Star Trek

Picard's New Starship Took Inspiration From “Retro” Star Trek Canon

Picard’s showrunner and production designer break down the new USS Titan.

The USS Titan in 'Picard' Season 3

The best new starship in Star Trek canon isn’t the Enterprise! In Star Trek: Picard Season 3, the bold new adventure will happen onboard a new starship even more retro than the Enterprise-D. Of all the new stars of Picard Season 3, the USS Titan is perhaps the most exciting for longtime fans.

But how does this ship fit into the Trek timeline? Is it an old ship? A new ship? A bit of both? Inverse got in touch with Picard showrunner Terry Matalas and production designer Dave Blass to get the details on the latest and greatest ship in Starfleet. Spoilers ahead for Picard Season 3, Episode 1, “The Next Generation.”

The USS Titan NCC-80102-A

In the Picard Season 3 premiere, “The Next Generation,” Will Riker and Jean-Luc Picard find themselves onboard a Neo-Constitution Class starship called the USS Titan. Picard refers to this as Will’s “old command,” which references the fact that after Nemesis, in 2379, Riker became captain of the USS Titan, NCC-80102. We never saw that version of the Titan in live-action, but that was a Luna-class ship, and it appeared in the Lower Decks Season 1 finale and the first two episodes of Lower Decks Season 2.

But Picard Season 3 is way past that. We’re in 2402 now, and this isn’t Riker’s Titan. This is the next version of the Titan, which is why it has “A” after its registry. As explained by the official Instagram “Star Trek Logs” and Terry Matalas himself, this new Titan was built “using the original Titan spaceframe,” which is why Captain Shaw refers to having to purge all of Riker’s jazz music from the computer.

So is the new Titan a refit of Riker’s Titan or a brand-new ship? The answer from Matalas and Paramount is: yes. It’s both!

Is the Titan bigger than the Enterprise?

The USS Titan-A in Picard Season 3.


Dave Blass, production designer on Picard Season 2 and 3, tells Inverse, “The USS Titan comes in at 1839 feet long compared to the 2250 feet Enterprise E and the 2108 feet Enterprise D. It’s designed as an exploratory vessel but not as a ‘family-friendly’ ship like the D.”

According to the 2021 Star Trek: Shipyards book, which covers ships from 2294 (the end of the classic movie era) all the way to the 3180s (Discovery’s distant future), the USS Enterprise-C was 526 meters, which would make it about 1725 feet. So, because the new Titan is 1839 feet long, it’s about a hundred feet longer than the Enterprise-C, meaning it’s much closer to Catapin Rachel Garrett’s Enterprise (from “Yesterday’s Enterprise”) than either of Captain Jean-Luc Picard’s Enterprises.

Relative to other Titans, the new Titan-A is much bigger than Riker’s previous Titan, which — according to that same Shipyards book — was 1489 feet long.

The Titan’s classic Star Trek movie inspiration

The inspiration for the design of the Titan is the same in real life as it is in-universe. The official logs point out that the “Constitution III” class of the new Titan is inspired by the “retro” design of the Constitution refit. This means if you think the new Titan is evocative of the refit Enterprise from the classic films stretching from The Motion Picture (1979) to The Undiscovered Country (1991), you would be correct.

The refit version of the USS Enterprise in 1979’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture.


Trek fans, and even various Trek writers and producers, have long cited this as their favorite starship design in the entire canon. In the 2016 Star Trek oral history book The Fifty-Year Mission by Mark A. Altman and Edward Gross, former TNG, and DS9 producer Ronald D. Moore put it like this: “The Enterprise in The Motion Picture is the best of all the designs. It’s sleek and beautiful and everything is in proportion.”

Terry Matalas agrees, telling Inverse that his love for that movie-era Enterprise is strong.

“The refit Constitution-Class is the best starship design ever made. Perfectly clean, retro lines,” he says. “It’s forever baked into my psyche.”

Star Trek: Picard Season 3 is now streaming on Paramount+.

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