Saturday brought the news that 2017’s new Trek show would be titled STAR TREK: DISCOVERY – and with this new title came a teaser video featuring the first look at what is presumably the show’s hero starship: the USS Discovery.

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A composite image of the USS Discovery (NCC-1031) from the CBS teaser.

Fans immediately pounced on the design of the new ship – many questioned the style of the vessel’s configuration, and noted its startling similarity to Ralph McQuarrie’s Planet of the Titans starship concept art.

mcquarrie-ship
Ralph McQuarrie’s “Planet of the Titans” starship design.

TrekMovie was in attendance at the post-SDCC panel press junket, where they noted that when asked about the similarity, DISCOVERY showrunner Bryan Fuller replied:

[The influence of the McQuarrie art is] to a point where we legally can’t comment on it until we figure out some things.

Fuller’s comments appear to indicate that the ship’s design is so close to the McQuarrie design that it still needs some kind of approval to be used in the new show, which seems like quite an important step in the production process.

In addition, DISCOVERY executive producer Heather Kadin told TrekMovie that not only was the video not the finished product – unsurprising, due to the long time it takes to develop CG renders – but that it was “thrown together” just in the last three weeks.

I was surprised Bryan didn’t say [it wasn’t finished footage], actually. I mean, we had three weeks to throw that together.

The concepts of the ship are totally what we’re going for, and they’ll be honed up until, I think, the day we deliver.

CBS is surely going to work hard over the six months to finalize the design of the USS Discovery, and we’re certainly interested in seeing where their visual effects team goes from this launching point.

You can watch the full interview with Kadin at TrekMovie’s report.