Originally Posted by starbase63
And when have you felt the Trek universe was "weighed down" by canon before this movie came along?
You ask a fair question, and while I know you weren't asking me and my answer may be different from Kevin's, I just wanted to offer something on this.
To answer your question: I think it started to get weighed down more by the fans than the canon issue itself.
Enterprise is an example. While I don't buy into some of the fan theories that part of the reason for its failure was because it didn't follow canon too closely (which I think is really absurd,) it ultimately had some really terrific stories which more or less "broke the rules," (The Borg episode, the Romulans, etc.)
For me, the examples I gave above were stories with arguable canon issues but they were outweighted and pushed to the background by what I considered very good stories in those episodes. Fans were excited to see the Borg Episode and it was really when I think Enterprise started to find its stride. The Xindi Arc was reviting and then Season 4 came along with some brilliance, but some fans care to complain more about the petty canon issues than they do the stories which really takes the fun out of it, and then I think in turn causes Star Trek to be bogged down. Writers can't walk on eggshells all the time.
For the new movie, I wont be at the theater taking notes, though I may take some mental notes of differences, but I am more concerned with the story and that I get my $7.00 worth. The canon stuff should only be just for fun to discuss in the end. Unfortunately though, some seem take it a bit way too far and too serious with the nitpicking, and a couple of people thinking that "This will end Star Trek" because of petty stuff that maybe only a small fraction of the audience will even care about.
For the record, I am not coming down on the entire fanbase. For the most part it seems people are ready for this. It should be a fun adventure, but only if people let it be. One can't have fun or enjoy something if they are only purely in it to find what is wrong with it, otherwise, we should start doing that for ever movie and every series, then we'd end up debunking the whole Trek universe from the start!