The space race: sizing up fictional starships (video).

Crikes, the never-ending debates that have occupied the sanctified halls of science fiction fandom—Kirk or Picard? Jedi or Sith? But perhaps the most colossal debate of them all—no pun intended—is which fictional starship would dwarf all others in a cosmic lineup? Is size really everything when it comes to spaceships? Here’s a tongue-in-cheek deep dive into the subject for SFcrowsnest readers, as we navigate the sizes of some of the most iconic starships from the realms of science fiction movies and TV series. Buckle up!

First, let’s talk about the TARDIS. Ah, the humble police box. Standing at a petite 8 feet tall, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s nothing special. But oh, how looks can deceive. The TARDIS is a textbook example of why you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover—or rather, a spaceship by its chameleon circuit. Step inside, and you’ve got a space that’s “bigger on the inside,” rivaling even the most opulent mansions of Beverly Hills. If we’re counting the interior dimensions, well, let’s just say you could probably fit a few Imperial Star Destroyers in there.

Speaking of Imperial Star Destroyers, these bad boys come in at an impressive length of 1,600 meters. That’s almost a mile of cold, hard, Galactic Empire steel. A perfect place for Darth Vader to practice his heavy breathing, or for a young farm boy from Tatooine to be erroneously accused of being a little short to be a Stormtrooper. It’s a floating city with more firepower than you can shake a lightsaber at.

Ah, but what about the Enterprise? The NCC-1701-D iteration seen in “Star Trek: The Next Generation” clocks in at about 642 meters. A bit smaller than the Star Destroyer, but brimming with amenities—holodecks, Ten Forward bar, and a captain who isn’t shy about tugging his uniform shirt down in dramatic fashion. It might be smaller, but it’s cozier, like the bed-and-breakfast of starships.

Now let’s head over to the darker realms of space, where the ominous Borg Cube lurks. A perfect square of 3,040 meters on each side. No, they’re not compensating for anything; they just want you to be assimilated, and for your biological and technological distinctiveness to be added to their own. Ah, it’s good to have goals in life, even if you’re a hive mind of cyborgs.

But wait, there’s more—much more. Say hello to the Lexx, a dragonfly-shaped organic ship from the TV series of the same name. Stretching for a jaw-dropping 10 kilometers, it’s a ship that eats planets for breakfast. Literally. Not only does it make the other ships on our list look like toys, but it can also consume them for a light snack.

So, there we have it, a cosmic comparison for the ages. Of course, size isn’t everything. While the Lexx might be the ‘big guy on campus,’ let’s not forget the Death Star, which despite its moon-like dimensions, had a rather unfortunate thermal exhaust port problem. Or the TARDIS, which has an interior that defies measurement and a habit of taking The Doctor exactly where he needs to go, if not always where he wants to go.

All in all, if you’re looking for size, you know where to look. But if it’s character, resilience, and dare we say, a certain ineffable quality you’re after, then size doesn’t really matter. After all, it’s not the size of the starship; it’s the adventures you have along the way. Or so we like to think here at SFcrowsnest.


Colonel Frog is a long time science fiction and fantasy fan. He loves reading novels in the field, and he also enjoys watching movies (as well as reading lots of other genre books).

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