See One Of Star Trek’s Most Iconic Hero Ships Return For First Time Since The 90s, And It’s Trying To Kill Janeway
The USS Defiant returns to Star Trek.
If you were to name the most famous and important starships in the history of the Star Trek franchise, there’s a clear top three. Number one is, of course, the Enterprise in all her iterations. But after that, the USS Defiant and USS Voyager are a clear number two and three. We haven’t seen Voyager in a very long time, but now the USS Defiant is back in action for the Star Trek: Prodigy season 1 episode titled “Supernova Part 1”.
Be warned, spoilers follow for Prodigy season 1 episode 19.
Last seen in the final episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine back in 1999, the USS Defiant’s return happens when the USS Protostar encounters a massive fleet of Starfleet vessels bent on stopping it. Unbeknownst to the fleet (which the Defiant is part of), the Protostar is carrying a virus which when initiated will cause every Starfleet ship in the vicinity to begin firing on other Starfleet ships.
It’s the actual Defiant which shows up with the fleet to help stop the Protostar, not just a Defiant-class ship. Prodigy makes it a point to let us see its name…
At first, it’s a race to stop the Protostar. The Protostar is the fastest, most high-tech vessel Starfleet has ever created. The larger starships in the fleet seem to have a hard time keeping up with it… except for one. The USS Defiant.
In its day attached to Deep Space Nine, the Defiant was the most maneuverable, over-engined, dangerous ship in the galaxy so it makes sense that this would be the one ship able to actually give chase and keep up with the wild antics of the Protostar.
The Defiant lurks in the background of a lot of the episode’s shots, like a stalker waiting and watching its prey. Note its prominence in the background of this bridge scene, on the viewer…
Eventually, the Protostar virus activates and the USS Defiant, like every other ship in the fleet, is taken over and begins firing on everything. The Defiant seems to be especially well-liked by the virus as it uses the ship over and over again to target the most dangerous Starfleet vessels.
In particular Defiant ends up firing on Vice Admiral Janeway’s ship, the Dauntless. The Dauntless is on the verge of being destroyed when the episode ends. If Janeway’s ship does blow up, the Defiant will have had a big hand in destroying it.
The Defiant is the only ship in the mess of fleet destruction that we don’t actually see taking any damage, only dishing it out.
By the time the episode ends the Defiant is still intact while a lot of other ships are exploding wrecks. The battle’s not over though, and we won’t know until Star Trek: Prodigy episode 20 if it survives.
Unfortunately, we don’t see any interior shots of the Defiant during the episode, so there’s no way to tell who is actually in command of the ship. During the time period Star Trek: Prodigy takes place in, Captain Sisko is living in the Bajoran wormhole with the prophets and Worf is likely off galivanting around with the Enterprise, so it’s not likely to be either of them. Kira is still in the Bajoran military and O’Brien never had the rank to command a starship. Jadzia Dax is dead and Ezri Dax is a ship’s counselor, not a commander. My money is on Nog who, by this time, will hopefully have ranked up to captain.
For comparison, here’s how the original USS Defiant looked during its time on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
And here’s another look at the Prodigy version, for comparison…
The original Defiant was actually destroyed on Deep Space Nine during the Dominion War. They replaced it, however, by renaming the USS Sao Paolo as the USS Defiant. That’s the version of the Defiant we see here.
Note the registry number on the side in the photo below. It’s NX-74205 (it was the first of its class and an experimental ship, thus the NX designation.
Technically the second Defiant should have gotten a new registry with an NCC designation, but it never happened on DS9, presumably to save on the VFX budget necessary to change it. So that has carried over to the ship’s appearance on Star Trek: Prodigy.
Star Trek: Lower Decks Brought Back The Defiant Class, But Not The Actual Defiant
Just a few weeks ago a Defiant-class showed up on Star Trek: Lower Decks as well. Its appearance was the first time the class had been seen on screen since the end of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. But that Defiant-class was not the actual USS Defiant, just another ship of the same type. Here’s the Lower Decks version…
Star Trek: Prodigy’s version is actually a much more faithful recreation. Note the difference in the warp pods on the sides, of the Lower Decks one. They’ve made the more pointed. The Lower Decks Defiant-class is more of an alternative variant. Prodigy has done its best to make their version of the USS Defiant the real deal.