“Under construction.” That’s what it says at the bottom of the newly launched official website for Star Trek XI. But it’s not just a reference to the website itself. It is also reportedly the tagline for the teaser that will play in theatres starting tomorrow — a teaser which, to judge from the photo released by Moviefone today, really will depict the construction of the U.S.S. Enterprise itself.
Keep in mind that the Enterprise predates the era depicted in the original Star Trek series (1966-1969), and it even predates the time that Kirk, Spock and the others spent in Starfleet Academy. According to the animated series (1973-1974) and the Star Trek canon in general, the ship was built and launched in 2245 under the command of Captain Robert April, and Kirk did not become its captain until 2264. It was eventually destroyed during the events of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984) in 2285.
We know that the new movie will acknowledge at least one of the ship’s captains pre-Kirk, because Bruce Greenwood has signed on to play Christopher Pike. So if the film depicts both the construction of the ship and the early days of Kirk’s captaincy, it doesn’t necessarily follow that the filmmakers are ignoring established Trek continuity. But it remains to be seen how, exactly, the image above will be incorporated into the film itself — assuming it was not created simply for the teaser. Flashback? More time-hopping? I guess we’ll find out in eleven months.