Stated in the Star Trek (2009) movie, Montgomery Scott had postulated trans-warp beaming to allow an object or person to travel large distance by beaming from one location to the next.

What I didn't understand was, spoilers:

Original Spock provided new timeline Scotty with the equations/formula to trans-warp beaming a lot earlier than which the original timeline Scotty did not perfect until 2387.

This technology was used in the Star Trek (2009) movie and was used by Khan in Star Trek: Into Darkness to travel all the way from Earth to Qo'noS.

Why was it ok for classic Spock to reveal this information and not other things? Seems like a pretty big violation of his time-code ethics.

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    Simple answer: He was "emotionally compromised" and made a bad decision. – Andrew Lewis May 27 '13 at 14:18
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    Just as an aside, in The Voyage Home Scotty tells an engineer an important formula and is asked the same thing by Bones ("Aren't we changing history by giving him the formula?") Scotty's answer: "How do we know he didn't invent the thing?" In Spocks case he does know that Scotty "invented the thing". – NominSim May 28 '13 at 2:09
  • @NominSim, yes, but 40- or 50-odd years later so that doesn't make it any more okay. – ThePopMachine Nov 10 '15 at 7:30

It was not acceptable. As a matter of fact, it was in direct violation of the Temporal Prime Directive - Regulation 157, Section 3 (Paragraph 18): Starfleet officers shall take all necessary precautions to minimize any participation in historical events. (DS9: "Trials and Tribble-ations")

  • Federation Temporal Policies normally forbid any time traveler from interacting with or changing through action, any period, past or future by a member of Star Fleet.
  • The goal of the Temporal Prime Directive is to maintain the future as it was known and to promote a future which ensured the continued existence of the Federation.

The Temporal Prime Directive was a fundamental Starfleet principle.

All Starfleet personnel are strictly forbidden from directly interfering with historical events and are required to maintain the timeline and prevent history from being altered. It also restricts people from telling too much about the future, so as not to cause paradoxes or alter the timeline. The Temporal Prime Directive is directly related to the Prime Directive.

So why did he do it?

  • From Prime Spock's perspective, the timeline had already suffered catastophic changes with the arrival of the Narada from the future-Prime timeline. Mere scans of the ship had carried a variety of future tech to this new timeline, at a far earlier period than they were previously developed.

  • Along with the harm the Narada caused, the ships it crippled or damaged in battle and with the destruction of Vulcan, Prime Spock thought he would be able to mitigate further damage to the timeline by bringing Kirk and Spock back together.

  • Prime Spock reasoned that like in his timeline, the interactions of Kirk, Spock and the legendary crew of the Enterprise would be enough to stop the Narada and prevent further temporal contamination or the destruction of Earth and the heart of the Federation.

From our perspective, this new timeline bears less resemblance to the Federation of the Prime Universe but the Federation still exists and since Prime Spock did not appear to be able to return home, he considered the use of the Trans-Warp beaming technology to be a viable price to pay to save the Federation at large. He probably believes the Federation will grow to resemble his Federation farther into the future.

It was not an ideal situation, nor choice, but if the Temporal Police still existed, they would probably be forced to allow the changes which took place because they were part of a major transformative event. Unfortunately we don't know if the Temporal Police will exist/do exist in the Star Trek 2009 universe's future.

  • In star trek into darkness i beleive starfleet "confiscate" his formula , i dont know how that would work but still. – howler Nov 15 '13 at 16:35
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    I like to think that if Spock learned ONE thing from Jim, it's that sometimes you have to break the rules. – Omegacron Oct 14 '14 at 17:28
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    Spock and Granny Weatherwax are cut from the same cloth, both scrupulous about following the rules including the most important rule, the one most often left unsaid; When you break the rules, break ‘em good and hard – Binary Worrier Nov 10 '15 at 8:46
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    Although this answer is in all ways technically correct, this was not a violation of the prime directive. You see, it was no longer history, it was a new pathway being developed with a future that was no longer recognizable from spock's point of view. For Spock, there is no longer a past to preserve, and it was imperative for Spock to try to repair the timeline as best he could, returning at least some of it to normalcy. – Escoce Nov 10 '15 at 15:28

Spock was trying to repair the damage done to the timeline by Nero.

Spock would have determined that he had to get the Kirk back on the Enterprise to get things as close to the old timeline as possible.


It's because this can't possibly affect the future that Classic Spock knows.

This is a parallel universe (Of the alternate timeline variety), and events have shaped themselves such that they are already out of alignment with what historically should be happening.

The temporal prime directive only applies to an intact timeline. Spock Classic knows that Kirk is supposed to be on the Enterprise at that very moment, and that Vulcan should not be so...destroyed. So he's already well aware that history has been irreversably altered.

This is in keeping with the ending where it is revealed:

That he decides to stay in the alternate timeline, and to help the Federation overcome its disadvantage against future threats.

In short: The temporal prime directive no longer applies because this is no longer the timeline he remembers or came from.


One thing to consider here is why did the temporal police in the prime universe allow the timeline to be altered in the first place?

Considering this assumption, one solution is that it was just beyond their control, or beyond their capacity to amend.

As it stands the temporal police seems useless if such a universe altering event can just slip by them.

  • There are no temporal police, they were just a part of the Holodeck program that the entirety of Enterprise was revealed to be in the final episode. – Gaius Nov 10 '15 at 12:19

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