Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)

The Star Trek: Ships of the Line 2003 calendar is a twelve-month "landscape"-style wall-calendar with images from every era of Star Trek for 2003.


This calendar features breathtaking, dazzling images of renowned Star Trek ships from all five series, including the newest starship, Enterprise NX-01. These images are set among awe-inspiring panoramas of planetary landscapes and outer space, each capturing a mood of its own, whether it portrays a ship storming through the fog of San Francisco or floating above the silver clouds of a distant world. This was a best-selling calendar in 2000 and 2001 and is one that any Star Trek or space odyssey fan will love.

Excerpts of copyrighted sources are included for review purposes only, without any intention of infringement.


Note: Quotes are all from editor Adam Lebowitz from Flare Sci-Fi Forums. [1]
"Since "Nemesis" will be in theaters soon, we all thought it would be a good idea to feature the E on the cover. This is actually a model made by Dave Lombardi from Digital Muse a few years back, and he was kind enough to allow me to use it for the calendars. The background is a real photograph, color-shifted. If you look closely you'll notice it's a binary sunset. There was an alternate (very different) version of this cover from behind that I abandoned and if you're all nice I'll upload an image of it."
"Eric Chauvin is the digital matte painter for Trek, and I wanted to showcase some of his incredible work. He graciously allowed me to use his matte painting of the Vulcan monastery, and I added the shuttlepod in the foreground taking off."
"This was one of my favorite shots in all the Trek movies – the BOP sweeping under the bridge was just so cool I was itching to recreate it. After sifting through hundreds of pics of the GG Bridge, I finally came across the background you see in the image."
"Daren loves the animated series and we both agreed it would be nice to see more of Vulcan, so this image was born. Interesting to note is that the 'First Contact' Vulcan shuttle is not a new CG model – it's the 6 inch plastic model placed into a computer generated environment. Sort of the reverse of the rest of the calendar!"
"Since this is the first post-Enterprise calendar, I wanted to represent the show in more than one image. I figured showing off the model would be a good idea, since we haven't seen many new angles of it since the initial publicity renders. It really shows the amazing detail modeler Pierre Drolet put into it!"
"When trying to think of ships to feature that hadn't been used before, I remembered we had some great escape pods from "The Year of Hell" that deserved some screen time. I had a vision in my head of abandoning ship and touching down on a strange, new world – very much like a pulp sci-fi book cover. This is the sort of playground Steve Burg thrives in, so I asked him if he would like to contribute an image – fortunately he said yes! (Steve is a conceptual designer here in Hollywood who has helped forge the look of movies like The Abyss, Total Recall, T2, and Contact. He designed all the aliens and many of the ships on B5, as well as Species 8472 and the Bio-ship)."
"The aforementioned Bio-ship. Someone in this forum said they wanted to see it, so there ya go."
"This is also one of my fondest 'wow look at that' moments from a Trek film, and I know *I'd* be excited to see that shot as a big fold out. It would have been a huge undertaking to re-create it as a CG image, and ultimately I decided why bother? It's perfect as-is and ILM was kind enough to send us the image."
"I wanted to feature Andrew's excellent new Defiant model, plus "Starship Down" was a great atmospheric moment in Star Trek. Andrew, of course, deserved the chance to do the image!"
"Doug Drexler made a great TOS shuttlecraft, and I wanted to find a place for it. Originally, I had the shuttle parked next to a farm in Iowa and had a caption along the lines of "Kirk visits relatives" but it was decided that the image was too arcane and most people wouldn't get it. I was in an electronics store and saw a screen saver that looked a lot like the maw of the planet killer, and thus the idea was borne."
"This is actually a shot that was supposed to be in Voyager! In "Unimatrix Zero", the original script called for a scene in which a cube was hovering over a forest, searching out renegades. We were very excited about doing this, as the thought of the cube in a new environment was quite appealing. Ultimately, the shot was cut for budgetary reasons but I was never able to get the vision of it out of my head. After seeing a great shot of trees which had been decimated by acid rain in Life magazine, I knew I had my background."
"From the start, I knew Voyager over LA would be one of the images. After much searching, I found the perfect shot of LA from Griffith Park, and spend a LOT of time making the Voyager's hull truly look as if it were illuminated by a late sunset."
"This was another one we knew we had to have. Rob Bonchune found the great shot of the F-104, and the rest was elementary."

Background informationEdit

  • After the less-than-successful 2002 edition, the series returned with this edition to the format as it was at its inception and has remained unchanged since.
  • As for the concept for the 2003 edition Lebowitz recalled "As far as what my role was exactly, here's how it all worked: First, I asked Pocket Books to choose between two themes – space battles or atmospherics. They chose the latter. Then, I spent a few weeks developing concepts for all the images, for which I created low-res, rough drafts of all the shots to simply get the idea across visually. After they were approved by Paramount, work begun on the final, hi-res shots. A lot of my pals were keen to work on the calendar, so a few scenes were handed out to them for final rendering. All the rest (and the cover) were finalized by me. So, despite the lack of a "Mojo" credit within it's pages, rest assured it is a product of yours truly. In several of the images (like the BOP and Voyager) credit was given to the photographer who provided the background image." [2]
  • The 2003 edition was the last one in which Leibowitz and Bonchune were responsible for the editorial chores. From the 2004 edition onward Doug Drexler took over as editor. Whether or not this was related to the editorial differences with Chief Editor Margaret Clark in regard to the abandoned Unseen Frontier project remains unclear.
  • The December image did not appear in the 2014 edition of the Ships of the Line.

Cover galleryEdit

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