Source: http://www.digitalspy.com/tv/star-trek- ... fix-canon/"Everybody is always trying to maintain continuity," Kurtzman told us. "But given the 50 plus years of Star Trek, it literally becomes impossible because people decide that they want to follow a character in a book series after the show has been cancelled, and so they'll invent stories."
"And then 15 years later, a new show will come on that will take that character back and you can't be consistent with everything. Our goal is always to try, always, always to try and never to negate what has existed in the novels and graphic novels but it is a literal impossibility."
"And part of what has kept Trek going for so long is everyone's wonderful imagination to keep writing books and keep making graphic novels and keep making shows. And at a certain point, given the volume of things that are out there it's just impossible for everything to sync up perfectly. So we give it our best effort."
The big takeaway from that is that when Kurtzman says words like "Prime" or "canon", he doesn't mean what you thought he meant. His idea of Trek continuity includes the books and comics.
Thus, Kurtzman has revealed that the canon policy he's operating under is totally different than the one used during the Roddenberry- and Berman-era of Trek production. Through the end of Enterprise and the Viacom split, Star Trek canon included only live-action Trek, with ultra-rare, explicit exception.
By adding in novels & comics generally, most never intended to be canon anyway, Kurtzman has fundamentally altered the Trek universe. This is more than the references we had before of them consulting "The Final Reflection" by John Ford for background material… that's little different in principle than using a WW2 submarine flick for inspiration. Making it canon, however, is a much different animal.
For example, if I take Babylon 5 and declare that Stargate SG-1 is suddenly canon in that universe, I just radically altered Babylon 5 at the stroke of a pen. But can I say I altered it, or is it that I have made a new universe different from what existed before?
Clearly, the answer can only logically be the latter, because such a fundamental shift in meaning and fact cannot work any more than one can have a visual-only reboot of an audio-visual medium (e.g. replacing TOS visuals with clips from Star Wars).
While perhaps not as emotionally satisfying as having CBS explicitly say it is a reboot, the same effect is achieved over and above Fuller's previous "reimagine" comments. Discovery's universe is not the same as the one first seen in Star Trek: The Original Series and last seen in Star Trek: Enterprise. It inhabits a new universe that includes other material, like the Star Wars EU before it.
Indeed, calling it a reboot might be unfair, as a reboot is usually something new. This is just something different.