Guys, look. We know Star Trek: Discovery will certainly take some inspiration from the Abrams movies and although it would be a stretch to have them all appear as their younger selves in Discovery, it isn't too far fetched to believe at least Quinto will make an appearance as a younger Spock. The classic crew are all out there somewhere and not onboard the Enterprise with the exception of... Spock! By the sounds of it, Discovery is going to have a lot of scope to it, so it would be logical to assume that at some point in this series we're going to see Pike's Enterprise no?
I don't necessarily believe that DSC is going to borrow any inspiration from the Kelvin Timeline movies, if anything, Beyond basically tried to get away from them aesthetically a bit by drawing on TOS for costume design rather than Trek XI and STID. Beyond took its ship design cues from Prime Universe material while DSC took its cues from the McQuarrie design, and the ship itself has supposedly undergone radical changes already, with completely different nacelle designs according to Bryan Fuller. Given that the changes are supposedly a reaction to fan criticisms, and that fans seem to really hate the "bulky nacelle" look of both the Kelvin Timeline and the concept design of the U.S.S. Discovery, I doubt they'll be borrowing that design element, or really any others. Given that this is set ten years before TOS, and given what we know about the Enterprise, (Kirk had it for two five year missions, and it was 25 years old when he destroyed it, which means it would be five years old at the start of DSC,) I actually wouldn't mind if we saw Captain Robert April's Enterprise rather than Captain Pike's if we saw the Enterprise at all. If anything, it would actually be more logical to not show the Enterprise if DSC is going to have a lot of scope to it, because showing the Enterprise would make the vastness of space and the size of Starfleet look significantly smaller, and ultimately reduce that grandiose scope that DSC is supposedly aiming for. Having the Enterprise off pushing way, way out into the farthest reaches of the known universe while DSC and the ships it encounters are elsewhere the whole time would actually do far more to drive home both the vastness of space and the size of Starfleet. I would argue that it would actually be best if we didn't see the Enterprise, or at most, only saw it leaving some sort of space station while the U.S.S. Discovery was approaching said space station.
Alex, Paramount couldn't have done anything but reinvent Star Trek - Kirk and Spock are the poster boys for Star Trek. If you don't know Trek, you're sure to know Spock or Kirk. As well as the obvious opportunities reinventing Kirk and Spock gave Paramount; Their licence with CBS did not allow them to use anything from previous Star Trek's in any substantial way. To the point where CBS didn't allow anyone who had worked on previous Trek's to work with Paramount/JJ on the new Star Trek's they were producing - John Eaves was the exception and did it as a 'favour' to a friend working on the 2009 movie. Ultimately the reigns loosened during Beyond as CBS have seemed more open to the idea of including the Abrams universe into the Prime universe - hence why it was agreed that the Okuda's would create the name "The Kelvin Timeline" for The Star Trek Book for DK and for their own Star Trek Encyclopaedia. There's an interesting interview with John Eaves over on youtube conducted by IrishTrekkie and I believe Trekyards has also spoken to Eaves and Hargreaves (The designer on Beyond for the Franklin, Enterprise Refit and Enterprise A) regarding the challenges working on the Abrams movies.
Actually, if you didn't know Trek in 2009, you were far more likely to know Picard and Riker, (or Picard and Data,) than you were to know Kirk or Spock. In fact, people who don't know Trek typically weren't even aware that Spock was the one with the pointy ears at the time Trek XI was being produced. Paramount had other options beyond the reboot, but the reboot was the laziest, safest option, which is why Paramount ran with it. They were really interested in one pitch for a post–ENT pre–TOS film about a guy named Tiberius who would have been the namesake for Kirk's middle name, but the higher–ups were afraid of introducing a brand new cast and unknown characters on the big screen, which is why they went with the reboot. Also, at the time Trek XI was actually in pre–production and production, (2006–2008, with most of 2008 actually being post–production before the film was moved to a 2009 release date,) Paramount was hardly restrained by any licensing conflicts with CBS. The two initially split in 2006 for reasons previously mentioned, but the way the ownership of the movies and TV shows were split, Paramount basically controlled movie production rights for new films, and theatrical distribution rights for those films. CBS controlled the rights to the material in the older films, but Paramount had the distribution rights to them on various video formats. The rights were initially split in such a way that Paramount was effectively a glorified licensee producing a movie on behalf of CBS. Eaves wasn't the only person who worked on Trek XI that had carried over from previous production crews; the Okudas acted as consultants to JJ and his team when they first got involved, although they didn't have as much say as they did when they returned for Beyond. CBS didn't allow the crew who had worked on previous Treks to work on the 2009 movie because their last film had been a commercial disaster and their last TV show ended Trek's continuous 18–year run. They may have cloaked that decision in the enforcement of a non–compete clause, but if they were satisfied with NEM and ENT at the time they would have waived it the way studios do when they feel it's in their interest to do so.
I don't think it's as easy as you all assume it has been of Abrams to get these movies made and to have them feel as much a part of Star Trek as possible. From listening to Eaves talk, it sounds like Abrams was up against the wall from day one by being in between two studio's that hated one another. It's certainly going to be a good read when Abrams releases an official biography because it sounds like the plans he had for Star Trek were far reaching. While I agree that CBS had to temper his wild ideas of "replacing" classic (TOS - ENT) Star Trek with his brand of Trek, I think the two studios have been quite impossible to work with and ultimately this is why we are where we are with these movies. Abrams wasn't able to create the revived/revised Star Trek franchise he had envisioned, that ultimately would have ended up with a far more robust, popular, profitable franchise than the one we have now...
I don't want to say too much, but I knew people with ties to CBS/Viacom at the time that the two split. The impression that I was given was that the "fallout" wasn't nearly as bad as people today make it seem, and that the two studios were actually working quite well with one another all the way through 2009. The lightning rod for controversy though was J.J. Abrams, I know I've mentioned this before but CBS always considered him to be a "hack" who occasionally got lucky with shows like Lost, while other studios like Disney considered him to be a "genius," precisely because of said shows. CBS was less than thrilled that Paramount handed him Trek, but they tried to work with him, it was only after Trek XI's success that things really deteriorated when Abrams wanted to replace the Prime Universe that CBS really took issue with him. You're right about Abrams original plans being very far reaching, and very different from what we actually got. If it weren't for that crazy idea of "replacing" the Prime Universe, CBS was very willing to work with him after Trek XI was such a success. STID's failure only reinforced CBS's view of Abrams and effectively ensured his TV series idea would never see the light of day though.
I don't think we will see Star Trek 4.
I think you're wrong about this. Paramount is apparently still planning to push ahead with their idea that would see Chris Hemsworth return as George Kirk alongside Chris Pine's James T. Kirk, presumably in some sort of time travel story. Contracts are inked for Pine, Quinto, Saldana, and I believe Pegg signed on a few months ago as well. This effectively just leaves Urban and Cho without contracts, and both have said that they'd sign on for a fourth film if asked. (Lin and Pegg also confirmed that they wouldn't be recasting Chekov.) Pegg knows the film could have done better and the word is that both he and Paramount are in agreement that the next film is going to dial back the explosions and the action as a cost–cutting measure, and a cost–cutting measure that the fans will appreciate. With that in mind, I think Trek XIV is still on, I just don't think we're hearing much about it yet because it's only the end of 2016 and we usually don't hear anything until a year or two after the previous film about the direction of the next one. The fact that we know as much as we do is a bit of a surprise. We didn't have much knowledge about STID until 2011 and really 2012, and we didn't know much about Beyond until 2015 for that matter either; the fact that we know a potential plot for the next film is far more than we ever had with the last three films.