Hello and welcome to Truth OR Myth, a Star Trek web series that looks at the Truth, or canon, information to dispel any myths that have surfaced on any given topic. In today’s episode, we are taking a look at the Kelvin Universe and the Kelvin Timeline movies in an effort to better understand their place in Star Trek History.
When the Star Trek 2009 movie was announced, Fandom at large became polarized and excited about its prospects, fandom’s hopes were back for Star Trek’s return.
And although heralding in a new large percentage of fandom to the Star Trek fold, a huge chunk of the original fandom would watch these movies with dismay, and they would slowly erode the sense of hope these fans once had, but what do I think about the Kelvin Universe and these movies? Well stay tuned and find out!
So here I was, Creating the Vengeance Class Star Trek Online Beauty shots video and it happened again. As usually does during this video making process, I began to think about “Star Trek: Into Darkness”, and once again got into a debate about that particular movie with business partner and best friend Siren.
Like most of the original fandom, I too was filled with hope when I found out Star Trek 2009 was happening. I missed Star Trek, a lot, and thought it may have actually been decades before we got Star Trek back, but it was not. So, I was overjoyed!
And when I finally saw the movie, I was blown away. The visuals, the effects, I mean they were stunning, and while watching I was truly swept away into the adventure. Of course, after the movie was complete, I began my usual processing of everything I had just seen and heard, and I immediately found myself at odds with a good chunk of the original fandom.
See I liked the movie… Not that it had some mind-blowing story that kept my intellect engaged or anything, but it was an action-adventure movie, and for me, it succeeded at being just that. And I was ok with that.
The whole alternate universe thing to me was plausible. After all, we have seen this concept in Star Trek so many times. And the fact it takes place in an alternate universe alleviated any major canon concerns I might have had otherwise.
Like I said though, there was a large chunk of the original fandom that was outraged by the movie, an outrage that would just continue to grow with each movie’s release.
One of the biggest issues for them was the leap in perceived technology. But again, this did not bother me at all. In a universe of infinite universes, it is entirely possible, in fact, it is inevitable that in at least one single universe, in this case, the Kelvin Universe, that the technology we see was developed.
What I mean is the U.S.S. Kelvin itself was a scientific vessel and took incredibly detailed scans which were sent back to Starfleet, as the Kelvin itself is in constant contact at the beginning of the movie with Starfleet.
And then of course, the Shuttles leaving the area would also have the logs and censor data the Kelvin had taken. So, no problem there for me.
And then After the Kelvins destruction, Starfleet would most likely have sent a fleet of ships to that area to fight or find out what the heck had happened or was going on.
We know large chunks of the ship had been broken off thanks to the Kelvins Valiant Charge into the ship. So, to me, it is very possible that Starfleet recovered and analyzed these chunks, and along with the detailed scans, would alter Starfleet’s technological development.
Somethings that are not canon but should be known in regard to the Narada itself was that it was the intentions of the Creators of these movies that the Narada itself was a hybrid Romulan Borg ship. That is why it looked so odd and had a lot of moving parts as it is Borg tech continually changed and adapted this Romulan Mining ship.
And with Starfleet worried about this tech, furiously developing its own tech in a vain attempt to protect itself from the Narada, it becomes very believable to me that they would develop Transwarp technology.
Again, the exact word Transwarp is not used in the movies, but a line of dialogue supports the idea that again that was the intention. But the Kelvin Enterprise having Transwarp is supported by canon itself, as the speeds, the Enterprise is able to travel can ONLY be achieved by Transwarp velocities… Do the math and you will see…? So that in itself makes The Kelvin Universe Transwarp tech canon to that universe. So, I can buy all this…
The Enterprise’s Engine section looking like a brewery, because it was in fact filmed in one, but in-universe I can actually accept that as well, being that the Transwarp technology developed by Starfleet wasn’t a natural evolution of warp drive, but a forced evolution based on Borg technology and fear… Something they cobbled together that just happened to work.
I can also buy the huge size of the Kelvin Timeline starships because again, this new cobbled together tech would require much larger starships to house it… That is all fine with me…
My real problem with the Kelvin Timeline Movies did not start until Into Darkness. You see again when I saw that movie I was swept up in the action-adventure, but not as much as I had been for “Star Trek 2009“, I immediately had one huge problem with it, and that was Khan.
For me, no other actor but Ricardo Montalbán could fill that particular role, which is ironic in itself since I was willing to accept other people in the roles of everyone else like Kirk and Spock, but not Khan, at least this particular Khan.
I am a HUGE fan of Benedict Cumberbatch, and he plays a villain very well in this movie, but Khan, put simply, was NOT a white Englishmen, Khan was a Sikh. And changing the character’s racial origin to fit the actor was a big mistake. It trampled on established canon of the prime Universe indirectly and that bothered me a lot. In fact, it made me and still does make me, angry.
It is an offensive thing, and not because of SJW nonsense, but because of what it represented to Star Trek fans like me. And quite frankly the biggest slap in the face was that did not need to that at all.
Benedict could have easily have still been the villain of this movie, and STILL could have had a tie back to “Star Trek: The Original Series” as another character, Gary Mitchell, A character that Benedict actually kind of looks like. If it had been Gary he was playing, I probably could have overlooked the British Accent he was trying to hide in this movie.
See This is what I would have done with Into Darkness, and of course, I am just a fan with an idea, but please bear with me. I would have had some flashbacks to Kirk in the Academy with Mitchell, then because this is a different timeline, I would have Mitchell assigned to section 31. I would have Marcus sending out Section 31 furiously looking for technology to help the Federation as Khan says Marcus did in this movie.
I would have Mitchell come across Khan’s ship and Khan, but instead of riving Khan, as Kirk did, I would have Khan, as seen in TOS, be kept under, analyzed and studied. And a team coming up with some sort of genetic serum that COULD make a human a Superhuman, but of course it would need to be tested, and who volunteers for that? Why Gary Mitchell of course…
And again, Mitchell would become a Superhuman, but this time a different type than that which we saw as the silver-eyed demon in “Where No Man Has Gone Before“… And Marcus putting Mitchell through his paces would end up deeming Mitchell and the Superhuman serum too much of an unstable risk and demand he is terminated. Of course, though, Mitchell with his superhuman mind and abilities would instead escape, and thus the movie would continue as pretty much it did except replacing Khan with Gary Mitchell.
This type of story would have allowed a bunch of nods to the original series, such as using Montalbán CGI’s into the story briefly, without letting the story be hindered by him in the sense of the larger the life character he had portrayed for Trek.
And it would allow Benedict to still be his over the top villain, with again the nod to Gary’s fate being very similar to that of TOS yet quite different, and all the intellectual ramifications and debates that fate seems to be a constant that these Kelvin movies create.
Have nods to Dr Elizabeth Dehner, who is on the Enterprise, just nods mind you, while telling this action-adventure story… And this type of story could have perhaps, just perhaps, started healing the fandom, and have brought them back into this new Star Trek Fold…
Unfortunately, though that was not we got… And the Kirk/ Spock reversal at the end would have still been a nice touch, a homage to “The Wrath of Khan” rather than being declared a simple rip off, blatantly designs to try and grab fans of the Wrath of Khan movie into the travesty of justice…
And of course, McCoy could have use Mitchell’s blood, along with the original serum to synthesize a cure for Kirk who was not completely dead when Spock goes ape on Mitchell… A cure that would not make Kirk Superhuman but merely repair the damage done to him by the radiation… And we could get a nice Star Trek-esque speech about why Genetic Engineering is not allowed and what it truly means to be in Starfleet…
And finally, we see Mitchell, this time not dead but Super Handcuffed, buried in some Section 31 prison… And probably end the movie, and this is just my imagination working HUGE overtime here, With the genetically unstable Mitchell in his cell, laying in his bed, wanting a glass of water from a nearby piece of furniture when low a behold, suddenly the glass flies to him… We pan slowly to him and to his face when for an instant, he has silver eyes… Then cut to the Enterprise beauty shots and heading to warp…
That ending is probably going a bit too far, with too much fan service, but I hope you get the point I am trying to make. It was not necessary to have Khan be the villain as a callback, His influence on this movie’s plot could have still been felt without risking the alienation of more of the fandom… It truly is an unfortunate set of events…
And then when “Star Trek: Beyond” came along, a movie with is my personal favorite of the 3, most of the old fandom simply wanted nothing to do with the movie, and this fact in itself would lead to its dismal box officer takings, making Star Trek less of a priority to Paramount.
One other thing that bothered me about these 3 movies that I would just like to touch on is the Enterprise itself. I love the design and like I said I can accept all the changes in technology it had, but what I cannot accept is how it was treated in these movies…
Unlike all the other movies and TV series, in these movies, the Enterprise was treated like an object rather a character itself. And if you have been a fan of Star Trek for a while you can clearly see the difference.
In all other iterations of Trek, the Enterprise or the Hero ship or station of A Trek series is treated with such great respect that it truly is another main character of the show. In these movies, however, she barely manages to get the crew home, in fact in the last movie she does not, and she has no personality. Sure, she is pretty and all, but she simply does not garner the same emotions as say when the Enterprise was destroyed in “Star Trek III: The Search for Spock”…
That feeling of love simply is not there… And that has nothing to do with design, but simply bad writing.
So, What Do I think about the Kelvin Universe and its movies? I think they are ok… When I want to just sit back and have a non-thinking adventure, they are great… They are a slice of hot Jibalian Fudge Cake with Mint Cellular Peptide frosting… But when I want my intellect engaged hey simply miss the mark.
Thank you for watching today’s episode of Truth or Myth, what do you think of the Kelvin timeline and its movies? What would you have changed or done differently? Well leave your comments in the section below and do not forget to like the video and subscribe to the channel, hitting that little bell icon so you will not miss a single video we release.
Again, I just want to say this, and it saddens me to have to say it, but I will not allow the comments section of this video to be riddled with toxic comments. So, you want to discuss this topic then do it as an adult or else you will not be doing it all…
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Thanks again for watching, Live long and prosper…