J.J. Abrams Star Trek Universe Is The Kelvin Timeline

The modern Star Trek films, which began in 2009, are officially dubbed the Kelvin Timeline in order to distinguish it from previous iterations.


Fans of J.J. Abrams' filmography know that the director loves to pay tribute to his grandfather Henry Kelvin by mentioning him in his movies. Last year's Star Wars: The Force Awakens included "Kelvin ridge," and Star Trek Into Darkness featured an image of the Kelvin Memorial Archive. In the 2009 Star Trek reboot, the Kelvin Easter egg came in the very beginning; the ship George Kirk commanded as he heroically saved lives was the U.S.S. Kelvin.

Since it was the Kelvin that encountered Nero and the Romulans, it played an integral part in the modern iteration of Star Trek, essentially launching the alternate timeline in which the new movies take place. Now, the name Kelvin has a far greater distinction than being just one of the Federation's vehicles. It is the official title of this part of Star Trek history.

In a new post from Star Trek Online, this current era of the franchise has been dubbed the Kelvin Timeline, an obvious reference to the U.S.S. Kelvin and the attack that kickstarted the whole series. Previously, the terms "Abramsverse," and "Alternate Original Series" (among others) were used to describe Star TrekStar Trek Into Darkness, and this summer's Star Trek Beyond. Kelvin Timeline was conceived by Michael and Denise Okuda, who are known for penning several Star Trek reference guides.

CBS Consumer Products' Holly Amos tweeted that this was a necessary development in order to provide an in-universe term to distinguish the new films from previous incarnations for an encyclopedia: