As a writer for the “Star Trek” franchise, coming up with names for new starships is a constant part of the job. Every time the crew ran into a new Federation ship, they needed to come up with a new name. That’s no small task in a universe filled with starships in a franchise that spanned several decades.
According to Memory Alpha, the “Star Trek” writers have come up with more than 400 ship names since the franchise started in 1966. Granted, they repeated themselves a few times, but it’s still an impressive feat.
Every once in a while, the Trek writers looked for starship name inspiration within the Trekverse. They named ships after Trek actors, writers, producers and characters. When they named starships after particular people, they usually did so as a tribute to that person’s contributions to the Trekverse.
Here are 10 tribute ships, named after important people in the Trekverse:
The USS Nog
The USS Nog appeared in the fifth episode of the third season of “Star Trek: Discovery.” The ship was among the fleet gathered outside Federation Headquarters when the Discovery finally made contact with the Federation in the 32nd century.
The Nog was an Eisenberg class ship, named after the actor. So, Eisenberg has his own starship class and his own starship.
The USS Yelchin
The USS Yelchin was also a tribute to a Trek actor who passed away. The starship honored Anton Yelchin who played Pavel Chekov in the J.J. Abrams movies. Yelchin died in a freak car accident in 2016. He was only 27 years old.
The ship appeared in the “Discovery” episode “Unification Part III,” the seventh episode of the show’s third season, which took place mostly on Ni’Var. The Yelchin played a pivotal role in Commander Michael Burnham’s search for the cause of the Burn. The Yelchin’s black box was one of the ones that Burnham collected in her search for clues.
The USS Archer
Fans of “Star Trek: Enterprise,” or Trek history buffs in general, will immediately recognize that this ship is named after the captain of the Enterprise NX01, Jonathan Archer.
The Archer appeared in the “Star Trek: The Next Generation” movie, “Star Trek: Nemesis.” The ship was supposed to meet up with the Enterprise-E to assist them against the Romulan warbird the Scimitar. Unfortunately, the Archer didn’t make it there before the Scimitar ambushed the Enterprise.
The USS Chekov
All true Trekkers can guess that this ship is named after Ensign Pavel Chekov, who served on the Enterprise under Captain James T. Kirk. The Chekov was one of the dozens of ships that engaged the Borg at the Battle of Wolf 359. The ship was destroyed, as was the rest of the fleet.
The USS Cochrane
The USS Cochrane paid tribute to the man who built Earth’s first warp-capable starship, Zefram Cochrane. The Cochrane appeared in two episodes of “The Next Generation.”
In the fourth season episode entitled “The Drumhead,” Admiral Norah Satie traveled to the Enterprise-D on the Cochrane. In the fifth season episode “The Game,” the Cochrane dropped Wesley Crusher off on the Enterprise-D while he was on holiday from Starfleet Academy.
The USS Sarek
The Sarek was on the frontlines of the Dominion War in “Deep Space Nine.” The ship never made it to the screen, but it was mentioned while the leaders of the Federation offensive discussed their battle plans.
The SS Robert Fox
Only diehard fans of “Star Trek: The Original Series” will recognize this clever starship tribute. Special Ambassador Robert Fox was introduced in the TOS episode “A Taste of Armageddon.” He was a highly skilled negotiator and diplomat in the 23rd century who helped negotiate peace on a planet that waged its wars via computers.
In the movie “Star Trek: Generations,” the SS Robert Fox was one of the ships that brought the El-Aurian refugees to Earth. The movie’s co-writer Ronald D. Moore confirmed that the ship was named after the TOS character to the authors of “The Star Trek Encyclopedia.”
The USS Shran
The USS Shran paid tribute to one of the Andorians who was crucial in forging a lasting relationship between his species and the humans. General Shran was the sometimes enemy, sometimes ally of Captain Archer in “Enterprise.” The bond they created helped bring the Andorians to the table when it was time to sign the Federation charter.
The USS Shran was in two episodes of “Discovery” and one episode of “Star Trek: Short Treks.” It was introduced in the episode “Battle at the Binary Stars.” It was one of the many ships that got destroyed during that battle. Two episodes later, in “Context is for Kings” and in the “Short Treks” episode “Calypso,” a model of the Shran was visible in the mess hall of the Discovery.
The USS Frederickson
Even the most hardcore “Star Trek” fans might not catch this ship name tribute. That’s because it wasn’t named after a Trek actor or character.
It’s one of the only ships named after a crew member who worked on one of the “Star Trek” shows. According to “The Star Trek Encyclopedia,” the USS Frederickson was named after Anthony Fredrickson, a scenic and graphic designer who worked on DS9.
The Frederickson is also one of the only tribute ships that made it into two different series. It was introduced in the DS9 episode “A Time to Stand” and was later mentioned in the “Star Trek: Voyager” episode “Relativity.”
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