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Where Exactly Does Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Falls In The Star Trek Timeline?

Over the course of the franchise, the question of where every "Star Trek" movie and TV series falls in the overall continuity has been ongoing with each new entry. In some cases, the questions were clearly answered; for example, "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" opens with the Battle of Wolf 359, in which the Federation takes on the Borg, with Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) having been assimilated by the Borg at the time.

"Star Trek: Strange New Worlds" is no stranger to this question of where it falls on the timeline either. With a mix of brand-new characters, such as La'an Noonien-Singh (Christina Chong) and Erica Ortegas (Melissa Navia), and returning characters from "Star Trek: The Original Series," such as Spock (Ethan Peck) and Nyota Uhura (Celia Rose Gooding) in its main cast, it isn't initially clear, but this is where "Star Trek: Strange New Worlds" falls in the "Star Trek" timeline.

Strange New Worlds serves as a prequel to The Original Series

"Star Trek: Strange New Worlds" takes place in the time between Season 2 of "Star Trek: Discovery," which features both Anson Mount and Ethan Peck as their characters, and "Star Trek: The Original Series." In fact, it is in Season 2, Episode 12 of "Discovery" that Pike gets a vision of his future, courtesy of a time crystal in a monastery on Boreth. In the episode, titled "Through the Valley of Shadows," Pike learns that an accident in the engine room of a starship will leave him painfully scarred and paralyzed. In the pilot episode of "Strange New Worlds," Pike is already aware of the future he sees in "Discovery" and is grappling with the ramifications, establishing that "Strange New Worlds" takes place after "Discovery."

However, the accident has not yet occurred when "Strange New Worlds" begins, with Pike captain of the USS Enterprise. This is in contrast to "The Original Series," where, in Season 1, Episodes 11 and 12, titled "The Menagerie: Part I" and "The Menagerie: Part II," respectively, the show's audience meets Pike (Sean Kenney), who is now scarred and paralyzed and is thus post-accident, establishing that "Strange New Worlds" takes place before "The Original Series."

Some major details are different on Strange New Worlds

Despite being a prequel to "The Original Series," "Strange New Worlds" has made a number of changes to the previously established lore. One of the key changes has been the character of T'Pring (played in "Strange New Worlds" by Gia Sandhu) and her relationship with Spock. In "The Original Series," T'Pring makes her first and only appearance in Season 2, Episode 1, titled "Amok Time," where she is played by Arlene Martel. In this episode, the relationship between Spock and T'Pring is established to be more akin to one of strangers who are bonded together by ceremony rather than affection, and her very existence is news to the crew of the Enterprise.

In comparison, in "Strange New Worlds," T'Pring proposes to Spock at the beginning of the series, with the two already in a relationship. T'Pring also makes numerous appearances throughout the first two seasons, and characters such as Nurse Chapel, who do not know her in "The Original Series," get to know her in "Strange New Worlds."

Another key change has been the character of Nurse Christine Chapel. In "The Original Series," it was established that Nurse Chapel was engaged to Dr. Roger Korby, who was her professor before the two became romantically involved, until he disappeared in 2261, with Nurse Chapel joining the Enterprise in 2266. However, in "Strange New Worlds," which is set in 2259, there has been no mention of Dr. Korby, and Nurse Chapel, who is already on the Enterprise, has been established as single.

Facts like this demonstrate that, while "Strange New Worlds" is a prequel to "The Original Series," the latter's events do not dictate what happens on the former.