When it comes to the summer blockbusters of 2016, they were really hit or miss, but one movie that everyone can agree was a hit was #StarTrekBeyond. Star Trek Beyond actually didn't do as well as hoped at the box office, being only the seventh biggest movie of the summer. This came as quite a surprise, as it did nowhere as near as well as the first two in the rebooted Star Trek franchise.
Even without the box office success, Beyond showed how good of a movie it was. In fact, combined with the box office numbers, it could be considered one of the most underrated movies of the summer.
That being said, one thing that Star Trek Beyond did was basically confirm a theory that has been hanging around since Star Trek came out back in 2009. At the end of Star Trek Beyond, we see Spock looking in the box left for him by Spock Prime. In the box there is a picture of Spock Prime's old crew — the crew from the original Star Trek TV show.
So what does this mean? Well to put it simply, it confirms a huge theory that started with Star Trek.
The Original Star Trek And The Rebooted Star Trek Take Place In The Same Universe
"Wait just a minute," you're probably typing into the comments. "There is no way that they are in the same universe! There is no connection!" Well, allow me to enlighten you with some evidence to prove otherwise.
This first clue is rather simple: If you want to start from the very beginning of Star Trek, you start with the original TV show. Everything plays out as it does, and leads up to when Spock (played by the legendary Leonard Nimoy) sets out to help the Romulans escape from their dying planet. Unfortunately, everything ends up going wrong. Not only is the Romulan home destroyed, but a black hole emerges, sending both Spock and the Romulans back in time.
You don't have to be an expert in time travel to know that tampering with the events of the past is bad news for everyone. When the Romulans emerge from the black hole, they encounter (and attack) a Federation ship. The attack only had a few casualties, one of them being George Kirk, Jim's father.
He was made captain right before he was killed. From then on out, everything in Star Trek would be different. Now, rather than his father being the reason he joined Starfleet, Jim Kirk became who he was because he was dared to. Now, it is as Uhura called it: an alternate reality.
The next clue comes from the sequel, Star Trek: Into Darkness. At one point, Spock asks Spock Prime for advice about Khan. He asks if he was ever defeated, to which Spock Prime replies,
"At great cost, yes."
While it is speculated that it is meant to foreshadow Kirk's death later in the movie, there is a better option. Perhaps Spock Prime was not talking about Kirk's death, but rather his own. And of course, that would be talking about his iconic death scene from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, which loosely inspired Into Darkness. This would explain Spock's sudden urgency in trying to stop Khan with the torpedoes. While their realities were different, their fate would likely be the same. However, even though he tried to prevent his own death, little did Spock know it would lead to Kirk's death.
The final piece of the puzzle comes from the photo from Star Trek Beyond mentioned earlier. This was not something done to simply honor the 50th anniversary of Star Trek. While that may have been a reason, there is much more to it. Even if it wasn't the 50th anniversary, it would still act as the final clue supporting this theory.
The bottom line is just because Star Trek was rebooted, it doesn't mean that they meant to start the story over from the beginning. Most of the time, when a franchise is rebooted, it is simply retelling the story. We've seen that with franchises like Spider-Man and Batman, but it seems that this time, the filmmakers wanted to experiment with a new method of storytelling. Rather than completely start over, they wanted to continue the narrative through a different perspective.
That's something that Star Trek has always been able to do. Starting with the originals, on to Next Generation, the reboots, and even the new show that premieres later this year — Star Trek: Discovery. The one question is how that will tie into the rest of Star Trek, but that's for another time. Regardless, it looks like the story of Star Trek isn't going anywhere and we'll be able to continue going where no man has ever gone before.
So what do you think? Do you think the old and new Star Trek are connected? Are there any connections that you noticed that aren't here? Let me know your thoughts below.
In the meantime, check out the first look for Star Trek: Discovery: