I've noticed Star Trek: Discovery has, on several occasions, used a neat visual effect to show a ship dropping "out of warp", from the outside. Something stationary is shown (like a planet) while the ship "stretches in" from somewhere off camera.

I can't recall a similar effect ever being used in the previous Star Trek TV series or movies. I feel like it was always mentioned as happening off-screen ("The Klingons dropped out of warp, sir"), or, was shown from the ship's point of view, internally.

It might have happened in the Kelvin-universe movies, as I'm less familiar with them. Even so, I'd also be curious to know what's the first example of it being shown in the prime-universe.

Has this effect ever been used in Star Trek prior to Star Trek: Discovery? If so, when was its first use?

  • 5
    Yes, lots in TNG. I haven't watched any Discovery, but in TNG the ship quickly stretches in from some arbitrary background point, flops into full view, then slowly moves forward. It's less than a second.
    – user15742
    May 12, 2019 at 8:38
  • Can you cite a specific episode? That's what I want to see, but I cannot recall that ever being shown on TNG (which I've seen the most) nor DS9 nor Voyager.
    – Tronman
    May 12, 2019 at 11:47

3 Answers 3


DS9, Season 5 Episode 15, "By Inferno's Light":

Voyager, Season 6 Episode 1, "Equinox: Part 2" 1:

1: this is the same example that @Valorum mentioned in comments, but I hadn't seen his comment yet when I posted this answer.

Enterprise, Season 1 Episode 1, "Broken Bow: Part 1":

I'm sure there are more examples. These are just the ones I could find so far that hadn't been mentioned yet.

  • 1
    I think this nails it quite well, thank you.
    – Tronman
    May 13, 2019 at 23:54

How about the Picard maneuver which involved going into and out of warp in a fraction of a second?

enter image description here

This was depicted in the season one TNG episode, "The Battle".

  • 3
    TNG definitely had other instances of this, particularly in the early seasons when they were showing off their exciting new VFX (compared to TOS). I think "Encounter at Farpoint" even had a saucer separation at warp (at which point the saucer of course dropped out, lacking a warp drive). I would write an answer but I don't have pretty pictures.
    – Kevin
    May 12, 2019 at 5:08
  • 1
    @Kevin, good thought, but there's no falling out of warp here:. youtu.be/wp_wznCVHHs May 12, 2019 at 5:30
  • 1
    Exactly, the Encounter At Farpoint example is close, but even though the ship was at warp, there are no "streaming stars" when the saucer pulls away. So it seems like they dropped out of warp briefly (but not shown on screen) to let the engineering section bank and the saucer continue straight.
    – Tronman
    May 12, 2019 at 11:42
  • The Battle example is much closer, and might be the best answer if there aren't any other examples. It's still not quite the effect I was looking for, but it does show a ship dropping out of warp, albeit on a viewscreen.
    – Tronman
    May 12, 2019 at 11:44
  • @Tronman: Isn't the viewscreen better? It shows that the effect is diegetic, not non-. Nov 22, 2021 at 17:29

This effect has been used heavily in Star Trek throughout the years. Here's a clip from Enterprise where it's used

  • 1
    If you click the "share" button on a youtube video, it gives you the option of starting at a particular timestamp.
    – Valorum
    May 12, 2019 at 13:36
  • Yep, that's it. I haven't seen much Enterprise, hence why it didn't immediately pop to mind. I still don't think it's used much in TNG/DS9/Voyager, so I'm not sure I'd call it "heavily used". But this does definitely show Discovery was not the first usage.
    – Tronman
    May 12, 2019 at 13:38
  • 3
    You might want to add this (similar) clip from Voyager; youtube.com/watch?v=6DWd2_crz78&feature=youtu.be&t=09
    – Valorum
    May 12, 2019 at 13:43

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