal- not strong enough to survive any sort of firefight, not small enough to escape most notice, not fast enough to pursue or run, not powerful enough for anything, it seems, besides a quick jaunt to the planet and back- which will, more often then not, be made complicated by atmospheres that interfere with power systems or some such. All in all, they have their purposes, but they're extraordinarily fragile, and extremely dubious from an IC standpoint. 

Still. Fun! 

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