Star Trek: 8 Things The Kelvin Timeline Movies Got Right

Star Trek's Kelvin Timeline films often get a bad rap, but here are eight things they did right.

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Derisively referred to by fans as the "JJverse" or "JJ Trek" (or even something more profane) and seemingly forgotten in CBS' rapid expansion of the franchise on TV, Star Trek's Kelvin Timeline movies get a bad rap. With the franchise's return to the Prime Universe and resurrection of old favorites like Jean-Luc Picard, it's easy to view these movies as "that other Star Trek".

Yes, a fourth movie has been teased periodically over the past four years since the release of Star Trek Beyond, most recently with Noah Hawley maayyyybe picking up the story JJ Abrams began back in 2009, but for now the Kelvin Timeline films remain a loose trilogy. Collectively raking in over a billion dollars at the box office, Star Trek (2009), Star Trek Into Darkness, and Star Trek Beyond undeniably reinvigorated the franchise after it languished in the post-UPN world and paved the way for your beloved Star Trek: Picard and slightly less beloved Star Trek: Discovery.

Set aside the super blood and lens flares, here's a reminder of the Star Trek Kelvin Timeline movies' successes.

8. The Costumes

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Bringing the classic yellow, red, and blue velour uniforms of the classic 1960s Star Trek into the 2000s couldn't have been easy, but somehow costume designer Michael Kaplan made them believable and faithful to the originals. Printing tiny Starfleet insignias on the tunics and pairing them with moto pants (before Justin Beiber started wearing them), Kaplan actually succeeded in making the Starfleet uniforms in Star Trek (2009) and Star Trek Into Darkness flattering and cool.

Picking up a few years into their voyage, Sanja Milkovic Hays redesigned the uniforms for 2016's Star Trek Beyond, making them more structured, more elegant, and more mature – a sign of the Enterprise crew's growth over the course of three movies.

Side note: Take a look at the formal gray dress uniforms in Star Trek (2009) and compare them to Michael Kaplan's First Order officers' uniforms in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Two universes, one tailor.


I played Shipyard Bar Patron (Uncredited) in Star Trek (2009).