Warp Factor Trek

The Star Trek Fan Website

Yesterday, Deadline reported that Paramount is planning a new prequel Star Trek movie. The planned upcoming film will see Star Trek return to the big screen for the first time since 2016’s Star Trek Beyond — the thirteenth entry in the Star Trek film saga and the third to feature the Kelvin Timeline. The forthcoming movie will apparently be set decades before JJ Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek film and expand the Star Trek universe, departing from recent streaming shows on Paramount+. There has already been backlash to this news, with some fans concerned that the Kelvin Timeline exists only from the Narada’s attack on the USS Kelvin — portrayed in the 2009 movie — onwards. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that there is real-world precedent to imagining events in the Kelvin Timeline before the setting of the 2009 film.

Inception

While the 2009 movie was produced with the concept in mind that the arrival of the Narada created the Kelvin Timeline (Spock even mentions it as an initial event in the 2009 film), this idea was revised by the time Star Trek Beyond was written, with the writers of that film stating that the Narada‘s arrival changed things even before that. Simon Pegg, who not only portrays Scotty in the Kelvin films but also co-wrote Star Trek Beyond, reflected on this in a 2016 blog post. He commented, “With the Kelvin Timeline, we are not entirely beholden to existing canon; this is an alternate reality and, as such, is full of new and alternate possibilities [….] The explanation comes down to something very Star Treky; theoretical, quantum physics and the less than simple fact that time is not linear. Sure, we experience time as a contiguous series of cascading events but perception and reality aren’t always the same thing. Spock’s incursion from the Prime Universe created a multidimensional reality shift. The rift in space/time created an entirely new reality in all directions, top to bottom, from the Big Bang to the end of everything. As such, this reality was, is and always will be subtly different from the Prime Universe.

The USS Kelvin encountering the Narada

In Pegg’s opinion, Gene Roddenberry would approve of the Kelvin Timeline continuing to evolve. “I don’t believe for one second that Gene Roddenberry wouldn’t have loved the idea of an alternate reality (‘Mirror, Mirror’ anyone?). This means, and this is absolutely key, that the Kelvin universe can evolve and change in ways that don’t necessarily have to follow the Prime Universe at any point in history, before or after the events of Star Trek ‘09; it can mutate and subvert, it is a playground for the new and the progressive and I know, in my heart, that Gene Roddenberry would be proud of us for keeping his ideals alive. Infinite diversity in infinite combinations — this was his dream, that is our dream, it should be everybody’s.

Creatives

The forthcoming movie is set to be directed by Toby Haynes, who directed six of the ten episodes from the first season of the Star Wars spinoff TV show Andor. Haynes, who is known for directing the Star Trek-inspired “USS Callister” episode of Black Mirror, will make his feature debut with this film. Seth Grahame-Smith has been hired to write the movie, with Abrams’ Bad Robot producing. The film is said to be in development along with, rather than replacing, the fourth and final installment of the Kelvin Timeline movies (along with an unofficially mentioned movie script which Sir Patrick Stewart briefly referred to back in November 2023).

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