what i don't understand is, why create a catalogue of new product for potential customers (the retailers) and then fill it full of inaccurate crap?
Because bookvendors need the solicitation process to begin as early as possible, and publishers can't always offer final information that far in advance for every project on the schedule. For many books, they can and do provide accurate info. For others, it's not always possible. So they simply do the best they can at the time when solicitation info is due.
This is especially true for media tie-in lines like Star Trek
, which can be impacted negatively by planning too far ahead.