OH MAN OH MAN this is, like, really important I don’t know the answer.



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.



Moe Lane

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.

11 thoughts on “OH MAN OH MAN this is, like, really important I don’t know the answer.”

  1. Um… who said the original timeline was erased?


    “Anthony: So what happens with the destruction of the Kelvin is the creation of an alternative timeline, but what happens to the prime timeline after Nero leaves it? Does it continue or does it wink out of existence once he goes back and creates this new timeline.

    Bob: It continues. According to the most successful, most tested scientific theory ever, quantum mechanics, it continues.

    Anthony: So everyone in the prime timeline, like Picard and Riker, are still off doing there thing, it is just that Nero is gone. ”

    Now, what’s this “obsessive” thing you’re talking about? 🙂

    1. Ah, but if the new Enterprise goes back to 1986 they will still encounter the HMS Bounty hanging out in a San Francisco park.

  2. I believe, in canon, true time travel is only possible using the Guardian of Forever. All your discussion covers is D-hopping, so none of your stuff is part of the “real” timeline, and so will only effect a singular timeline, not carry over to all of them.

  3. They also went back in time in the original series other than the Guardian Of Forever, when they went back to the 1960s accidentally; this is in fact where they get the idea for time travel in Star Trek IV.

  4. OK, so this finally got me to register here, and I have one thing to say.


    The original timeline still exists. This is not negotiable. Work out how the latest two movies fit into that any way you like, but. The. Original. Timeline. Still. Exists.

    1. I like this theory. It would explain why the first hour-and-a-half of Star Trek: Into Darkness was only middling acceptable…and why the last half-hour went full-bore stupid.
      I hate you, Zachary Quinto.
      I hate you more, J.J. Abrams.

  5. Moe — it can get even stranger than you’ve laid out. There might be Kirks and Spocks, in particular, stashed all over the previous cosmos’ timeline — and quite a few McCoys, too. In just a short while in the reset timeline, for example, all three men should be coming back from the events of “All Our Yesterdays.” And given what we learned in “Assignment: Earth,” they might have gone back a couple other times as well, on other historical research missions that we never saw.
    Think of it. Multiple Shatner-Kirks and Nimoy-Spocks from different points in their timeline, returning to a future they never knew, slowly coming together and figuring out what happened…then resolving to set the universe right. Starting with eliminating the abominable Pine-Kirk and Quinto-Spock who stand in their way, as the hapless guardians of their bastard timeline.

    1. Y’know .. CGI is almost good enough to make that .. and just pay a licensing fee to the requisite parties (or their estates) for use of their likenesses.

    2. There’s a fan-made continuation of the original series, which includes an episode In Harm’s Way that uses the “different points on the timeline” idea. (It was made 10 years ago, though, so nothing to do with the reboot movies, but interesting to watch, anyway.)

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