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09 May 2019

The Continuities of Star Trek

The live-action TV series and movies produced by Star Trek's copyright owners are canon by definition. Until 2009, all canon Star Trek was set in the same timeline (although owing to time travel it was frequently subject to subtle changes). But the continuity is becoming increasingly complex. The Abrams movies explicitly take place in a detached timeline and hence in a new continuity. And although Star Trek Discovery is meant to exist in the same continuity as TOS, this official claim is hard to uphold.

A new article looks at the continuity of Star Trek and how the concept changed over time, from a single timeline to something like a multiverse. The article takes into account the official policy of CBS but also outlines a way to handle reboot series such as Discovery. Note that the purpose of this article is not to discuss whether or not the Abramsverse and Discovery are in contradiction to classic Trek, which I have already done in excruciating detail in several other articles and episode reviews and don't want to rehash here. Regarding the existing continuity issues, there are only summaries.

Read more about how the different series and movies fit in: The Continuities of Star Trek.

Bernd Schneider


Recent EAS Updates
  • 15 May 2019
    The new series with Sir Patrick Stewart has an official title. It's Star Trek: Picard!
  • 14 May 2019
    Just a quick note that I have made the feedback form operational again (without confirmation e-mails).
  • 09 May 2019
    I have compiled an overview of the multiverse that has effectively been created with the advent of the Abrams movies and Discovery: The Continuities of Star Trek. The article addresses the supposed official policy as well as the caveats at EAS.
  • 26 Apr 2019
    New Poll question: Did Alex Kurtzman keep his promise to "sync Discovery with canon"?
  • 20 Apr 2019
    Here is a write-up about the time travel phenomena related to the Red Angel: Time Travel in Star Trek: Discovery.
  • 19 Apr 2019
    Updated Poll: Rate the second part of the season finale, "Such Sweet Sorrow, Part II".
  • 19 Apr 2019
    As could be expected, the second season of Star Trek Discovery ends with a major space battle. But what happens to the ship and crew? Here is my full-spoiler review of "Such Sweet Sorrow, Part II".
  • 14 Apr 2019
    I have programmed a workaround for the episode submission form that is now operational again but doesn't send confirmation e-mails any longer (at least, they usually don't arrive). The feedback form still doesn't work for this reason. Sending out e-mails that don't bounce off as spam would require to set up an SMTP relay, for which I neither have the access rights on the server nor the knowledge.
  • 12 Apr 2019
    Updated Poll: Please rate "Such Sweet Sorrow".
  • 12 Apr 2019
    Star Trek Discovery bids farewell to the ship, to Michael Burnham and ultimately to the whole crew in the tear-jerking first part of the season finale. We will learn next week whether our tears (and yes, maybe also tears of joy) were justified. So far, you can read my review of "Such Sweet Sorrow".
Latest Comments on EAS Articles
  • 24 May 2019

    The Uniforms from the leaked footage look like they're similar to the base Uniforms in Star Trek Online. Also a lot of the plot of that game involves the aftermath of the Hobus Supernova that destroys Romulus. People shouldn't be too upset that the events that took place in the Prime timeline that lead to the Kelvin alternate timeline are taken into account in the new series.


  • 24 May 2019

    The PIC series looks to unfortunately follow in the Abramsverse, although the tone is great in the trailer. The poster's delta in the vineyard reminds me of the sand path delta in "The Vulcan Hello", and it's hopefully not a plot point.

  • 21 May 2019

    Well, this is a surprise. I hope Picard is good.

  • 14 May 2019

    FYI, the shuttle is referred to as a 'Type C' in dialogue, I forget which episode.

  • 14 May 2019

    Not too bummed about Picard going to Amazon Prime (though would have preferred Netflix...) as it's already a subscription I have mostly for the free delivery (I'm in the Northern Isles of Scotland - not getting shafted on delivery is a major thing up here...) but also "The Expanse", "Into the Badlands" (guilty pleasure...), "The Man in the High Castle" and a few others which are exclusives.

  • 14 May 2019

    DS9 has to be one of my favourites in Star Trek. I think it detaches from the main focus on the Enterprise legacy quite well.

  • 12 May 2019


  • 12 May 2019
    In other words, when the Narada comes through, it changes the present, the future, and the future's time traveling impact on the past, thus changing the past as well, at that same moment.

    Though that isn't how the Quantum Universe model works. At the point (in time) the change occurs that change is the only discernable difference. There is no ripple effect backwards, only forwards in time as the time traveller came from an increasingly paradoxical future to which they cannot return. However that is not to say, as you said, that a future time travel event from that timeline to the past (previous to the creating event of this QU) will happen, and spawn another QU that is of course similar (and still contains that initial branching point which is now even more paradoxical) but it is not the same QU anymore but a closely related one.

    What this would mean for Pegg's view is that we are seeing the result of multiple past incursions and NOT the initial incursion itself anymore whereas Orci was indicating that we were meant to be seeing that first incursion's results.

    Trying to "put things back" as they were originally becomes increasingly difficult and you'll only be able to get so close. The Narada will always arrive (followed by Spock those years after) and cannot be prevented, but can be dealt with having pre-knowledge**, but in the meantime you've perhaps got a build up of anachronistic events prior which stay in place.

    ** A simple "let's try and fix it" could have been as follows. The Narada is big, very big and Federation starships are small and relatively ineffectual so the Kelvin is lost with all hands. Spock arrives in a Federation with no Jim Kirk and haunted by the mysterious loss of the Kelvin. Federation technologies are about the same as they were in the Prime Universe, only the Constitution programme has been delayed with this new generation of ships only just coming on line so Starfleet is composed of largely outdated (but TOS sized) designs. Spock(s) witness the destruction of Vulcan, likely followed by that of Earth and the other core Federation members with the Enterprise lost somewhere along the line and Spock(P) not being rescued Vega IX by a non-existent Kirk. Spock (and Scotty presumably) get themselves off of Vega IX, and create a scheme to try and thwart the Narada, finding a means to travel back in time, and (using Scotty's knowledge of potential turning points in ship design) influence Starfleet's building programme towards larger, more durable vessels so that Starfleet is better prepared to face the Narada. Spock(P) and Scotty remain in the past guiding things from say 2200 forwards, with Spock(P) inevitably passing from old age not too longer after and Scotty continuing the work (and perhaps pushing a little too hard in places...) so that come 2233 the Kelvin is what we see and the events of "2009" occur as we see on screen. The outcome is better this time as they "only" lose Vulcan. The knowledge that this course correction has occurred would only exist with that past Scotty who might also be dead by the time Spock(P) arrives this time and Scotty this time has a different destiny - until he perhaps finds out that one of his engineering heroes was in fact himself and he's left some notes behind (queue that rumoured 4th Kelvinerse movie with George Kirk etc. perhaps?).

    (Slightly tongue in cheek), perhaps you could end up with something like the DIS setting after repeatedly course correcting such a universe? Things are happening in almost the right way, but some of the technologies got a general boost.

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