The Alternate Timeline of the New Star Trek Movies Finally Has an Official Name

Image: Star Trek (2009), Screencap via Trek Core
Image: Star Trek (2009), Screencap via Trek Core

CBS has finally announced an official name for the alternate timeline that started with 2009's Star Trek. Given that most of the unofficial ones weren’t particularly complimentary, it’s weird it took them this long to choose one.

It’s the “Kelvin Timeline,” as revealed on a Star Trek Online blog post. CBS Consumer Products’ Holly Amos confirmed the name on Twitter, also giving credit for the name to (who else?) Michael and Denise Okuda, authors or co-authors of almost every Star Trek reference in existence.


The universe has been variously called “NuTrek,” “the Abramsverse,” and “Alternate Original Series (AOS).” NuTrek does have a whiff of disapproval, like an old man yelling at kids on his lawn. Abramsverse is both derisive and will be inaccurate once something takes place in the universe without J.J. Abrams’ involvement. And AOS, my personal favorite, ceases making sense the second we start following the adventures of anyone other than the Enterprise NCC-1701.

Of course, the latter two can have exactly the same rational as the “Kelvin Timeline”—they describe the origins of it. Of course, they do so in a meta way and not an internal way.

I still wish it was the “Kelvin Universe”, though. It would fit in better with the “Prime Universe” and the “Mirror Universe.”


[Trek Core]

Katharine is the Associate Director of Policy and Activism at the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the former managing editor of io9. She writes about technology policy and pop culture.

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This “Kelvin Timeline” can’t be split off from the main timeline. It must be split off from another alternate timeline from the main timeline. This is the only way to solve the numerous continuity errors that crop up in the Kelvin Timeline that would not be explained by Nero going back in time and changing things.

Such as Kirk having an older brother in the Main Timeline but being an only child in the Kelvin Timeline. Or Captain Pike being the same age as Kirk in the Main Tineline but being 20 years older then him in the Kelvin Tineline. Or Khan being a Mexican pretending to be a Sikh in the Main Timeline but a white British guy pretending to be a Sikh in the Kelvin Timeline.