I was reading The Best And The Worst Of Abrams' Star Trek Easter Eggs & suspect that amongst the many (in the article & in comments) they missed a huge one in regard to affecting the future.

In Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Scotty has this conversation with McCoy over providing the formula for transparent metal to a current day engineer:

McCoy: You, ah, realize of course that if we give him the formula we're altering the future.
Scotty: Why? How do we know he didn't invent the thing?


Whereas in J.J. Abrams' Star Trek, Spock has this exchange with Scotty:

Spock Prime: What if I told you that your transwarp theory was correct, that is is indeed possible to beam onto a ship that is traveling at warp speed?
Scotty: I think if that equation had been discovered, I'd have heard about it.
Spock Prime: The reason you haven't heard of it, Mr. Scott, is because you haven't discovered it yet.
Scotty: I'm s... Wha... It... Are you from the future?


If you order these chronologically from Scotty's POV, as a young man he was given a formula by Spock that Spock assured was attributed to Scotty himself. Later in Scotty's timeline, he offered the secret of transparent metal to a current day engineer and suggested the engineer was going to invent it anyway.

Is there some flaw in my reasoning? If not, has this Easter egg/shout out ever been commented on?

  • 2
    the flaw is that it is two different universes and two different Scotties
    – NKCampbell
    Aug 17, 2016 at 21:12
  • 1
    But this raises another problem. In the rebooted universe the events of The Voyage Home won't happen. Does that mean transparent aluminum will never be invented? Aug 18, 2016 at 6:54
  • 1
    @DanielRoseman: “ In the rebooted universe the events of The Voyage Home won't happen” — they might! Jan 18, 2017 at 18:24

1 Answer 1


On the TV Tropes page on the Star Trek 2009 film, filed under Continuity Nod about halfway down. Be warned though, TvTropes is very addictive.

For the record, when Scotty gave that guy transparent aluminium he didn't know about being given his transwarp formula as it was a different timeline. Spock Prime might though.

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