We’ve been getting better looks at the starships of Star Trek: Discovery with each new trailer that CBS releases, and at San Diego Comic-Con we also got some views of starship concept art during the Discovery exhibit on site.

At today’s starship design history panel at the Las Vegas convention – hosted by longtime Star Trek ship creator John Eaves – a few new shots of the Walker-class USS Shenzhou from the upcoming series debuted to the audience.

We’re hoping to learn much more about the Shenzhou – and of course, the hero starship of the upcoming series, the USS Discovery – in the coming days and weeks as we approach the launch of the series.

More Star Trek news t come this week, so keep checking back to TrekCore!

  • Jaro Stun

    why is USS.Shenzhou getting more space in STD marketing then USS.Discovery? curious

    • Thomas Elkins

      Well, imo, she does look 1000 times better than the Discovery.

    • The Science Fiction Oracle

      It’s all part of the secret diversity marketing campaign that CBS has laid out.

      • Jaro Stun

        where was that called for?
        brainwashed troll

        • The Science Fiction Oracle

          You have no sense of humor — what a shock!

        • DC Forever

          “Relax, Cupkake. It was a joke.”

      • Daniel Ireland

        *crickets chirping*

    • FightingMongooses

      The optimist in me thinks they want to save a proper reveal for the show’s premier.

      The cynic in me thinks they know it’s hideous and fans will focus only on that.

  • Thomas Elkins

    I like how the deflector sticks out here. I also like the blue more than the purple on the final design. The hull markings are ok, but I think they too should be blue.

  • Tim Lade

    Actually makes sense to have the bridge not in the most vulnerable spot up top. Why would you put one of the most vital command areas at the very top where it can be taken out without much trouble? I always thought burying the C&C on the Galactica deep within the ship far more sound.

    • HansOlo

      There is no up or down in space, ships can approach your ship from every angle. So having the bridge at the opposite side underneath the saucer makes it as vulnerable as being on the top.

      • Tim Lade

        While true, Star Trek has consistently shown there is in fact an up and down within the context of their universe along with sound in space, which as we know, does not actually exist.

        • The Science Fiction Oracle

          It would be so cool if for Discovery they show warfare with ships at all sorts of angles for a change.

          • Tim Lade

            I agree. Star Trek has seemed to be structured like submarine battles and naval warfare over fighter planes, etc.

          • Daniel Ireland

            That would be cool! One of my favourite Trek scenes is in All Good Things when the refitted Enterprise tears through the Klingon ship from below. In the trailer for Discovery, when the Shenzou is facing one of the Klingon ships, they both seem to be tilted a bit. Your wish could come true after all 🙂

        • Morgan Smith

          It hasn’t shown either of those. At no point in any show has sound been depicted as traveling in space. No character or ship has ever detected it, the only in-space sounds are sound effects for the audience and non-diegetic music, etc. Also, there are clear instances where the hypothetical up/down has been “violated” indicating there is none, it was just cheaper for the productions to do, and they probably felt it was less disorienting for the audience.

      • Locutus

        Not exactly. At least with the Enterprise, the secondary hull would shield many angles on a bridge situated on the underside of the saucer section. Ships attacking from the rear would have fewer clear shots, although they can still attack head on or from below. On top of the saucer, it is not shielded at all. Ships can attack it as easily from behind and head on and from above.

    • Bjoernar Dohm

      I once read that Roddenberry wanted the bridge to be visible as a means to communicate the size of a ship.

      • Tim Lade

        That would make sense from a spectacle and dramatic perspective. From a military perspective seems a little wonky to me. I thought the most realistic “starship” I’ve seen in the last 10 years would definitely be the Galactica. Having said that, I will always have a soft spot in my heart for the Enterprise-E and the NX-01.

      • Eric Cheung

        I thought you were going to say that the exposed bridge would demonstrate the benefit of the doubt Starfleet gives to the ships it encounters.

    • Morgan Smith

      Most of the time it has been shown that bare ships hulls (without shields or other special tech like the Defiant’s armor) are very weak: the Klingon torpedo hit in ST:VI goes all the way through the saucer, the Miranda-class ship in “sacrifice of angels”, the Ent-D in Generations. Without shields your bridge could be toast from one unshielded hit no matter its location.

  • Fiery Little One

    Even though it’s just concept art, I think I’m getting a better sense of the Shenzhou.

  • Mrplatitude

    Inside and out, the Shenzhou is a great evolution of the NX-01.

    • Daniel Ireland

      It is! I love the Franklin as well. The designs of ships between Enterprise and TOS are turning out great.

    • scotchyscotchscotch

      Yeah I love this design. It feels like a Centaur-class with NX/pre TOS inspiration

    • I think that’s definitely intentional, my guess is it’s meant to emphasize how the Discovery is a departure from the natural evolution of the ships.

  • GIBBS v2

    I love this ship. Too bad it will probably get destroyed right away.

  • The Science Fiction Oracle

    If you like the design, great. If you don’t like the design, then you get to watch it blow up at the end of the premiere.

    Everybody wins! 🙂

    • Bjoernar Dohm

      I like the design. It’s a beautiful ship, much better looking than the ugly-as-f**k Discovery. I just wished they wouldn’t create an anachronism by putting a Picard-era design pre-Kirk.

      • The Science Fiction Oracle

        You know, I get that (your Picard-era design comment), because that’s exactly how I feel about the NX-01. The NX-01 is essentially a pre-TNG ship, not a pre-TOS ship.

        • Your Worst Nightmare

          Meh. It’s all based on when the show is produced. There are bigger concerns in the world.

      • Lyk

        But it doesn’t fit, it Looks like Post-Nemesis, so STO, not Pre-TOS

    • Morgan Smith

      I don’t think it blows up, more likely abandoned in space.

  • John Eaves of all people should be aware of the evolution of Federation starships. He has been working on the franchise for over 20 years. He came up with the awesome Sovereign-class Enterprise-E. I’m a fan of his work.

    And I agree the design of the Shenzhou looks okay. And totally credible next to the Sovereign class. We could use it for a post-Nemesis series right away. But 23rd century? No fucking way!!!

    Either Eaves was explicitly told to make the ships look “the same as always”, or he is unable to look past his work on the TNG era series, and to design something that looks reasonably older, that at least hints at an evolution. The sketches prove this design is 0% 23rd century and 100% 24th century from the very start, and this is more than only a huge disappointment. It is a slap into the face of all fans and all the people behind the scenes who have cared for Star Trek’s continuity, for its technology and for its starships in the past 50 years.

    I feel personally offended. It is as if someone threw all of my work out of the window, telling the world “Don’t listen to this Bernd Schneider guy, it doesn’t matter at all how our ships look like if only they are cool and longer than 400m.” It is as if Star Trek had never seen any development, as if the era in which a series is set is of no importance because the universe doesn’t change, neither visually nor story-wise (the latter still remains to be seen, but my hopes are low). The production design of the series reduces Discovery to a mere story platform that somehow looks like Star Trek but that gives a shit on the greater picture.

    It would have been possible to design something that looks cool, modern and still reminiscent of the TOS style. Deviantart is full of awesome ship designs that would have been perfect for Discovery. It would have been possible to design something that looks in any way different than in the 24th century. But instead of going for something original or for something that fits into the era, it was decided to recycle the style from the 24th century. Also on the artistic side, the Shenzhou design is a failure.

  • Thanks to the one who reported my critical comment on the Shenzhou. I should finally learn that having a different opinion than the Ruling Council of Loyal Trekkies is not tolerated.

  • Rossano Mandar Valmonte


  • It’s like the Shenzou is upside down. The nacelles go down, but then, the bridge is on the bottom too. So if you just flipped the whole thing upside down… 🙂

    Also, what deck number would the bridge be? No longer would they be able to say Deck 1 to get to the bridge. It’d be like, “Turbolift, Deck 11”. Also changes the meaning of “Lower decks”.

    • Shadowknight1

      To be fair, I’ve very rarely heard them called the bridge “deck 1”. Usually when they get in the turbolift, they say “Bridge.”

      Also in furthering the “upside-down” sentiment, the deflector dish is on the top too!

  • Tom Cruise Never Phones It IN

    Looks dumb to have the number on it twice.

  • Jus_Wonderin

    I sure hope there is a model of this one.

  • Adrian Law

    Just saw Eps 1 & 2, and looking at the concept artwork and designs of the Starfleet ships in the show you can tell it’s got John Eaves signature style all over it 😉 You can even see an influence on his on the Discovery itself in the title scene! #LLAP