67

I remember the autodestruct being initiated many times, but always being aborted at almost the last possible second. Obviously, Captains Kirk, Picard, Janeway never went all the way to destruct, but was there ever any case in the TV series or the movies of a Starfleet ship where autodestruct went to completion? In any of the official books? (In the 2009 movie Star Trek, George Kirk piloted the Kelvin to a collision with the Narada, so that does not count.)

  • 33
    “Obviously, Captains Kirk, Picard, Janeway never went all the way to destruct” — you’re one-third right, that’s not bad. – Paul D. Waite Oct 28 '15 at 11:14
  • 17
    I love this supercut of all the ways you set and abort self-destruct, especially Riker's wholehearted abort sequence. It includes the destruct from Star Trek III and Voyager (the rest aren't auto-destructs, they're just thrown in for funsies). Also, man are Federation passwords BAD and they don't change them after 20 years! – Schwern Oct 28 '15 at 18:08
  • 7
    @Schwern There's also voice recognition behind them, which might sound like a good additional protection until you remember that pretty much anytime someone hijacked Data he'd just impersonate their voices and obtain arbitrary levels of access. And also the time that Moriarty stole the command codes by fooling Picard--it's not clearly stated if he had to use a recording of Picard or if he input the codes by hand or with his own voice, though. – zibadawa timmy Oct 28 '15 at 18:38
  • 5
    @PaulD.Waite Categorically incorrect. Two outta three ain't bad. One outta three, even Meatloaf would agree, is bad. – corsiKa Oct 28 '15 at 21:06
  • 9
    Wasn't their a gag in Galaxy Quest about this? – Jeremy French Oct 29 '15 at 11:06
113

Yes

In Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701 - from TOS) is famously destroyed by the autodestruct sequence following the boarding of the Klingons:

Boom

  • 9
    @Gaius Those charges are a side effect of Corbomite installation. – Yakk Oct 28 '15 at 13:14
  • 8
    Funny how the auto-destruct (which is basically there to ensure the abandoned ship and its technology don't fall into enemy hands) leaves the bulk of the ship intact, as seen as of 0:38. – O. R. Mapper Oct 28 '15 at 15:03
  • 8
    @Gaius We have electrically-detonated plastic explosives that are as safe as play-doh unless you put a charge through them; you can hit them with a hammer, set them on fire, etc. with no effect. Presumably the self-destruct charges are just as specific, if not more so. – Phasma Felis Oct 28 '15 at 22:34
  • 9
    Submariner here, with tidbits. I can confirm that standard scuttling procedures are mostly about destroying sensitive intelligence, neutralizing weapons, and making the ship unusable in general. Axes to circuit boards, burn the books or melt them in peroxide (yes, we have pure hydrogen peroxide), drive nails through hard drives and run a battery across the nail. The reactor wouldn't be damaged, but on the way out we'd have the last man switch open the ballast vents. He'd have just enough time to scramble out. – Sean Boddy Oct 29 '15 at 15:08
  • 6
    @Axelrod why did the crew have such an easy time going back in time in The Voyage Home? Because the warbird they did it with was previously owned by Doc Brown! – hobbs Oct 30 '15 at 1:14
71
+100

Yes. In Voyager: Deadlock, Janeway blows up the Voyager.

  • 1
    Haha was just about to add that one to my answer; +1 – Often Right Oct 27 '15 at 23:42
  • 25
    "I don't intend to let [everybody be killed]" next sentence "I intend to kill everybody" #captainoftheyear – Lightness Races in Orbit Oct 28 '15 at 10:25
  • 1
    @LightnessRacesinOrbit It's all in the method. I'd prefer getting blown-up over getting harvested alive. – Mast Oct 30 '15 at 13:05
  • @LightnessRacesinOrbit Well, not exactly. The Voyager crew was copied by some treknobabble accident, and she killed the original crew to prevent both crews being killed by the Vidiians. – Kevin Krumwiede Jul 1 '16 at 18:43
  • @LightnessRacesinOrbit - Also, if someone was planning to harvest my organs without asking, they can bloody well expect me to disagree. – Valorum Jul 1 '16 at 18:45
58

In "Where No Man Has Gone Before", the Enterprise picks up a ship recorder from the SS Valiant, a ship that had crossed the edge of galaxy 200 years earlier. The recorder indicated that the Valiant's captain had given an order to destroy the ship -- an order which, judging by the condition of the recorder, must have been carried out. (We don't know whether the "autodestruct sequence" we're familiar with would have been used.)

And as Politank-Z points out, it's not clear that the SS Valiant was a Starfleet vessel.

  • 1
    Caveat: It is unclear that The Valiant was a Starfleet vessel. – Politank-Z Nov 9 '15 at 23:15
  • @Politank-Z: Good point. (Actually, at the time that episode was written, I'm not sure it was clear that the Enterprise was a Starfleet vessel; wasn't the term "Starfleet" introduced later in the season?) – Keith Thompson Nov 9 '15 at 23:21
12

In ST:TOS, "The Doomsday Machine", the Constellation was set to self destruct in order to destroy the planet killer.

  • 3
    That was an improvised self-destruction. Mr. Scott rigged the ship's engines to overload. It was not a purpose-built mechanism. Also, (and this was an minor plot point) There was no count down that could be aborted. Once Kirk pressed the button, the explosion was inevitable. – Solomon Slow Oct 31 '15 at 15:01
9

In the novel "The Kobyashi Maru", Chekov's solution to the unwinnable scenario was to self-destruct the ship and take some of the Klingons with him

Only a simulation but ....

8

In the TOS-era novel Star Trek Vanguard: Harbinger, captain Hallie Gannon finds herself and her ship the Bombay in a fight with six Tholian battle cruisers. After a short but heavy combat sequence, she rams the ship into one of the attacking cruisers, activating the self-destruct for extra punching power.

  • Not an abortable self-destruct. – Daniel Oct 31 '15 at 22:15
  • 1
    @Daniel What do you mean 'not abortable'? You see a captain and first officer activate the self-destruct to play chicken and see who de-activates it first? Self-destruction is -per definition- your last option and ordered only in the most dire circumstances. This question is 'in what instances has the order been given and executed?'. This is a valid example. – steenbergh Nov 1 '15 at 7:14
  • Sorry, I misread your answer and thought of a different episode. – Daniel Nov 2 '15 at 3:17

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.