See The Destruction Of Every Enterprise: How Star Trek Did It And Why

By Josh Tyler | Published

Destruction Of The USS Enterprise NCC-1701 Refit

The Enterprise refit, the original Enterprise, was destroyed using a built-in self-destruct mechanism in Star Trek III: The Search For Spock. Captain Kirk saw it as the only way to turn death into a fighting chance to live. He lured Klingons into boarding the ship, while he and his crew beamed off. The Klingons were unable to escape before the ship exploded.


The Saucer Was Destroyed First

The ship’s self-destruct destroyed the Enterprise saucer section and sent it careening into the atmosphere below.

The Enterprise Burns Up In The Atmosphere

Burning and broken the Enterprise plummeted towards the atmosphere of the Genesis planet. The heat of re-entry completely destroyed what remained of the ship, dissolving in a ball of fire as it descended.

Destruction Of The NCC-1701-C Enterprise

The Enterprise-C’s final fate is not shown on camera, but we do see her right before she goes to her doom in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Yesterday’s Enterprise”. We also find out through historical records where and how it happened.

Enterprise-C In The Future Before Its Destruction

The Enterprise-C traveled through a rift in time where it encountered the Enterprise-D. In order to save the timeline, the C returns through the time rift which it came out of, and in doing so makes the ultimate sacrifice.

Enterprise-C Destroyed Saving The Universe

Waiting for the Enterprise-C on the other side of that time rift is a whole host of Romulan ships attacking a Klingon outpost. When it emerges from the rift, the Enterprise-C is destroyed by the Romulan armada, in a vain attempt to save the Klingons. While the C is destroyed, her sacrifice prompts a treaty between the Klingon Empire and the Federation, bringing about galactic peace.

The Destruction Of The NCC-1701-D Enterprise

The Enterprise-D sadly met its end in the ship’s very first big screen outing, at the end of the film Star Trek: Generations. She’s attacked by a Klingon ship with the ability to shoot through her shields. Though the Enterprise manages to destroy the Klingons, she’s too badly damaged…

Destruction Of The Enterprise-D Engineering Hull And Saucer Separation

Due to the Klingon attack, Enterprise-D’s warp core is unstable and about to explode. Commander Riker, in charge at the time, opts to separate the ship’s saucer section from her drive section (where the warp core is housed) in an attempt to get away from the explosion.

Enterprise-D's Saucer Section Falls To Its Doom

Unfortunately, the Enterprise-D saucer sep was too late and the ship’s primary hull is too close to the gravity of a nearby planet when it separated. The ship is pulled down into the planet’s atmosphere, where it begins to burn up.

Enterprise-D Ultimately Destroyed In A Crash Landing

Unlike her predecessor the Enterprise refit, the Enterprise-D’s saucer manages to avoid burning up in the atmosphere and crash lands on the ground. The crew inside the saucer section survives, but the saucer section itself is beyond recovery. The Enterprise-D is a total loss.

The Destruction Of The Kelvinverse Enterprise

In 2009 director J.J. Abrams rebooted Star Trek with a series of feature films that changed the canon. It takes place in an alternate universe that fans call the Kelvinverse, so in a sense, it doesn’t count, but the Enterprise of that universe also ends up getting destroyed. It happens in the last movie of that series, Star Trek: Beyond when the Enterprise is attacked by a massive swarm of small, automated ships.

The Kelvinverse Enterprise Is Cut To Pieces

As Spock correctly notes at the beginning of the attack, the Enterprise is not configured for this type of engagement. She’s powerless as the small ships begin cutting her to pieces until nothing but the saucer section is left.

The Kelvinverse Enterprise's Saucer Crashes

The remaining part of the ship, the saucer, holds together long enough for the crew to get to their escape pods. Taking a cue from the Enterprise-D, it then crashes on the planet below and there’s very little left.

The Fate Of Star Trek's Other Enterprise's

There are, of course, numerous ships named Enterprise. We don’t know the fate of most of them. The Enterprise-B is seen in Star Trek: Generations, but we don’t know what happens to it after that. Some even survive into retirement, like the NCC-1701-A seen in this slide. The A ends up parked in this museum, a tourist attraction for those wishing to explore the history of Starfleet.