Dark Gilligan wrote:
I realize that Nero going back in time changed things, but it doesn't explain why everything changed. For example, Nero going back in time somehow made Chekov a super-genius?
Nero and Spock didn't go back in time as much was they went backward and sideways
. They entered another universe. Nero's actions did influence some events but not all. And Chekov was always very intelligent. He frequently manned the science station in Spock's absence. But yes, any differences in the two Chekovs would be inherent differences in the two universes, not from anything Nero did.
The Kelvin incident would've changed everything that Starfleet did. They thoroughly got their asses kicked and would need to be better prepared for the dangers of space than they thought they were -- design ships differently (and take more time to get it right, such as with Enterprise), add some academy courses, maybe cut some academy courses, alter their idea of what it means for a cadet to graduate, maybe increase the military aspects, etc. And their different approach would catch the attention of people who wouldn't have been interested in Starfleet otherwise, would cause some interested parties to turn away, and maybe the cadets would have a different education path than they otherwise would've gone.