Star Trek Showrunner Explains What Happened To The Enterprise-E
Star Trek: Picard showrunner Terry Matalas hints the Enterprise-E, last seen in 2002's Star Trek: Nemesis, was decommissioned.
After the reveal that the Enterprise-F would make an appearance in the third and final season of Star Trek: Picard, showrunner Terry Matalas was bombarded with fan requests that its predecessor either make an appearance or that its fate be explained. After months of weaving and dodging, Matalas has finally hinted that the fate of the Enterprise-E was less exciting than that of some of her ancestors from the franchise. While he doesn’t come right out and say it, the showrunner strongly hinted on Twitter that the E was decommissioned after the pressure of being the Starfleet Flagship.
As you can see in the tweet above, in response to a fan who speculated that “20 years seems a rather short service life for a Sovereign class ship” in reference to the Enterprise-E, Matalas answers, “It’s not the years, it’s the mileage. Even the F is getting up there. Flagships take a beating.”
After her immediate predecessor was destroyed in 1994’s Star Trek: Generations, the Enterprise-E was introduced in what remains one of the most critically and commercially successful of all the pre-Kelvin-Timeline Trek films: 1996’s Star Trek: First Contact. In spite of a brief fake-out that the E would be the victim of a sacrificial self-destruct sequence in that film, the ship went on to carry her crew in 1998’s Star Trek: Insurrection and 2002’s Star Trek: Nemesis. Except in the cases of non-canonical media, there has since been no word on what happened to the ship.
In fact, it wasn’t until the latest trailer for Season 3 of Star Trek: Picard revealed a brief shot of the Enterprise-F that there was any word whatsoever on whether or not, in the era of Picard, there were any ships bearing the name Enterprise within Starfleet. There’s also no firm word on who took the Captain’s chair on the Enterprise-E after Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) accepted his promotion to Admiral.
There was a brief hint about Picard’s predecessor in the 2019 prequel comic book miniseries Star Trek: Picard — Countdown, which is set during the evacuation of the Romulus. In a brief exchange between Geordi and Picard, the former refers to the new Captain of the Enterprise-E (or F, if the E had already been decommissioned at this point) not being willing to give up command. Their identity isn’t revealed, and we should mention Countdown isn’t necessarily considered canon.
If we assume Picard intends to go in the same direction as Countdown (which is a big assumption), and we assume the new Enterprise-E Captain was a member of the senior crew while Picard was in command, then the most likely candidate — since Jonathan Frakes’s Riker went instead to take command of the U.S.S. Titan — is Michael Dorn’s Worf.
If Worf took over the Enterprise-E after Picard, it could be the perfect answer to a couple of questions. For one, considering Worf historically has an itchier trigger finger than Picard, it could explain why the E took enough punishment to be decommissioned early. And whatever kind of consequences the Klingon had to deal with because of that greater tendency to shoot first could help to explain his new pacifistic outlook.