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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek Movies > Star Trek Movies XI+

Star Trek Movies XI+ Discuss J.J. Abrams' rebooted Star Trek here.

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Old August 9 2013, 08:31 PM   #1
CaptainBearclaw
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Untangling the various Trek Universes

So, Trek is filled with alternate universes and timelines, but what TV show or movie leads to what timeline. it's a complicated tangle of various episodes, movies, and reboots.

I might create another list of non-canon materials and whether or not those transcend with each-other.

Anyway, my impression. (Forgive my use of DC terminology.)

Earth Prime (TOS, TNG, VOY, DS9)

Mirror Earth-Prime ("Mirror, Mirror" and all subsequent episodes)

New Earth (ENT, Trek '09)

Mirror New-Earth ("In a Mirror Darkly")

Why is Enterprise classified as a New Earth series? Frankly, since Into Darkness has the only reference to Enterprise having ever taken place, I figured that it would be the only place to count this as canon. Not to mention the whole advanced technology seems to be a staple of this universe.

In the interest of the why I put two Mirror Universes, here's why:

The universe presented in "In a Mirror Darkly" is different than the one presented in "Mirror, Mirror" and it's sequel DS9 episodes. Therefore, one must assume that each alternate Earth has a mirror universe duplicate, along with the infinite alternate timelines, each being a subset of these universes.

Last edited by CaptainBearclaw; August 10 2013 at 03:56 AM.
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Old August 9 2013, 09:04 PM   #2
Hober Mallow
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Re: Untangling the various Trek Universes

My head hurts...
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Old August 9 2013, 09:19 PM   #3
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: Untangling the various Trek Universes

I go with the novelverse's approach - that ENT, TOS, TNG, DS9 and VOY are the same timeline. It's not perfect, but it's a lot simpler.
The novel Department of Temporal Investigations: Watching the Clock does an epic job of tying every Trek time travel method into one complex but seeimingly coherent and consistent system. It also explains how and why some methods of time travel overwrite one history while others create an alternate branch.
CaptainBearclaw wrote:
Why is Enterprise classified as a New Earth series? Frankly, since Into Darkness has the only reference to Enterprise having ever taken place, I figured that it would be the only place to count this as canon.
What about the finale episode, which takes place between scenes of the TNG episode "The Pegasus"? Or the NX-01 crew records in the USS Defiant (originally from "The Tholian Web") in "In a Mirror, Darkly"? They're retroactive continuity, but they're pretty hard to ignore.
The universe presented in "In a Mirror Darkly" is different than the one presented in "Mirror, Mirror" and it's sequel DS9 episodes, namely, the existence of cloaking devices.
That was a big mistake in "The Emeror's New Cloak", since we'd previously seen MU Klingon and Cardassian ships decloaking in "Through the Looking Glass".
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Old August 9 2013, 09:23 PM   #4
GameOn
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Re: Untangling the various Trek Universes

Enterprise did so many things wrong I'm all for removing it from continuity. In DS9 the mirror universe had cloaking devices in season 3's "Through the Looking Glass" but didn't have them in season 7's "The Emperor's New Cloak". Thanks to the TNG episode "Parallels" you can explain away continuity errors by speculating that it's not the same mirror universe but another parallel universe that just happens to be very similar.
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Old August 9 2013, 09:31 PM   #5
Gojira
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Re: Untangling the various Trek Universes

GameOn wrote: View Post
Enterprise did so many things wrong I'm all for removing it from continuity. In DS9 the mirror universe had cloaking devices in season 3's "Through the Looking Glass" but didn't have them in season 7's "The Emperor's New Cloak". Thanks to the TNG episode "Parallels" you can explain away continuity errors by speculating that it's not the same mirror universe but another parallel universe that just happens to be very similar.
I hardly watch anything from ENT so for my own personal continuity it doesn't exist.
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Old August 9 2013, 09:39 PM   #6
M'Sharak
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Re: Untangling the various Trek Universes

We had a thread something like this before, and it got very complicated in a hurry, what with everything having to have mirror counterparts, leading to mirror mirror counterparts, mirror mirror mirror counterparts, and so on.

Hober Mallow wrote: View Post
My head hurts...
That was the reaction several people had to that thread.

But there was an up side: the thread did also produce this:
some other poster with an image editor wrote:
some poster wrote:

Now Quinto needs to grow a beard.
King Daniel Into Darkness wrote: View Post
I go with the novelverse's approach - that ENT, TOS, TNG, DS9 and VOY are the same timeline. It's not perfect, but it's a lot simpler.
I pay no attention to the novels, but I can't find a real reason not to consider them all part of the same timeline.

GameOn wrote: View Post
Enterprise did so many things wrong I'm all for removing it from continuity.
Eh. ENT had a few problems in execution. I can't agree that they got anything unforgivably wrong, and there were plenty of things they got right.
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Old August 9 2013, 09:40 PM   #7
GameOn
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Re: Untangling the various Trek Universes

Gojira wrote: View Post
GameOn wrote: View Post
Enterprise did so many things wrong I'm all for removing it from continuity. In DS9 the mirror universe had cloaking devices in season 3's "Through the Looking Glass" but didn't have them in season 7's "The Emperor's New Cloak". Thanks to the TNG episode "Parallels" you can explain away continuity errors by speculating that it's not the same mirror universe but another parallel universe that just happens to be very similar.
I hardly watch anything from ENT so for my own personal continuity it doesn't exist.
My "personal continuity" doesn't include Enterprise or Voyager. I had to put up with a Voyager fan ranting about how Federation Time Ships from the 29th century would never have allowed Nero from Star Trek 2009 to change history. Before that I just thought Voyager was a mediocre show but now it's dead to me.
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Old August 9 2013, 09:52 PM   #8
GameOn
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Re: Untangling the various Trek Universes

M'Sharak wrote: View Post
GameOn wrote: View Post
Enterprise did so many things wrong I'm all for removing it from continuity.
Eh. ENT had a few problems in execution. I can't agree that they got anything unforgivably wrong, and there were plenty of things they got right.
Thanks to the final episode of Enterprise being a holodeck program I've convinced myself that the entire series was a work of fiction within the Star Trek universe.
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Old August 9 2013, 09:59 PM   #9
CaptainBearclaw
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Re: Untangling the various Trek Universes

Wow, lots of things to address. Let's get started.

King Daniel, I forgot about the scene of the crew records in the Defiant. I think we can assume that there's a New Earth Enterprise D, where that episode happens. I know I'm probably making up a lot of stuff, but frankly this is better than assuming ENT as standard continuity, with all it's many, many continuity flaws. I was meaning to suggest the reason why the Mirror, Mirror Enterprise had no....

Ugh, how can comic book writers stand doing this?! I'm finding me hating myself because I'm making more retcons than ties to actual, canon material. I'm going nuts after two posts!!!

New answer: Enterprise sucks at continuity!
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Old August 9 2013, 10:01 PM   #10
BillJ
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Re: Untangling the various Trek Universes

CaptainBearclaw wrote: View Post

Why is Enterprise classified as a New Earth series? Frankly, since Into Darkness has the only reference to Enterprise having ever taken place, I figured that it would be the only place to count this as canon. Not to mention the whole advanced technology seems to be a staple of this universe.
This really doesn't make a lot of sense. The intent of the shows creators was that it was part of the same timeline as TOS, TNG, VOY and DS9.

So, unless you have some proof of Enterprise taking place in an alternate reality, you should include it in the Prime Timeline.
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Old August 10 2013, 12:53 AM   #11
CaptainBearclaw
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Re: Untangling the various Trek Universes

The slightly more advanced technological look of Enterprise is more akin to the New Earth timeline as opposed to the original.

I am aware of the fact that it was intended to be part of the Prime canon, but frankly it so terribly conveys continuity with those series that to me it makes more sense for it to be an alternate timeline.

For the record, I am a believer that any piece of media is open to individual interpretation once it is released. This is what I think makes sense.
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Old August 10 2013, 01:05 AM   #12
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Re: Untangling the various Trek Universes

CaptainBearclaw wrote: View Post
The slightly more advanced technological look of Enterprise is more akin to the New Earth timeline as opposed to the original.
For me, creator intent outweighs differing production values.
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Old August 10 2013, 01:15 AM   #13
GameOn
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Re: Untangling the various Trek Universes

CaptainBearclaw wrote: View Post
The slightly more advanced technological look of Enterprise is more akin to the New Earth timeline as opposed to the original.

I am aware of the fact that it was intended to be part of the Prime canon, but frankly it so terribly conveys continuity with those series that to me it makes more sense for it to be an alternate timeline.
It's reasonable to think that the events of First Contact created an alternate timeline that Enterprise and Star Trek 2009 take place in. Interference from the future could explain the more advanced looking technology in the series and the movies. I also refuse to believe the events of the episode "Regeneration" took place in the same timeline as later events in TNG.
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Old August 10 2013, 01:35 AM   #14
Cinema Geekly
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Re: Untangling the various Trek Universes

CaptainBearclaw wrote: View Post
The slightly more advanced technological look of Enterprise is more akin to the New Earth timeline as opposed to the original.

I am aware of the fact that it was intended to be part of the Prime canon, but frankly it so terribly conveys continuity with those series that to me it makes more sense for it to be an alternate timeline.

For the record, I am a believer that any piece of media is open to individual interpretation once it is released. This is what I think makes sense.
Honestly I think they did the best they could given what the premise was going to be.

It would be nearly impossible to do a prequel show about a series that started decades earlier with absolutely zero idea about films or spin offs. I mean TOS contradicted itself all the time, and was made in an era of one off shows where the episodes are totally unrelated to each other (I think maybe twice in TOS do they ever reference another episode).

And then when the TOS films came out they just retconned all over the place.

Personally I think ENT especially Season 4 did a good job of trying to make sense of 79 random one shot episodes.
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Old August 10 2013, 01:55 AM   #15
The Wormhole
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Re: Untangling the various Trek Universes

CaptainBearclaw wrote: View Post
The universe presented in "In a Mirror Darkly" is different than the one presented in "Mirror, Mirror" and it's sequel DS9 episodes, namely, the existence of cloaking devices. Therefore, one must assume that each alternate Earth has a mirror universe duplicate, along with the infinite alternate timelines, each being a subset of these universes.
As mentioned above, the MU had cloaking technology in DS9's third season episode Through the Looking Glass, and that was forgotten when The Emperor's New Cloak was written.

But regardless, the cloaking device used in IAMD was a Suliban one. In the Prime universe, Suliban got cloaking devices from the mysterious Future Guy from the 28th century, so presumably that's where they come from in the MU as well. See, that's easy enough to rationalize without the need to declare everything another reality.
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