Alternatively, we might not get "restored TOS." In which case, Pine had better not be captain by the end of the flick (hard to justify a time-leap of a number of years ahead AFTER the action is over, so he'd have to be made captain due to him being so kewl and neat... )
Why is this hard to justify? And how do you know there isn't sufficient screen time to establish that "last scene" (if that is indeed what it is)? While we some
of what is going on, we don't know very much and what little we do know is likely out of sequence.
Well, think back to the one MAJOR complaint that "Return of the King" got from audiences... that the movie really "ought to have ended" shortly after the rescue from Mt. Doom, perhaps with the coronation of Aragorn... and that the movie really did seem to "drag on" from that point forward. As someone who's read, and loves, the books, I appreciated those scenes, but from a filmmaking standpoint, they really did seem a bit extraneous... I remember seeing it at the theater and having audience members get up at each "ending," only to sit back down to watch another 20 minutes of film or so. Anyone else notice this?
So... from a "best practices filmmaking" standpoint, I'd think that you wouldn't want to drag things out beyond the "final action" of the film... give us a resolution, but don't have the film continue for 20 minutes beyond its climax.
That's the point I was making. How do you justify, from the standpoint of a "stand alone movie" (aka, a movie intended to appeal to non-Trek fans, not just us hardcore geeks who post on TrekBBS), having the action resolve, then "jumping forward" to some point many years after the conclusion of the films actual PLOT, just to show Kirk with Captain's stripes?
No, that just wouldn't work, would it? So either (1) the timeline is "reset" (and we get Kirk, with his original history restored, in command, as he was "supposed to have been") or (2) Kirk gets promoted, permanently, from his "black shirt" punish-ee status to command of one of the twelve most powerful ships in the Federation pretty much immediately.
And, as I said, only the first option would be plausible from any standpoint... the second would be the sort of thing that grade-school kids fantasize about. "Hey, wanna read my Star Trek story? I save the Enterprise and they make me CAPTAIN! COOL!!!"