The Fifteen (!) Timelines of Star Trek

Before we go into this, I want us to agree on one thing—you have only yourself to blame!

In 2009, the movie Star Trek used the gimmick of time travel to free itself from the weight of 44 years of Star Trek history. It had become a millstone around the neck of future storytellers. But some Trekkies—and, by “some Trekkies,” I mean you—couldn’t accept that the stories and characters they loved might have been erased.

So Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci spitballed something to placate them—to shut them up, really. The Prime Timeline still exists! they told us. Time travelers can’t erase their own timeline, that would erase them too and create a paradox! When you mess with time, it creates another universe! Now there’s another timeline running in parallel: the Kelvin Timeline.

This flew in the face of everything you’d ever seen on Star Trek. Up until Kurtzman and Orci laid their theory on us, we’d assumed time travel rewrote the history of the universe. The old history just went poof.

But this idea saved the original universe so you decided you liked it. It caught on in fandom circles. And when Bryan Fuller decided to set Star Trek: Discovery in the Prime Timeline, it became canon.

And so now I have to go and do what Trekkies have done for 50 years—take canon super literally and apply this new information retroactively to everything that came before. Don’t blame me, I’m just the messenger!

I think you can see that this whole exercise—the absolutely ludicrous amount of thought I’m going to put into it—the frankly absurd, and somewhat distrubing, conclusions that it’s going to lead me to—all of this…

This is all YOUR FAULT.

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