Okay, first thing that surprised me: I think Leonard Nimoy is sort of the star of the movie. I think a lot of this movie is about Spock. Nimoy-aged Spock, mind you.
Okay… you know the scene in BACK TO THE FUTURE 2? Where Doc Brown explains alternate timelines? Well, this is sort of… ummm… TREK TO THE FUTURE, I guess you would call it…
Picture an incident that throws a group of Romulans back in time. Picture that group of Romulans figuring out where they are in the timeline, then deciding to take advantage of the accident to kill someone’s father, to erase them from the timeline before they exist, thereby changing all of the TREK universe as a result. Who would you erase? Whose erasure would leave the biggest hole in the TREK universe is the question you should be asking.
Who else, of course, but James T. Kirk?
If Spock were in a position to change that incident back, and then in a position to guard that timeline and make sure things happen the way they’re supposed to, it creates…
… well, what does it create? Because evidently the plan is to use this second timeline as a way of rebooting without erasing or ignoring canon. These new voyages of the ENTERPRISE, they’re taking place in whatever timeline starts with this story. Maybe this timeline features dramatic differences. Like… say… if Vulcan were to be blown up. If the Vulcans in the series were suddenly the last of their kind, alone in the universe, it would change who they are and maybe even redefine their strict rejection of emotion in favor of logic.
You can introduce these Universe2 versions of classic TREK events and characters, and you can play with the audience’s expectation. Things have changed. Some things play out the way you expect… some don’t. It’s basically the same solution Marvel Comics has in terms of publishing, the way they use their ULTIMATES line to reboot continuity.
As a friend said when I was talking to him about this tonight, “Wait… so you’re saying they’re not just doing a square one reboot that would simplify everything, but that they’re actually making it… more complicated?”
Gadzooks. I think I’d prefer a simple, out-and-out remake.
No doubt there are other objections that one could make to this proposed storyline, but the first thing that comes to my mind is that, in Star Trek continuity, certain events in the 23rd and 24th centuries need to take place in order for the 19th and 20th centuries (among others) to take place the way they did. And erasing or revising the 23rd and 24th centuries as we know them could have huge ramifications for the entire timeline.
But I suppose this will leave the 22nd century, and thus Star Trek: Enterprise (2001-2005), more or less intact? Then again, that series was based, in part, on the movie Star Trek: First Contact (1996), in which Captain Picard and crew come back in time from the 24th century to battle the Borg in the 21st century.
Argh. This really sounds more complicated than it’s worth.