10 Star Trek Moments More Important Than You Realised

9. The Protostar's Vehicle Replicator

Star Trek Prime Factors

One of the coolest new Starfleet technologies we saw in Star Trek: Prodigy was the Protostar's vehicle replicator.

Ever since replicators were introduced, Trek fans have wondered if the technology could ever be scaled up to create things larger than food, weapons, and components. The Prodigy episode Starstruck finally confirmed that these larger-scale replicators do exist.

The Protostar's vehicle replicator was able to create entire shuttles and land vehicles (like the Runaway seen in the episode Dream Catcher). This has huge implications for the future of Starfleet tech. One can imagine entire fleets of small spacecraft being produced by a single one of these devices (the only limiting factor being how much energy you can feed into it).

Industrial replicators were mentioned a few times in the franchise's history, though these were likely an early form of the tech we saw in Prodigy. It does seem weird that it took so many decades to scale up an already existing technology, but we know from Prodigy that it takes a significant amount of power to run, so maybe the protostar drive needed to be invented first.

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Marcus Fry is a writer for WhatCulture and an amateur filmmaker.