How the new Trek movie relates to previous Trek

Given how some people seem to not fully understand how the new Star Trek movie fits in with all other things Trek, I think it is appropriate to write a little about this.

Since the new movie has come out, I’ve heard various things.  For example, I’ve heard some say that this ruins all Trek given what happens in the movie.  Others have said that this finally explains how Kirk and Spock (and company) meet up.

Really, both are wrong!  This does not ruin anything, and it also does not show us how anyone met anyone.  At this point, I’d like to bring in a diagram to help show what I mean. [Picture used with permission from TerryN. Their original post is here.]

How the new movie affects the Trek timeline
How the new movie affects the Trek timeline

I think that picture definitely helps with explaining how the new movie’s timeline affects (or rather, does not affect) what is already established.

The events of Star Trek: Enterprise remain.  The deviation occurs prior to what would have been the original Star Trek series.  The difference is caused by Nero, commanding the Narada, falling through the black hole and encountering the USS Kelvin.  From that point on, everything else was happening in an alternate timeline.  (Which, coincidentally enough, is all but 2 minutes of the movie!)

Am I (or others) just making this up? Nope!  The dialogue was said on screen, in the movie, between Uhura and Spock.  If you don’t believe me, go watch the movie again.

So, did this new movie ruin previous Trek?  Did it tell us the hidden truth behind Kirk and Spock’s friendship?  Did it show how the crew found themselves together on the Enterprise?

Nope!

Keep that in mind the next time you hear someone say one of the things above.  It may help them better understand the movie (and any future ones that may come from JJ Abrams).