Sometimes in Star Trek, ships are seen firing at warp in a high-speed chase. One example was Star Trek: Into Darkness, when the Vengeance fired phasers on the Enterprise at warp, causing catastrophic damage. Another example was in DS9, when a runabout fired phasers on a Dominion fighter, destroying it. Similarly, in Star Trek: Voyager, the U.S.S. Voyager fired one photon torpedo at the U.S.S. Equinox at warp, causing heavy damage and forcing the Equinox to exit warp.

However, in the Star Trek: Voyager (which, I know, I know, is notorious for its discontinuity) episode "Message in a Bottle," the Prometheus (split into three parts) pursued a nebula-class starship (perhaps the Sutherland?) and fired on it. This time, however, the Nebula-class starship's shields are clearly up. Although it does sustain heavy damage, its hull isn't breached and torn open like in the other cases. This indicates that either shields can be raised at warp, or they weren't at warp, and I'm just confused.
Is it possible to raise shields during warp? If so, why doesn't it happen more often?

  • I am aware of discontinuity complains about Star Trek: Enterprise, but I have never heard such a complaint for Voyager. Any corroboration?
    – desertnaut
    Commented Nov 30, 2022 at 15:34
  • I have heard of scenarios where Voyager beams through shields...and it had nanoprobes being fired through phasers...this parody ridicules every single moment of discontinuity. Commented Nov 30, 2022 at 16:04

2 Answers 2


This answer, by necessity, includes some out-of-universe considerations.

Although various tie-in comics (such as Countdown) were produced in an attempt to stitch together the continuities, the Chris-Pine-helmed Star Trek (2009) and sequels were effectively reboots of the franchise. They are, essentially, alternate universes to and incompatible with the "main" Trek universe as seen in TOS, TNG, DS9, and Voyager. The recent series such as Discovery and Strange New Worlds make that incompatibility especially clear.

But, to the point: shields at warp were commonplace prior to Star Trek (2009). (You cite some of the occurrences, in fact.) "No shields at warp" was a new (and, in my opinion, pretty unusual) invention of, and generally confined to, those three movies.

(To clarify two of your examples: the DS9 Episode "Treachery, Faith, and the Great River" saw Odo and a Weyoun destroy a Jem Hadar fighter while at warp. The runabout takes several hits at warp and Odo/the computer even has dialogue about shield strength during the scene. Weyoun specifically provided tactical knowledge that enabled Odo to punch through the Jem Hadar fighter's shields, and shields were shown during the effects sequence as they did so. In Equinox, the U.S.S. Equinox itself was itself in very bad shape after years of barely scraping their way across the Delta Quadrant. It is quite plausible that the Equinox was simply just so badly damaged that one shot was enough to knock systems offline.)


Yes they can. Because numerous instances of warp space combat. Star Trek one few instances FTL combat is possible, because ships distort localized space and two ships can occupy that "Field" thus enter image description here Voyager episode "Message in a Bottle", they engage in combat at warp. enter image description here As also in film "Star Trek: Nemesis" Enterprise-E was attacked at warp enter image description here

  • That first example is from ENT: Divergence. Those are warp bubbles merging, not shields.
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 16, 2023 at 14:01
  • because ships distort localized space and two ships can occupy that "Field" ".... I wasn't talking about the shields I was talking about how ships at warp occupy the same enclosure of space
    – LazyReader
    Commented Oct 16, 2023 at 22:41

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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