There was definitely a "changing of the guard" when Rick Berman left (or was fired?), and I think the new guys just don't want to be slaves to too much "established canon". If we measure success by audience response, I think it's fair to say that rebooting the series with a new timeline has been successful. I'm not implying that they couldn't have been successful in the old, existing timeline, but I think doing the reboot allowed them to:Dmitri said:There is still so much to explore in that time line, not sure why they would abandon it.
- Use the iconic characters of Kirk/Spock/McCoy
- Give a nod to the original timeline events without being bound to them (e.g. Star Trek Into Darkness)
- Be in the Kirk time period without the audience knowing what the future brings
I think the future being known to the audience hurts storytelling, it makes it less exciting. So, the real choices were to continue the story in a post-TNG time frame (and lose access to iconic characters) or to do something along the lines of what they did.
@wprager - I quite like Quinto as Spock. I think that was a fantastic casting decision, but I guess not everyone agrees.