Memory Alpha
Memory Alpha

The USS Essex (NCC-173) was a 22nd century Federation Daedalus-class starship operated by Starfleet.

In 2167, the Essex was commanded by Captain Bryce Shumar. The Essex operated out of Starbase 12, under the sector command of Admiral Uttan Narsu. It carried a crew of 229.

That year, the Essex visited the class M moon of Mab-Bu VI. There, it was overtaken by non-corporeal criminals from the Ux-Mal star system, who had been imprisoned on the moon centuries before, attempted to escape by possessing the Essex crew. The criminals nearly escaped their imprisonment on board the Essex, but the ship was incapable of eluding this moon's electromagnetic storms and it was destroyed with all hands. The ship's distress call continued to signal. (TNG: "Power Play")

In 2259, there was a depiction of the Essex in the entrance area of the USS Enterprise ready room. (SNW: "Ghosts of Illyria")

Though not legible on screen, the Essex glass etching in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds was confirmed by Assistant Art Director Timothy Peel. [1] [2]

In 2368, the USS Enterprise-D detected the distress signal of the Essex, over two hundred years old, and investigated the moon. The criminals impersonated the crew of the Essex and attempted to take over the Enterprise, but were unsuccessful. (TNG: "Power Play")


This crew was active in 2167.


Background information[]

USS Essex (NCC-173)

USS Essex (NCC-176) as represented in the Chronology

Before the appearance of the Essex had been established in canon, production staff fans, most notably Doug Drexler, Greg Jein, and Michael Okuda (in his Star Trek Chronology and Star Trek Encyclopedia reference works in particular) vigorously championed the appearance of the Daedalus-class – to which Essex was established to belong in "Power Play" – as derived from a 1964 USS Enterprise early design concept by Star Trek: The Original Series Art Director Matt Jefferies. (Star Trek Chronology, 1st ed., p. 25)

Jein, on his own volition, constructed an Essex reference model for Okuda to photograph and photoshop, and who had it prominently featured in his works. [3](X) As the official franchise has as of 2002 deemed the contents of Okuda's two works as "quasi-canon" (thereby becoming the only ones they consider as such from then on), it follows that the Daedalus-class appearance has attained this status as well. (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 11, p. 71)

Okuda had the model, upon delivery by Jein, originally labeled USS Horizon (NCC-176) for its entry in the Chronology, before relabeling it as USS Essex, but felt no need to change its registry as he was aware that it would not be discernible in the small black and white pictures. Therefore the model was incorrectly labeled in the first 1994 edition of the Encyclopedia, though he had the ship endowed with the intended "NCC-173" registry, in both the individual entry (p. 94), as well as in his starship list (p. 320). Okuda did not correct this for the Chronology and second and third editions of the Star Trek Encyclopedia, when he took new color photographs of the model, but by careful angling and lighting, the registry for Essex remained obscured. For the fourth edition of the Star Trek Encyclopedia, new illustrations of the Daedalus-class starships were created.

For further information on the model, see Daedalus-class model.

The name Essex might be derived from any one of several sources, though the reference book The Making of Star Trek, pages 164-165, made it very clear that Original Series producers D.C. Fontana and Robert H. Justman had the World War II aircraft carrier USS Essex (CV-9, class-vessel) in mind when they came up with their name list in the summer of 1967 as possible candidates for what they, at the time, still called the Starship-class. In effect, a USS Essex nearly made the cut initially, as it was already referenced to in first script draft dialogue treatment, dated 30 September 1967, page 64, for the second season episode "Journey to Babel", which contained a line having Lieutenant Uhura state,

"Star Fleet Command confirms alien attack on the other starships, Sir. The enemy was defeated. Starships Essex and Eagle suffered heavy damage, but will make base."

The reference, though, was dropped from the episode as aired. [4] See also in this respect NCC-1697.


The Essex made several appearances in the Pocket ENT novels. In Kobayashi Maru, the Essex is one of the Earth starships sent to help repair Columbia NX-02 after its encounter with three Romulan-controlled Klingon warships over Draylax. In Beneath the Raptor's Wing, the Essex helps to successfully defend the Earth outpost on Berengaria VII against a Romulan attack. In A Choice of Futures, the Essex establishes formal relations between the newly-formed Federation and the new-to-warp Saurians. In Uncertain Logic, Shumar's crew establishes Federation contact with the Deltans and defends them against an Orion Syndicate slave raid. In Live by the Code, the Essex evacuates Federation personnel ahead of a planet-devastating strike by the Klingons. In Patterns of Interference, the Essex crew covertly attempt to assist Saurian rebels against the dictator Maltuvis who rose to power with dilithium sales to the Federation.

Different depictions of the Essex were used in Starfleet: Year One as well as in the reference work Star Trek: Federation - The First 150 Years.

External link[]