TrekIn09: Star Trek Buzzwords of 2009

Today TrekMovie begins its annual look back at the Star Trek year that was. We are going to start off by doing our own version of the NY Times tradition of the ‘buzzwords‘ of the year. These are the words and phrases that became part of the lexicon here and with the fans when talking about Star Trek in 2009.


Star Trek Buzzwords for 2009
2009 has generated some brand new terms for Star Trek fans or introduced terms into discussions of our favorite franchise. As expected, almost all of the new buzzwords had to do with the new Star Trek movie. And here they are

Although not a new word, much of the hype around the new Star Trek movie in April and May focused on the ‘bromance’ of Kirk and Spock as well as the actors Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto. Pine explained what bromance is all about it in an interview with Parade:

It’s a relationship between two men that spend a lot of time together in space…It is very much a story about two men learning really to love one another, and in the end, they become fast friends. But, along the way they butt heads because they’re alpha males. They strongly believe in themselves

Pine and Quinto jogging together before Sydney Star Trek premiere in April

prime timeline + alternative timeline
Through the magic of time travel, the new Star Trek movie was mostly set in a new timeline created when Nero went back in time and killed Kirk’s daddy. Since then Star Trek has been split into two timelines or universes. The original has been dubbed the ‘prime’ timeline, which grew the script writers using the name "Spock Prime" to distinguish Leonard Nimoy’s dialog from Zachary Quinto’s. There was no naming of the new timeline or universe, so it has been dubbed both the alternate universe as well as the ‘JJverse’ or ‘Abramsverse’ in honor of Star Trek producer/director JJ Abrams. The only official distinguishing of these two universes so far is a graphic on the Star Trek Online website making it clear that game takes place in the ‘Prime Timeline’. In 2010 we will see Star Trek books and comics set in both timelines, and of course in 2012 there will be a new movie set in the ‘alternate timeline’ so it looks like Trekkies are just going to have to get used to keeping two continuities straight (but hey, we love continuity so now we have twice as much to obsess over).

Two Treks for storytelling from now on

One of the more talked about areas of the new Star Trek was the look of the engineering and ‘lower decks’ parts of the new USS Enterprise. Unlike previous incarnations of Trek, these had a very industrial look to them, which was achieved by filming them at a Budweiser plant. And although controversial, by the looks of it, JJ Abrams and Scott Chambliss are happy with the results, so we should probably expect more vats and pipes in the future.

Space, the final brewery

Supreme Court
Since Gene Roddenberry first created Star Trek in the 60s, there have been many producers and writers who could be seen as the masters of Star Trek. The current team behind the Star Trek see this like the Supreme Court, with themselves as just the latest appointees, who expect to someday be replaced by the next team. The team is comprised of JJ Abrams and his cohorts, Alex Kurtzman, Bob Orci, Damon Lindelof and Bryan Burk. They were even featured together in this month’s GQ as the power players of the year (along with Lindelof’s Lost co-show runner Carlton Cuse).

JJ and his court…making a ruling on the beach

seamless branching
The one non Star Trek movie related term of the year is a term of art used previously in home video, but introduced to the Trek franchise with the release of the three seasons of the remastered Star Trek on Blu-ray. For the last few years this site has been home to many a debate about the new digital effects for the Star Trek Remastered project, but in a stroke of digital genius, CBS released all three seasons with the ‘seamless branching’ technology allowing you to jump back and forth from the original effects to the new digital effects, and with that they made all sides happy.

Old school or 21st century CGI, your choice

Honorable mentions:

  • Preboot (the melding of reboot and prequel)

  • Canonista/Purist (a fan who cherishes the continuity a lot)

  • MWI (abbreviation for the ‘many worlds interpretation’ or Bob Orci’s favorite flavor of quantum physics)

  • ST09 (the TrekMovie adopted abbreviation for the 2009 Star Trek movie)


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