12:32pm PT by Graeme McMillan
The Enterprise's Secret Weapon: R2-D2
When Nero went back in time and changed history in J.J. Abrams' 2009 Star Trek reboot, he did more than switch William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy into Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto -- he also managed to retcon R2-D2 into the Star Trek universe.
io9 pointed out this weekend that Luke Skywalker's faithful droid companion can be seen being sucked into space one hour and 17 minutes into Star Trek Into Darkness, marking the character's second appearance in as many Trek movies. (He also appeared floating in space in the previous installment.)
Yes, that's right: R2-D2 has been seen in more Star Trek movies in this new incarnation than many much-loved characters from the original Trek series. Nurse Chapel? R2-D2 has been in more movies. Yeoman Rand? R2-D2 has been in more movies. Sarek? R2-D2 has been in more movies.
Of course, this kind of thing is the result of Easter eggs and Abrams' well-known love for Star Wars as a fan, instead of any kind of long-term plan on behalf of the director to jump ship to the Star Wars franchise as soon as it became available. Nonetheless, it does make you wonder whether we should be on the lookout for any similar Trek Easter egg in Abrams' Star Wars Episode VII when it is released in 2015. Maybe the future Millennium Falcon could fly past the Galileo at some point.