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Last-Minute Reinforcements Are a Starfleet Tradition

As seen in Discovery's confrontation with the Breen, Starfleet's penchant for arriving with support in the nick of time has endured into the 32nd Century.


Collage of Star Trek episodic stills that showed when Starfleet reinforcements arrived

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When four Federation vessels arrived to back up the U.S.S. Discovery-A during a confrontation with a Breen dreadnought in Star Trek: Discovery’s "Erigah," the impromptu armada proved that Starfleet's penchant for last-minute reinforcements has endured into the 32nd Century.

Let’s look back on some of Star Trek's most exhilarating starship entrances from across the franchise's celebrated history.

10. "Beam Them Aboard, Chief!"

Garak and Odo pilot the runabout as they are pursued by the Jem'Hadar in 'The Die is Cast'

"The Die is Cast"

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Held captive on a Romulan warbird in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's "The Die is Cast," Garak and Odo can only stand by as a joint Tal Shiar and Obsidian Order fleet is ambushed by scores of Jem'Hadar fighters near the Founders' homeworld. The two successfully retreat to their runabout, but Jem'Hadar ships follow and quickly knock out the small Starfleet vessel's shields and warp drive.

Garak and Odo resign themselves to their fates… at least until the U.S.S. Defiant swoops past their forward viewports and dispatches the nearest Jem'Hadar pursuers. Although the combined Romulan-Cardassian fleet is lost, the Defiant beams Garak and Odo out of danger and escapes back to the Alpha Quadrant.

9. "A Pakled Party, and I Wasn't Invited?"

A tattered Boimler points out the Cerritos viewscreen at the U.S.S. Titan as they're attacked by the Pakleds in 'No Small Parts'

"No Small Parts"

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In the classic Star Trek: Lower Decks episode "No Small Parts," the Pakleds surround the U.S.S. Cerritos — which the Pakleds erroneously refer to as the Enterprise — and begin to pull the Federation vessel apart. Ensign Beckett Mariner sits in the center seat and braces to order the crew to abandon ship, but Ensign Brad Boimler detects another starship approaching.

The U.S.S. Titan — or, according to the Pakleds, "another Enterprise" — sails in with its phasers and photon torpedoes ablaze, causing their confused foes to depart in a hasty fashion. Captain Riker's Titan even comes away from the encounter with an additional officer, as Boimler accepts a promotion and is transferred over to Riker's command. 

8. "Might We Be of Assistance?"

Picard looks out the viewscreen to see the Romulans arrive to support them in Star Trek Nemesis

Star Trek Nemesis

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With Praetor Shinzon intent upon deploying his Scimitar's devastating thalaron-based weapon against Earth in Star Trek Nemesis, Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the U.S.S. Enterprise-E put up a valiant struggle in the face of their opponent's overwhelming firepower. Two additional Romulan warbirds decloak, seemingly reducing the Starfleet vessel's odds of survival… at least until Commander Donatra announces her intention to ally with the Enterprise-E and openly oppose Shinzon.

Although the two Romulan ships are eventually incapacitated, they take a toll on the Scimitar and provide valuable humanitarian aid to Picard’s ailing crew once the Praetor’s vessel is vanquished. This newfound rapport with the Romulans ultimately plays a key part in Picard’s future dealings involving the proposed evacuation of Romulus.

7. "Who's to Say We Aren't a Federation Armada?"

James Kirk pilots a shuttle in 'A Quality of Mercy'

"A Quality of Mercy"

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In "A Quality of Mercy," the stunning first season finale of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, Captain Christopher Pike partakes in an alternate future in which he avoids being wounded in a training accident. Opposed by the Romulan Praetor's flagship and its accompanying armada, the U.S.S. Enterprise is weeks away from any Starfleet support.

Luckily, the ever-resourceful Captain James T. Kirk utilizes a shuttle to retrieve dozens of robotic mining craft to bluff their way through the situation. Hostilities prove inevitable, but the unmanned Federation haulers divert enough incoming fire to grant the Enterprise the ability to escape. A declaration of war and severe injuries inflicted upon Spock demonstrate to Pike what could happen if he dodges his own fate.

6. "I'll See If I Can Get the Klingons' Attention."

An alt-future Picard looks out the viewscreen with an alt-future Riker standing behind him on the bridge in 'All Good Things...'

"All Good Things..."

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In Star Trek: The Next Generation's iconic series finale "All Good Things…," Jean-Luc Picard experiences an alternate future in which he travels into Klingon space aboard Captain Beverly Picard's U.S.S. Pasteur. In search of any signs of a temporal anomaly, the Pasteur's unsanctioned mission draws the ire of two Klingon warships that greatly outmatch the medical ship's shields.

An attempt to surrender fails, and only the equally unauthorized appearance of an upgraded U.S.S. Enterprise-D saves the day. Commanded by Admiral Riker, the Enterprise-D beams over the Pasteur's survivors and sets course back to the Federation. Jean-Luc Picard convinces Riker to reconsider, and the Enterprise-D returns to help seal an anti-time rupture and prevent it from consuming the galaxy.

5. "Our Destiny Has Arrived."

Admiral Brett Anderson warps in with reinforcements to help Georgiou's Shenzhou as they face off against the Klingons in 'Battle at the Binary Stars'

"Battle at the Binary Stars"

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Drawn to the outermost borders of Federation space by T'Kuvma in Star Trek: Discovery’s "Battle at the Binary Stars," the U.S.S. Shenzhou faces off against a Klingon fleet that has assembled to heed the sacred call of the Beacon of Kahless. A task force overseen by Admiral Brett Anderson warps in to back up Captain Georgiou's ship, but T'Kuvma has orchestrated the entire situation as a ruse.

Initially seen as a way to even the odds, Starfleet's reinforcements actually play into T'Kuvma’s ploy to start a war between the Federation and Klingons with the goal of uniting the Great Houses behind him. Although T'Kuvma perishes in the battle's aftermath, the skirmish results in the devastating war that he wished to ignite.

4. "We're Basically a Hotel Now."

The Titan rushes in to aid the Eleos XII as it was trapped in the Shrike's tractor pull in 'Disengage'

"Disengage"

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Star Trek: Picard's "Disengage" finds Jean-Luc Picard, William Riker, Jack Crusher, and a severely wounded Beverly Crusher trapped on board the S.S. Eleos XII as Captain Vadic's malevolent Shrike bears down upon it. Ensnared by the Shrike's tractor beam and unable to break free, the Eleos XII's capture seems inevitable.

However, Commander Seven of Nine persuades Captain Liam Shaw to intercede, and the refit U.S.S. Titan-A races into position between the two ships. This severs the tractor beam and allows them to rescue the four passengers from certain death. The relatively small-scale triumph ends up paving the way for a far greater achievement, as the Federation ensemble tracks clues which unearth Vadic's plot to infiltrate Starfleet and the Borg Queen's own insidious plans.

3. "Captain, I’m Sorry We Were Late."

Worf appears on the Defiant viewscreen to apologize for being late with Klingon reinforcements in 'Sacrifice of Angels'

"Sacrifice of Angels"

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Resolved to wrest Deep Space 9 from Dominion hands, several Federation fleets converge on a Dominion armada twice their size in Deep Space Nine's "Sacrifice of Angels." As the lead ship, Captain Benjamin Sisko's U.S.S. Defiant is pummeled by enemy fire and its shields are pressed to the limit.

Fortunately, Commander Worf bursts into the fray with Klingon reinforcements which dive through the Dominion formation. Bolstered by their allies, the Defiant's crew members propel their vessel on a daring charge through the Dominion lines and become the only starship to reach Deep Space 9 before the Dominion's own reinforcements can emerge from the wormhole. With help from the Bajoran Prophets, the Defiant denies the additional Dominion forces entry into the Alpha Quadrant and retakes the pivotal space station.

2. "Fly Her Apart, Then!"

The Excelsior appears on the Enterprise viewscreen in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

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As Captain James T. Kirk and the U.S.S. Enterprise-A are rattled by incoming fire from General Chang and his Klingon Bird-of-Prey in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Captain Hikaru Sulu orders his crew to push the U.S.S. Excelsior's warp drive to the limit.

Sulu's starship arrives on scene in time to split Chang’s attention, and the Excelsior follows the Enterprise-A's lead in a coordinated strike on the cloaked enemy vessel. The Excelsior's heroic intervention supplies Captain Kirk with enough time to expose the conspiracy to scuttle the Khitomer Conference, thus paving the way for the Khitomer Accords and a lasting peace between the Federation and Klingon Empire.

1. "It's the Enterprise!"

The Borg lays on its assault on several Starfleet vessels in Star Trek: First Contact

Star Trek: First Contact

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A Federation fleet intercepts the Borg in the Typhon Sector, but the cube's powerful weapons and regenerative technology leave death and destruction in its wake. As the Collective approaches Earth, Commander Worf readies the heavily-damaged U.S.S. Defiant for ramming speed in an effort to prevent the Borg from assimilating the planet.

Worf's helm officer suddenly calls out the arrival of another starship, quickly identifying it as Captain Jean-Luc Picard's U.S.S. Enterprise-E. The flagship's appearance boosts morale, and Picard harnesses his lingering connection with the Collective to pinpoint a weak spot on the cube for the remaining Starfleet vessels to target. The Borg ship explodes, momentarily ending the most immediate threat to Earth and handing the Federation a victory in Star Trek: First Contact's Battle of Sector 001. 

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