Enterprise vs. Star Destroyer

I’d like to visit probably the single most controversial question of all time. Namely:

Who would win in a fight?

The U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D (the one from Star Trek: The Next Generation)

         -- or --

An Imperial Star Destroyer from Star Wars IV: A New Hope (the first Star Wars movie made)?

For me, the outcome is obvious. A star destroyer cannot fight while in hyperspace, and its weapons do not travel faster-than-light. A Galaxy-class starship like the Enterprise, on the other hand, has photon torpedoes that travel faster than Warp Nine, and can fire them while travelling at warp speed itself.

So, all the Enterprise would have to do is back up at Warp Two and lob photon torpedoes at the Star Destroyer until it blows up.
(Of course, if any of the weapons fire from the Star Destroyer DOES reach the Enterprise and so much as scratches the paint, Picard would immediately surrender, so it MIGHT be possible for a Star Destroyer to get the jump on the Enterprise if the Enterprise didn’t see it coming.)

You forget that a star destroyer houses several smaller craft that could be deployed and easily over match the Enterprise, not to mention that the tractor beams would seriously hinder the Enterprises ability to engage at all. I presume that the star Destroyer would ensnare the Enterprise and simply board it.


The facts expressed here belong to everybody, the opinions to me. The distinction is
yours to draw…

Omniscient; BAG

The Enterprise is a lot more maneuverable that a Star Destroyer. Also, since you pointed out that the E-D can fire weapons while moving FTL, it’s no contest: Picard whips past Darth Vader’s ship doing Warp 7, popping off photon torpedos at each pass. If Darth tries the tractor beam maneuver, Picard’ll get Geordi to send a neutrino pulse back up the beam and short out the machinery.

Sorry, this is very close to a moot point.

Despite the Star Destroyer’s immense size, the Galaxy-class is almost infinitely more maneuverable. The Enterprise-D is what, 400 meters? The Star Destroyer is 4 times as long as that and can’t move worth beans. And lets not forget that the Enterprise has tractor beams as well.

On the other hand, we can’t completely discount the ISD’s 6 fighter squadrons. Standard complement is 4 squads of 12 TIE Fighters, 1 squad of 12 TIE Interceptors, and 1 squad of 12 TIE Bombers. A single phaser hit would probably take out any one of these unshielded craft, but that’s still 72 fighters to deal with.

What it comes down to is the relative strength of Star Trek shields and hulls versus Star Wars shields and hulls. Unfortunately, there is no way to compare them, so this may be one of those totally unanswerable questions.

My gut feeling is that the Enterprise would simply run circles around the ISD; the Imperial gunners wouldn’t be able to keep the Big E in their sights long enough to get off a hit, despite their vastly superior numbers (60 turbolaser batteries versus one Lieutenant Worf). Eventually, the Enterprise’s photon torpedoes (probably much more powerful than proton torps) would take out the Bridge or the engines or something and the contest would be over.
Powers

Another problem with the hordes of imperial ships is that many don’t have hyperdrive engines. Very few of them could keep up with the Enterprise. However, how maneuverable is the Enterprise at warp 7? I doubt it can barrel roll and change direction quickly. Also, with dozens of small fighters around the star destroyer, it would take amazing agility to not plow into one with the Enterprise.

ps-The imperial fleet also had a ship which produced a gravity well, making any hyperdrive or light speed travel impossible. If this was nearby as well, the Enterprise couldn’t zip around.

You guys are overlooking the obvious. The Enterprise would win because they are the good guys. Where ever did you see in all of Star Trek or Star Wars did the bad guys win? The Enterprise always comes through in the end, those Death Stars just keep getting blown up.

It all depends on whose universe they fight in.

If both ships are in the Trek universe, then I must favor the Enterprise. The main factor would be its ability to enter warp speed instantaneously, and engage enemies while in that state. (Picard maneuver anyone?)

However, in the Star Wars universe-- or in reality, for that matter-- the Enterprise would be defeated before the fight began. The existence of Physics would render their doubletalk generators ineffective, thereby deactivating the inertial dampers, dilithium crystals, transporter pattern buffers, and just about all the other important systems. Plus the entire crew would have already died of blood poisoning, because they haven’t gone to the bathroom in ten years. (Major design flaw: there are no toilets on the Enterprise!)

The Star Destroyer would sight it as an unpowered ship of strange design, drifting in space, with no signs of life on board. Due to the change in Imperial policy since that Death Star prison-break fiasco, the commander would order the hulk destroyed, and a few dozen conscripts would use it for turbolaser target practice.

Where did you get the idea that the Enterprise has no bathrooms? And even if it doesn’t, how do you know that the Star Destroyer does?

=)
Powers

Powers wrote:

Take a look at the blueprints for the Enterprise; you can probably find a copy of the tech manual in your local bookstore. There are no bathrooms on the map, and you never see one in the series

Star Wars ships, on the other hand, definitely do have sanitary facilities. I’ve seen a technical drawing of a Star Destroyer, complete with sewage lines. I don’t have that one on hand, but I do have a simpler one of a Lambda-class shuttle, with the head clearly marked. (Also, if the Imperials didn’t have bathrooms, why do you think the trash compactor on the Death Star smelled so bad? =B^)

The blueprints for the the original Enterprise and the E-D show bathroom facilities.

Yeah, I have to agree with Guy. The ST:TNG Technical Manual does show toilet facilities in the staterooms, crew quarters, and even the Captain’s Ready Room. In fact, you know that alcove with the replicator in his RR? If you keep going, it leads to a small private head.
Powers

Well, for what it’s worth, if that star destroyer gets a lucky hit that knocks out the holodeck on the Enterprise, then its definitely “Game Over” if I was a Starfleet crewman. No more menage a trois with Bev Crusher and Deanna. I would definitely fall on my phaser after such a mortal wound…


“…send lawyers, guns, and money…”

 Warren Zevon

I think that you’re missing a few very important little factoids:

  1. The “FTL” travel in both universes are totally different. In Star Trek, ships can be in warp speed and see the rest of the universe around them, they can use sensors to detect things from all directions and even fire weapons. In Star Wars, they actually enter a kind of alternate dimension that is not connected directly with the “real” one. This means that they cannot detect anything in their surroundings, nor can any other vessel detect them, whether that vessel is travelling with them or stationary. All ships are alone when they are in lightspeed. Based on these two different principals, I would say that yes, the Enterprise could* zoom around and lob torps at the ISD, but the ISD could always just pop into lightspeed and totally disappear. I’d call that a little more even, even though the E-D still has an advantage there.

  2. Powers mentioned that the ISD gunners would be unable to site the E-D due to its relatively small size. Come on!! Going by that, a squadron of snub fighters shouldn’t be the least bit worried about going up against an ISD, or a Death Star for that matter. I think it’s pretty clear that the ISD could pound the snot out of anything at least the size of a Corellian Corvette (which is probably similar in size to the E-D).

  3. The ISD has about 60 turbolaser batteries, not to mention its missile/torpedo launchers and Ion cannons. This could put up an incredible barrage no matter how tough the target. These things have been used to singlehandedly lay waste to entire planets. The E-D, on the other hand has just a small number of phaser banks. While these weapons may or may not be more powerful taken by themselves, they have a much* slower rate of fire, and downright inferior numbers. The E-D’s torps are definately an asset, but how much of one is hard to determine, due the lack of any common ground for comparison.

  4. You simply can’t discount the incredible harrassment all those fighters would rain down on the poor lonely Enterprise. Worf would be pulling out his hair trying to target the things, and Picard would be ready to self-destruct the ship within half a minute, assuming he’s unable to just turn tail and run like hell due to an engine hit or something (those nacells would make great targets).

Overall, it would certainly be interesting to watch, but I think that the ISD would win in the end.

The Stardestroyer wouldn’t have any difficulty at all to destroy the Enterprise, think about it:
[ul]
[li]The damm thing is huge, have you ever tought about the technological skills required to build something like that? Also it’s sheer size means it can accep much more damage.[/li][li]It’s got much more weapons that in turn are much more powerfull and excellent markmanship.[/li][li]Hyperdrive is infinitely faster(even tough it is much less manouverable).[/li][li]I’m pretty much sure that it’s tractor beams can lock the Enterprise any time.[/li][li]I never saw any evidence of the Enterprise being more manouverable than the ISD[/li][/ul]

I think that’s it, and also don’t forget to check http://www.stardestroyer.net/Empire.html

Hey, this thread’s even older than my (far more successful) thread of the same name. Here it is:

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?threadid=23098

But it’s closed now (got too long). slythe (now “Czarcasm”) opened a new thread for me, here:

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?threadid=42663

That should answer everything you need.

Hell, Andromeda would kick both their butts.

Well, since we’re arguing the wartime merits of fictional (and rather implausable for that matter) space ships, I’d have to say that it really doesn’t matter: as soon as the first Shadowship from Babylon 5 showed up, it’d be ‘game over’ for the other two. It’d phase in, slice 'em and dice 'em for a few seconds and phase out.

Due to the bad writing it took to come up with both the Enterprise and the Star Destroyer it is obvious who loses. Anyone who watches those movies or televsion series.

Marc

[Moderator Hat: ON]

Ya know, if a thread has been dead since July of 1999, it should probably stay dead.

I’m locking this puppy up.


David B, SDMB Great Debates Moderator

[Moderator Hat: OFF]