J.J. Abrams' 2009 Star Trek film did two major things right: It rebooted a tired-yet-beloved sci-fi franchise—injecting it with some kick-ass new life and even newer blood—while at the same time keeping almost 45 years of Trek history and lore relatively intact in the Prime timeline by introducing a parallel one. Abrams agrees that not respecting what came before would've been "a big mistake."
You gotta admit it: By pulling an "alternate timeline" rabbit out of the hat, director/producer J.J. Abrams and writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman made a lot of Star Trek fans out there (us included) heave a huge sigh of relief. Canon was safe.
During a podcast interview with nerdist.com, Abrams discussed that alternate timeline and its effect on Star Trek: The Original Series (and, arguably, on Star Trek: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager as well; only Star Trek: Enterprise's history remains untouched since the series is set a century before the adventures of Kirk and Spock).
Here's what Abrams said:
Here's the thing... I think the key to that was, first of all, it was one of those things that not everyone even cares about or understands the timeline of it all. The notion that when this one character, Nero, arrives in his ship, that basically the timeline is altered at that moment, so everything forward is essentially an alternative timeline. That is not to say that everything that happened in The Original Series doesn't exist. I think, as a fan of movies and shows, if someone told me the beloved thing for me was gone, I would be upset. But we didn't do that. We're not saying that what happened in that original series wasn't good, true, valid, righteous and real. Let people embrace that. We're not rejecting that. That, to me, would have been the big mistake. We're simply saying that, "At this moment, the very first scene in the first movie, everything that people knew of Star Trek splits off into now another timeline.
Do you agree? Were you happy about the creation of a new, parallel/alternate timeline, or did you just hate it?
(via Star Trek.com)