The alternate ‘Kelvin’ Star Trek timeline featured in J.J. Abrams’ cinematic trilogy has officially been canonized, thanks to a brief easter egg presented in the latest episode of Star Trek: Discovery.
Named in honor of the Federation ship destroyed by Captain Nero’s Romulan mining vessel at the beginning of Abrams’ first Star Trek film, the ‘Kelvin’ timeline has always been considered a separate and distinct entity from the ‘prime’ Star Trek timeline.
Even Leonard Nimoy’s ‘Old Spock,’ whose story arc and character directly involved the ‘prime’ timeline, is considered to only be a ‘version’ of Spock, rather than the ‘prime’ Spock himself.
However, thanks to the aforementioned Easter egg, the Kelvin timeline is now an official part of Star Trek canon.
In the ninth episode of the show’s third season, ‘Terra Firma, Part 1,’ the David Cronenberg-portrayed Kovic speaks with Wilson Cruz’s Dr. Hugh Culber about the time travel capabilities of Lt. Commander Yor.
According to Kovic, the late Starfleet Officer was the first individual to travel both across time and across parallel universes, specifically one created by “the temporal incursion of a Romulan mining ship.”
With this short line of dialogue, Kovic revealed that not only is the Federation aware of the Kelvin timeline, but that the interstellar government also has some experience with those beyond the barrier.
In fact, Kovic additionally notes that the Federation has the technology to actively travel between realities, but is banned from doing so as a result of the fallout from the Temporal War.
Interestingly, when viewing a hologram of Yor, the time-travelling veteran of the Temporal Wars can be seen wearing a Star Trek: The Next Generation-era uniform, meaning that the Kelvin timeline eventually plays home to an eventual version of Captain Picard and the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D.
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