Just like people, dogs, and Christmas fruitcakes, spaceships come in all shapes and sizes. The difference, of course, is that, save a few, they’ve been largely fictional, and also fictionally large. Vessels used to get people from planet to planet, or to allow people to live in space, have been part of science fiction and space opera since the beginning, testament to how infatuated we are with the idea of traveling the stars. And from Star Wars to Star Trek to Mass Effect, there have been some badass-looking spaceships. But, have you ever wondered how large, say, the Enterprise is compared to the Death Star, or the Galactica compared to the mothership in Independence Day? I know I have.
And someone else who has is the YouTube user MetaBallStudios who has made a 3D animated chart of over two dozen different vessels relative sizes (using length). It goes all the way from the TIE Fighter at 6-meters long to the Ark from Halo at 127,530 kilometers, which incidentally, is about ten times larger than Earth. And, just for the sake of reality, this does mention the relative size of the International Space Station (spoiler: it’s pretty small, comparatively).
What I find most interesting about this video is the difference between ships in the same universe. For instance, the first Death Star is 160 km in diameter and Death Star II is 900 km in diameter. I guess it makes sense given that the Millennium Falcon could fly into the second one, but damn that seems huge. Similarly, the Enterprise NCC 1701 from Star Trek: TOS is 289-meters long, but the Enterprise 1701 D from The Next Generation is 642-meters long. That is, to coin a phrase, fascinating.
Let me know which ship size discrepancy were you most surprised by, and which is your favorite in general, in the comments below!
Image: 20th Century Fox/Lucasfilm
Kyle Anderson is the Weekend Editor and a film and TV critic for Nerdist.com. Follow him on Twitter!