Riker asks the bartender cautiously why there are so many models of the Enterprise-D. The other ships, it seems, are being distributed with more frequency. The bartender replies that “no one wants the fat ones.” Riker, of course, is immediately miffed, wounded that his old workplace would be so dissed. He asks that the bartender pour him another and leave the bottle.
This old Trekkie did indeed grow up watching “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” so it’s difficult to offer any kind of legitimate criticism of the Enterprise-D’s design. If one spends too many years looking at a starship, it sort of becomes a regular feature of your subconscious. It becomes difficult to imagine it coming out any other way. Anecdotally, I once polled any “Next Generation” neophytes to comment on the design, and one peer pointed out that it might seem a little “top-heavy.” This is fair. The Enterprise-D’s saucer section is, when compared to its drive section, quite enormous. It’s like a flying saucer with a handle attached.
Of course, it’s hard to imagine that anyone would reject the Enterprise-D over other notable “Star Trek” vessels. Does someone actually prefer the hand trowel-shaped Intrepid-Class U.S.S. Voyager over the Enterprise-D? Or the ugly-as-sin Sovereign-Class Enterprise-E, a ship that looks like it was left on a barbecue grill? Rejecting the Enterprise-D as “the fat one” is a controversial take indeed. Trekkies the world over will want to tell that bartender to bite her tongue.
Also: there is something else notable about those little Enterprises. As it so happens, those are real-world souvenirs that you could buy long before “Picard” ever aired.