New Star Trek Movie Set Before Kirk And Spock Happening, Is Star Trek 4 Canceled?

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

chris pine star trek 4

Paramount has been trying to make a fourth Star Trek Kelvinverse movie happen for a while now, and on paper, the studio is still trying to bring Chris Pine’s Captain Kirk back to the big screen for one more outing.

Decades Before Kirk And Spock

Imagine our surprise at the recent announcement that Paramount is also working on a completely separate Star Trek movie set decades before the earliest adventures of Kirk and Spock.

The new movie will be directed by Toby Haynes, who is best known for directing five episodes of the hit Star Wars show Andor.

Still Need Details

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At this point, the Star Trek fandom has many (ahem) logical questions about this movie, but beyond making the announcement, Paramount has given very few details.

For example, the studio is still concurrently working on both Star Trek 4 and this newly-announced film, but we doubt that will last for very long.

Considering that the new film already has a director attached and Star Trek 4 does not (though we very nearly got Quentin Tarantino as director), it won’t be surprising if the fourth Kelvinverse film gets quietly canceled so that Paramount can focus on this new movie.

Captain Kirk’s Dad?

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Aside from clarifying that the new Star Trek movie will be a prequel set decades before Kirk and Spock’s time on the Enterprise, Paramount hasn’t said much about when the film will take place.

Some fans are speculating (more like engaging in wishful thinking) that the movie might focus on Kirk’s dad, which would give the franchise the perfect excuse to bring back fan-favorite MCU actor Chris Hemsworth.

But the film could take place much further in the past, giving us a tantalizing glimpse of the mostly unexplored century between the end of Star Trek: Enterprise, the show, and the launch of the first USS Enterprise.

Kelvinverse Or Original Timeline?

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Learning when the new Star Trek movie will take place could also help us answer another burning question: Does this movie take place in the Kelvinverse or the original timeline?

If the movie takes place wholly in the past, this could be a moot point: the timeline of the 2009 Star Trek film only diverged from the one we knew when the Romulan Nero time-traveled back to the day that James T. Kirk was born.

A movie that takes place before that event would be in the original timeline by default, though setting it in the Kelvinverse could help if Paramount wants any flashforward scenes featuring the prequel film crew.

Star Trek: The Beginning Coming?

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Sadly, Paramount mostly has buzzwords instead of firm answers to our questions about the new Star Trek movie.

The studio has promised that this will be an “origin” story and that it will serve as “an expansion of the ‘Star Trek’ universe.”

Calling it an origin story implies we may get future films, but we don’t know who they might center on. There’s always a chance that Paramount is dusting off the basic plot of Star Trek: The Beginning, an unmade Trek film that was going to focus on Kirk’s ancestor fighting in Earth’s war against the Romulans.

No Pre-Existing Characters

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That unmade Star Trek movie was going to kick off a trilogy, but Paramount ultimately ended up going with prequel movies featuring younger versions of The Original Series crew.

With that being said, it will be interesting to see if the studio is finally willing to create a new film that doesn’t focus on pre-existing characters…that alone would be an “expansion” of the IP for a franchise that has traditionally played it safe.

Instead of going for safe choices, we think Paramount’s writers and producers could benefit from the most important lesson Captain Kirk ever taught us: “risk is our business.”