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‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Theory: The Prime Universe Doesn’t Exist

19 November 2017

From Inverse:

In science fiction, sometimes a cliffhanger can take place on an actual cliff, like the ending of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Other times, like the mid-season finale of Star Trek: Discovery, the cliffhanger drops a starship into a parallel universe.

If the USS Discovery is now in the Mirror Universe, as some fans have posited, then an interesting question presents itself: Which universe did the Discovery and its crew originate from?

Most fans would tell you that Discovery is supposedly set in the “Prime” Star Trektimeline, but what does that mean? And does the Prime Universe even exist?

. . . .

In 2009, director J.J. Abrams and screenwriters Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman made a brilliant or terrible decision, depending on who you ask. Instead of being forced to follow the chronology of the original Star Trek series, they created a splinter universe formed by the invasion of a time-traveling angry Romulan named Nero. Of every reboot that ever rebooted, 2009’s Star Trek is the slyest, acting as, technically, both a sequel and a remake at the same time. And in terms of fully fleshed out parallel universes within Star Trek, Abrams’ resulting “Kelvin Universe” is most prominent.

In an attempt to qualify this there’s even a moment in 2009’s Trek where Spock (Zachary Quinto) says, almost directly to the camera, “Nero’s presence has altered the flow of history, thereby creating a new chain of events that cannot be anticipated by either party…whatever our lives might have been…our destinies have changed.”

Link to the rest at Inverse

PG says a parallel universe could explain so much about recent events.


18 Comments to “‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Theory: The Prime Universe Doesn’t Exist”

  1. Eh.

    They’re over thinking it.

    Star Trek canon has been described more or less as “whatever agrees with what I am writing right now”. The animated series isn’t canon, parts of the movies aren’t canon, a lot of S3 of the original series isn’t canon.

    There’s no point in arguing which universe we’re in when the folks creating the show don’t care.

  2. The ‘prime’ universe for you is whichever one you happen to be in at the time.

    And your universe splits/twins/changes at the flip of a coin or a chance choice.

    And it’s not just your actions but every other chance and choice.

    So that guy that chose to sleep in is now running last and will blow a red light on the route you were planning to take to the store. Go early and you’ll miss seeing him, go late and you’ll be stuck in the traffic waiting for tow trucks to clear the roads, go at the wrong time and you become part of the mess blocking traffic …

  3. I think crappy writers and showrunners explain everything that is wrong with that show. I’m pretty sure (if Discovery doesn’t outright KILL Star Trek) that years from now people will just ignore Discovery ever happened.

  4. Odds are that in another year or two Discovery won’t be canon.

    • Won’t be canon in what universe?

      • In any.
        The show only exists because Netflix bought into it sight unseen. They are paying for most if not all production costs.
        Neither CBS nor Paramount has any vested interest in maintaining the legitimacy of STD once the Netflix money runs out. Especially since it runs counter to the canon of both the Prime and Kelvin continuities.
        Besides, the show has issues well beyond its continuity failings.

  5. Try ‘The Orville’. It’s a Star-Trek-as-we’d-like-it-to-be show, and not half bad. 😀

    ‘Discovery’ was never going to stay in the canon universe, of whichever stripe.If it did, it’s keep bumping into ‘Enterprise’, ‘TOS’, and even ‘TNG’ … I think the peeps in charge just said it was a ‘prequel’ to get it off the ground.

    • ‘The Orville’ has been a pleasant surprise. I went into it with trepidation, since I never watch Seth MacFarlane’s other shows (not my style of humor). But it has been surprisingly good, and I hope it sticks around.

      • Anything Seth MacFarlane is a “Thank you, but no” for me.

        So thank you, you two – just watched the first two, and I have been proven wrong (not unusual…). Very well done!

        • It is surprisingly family friendly.
          (By today’s standards.)
          It may end up as a fond memory for a generation of kids.

  6. Dexter von Dexterdorf

    I’m a big sci-fi fan, but creating all of these “separate timelines” in a series is a silly way to try to gain a new audience. Why would I want to come in when the actions of this crew likely have no effect on the outcome of the series? And isn’t it kind of a slap in the face to the current fans who want to see backstories that are somewhat relevant to the Trek they loved?

    From an outside perspective, it just seems like the epitome of laziness in the writing that they can’t get their canon to fit together without parallel universe/time travel clichés. Sort of like how the special effects of shuttles was too expensive so they thought, “Hey, let’s just beam their atoms somewhere instead.”

    • It was really just a way to reboot Kirk and Spock for the movies, but still allow tie-in fiction for the other timeline, so it could continue on in other media, as it has.

    • The Star Trek franchise has far bigger problems than a fractured mythos and split ip licenses. (When CBS and Paramount parted ways, each kept a part of Trek.)

      Far worse is that the franchise is creatively bankrupt and is unable to extend their timeline past Picard’s. They are literally incapable of going where no one has gone before. It’s all retreads and retcons.

      Until they bring in somebody with enough vision to move them forward they”ll ne stuck.

      • But, what if they bring in someone whose vision violates sacred canon?

        • Hard to violate canon when you’re extending instead of retreading.
          DS9 got little flack for abandoning the “bold space explorer” formula and is well regarded to this day. Many consider it the best trek ever.
          STNG, DS9, VOYAGER all took the franchise in new directions. And respected the original series. Enterprise wasn’t really bad but it had tje shortest run because you it was just continuity filler.

          Canon becomes an issue when everything else has already failed.

          A show with a tag line of “Boldly going
          …” needs to actually stand on its own instead of hiding in a safe corner.

          As is, STD looks more like a quickie money grab than a bold new vision.

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