The USS Franklin In 'Star Trek Beyond' Will Be Familiar To 'Enterprise' Fans

I don't want to alarm you, but a key member of the USS Enterprise crew bites the dust in Star Trek Beyond. It's a terrifying, devastating blow to Captain Kirk, Spock, and the rest of our beloved crew — and it's also shown in the trailers. Yes, the chaotic destruction of the Starship Enterprise hits the crew where it hurts, and puts all their lives in jeopardy in Star Trek Beyond. It also leaves the crew stranded on an Altamid, a non Federation planet, with no way off. To quote Captain Kirk, "How are we gonna get out of this one?" Luckily, the crew stumbles upon the USS Franklin, one of the first Federation ships ever to fly. The ship is treated with great reverence by the crew, which might cause some to wonder, what exactly is the USS Franklin in Star Trek Beyond and where have we seen it before?

By the time the Enterprise crew finds the Franklin, it's not really a ship anymore, at least not a functioning one. In Beyond, however, Scotty reveals that the ship was actually one of the first of the Federation — one of the first ships to go Warp 4. Trekkies (or Trekkers, depending on your preference) might recognize the Franklin, though it's origins are a bit murky. Hardcore fans have been debating what reference, if any, the Franklin is making to Star Trek movies and shows that came before.


Given Scotty's awe over the ship, it seems like the USS Franklin has some meaning in the greater Star Trek universe. However, the Franklin isn't actually a ship we've seen before. When it was first revealed, the Franklin drew comparisons to the NX-01 model, previously seen in the 2001-2005 series Enterprise. However, in Enterprise, the ships used could reach Warp 5, which means that the Franklin was made sometime before the events of Enterprise. But, if the Franklin isn't an NX-01, then what is it?

According to this thread on Reddit, fans are accepting the Franklin as some kind of early NX model prototype intended as a nice nod to Enterprise, continuity and altered timelines be damned. Aside from the historical context provided by Scotty, nothing else on the ship makes any references to Enterprise or the Original Series, suggesting that it really is just a fun wink to fans and nothing more.

Regardless of the history of the Franklin, it's nice to see our crew on a brand new ship, even if that ship is really old and falling apart.

Images: Paramount Pictures