In the 2009 version of Star Trek, Nero and the Romulans come back through time via Blackhole and kill Kirk's dad and the original Star Trek timeline is altered creating a whole new reality.

Why would Abrams not just stick to the timeline given by Roddenberry instead of altering it?

  • 2
    i don't think we're gonna be able to answer this other than 'because he wanted to'...
    – KutuluMike
    Dec 28, 2015 at 14:28
  • 11
    Because he's a schmuck.
    – Valorum
    Dec 28, 2015 at 14:31
  • 4
    @Fingolfin why do you think there's a better reason than "because that's the movie the director wanted to make"?
    – KutuluMike
    Dec 28, 2015 at 14:51
  • 8
    So he could use more lens flare. Dec 28, 2015 at 17:52
  • 2
    @TylerH I find it mildly revolting that somebody who was "was not a fan of Star Trek" would be allowed to meddle with it. Why don't we just let Trek haters have a hack at it to while we are at it? That said, as as an over 40 person, I found the movies enjoyable excluding specifically the wrecking of the timeline via a vastly sub-optimal use of time travel. I think there were far better possibilities not involving any of the original crew, but then again, I'm not a big fan of reboots as I don't find them particularly creative (come up with something new, guys!)
    – user11521
    Dec 28, 2015 at 20:46

1 Answer 1


TL;DR. Because he never especially cared for the original Star Trek and because he felt restricted (as a Director) by the existing canon universe:

Abrams: I was, frankly, never really a fan. I never really got it. I never really cared much about it. Most of my friends who loved it were, without question, smarter than I was. I kept trying... and I couldn’t get it. I didn’t care about it. It felt stilted. It is ironic because a lot of the tone and techniques and some of the writers as well were from The Twilight Zone. When you watch it, you’d go, ‘God, there is that same kind of melodramatic vibe.’ A lot of the writers were the same writers. You’d think someone who loved The Twilight Zone as much as I did would kind of find a kinship to that show and get on board. I couldn’t do it. I enjoyed the movies that I saw, the early films, but I never looked forward to them. So, when I was mixing Mission: Impossible III… I was asked if I was interested in producing a Star Trek movie. When I said yes, it was because… I’d never thought of it, ever… but what occurred to me as I was being asked was "There’s a version of it that I could see getting interested in." And it was weird, because I couldn’t tell you what it was. I just knew that if Star Trek were done in a certain way, with an approach that somehow let me in more… I was actually being given the opportunity to at least attempt to do something that I wished had existed for me as a kid trying to get into it, which is a way in, which is an emotional way in, that was not was not about the Enterprise or Starfleet or the Prime Directive or any of that stuff, that was completely emotional. I thought if that existed I probably would have found a way in. Now, maybe I saw the wrong episodes. Maybe I wasn’t in the right frame of mind as a kid. I don’t know what it was. I have since watched a number of them and actually have actually come to really appreciate the show.

Abrams: Here’s the thing… I think the key to that was, first of all, it was one of those things that not everyone even cares about or understands the timeline of it all. The notion that when this one character, Nero, arrives in his ship, that basically the timeline is altered at that moment, so everything forward is essentially an alternative timeline. That is not to say that everything that happened in The Original Series doesn’t exist. I think, as a fan of movies and shows, if someone told me the beloved thing for me was gone, I would be upset. But we didn’t do that. We’re not saying that what happened in that original series wasn’t good, true, valid, righteous and real. Let people embrace that. We’re not rejecting that. That, to me, would have been the big mistake. We’re simply saying that, "At this moment, the very first scene in the first movie, everything that people knew of Star Trek splits off into now another timeline."

  • 14
    @recognizer - Worse. He wanted to make Star Trek his way. He repeatedly said that he'd be true to Rodenberry's vision, then proceeded to ignore 50 years of continuity.
    – Valorum
    Dec 28, 2015 at 17:24
  • 5
    He could've done things his way WITHOUT the parallel timeline - but then he'd have had it even worse, as we'd also be furious that he gave everyone a new origin story that didn't fit into continuity at all. To be honest, the parallel timeline let me accept a lot of stuff in Abrams' first ST film that I wouldn't have otherwise.
    – recognizer
    Dec 28, 2015 at 17:26
  • 9
    @recognizer - I have no issues with a rebooted continuity. I do have a real problem with the way that they crapped on the entire established "universe" when a ten minute chat with a room full of fans would have immediately showed them what mistakes they were making. Also, lens flare.
    – Valorum
    Dec 28, 2015 at 17:27
  • 7
    As a fan of the regular series as well as next generation, I really enjoyed the new star trek movies. I wouldn't say it was better or worse, just different, and I loved it. -shrug- Dec 28, 2015 at 18:47
  • 13
    @Richard The biggest disappointment to me was that Abrams ignored the tone of ST. ST (In Roddenberry's eyes) was an optimistic future that framed current moral issues with cool action oriented SciFi. Abrams ignored that and made an action movie. It is a great action movie, a terrible star trek movie.
    – Chris
    Dec 28, 2015 at 19:41

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