I have been a fan of science fiction for more than thirty years, since my parents introduced me to Star Wars some time in 1991. Since then, I’ve become obsessed to varying degrees with many shows including Star Trek, Babylon 5, Battlestar Galactica, The Expanse, and many others. Generally, I don’t buy into most of the incessant crossover debates that frequently rage on certain sci-fi message boards. Rather than waste time proving that the Imperial Star Destroyer can blast Kirk’s Enterprise into molten slag, I prefer to enjoy each story based on the merits of its own setting and plot. Since the entire technological background is fictional anyway, the writers can simply make up any quasi-scientific principles that they wish for the sake of the plot.
Although I’m not that interested in the technological comparisons between series, I’ve occasionally wondered about how a certain starship would compare in size to those of another series. When Farscape’s John Crichton first saw Moya, he exclaimed, “That’s big.... really big.” The question is, just how big is “big”? So I started to gather a list of the sizes of various science fiction ships. There are plenty of fans out there who have worked up all kinds of comparison charts on their own. But the one thing that very few of those charts has ever done is to include non-canon fan designs alongside the original canon starships. I decided to create one all-encompassing chart that would include many (if not quite all) of the Star Trek ships that are out there. The charts available below include those created by the Advanced Starship Design Bureau, Masao Okazaki at the Starfleet Museum, and Star Trek: Renaissance, the fan fiction series of which I was once a part.
I originally started these charts as a side project, to fulfill my own curiosity for how the ships stacked up. But they’ve become one of the most popular resources on Star Trek Minutiae, and I’ve even found copies of them floating around elsewhere on the web. So, here’s the original cross-sci-fi starship reference!
Star Trek Comparison Charts
General Sci-Fi Comparison Charts
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can you include [insert your favorite ship] from [insert your favorite series] in your charts?
- I’d love to include more ships in my chart. I’ve chosen to focus mainly on sci-fi TV shows and movies, though, not video games. The most common reasons for omissions are either because it’s not a sci-fi series that I watched regularly so I’m not familiar with the ships, or else I couldn’t find any images suitable for the chart. In either case, to add a ship to the chart, I would need to have a high-resolution (at least 1000 pixels wide) side view image of the ship that you’d like me to add, along with a link to some information about the size of the ship.
- You got the wrong size for [insert your favorite ship]!
- That’s certainly possible! For many of the ships, I’ve had to do my own research to determine the size based on conflicting numbers from different sources. Sometimes I’ve just made a rough estimate based on the ship’s apparent size on screen. As a result, I’ve often had to choose the measurement that I considered more appropriate. But I’d love to receive links to any other size references I may have missed.
- But what about the Death Star? That’s too obvious to miss!
- First, the Death Star is so frakkin’ huge that it doesn’t fit on even the largest chart I’ve made. And that’s even for the low-ball estimate of the size, which brings me to my second point: The official sizes for the Death Stars are pretty far off from their apparent size on screen, especially when you look at the scene where the Executor crashes into the Death Star in Return of the Jedi. No one can agree just how big the Death Stars actually were, so there’s no point in doing their sizes.
- Can you make a poster-sized versions of your charts?
- My charts are generally around 2000 pixels across; this size looks great on a computer screen, but if you printed it out, it would get very fuzzy if it were printed at a size larger than about 10 inches wide. Making a poster would require much higher-resolution source images for many ships than are currently available.
Idle Stats as of 2022-06-17: 945 ships and space stations total, 607 from Star Trek (including 86 non-canon designs)