Following the 10th Star Trek movie–2002’s beyond bleak Star Trek: Nemesis–the perennial Paramount Pictures franchise needed a fresh set of eyes, some new ideas, and a new cast. For better or worse, the J.J. Abrams 2009 film did those things and turned back the clock on Trek‘s timeline without re-writing what had come before. In fact, they made their own splinter universe and timeline to ensure nothing that came before was negated.
But what do we call this alternate universe from the movies? JJverse? Abramsverse? Pinetown Quintopia? Speculate no further; there is an official name: “Kelvin Timeline.”
“Kelvin” refers to the U.S.S. Kelvin, the starship piloted by James T. Kirk’s father (played by a pre-Thor Chris Hemsworth) in the beginning of the 2009 film. In that version of things, the Romulan vessel that traveled through time led to the death of Kirk’s father and skewed the history of everyone’s favorite Iowa-boy-turned-yellow-shirted-captain. It makes perfect sense, since that event is what spawned the entire new storyline.
This “Kelvin Timeline” name was coined by Trek historian power couple Denise and Michael Okuda, who are basically the go-to for anything officially having to do with the franchise. The reveal of the name happened in a Twitter conversation last week:
It seems deceptively simple, doesn’t it? It’s also maybe not the best name for continuity purposes, because generally these splinter universes are called “X Universe” and not “X Timeline.” But either way, in theory, it would also mean other stories could be explored in the same timeline that didn’t have to be Kirk, Spock, Bones, et al. It’s already been established that the new CBS All Access Star Trek series will be in the original timeline, so it’s important to differentiate for fans of the movies versus fans of the TV show. Boy, these universes sure get confusing.
Let me know what you think of the “Kelvin Timeline” in the comments below!
Images: Paramount Pictures
Kyle Anderson is the Associate Editor for Nerdist. Follow him on Twitter!