In Star Trek Beyond, how could young Spock be holding a photo of an older and deceased Ambassador Spock; are they not the same person?

  • 26
    Did you not watch the 2009 Star Trek movie that this is the second sequel to?
    – Hypnosifl
    Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 21:22
  • 8
    Frankly, I'm glad you asked this question. You should not have to know everything about the Star Trek universe in order to ask a question. I think the real answer is, they are not the same person. Spock Prime, that's the older Spock, is from a different timeline. He's not made of the same essence as this Kelvin Spock. He just looks/acts/is like him. Commented Aug 4, 2016 at 5:24
  • 6
    Thank you @JerryNixon-TOS for recognizing that it would be absurd to expect the star trek franchise to make much progress by taking on an elitist attitude and expect anyone watching future episodes/movies to know everything that was suggested in every previous iteration of any version in order to enjoy it. I watched Star Trek before it was cool, but didn't keep up with everything, so I forgot a few things. Asking if I watched a previous episode does NOT answer the question and is NOT deserving of an upvote. Yes, I watched it, but it was 8 years ago, a lot has happened in my life since then...
    – BillyNair
    Commented Feb 1, 2017 at 7:20

1 Answer 1


Star Trek (2009), Star Trek into Darkness (2013), and Star Trek Beyond (2016) occur in an alternate timeline / reality - so there are two different Spocks. "Old Spock" is from the 'original' timeline and has journeyed via artificial black hole to an alternate universe.

The alternate reality was a new reality created when a temporal incursion caused by time travel of the Narada, a Romulan mining vessel from the year 2387, disrupted the time continuum. Accidentally traveling back to the year 2233, Nero, the Narada's captain, attacked the USS Kelvin. The attack resulted in the deaths of several crew members of the Kelvin, including George Kirk and Richard Robau, and the destruction of the Kelvin itself. Spock arrived to the alternate reality in 2258 and was captured by Nero, who used red matter to destroy Vulcan. However, Nero's attacks united the crew of the USS Enterprise, who foiled his attempt to destroy Earth. (Star Trek)


If you are familiar with the Mirror Universe from TOS and DS9 - it's the same kind of concept (although, a different alternate universe)

  • AFAIK it's not been conclusively shown or said that the Mirror Universive is an alternate universe or different timeline, like many other examples in the franchise. It appears to be a special case, because no matter how far major events seem to diverge from the prime universe, many characters are somehow preserved, yet their personalities are often diametrically opposed. This doesn't appear to be consistent with or analogous to a "single point of divergence" alternate timeline like the Kelvin timeline/Abramsverse at all.
    – Junuxx
    Commented Aug 6, 2016 at 9:57
  • So how does young Spock get a picture of someone (old Spock or anyone else) who is in a different timeline? Was the picture sent back/forward in time, or laterally, across timelines? Commented Jul 19, 2018 at 5:53
  • @KevinFegan - youtube.com/watch?v=8Ppo5YIYwTM - we don't see the photo being given, but this does demonstrate that the two have come into physical contact. If it didn't happen then, it may have happened some later time, or been sent to young Spock
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Jul 19, 2018 at 14:11
  • Thanks. I had just watched this movie Star Trek (2009) about an hour ago, and that clip does explain the possibilities for the source of the picture. Commented Jul 20, 2018 at 19:20
  • Young!Spock received the photo when he was informed Old!Spock had died in Star Trek Beyond and was given Old!Spock's effects. Among them was the picture. Commented Nov 15, 2018 at 5:08

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