Unexplored territory made for a storytelling opportunity when it came to deciding on what time frame to use for the new Star Trek
As reported by TrekMovie.com, there were several reasons why a prequel to the original series era was chosen for Star Trek XI. "We all had to agree that area would interest us, and we're all fans to varying degrees," explained Roberto Orci. "Everyone could agree that the original series was something that we all loved dearly. Also there seemed to be the fact that Roddenberry had done exactly as you described, so it would have been doing it again. Thirdly, there seemed to be a genuine gap in what we knew about these characters' origins. It wasn't just remaking an origin story, it was telling it for the first time. There seemed to be unexplored territory. We couldn't believe it when we sat down to think about it."
Alex Kurtzman agreed with Orci. "It was shocking that after forty years that there was still a story to tell about the characters that started it all. That alone was a reason to do it."
Another reason to start at the beginning of Star Trek had to do with attracting new fans to the franchise. "Creatively that was a reason to do it and on the other side of it, we wanted to introduce 'Star Trek' again to a new generation and the people who had been around who felt that they were never able to jump onto the bandwagon because they felt they'd missed too much," said Orci. "The idea of making an introduction that anyone can come into, and find out what it is that all of us love about 'Star Trek', without having to know anything about 'Star Trek', was something we just couldn't pass up. The two of those together made it inescapable."
To read more, head to the article located here.