10 ways Kelvin Star Trek is better than Prime, and 5 ways it’s Worse

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Star Trek 2009

Copyright © Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

In 2009 J.J Abrams brought Star Trek back from its hiatus and on to the big screen in a big way through the Kelvin Timeline, an altered reality where things went a little differently then they did in the prime timeline.

Problem: How do you bring back a classic like Star Trek The Original Series  without alienating long time fans, causing massive holes in canon, and having to follow a strict set of events that lead to events we know are coming in the future?

We may never have an answer to that question, but for all its worth J.J. Abrams and his team came as close to pulling it off as anyone ever has in 2009 when they Brough Star Trek back to the big screen.

Through the use of a time traveling, vengeance seeking Romulan Captain named Nero the timeline changed  and the trajectory of countless lives altered in a way that lead to a very different, yet vaguely similar, course for Starfleet’s most famous ship, the USS Enterprise.

The change to the timeline have opened up some possibilities for the storytellers, while also limiting their options in a some ways, so today we’re going to look at a handful those changes and classify them as better or worse.

What does better or worse mean?

For context it’s important to classify the meaning of the words better and worse, it would be impossible to classify better or worse in terms of pure fan sentiment as the movies in the Kelvin Timeline have so deeply divided fans down partisan lines.

Therefore in today’s list we will be classifying based on three criteria only..

Criteria 1: Characters Lives – Dose the change make the characters life better or worse? 

For example, in creating the set and props designs for Star Trek Enterprise I recall one of the designers speaking in an interview about how his laptop was more compact and with a larger screen than Captain Janeway’s, therefore it wouldn’t make sense to design a laptop for Captain Archer which was larger than his, or smaller than Janeway’s. However we can assert from this example that a more compact laptop would be better for the character then a larger more bulky unit would be.

Criteria 2: Story Scope – Does the change give the writers a better or worse setup for stories?

For example, the invention of warp drive would be better and the invention of impulse drive only would be worse because warp allows for faster traveling of larger distances, thus allowing for stories to cover greater ground and opening up more possibilities for the characters to explore.

Criteria 3: Fan Service – Does the change take anything away from the characters?

better. The Kelvin Timeline may have separated the history we know from the new series, but it certainly took a few things away from the characters and their histories.