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In the Star Trek reboot (2009), since Nero and his crew travelled back in time, why didn't they just take off and warn their homeworld of its imminent destruction? The ship had warp drive, did it not?

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Awesome, me and my fiance have been debating this with people for a while. –  Mark Rogers Jan 11 '11 at 20:56
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but without convenient plot holes, how does a story move forward? –  espais Jan 11 '11 at 21:09
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he could've just returned to his homeworld in the alternate timeline and reunited with his wife –  Shahriar Jan 11 '11 at 22:08
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@Shahriar: and be tried for pedophilia maybe. –  J. Pablo Fernández Jan 11 '11 at 22:59
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He did, they just never said he did. –  dkuntz2 Feb 6 '11 at 19:57

10 Answers 10

up vote 40 down vote accepted

Nero was captured by the Klingons and tortured for almost 25 years. My guess is it drove him insane, leaving nothing but revenge in his mind.

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Occam's Razor - simplest answer must be right –  Brenton Taylor Jan 12 '11 at 22:12
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note that this was not mentioned in the theatrical version of the movie but was included in the deleted content. –  Ken Liu Jan 24 '11 at 4:21
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That still doesn't explain why his crew didn't mutiny, though. –  jennyfofenny Jan 27 '11 at 21:51
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Just keep in mind that deleted scenes are not canon. :) –  Brian Ortiz Apr 21 '11 at 20:45

A practical answer of possible universes:

  • If he could successfully warn his homeworld and prevent its destruction, then that would create a causality paradox where the new Nero would not have a reason (or ability) to go back in time to warn his homeworld. Therefore, reality wouldn't allow such an action to be possible (assuming reality only exists in a state where it has referential integrity or it would not exist). This sucks because: The average person has no understanding or interest in paradoxes when it comes to entertainment... so who gives a crap.

  • If he could successfully warn his homeworld and prevent its destruction, then he would diverge into a different alternate reality where there are now two version of Nero... and the old reality has non (and no homeworld). Alternate reality theories are selfish because the reality only shifts for the active traveler and nothing changes for anyone else. This sucks because: Changing anything doesn't effect Kirk or anyone else not on Nero's ship... so who gives a crap.

  • Ultimately, what it comes down to, it's just a narrative loose end that the writers weren't intelligent enough to think or care about. Star Trek writers are notorious for not caring about things that don't make sense within a plot... this is no exception.

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I'd have to agree with the paradox answer –  Jonny Blaze Jan 27 '11 at 19:50
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However as he destroys Vulcan it is not Vulcans who can prevent and fail to save it hence why should new Nero make revenge against extincting race? –  Maciej Piechotka Mar 22 '11 at 11:08
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Having had the experience of pitching to a Star Trek writer and producer (Ron Moore) and get feedback from him on what I pitched, I think it's unnecessarily condescending to say "that the writers weren't intelligent enough to think or care about." These are the people that created that entire script and have proven themselves by writing stories good enough so they can make a living writing. You can't tie up every loose end in some stories and trying to results in extraneous lines that most viewers don't care about that only bog down the story and pacing. –  Tango Sep 23 '11 at 17:00
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It's pretty cool that you met and talked with Ron Moore... I'm a fan. Lets keep things straight, he's not the only writer... and the reality is they create too many loose ends, plot holes, and ridiculous situations. Every time a writer includes time travel in his story, he needs to be VERY meticulous because it's way too easy to totally mess it up. So I stand by my statement that the writers aren't intelligent enough OR care enough to wrap up the loose ends they created. I think that's reasonable with an addendum that sometimes producers force these things for the same reasons. –  Adam Sep 26 '11 at 14:11

The two comics (albeit non-canon) provide some interesting insights:

I haven't read Nero, but from Countdown alone we get the feel Nero was driven mad by the destruction of Romulus as well as the death of his wife and unborn child.

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Maybe he tried and nobody believed or he didn't try because nobody would have believed him anyway.

Of course, he has very advanced technology to prove he's from the future, but in a tyrannical government that tightly control the information he's likely to be seized and jailed forever or killed while the government keeps the technology to advance the empire.

Another issue with warning his home-world is that he might have drived himself and his wife out of existence. He wanted revenge on Spock, not to save his people, specially when it might not only not save his wife, but totally erase her.

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I got the impression that this was always part of his plan.

He was wiping out the Federation planets so Romulus would reign supreme.

I presume after he'd taken out the trash he'd have gone home a hero and warned everyone about the destruction that wasn't to hit for decades yet.

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Warning them wouldn't help. His view was that the Federation was responsible for Romulans being all concentrated on Romulus instead of spread throughout the galaxy (as with humans). So destroying Earth saves the Romulan race, even if the destruction of Romulus itself is inevitable.

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Pike tells Nero that Romulus is safe, it's out there, it hasn't been destroyed. Nero replies that it has happened, I saw it happen. This is a key version of time travel - from certain perspectives timelines' don't appear to change, events are immutable. From other view points, not so much; time is a fluxy medium of uncertainty. –  Ihor Sypko Sep 17 '13 at 18:31

He didn't need to warn the planet, and he didn't want it to be destroyed. He literally BLAMED Spock, so he decided that removing Spock would be all that is necessary to fix his future without negatively affecting life on Romulus (or changing events so his birth might not happen).

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I know there are plently of good answers here already. But this was sniped from the script itself:

Captain Nero(N) to Captain Pike(P).

P: You're blaming the Federation for something that hasn't happened...

N: It has happened! I watched it happen!

N: I saw it happen!

N: Don't tell me it didn't happen!

N: And when I lost her, I promised myself retribution.

N: And for 25 years I planned my revenge against the Federation.

N: And forgot what it was like to live a normal life.

N: I did not forget the pain.

N: It's a pain that every surviving Vulcan now shares.

N: My purpose, Christopher, is to not simply avoid the destruction of the home that I love...

N: But to create a Romulus that exists, free of the Federation.

N: You see only then will she be truly saved.

So you can see his intention wasn't only revenge, he wanted to destroy the Federation, get revenge on Spock/Vulcan, save Romulus and make Romulans the dominating race in the alpha quadrant.

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Indeed, this sentinment is also echoed inthe comic "Nero". –  loghaD Sep 17 '13 at 14:35

He DID go back and warn his homeworld and in fact, he saved it from destruction and lived happily ever after.

However, as established in the TNG episode Parallels (And backed up by the plot of the movie this question is about), the Star Trek universe has an unlimited number of different realities that have an unlimited number of alternate possibilities existing simultaneously.

This movie follows one of the more action packed alternate realities.

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Nero was driven mad with rage after witnessing the destruction of his homeworld, and knowing it also spelled the death of his wife, and his unborn child. He was supposed to be their savior – he had promised her, and she had believed him – and now he was watching them all burn.

Unable to cope with his own failure, he lashed out against anybody that he found remotely culpable. He killed the Romulan senate, whose inaction had hindered him start, and then against the Federation that had failed him. He had put his faith in Spock, come to rely on him to save Romulus, and so he resented him the most.

When he arrived in the past, Ayel saw an opportunity to return home. But Nero saw something different; he saw his destiny to return to Romulus a hero; to wipe out the Federation that would one day betray them, and to claim the red matter "weapon" for his people, that they may rule the galaxy.

Screenshot from the Star Trek Comics app for iOS, showing a free preview of a page from *Star Trek: Nero #1* from IDW Publishing

Now imagine that thought, festering in his mind for 25 years in a Klingon prison.

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