Star Trek 2009 used “time travel” as their excuse for everything.
Thanks to Den of Geek for pulling this out of mothballs. Anyone who’s seen the 2009 Star Trek film probably had a few things they’d like to mention. Firstly, lens flares. Why? Secondly, why did the Enterprise look like an Apple Store? That’s not a bad question to ask, either, though apparently it was answered in 2009.
Star Trek scriptwriter Roberto Orci and director J.J. Abrams talked about this very idea; claiming that Nero’s ship the Narada was an advanced piece of 24th-century tech being reversed engineered by shuttles from the U.S.S. Kelvin. Orci again made similar comments to Ain’t it Cool in 2009 about how much more the Kevlin timeline era ships would be than the main timeline era ships after such a monumental moment.
It’s a sound, albeit silly reason. The real reason was due to presentation and wanting a flashier Enterprise bridge. The Den of Geek article goes deeper into the impact time travel plays in Star Trek, but we’re going to continue by focusing on how the whole idea ended up looking; which is to say not well.
The 2009 Star Trek bridge was lifeless and a design of the times
The 2009 Star Trek bridge was about as impressive as Star Trek: Nemesis. The ship was bland, sterile. It looked like a hospital room, not like a star ship. The constant action shots, with the camera zooming around like a toddler on cocaine, made it hard to grasp the dimensions and perception of the room.
The lighting, screens, and constant lens flare made it hard to not only gauge what it looked like in any given shot but also made it hard to figure out where everyone was at any given moment. The set itself was treated like an action set piece and was used as such. Designed to be more about the look than function and was shot with that in mind.
It was stylish, sure, but to what end? The decks of the ship’s television ships were just fine and even the film versions of the ships worked better and were more practical. The 2009 film and its successors all tried to do too much and it was obvious.