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James T. Kirk

Universe : Kelvin Timeline
Name : James T. Kirk1
Species : Humans
Associated with : Star Trek XI

Early Life

James Tiberius Kirk was born on board a shuttlecraft during the evacuation of the USS Kelvin in 2233 during an encounter with a mysterious Romulan vessel. The Kelvin was destroyed during the encounter; Kirk's father George remained behind in command of the ship to distract the Romulan vessel whilst the crew, including Kirk's mother Winona, escaped.1

Kirk lived on Earth, in Iowa, during his early life. In time his mother remarried; James did not get along well with his stepfather, and was frequently in trouble with the law during his childhood - as for example when he stole an antique car from his stepfather and drove it into a quarry.1

As a young man Kirk showed exceptional promise, scoring "off the charts" in his aptitude tests. Yet he continued to get in trouble with the law, until he met Captain Christopher Pike in 2255 after Pike rescued him from a bar fight with some Starfleet cadets. Pike, who had studied the USS Kelvin for his dissertation, challenged Kirk to make something of his life by joining Starfleet. Although initially dubious, Kirk enlisted in Starfleet the following day.1


Kirk's career as a cadet was equally turbulent. Perhaps most notably, he reacted badly to his failure to win the Kobayashi Maru simulated mission scenario devised by Commander Spock. The mission involved placing Command cadets in a position in which it was impossible to win as a way to assess their reaction to fear and defeat. Kirk retook the test a second time, refusing to admit that he could not defeat the test. After his second failure he took the test a third time, this time cheating by reprogramming the simulation to remove the shielding from the Klingon warships in the simulation. Having thus destroyed them with ease, Kirk rescued the Kobayashi Maru passengers and crew successfully, becoming the only cadet in Starfleet history to beat the no win scenario.1

Kirk's actions were challenged by Commander Spock, who accused him of violating the Starfleet code of ethics by cheating. In his defence Kirk challenged that it was the test itself which was a cheat since in reality there is no such thing as an unwinnable situation. Before the Academy hearing panel could rule on the case an emergency situation arose which ended the hearing, leaving Kirk's fate in limbo.1

Unwilling to wait behind whilst the cadets responded to the emergency, Kirk made it on board the Enterprise with Dr. McCoy's help. He was instrumental in responding to and successfully resolving the crisis posed by the temporal incursion by Nero and the Romulan mining vessel Narada, in the process finding himself in temporary command of the Enterprise. Kirk's heroic actions during the crisis met with the approval of the Academy, and he was cleared of wrongdoing in the Kobayashi Maru test, given an official commendation, and promoted to permanent captain of the USS Enterprise straight out of the academy.1


James Kirk had a considerable interest in the opposite sex; amongst his liaisons were the Orion cadet Gaila.1

Colour key

Canon source Backstage source Novel source DITL speculation

Played by

Jimmy BennettStar Trek XI
Chris PineStar Trek XI
Chris PineStar Trek Into Darkness
Chris PineStar Trek Beyond


# Series Season Source Comment
1 Star Trek XI
Film: Star Trek XI

© Graham & Ian Kennedy Page views : 90,220 Last updated : 2 Apr 2014