OK, so in Star Trek IV they go back in time, right? – What? No. The movie’s old enough to vote. Go watch it, if you haven’t seen it. Anyway, they go back in time from 2286 to 1986, all right? They get the whales. They come back. Problem solved. Only, here’s the thing. In the reboot, the Romulans come back from the end of the 24th Century – I SAID, watch the damn movies already – and go to 2233, and change the timestream completely, OK? Only, only, here’s the thing; they changed the time stream before 2286 but after 1986. There’s at least, three, four times before 2233 that the original Enterprise bridge crew is still alive, right, right? So they’re still there, OK?
Look, I drew a picture.
Now. Now. Now, I know exactly what you’re going to say. You’re going to say Moe, that Enterprise would just wink out of existence. No, no, no no no no it will not, and let me tell you why… because first off, it’s the goram HMS Bounty, OK? The captured Bird of Prey, remember? Jeez, try to keep up. Second, and more importantly: Spock Prime. The timeline that created him is gone, gone, gone – but he’s still there in the past, right? Despite the fact that there’s no way to reverse any of the original stuff that happened because of the time travel. So clearly having your timeline wiped out won’t make you go through any kind of Marty McFly Back to the Future kind of erasure, right, right?
So. The TOS bridge crew is in 1986 (the original ship exists at a couple of other points in the 1960s, and some of its bridge crew in the 1930s*). They don’t know that their timeline is gone. So they’re going to jump back… and I guess disappear, except that no, wait, remember in The Animated Series when Spock came back from the Guardian of Forever to discover that nobody remembered him and history had been changed – YOU WILL HAVE TO LIVE WITH THE SPOILERS, DAMN YOUR EYES – so clearly you can safely return to a timeline where your very existence has been erased! Which means that the HMS Bounty is set to arrive, some time in 2286, with a couple of humpback whales in its cargo hold. This will happen. It must happen, according to the rules of the universe.
WILLIAM SHATNER. CALL. YOUR. AGENT.
PS: You can probably get in on this action too, Patrick Stewart. I mean, your crew went back to 2063, right?
*I only bring this up because some people are, well, a little obsessive about this franchise.