Star Trek Picard is a Prime Timeline series


During a recent interview Star Trek boss Alex Kurtzman released a great deal of information on all things Star Trek, leading to a massive influx of news articles, speculation and misinformation.

One of the most common things I have seen reported over the past few days is the notion that Star Trek Picard will be set in the Kelvin Timeline. It’s simply not what he said, and not true.

The destruction of Romulus in Star Trek 2009 lead to the creation of the Kelvin Timeline, and yes, the aftermath of that destruction will be a key part of the new series, in that it has along with all of Jean-Luc Picard’s life experiences shaped who he is, but there’s an element of temporal mechanics to go along with this whole scenario.

The prime timeline, which begins at the beginning of time and carries through everything we saw in The Original Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise , Discovery and the movies up until Star Trek Nemesis, Although some of those series reached back to different times during their runs it was always in the prime timeline with one exception.

Mirror Mirror

Leonard Nimoy as Mirror Spock in Season 2 of Star Trek The Original Series.

The only time we’ve stepped outside of the prime timeline in any major way during the franchise run prior to 2002 was the Mirror Universe, which for all intents and purposes by todays lingo would be called The Mirror Timeline

The Mirror universe is much like the Kelvin timeline, at some point some event in the mirror caused the rise of the Terran Empire and not the Federation, we don’t know what that event was, though some have theorized that it was the death of Edith Keeler in City on the Edge of Forever, we may never know but it would likely have been caused by a similar event to the destruction of the USS Kelvin.

Destroying the USS Kelvin

When the Kelvin was destroyed it set off a chain of events that forever altered the course of history in this new third timeline.

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On a personal level James T. Kirk was born prematurely due to the stress placed on his mother and his father was absent for his formative years.

On a technological level Starfleet and the Klingon empire gained access to scans of a ship from over a hundred years in the future, meaning they were able to create certain technologies earlier than they had in the prime timeline.

On a social level the people of the Federation were now afraid after the destruction of one of their key planets, Vulcan, so the mission of Starfleet altered slightly from exploration to defence and exploration.

The Enterprise A came into service some 28 years earlier then it had in the Prime Timeline, the Klingon moon Praxis was destroyed much earlier then it had been and crippled their more advanced fleet and delaying or preventing the events that would lead to the relative peace we came to know in the 24th century.

Star Trek Online Timeline including the Prime and Kelvin Timelines

Picard remains separate from this series of events

Alex Kurtzman was quoted as saying that the events of the new Star Trek Picard series would be heavily influenced by the destruction of Romulus, and many have taken that to mean he is somehow in the Kelvin Timeline, the truth is we don’t even know IF Romulus was destroyed in the Kelvin Timeline as we haven’t seen that far into their story at this point, the event Kurtzman is talking about happened in the Prime Timeline nearly a decade after the events of Star Trek Nemesis.

If you refer to the graphic above, which is a rather basic version of the timeline released as a part of the promotional materials for Star Trek Online when it added elements of the Kelvin Timeline into its story, you’ll notice that the backward arrow shows the route of Captain Nero through time back to 2233, at that point the timeline diverges and the lower line is the Kelvin Timeline moving forward in parallel to the original events.

As a result of this divergence both timelines exist independent of each other

This was, despite the vocal minorities complaints, a rather elegant solution to dealing with the prospect of re-casting the original series crew. It allows fans of the Prime Timeline to keep their history and all the events in it, while simultaneously freeing the new crew to go off on their own adventures and make the universe their own.

While some will wish that Star Trek 2009 had never happened, it has, and it will be solidified into canon when Star Trek Picard launches later this year and confirms the destruction of Romulus, but there’s no need to look at this as taking anything away from fans, quite the opposite in fact, it gives fans a whole new series of possibilities.

Related Story. Top Actors / Actresses to be cast in a Kelvin Star Trek The Next Generation. light

Infinite diversity in infinite combinations, it’s a staple of what makes Star Trek special, and the idea of infinite timelines allows for this in a way we may never have expected, but should none the less enjoy.