Alternate Timeline: Things I Don't Think People Understand

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies: Kelvin Universe' started by slappy, Jun 17, 2009.

  1. slappy

    slappy Commodore Commodore

    May 10, 2001
    I've seen repeated in several places that some people don't accept the alternate timeline aspect because, as has been said, it's been shown time and time again that time travel doesn't create alternate times. First Contact, Voyage Home, City On The Edge Of Forever, etc. To which I do you know?

    People just assume that FC didn't create an alternate timeline because Picard & crew went back and confronted the Borg. But why? If we're accepting the Trek 09 theory, there are infinite timelines. There is no original. There's no reason to think that Picard & crew just went back to exactly where they were. The one before the Borg went back and the one after the Borg were stopped, just happen to be so similar to one another that no discernable damage was done.

    There's another timeline where they weren't stopped. The Ent crew sees it on their way to back in time.

    "6 billion lifeforms. All Borg."

    To me, the "Prime" Trek universe is the one with the least damage was done. After Kirk & crew returned from the 1940's with McCoy. After they returned from 1986. After First Contact.

    I'm partial to the timeline where Star Trek is a franchise and I'm just a guy talking about it.
  2. slappy

    slappy Commodore Commodore

    May 10, 2001
  3. Jeri

    Jeri Vice Admiral Admiral

    Feb 20, 2001
    Chicago, Illinois, USA
    Orci said that the alternate reality used in this movie is a departure from all the other time-travel rationales in previous Trek.

    It actually amounts to a correction about time travel, according to recent thinking on the subject. He discusses it in the "Orci Q&A" from, listed in the Trek News Items.
  4. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    May 10, 2005
    The visitor's bullpen
    I don't consider this a big deal. I just think of it this way:

    It's the black hole. That alone makes this different from any previously seen method of Trek time travel.

    Assuming that this is not just an alternate timeline, but an alternate *universe*, that the Narada and the Jellyfish both crossed into. (It would certainly explain a few things, such as the look of the Kelvin, the differing stardate system, etc.)

    Thus, the prime timeline we all know and love is doubly protected. :)
  5. Sabataage

    Sabataage Commander Red Shirt

    May 16, 2009
    Portland, OR
    I like that one the best. It would be nice if Spock had said as much. That while the technology and ship designs were different, enough remained the same time for him to adapt and recognize it, like Scotty and Kirk.
  6. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Premium Member

    Nov 30, 2001
    Bonney Lake, WA
    Who was it who said that it is the responsibility of the time-traveler to seek out the best of all possible realities, and brink about its realization?
  7. theenglish

    theenglish Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Nov 19, 2001
    Alternative timelines have been addressed in several episodes. Yesterday's Enterprise and Parallels come to mind, as do the final episodes of TNG and Voyager.

    The difference is that in these previous episodes it has been considered a "loss" if the events of the past are not corrected.
  8. Sanae

    Sanae Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Jun 5, 2009
    *get ready to be bricked alive*

    Thing is, I find it a lot easier to believe that going back in time, regardless the reason, does create a different, alternative timeline. Which is why I did have a bit of trouble accepting when Scotty and McCoy gave the transparent aluminium formula to that engineer in The Voyage Home. It would have made more sense to try and find the company which actually created the formula and maybe provide them with the knowledge a bit before it actually happened.

    The way I've always seen time-travel is a like in Back to the Future, i.e. if you change, even accidentally, something about your past or that of your ancestors, it's certain that the reality in which you existed will be different, even compromising your own existence. For instance, if I had gone back in time and had prevented my parents from meeting each other, I wouldn't be here today, would I?

    That said, I do wonder what else Nero's attack on the Kelvin changed in terms of the Federation, its policies, etc, etc...after all, if they knew it was a Romulan ship, I find it hard to accept that the Federation wouldn't ask Romulus for an explanation, at the very least.
  9. Thelin

    Thelin Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Jun 9, 2009
    That's how I view it, too. The black hole aspect is definitely the variable that makes it all seem plausible to me.

    As to alternate timelines as a result of time travel... My username comes from a character who soley exists in a different timeline because the past was messed with. In this timeline, Spock died as a boy and as a result never became Kirk's First Officer. So, to those who say that time travel doesn't create alternate timelines or whatever in Star Trek, I disagree. :)

    I, personally, think that you can't change the past. So, if you were to time travel and kill a person, it won't matter because it was going to happen that way anyway. If I was doing the writing, that's how I'd make it. But, fortunately, or unfortunately depending on how you look at it, ST doesn't work that way.
  10. Ovation

    Ovation Vice Admiral Admiral

    In the novelization, Scotty realizes he's met one of his "engineering heroes"--the man who invented transparent aluminum. Therefore, his "giving the formula" is rather like Spock Prime's giving the transwarp formula to Scotty in the new movie. Just a tangential bit FYI.
  11. BorgPhil

    BorgPhil Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Jan 5, 2009
    I can't believe the number of people who either a) just haven't got it or b) are in complete denial.

    a) example: 'hopefully in the next movie they will correct the timeline!' NO NO NO

    b) example: 'I don't care if Orci, Kurtzman, the film, CBS, PAramount, sane people tell me that it's an alternate universe, it just isn't.' IT ISN'T SOMEONE'S OPINION, IT'S A FACT FFS. YOU CANNOT DISPUTE FACT.

    ...and relax.
  12. Sanae

    Sanae Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Jun 5, 2009
    Mister, you've just solved one of the biggest mysteries I had regarding Star Trek. Okay, I'm exaggerating a little but, seriously, thanks, that somehow makes it all right for me.
  13. Cakes488

    Cakes488 Commodore Commodore

    Feb 3, 2009
    Long Island and Upstate NY
    I think that was Einstein who said that.
  14. Jayson

    Jayson Vice Admiral Admiral

    Mar 31, 2001
    The important thing for me has always been the writers intent. In "First Contact" we are supose to asume the timeline was fixed and the Enterprise crew went back to to trekverse they have always been in. I don't think this how time travel works in reality,asuming we ever figure out how to do it, but I don't have problem with going with this idea,simply because people want to feel like they have been watching the same characters from beginning to end.

    The writers need time travel to work differently for the movie,so they could create a new trekverse without erasing the orginal one so they went with the the theory that a divergent timeline would be created. This is proably how time travel would work in reality but realism wasn't the intent. The intent was the achieve the above mentioned goal. I don't have a problem with that.

  15. suarezguy

    suarezguy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jun 9, 2008
    Albuquerque, NM, USA
    Cochrane and Sloan probably couldn't have helped getting somewhat inspired by what they saw of the Enterprise-E and yet when it returns to its future the technological level is the same.
    I maintain that the drama in The Voyage Home or "Endgame", and the universe in general, comes from the idea that there's only one timeline and set of characters that can be changed, otherwise there's no point in trying to change, or prevent changes to, the past.
  16. Qonos

    Qonos Captain Captain

    Oct 16, 2008
    Long Pond Pa
    I've read your propaganda and would like to subscibe to your newsletter.
  17. Bertie

    Bertie Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    May 12, 2009
    I don't care too much that they used the time travel device they did in Star Trek XI (although I guess I'm in the minority that would have preferred a straight Batman Begins style reboot).

    But please, no retconning of all previous Trek time travel to match the new style. All the drama of this franchise's classics like "City on the Edge of Forever", "Yesterday's Enterprise", "The Visitor", First Contact, and more is simply gutted by converting them to the infinite number of parallel universes model.

    After all, who cares if the Nazi's won / the Klingons won / the Borg assimilated Earth / the whale probe destroyed Earth — its all just one more quantum reality technobabble thing. No drama.
  18. Peter the Younger

    Peter the Younger Commodore Commodore

    Oct 4, 2001
    San Francisco, CA, USA
    Well that is the classic choice whenever you're writing a time travel story:

    Single Timeline: high stake,s but you have to deal with logical paradoxes, which are usually solved through some sort of totally fantastical, hand-wavy explanation like "temporal waves."

    Multiple Worlds: No paradoxes, but the only person who is really threatened by time travel is the time traveler himself/herself.

    No Changing the Past: Guess what, you have no free will! Whee!!! Usually incredibly depressing, and also kills the stakes.

    Basically, time travel sucks, and should be avoided at all costs.
  19. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Apr 18, 2004
    The fine line between continuity and fanwank.
    Best thing I've read all day. :techman:
  20. xman

    xman Commander Red Shirt

    May 12, 2009
    Lotus Land, eh
    Where is the suspense, the emotional investment, the importance in multiple timelines? You're not in your universe and nothing you do will change a thing that happens there. You're totally somewhen else and will never get back. Okay Nero is a man obsessed with revenge and he doesn't care that he's not at home any more he still gets to kill some Vulcans. His motive doesn't change. Spock didn't go willingly back in time and he'll still do what he can to prevent mass murder. But here's me saying, "You're telling me I have an escape clause to ignore this movie if I want, that I can choose not to accept it as some form of canon and discard its events as irrelevant to my beloved history"? Stupid writer right there who removes any stakes he might have created. It doesn't matter anyway because Orci is functionally wrong.

    Here's why:
    We will never again, (how much you wanna bet?) EVER (how much??) see another movie or series set in the old universe. "Prime" now exists solely in the imagination of the fanboy. A good place for it too since there are many imaginitive people here alone.

    However you want to add it up, Prime is gone and Nu is here to stay.

    PS QM justifications for multiple realities is such a stretch, really. Quantum particles don't care when or where they are or where they're going, and according to Heisenberg, particles only have the potential to be different(=alternate) until we observe them anyhow and then they're real and they're here.

    Done my rant. Don't expect I'll change anyone's mind and please, don't try to change mine. I choose to care about Nu instead.