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Star Trek Timelines – An Official Graphic June 14, 2009

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Books,Comics,Games,Star Trek (2009 film),Star Trek Online , trackback

The new Star Trek movie is not easy to classify. The film is not a traditional prequel like Star Wars Episode III, nor is it a traditional ‘canon reboot’ like Batman Begins. Some have wondered how the new film fits in with the Trek universe, and what affect it has on the extended universe. A new page and graphic on the Star Trek Online MMORPG official site gives a pretty good explanation. [movie spoilers obviously]

On Trek Timelines
For the purposes of the Star Trek canon, the new Star Trek movie could probably best be classified as a sequel to Star Trek Nemesis. The 10th Trek film takes place in the year 2379. Although the new Star Trek movie starts with the destruction of the USS Kelvin in 2233, the events described in the memories of both Spock and Nero are from 2387 or eight years after Star Trek Nemesis.

In the new Star Trek movie, Nero goes back in time from 2387 and creates an alternative timeline. Time travel and altering the past are nothing nothing new for Star Trek (“City on the Edge of Forever”, “Yesterdays Enterprise”, “Year of Hell”, etc), but what is different is that by the end of the film, the alternative timeline was not ‘reset.’ Some fans have thought this new timeline as writing over or erasing the original (or ‘prime’) timeline. However in interviews with TrekMovie (and others), as well as in multiple online discussions, writer Roberto Orci has made it clear that in their Star Trek universe, the incursions of Nero and Spock created an alternate timeline, which will coexist with the ‘prime’ timeline (not unlike the ‘Mirror Universe’).

This means that stories can still be told in the prime universe at any time, including after Spock and Nero leaving and the destruction of Romulus. The project this has the most immediate affect on is Star Trek Online, the massive multiplayer game set in the 25th century due to be released in 2010. In order to clarify things, the people at Cryptic have created a special section of their official site, which includes the following chart explaining it all.


STO graphic shows two timelines coexisting
(click to enlarge)

That page notes:

So how can the movie and STO be in different realities? When working on Star Trek, screenwriters Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman referenced the theory of quantum mechanics, which allows for the simultaneous existence of parallel timelines and universes. Parallel universes are self-contained, separate realities that exist as a consequence of different choices and outcomes. This concept was explored in the TNG episode "Parallels," in which there were thousands of alternate timelines (and thousands of Enterprises!). It also is seen in the Mirror Universe, which is a darker take on the world of the Federation.

There are many, many stories to tell in the prime universe. The fallout of the destruction of Romulus and the upheaval that causes in the Alpha and Beta quadrants creates storytelling opportunities that we at Cryptic didn’t even imagine when we first began working on STO. We’re excited by the possibilities, and fans should be as well. The best is yet to come.

Stories in both
Although the above post and graphic are related to the Star Trek Online MMORPG, they are applicable to all of the Trek franchise. That graphic may be on the STO site, but it is essentially the official CBS and Paramount position regarding the new movie and its affect on the original timeline.

This is especially important to both the comics from IDW and the books from Pocket Books. In fact the Star Trek comics have already dipped their toe into this territory. The entire Star Trek Countdown comic book series takes place in the prime timeline of 2387 telling the story of Spock and Nero and how they came together to fall into a black hole (sending them back in time). But the final two pages of Star Trek Countdown show Picard and Capt. Data on board the Enterprise E, making it clear that the Prime timeline continued on, even after Spock and Nero went back in time.


Picard and Data still there after Nero left

For their part, Pocket Books has been telling post-Nemesis stories for years now, but so far their most recent books have only gone as far as 2381, or six years prior to Spock and Nero falling into the black hole. Pocket has already announced plans to continue their 24th century with the upcoming ‘Typhon Pact’ stories and they will likely continue beyond that, but by the time they get to 2387 they will just have to deal with the destruction of Romulus (just like Crytpic has done for the STO backstory).

It should also be expected that both IDW and Pocket Books (and a potential future game licensee) will also be doing stories in the new timeline (which has no official name, although Memory Alpha, the Star Trek wiki, is now referring to it simply as ‘Alternate Reality‘ based on Uhura’s line in the film about how Nero’s incursion had created an alternate reality). This gets even more complicated in that some aspects of the new Star Trek movie could be told from the perspective of the prime timeline, most notably the USS Kelvin and its crew (Robau, George and Winona Kirk, etc). As for stories set before 2233 (the time Nero showed up), they would apply to both timelines (as does the entire Star Trek Enterprise series).


What happened to the Kelvin in the prime timeline?

So for the foreseeable future the world of Star Trek’s extended universe will just be a bit more complicated. Starting in 2010 and beyond we should expect books, comics and games from both timelines. And when the time comes for CBS to consider a new TV show, they will have a choice to make, which does not preclude them coming up with yet another universe/timeline.

We live in interesting times.

Comments

1. MrData - June 15, 2009

It’s interesting how the main timeline stays intact after Nero messes up the past.

2. Wes W. - June 15, 2009

fascinating!

3. trekmonk1971 - June 15, 2009

Fascinating?
It doesnt matter which timeline,universe the stories are set in bring it on into this universe onto the big screen,small screen ane books and comics.Keep it coming.Maybe a Prime Universe Sequel series to TNG combining Voyager and DS9 and let young Kirk and co boldly go.
Keep it coming….
Do IT..Do IT..Do It….

4. Mike T - June 15, 2009

So Kirk becomes Captain of the Enterprise Earlier!!!

5. Chris Fawkes - June 15, 2009

I thought the aberation was mainly fixed due to older Spock getting the original crew back together by the end of film.

6. Felkin - June 15, 2009

So am I the ONLY person who saw this film and DIDN’T need a flow chart to understand that the original “Prime” universe exists AS WELL AS the “new” universe?

I blame “Back to the Future”.

7. Matt D - June 15, 2009

Fascinating. I see Bryan Fuller is again making noises about wanting to helm a new series, but he wants to do it on the “Alternate Reality” on another ship.

I wonder how Paramount and CBS will work together on this. It seems inevitable that CBS will want to exploit Trek’s rebirth

8. SolFlyer - June 15, 2009

I could be mistaken, but isn’t 2233 the year of the Romulan Ale Bones gives Kirk in Search for Spock?

9. Aggi - June 15, 2009

And as I told before: They always can try to restore the original timeline or go on in they own new timeline – or – or – or…

10. Matt D - June 15, 2009

The original timeline is there. It’s not going anywhere, and I hope continue to see the “prime” universe in some fashion.

11. Dom - June 15, 2009

It’s a mistake for them to refer to everything in the new Trek as ‘alternate timeline’ in my opinion. In some way it distances it and treats it as something less ‘real’. I mean, given it’s the main film franchise timeline, if anything it’s now the ‘prime timeline’. ‘New Universe’ would be a better designation.

Also, given all the buggering up of the timeline committed by the various crews in the TV shows and bearing in mind that such behaviour must have been widespread in Starfleet, the Klingon Empire and Romulan Empire let alone the all the other races in the universe, there’s no reason to assume that the past of the new universe is the same as what’s been seen on TV and past films.

To my mind, this is the opportunity to shunt Khan Singh. the Eugenics Wars, WWIII and so on further into our future. After all, Star Trek’s supposed to represent a possible future for us, not be some separate fictional universe with a different history from us!

12. assimilator47 - June 15, 2009

Timeline, timeline… There’s no time like the present, Janeway would say.
I love the new movie, i love the old series, i didn’t like ‘Nemesis’ and ‘Enterprise’ (i still don’t), but in this presented timeline ‘Nemesis’ can become quite interesting:

when the alternate timeline from the new movie passes beyond the ‘Nemesis’ point (which will take at least 6 more movies or so, i hope) chances áre that Data still functions fully. We can expect a lot of new surprises in this new timeline, which are very exciting to explore.

Once again: this is IMHO 100% pure and true Star Trek, fits perfectly in the universe we all love so much and can do things (bring back actors for cameo’s) that fans had given up on.

Thanks to Orci, Kurtzman, Abrams and TPTB, we can once again fully enjoy the Star Trek franchise and the future looks promising. Gene (Roddenberry) would be very proud.

13. DJT - June 15, 2009

I don’t believe in the alternate universe scenario. To me there is only one time stream and if you change what came before, you alter what is to come. I don’t buy this ‘eat your cake and have it too’ business. Either you ate it, or you didn’t.

Nuff said.

14. Matt D - June 15, 2009

DJT,

Do you then not recognise the mirror universe episodes from TOS/DS9/ENT? Or “Parallells”? Because they were presented, and they were canon. So it’s already part of Trek.

15. GO - June 15, 2009

Matt D,

But so was “Yesterday’s Enterprise” – and it was clearly established that once the Enterprise C was tossed off to the future (hence changing the past), EVERYTHING changed.

Example no. 2 – First Contact: the Borg head back to the sequential past of the prime time-line and VOILA – the present’s been altered (Earth is instantaneously completely assimilated).

I’m not a naysayer to the new movie. I loved it and am happy to have the the old crew back, alive and YOUNG again through the excellent casting choices made.

And yet, I’m not blind to the fact that the storytelling on the new Trek IS somewhat flaky and dumbed down. Attempts to discount this by providing so-called scientific reasoning and completely ignoring the fact that Trek has fairly consistently dealt with this issue very differently in the past are just… well… lame.

Still… love the new movie and am eagerly awaiting more… perhaps more intelligently written installments.

16. Matt D - June 15, 2009

GO-

I’m with you in that the new movie makes a clear decision to see this stuff differently, and I am no scientist and so no authourity on the subject, but it seems to me that if it is true that the multi-verse is more credible than the linear string theory, AND it gives the writers an opportunity to side-foot the chronic prequel problem of knowing their fates, then they should go ahead and swallow the inconsistency.

Our understanding of tis stuff changes all the time, and if we now know the world is not flat, it makes sense to not tell falling-off-the-edge-of-the-world stories, which I guess is what “Yesterday’s Enterpris” and “First Contact” were doing.

17. Matt D - June 15, 2009

For the record, I adore both “Yesterday’s Enterprise” AND “First Contact”.

18. Schultz - June 15, 2009

Soooo, normally Spock Prime would enter 2258 in the Prime timeline, because the alternate timeline already branched off due to Nero’s incursion 25 years before. Nobody can “cross over”. Therefore a second alternate timeline would normally have branched off the prime timeline in 2258, a third timeline, Spock’s own, without Nero, and with prime standard TOS history, Vulcan remaining intact etc.. But by putting Spock Prime “in transit”, he also enters the alternate timeline. That’s not science fiction, that’s artistic license. And quite a “slow” singularity. ;)

19. Star Trek Zeitlinien [Spoiler] | Time Vortex - June 15, 2009

[...] Quelle: trekmovie.com [...]

20. greenappleman7 - June 15, 2009

I want to see a new Star Trek movie, several if the sequel’s any good, and then a series, kinda like TOS with all these characters (and whatever are added with the movies) in this new situation. They could include Old Spock and the Vulcans trying to find a new home. They could even have a mini series about the Kelvin now or later after the new TV series with the new actors. Wouldn’t that be cool. If they did it right it could revive Star Trek even more.

21. Locutus De La Borg - June 15, 2009

So going by the new movie’s logic….in Star Trek IV when they brought back the whales and saved the Earth, that created an alternate timeline. In the timeline the crew departed from, Earth went on to be destroyed by the alien probe?

According to the new movie, each time you change the past and come back to the future, you’re only ever coming back to an alternate reality like those shown in TNG’s Parallels. Changing the past then “returning” to the future is more like moving between alternate realities.

I think the key explanation has to be that it depends on the way you travel through time. Just like if I spend ages at high impulse travelling to Vulcan, there will be relativistic effects not seen if I went there at warp.

My high school physics teacher would be proud

Discuss ;-)

22. SciFiFan - June 15, 2009

I got it was an alternate universe right off the bat. Its not that hard to understand. For one thing this technically allows paramount to milk “2″ franchise for the price of one. Obviously they would like it if people who like this movie might get interested in the “prime” star trek etc.

Though I do have mix felling about it though, as I have with any alternate realities. I mean if everybody dies here who cares? There’s more of them in other universes anyway. So in some other universe we could all possibly be kings/queens of that universe? :(

Though what I really want to see is Q some where off laughing about all this because he made all this happen just because he was bored.

23. a83 - June 15, 2009

“They always can try to restore the original timeline or go on in they own new timeline”

OMG. Have you even tried to read and comprehend the article? There’s nothing to restore. Jesus.

24. Jakob - June 15, 2009

The notion that things suddenly “change” or “disappear” in the present when the timeline is changed doesn’t hold anyway. It makes little sense that things would “change” in an instant – instead, we, as viewers, would simply be presented with the outcome of a different course of events. Things have started to change at the point in time when the time-traveler arrives in the past, so they are not suddenly different at the point when he or she leaves the present. This kind of depiction is nothing more than a storytelling device that allows to treat the timeätravelling event as part of a chronological chain of cause and effect, when it is precisely that chain that is broken by time-travelling.
Therefore, if you don’t buy the “many alternate realities” concept, you would have to say that a time-traveller arriving in the past just spontaneously “materializes” there, coming from nowhere – an event that is theoretically possible, albeit infinetely improbable. He or she would have to come out of nowhere, because the course of events that lead to them going back didn’t happen up to the point where the time-traveller goes back and then suddenly seized to exist – they never happened at all in that way. So, spontaneous materialization is the only option left if you want to prexerve the notion of only one time-line. In that case, it would be questionable if any time-travel actually occured or if we are just looking at the spontaneuos materialization of an entity that looks as if it came from a possible future.
Am I making any sense?
Anyway, I think if you want any kind of time-travel-story to work, you have to buy into some version of the multiple-reality concept. I for my part simply like to think that the Star Trek universe is “fuzzy”: It’s a kind of bunde of a high number of interacting time-streams, most of htem are very similar, while some (like the mirror universe), diverge more strongly. That allows to explain all continuity errors away as being an effect of this fuzziness, while it would still be possible to treat this Star-trek-multiverse as a kind of vaguely coherent whole. And it also makes sense if we consider the amount of time-travelling that happens in the star trek universe, which is bound to have some kind of effect that is not always “repaired”.

25. Knut - June 15, 2009

time travel does not create alternate timelines in star trek. every single time journey – and there are dozents – overwrote the existing timeline and had to be repaired. but the non-canon kelvin with a factory-engineering, thruster-warpdrive and numerous inconsistencies, that ignore a lot of similarities of the nx-01 and ncc-1701, old spocks star wars-ship, old-spocks inability to make another time journey, transwarp-beaming, the missing trek-philosophy and much more makes clear, that abrams star trek is a full reboot.

26. Schultz - June 15, 2009

#21 (Locutus) Absolutely right. But apparently there are also temporal phenomena that occur in one timeline alone, as in “Yesterday’s Enterprise”. In the multiverse theory, the Enterprise-C would have created an alternate timeline by going back to the past. But that’s not how the episode was constructed.

27. Timetraveler - June 15, 2009

#25 There are not absolutism about time travels Knut.
In the previous Star Trek History they always used other media to travel back in Time. So there always is a possibility to create an alternate line without erasing the other. In the previous movies, also voayger was said, that they could change the events, but even if they created an alternate line and the present the wanted to change still exists, how could they have recougnized it? You altered the line, so you are within a new reality for yourself. Time Travel is a very philosophical not just scientific thing, because there are just theories over theories and Trek always took the what if one of them might be true. But to create or fix things in Time still leave the possibility to have the old line left.
That isn’t a thing to argue for, just a thing to accept. You just want to have thing overwritten, because you need a reason to hate the movie, that’s it.

28. Disappointed in the movie - June 15, 2009

ST is ruined thanks to these yoyo’s. Ugh, if Vulcan is destroyed in the past, how is it there in the present?? What a sham

29. jamjumetley - June 15, 2009

Well – nothing new about alternative reality. We knew that. But there is a different question. Can someone explain to me how it happens that you can travel along one timeline OR you can travel to another one.

And of course the mirror universe IS also another reality.

30. spock - June 15, 2009

So when do we get Star Trek-Final Crisis when both timelines come crashing together??? lol

31. ChristopherPike - June 15, 2009

Just so long as this isn’t a nail in the coffin of a possible Prime TV show.

One could be cynical about this, and say the only reason there’s an Alternate Universe is so they can rush how Kirk and co came together, into one film. It could’ve been done differently, with the reboot/reimagined issue fudged differently. Keeping the broadstrokes of continuity, while still insisting its nobody’s future is defined.

Personally I’d have preferred Trek to buck the “All Prequels are Bad” trend and pull off a trilogy to TOS. Spending more time on the fine details.

Part I – Young Kirk and Spock story narrative running alongside each other. Film runs from their birth to 2245. A rites of passage from childhood to well into his early 30′s by the final film. Kirk gets interested in space exploration with an historic media event, the launch of the NCC-1701 (moonlanding parallel). Through his Father, the 12 year old meets Robert April its first Captain. A visiting legend Jonathan Archer is also present in a cameo role, on an inspection tour. Ship gets into trouble on its maidern voyage, as they always do and young Kirk is along for the ride.

Part II & III – Continue to cover at least 3 important crossroads in three decades (2255, 2265) apart but connected in some way by the same returning antagonist, but not a villain from the future. By the end of the story, Robert April will have fallen from grace, leading an attempted coup to overthrow Starfleet, disappointing the boy who worshipped him as a hero. To hell with destiny, while serving aboard the Sutherland there’s a battle against a corrupted Admiral April and a 30-year old Kirk’s valour is so amazing, he chooses the ship he wants to command next… With Fleet Captain Pike injured, he wants April’s historic ship and there’s no coincidence.

32. GraniteTrek - June 15, 2009

I don’t buy that “Yesterday’s Enterprise” takes place in a “bubble” or “temporary timeline”. My thoughts is that in the prime timeline, the Ent-C vanishes in the anomaly, creating an alternate timeline where the Klingons and Federation go to war. The Ent-C reappears in the Prime Timeline, momentarily after vanishing, is destroyed, and Tasha is captured, leading to Sela – who exists in the Prime Timeline, thus proving my theory.

Thus the anomaly in “Yesterday’s Enterprise” was a portal between universes, dimensions, or timelines. After the Ent-C left the alternate timeline, history would have continued there – with the Ent-D destroyed, and eventually the Federation losing the war.

I believe all of this has been discussed in books and comics.

33. I am Kurok! - June 15, 2009

I stick to the idea set by David Gerrold (who wrote “yesteryear” for the animated series. In his book ‘The man who folded himself’ he describes the life of a time-traveler and explains prime and alternate universes very clearly and succinctly: “. . .Subjectively he thinks he’s traveling all over creation re-writing time, but to his home timeline, he simply disappeared.”

30. Actually, your post reminds me of the book ‘Q-Squared.’ Q created chaos (again!) by crashing timelines together-i.e., one timeline in which Riker and Deanna were married with a child, Worf never joined starfleet and was a Klingon officer, Beverly Crusher’s husband never died, etc.
It was very interesting.

34. PleasureGirl1990 - June 15, 2009

I’m confused, but I guess I shouldn’t worry my pretty little head over it….

35. Spock Jenkins - June 15, 2009

No, I’M WITH YOU TOO Felkin ( Number 6 )….Back To The Future’s Time-Travel antics were contradictory ( Alternate Timeline or a Timeline that alters/overwrites and recreates the world around the characters as events change? As in BackTTF2 – it should be one or the other – it can’t be both….!!

For me, ST09 Time-Travel scenario was simple and…logical.

36. Dav - June 15, 2009

In my mind I see Trek 09 as a big-screen ‘Myriad Universe’, certainly enjoyable like the rest of the recent Pocket Books tales, but seperate from the Trek most of us know and love.

It’s all Trek, and there’s more to come, which is always good :)

37. Schultz - June 15, 2009

#29 (jamjumetley): “Can someone explain to me how it happens that you can travel along one timeline OR you can travel to another one.”

As a rule—but like every rule it has exceptions, of course—, if you travel to the future, no alternate timeline is created, because at the time of your departure, the future isn’t yet written. So you always only travel along your own timeline, whether back or forth in time. Alternate universes are only created, if you enter a point in time in the past. That past was already written, and to avoid a time travel paradox, a new parallel universe is created. So you don’t “travel to that timeline”, you actually create it by appearing in the past.

However, episodes like “Yesterday’s Enterprise” no doubt follow the paradox-formula, and the only “Trek Science Fiction explanation” I can give, is that it depends on the kind of temporal anomaly/spacetime distortion/singularity etc., if the temporal back-and-forth is happening in only one timeline, or if an actual parallel timeline is created.

When looking at ST09 superficially, an obvious error in the new film seems to be that Spock Prime enters the alternate timeline created by Nero, whereas in “reality” he would actually have traveld back along the prime timeline and created a *second* alternate timeline upon entering, a timeline without Nero. So, the only explanation is that since the singularity has one entrance point in the future and two exit points in the past (in two separate timelines), Spock Prime “in transit” somehow was either sent to the alternate exit point (physical properties of the singularity) or had the technology to “choose” that specific exit point.

This creates an interesting question: It’s clear that if Spock Prime for some reason would choose to travel back to the future, it normally wouldn’t be the future he knows from the prime timeline, but a completely new one, because it would only be along that one timeline created in the new film (see above; no alternate universe when traveling to the future). But what if the singularity he and Nero used to travel through time still existed and were still stable and were two-way? Then he could actually return to the prime timeline, which is kinda strange, but that’s science fiction, I guess.

Did I forget anything? ;)

38. Craig - June 15, 2009

So the TCW was always part of TOS,TNG,DS9,VOY past?

39. Spectre_7 - June 15, 2009

The hardest thing to somehow accept is that as of now, every single time they went back in time to fix it; well it never really happened or they didn’t fix anything, it was always them ending in a new universe, thought it was the same one and had actually “fixed” it.

Either that or it was all a dream…

For the 1st time I’m having those Janeway time-continuum headaches!

40. JimJ - June 15, 2009

To me, it was a brilliant move by JJ, Orci, Kurtzman, and Company…because of the very idea that both timelines/realities do exist and can be further explored. Myself, at the moment, I am interested in this new reality. However, that doesn’t mean the prime timeline means less to me. In fact, it means more. Brilliant! More so than Back To The Future, because the alternate timelines in Back To The Future weren’t so fun and interesting.

41. Scott - June 15, 2009

Ugh. I prefer one time line. Don’t make things so confusing.

42. Schultz - June 15, 2009

#32 (GraniteTrek): When the Enterprise-C vanishes in the prime timeline, that incident does *not* create an alternate timeline. How could it? At that point the future is not written. To my mind, the only sound explanation for “Yesterday’s Enterprise” is that the temporal phenomenon exists in one timeline alone.

If an alternate timeline were created in “Yesterday’s Enterprise”, it would be at the moment the Enterprise-C travels *back* in time. This however would mean that ALL of the TNG series is actually an alternate timeline, and the timeline, in which the Federation is at war with the Klingons, would actually be the prime TNG timeline. There’s only one problem: At the beginning of the episode everything is “normal” on the Enterprise-D, and then all of sudden the Enterprise is at war, and Guinan vaguely remembers. I don’t like the “temporary timeline” idea either, but everything presented in that episode points to the solution that it happens *at least* in one timeline alone, i.e. a classic time travel paradox. (Whether it’s also a “temporary reality”, is open to debate. Since Guinan remembers a few things, it’s a possible answer.)

43. Dom - June 15, 2009

21. Locutus De La Borg: ‘So going by the new movie’s logic….in Star Trek IV when they brought back the whales and saved the Earth, that created an alternate timeline. In the timeline the crew departed from, Earth went on to be destroyed by the alien probe?’

Yep. In the timeline Kirk and his gang left, the Earth was destroyed. In that timeline, Gilian Taylor and two whales never disappeared. The moment the Bounty arrives in 1986, a new version of history is created. They then head back to the future of this new universe.

‘According to the new movie, each time you change the past and come back to the future, you’re only ever coming back to an alternate reality like those shown in TNG’s Parallels. Changing the past then “returning” to the future is more like moving between alternate realities.’

Remember Back to the Future 2? To get back home, Doc Brown, Marty and co had to find the divergence point in the timeline.

26. Schultz

The Enterprise-C did create an alternate timeline in Yesterday’s Enterprise. In the original timeline, the Enterprise-C disappeared in battle and was knocked into the future. In that future the Federation is losing a war against the Klingons. Guinan, with her time sensitivity can sense a possible other timeline that doesn’t exist yet. The Enterprise-D is destroyed protecting the Enterprise-C and presumably the Klingons go on to conquer the UFP.

Tasha Yar travelled back in time with the Enterprise-C, creating an alternate timeline – the regular TNG history – in which the Enterprise-C was lost in battle. In effect, YE sees the creation of the TNG universe as we know it.

Yar’s daughter then proceeds to oversee the events leading up to the Klingon Civil War and the attempted Romulan invasion of Vulcan.

So, actually, the whole of TNG is an alternate timeline! Discuss! ;)

44. DannydeK - June 15, 2009

@39

You can see it both ways. You have non-linair timetravel and linair-time travel. The first one means you simply go to another parralell universe which is it’s own reality and doesn’t affect anything (parralel universe travel doesn’t have to be timetravel, but it can be).

With linair timetravel you really go back in time in the same universe, so you can actually change things.

The blackhole was just a portal to another universe. The movies/time episodes were linair timetravel.

45. DannydeK - June 15, 2009

@44 read my 43post :)

46. AdmiralSirJohn - June 15, 2009

Personally, I treat the whole thing as a manifestation of the Niven Doctrine (as seen in “Parallels”). This includes the destruction of Romulus! I consider that event to have occurred in an alternate timeline because the way it was presented in the Countdown comics just doesn’t make sense from a cosmological standpoint (though I will grant that not much else in Trek does, either). Also, the movie’s tech base is too high (much like it was on Enterprise). Therefore, I consider the “new” timeline to be a double alternate, if not a triple.

But that’s just me. Your mileage may vary.

47. Schultz - June 15, 2009

#44 (Dom): That’s exactly what I wrote above: ALL of TNG would be an alternate timeline. But there is one huge flaw: the episode “Yesterday’s Enterprise” already begins with that “normal timeline”. If the Enterprise-C had actually vanished in the past that “normal timeline” would NEVER have existed until the Ent-C went back. When you travel to the future, that future is not yet written at the time of your departure, so you don’t create an alternate universe. That only happens if you travel *back* in time.

The filmmakers of “Yesterday’s Enterprise” began the episode with the normal Enterprise-D, therefore it’s a temporal phenomenon that only occurs in one timeline. If they had begun the episode directly with the Enterprise-D at war with the Klingons, then it could be explained with the multiverse theory, and then you would also be correct that ALL of TNG were an alternate timeline. But since they showed us the “normal” Enterprise at the beginning, that alternate-reality-explanation is not supported in any way. “Yesterday’s Enterprise” is a classic time paradox story in one timeline alone.

48. Jeffery Wright - June 15, 2009

so, because of nero’s arrival in the past, the san francisco shipyards are moved to iowa?

and the whole crew graduates the academy in the same class?

and pikes first officer, his number one, is nowhere to be seen?

and chekov is serving on the 1701 before sulu?

just sayin’….

49. Crusade2267 - June 15, 2009

How does First Contact fit in with the new timeline? After all, most of that film takes place prior to 2233, but not all of it. And isn’t it lucky that the Enterprise E just happened to return to the correct timeline? For that matter, you might say the same for Star Trek IV.

50. Jeffery Wright - June 15, 2009

they could have written a good canon story, concerning the adventures of chris pike, with a paralell story of kirks days at the academy, centered around spock.

the sequel would have been kirk on the farragut, pike’s last mission, and the events leading to kirks command on the 1701.

the third, would be a purely kirk/spock/mccoy-centric tos crew adventure…

i cite the lord of the rings trilogy and the star wars prequels as far as character and story development.

i’d say those pictures did quite well.

they could have, in one movie, accelerated the story by convenient leaps and bounds the way they handled this trek movie, but that would have diminished the literary and entertainment value, and outraged the fans.

lotr and sw-preq’s were also aimed at a wider audience than core fans, and were quite successful.

51. Matt Wiley - June 15, 2009

Looks a lot like Doc Brown’s chalkboard diagram.
“…Creating this ALTERNATE 1985!”

52. Matt D - June 15, 2009

48 – Jeffrey Wright -

Sure it’s a stretch. But it works. Especially Iowa. In recognition of George Kirk’s stunning heroism, Starfleet commisioned those fleetyards in the state he was raised. It’s plausible, even if the primary reason is to provide 22 year old Kirk the shadow of the ship.

Just think, there were 800 people on The Kelvin. 800 people who could potentially have had babies. 800 people who would have had hundreds of thousands of collective days to make millions and millions of decisions; to set people up on dates, to pro-create, to be promoted/demoted, to be mentors, cultivating countless friendships and altered the destiny of millions of people without realising it.

It’s hard to quantify, but it’s ambiguous enough of a notion to justify the changes.

53. et11robot - June 15, 2009

You think of time as a line, but really it’s “a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey.”

54. CJS - June 15, 2009

Star Trek is fiction. None of it ever happened. None of it ever will happen. Whatever ‘alternate reality’ the writers and producers want to create in order to justify their changes is as valid as any ‘reality’ in the original fiction. No matter how compelling a fictional reality may be, all of it is merely fictional.

55. Sea Dub - June 15, 2009

I can accept–grudgingly–the miraculous set of coincidences that brought the same crew together in the alternate reality. After all, the Mirror universe differs enormously from the Prime universe, yet we see the same people occupying (mostly) the same roles as their Prime counterparts in ENT, TOS and DS9.

So there’s something going on that keeps timelines from completely diverging. Call it “quantum resonance” or something. It affects matter and even consciousness to the point that people at Starfleet Command were all like, “Yeah, let’s keep young Kirk in command of the Enterprise.” “But–but…. All right, whatever. But let’s remove the brewery and put in a bowling alley.”

56. Sea Dub - June 15, 2009

Alternatively, what CJS at 55 said.

57. Sea Dub - June 15, 2009

I mean, what CJS at 54 said.

58. Dom - June 15, 2009

45. DannydeK and 47. Schultz:

I suspect I started writing with an earlier manifestation of this page: I’m at work and fitting in comments can only happen when I’m not troubleshooting stuff here! :)

47. Schulz: ‘But there is one huge flaw: the episode “Yesterday’s Enterprise” already begins with that “normal timeline”. If the Enterprise-C had actually vanished in the past that “normal timeline” would NEVER have existed until the Ent-C went back.’

That’s easy: when the Enterprise-C travelled back in time all the backstory we know from the TV show is created, so the episode would logically open with the TNG crew. It’s just that the anomaly the Enterprise-D sees briefly is an echo of the point of divergence. As it stands, YE is set twenty-odd years after history is changed.

On the other hand, if you use the linear time travel theory, the Enterprise-C’s appearance completely destroys the TNG timeline and when Tasha Yar goes aboard the Enterprise-C and travels back through the rift, a replacement timeline is created, albeit, with Sela, which leads to the Klingon Civil War, Spock’s manipulation by the Romulans (would he have ended up on Romulus without Sela’s machinations?) Lursa and B’Etor destroying the Enterprise-D and Worf assassinating Duras and Gowron.

Either way, 24th century Trek as a whole is completely altered by YE!

59. Charles H. Root, III - June 15, 2009

This Star Trek Universe Timelines graphic doesn’t explain one of the inconsistencies of the film.

If the prime timeline isn’t altered until Nero and the Narada return in 2233, then what the hell is a pregnant Winona Kirk doing aboard the Kelvin?

James T. Kirk was born on Earth, in Iowa in the Prime timeline, not aboard a spaceshift.

It would seem that the recent film is in fact a second alternate timeline. We have yet to see the first alternate timeline that explains why a very, VERY pregnant Winina Kirk is aboard a spaceship instead of on Earth.

Oh let me guess, this unexplained firrst alternate timeline is caused by transporter malfunction where Winona Kirk finds herself materialized and stranded on a tropical island with polar bears and stuff.

60. Dom - June 15, 2009

55. Sea Dub: ‘So there’s something going on that keeps timelines from completely diverging.’

That’s what I love in Parallels. Initially, the Enterprises Worf finds himself on are more or less the same as the regular one, with minor differences, but steadily, quite creepily, everything and everyone gets more and more different, the further he jumps from his own universe.

61. KevinA Melbourne Australia - June 15, 2009

As we know from “PARALLELS” each Universe has a quantum signature. Worf was having physical problems in the episode by not being in his correct Quantum reality. In the TV show SLIDERS we see travel between these parallel Multi-verses.

There was a divergence when NERO arrived in the past and MAYBE another when SPOCK arrived and a divergence when ever time travel has been used BUT…and here’s the 64 Bars of Gold Pressed Latinum question for you …. what if there is another “QUANTUM” force that allows for a natural “pulling together” of events so that Nero and Spock land in the same alternate timeline caused when Nero arrived?

I’m suggesting that if you time travel and return to your original time line as in STIV, the universe allows for you to go back to your correct timeline naturally because of your quantum signature “UNLESS” some other force prevents this. Because Nero and Spock were pulled into the same anomaly in the future they have arrived in Nero’s same alternate timeline because of this force.

Also if you stay in an alternate reality, as Worf did in Parallels, your body may not be stable. We don’t know if NERO felt OK? Is Spock Prime now feeling nauseated like Worf did. A story to tell about Spock Prime in a sequel maybe????

However you view all this, Paramount has focused on 2 only time lines for obvious reasons, to reinvigorate the franchise and to avoid confusion. And they have done that magnificently whilst keeping us wondering about everything that’s gone before and still tying it all together. Roll on ST2!

62. DannydeK - June 15, 2009

@59
It’s because it isn’t about the timeline, it’s about the universe they went to. It doesn’t have much to do with time at all. The blackhole simply brought them to another parralell universe, where certain aspects are different. When Nero comes it just becomes more different then it already was.

Remember: There is a lot of difference between linair timetravel and non-linair timetravel. The second one means you travel through time, but also to another parrallel universe. The first one means you actually go back in time in your own universe.

63. Drew - June 15, 2009

The one thing that REALLY doesn’t fit is the Kelvin. She should have far more in common with the prime E then the JJprise.

But she has the same aesthetic, similar weaponry and zillions of shuttles, as though she is a contemporary of the ship that would exist BECAUSE OF THE DIFFERENCES 25 years later.

Simply put, the Kelvin wasn’t old enough.

64. Matt D - June 15, 2009

63 Drew –

Yeah but they’re launching a franchise. I adore the design of TOS, but there’s no real way to make that look good for a major motion picture. Computers that take up half a room? Whirring clicking computers? Sometimes you have to update the look and feel of it and not provide a canonised answer. It’s just sensible.

Roddenberry did this for the Klingon heads didn’t he?

65. Weerd1 - June 15, 2009

I think the answer is obvious- different methods of time travel have a different effect on space-time. The time-breech created in 2344 in Yesterday’s Enterprise was different from the one accidentally created by Spock and Ner in several ways:
1) Common anti-matter explosions rather than Red Matter
2) No effect from the Hobus star, which was obviously far more than a supernova, regardless of dialogue. Indeed, as described it’s a lot more like a white hole, expanding in both size and energy.
3) The time breech remained open for the Ent-C, whereas once the Narada comes out of the lightning storm, it goes away.
4) The initial breech throws the Ent-C forward in relative time, not backward.
5) The Narada anomaly is apparently affected by the ships’ mass, hence the Jellyfish not being put through as distant a displacement as the Narada; this is apparently calculable as Nero knows when to meet Spock.

We haven’t seen time travel creating alternate universes in Trek before because we haven’t seen these factors introduced before. We do know alternate versions of the Prime reality exist…the question we need to ask is whether or not the Narada’s incursion creates the new timeline, or if BOTH ships are actually thrown back and over. The Narada incursion may not happen in the Prime universe at all, but in an already existing extremely similar but separate timeline. That would explain 800 people on a scout ship in 2233.

As far as Spock falling into the alternate timeline instead of the Prime past, I think it is tied to the method of travel again. The Narada incursion is an anchor point allowing some variation- not unlike we see with Ben Sisko in “The Visitor” or for that matter in “All Good Things.” The anti-time anomaly was creating alternate versions of the TNG universe as it moved further back. Hence three eras of Picard’s history, which only interact near the anomaly. Remember, 2370 Geordi does not remember the anomaly from 2363, and 2395 Geordi does not remember the anomaly from 2370.

Indeed, there it is. Precedent in Trek of a timeline incursion branching off into separate timelines which are not part of the origin timeline.

This HAS all happened before, but let me vote that it not happen again. I am happy with what they did here, but Star Trek in recent years has become a Time Travel show set in space rather than a space show with the occasional bit of time travel. I want to see them get back to boldly going… remember when they used to be explorers?

66. Chris M - June 15, 2009

Much like Captain Janeway once said all this time travel stuff gives me a headache.

In essence there could be multiple realisties. For instance the crew of the Enterprise NX-01 encountered The Borg who were on Earth because they travelled back in time in First Contact. Therefore history was altered and don’t get me started on the temporal cold war………

My advice is just to enjoy STAR TREK! :)

67. Taliesin - June 15, 2009

I’m of the opinion that the event’s depicted in Star Trek Voyager’s third season’s two parter Futures end” created an alternate reality.

This secondary timeline is the one that Enterprise was set in, hence the different technological look between Ent and TOS.

It is theoretically possible that the device Daniels left behind in his quarters was handed over to Starfleet and technological information was extrapolated and reverse engineered, thus creating a Tertiary timeline, this would explain why the pre Nero incursion 2233 look different from what we’d expect it to look from our TOS gained knowledge of 2266 onwards.

Just a thought, and if it’s already been mentioned I offer my apology’s

68. Spock Jenkins - June 15, 2009

59, The Kelvin was enroute to earth with a pregnant Winona Kirk…the attack on the Kelvin by the Narada pushed Mommy Kirk into early labour…

69. Ryan T. Riddle - June 15, 2009

“59. Charles H. Root, III – June 15, 2009

This Star Trek Universe Timelines graphic doesn’t explain one of the inconsistencies of the film.

If the prime timeline isn’t altered until Nero and the Narada return in 2233, then what the hell is a pregnant Winona Kirk doing aboard the Kelvin?

James T. Kirk was born on Earth, in Iowa in the Prime timeline, not aboard a spaceshift.

It would seem that the recent film is in fact a second alternate timeline. We have yet to see the first alternate timeline that explains why a very, VERY pregnant Winina Kirk is aboard a spaceship instead of on Earth.

Oh let me guess, this unexplained firrst alternate timeline is caused by transporter malfunction where Winona Kirk finds herself materialized and stranded on a tropical island with polar bears and stuff.”

Mr. Root,

Orci and Kurtzman are on record stating that the Kelvin is en route to Earth when the Narada arrived. Winona Kirk is due to deliver on Earth, but the attack sent her into premature labor, thus causing Kirk to be born slightly earlier and in space than on Earth as in the Prime Universe.

Moreover, Winona is aboard because, like George Kirk, she is also a Starfleet officer.

In the novelization by Alan Dean Foster, Winona Kirk goes into labor during the arrival and the medics planned on suppressing it so that she could deliver on Earth. Unfortunately, the Narada attacks forcing them to evac the ship and thus Winona Kirk has to deliver on the shuttle.

So, in any case, Alternate Reality James T. Kirk would’ve been born on Earth had Nero and his cronies hadn’t appeared.

Besides, it was never established canon-wise that Kirk was born on Earth. His comment that he “is from Iowa but only works in outer space,” isn’t proof that he was born in Iowa, but just that he is from Iowa. My best friend was born in Norfolk, VA but says that he is from San Diego, where he grew up.

Moreover, Kirk’s birth in space worked in context to the film’s storyline and emotional impact. So it’s not, imao, an inconsistency in terms of this movie.

70. Joe Cocolo - June 15, 2009

The creation of this new timeline also gave the producers a really good reason to bring back the Penguin Dress Greys (TMP Admiral’s unform). I for one am grateful for that.

Moonbat

71. John from Cincinnati - June 15, 2009

I still say for the next Star Trek movie, just have Spock Prime jump through the Guardian of Forever and stop Nero before he can create the alternate universe.

72. Dom - June 15, 2009

From Austin Powers 2:

Austin: Wait a tick. Basil, if I travel back to 1969 and I was frozen in 1967, presumeably, I could go back and visit my frozen self. But, if I’m still frozen in 1967, how could I have been unthawed in the ’90s and traveled back to…
[goes cross-eyed]
Austin: Oh, no, I’ve gone cross-eyed.
Basil: I suggest you don’t worry about those things and just enjoy yourself.
[to camera]
Basil: That goes for you all, too.

73. RZ - June 15, 2009

Considering the mess the Star Trek franchise was in, I think Orci, Kurtzman and Abrams got us out of it. Many arguments are valid about the changes in canon, inconsistencies, timelines, etc. but hey, I am thankful that Star Trek is back and “fixed”. I’ll take my chances with future movies and alternate timelines than go back to the boring Nemesis and TNG crew.

74. Craig - June 15, 2009

Personally this only works if the reality Nero travels to is an identical parallel reality to the prime which is set on a divergent path by Nero’s actions. That way temporal causality of the Prime universe is conserved and the prime universe itself remains intact just Spockless

75. wkiryn - June 15, 2009

They should boot Enterprise and some of the worse Bragga contributions into the Movie universe and redo zephram cochranes story and have him be from alpha centauri. TOS, TNG, DS9 are far better off without it.

76. Ben - June 15, 2009

I’m just glad ENTerprise is NOT affected by all this… :P

No seriously it wasn’t that difficult even for non Star Trek fans to get their head around it in the XI movie and how it worked.

I’m happy, the old Star Trek stays intact and continues and on top of that we have a new one which can be pretty much alike or completley diffrent.

It’s exiting…

77. Mike Ten - June 15, 2009

I think the wormhole that was created that sent Spock Prime and Nero back in time also sent them to another universe. Just like the Enterprise Mirror universe episode that had the Defiant from the Prime universe go thru an anomoly back in time to the mirror universe past.
Maybe Spock Prime realizes that he is in another universe and there is no point in trying to travel into the future since it’s not his future he will be traveling into.

78. mars396 - June 15, 2009

none of this Alternate Universe stuff explains why the Kelvin (a single nacelled scout with a secondary hull slapped on top) had such a large crew, so many shuttles, and the ENTERPRISE DELTA SHIELD as their insignia !

79. Ron Bailey - June 15, 2009

Well, I’m glad they cleared that up.

80. James - June 15, 2009

Even the diagram isn’t that accurate – it’s just an analogy to get the gist of the explanation. The reality is that there is no Prime Timeline or Alternate Timeline.

The ‘Prime Timeline’ that we know is simply a pathway that we (as viewers) have followed through the multiverse. It has its own twists and turns along the way, including T-junctions and massive intersections. But we’ve gone along with the decisions made. The Alternate Timeline is another path off the main road that we have followed, created by different actions and decisions.

I think the Mirror Universe is a similar thing – another alternate pathway created way back in the distant past (see http://memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/Mirror_universe).

There are a couple of things that I find interesting about this:
- The ability to travel between the Mirror Universe and the Prime Universe is well documented. Does this mean that we can travel between the Alternate Universe and the Prime Universe?
- Certain things seem more likely to happen, e.g. Kirk is generally associated with the Enterprise, a Cardassian space station still gets built in orbit of Bajor etc. They seem to happen despite sometimes colassal interference. Some could call this quantum resonance. I think that ‘destiny’ works quite well.

81. Start Wrecker - June 15, 2009

Just my opinion on the timeline issue. Parallel and Alternate timelines/Universes are two different things. So if you travel back in time in the same universe like with the Enterprise-C, it is not the same as traveling back in time to an alternate universe as in “a mirror darkly” or Star Trek ’09. Am I right? Any disagreement?

82. James - June 15, 2009

@78:

There’s no explanation for the United Earth Space Agency disappearing and Starfleet replacing it in about the 2nd series of TOS either. Star Trek canon is jam-packed full of inconsistencies. Most of these we can explain away by retcon (incidentally, Walter Koenig’s story of Chekov meeting Khan in the toilet in ‘Space Seed’ is my favourite!), but not all of them can be rationalised. The delta shield thing is one of them. Add it to the list.

83. OneBuckFilms - June 15, 2009

One possibility that could happen is this: What if something akin to Mirror-Mirror occurred, and a ship from the Prime Reality ends up in the new one, and has to get back?

Things could also go the other way.

Especially if Mirror-Mirror is used as the model.

We now, literally, have an entire universe of possibilities opened up to us.

Actually, two :-)

84. Start Wrecker - June 15, 2009

#77 Mike Ten…I agree with you.

85. James - June 15, 2009

@81:

Depends on how you look at it. If the multiverse is a road network, and as normal time progresses you’re driving forward, you can see some of what’s ahead, allowing you to navigate T-junctions and intersections, i.e. decisions and actions.

However, if you’re driving backwards, you can’t see anywhere near as much. Now say you’re driving backwards at 100mph. Hell, you might not be able to navigate those intersections which lead you exactly back to where you were. You might end up driving across some field and winding up on a side road NEXT TO the highway you were on.

So when the Enterprise-C got booted out of it’s timeline (we’ll call it A), it wound up 22 years later in timeline B. Federation at war with the Klingons, bad situation to be in etc. When it went back, it actually wound up in timeline A1. It wasn’t timeline A – because it brought Tasha Yar back.

Incidentally, I don’t think the continued existence of Sela can be explained without the multiverse theory – surely she’d have disappeared when Tasha Yar was killed by Armus?! Multiverse is the only way to explain it.

86. William Kirk - June 15, 2009

I´m very happy about this official timeline graphic. Finally, it is clear, what is where. It was said, but now, it´s on the paper, officially . And that is good. Thank you, Paramount, CBS and Cryptic.

87. OneBuckFilms - June 15, 2009

81 – You’re correct.

The Alternate Reality(tm) was born on Stardate 2233.04.

The Defiant going back in time to the Mirror Universe was via some very different kind of anomaly.

It’s reasonable to assume that the time travel for the USS Defiant did not create an alternate Universe (unless there is an alternate Mirror Universe where the Defiant did not appear, and history was a little different, we can never know for sure).

88. Millennium Vulcan - June 15, 2009

67.

Very interesting point. I am quite a fan of Voyager yet your insight seems to have slipped past me. It may be a good “explanation” for the differences in technology between TOS and ST:XI.

89. Frederick - June 15, 2009

I don’t see that this time trip and it’s effects has any impact on how the time trips and repairs worked in earlier episodes and movies. Because, of this:

In all those instances that were returning to the past of their universe. I propose, quite logically, that the black hole trip sent Spock and Nero to another universe’s past. Just like the Defiant was sent to another universe’s past. This explains the pre-Nero differences and how there is nothing changed in the Prime universe’s future as a result.

90. Admiral Kent - June 15, 2009

My brain hurts…

91. Dom - June 15, 2009

87. OneBuckFilms

Presumably the Mirror Universe came into existence within a couple of hundred years of TOS one, given the similarities.

We know the Defiant drifted into the Mirror Universe from The Tholian Web because more than one universe overlapped there.

Actually, I wonder if that crossover location from The Tholian Web is the location where Nero and Spock Prime arrived in the new film . . .

92. ChristopherPike - June 15, 2009

I just wish they had concentrated on doing a traditional prequel. How easy would it have been not to create an alternate to The Original Series? :(

93. The Optimist - June 15, 2009

The movie, which I for one loved, is a reboot. It is star trek for a 21st century audience. All this timeline stuff does not really matter. What we saw before has already happened and what you see now in the film is what is suppose to happen. I don’t view the movie as non-canon trek but just trek, simple as that. I liked the 1989 batman but I also really liked the dark knight. And before someone yells at me saying “star trek is different than a comic sourse material”, I understand that fully and still don’t care. There is room for both batman films and there is room for this movie along with everything else that is trek.

94. Duncan MacLeod - June 15, 2009

How easy? If it was that easy, let’s see what you can do? I believe they struck the best compromises that would allow them to introduce a new audience and not alienate them with the cheesiness they remembered. No matter HOW you update the sets, they will still remind people of the old sets and they will dismiss it, this was a NEW BEGINNING.

95. Daoud - June 15, 2009

#63 Drew…

The USS Kelvin is a “colony ship”. That’s why it has a lot of shuttles, and probably many of the 800 were returning colonists. A great story for a novel yet written…

I surmise that it might be a return trip from Deneva, which would tie in future Kirks on Deneva, and so on. Another possibility is Tarsus. Either one would make a great novel. I might lean towards both, that there’s a colonization “arc” running from Earth to Deneva to Tarsus, island-hopping if you will.

Winona might revisit Tarsus with Jimmy and Jonny (George, Junior, called Jonny instead of Sammy) just about when Jim is a teenager, thus having the Alt Universe “in synch” with the Prime Universe, keeping Kodos in place.

96. The Optimist - June 15, 2009

#95

That is a very cool idea! You should write it!

97. ChristopherPike - June 15, 2009

94. Ready when you are…. (see #31)

Harve Bennett’s Starfleet Academy proposal back in 1991 would’ve faced the same problems. But then I’m no purist, in the “must look like TOS” sense. I do however value the efforts made to fill in blanks with an existing universe.

98. RD - June 15, 2009

80. James wrote: The ability to travel between the Mirror Universe and the Prime Universe is well documented. Does this mean that we can travel between the Alternate Universe and the Prime Universe?

No. MWI QM doesn’t work that way. No communication of any kind can pass between the universes. They are discrete and isolated from one another.

#71. John from Cincinnati
The Guardian cannot exist in this alternate parallel universe, it does not conform to MWI QM as applied by Orci.

There will never be another time travel story in this universe because of the way MWI QM works, otherwise it will take our characters into yet another alternate parallel universe. The only exception is if more characters arrive in the alternate parallel universe from another past or future as Spock & Nero did, or if they somehow leave for yet another alternate parallel universe. But no one is ever going back where they came from.

Orci is on record as saying as long as he’s around the only explanation for time travel will adhere to MWI QM as applied in this film.

99. Jon S. - June 15, 2009

In the article title, you guys spelled “official” wrong.

100. Ezytarget - June 15, 2009

Guys, your running around in circles trying to figure out this new time line, old time line, prime time line, alternate time line.. blah blah blah…

the problem really is your comparing the idea of time travel on previous episodes and movies and I believe the point the writers are trying to make is that they are basing the new movie off a new idea of time travel that has come to surface.

If you want to learn a bit more about how this new theory works out I recommend you watch the video here.

http://vega.org.uk/video/programme/61

It’s done by a professor named Paul Davies who’s a recognized as a leader in quantum field theories in curved space time. It’s a great video if your a real buff of science and time travel and how possible it is to actually achieve.

In a nutshell though Davies basically says that the current belief is that if you go back in time and change an event, say killing your own mother before your born and then going back to your current time and finding that your not only still alive but so is your mother.

So the discussion if Star Trek IV still happens, well it does.. because Kirk and company isn’t changing the past, but instead their own future by bringing something back from the past.

Lets also not forgot that these are hollywood writers trying their best to make a story fit within something as complicated as quantum field mechanics that are, no pun intended… always in Flux as new ideas come up. Which will obviously continue until Time Travel in some form or the other is discovered then we can put this all to rest. hehe

101. Ezytarget - June 15, 2009

Oh let us not also forget that one of the main reasons the prime universe will stay intact is because of $$$. Paramount won’t dump another wheel barrel if it can still make money. However, the likely hood of seeing anything from the Prime time line anytime soon is extremely doubtful while the alternate time line franchise is making more money then any trek movie ever.

102. SChaos1701 - June 15, 2009

I love it when the nerds think they can do better than professionals and just have a good laugh when they put their ideas up for a “better” movie. Every “idea” I’ve seen is effing horrible. That’s why you’re not the professionals here. I don’t think anyone here can write a $300 million movie.

103. The Spirit of Truth - June 15, 2009

@ 6.

No, you aren’t alone…and I too blame Back to the Future.

104. Duncan MacLeod - June 15, 2009

Orci is on record as saying as long as he’s around the only explanation for time travel will adhere to MWI QM as applied in this film.

I can see a group of disillusioned star trek fans that were “Exiled” by Orci forming a ragtag band of mercenaries bent on revenge and eliminating Orci from our current timeline.

105. OneBuckFilms - June 15, 2009

49 – When the Enterprise E travelled back in time, it created an Alternate Reality.

When she travelled forward in time, it was within that alternate reality.

Therefore, from the time the Enterprise E travelled back in time, it created a split.

Think of a river. As one moves downstream (naturally forward in time), one makes choices as to which fork one goes down.

In the case of travelling back in time, it creates an extra split in the river from a certain point, and reality continues down that path.

Moving forward in time means one cannot cross into another split in the river, but instead moves more rapidly along the same path.

I believe what we are seeing in Yesterdays Enterprise is this:

- We start off in the reality created AFTER the Enterprise C arrives back in time.
- When the Enterprise C emerges, we are then switched to the other fork in the river.
- At the end, when the Enterprise C goes back in time, THAT is when the mainstream TNG reality is created.

What this means is that after the Enterprise C goes through the portal, the Enterprise D is destroyed, the klingons gain victory over the Federation etc.

106. Duncan MacLeod - June 15, 2009

102. That was exactly the point in my post #94

107. T2 - June 15, 2009

For the fans (many I’m sure), who have seen all the episodes and movies in Star Trek lore, this concept should not be too difficult to grasp (anymore than it already is and always has been), but this is a clear, concise, simple way of showing what’s happened. Good work. But if this is what we’re worrying about now, what are we gonna do when 2063 is here and First Contact doesn’t necessarily happen?

108. Angry But I'll Get Over It - June 15, 2009

i just hope time theory doesn’t drastically change again, which it can probably do because its all theory, but if/when it does, this’ll be a nice mess.

#102 i agree to an extent, i’ve seen some people make some absurd suggestions, but that’s sci-fi. i’ve also seen some brilliant ideas here and i’m sure some of the people here, had the occasion been allowed, would’ve fit in nicely on the TrekXI team somewhere. bob orci drops in here from time to time, he can surely write a $300,000,000 movie.

109. Duncan MacLeod - June 15, 2009

#31′s idea was a solid one, but I doubt the watching audience would have the patience for a long drawn out 3 movie arc. Now you can do a 2/3 movie arc after already establishing your audience. I think as long as the movie is on par with this one, we will see better ticket sales since people will remember how much they enjoyed this one.

110. JimJ - June 15, 2009

#73-I wholeheartedly agree!!!!

111. S. John Ross - June 15, 2009

From the article: “(not unlike the ‘Mirror Universe’).”

Truer words ne’er writ.

112. S. John Ross - June 15, 2009

#73: “Considering the mess the Star Trek franchise was in, I think Orci, Kurtzman and Abrams got us out of it. ”

That’s certainly true if you’re in the franchise (that is, if you own stock in some portion of it, or one of the companies that profits from it directly).

But most of us aren’t in the franchise; most of us just like Star Trek. And for us, the movie is just another piece of Star Trek merchandise.

Star Trek lives on _with or without_ the franchise. The reverse is not true.

113. Ralph F - June 15, 2009

FWIW, a good “multithread timeline” Trek (TOS/TNG) story is ENGINES OF DESTINY; love how Scotty’s seemingly innocent mission completely alters the TOS/TNG et al Trekiverse.

114. the king in shreds and tatters - June 15, 2009

Uuugggghh…

115. Lore - June 15, 2009

Its the same franchise, just with new actors. Its like your local burger king firing everyone and hiring new employees. Its the same franchise, just with a new face, same thing with Trek.

116. Nivenus - June 15, 2009

@59

Orci’s on record saying that Kirk was born prematurely in the film. The stress of the battle caused Winona to go into labor.

117. Resident Alien - June 15, 2009

The timeline is a good idea, this really attempts to put all the TV series and Movies into perspective. A litttle twisting and bending here and there but still a good idea. Disappointed that the Enterprise TV Series could not be included in this alternate timeline, I am a fan of the more modern Star Trek, I was thrilled when “Admiral” Archer was mentioned, I wish they could somehow get Admiral Archer into the next “Reboot” movie.

@28 Don’t be disappointed, remember how this was addressed in the ST09 movie by Spock and Spock Prime. The elders/keepers of the history and culture of Vulcan were saved and a new planet was found for Vulcan to be rebuilt in the alternate timeline, however, I believe TOS Vulcan was not destroyed, leaving it in place for 2266 when TOS begins.

As for the younger crew, because of their ages, it seems the intention of this new storyline will be to keep them in this alternate timeline, also there is no other way to reconcile the existence of two Spocks.

Incidentally, Spock Prime is 144 years old when Romulus is destroyed in his TOS timeline of 2387. For Spock to really go home he would have to be returned to the future of his TOS timeline in 2387.

I love it!! More plot twists to come. Long Live Star Trek !!

118. freddy - June 15, 2009

Before you say you can do a better movie than JJ and Crew – think to yourself first and then say what would Berman, Moore, Braga, etc would do – because you think just as BAD as they do !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Get some sun you nerdlingers>>>

119. BrF - June 15, 2009

I see the new movie as trying to clear away a lot of the underbrush of Trek lore in order to widen the audience. A part of me enjoys that in some ways it has made Trek more convoluted and self-referential than ever. On with the timeline(s) –

120. BrF - June 15, 2009

@36: Yes.

121. S. John Ross - June 15, 2009

#115: “Its like your local burger king firing everyone and hiring new employees.”

Still not very nourishing, but now they also get your order wrong?

122. Author of "The Vulcan Neck Pinch for Fathers" - June 15, 2009

Put simply, this is a new brand of time-altering storytelling. Where prior such efforts have, for the lack of a better term, assume the linearity of time, a story like the Trek 09 reboot postulates a decidely non-linear timeline.

What may confuse people is that the Narada “went back 25 years,” which sounds like *conventional* or linear time-travel storytelling, when in reality the notion is that Nero and Spock Prime have inserted themselves into the exposition of one of the theoretically infinite number of alternative timelines that may exist. It raises the QM question of whether there really is any such thing as time travel per se, but merely jumping from reality to reality, including the possibility of returning to ones “prime” reality at any given point….for some reason, I keep thinking of the ol’ sci-fi show (ironically enough, with Scott Bakula) called Quantum Leap…

123. Mitch - June 15, 2009

Despite the claims of the above article, there is no evidence within the movie that the prime timeline still exists, and in Star Trek, it’s clear that while there are many universes, there is only one timeline. Comics are not canon, and despite what Orci says, nothing in the movie he wrote backs it up. It’s like the Wizard of Oz yelling, “pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.”

It is what it is. They made a decision to overwrite the original canon, did overwrite the original canon, and that’s that. Anything else is wishful thinking.

124. Joe Cocolo - June 15, 2009

In this new timeline, does ADM Archer get to wear the current-issue Penguin Dress Greys like Pike does at the end of the new movie?

Moonbat

125. Julio - June 15, 2009

I really don’t get the confusion. There are two timelines now – one in the new movies, and the other where all our favorite eps and old movies (and not the game ST Online) take place.

That’s it.

126. gbudda - June 15, 2009

My question is where was Jim’s older brother Sam in the movie?

127. Heroes - June 15, 2009

Question? it the prime time line correct? the time line states the TNG and Voyager series happened years apart? am i missing something. Because in Voyager’s “Endgame” an older Janeway was able to come back in time and cut off twenty something years on their journey back home. and by the time Nemisis came out she was an admiral giving Capt. Picard instructions.. yet the timeline dates don’t put them together

128. Duncan MacLeod - June 15, 2009

123. “despite the ‘claims’ of the above article”… Um the article states… “That graphic may be on the STO site, but it is essentially the official CBS and Paramount position regarding the new movie and its affect on the original timeline.” ..

This means its pretty much canon…. it is an official paramount property. Not JUST the musings of the writers, it has been authorized. not everything has to be explicitly laid out, you can use your imagination to extrapolate beyond this.

129. Duncan MacLeod - June 15, 2009

127. That timeline only covers the Series, not the movies.

130. ety3 - June 15, 2009

# 123 –

Um, yes there is. Why would Spock Prime remember Kirk speaking of his father if it had been erased?

#126 –

Back on the farm, maybe?

131. Duncan MacLeod - June 15, 2009

Nemesis takes place in 2379 i believe which coincides with when janeway would have returned.

132. RD - June 15, 2009

#128. On-screen canon is the only thing that matters.

Everything else is MARKETING.

133. OneBuckFilms - June 15, 2009

129 – The accompanying article mentions Nemesis, and there is a LOT that isn’t explicitly mentioned.

134. RD - June 15, 2009

105. OneBuckFilms wrote: When the Enterprise E travelled back in time, it created an Alternate Reality. When she travelled forward in time, it was within that alternate reality.

While this theory may work for everything prior to ST09, it does not work within this universe based on MWI QM. Any quantum incursion that that places a particle of matter in a time where it otherwise never existed creates a branch from the point of incursion.

135. ety3 - June 15, 2009

In case anyone cares, I made a far more detailed comparison of these timelines.

Click my name to see it.

136. RD - June 15, 2009

123. Mitch wrote:

They made a decision to overwrite the original canon, did overwrite the original canon, and that’s that. Anything else is wishful thinking.

WELL SAID!

For all practical purposes, this movie is a complete and total reboot.

As long as this Trek is making money it is highly unlikely we will ever see the “Prime” timeline officially depicted on screen (TV or otherwise). However, there is nothing in ST09 on-screen canon that forces a person to view the alteration of the timeline one way or the other. This means anyone can view the time-travel aspect of it any way they wish, to overwrite canon in a linear timeline, to allow existing canon to continue in an alternate reality and recton the discrepancies anyway they want, or simply see it as a reboot and otherwise enjoy the new vision.

What I am gleaning from many of these posts is that for the first time in years, the fan base are like the citizens of Beta III, without guidance from Landru. They need some sort of “official” clarification of the new rules under which they operate. Like in “Return of the Archons”, the best solution is to look to the closest “Kirk” for your answers (or in this case, the newest).

Unfortunately, the fans need to agree on the rules of the world they immerse themselves into and are not good at accepting differing opinions. Unlike the Kirk vs. Picard debate which can never be proven, this deals with tangible things like the size of the Enterprise and how time travel works. With all answers left up to the eye of the beholder, the fanbase is fractured and like the Tower of Babel fable, unable to speak the same language, or get along.

137. Demode - June 15, 2009

I was wondering about the movie The Voyage Home the other day, and regards to time travel in that film (whether or not they returned to the prime universe.) I think they did, because when Kirk is talking to earth on the viewscreen and communications go out on Earth, Sarek looks out the window and sees Kirk’s Klingon Bird of Prey rushing towards the Golden Gate bridge. So Kirk and gang returned to future Earth minutes BEFORE they originally went back in time around the sun.

138. 'Jean-Luc' - June 15, 2009

Re: premature labor

According to the new stupid “star”dates Kirk is born on 2233.4 (oh, pardon me, it’s 2233.”04″), which translates to January 4th. However, in the prime timeline he was born late March.

So, the baby was born 80 days too early? I don’t think it would have much chance for survival.

Ok, I know – 23rd century medical technology was able to keep the baby alive ;)

139. David - Nacelles with winglets 4-EV-RRRR - June 15, 2009

“discussing time travel makes my head hurt”

This thread is bordering on being silly. Time travel was a method to a means only – a way to tell the story. In this case (and this case only) they leveraged the multiverse idea with time travel for extra trekkie goodness.

It doesn’t invalidate any other time travel incursions.

It doesn’t validate any other time travel incursions.

And the grandfather paradox is ‘so 1970′s’… *rolls eyes*

And yes, I understood the premise without having my head explode. And at $250 million domestic, it appears that the public at large bought it (and bought it, and bought it).

So can we stop talking about quantum incursions like they were something we could test for?

Just my 2 bits.

140. Newman - June 15, 2009

I remember trying to figure out “Yesterday’s Enterprise.” Of course I was in grade school then, but I figured it out.

If a grade schooler can figure that out, I’m sure people can wrap their heads around this.

141. dalek - June 15, 2009

Since when did Uhura become an expert in time travel and timelines? She’s an expert linguistic, who was merely speculating. She has no experience in time travel at all.

I agree that there was nothing at all in the movie that backs up Bob Orci’s claims. In fact old Spock, an experienced time traveller himself, says nothing reassuring about the time he came from.

It’s also curious why he appears to have no reaction to the death of his mother, or empathy for the younger Spock losing his mother at such an early age. If he can’t change the timeline back, he could at least give his younger self the memories of his mother that he will miss out on. He deserves those at least.

142. freddy - June 15, 2009

Even the most dim-witted individual with an advanced degree in QM will know that there are infinite number of universes with and infinite number of alternate universes (IDIC)- Matter and Antimatter.
Movie is based on REAL life theories not fictional trek science…..so people just get with it – you all sound like people who still think the earth is flat…..retards.

143. freddy - June 15, 2009

And one more thing; how dare all of you think you know more then the writers do I mean the wrote and fantastic movie and explained the alternate universe thing and alot of you are saying that movie doesn’t explain PLEASE.

144. S. John Ross - June 15, 2009

#142: “Movie is based on REAL life theories not fictional trek science [...]”

The movie is still jam-packed and wall-to-wall with “fictional trek science.”

The writers have been vaguely kinda-sorta clear (sometimes evasive, back-tracky, and contradictory) that the “real” science [which is magically limited to areas of plotting convenience and permitted to touch no other part of the film] is just a handwave to (A) placate certain parties and (B) provide an easy excuse to have Leonard Nimoy in the movie.

Which is good enough for me, but still. Let’s not pretend it’s science fiction :)

145. Duncan MacLeod - June 15, 2009

138. ‘Jean-Luc’ – June 15, 2009

Re: premature labor

According to the new stupid “star”dates Kirk is born on 2233.4 (oh, pardon me, it’s 2233.”04″), which translates to January 4th. However, in the prime timeline he was born late March.

So, the baby was born 80 days too early? I don’t think it would have much chance for survival.

Ok, I know – 23rd century medical technology was able to keep the baby alive

OK, WITH ALL DUE RESPECT…. Do your research before spouting your damned foolish mouth off..

A Study has been carried out by Sweden to learn the outcomes of premature babies less then 27 weeks gestation. The study was conducted between 1st April 2004 and 31st March 2007 . The study was conducted to better understand the outcomes of extreme premmie infants over a 365 day period without major mobility which includes conditions such as intraventricular hemorrhage grade >2, retinopaothy of prematurity stage >2, periventricular leukomalacia, necrotizing enterocolitis, severe bronchopulmonary dysplasia. The study showed the associations between perinatal interventions and survival, of 1000 preterm babies studied 707 were live-born and 304 resulted in stillbirths. The babies were born to 887 mothers in 904 deliveries and there were 102 multiple births recorded in the study. The study found the difference in the mortality rate differed from those born at 22 weeks being 93% and those being born at 26 weeks being 24%, with the over all mortality rate for babies born between 22-26 weeks gestation was recorded at 45%. The study suggested that both antenatal and neotnatal treatments administered gave the babies a better chance at survival chance, such things include antenatal corticosteroids given to the mother before delivery and surfactant treatment within 2 hours after birth to the baby. The study also found the difference in the survival rates between 9.8% for a 22 weeker and 85% 26 weeker. The overall survival rate in Sweden for babies born between 22-26 weeks gestation was recorded at 70%. This study gives hope to those who have babies born between 22 – 26 weeks gestation. I am sure with more research we will hear more and more about babies at extreme gestations surviving. If you like to read more details about this research visit this link

Sources….

146. Duncan MacLeod - June 15, 2009

i am having some trouble posting URLS…

147. Duncan MacLeod - June 15, 2009

<<>>

148. Duncan MacLeod - June 15, 2009

Source1 click on name

149. OneBuckFilms - June 15, 2009

136 – That is incorrect. They did NOT erase the continity through Nemesis.

Otherwise, Spock would have not memory of Kirk mentioning his father being the reason he joined Starfleet, or the fact that his father was proud the day he got command of the Enterprise.

Grandfather Paradox would have to come into play.

Whether they tell stories on film in the Prime Reality or not is irrelevent as to whether or not it exists.

FACTS.

150. Duncan MacLeod - June 15, 2009

http://tinyurl.com/n8fypa

Second Source

151. Duncan MacLeod - June 15, 2009

138. Also, this study was done 200 years before the events of the movie, i dare say the technology has improved.

152. Copper - June 15, 2009

I think we need to detach from calling it a “Timeline” honestly what they should have done is simply state the Red Matter caused an Interdimensional rift which created an alternate universe, thus preserving the original “Prime” Timeline/Universe and allowing us to see this alternate reality.

153. 'Jean-Luc' - June 15, 2009

Re: “spouting your damned foolish mouth off”

Judging by the size of your post it would seem as if you had something meaningful to say, something that I could perhaps learn from, unfortunately I decided not to read any further beyond that sentence.

Oh dear.

154. freddy - June 15, 2009

I completely agree with #152 – one of the good ones – everyone else learn from this person.

155. Trekker chick - June 15, 2009

@141

She is a fan of an ancient literary style known as “science fiction”?

156. The Excelsior Looked Cool - June 15, 2009

I think there’s a simple explanation to the alternate timelines that doesn’t involve pseudo quantum mechanics. I say pseudo quantum mechanics because I just looked up real quantum mechanics, and, while it doesn’t make any sense, it says nothing about the creation of alternate universes. In fact, it apparently says that changing the timeline is impossible, but that makes no sense, because if you know that you can then take precautions and do it anyway…
In any event, here’s what I say happened Trek-wise: Q saved the prime timeline. Why? Well, in a fanfic I wrote, I hypothesized that Q was born in the prime timeline, and thus feels a certain attachment to it. I, of course, gave Q some other reasons as well. I didn’t begin this message with the intention of plugging a fic of mine, just the intention of proposing a solution that fixes everything, but if anyone wants to check the fic out (it’s less than 500 words), you can read it at http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5095063/1/If_He_Had_Fingers. If you don’t feel like copy-pasting, you can click my ID on this message. I put the story URL as my website. If you read the story, please review.
Thanks.

157. RD - June 15, 2009

139. David wrote: I understood the premise …And at $250 million domestic, it appears that the public at large bought it

I would argue that the public bought the traditional linear timeline theory, which is what has been presented in almost every movie from H.G. Wells, to Back To The Future, to more currently Lost and Terminator. The were presented with a timetravel movie and bought it on face value.

NOTHING in this movie even suggests MWI QM. The only people who are confused are hard core Trek fans whom Orci is trying to appease with multiverse theory he claims the film is based on, as they try to reconcile the old timeline with the new. If you never heard Orci’s explanation, there was nothing in the film anyone experienced in the genre hasn’t seen before.

149. OneBuckFilms wrote:
136 – That is incorrect. They did NOT erase the continity through Nemesis….Grandfather Paradox would have to come into play. Whether they tell stories on film in the Prime Reality or not is irrelevent as to whether or not it exists. FACTS.

Actually this is OPINION. First, I never said it erased continuity, I said it overwrites canon in a linear timeline – going forward. Of course a grandfather paradox exists since Spock lived it. But LOST has already explained that to us … Spock’s future is the past of this present, but it will not happen that way again. Then again, the entire series treatment of time travel was based on this traditional vision of time travel and nothing in ST09 precludes one from seeing it this way. Therefore going forward, everything that happened in the old timeline does not happen in this new one.

Second, the only thing that can be said factually about the “Prime” universe timeline is that it did exist as Spock knows it, for Spock to exist at all. Nothing on-screen proves it still exists as an alternate parallel universe, or is being re-written by the new film in a tradional linear timeline, nor confirms MWI QM one way or the other.

FInally, I would also argue that there is nothing at all relevant about whether it still exists or not, whether new stories are portrayed in it or not.

158. The Last Maquis - June 15, 2009

Prime Time line Kicks Alternative Time line’s Ass!!!!

Except for Voyager. Uhg

159. Will_H - June 15, 2009

Yeah, Im glad to see that I’m not the only one that remembers that time travel messes with the normal timeline. Hell, look at city on the edge of forever, McCoy goes back in time and BAM, no Federation. That’s how it works in Star Trek, always has. And time’s arrow, that goes even deeper into it, and wouldnt work with the new time travel. I also really hope that STO wont be considered cannon because I dont like the idea of the whole treaty with the Klingons going bye bye. Star Trek needs to expand beyond the petty alpha/beta quadrant political mess and needs to get back to exploration of the unknown. As much as Voyager had problems, at least it managed to escape that.

160. PJays - June 15, 2009

This is my first post to this site even thou I have been coming to this site for a few years now so please, be kind.

I think this is an interesting article and I can see why it is debated. One thing I would like to add is that this movie talks about a paradox. A paradox example is when you go back in time and kill your grandfather. Then you would never exist but if you never existed, you could never kill your grandfather and the loop continues forever. Another realitly co-existing, one with you exist and another where you don’t, is the only way for this to work. So when Nero goes back in time and destroys Vulcan, a paradox is formed.

Trek has different versions of time travel so no reason to have this one. No paradoxes, you time travel in your own timeline. If you make a paradox, you create another reality or travel to one depending on how you look at it. (Unless you disagree with this which is fine)

There are many different versions of paradoxes and Trek versions. Check them out at Memory Alpha.
http://memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/Paradox

Please feel free to debate or disagree with this but please, no colorful metaphors.

161. SpocksinnerConflict - June 15, 2009

Some fans like Voyager, and some don’t.
Some fans like DS9, and some fans don’t.

Some fans hate TNG, and some fans love it.

Amazing as it is, some fans don’t like TOS while other fans watch nothing but…

Some fans are having a difficult time with the new film, and some fans aren’t…etc, etc, etc,

etc….

…I hear there’s a new film coming out in 2011. Some fans will probably like it, and some fans won’t.
(my ode to Star Trek fan diversity)

162. Dom - June 15, 2009

136. RD: ‘What I am gleaning from many of these posts is that for the first time in years, the fan base are like the citizens of Beta III, without guidance from Landru. They need some sort of “official” clarification of the new rules under which they operate.’

Yes, it’s all rather sad and disappointing isn’t it? When I was younger, part of being a fan was having fun speculating. Apparent plot holes were opportunities for discussion and building your own interpretation of the Trek universe.

Nowadays, all fanboys seem to do is bleat about incompetent writers, demand written explanations and get pseudo-engineers to draw vast numbers of nerd documents to allow them to accept an idea.

Maybe the original Trek timeline still exists, maybe it doesn’t. Frankly, it’s been manipulated and altered so many times now, that I doubt there really is one ‘clean’ timeline. End of the day, who cares? It’s Star Trek and it’s fun!

163. Original Trek Fan - June 15, 2009

Reading these post were so interesting and made me think of something I once saw on TV. . . .

OMG! Get a life you people. This is science FICTION. The writers make things up, there are no facts to support time travel. It can’t be done, seriously.

Plus, do you really think that all of the writers of all of the Star Trek series and movies wrote their scripts so that all story lines would be consistent? Duh! I don’t want to insult anyone, but they are not that smart.

Personally, I am sticking to the Red Matter theory, much less complicated and explains the whole thing in one sentence.

I loved the movie and plan on seeing it again and again. I dislike the whole alternate timeline thing. When old Spock and young Spock meet – well that just shouldn’t happen. That’s JJ Abrams whole Lost thing, a cop out for not knowing how to finish the story properly. I hate that.

164. Anthony Pascale - June 15, 2009

Yes it is true that books and comics and games are not part of official canon, however they are not allowed to violate canon.

If it was ‘canon’ that the Star Trek movie ‘wiped out’ the prime universe, then there could be nothing set in the prime universe after nero and spock left. As noted above, both STO and the Star Trek comics have already depicted ‘post Nero’ Prime Timeline stories. We should expect more to follow.

If you want to think it was all erased in your head, fine. But Paramount, CBS, the licensees, and the filmmakers will continue forward with the notion that there are now two main timelines for Star Trek.

165. SChaos1701 - June 15, 2009

162

I couldn’t agree more.

163

Same thing except for the last 3 sentences.

166. SPARTACVS - June 15, 2009

I’m sure other people have as well, but I would propose “Tangent Universe” as the name for the new timeline… it’s more unique sounding and more descriptive of exactly what it is than just “Alternate Reality”, and fits in with the nomenclature of the already established “Mirror Universe”.

“Mirror Universe” sounds like what it is, a completely different timeline that is the opposite of the “Prime Universe”. “Tangent Universe” also sounds like what it is, a split-off at a certain point, creating a different timeline only from said point. “Alternate Reality” is just far too vague.

167. Trip - June 15, 2009

I suppose you could travel through a red matter singularity to an alternate universe at a different time while the timeline in the “prime” universe stays intact, and still make sense of the many other ST time-travel stories where they need to fix the past or avoid messing up the past to preserve or restore the present/future. While some of that science and detail isn’t really fleshed out, I’m glad for the reboot and how they have some freedom to take the old TOS characters on new stories without being bound by what happened in the others. I do have one question: In the chart, what is the basis of the 2399 falling out of the Federation – Klingon treaty? Is that canon? Did I miss that somewhere?

168. Trip - June 15, 2009

What to call the “alternate” timeline? How about the Pine/Quinto timeline? The other could be the Shatner/Nimoy timeline (although Nimoy appears in both).

169. dalek - June 15, 2009

#164 That’s all very well but wasn’t one of the points of this movie to actually appeal to the non-Star Trek fan, the casual moviegoer, the outsider, the non-Trekkie. The people who won’t buy the games, read the books, glance the comics, or check out Roberto Orci interviews online.

JJ Made Star Trek accessible again. But as far as the majority of the audience is aware (Trekkies are surely a vast minority of that $400 million), this erased the previous timeline and everything changed.

Most people’s exposure to Trek will only be this movie, and nowhere in the movie did it state, as matter of fact, that Spock Prime’s timeline is still in tact. In fact it is quite categorically stated that Spock prime is “changing the way it goes”, and Spock prime nods that its a lesson he’s learnt from Kirk.

I agree an easy explanation, is the red matter/blackhole theory that split the universes. But they should have said so in the actual movie. Anything else is just hearsay like “Gene said at a convention that the rebuilt Enterprise in Trek 4 was actually the USS Yorktown recommissioned”. Which I’ve heard before. It’s not a fact if it isn’t stated in the film.

Loved the movie, but I still don’t subscribe that the two universes exist simultaneously is canon unless its explained on screen. And any non-Trekkie will be oblivious also.

170. Capt Mike of the Terran Empire - June 15, 2009

In the Alternate timeline we can see so much. Different takes on the Doomsday machine and Nomad and Veger and the Whale Probe and so on. So many possibilitys and so much that can be explored. Either in movies and series or in books. Will be a lot of fun seeing and or reading.

171. RD - June 15, 2009

#169 – It’s a half-empty/half-full sort of thing. It would not serve Paramount or CBS to definitively say a thing one way or the other.

In short, they want their cake and eat it too.

If they definitively say the “Prime” universe no longer exists, then based on this no-canon-violation “rule”, they can no longer license ancillary stories which take place after Nero and Spock travel back in time and lose out on income that unauthorized fan fiction will surely continue to be written. It would also upset a large faction of fans.

If they definitively say the “Prime” universe still exists, then they have to explain why Spock does not does not slingshot around the sun to save Vulcan or defeat Nero, why the “Guardian of Forever” can no longer exist and why many experiences Spock had during his long life in the “Prime” universe can no longer have happened because the “Prime” universe canon violates MWI QM theory applied by Orci. They also have to explain it to a lay-audience who will assume traditional linear time-line movie rules, which is actually pointless, because it is confusion and under MWI QM, it does not make sense to ever time travel again. FInally, it will eliminate further any story involving The Guardian, or other linear time travel stories since the multiverse theory will then be canon.

Therefore, it is pointless to ever clarify it.

Also, I don’t buy this no-canon-violation “rule” proves anything. There have been many official Trek fictions that take place far into the future which technically can violate canon after it is eventually written. Therefore, any story that takes place post Nero in the “Prime” timeline, can be said to take place after the timeline has been restored at some point in the future, without violating current canon.

172. SpocksinnerConflict - June 15, 2009

The Prime Universe will not disappear.

The whole point of the article is how Star Trek: online is dealing with the existence of the alt-universe, as it relates to the Prime Universe, which is where ST: Online is set.

Trekmovie.com just reviewed a new Prime Universe TNG novel.

I am currently following two IDW Prime Universe comics (crews, and Missions End, set before and after TOS).

I see no reason to freak out about the Prime Universe disappearing.
Both Universe exist.

173. Smitty™ - June 15, 2009

Proof an alternate timeline still exists take a look at Romulan Commander Sela!

Tasha Yar from the timeline where the Federation was at war with the Klingons. She returned with the crew of the Enterprise C into the past at the Klingon outpost Narendra Three. Tasha and other survivors onboard the EntC were captured and Tasha became the consort of a Romulan general. She had a child with this Romulan. Sela exists because alternate Tasha exists therefore the alt timeline exists.

-cs™

174. Anthony Pascale - June 15, 2009

The above chart is a CBS approved graphic that represents the official policy regarding timelines. It definitively states that both exist and continue in parallel. Everyone i talk to at CBS, Bad Robot, Paramount, etc work based on the premise that both exist and continue.

I am not sure why it is so hard for some to just see that they both exist, it is as official and ‘definitive’ as your are going to get. It is their franchise, they get to decide what is ‘real’ and what isn’t in their fictional world.

And until there is a new Supreme Court and a new ruling, there are two timelines

175. Bob Tompkins - June 15, 2009

13- Quantum physics begs to differ…..

The parallel timeline created in ST09 invalidates a huge part of the prime timeline, simply by destroying Vulcan. That would seem to be a ‘wound’ that could never fully heal.
Merging the two timelines without restoring Vulcan to the parallel timeline doesn’t work because every adventure on Vulcan from Amok Time to any references to Vulcan in Voyager are now and forever negated and eliminated.
I like the idea of putting the current movie in its own parallel universe but allowing the prime universe to move forward in print or otherwise, even though it would seem we may never actually see the prime universe represented on film or video again.

176. Sisko is the Prophet - June 15, 2009

this is pretty straightforward. TPTB say there are two timelines, so there are two timelines. That seems simple enough.

The franchise owner and the writer of the movie have made it clear, I find it kind of funny that therea re people here basically saying they are wrong about their own property.

177. cagmar - June 15, 2009

No, I definitely like what they’ve done with time travel. New and interesting time travel stories that tell us about ourselves are rare these days. Part of science fiction, is taking an idea that’s very general, like Time travel or robotics or aliens — and playing with it as much and as long as you can in all different ways.

The thought by Orci, Kurtzman (and whoever else developed this idea) is really appreciated!

However, I would have loved the characters to talk about it. If the movie doesn’t talk about it properly, it might as well not have happened. If things just happened in Back to the Future and Doc didn’t explain or analyze events, I would not have been inspired by any of it. And I wasn’t inspired creatively or intellectually by STXI

178. cagmar - June 15, 2009

I know people are going to say it, but NO, I don’t mean I wanted a long, boring seminar where the movie slowed to a crawl!

There IS middle ground. Terminator was an action movie to the core — but it still explained everything and wove a beautiful tale out of it’s science fiction elements. My brother used to do programming as a kid and he worked for years on an AI system… we used to joke that one day a terminator would show up at the door… There was no question about what the movie meant. We got the ideas and we were able to explore them beyond what appeared in the movie because the movie did it’s part. STXI didn’t.

179. nobull-23 - June 15, 2009

My 2 cents…

Different ways to time travel cause different effects on the Time line.

Slingshot around sun – you are traveling in your own time line and can change the past and future (Star Trek IV).

Guardian – also same time line able to change past but does not seem to effect people on that plant (City on the Edge of Forever).

Black hole using Red Matter – seems to spin you into a universe that does not effect the future (Star Trek 2009). (Maybe connecting these two Universes not unlike the Mirror Universe is connected to the Prime time line although without the time travel aspect.)

Which brings up the point why doesn’t Spock just slingshot around the Sun to get home – Because he would travel to the Alternate future (ST09) where he already exists.

For Spock to get home he would have to create another Black Hole with red matter and go through it, the problem with this is at this point I believe he has no Idea how to control where he would come out, this is why he decides to stay where he is.

But that is just my opinion

180. The Excelsior Looked Cool - June 15, 2009

Q saved the prime timeline. It’s the only thing that makes sense without pseudo-science.

…Then again, it’s story. It’s like asking why Hamlet had the royal seal with him when he was at sea. There’s no logical reason for him to have it…he just did.

Maybe we should all apply the same logic to the “two timelines” and stop debating this like it actually means something to the world. The only thing about Star Trek that matters is the ideas behind it. As long as the Supreme Court keeps those, and keeps churning out good writing, who cares what they do? They can blow up Andoria, Tellar, Remus, Romulus, Betazed, Ferenginar, Cardassia, Cestus III and more for all I care as long as the story remains good.

I seem to have just stripped my fic of reason for existing… oh well. Actually, my fic’s a good example here. It’s a story. As long as the story is good, who cares whether or not Kirk’s eyes are brown or blue? Who cares precisely where Watson’s wound is? It’s story. Let it be just that. There are two Trek universes. Deal with it and be glad Star Trek’s not Marvel or DC.

181. The Excelsior Looked Cool - June 15, 2009

re: 179
You make a lot of sense.

182. RD - June 15, 2009

#175. – there is a QM theory that encompasses MWI and allows the “Prime” universe to exist as it always did. Max Tegmark’s Level III MWI QM or Level IV “Ultimate Ensemble” hypothesis allow the alternate reality universe to exist with similar, but different physical laws than the “Prime” universe.

I personally don’t need any other explanation than: “it’s a reboot”. However, Tegmark’s MWI QM interpretation allows all fictional universes and their respective canon to peacefully co-exist within modern theories of physics. However, this is not the interpretation Orci is adamantly using.

Despite what anyone says or presents, however official, until it appears on-screen it is not canon. That seems to be where the confusion lies.

183. Fubamushu - June 15, 2009

So now Kirk get’s command of the Enterprise some 6-8 years before his counterpart in “prime time” gets command of it? Excuse me?

Yet on the other hand it took the Federation/Starfleet 7-10* (or more) years longer to build the Enterprise than “prime time”? Excuse me?

* Unknown number of years Captain April was in command.
+
Eleven years Spock and Pike were on the Enterprise together (Assuming Pike and Spock joined the crew upon April’s retirement.)
+
Number of years Kirk was in command before WNMHGB.
-
New Kirk’s earlier command path.

Wow. That’s insane in the membrane.

OH, and as far as the game is concerned, what about those pesky Organians?

184. Another Q - June 15, 2009

“TIME PARADOXES GIVE ME A HEADACHE!!!”
(this is Star Trek XI – The Future Begins)
Perfect Title

185. TC Jones - June 15, 2009

Wouldn’t it be fascinating to see how “Q” plays out in the new timeline.

EXT. The Q Continuum

A very older Spock stands awash in bright white of the Q Continuum pondering over a question posed to him by the Q. Unable to logically figure out the reasoning of the question, the question lingers in his mind as the words slip from his lips.

spock

Why would you do this? What logic does this serve?

Q

Your prime nature serves as an example to all who would tamper with time. You will be the nexus for all things to come. You are the Spock…the beginning of all things Vulcan.

####

Wouldn’t it be ironic for Spock to be inducted into the Q Continuum? Imagine that….a logical and passionate Q!

LOL

186. TC Jones - June 15, 2009

According to John Tittle…and his time travels…multiple universes are much like mirrors to the right and left of a person standing in a room….if you step into the universe by traveling in time (the right and left mirrors) you are entering another universe and exiting your own. Things will be the same and some not. That’s how you avoid the grandfather paradox.

This also explains how some dreams seem like you are experiencing some wierd events or feel connected to them, even when they haven’t happening in your own…the human mind can connect to the “other you’s” in the alternate universes…in effect you are “dreaming” or “seeing” events that happened to them…even though those events have not or will not happen in “your” universe.

Fascinating what the human mind can be capable of, isn’t it?

TC

187. Spock Not Spock - June 15, 2009

The many-worlds interpretation could be one possible way to resolve the paradoxes that one would expect to arise if time travel turns out to be permitted by physics (permitting closed timelike curves and thus violating causality). Entering the past would itself be a quantum event causing branching, and therefore the timeline accessed by the time traveller simply would be another timeline of many. In that sense, it would make the Novikov self-consistency principle unnecessary.

188. Daoud - June 15, 2009

166 SPARTACVS Tangent Universe is good. Or perhaps the “Pine over Copine” :)

Of course, Mount Sohcahtoa always sounded like it should be near Mount Selaya, which sadly in this tan Universe we can no longer climb…

183 Fubamushu: So now Kirk get’s command of the Enterprise some 6-8 years before his counterpart in “prime time” gets command of it? Excuse me?

Have you not been reading all the many discussions here for months? Kirk gets command of this tangent Enterprise 6 years sooner than the prime Kirk does. He just saved the effing Federation because of his persistence. You’re excused.

Yet on the other hand it took the Federation/Starfleet 7-10* (or more) years longer to build the Enterprise than “prime time”? Excuse me?

Again, you’re excused. This tangent universe diverged in 2233. George Kirk was killed. He convinced Captain April to rename the testbed USS Constitution to USS Enterprise in the prime universe. He can’t do that now, he’s dead. (Orci has repeatedly mentioned some of the novels that the movie followed, including Best Destiny.) This Enterprise is a different, later ship. Presumably, the tangent Commodore April and the USS Constitution might have been destroyed at Vulcan, or is off in the never-explained Laurentian System.

Unknown number of years Captain April was in command.

Wrong-o as a bad Slusho. If there’s a Captain April, he didn’t command the tangent Enterprise, he commanded the Constitution.

Eleven years Spock and Pike were on the Enterprise together (Assuming Pike and Spock joined the crew upon April’s retirement.)

There is no April in this philosophy, Horatio.

Number of years Kirk was in command before WNMHGB.

Always speculated to be at least one.

Wow. That’s insane in the membrane.

Yep, branes are involved. Parallel universes and branes, yep.

OH, and as far as the game is concerned, what about those pesky Organians?

They’re still off running errands, I’m sure.

189. Seanny - June 15, 2009

@157:

I would argue that the public bought the traditional linear timeline theory, which is what has been presented in almost every movie from H.G. Wells, to Back To The Future, to more currently Lost and Terminator. The were presented with a timetravel movie and bought it on face value.

I agree. But no reason for the casual person to really think about it otherwise. However, LOST’s theory of time travel has not been completely explained. Some viewers think the LOST universe is suggesting the idea that even if you change some things in the past, the net sum of all decisions every human in the world will make will result in a mostly similar timeline because its the same people and they will tend to make the same decisions… this relates to QM in the idea that you can’t predict with any certainty in the classical physics sense behavior of particles because the mere observance of the particles changes their behavior, however you can create probabilities of outcomes which provides a general guide. Of course they could debunk this with the divinity aspect they appear to be working in.

NOTHING in this movie even suggests MWI QM. The only people who are confused are hard core Trek fans whom Orci is trying to appease with multiverse theory he claims the film is based on, as they try to reconcile the old timeline with the new. If you never heard Orci’s explanation, there was nothing in the film anyone experienced in the genre hasn’t seen before.

I would say the fact that all of the same characters come together to form the crew points the LOST theory of time that I presented above, which is related more to quantum mechanics than other theories of time travel, such as sling-shotting yourself around the sun. Some might call it destiny, as in fact, did Spock Prime.

I think what the writers did was genius, instead of doing a straight prequel that would have resulted in an anti-climatic Star Wars kind of prequel and would never have reconciled exactly to what was known about TOS (see ST:Enterprise), they did a reboot that they rather meta-fictionally wrote into the canon itself. The most amazing part about it is they didn’t do a reset at the end of the story. Resets work okay in episodic TV like ‘Yesterday’s Enterprise’ but seem like a cop out in movies. The intention was to tell great stories that have the spirit of the classic trek but have a 21st century sensibility. They smartly used time travel to get there and hopefully won’t feel the need to use it again!

190. RD - June 16, 2009

#189. Seanny wrote Resets work okay in episodic TV like ‘Yesterday’s Enterprise’ but seem like a cop out in movies. …They smartly used time travel to get there and hopefully won’t feel the need to use it again!

Resets didn’t seem to bother audiences in ST:TVH and FC, or in other box office hits like “Back To The Future” and “Terminator”. The ride is much more important than whether the “reset” button gets pressed.

As for ever using time travel again, it would be pointless under MWI QM since it would take the crew to yet another alternate parallel universe and further diminish the importance of these characters. Of course, someone else could arrive in this universe from the “Prime” through some other accident (like “Prime” Kirk).

Whether LOST’s theory of time travel invokes elements of QM, it is still a linear timeline where people from the future can interact directly with people from the past. Whatever else is going on, that’s what the average viewer takes away and what’s more, it’s also an Abrams’ show which further reinforces the notion of ST09 using traditional linear timetravel. QM can certainly be used to explain “destiny” but the franchise as a whole is chock full of coincidences as the premise for almost every story told (what’s with the Enterprise always being the closest available ship to any emergency anyway?) and since it always employed a traditional linear view of timetravel, it doesn’t provide any clear evidence for QM in ST09.

Personally, I fully expect the ending of LOST to be as completely un-fulfilling as the Rambaldi, “Fountain of Youth” nonsense which helped drop a perfectly good series over 50 points in the ratings by the end. Here’s hoping I’m wrong. Then again, the journey is the reward.

191. DJT - June 16, 2009

So according to TPTB, when the odometer hits Warp Ten, you become a salamander? That is also correct, right?

“If my calculations are correct, when this baby hits eighty-eight miles per hour… you’re gonna see some serious sh*t.”

192. Dom - June 16, 2009

186. TC Jones: ‘This also explains how some dreams seem like you are experiencing some weird events or feel connected to them, even when they haven’t happening in your own…the human mind can connect to the “other you’s” in the alternate universes.’

Hmm. Yes, I’ve long suspected that to be the case!

193. hawaiowa - June 16, 2009

There is no such thing as a timeline, because Time isn’t linear. Timelines are good for x-refing events in fictional universes, but they do not correspond with physical reality, either quantum or post-structuralist. For example, one posited timeline is “T-time”, or the timeline of imagination, that runs perpendicular to the linear ‘real time”. And that’s just one, based on the discretion between physical reality and imaginative reality. If the new Trek movie evoked nostalgia in your heart, was that because of memory, or because it was a warping of T-time?

Another notion is chrono-homogeneity in the sense that corruptions of the timeline are impossible because Time self-corrects for such changes using means that are not interpretable as predestinate/precognizant phenomena. In other words, Time is an egg, with divergent timelines that will always merge at the ‘pole’ regardless of meridian.

Onto more mundane matters, I’m often disappointed by MMORPGs and MMORGs because they start off well and then become boring, plus there is no conclusion, plus there are hackers that disrupt the flow of gameplay, etc. I hope that Cryptic will release a single-player campaign version for those who don’t want to f**k with all the OL idiots and will want an actual storyarc to their gaming experience. Of course, there is much less revenue using that route, but there will be folks who will simply not purchase the game because of their aversion to OL MMORGs. Use the Diablo approach and make the game multiplatform so that it can accommodate single players and onliners, plz.

194. Mitch - June 16, 2009

130–yes. Spock Prime, the time traveler, is unaffected by changes in the timeline. That’s a well established Trek time travel thing. It’s not like Back to the Future where the time traveler can erase himself. But the timeline is still gone.

Anthony–comics may not be permitted to violate canon, but to the extent they do, they are irrelevant. Even Orci admitted that to the extent the comics contradict the movie, the movie overrides. Canon has long established how timelines work in Star Trek. This dates back all the way to City on the Edge. They made a decision to overwrite the timeline. Orci clearly doesn’t want to offend the die hard fans, and concocted something that has no evidence in the actual movie or in Trek history. It’s simply not true.

The idea that the prime universe is erased is not in anyone’s head. All of Trek history supports that.

The idea that the prime universe not erased is something that some people are trying to argue to make die hards feel better. Hey, I hated a lot of things they did, but I can’t change them by wishful thinking.

The prime universe is gone. Sorry.

195. falcon - June 16, 2009

Personally I think we’re living in an alternate reality right now. And tomorrow will be another alternate reality…brought about by our actions or inactions of today.

Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle rules, at least until someone comes from 146 years in the future to change our present.

@191 – let’s hope that, when we finally do hit warp 10, we don’t all turn into amphibians. And if we do, let’s not retain any memory of the event.

@186 – Yeeeeaaaahhh, sure. If my subconscious mind is ruled by the conscious events of the other “me’s” in all the other parallel universes, then there’s some seriously weird $#!+ going on in those other universes. Better not to think about it.

196. Daoud - June 16, 2009

#190 RD: Resets didn’t seem to bother audiences in ST:TVH and FC, or in other box office hits like “Back To The Future” and “Terminator”. The ride is much more important than whether the “reset” button gets pressed.

Waitaminute. In TVH, history is altered: Gillian Taylor “disappears”–ostensibly she originally was a suicide. George and Gracie also–originally they were sushi. Earth would have been destroyed. No reset button there. In FC, history again is altered by the Borg, but repaired to some degree by Picard and gang. Many speculate the slight changes led to the NX-01 and by extension the Kelvin and some of the changes we see in ST2009.

Back to the Future, the whole POINT is pressing a reset button. He has to get “back” to the “future”. Anyway. Terminator? What’s that? (j/k) I think they should just reset that universe to only the first two movies. ;)

#194 Mitch. Wow, pick fights much?

The prime universe is gone. Sorry.

Sorry to you, but your opinion is worth this: ” ” compared to that of Bob Orci who’s already explained this quite clearly.

The Nero Universe exists separately from the Prime Universe. It’s a branching universe using the many worlds interpretation. Just like the Mirror Universe which exists separately from the Prime Universe: which also just might be a branch, going back at least to (insert favorite past event that makes Earth predominantly evil).

What makes the Nero Universe different is the method of getting there required an exotic form of matter that was called “red matter” in the film. Not quite unlike the exotic matter known to be needed to create real world stable wormholes. Problem is having negative mass and below zero potential energy. No one’s quite figured that out in the real world, but red matter will do. It did seem to have quite a bit of a repulsive force, the red matter moved away from the inserted needle.

I’d argue ST now has *3* universes at least. (A myriad, if one prefers!) Might be interesting in providing another way to bring back a Shatner-Kirk… or rather Shatner-as-Tiberius, deposed Emperor of the Mirror Universe.

197. Mitch - June 16, 2009

It doesn’t matter what anyone says, canon is established on screen. It’s not about opinion. It’s about how Star Trek treated this for 40 years.

Nothing in the movie indicates it’s a different universe. It’s a simple case of time travel, where history is changed, and the timeline is overwritten. It’s like a floppy disk being erased and new information being put on it. Spock Prime and Nero are two leftover files from the way the disk was. The method of getting there is irrelevant. Nothing in the movie indicated the method of time travel affects anything.

The mirror universe does exist separately from the prime universe. You’re 100 percent right about that. Time travel was not involved in getting there, and it was established on screen that the mirror universe is a separate UNIVERSE. But in Star Trek, while there are many universes, there is only one timeline in each of them. Yesterday’s Enterprise and City on the Edge are two perfect examples of time travel erasing history. They weren’t separate universes (though there COULD be universes that are identical to them). They were the prime universe overwritten. The only difference is that in the end, history was restored.

If the movie had wanted this to be a separate universe, it would have established that. The writers chose not to go that route.

While I do agree that there COULD be a universe that’s identical to the prime universe in every way, it’s not the universe we followed. That would be a backup copy of the floppy disk I was talking about earlier. It’s a copy, not the original. The original is gone–overwritten by the Nero universe.

It is what it is.

198. jeannie Spock - June 16, 2009

Oh my God!
My head hurts
Come’on guys it’s just a movie!
Forget about TOS and TNG etc.
The new timeline is the new Trek now – just accept it.

199. Closettrekker - June 16, 2009

As far as I am concerned, Orci’s offscreen commentary about MWI/QM and the suggestion that the prime timeline is still moving forward is not canon.

The film leaves the viewer with nothing that suggests that time travel is suddenly treated any differently in the Star Trek Universe than it has been for decades.

Now this doesn’t mean that the events depicted in the 5 live action television series and 10 previous films never occured. On the contrary, those events are key to forming the timeline in which the catalyst for the altered one occurs to begin with. Those events happened, albeit in a previous timeline. In many ways, this is no different from TCOTEOF or “Yesteryear”.

ST09 is simply an unconventional sequel.

As for future stories set in the Prime timeline (presumably books, etc.), it doesn’t matter to me. They weren’t going to be any more ‘canon’ to begin with than Orci’s offscreen commentary about quantum mechanics…so nothing has changed in that regard.

200. Mitch - June 16, 2009

198–exactly. It overwrites everything we’ve seen until now. I think Closettrekker is on the money when it comes to analyzing what happened based on previous Trek treatment of time travel.

The events of the prime timeline happened, but were erased. Spock Prime’s existence is the only proof that the prime timeline existed. Think of it from Spock Prime’s point of view. It’s like a hotwheel loop. He lives his life up to one point, goes back in time, history is changed, but he continues on. Spock Prime is always going forward, even if the events changed.

This IS no different than City on the Edge or Yesterday’s Enterprise–except that inexplicably and out of character, Spock Prime has no desire to put things right and fix the timeline so that billions of people don’t die.

Of course, I think THAT would be an outstanding sequel story, but I doubt they would go there. They went to a lot of trouble to erase Trek history and get themselves a blank slate to spend a movie undoing what they did.

201. RD - June 16, 2009

#196 – Daoud wrote: The Nero Universe exists separately from the Prime Universe. It’s a branching universe using the many worlds interpretation. Just like the Mirror Universe which exists separately from the Prime Universe: which also just might be a branch, going back at least to (insert favorite past event that makes Earth predominantly evil).

Uh, no. The Mirror Universe does not exist for the alternate universe. Well at least for storytelling purposes (the actual universe may surely exist). The MWI QM theory Orci is emphatically using states that there can be no communication between branching universes. Therefore, the Mirror Universe could never have been a branch of MWI QM since it is impossible to travel between them, which was the premise used in old canon.

Sadly, this is a case of not being able to have your cake and eat it too.

As far as canon explanations, Uhura calls her timeline an “alternate reality”. The Mirror Universe could be defined as an “alternate reality” too. So could “Yesterday’s Enterprise” and “COTEOF”. It is entirely possible that, in the absence of on-screen canon and ignoring Orici’s MWI QM explanation, the new “alternate reality” is a universe like the “Mirror Universe”. However, if that were the case, then they would also be able to easily travel between them in much the same way they did in DS9. Prime Spock would of course have this information and be able to get himself home. So that doesn’t work either.

202. Closettrekker - June 16, 2009

#201—”As far as canon explanations, Uhura calls her timeline an ‘alternate reality’.”

She does use that term, but that’s pretty vague. I think that the terms ‘alternate reality’ and ‘alternate timeline’ are interchangeable there, and Bob’s Q & A session recently made that clear that this was the writers’ intention.

“It is entirely possible that, in the absence of on-screen canon and ignoring Orici’s MWI QM explanation, the new “alternate reality” is a universe like the ‘Mirror Universe’. ”

Except that stories in the MU never involved any time travel. If the timeline in which ST09 takes place were like that, why wouldn’t the singularity send both the Narada and the Jellyfish to an alternate 2287?

In the absence of any onscreen suggestion otherwise (retconning Star Trek’s treatment of time travel), MWI simply has no canon relevancy, nor does any other suggestion that the effects of the time travel in ST09 are any different than those that have been depicted for the last 4+ decades.

“So could ‘Yesterday’s Enterprise’ and ‘COTEOF’. ”

Definitely, but only because Uhura’s use of the term “alternate reality” in that context is synonymous with “alternate timeline”. Otherwise, restoring the timeline wouldn’t have ever been the goal in either story. Instead, the goal would have been to get back to the other “reality”, as it was in “Mirror, Mirror”. No?

203. Daoud - June 16, 2009

#202 Missed the MU two-parter on Star Trek: Enterprise? Seems like if in the mirror universe about 2155, they’re taking a ship from about 2265 from the prime universe through an interphase rift…. that 110 years would be, erm, “time” travel.

#201 “might”. I think you missed that word. I don’t like the idea of the MU being a branch, but some argue it is (using the intro sequence of the same two-parter on Star Trek: Enterprise).

As to travelling between branches… we have TNG’s Parallels.

Overall… temporal mechanics is best described as by Janeway.

And in fiction… the plot is more important than the details.

204. Joe_Cocolo - June 16, 2009

maybe in the nexty movie, this alternate reality will see a re-introduction of Spock’s Pajama Working Greys from TMP.

205. RD - June 16, 2009

#203. Daoud wrote: As to travelling between branches… we have TNG’s Parallels.

It’s not about what what pre-ST09 canon did or didn’t do. It’s about how Bob Orci emphatically claims the nature of this universe works. It is governed by MWI QM which does not allow for communication between universes. Therefore TNG Parallels was not subscribing to that theory and irrelevant here, just as is the MU.

Yes I did see you ruse of the word “might”. I just wanted to clarify that it absolutely does NOT qualify. ;-)

You are also correct that Enterprise indeed featured time travel as an aspect of MU travel, therefore it is canon. However, I don’t think Closettrekker cared much for that series. In any event, while often he presents logical arguments like the greenest-blooded Vulcan on the high council, I’m pretty sure he is human like the rest of us and suffers from the same resulting maladies thereof. Then again …

206. Closettrekker - June 16, 2009

#203—-I totally forgot about that, actually. I’ll have to plead myself being a victim of the dreaded brain-fart.

But I’m not sure that really changes anything. Wasn’t that caused by the “interphase rift” we saw in “The Tholian Web”? That seems like a rather isolated set of circumstances to me, or at least merely a specific area of space where this occurs. The MU would seem to be the destination for that which disappears from that region of space, although I can’t recall if there was ever any explanation as to why the Defiant showed up 113 years earlier.

All other MU travel has been to a parallel point in time, suggesting that what happened to the Defiant is exceptional.

In any case, it would still seem to be a stretch to tie that to what occurs when a ship is dragged into the singularity caused by Spock Prime, as depicted in ST09—-especially if the only piece of canonical material within the film helpful to that theory is Uhura’s use of the term “alternate reality”, which is again quite vague.

There are other instances of dialogue within the film that suggest that this is simply time travel—-as when Kirk describes what Spock Prime has done as “going back in time and changing the past”.

The exchange on the bridge also fails to support that notion, or to suggest anything other than the type of time travel effects to which we have previously been introduced in Star Trek.

Spock (to Kirk):”You are assuming that Nero knows how events are predicted to unfold. The contrary — Nero’s very presence has altered the flow of history, beginning with the attack on the USS Kelvin, culminating in the events of today, thereby creating an entire new chain of incidents that cannot be anticipated by either party.”

Uhura:”An alternate reality?”

Spock:”Precisely. Whatever our lives might have been, if the time continuum was disrupted, our destinies have changed.”

#205—”However, I don’t think Closettrekker cared much for that series.”

Not in the league of TOS, for sure, but believe it or not, off all the spinoffs series—-I liked ENT the best (with emphasis on the last season and a half). Unfortunately, I never saw it until it was out on dvd.

207. Daoud - June 16, 2009

#206 Closettrekker, your brain fart is a good one though… because you made my mind click on something:

Both the MU and the Prime Universe clearly exist mostly independent (but not mutually exclusive) of each other… and we have the ENT episode with the 113 year gap or so.

Now we have Prime Spock and Nero transported back from (erm, I may be off) 2387 back to 2258 and 2233 respectively. Differences of 129 years and 154 years. Very interesting!

This might help validate the non-branching MWI argument: ALL possible universes existed in the beginning. For every possible decision that will ever be made, there is a universe. Fascinating.

But back to our fake fictional physics debate… it’s entirely possible that the Nero Universe is a very-nearly-the-same-as-the Prime Universe up until the moment Nero shows up in *its* 2233. Using “Red Matter” as a convenient excuse, we could argue that it was the means of transporting between the two universes, as transporter fluctuations allow going between the MU and Prime U. Nero U and Prime U simply looked almost exactly alike until 2233, and then everything’s good.

I’m sure Orci could turn up and join in, but I think he’s got more pressing duties right now writing a sequel. :)

208. SpocksinnerConflict - June 16, 2009

So, if someone in the new movie had said “Oh, don’t worry…the prime time line is still there and okay…”, then we wouldn’t be having this problem?

The rules of Cannon have become far to rigid and is making people crazy.

So that’s why we needed long winded speeches all the time, they were just making sure information was cannon:

“Well, if we don’t have them say all of this, it won’t exist.”

I thought it was just Shatner, but no….it’s you guys!!!!

209. David (Loving the new Nacelles) - June 16, 2009

In my alternate universe, the sky is blue.

210. Closettrekker - June 16, 2009

#207—”Both the MU and the Prime Universe clearly exist mostly independent (but not mutually exclusive) of each other… and we have the ENT episode with the 113 year gap or so.”

But the gap is caused by the interphase rift near Tholian space, not by a black hole/singularity caused by projecting red matter into a supernova.

“it’s entirely possible that the Nero Universe is a very-nearly-the-same-as-the Prime Universe up until the moment Nero shows up in *its* 2233. Using “Red Matter” as a convenient excuse, we could argue that it was the means of transporting between the two universes, as transporter fluctuations allow going between the MU and Prime U. Nero U and Prime U simply looked almost exactly alike until 2233, and then everything’s good.”

I wouldn’t even have a problem with that, except that the film’s dialogue suggests that the circumstances have been created as a result of interference with history.

Note again the dialogue on the bridge:

Spock:”Nero’s very presence has altered the flow of history, beginning with the attack on the USS Kelvin, culminating in the events of today, thereby creating an entire new chain of incidents that cannot be anticipated by either party.”

Uhura:”An alternate reality?”

Spock:”Precisely. Whatever our lives might have been, if the time continuum was disrupted, our destinies have changed.”

This does not suggest the existence of any parallel universes—-only a single time continuum which can be manipulated by interference with the past…same as it ever was.

Bob Orci’s commentary offscreen is not canon. If he had wished to official retcon Star Trek’s treatment of time travel, or even suggest that this wasn’t actually time travel, but instead a gateway to a parallel universe—–it could have been incorporated into the dialogue (and therefor made canon). But by his own admission, this was left intentionally ambiguous, in which case, there is nothing to contradict previously established canonical entries on time travel in the Star Trek universe.

I actually prefer it this way, since I value the canon of this fictional universe far more than I do any notion of scientific accuracy or accordance with modern scientific theory. As it stands, I don’t feel that there is anything I need to reconcile.

The only difference between ST09 and the more than 50 other canonical entries about time travel is in the outcome—-since the ‘reset button’ is not pushed in the end (what a concept!).

211. GetsKrugesStereo - June 16, 2009

What flavor is the Kool-aid this week?

212. Closettrekker - June 16, 2009

#208—-”The rules of Cannon have become far to rigid and is making people crazy. ”

My understanding of it is quite simple.

If it’s onscreen within a live action television episode or film (sanctioned by CBS/Paramount of course), then it’s canon. If it is not—then it isn’t.

Where a contradiction does exist—-the later entry supercedes (or retcons) the material it contradicted.

You could argue that we’re all crazy for even caring about this sh*t, but it has nothing to do with the complexity of the rules!

213. RD - June 16, 2009

#210. Closettrekker wrote: But the gap is caused by the interphase rift near Tholian space, not by a black hole/singularity caused by projecting red matter into a supernova.

Actually, the official canon is that the “interphase rift” is caused BY the Tholians, when they detonated a tri-cobalt warhead within the gravity well of a dead star to create the rift. Hmmmm. Now what does that sound just a whole lot like?

Closettrekker wrote: But by [Bob Orci's] own admission, this was left intentionally ambiguous

Did he actually say that? Or was he merely intentionally ambiguous with his responses?;-)

214. nobull-23 - June 16, 2009

if canon = only what we see on TV or Movies.

Then wouldn’t it be impossible to erase what we have seen (TOS,TNG,DS9, Voy, ect…) and make the Alt. Universe explanation the only LOGICAL choice.

“If you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth”

again the impossible being erasing what we have seen on TV which is clearly canon.

215. spooky - June 16, 2009

I would love for CBS and Paramount to try their hands at direct to DVD mvoies for the other series’. They can tell stories leading up to the destruction of Romulus or even after the destruction of Romulus. If Stargate can do direct to DVD movies, so can they. They can test it out with one of the series’ to see if it is viable… I for one believe it is.

216. Mitch - June 16, 2009

It’s fairly simple as to why Orci didn’t put anything in the movie to support his offscreen comments. It’s a no win scenario. Onscreen, the prime universe is gone. If we were to subscribe to his offscreen claims that it still exists, then the events of this movie are irrelevant. Spock Prime is simply a visitor in an alternate universe. He didn’t travel back in time–he travelled back in time AND space. He went to another universe, not unlike Worf in Parallels. If that’s true, we are not following the adventures of Kirk and crew. We are following the adventures of some alternate Kirk and crew, and if that’s the case, who cares?

The writers have made it a point of saying that this IS the Kirk and crew we followed. Same people. Same souls. Different adventures. Unlike Orci’s offscreen statements, the idea that this IS the same Kirk IS supported in the movie based on the simple fact that we SEE that Spock Prime and Nero traveled back in time. There is no alternate universe theory. So without that, it’s a time travel story, and history was simply overwritten. It’s one of the other. It’s either the same people we followed with new adventures, or different people.

From what we saw onscreen, it’s the same people, and the prime universe is gone. That was the decision the writers clearly chose to show, no matter what they say offline to avoid the wrath of the longtime fan. It is what it is.

214–within canon, it is possible to erase a timeline and change history. So yes, it is possible to erase the entire Star Trek history.

217. nobull-23 - June 16, 2009

216 – “within canon, it is possible to erase a timeline and change history. So yes, it is possible to erase the entire Star Trek history.”

not trying to start a war but, where onscreen was this stated. When has any episode overwriten another?

So from your own statements that is not canon.

218. Colorado_Gamer - June 16, 2009

Now that I have scrolled to the bottom of this crazy long thread…
The extended cut of the movie on DVD/BluRay I am sure will fill in whatever dialogue need to be said about all of this…
:)

219. RD - June 16, 2009

#217, I’m not exactly sure what you are getting at here, but off the top of my head, the very first TOS episode that dealt with time travel overwrote itself.

In The Naked Time, as the planet below them disintegrates, the Enterprise attempts a theoretical cold-restart with a controlled matter-antimatter implosion, following which Spock reports the results: “We have regressed in time 71 hours; it is now three days ago, captain. We have… three days to live over again.” And Kirk replies: “Not those last three days.” He then promptly orders: “resume course to our next destination”. Therefore, the previous 3 days were completely discarded as they had not yet happened in the timeline, and then Kirk changed history by ordering the Enterprise away, thus ensuring they did not do the same things again.

220. rdm - June 16, 2009

why not destroy the sun in the past, that was the cause of this whole mess…I say do it by any means…

221. nobull-23 - June 17, 2009

219 not and episode overwriting itself, an episode that overwrites another.

222. Closettrekker - June 17, 2009

#213—” Now what does that sound just a whole lot like?”

It isn’t enough alike for me to assume that the same result would occur. For one thing, a “dead star” and one that’s “gone supernova” are two different properties. And of course, a “tri-cobalt warhead” and some 24th century material known as “red matter” are different properties as well.

The only things the two scenarios seem to have in common are the involvement of a star and ignition/detonation. Vaguely similar—-but certainly not even the same principle.

“Did he actually say that? Or was he merely intentionally ambiguous with his responses?”

He did say that he and Alex made a conscious decision not to put anything in the dialogue about it, and in the same post, acknowledged that the story could be interpreted as being a “classic” time travel tale.

I would say that’s being intentionally ambiguous.

223. Closettrekker - June 17, 2009

#219—-”Therefore, the previous 3 days were completely discarded as they had not yet happened in the timeline, and then Kirk changed history by ordering the Enterprise away, thus ensuring they did not do the same things again.”

The key phrase being “do the same things again”.

Those events still happened within the Star Trek universe. The way I view classic Star Trek time travel (and for that matter, the time travel in ST09), is that the passage of time is like the creation of a living document which can never be permanently “saved”. It can be overwritten, but that never changes the fact that it was indeed written and therefore did exist. It is still an event which took place.

In my mind, the events depicted in all 5 television series and 10 previous films combined to create one of those such documents (the Prime timeline). While it is currently being overwritten, that doesn’t change the fact that it did exist, and those events did occur.

224. Closettrekker - June 17, 2009

#221—-”not (an) episode overwriting itself, an episode that overwrites another.”

How about “Yesteryear”, for starters?

Spock makes clear in the dialogue that the timeline has changed from the one that was in play prior to their trip to Orion’s past. He notes that a pet died that did not before. However subtly changed, this actually suggests that the timeline is now different nonetheless. Therefore, he has technically overwritten not only one episode, but every episode of TOS—even if everything which occurs in those stories plays out precisely as it did in the previous timeline.

Likewise, this happens again and again in time travel stories within the Trek universe. Anytime the protagonists travel back in time and interact with people and events in the past—even if the effect upon the timeline is minor—they are in fact overwriting the entire history of the timeline from that point forward.

Another case in point—-STIV: TVH. The moment the protagonists remove Gillian Taylor from her place in the 20th Century, they are in fact overwriting everything between that point in time and the moment in which they arrive back in the latter half of the 23rd Century (which includes all of ENT, TOS, and the first 3 films)—-even if her absence from the timeline doesn’t cause a drastic change which would be noticeable upon their return.

225. PJays - June 17, 2009

#219—-”Therefore, the previous 3 days were completely discarded as they had not yet happened in the timeline, and then Kirk changed history by ordering the Enterprise away, thus ensuring they did not do the same things again.”

It depends how you want to accept it. I believe that Kirk orders the Enterpries away because they will only run back into themselves if they go back to the planet. The reason I say this is because when you go back in time, you don’t remove yourself from history (In those three days there will be 2 Enterprises). I know it is kinda Back to the Future style but I think Kirk is just saying “Not those three days…..” as kind of a metaphor as anyone would do to reflect on what just happened.

Again that is just my take. I am sure many people have their own on that episode.

226. nobull-23 - June 17, 2009

224 – I guess I am just a predetermined destination guy when it comes to Time travel within your own universe.

So in the case of Star Trek IV leaving Gillian there would have changed the Prime time line (in my scenario).

That is just how I look at it, and I commend the ST09 team for going out of there way to keep the Prime line in tact (at least for me). They could have just as easily said screw what has come before we are telling our own story ala Batman Begins and Casino Royal.

I guess what is great about Star Trek is a lot of it is left up to the viewer, and until it is proven otherwise on screen that is how I see it.

227. 'Trick - June 17, 2009

188. “…This Enterprise is a different, later ship. Presumably, the tangent Commodore April and the USS Constitution might have been destroyed at Vulcan, or is off in the never-explained Laurentian System…”

This is off topic, but what was going on in the Laurentian System? Was this ever explained…maybe in a first draft of the script?

Ideas? Speculation? Klingons? Wormhole? Experiment gone wrong? SS Botony Bay? Unknown, previously never before seen phenomena? Dyson Sphere?

Idea for the next movie? Maybe the Enterprise can come to the rescue again, and succeed where the rest of the fleet has failed?

As for the explanation of the timeline, I’m glad (and also sad) it was left unspoken in the movie. I prefer to think of this as a mirror universe type of thing, though Orci’s explanation is just fine as well (not my choice), even if it disregards other time travel stories…it’s fiction.

-P

-P

228. RD - June 17, 2009

#221. The events of VOYAGER’s “Endgame”, overwrites events of “Shattered”. RE: #226, There is nothing predetermined there because the future events depicted in “Shattered” are directly changed by the events of Endgame. Two completely different futures, one erased by the actions of another separate episode.

#225. Also without going through all of Trek’s canon, I’m pretty sure time travel does not work that way in Trek. In the DS9 “Children of Time” episode, it is shown that if the characters don’t repeat the same actions, then the results of their previous actions never happen. In the case of that episode, they literally fade away.

229. Closettrekker - June 17, 2009

#226—”…I commend the ST09 team for going out of there way to keep the Prime line in tact (at least for me). They could have just as easily said screw what has come before we are telling our own story ala Batman Begins and Casino Royal.

I guess what is great about Star Trek is a lot of it is left up to the viewer, and until it is proven otherwise on screen that is how I see it.”

Yes it’s nice that Orci provided some offscreen help for those whose concern it was to imagine the Prime timeline still intact. However, like you said, “until it’s proven otherwise on screen”—-the fact remains that nothing on screen suggests that the effects of time travel in ST09 are any different than those in “The City On The Edge Of Forever” or the 51 other time travel stories depicted in the Star Trek Universe. By those established rules, which go back to the very first season of TOS, the timeline has been permanently altered—and was the moment the Narada appeared and attacked the USS Kelvin in 2233.

This is, in fact, supported by the (quite canon) dialogue in ST09:

Spock:”Nero’s very presence has altered the flow of history, beginning with the attack on the USS Kelvin, culminating in the events of today, thereby creating an entire new chain of incidents that cannot be anticipated by either party.”

Uhura:”An alternate reality?”

Spock:”Precisely. Whatever our lives might have been, if the time continuum was disrupted, our destinies have changed.”

This does not suggest the existence of any ‘parallel’ universes—-only a single time continuum which can be manipulated by interference with the past…same as it ever was.

230. nobull-23 - June 17, 2009

229 – I think time will prove me right (maybe I wrong on that too).

How would the crew know they were in an Alt Universe unless they travled back and forth like the Mirror Universe, You can’t expect them to be talk like well here in our Universe things are like this or that, That would just be bad story telling and a NEW audience would be totally turned off.

“The fact remains that nothing on screen suggests that the effects of time travel in ST09 are any different than those in “The City On The Edge Of Forever””
Agreed but nothing suggests it is the same either.

How do we know that the events in “The City On The Edge Of Forever” didn’t create an Alt time line that become the Mirror Universe.

1)it could have created the original time lime (no Kirk in the past)
2)the prime timeline (Kirk saves Edith)
3)the Mirrior Universe(or some other Alt Reality) where Edith dies and there are Nazi’s everywhere.

nothing on screen suggests that there is only one time line, actually the opposite we know in Star Trek there are Alt. Universes.

But maybe you are right we can only keep watching and see what happens.

231. RD - June 17, 2009

#222. A Supernova is the ignited remnants of a dead star. The goal is to deliver red matter into the core of the dead Hobus star in order to reverse the outward explosion of matter called the supernova from its focal point, by artificially inducing a black hole (the only purpose for the red matter).

Without knowing the nature of the “dead star” referred to in ENT, it is entirely possible that detonating a “tri-cobalt device” in its core would produce similar results, especially since we do not know what technology might have been combined with it (perhaps even “red matter”). Such a detonation in a white dwarf might have ignited its accretion disk into a supernova as well as causing it to collapse into itself, creating a black-hole singularity, thus producing the exact same conditions the red matter did in the Hobus star. Who knows, but the similarity is far closer than you deduced.

Either way, a man-made incursion into the Mirror Universe allowed not only inter-dimensional travel, but time travel as well. There is no reason to assume the red-matter could not create a similar, time-displaced intrusion into yet another “alternate” universe (and not time-travel alone), especially when the method is so similar. In fact it is not the similarities, but rather the subtle differences between the otherwise comparable results that takes Nero & Spock back in time to the ST09 universe, rather than the Mirror universe, which I think was the whole point of this theory to begin with: Precedence for traveling in time between alternate universes which otherwise behave exactly like the “Prime” universe but allow the “Prime” timeline to continue.

232. RD - June 17, 2009

#229. – RE:Uhura’s line, Orci is on record as saying “alternate” = “parallel” and that they are interchangeable.

#230 – you can’t cite TOS examples to prove ST09 and talk about being proven right as long as Orci is around. There is no on-screen evidence that there is an alternate universe in play here. There is ample evidence of time travel which has been shown consistently over and over in Trek. What you say about COTEOF may well be true, just like there well may be a Borg Earth created by FC. Indeed TNG:Parallels showed us that it’s quite likely.

The point is, if you accept Orci’s explanation of an alternate parallel universe here, you have to accept the baggage that goes along with it, which is, MWI QM. If the ST09 is an alternate universe like the Mirror universe, or those depicted in Parallels, then they cannot exist in ST09, because Orci’s use of MWI QM does not support communication between these universes, nor does time travel work the way it did which invalidates hours of canon.

“Prime” Trek operates under its own set of rules regarding parallel universes and time travel that do not conform to this film’s “official” philosophy. Therefore, nothing pertaining to Quantum physics in the “Prime” timeline can be used to explain anything in the “Alternate” timeline.

I doubt there will ever be any canon on the subject to prove anyone right or wrong. That is the only thing that can truly be said to be in question. Will they or won’t they. In the end, they have very little to gain by doing so and everything to lose.

233. nobull-23 - June 17, 2009

232 – I am really not putting that much thought into it.

again for me the Alt time line preserving the the Prime time line theory is good enough.

I am not telling anyone how to think I am just saying there are many, many ways to look at it.

234. PJays - June 17, 2009

228. RD – Also without going through all of Trek’s canon, I’m pretty sure time travel does not work that way in Trek. In the DS9 “Children of Time” episode, it is shown that if the characters don’t repeat the same actions, then the results of their previous actions never happen. In the case of that episode, they literally fade away.

I understand what you are saying. All I meant is that just because they travelled into a time where they already exist, doesn’t mean they replace their counterparts automatically.

I find Trek does different ways to time travel so I have no problems accepting that there are different consequences/results to them aswell depending on what happens in the past. So that is why we see different results in different episodes of what happens when you time travel. Again, just a thought.

235. Closettrekker - June 17, 2009

#232—”RE:Uhura’s line, Orci is on record as saying “alternate” = “parallel” and that they are interchangeable. ”

He did say that, but as far as ‘canon’ is concerned, it is the context provided by the dialogue surrounding that which matters—-not Orci’s behind-the-scenes commentary on the subject.

“Spock:”Nero’s very presence has altered the flow of history, beginning with the attack on the USS Kelvin, culminating in the events of today, thereby creating an entire new chain of incidents that cannot be anticipated by either party.”

Uhura:”An alternate reality?”

Spock:”Precisely. Whatever our lives might have been, if the time continuum was disrupted, our destinies have changed.”

Within that context, the term “alternate reality” is synonymous with “alternate timeline”—not “parallel reality”. Nothing which is depicted onscreen suggests that at all.

236. Closettrekker - June 17, 2009

#230—”Agreed but nothing suggests it is the same either.”

Nor does it need to. There are 52 stories prior to this one depicting time travel in the Star Trek Universe—all of which depict the effects in the same way. Why would the burden of proof be on the status quo? Should it not be on the proposed “retcon”?

“How do we know that the events in “The City On The Edge Of Forever” didn’t create an Alt time line that become the Mirror Universe(?)”

I’ll let the Guardian answer that:

“Your vessel, your beginning. All that you knew…is gone.”—describing the effects of McCoy’s time travel upon the timeline they know

“Time has resumed its shape; all is as it was before. Many such journeys are possible. Let me be your gateway.”—describing the effects of the repair job on the timeline

If the MWI theory were applied to TCOTEOF, when McCoy entered the Guardian and prevented Edith Keeler’s death, there would have been no effect upon the timeline in which Kirk, Spock, Uhura and Scotty existed. On the contrary, McCoy’s actions would have merely created a new timeline that ran “parallel” to that one.
Even Bob Orci acknowledges that MWI/QM doesn’t mesh at all with TCOTEOF, or any number of Star Trek time travel tales prior to this one.

237. rdm - June 17, 2009

If they know that the star is going to go supernova….that would change the timeline anyways. Knowing that a future event is gonna happen would alter the events of the Prime Timeline.
If they discovered how to save Romulus, then Nero would have no reason to vengeful. Thus, no attacking the Kelvin and altering history.

On the other hand, in Back to the Future was talk of paradoxes and them destroying the universe. Thou a paradox of ST09 could just destroy the entire universe and maybe cause the Big Crunch…

If Kirk taking command of Enterprise earlier effects missions from TOS, Then who knows….

Maybe Space Seed would never happen. Khan’s ship just keeps on floating in space? Or Maybe Mirror, Mirror never happens?

Who knows…but I would like to think that knowing about supernova and Romulus being destroyed alters the timeline. Thus, it could preserve the Prime Universe.

Remember…Knowing is half the battle…

238. sean - June 17, 2009

Guys, since the movie doesn’t say one way or the other, and no future movie is likely to, we can all sit comfortably with whatever perspective we like – that the Prime Universe continues on, or that it was wiped out with Nero’s incursion. Canon has no comment on the matter, in terms of filmed material and dialog.

Time travel via the Guardian of Forever is probably subject to all kinds of variables, as it appears to be a sentient being. In ‘Yesterday’s Enterprise’ we have what appears to be an alteration to the Prime timeline, but ultimately an individual from the alternate timeline causes changes to that Prime timeline, suggesting the Alternate timeline continued in some fashion (otherwise, why wouldn’t Alternate Tasha have simply winked out of existence?).

We have TOS episodes like ‘Tomorrow is Yesterday’, where a great deal of the time travel makes NO sense, even in a Star Trek context. How could the Enterprise have stopped themselves from crushing Col Ritchie’s aircraft without going back to a point *before* they did it and warning themselves not to? Why do they transport Ritchie into his own body? What happens to the other Col Ritchie that was already in the cockpit? Did they kill him? There still should have been a second Enterprise during those events. It makes no sense at all, if you think about it for too long.

Time Travel is madness I say, and there’s simply no sense in getting too worked about it either way.

239. Star Trek mashups « Caixa de sabão do Sr Atoz - June 18, 2009

[...] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGqX-tkDXEk (The Monty Python Channel on YouTube) http://trekmovie.com/2009/06/14/time/ — para entender as linhas de tempo de Star Trek “XI” [...]

240. Charybdis - August 23, 2009

It would have been great if this alternate reality erased everything about TNG, DS9, and Voyager, altogether. Technically speaking, it should have erased the original timeline period.

Nevertheless, this alternate reality has opened an infinite number of doors to infinite possibilities.

Hopefully those possibilities will not lead to TNG, DS9, and Voyager.

I never did care much for those spinoffs, including Enterprise, and I never will.

241. Joey - December 2, 2009

The newer more logical way of handling the time-line in Star Trek (movie) was one of the few things I liked about the movie.
This was how StarGate mostly (but not always) handled time-travel.
A few Star Trek novels also made use of this time-travel concept.

As for if I liked the movie, (I also liked some of Spock’s early life on Vulcan, and I liked hearing Archer’s name one last time) It was a hard to accept the story, it was a series of irrational coincidental events that just seemed silly…
…and since everything else was crazy, the fact that Black Hole really didn’t act like a black hole isn’t such a bad issue relatively, so it might as well be an time portal or cross-universe cosmic anomaly as anything else…

Fun thoughts: (1) If the special red-matter Black Hole was responsible for the time travel, shouldn’t a supernova also be popping out into the past?
(2) If Nero was defeated by sending him into an other red-matter black hole, does that mean he’ll go back an other 100 years so Archer in the NX-01 can finish him off?
Just rhetorical question, I’m only joking.
…Actually that speculative joke can serve a purpose, if Nero goes into a time-travel back hole again at the end of Star Trek XI, and comes out further in the past… in his wrecked ship… if he fixes up his ship, he could change the time-line again, he could be off living in a 3rd time-line,
No one in time-line 2 would know about it…
…Maybe Nero could invade Earth in the year 2011 as a sequel….
…Maybe Nero could invade Earth in the year 2000 and run for President of the United States as a sequel…

Star Trek has handled time travel in many different ways, really if you create a new time-line and your in the new time-line, unless you have the power to cross over to alternate time-lines (to get back to your original time-line) you’d never know if your old time-line still existed or not.

Weather or not the universe was still there when the Guardian of Forever was used to change the time-line is a question of perspective, maybe it was a different type of time travel resulting in a different sort of paradox, or maybe the Guardian was only speaking about the observable universe when talking about how time was changed, a perspective only taking into account the observable universe the characters existed in at that time.
(and the unchanged universe might still exist, just not in a way the Guardian of Forever was designed to observe or interact with)

So what ever happened in this movie, the only issues I have with it is how ridiculous the story was, in it’s own universe it doesn’t affect the flow of any other series.
With out any new Star Trek canon, the novels while semi-apocryphal can continue on stories about time-line 1, while the movies can deal with time-line 2…
All my favorites, ENTERPRISE, NEXT GENERATION, and DEEP SPACE NINE are completely unchanged in time-line 1.
Actually, my personal favorite “Enterprise” isn’t affected ether way, it should be totally protected from the changes in the time-line anyway due to being before 2233… SO Enterprise exists in both time-lines…
And First Contact should be in both time-lines, however, the Enterprise-E in First Contact would be from an alternate future than the time-line of this new Star Trek movie series. (No problem, we’ve seen lots of alternate futures in Star Trek over the years)

Personally here’s the view on Star Trek time-line that I like.
http://www3.ns.sympatico.ca/jcfancy1/StarTrek-Pocket.html

242. Scott G - December 4, 2009

Here’s my idea on the time travel that can account for the “prime” time line and this new alternate one: alternate time lines are not not created by someone traveling to the past but rather the person traveling into the past is simply going to a separate universe that has always existed alongside the “prime” one. Now if we accept this we can say that the singularity in ST 09 was a portal between these two universes which is why spock prime does not create a new time line. Think about it like this, if we can create universes by going back in time then it is fair to say that a new universe is created with every choice we make. The creation of a universe seems more fantastical than a pre existing one. I’m not saying that its not possible, but to work with what we have, lets just say that the alternate universe has always existed, and contrary to what spock says in the film, the destinies of the characters of the alternate universe are not changed, but rather, that has always been their reality. Their universe, in other words, was always going to have nero come through the singularity and set the chain of events that occur in ST 09.

It follows he age old question of killing yourself in the past. If i go back in time and kill myself, then I am killing the future of an alternate reality of myself. This has no bearing on me going back in the first place since I have been transported to a new universe. On the other hand if I am transported to the same universe than I could never kill myself since I would have the memories of an lder version of myself trying to kill me and failing, hence completing the cycle of my going back in time in the first place. Since the ST 09 writers decided to go with the alternate universe theory, it is better to account for this new universe as one that always existed and not one that was created, even if they only differ at the point where nero intruded. It may be a little confusing but if you think about it, it makes more sense because then spock coming to the same alternate universe can be accounted for. Don’t confuse an alternate universe that has the same history as the “prime” universe with the “prime” universe otherwise the time line really does fall apart and makes no sense. Nero doesn’t create a new universe, but rather is the necessary change that makes this pre existing universe different from the “prime” universe.

243. Alex Wilsing - February 25, 2010

Has anyone else thought of this: If Nero/Spock did not alter this timeline(I.e. Kirk’s parents on the Kelven as opposed to the Enterprise under captain April) then where did said time alteration occur? I believe the point at which all timelines diverge is First Contact, and in this timeline somehow Doctor Cocherine fails to survive the Borg attack on the Phoenix installation and Data assumes Cocherine’s identity which not only explains the changes, but the advances in technology and the apparant War Footing Starfleet and the Federation this alternate timeline poises……..just a thought, and it brings the TNG credibility to this already great new mission.

I have been and always shall be a Trek fan….Alex

244. PCAT - June 2, 2010

How about this as a possibility:

From Enterprise through Trek 10 is what happens. Then Nero changes history by blowing up Vulcan. Now from that point everything unfolds differently. its not a parallel universe or alternate time line and there is no prime universe where everything is the same. HISTORY IS CHANGED!!!! No Vulcan so everything that has happened will not happen the same way. so basically this movie is a sequel. and the new adventures will be truly NEW. So there can be no Search for Spock because Vulcan is destroyed and that wont matter because history is altered. Having Nimoy as Spock Prime makes this a sequel story. Picard and company will still happen but slightly different and Spock Prime can help nudge things as close as possible for key elements of the future ie: Trek 6 and the peace with the Klingons. Spock PRime can give his advice to alt Spock in the future and keep that as close as possible. and so on. Just a theory and PLEASE dont take it too seriously. I am sure you can rip it apart and really who cares. just a way to have some fun

245. lace wigs - July 7, 2010

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246. pete postlethwaite - July 10, 2010

comics and books have absolutely nothing to do with canon and this absolute fact.

What appears on the screen either via television shows or indeed movies is canon. If it doesn’t exist on the screen or told through a story on the screen then its not worth mentioning.

As for abramprise, sure go right ahead. Nemesis was twice or three times the movie this pile of poop was.

Star Trek is not about action, its not about getting facts wrong and its not about taking poetic license because you dont have the intelligence to create something in the Prime univers, I mean any braindead dollard could have created this movie outside of its times.

Abrams orci and gobshite need to stick to their own television shows such as fringe etc, not meddling with things they clearly know nothing about.

STO is a deep rooted insult to the franchise. Every single thing about is a kick in the gonads. Besides, its not really an mmo since its all instanced crap. And they cant even get their time lines right in their own project.

Cryptic as nothing but used toilet paper in the gaming world, and they need flushing away.

The two worst things that could ever happen to this franchise

1 give to cbs to abuse
2 given license to one of the worst gaming companies on the planet, just because they promised to get the title out inside 2 years to Atari and CBS.

No wonder this franchise is dead, with the vultures overhead picking at the threadbare carcass. Its very sad, that we’ll never ever see another trek series on tv again, apart from repeats.

Meh the whole thing stinks.

247. pete postlethwaite - July 10, 2010

shame we cant erase robert “i love fondling kids” orci and mr abrams.” i honestly dont know what star trek is” the world of star trek would be in much better shape than this shit we have today.

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The two worst things that could ever happen to this franchise

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