Saturday, July 8, 2017

Trek 101: U.S.S. Franklin in Star Trek: Beyond

In Star Trek: Beyond Kirk and Company escape after being lured into an ambush by Krall -- our villain in Beyond.  Krall and his forces decapitate the Enterprise, sending it crashing down onto Krall's prison planet where what is left of the crew of the Enterprise is enslaved with only Kirk, Scotty, Bones, Chekov, Spock and their new found friend Jaylah to break them out and save the day!  But even if our heroes save the remaining crew members who are enslaved by Krall (which include Uhura) there is no way off the planet.  Until they come across the damaged remains of the U.S.S. Franklin. 

Image Credit: Sean Healgroves: Star Trek Collective

The U.S.S. Franklin?  We are unfamiliar with the Franklin, aren't we?  You might be, but it does have an official backstory. 

Even though the Franklin lacks screen time in the Trekverse, we learn in Beyond that the Franklin, NX-326 (which is a reference to Lenoard Nimoy's birthday of March 26th) was the first warp 4 capable ship and was part of the Earth's planetary space going fleet.  "But wait," you gasp, "that cannot be!  The Enterprise NX-01 was the first warp 5 capable starship and it was designated the NX-01!  Timeline -- TIMELINE!"  Yes, yes -- this is a concern. however the dialogue in Beyond makes it clear that the Franklin comes before Archer's Enterprise.  Scotty references that the transporters on the Franklin were only used for cargo, and we remember (yes we do, you watched Enterprise) that when the NX-01 launched the transporters were experimental.  And only during the course of the show did they begin to transport people with them, which bridged the gap between the Frankiln-NX-01-NCC-1701 transporter capabilities. 

Now if only the writers had bridged the gap between why the NX-01 had shuttlecraft and the NCC-1701 did not... but perhaps that is a different BLOG post. 

But I digress, we also learn that it was captained by Captain Balthazar Edison just after the Earth-Romulan War when we see the dedication plaque on the bridge.  Scotty is also good enough to let us know that the ship vanished on a mission to the Gagarin Radiation Belt in 2164.  Apparently, we can surmise, is then crash landed on Altamid, the planet of Krall in Beyond.  Additionally, we learn that Edison was M.A.C.O. veteran, serving in the Xindi and Romulan wars.  This means that the Franklin likely had a M.A.C.O. contingent on it. 

So, while to some the Franklin may of seem to come out of nowhere, there is just enough filling in the blanks by Scotty and the visuals in Beyond to give the U.S.S. Franklin NX-326 and Captain Edison a place in Trek-Lore and the approximate date of the launch and loss of the Franklin make it possible fodder for inclusion in the Discovery universe. 

For one, I hope we get some filler on the Franklin in a Discovery episode!

For more information on the Franklin, visit Memory Alpha's USS Franklin Page.

Stay Trekkie, My Friends.

Bruce holds a degrees in Computer Science, Biblical History and American History from Temple University, Liberty University and American Public University.  He is a member of the Historical Studies Honor Society and the Saber and Scroll Society.  He has worked in educational technology for over 20 years, specializes in building infrastructures for schools that work to support the mission of technology in education in the classroom.  He also has served as a classroom teacher in Computer Science, History and English classes.