Hober Mallow wrote:
The "Prime Timeline" doesn't actually exist.
I think fans are making a distinction that exists nowhere except inside their own heads.
There is no a single cohesive overarching "prime" universe. Whether fans want to admit it or not, TMP was the first Trek reboot.
No official statement, so that's not even close to being true, same with TWOK. All press/interviews called TMP the "continuing" story of TOS, not anything along the lines of...
"a different take on..."
"not really in the same storyline as.."
..or anything else that would be 1979's version of "reboot" or "reimagining."
It doesn't make any difference. Derivative works created by other people are still derivative works created by other people. If I wrote "Romeo and Juliet II," no matter how closely I kept continuity with the original Shakespeare, it would still simply be my
interpretation of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet universe, one valid interpretation but by no means the only one. A sequel or spinoff being consistent with the original work has to do with the internal
consistency of the new work
; it doesn't affect the original work.
TMP is clearly a reboot -- a revamped look to the entire universe, a totally new look to the Enterprise, to Starfleet, the Klingons have been completely reworked. Nebulous references to ship "refits," and "northern vs southern" Klingons are made to placate fans.
I think the various incarnations of Trek are destined to be thought of as separate interpretations, especially the Berman-era TV spinoffs as we get further and further away from their influence and new versions of Star Trek come into being.