All of the events in the 2009 Star Trek movie would have taken place after the adventures of Captain Johnathan Archer and company. So, unless J.J. Abrams and friends decide to completely hand-wave that bit of history as well, all of the events in Enterprise should (in theory) still be able to line up with this new timeline.

Are there any points of conflict in this? How about any time-travel episodes in the Enterprise series which may have happened differently after the interventions of Nero? Are there possible good explanations for such conflicts, or are there some which are irreconcilable?

NOTE: I'm not arguing here whether or not ST2k9 is a part of Star Trek canon. In fact, this question is specifically granting that it is. I just want to know if there's any conflicts between the new movie and the existing Star Trek history that remains applicable to it.

  • I think with the time travel episodes you could just try to go with most universes want tend to lean in a similar direction, like how the Mirror Universe still has most of the same things as the real one, just slightly different. I think that ENTs Temporal Cold War could still happen exactly the same way it did in the show.
    – dkuntz2
    Nov 6, 2011 at 19:46
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    Did you see the final episode of Enterprise? It's revealed that the whole thing was just a Holodeck game played by Riker and Troi. So any continuity question is with TNG.
    – Gaius
    Aug 31, 2014 at 11:29
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    @Gaius I was under the impression that the simulation was a retelling of historical fact, at least from the perspective of the Enterprise-D.
    – user44330
    Apr 23, 2015 at 23:07
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    @SS-3.1415926535897932384626433 Star Trek has a hard enough time maintaining canonical consistency when the story is simply moving forward in time - let alone going back into the past, and splitting off to an alternate universe!
    – Iszi
    Apr 24, 2015 at 15:19
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    @Gaius I like to think that only the events of the last episode were a holodeck simulation. It's the only way my mind can cope with such a horrible ending.
    – Omegacron
    Jul 27, 2015 at 15:46

5 Answers 5


There is no reason for anything that has happened in Star Trek 2009 (now called the Kelvin Timeline) to invalidate anything that has happened in the Prime Universe. The differences between the two are supposedly the result of utilizing the technology of the original timeline at an earlier point in the Kelvin Timeline. The original timeline is unchanged.

This new universe is a parallel universe, decided different than the Prime Star Trek Universe in a number of ways. Canon from the Prime Universe will remain canon, within that Universal framework. In the new Universe, a new canon has now been established and will likely grow from this point forward.

Star Trek 2009 is connected to the Prime Star Trek universe by the event that carried both Nero and Spock Prime to their early Alpha Quadrant. But there are decided differences between the two universes both in terms of look, style and equipment differences. 3 things came to mind immediately while I was watching, there were likely to be others noted by other sharp-eyed viewers:

  1. The building of Enterprise A on the EARTH's surface. In the Prime Universe, Federation starships were built in space at the Utopia Plentia shipyards above Mars.
  2. The firepower of the USS Kelvin that's under attack by Nero in the opening sequence was far superior to anything that would have been seen in the TOS Prime Universe on a starship of that class. The USS Kelvin was bristling with phaser arrays and performed point defense maneuvers never seen before. It was also festooned with escape pods, a feature I had never even known a Federation ship to use, let alone have as many.
  3. The third noticeable difference is the Orion female room-mate of Uhura. At this early point of Federation history in the Prime Universe, the Orion's were barely even known, let alone members of the Federation, let alone having female members apply to Starfleet.

While the two universes may be considered parallel and connected by the Spock Prime and Nero events, there were enough differences to be noted, even if in the overall scheme of things they do not change the flavor or tenor of the Star Trek Experience.

Speculation: I did ask myself when I saw the bristling firepower of the USS Kelvin what was THIS Federation or Alpha Quadrant like if a Federation ship needed the kind of weaponry the Kelvin displayed? I suspect J.J. Abrams may have been ensuring if they wanted to show a more "warlike" or "combat-prone" quadrant, that he had already prepared us with the awesome firepower display of the USS Kelvin.

On the other hand, later in the movie, Nero was attacked by other new Federation ships and defeated them as handily as it did the Kelvin. So then I had to ask myself, why weren't ships like Nero's swarming all over the Prime Universe's Federation if they were as amazing there as they appeared to be in the new Universe. I was not sure if anyone noted this discrepancy but me...

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    Also, wasn't NX-01 built in Earth orbit? When did they move to Mars?
    – Iszi
    Nov 7, 2011 at 5:25
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    As an old SFB player, the superiority of Nero's ship is simple... it's a 3rd Gen X-Tech Sparrowhawk-X-series cruiser with mining modules... and the Kelvin is an "Early" generation cruiser, and the Enterprise is just on the start of the main generation, putting the Romulan ship 4 generations better than the Kelvin, and 3 generations better than the Enterprise... Tho, in all seriousness, JJ et al seem to have simply not worried at all about continuity.
    – aramis
    Nov 8, 2011 at 1:36
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    There definitely are cases of the Federation using escape pods in the prime universe, namely the Enterprise-E. Also, the Narada was comparatively powerful because it was from the future. I don't see any need for an explanation beyond this. The only question raised by the Narada's battle performance is why it was equipped with missiles when no other 24th century Romulan ships seemed to use such technology. Sep 15, 2013 at 2:20
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    Hmm. When I saw the opening battle in Star Trek 2009, I thought, "Wow, this is hyperactive. Apparently even Star Trek can't escape the silly urge to overwhelm the audience's attention with super-excessive fast-paced CGI animations."
    – Dronz
    Nov 14, 2014 at 6:29
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    If I recall, the Enterprise-D was the first Enterprise built at Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards in orbit of Mars. Before that, all of the other Enterprise ships were built on Earth or in Earth orbit. Memory Alpha indicates that NCC-1701 was built in (near?) San Francisco with assembly being completed in orbit.
    – Ellesedil
    Apr 14, 2015 at 12:50

You're correct, Enterprise is the only Star Trek that fits into both the original and the new 2009 movie timelines. From the perspective of the Enterprise characters, both are possible futures, given the over-arcing conceit of the show was a Temporal Cold War, so its future is in flux and could line up with either of the timelines we're familiar with, or with an entirely different future.

  • I think episodes/tvshows that happened in the past might still happen....maybe? Like the past events of Star Trek IV or First Contact should still occur...maybe?
    – sumbuddyx
    Mar 17, 2014 at 22:34

I've got a couple of observations-

1 - Whenever time travel has been a part of star trek in the past, they've made a big deal about restoring the original timeline. They've even introduced a Temporal Prime Directive and federation time cops into some stories.

But in the JJ Trek, they don't even really consider trying to "fix" things, nor are their any time cops jumping back to set things right.

Based on this, I've assumed that, in this NEW timeline, things will not be so bright for the federation's future, and they may not end up on temporal duty like their Prime counterparts. So I say Archer still got his visits from the Prime time cops, but from "now" on the federation is on a different course, altogether.

2 - Archer is mentioned in the new Trek. Scotty talks about being punished for transporting his beagle. So there is at least a slim line of continuity drawn to the Enterprise series.

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    +1 because I've often wondered something similar about the time cops being absent - perhaps the 2009 continuity doesn't lead to their creation, which means the Temporal Cold War in ENT "erased" the 2009 continuity and set it on the path to TOS/TNG/DS9/VOY ?
    – Izkata
    Mar 18, 2012 at 18:40
  • Just jumping in with an opinion here... if the events that occurred when nero and spock went back in time spawned an alternate reality, is it not possible that this happened every time a time jump occurred? Meaning the time cops are really only preserving the original timeline and reality, but not necessarily stopping the creation of alternates? Jan 12, 2015 at 16:25

The new movie is technically part of Star Trek canon. Ambassador Spock is the same Spock from the original universe. However, it follows that when he went back in time, instead of changing the history of the existing universe, they are going with split universe tact saying that their timeline forked from the original canon timeline at that point. So the original canon timeline remains unchanged and the new movie takes place in what has essentially become a parallel universe. Everything before the arrival of Nero is identical in both universes and everything after that point still takes place in each universe.

I suppose you could call it a linked dual canon for the Star Trek universe now.


There are at least 2 things that def. put it outside of canon. 1. Vulcan destroyed, that kills a few episodes in TOS and STTNG and obviously changes the timeline dramatically can't even count on Tuvok's existence (may have been on Vulcan at the time). 2. The clear difference in morality, Star Trek IV let's save Earth from a deserved fate; ST 2009 let's not save Vulcan from an undeserved fate.

I'm certain there are others since it uses time travel in a different ways.

I wonder whether Abrams was trying to steal it from Roddenberry and make it his own by essentially destroying every story Roddenberry ever wrote on Star Trek. Abrams def. has a different concept of morality.

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