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James T. Kirk

Captain James T. Kirk
Captain James T. Kirk
James Tiberius Kirk, a fictional character in the Star Trek television series, was the captain of the starship Enterprise (NCC-1701 and NCC-1701-A). He was the leading character in the original series and the films based on it. James Kirk was played by actor William Shatner.

Fictional biography

Kirk was born in Riverside, Iowa on March 22, 2233 . While a youth on Tarsus IV, he was one of only nine surviving witnesses to the massacre of 4000 colonists because of utilitarian extermination by Kodos the Executioner so that the colony could survive a devastating famine. George Samuel and Aurelan Kirk, Kirk's older brother and sister-in-law, died during the invasion of neural parasites on Deneva in 2267. Kirk's nephew, Peter Kirk , survived.

He had a distinguished career in Starfleet Academy, becoming the first person to defeat the Kobayashi Maru test that stymied cadets for many decades, even until the 2370s. Whereas any situation would be met by the simulator's overriding dictate that the cadet lose, Kirk won by rewriting the program to allow him to rescue the Kobayashi Maru's crew. His Starfleet serial number was SC 937-0176 CEC.

Kirk began his Starfleet career as a Cadet in 2250. While still a student at the Academy, James Kirk was granted a field commission as an Ensign and posted to advanced training aboard the USS Republic, NCC-1371 in the year 2252. He was promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade in 2253 and returned to Starfleet Academy as a student instructor. Kirk developed a reputation as a "stack of books with legs" and it was said that in his class "you either think...or sink."

Upon his graduation from Starfleet Academy in 2254, Kirk was promoted to a full Lieutenant and served aboard the USS Farragut, NCC-1647. Kirk gained a tremendous amount of experience onboard the Farragut, commanding his first planet survey and also surviving a deadly attack by a gas cloud alien, in which a large portion of the Farragut's crew (including her Captain) were killed.

James Kirk's career between 2254 and 2263 has never been established in the Star Trek universe; however fanon has conjectured that he was promoted to Lieutenant Commander sometime around 2255. Further theories also holds that Kirk was promoted to Commander in 2260 and assigned as the Officer-in-Charge for the Enterprise Refit Overhaul, where the ship was completely redesigned and refitted following ten years of space duty under Fleet Captain Christopher Pike. Such duties would have made Kirk the ideal choice to become the next Commander of the Enterprise, which he was appointed in 2263 with a promotion to Captain.

Kirk became the third captain of the USS Enterprise, NCC-1701, following in the footsteps of Captain Robert April and Captain Christopher Pike and preceded a string of others that included Captain John Harriman, Captain Rachel Garrett, and Captain Jean-Luc Picard. He commanded the Enterprise's historic five year mission from 2264-2269. Upon completion of the Enterprise's mission, he was promoted to Rear Admiral (apparently having skipped the rank of Commodore) and assigned as Chief of Starfleet Operations.

In 2272, to combat the V'Ger Crisis, Kirk acccepted a voluntary demotion to Captain; however the rank became permanent when Kirk declined to return to the Admiralty and became the Captain of the Enterprise, again, from 2272 - 2276. Between 2276 and 2282, Kirk's career is unknown, but it is assumed he ascended to the rank of Commodore and Rear Admiral, before retiring from Starfleet circa 2282.

In 2284, Kirk returned to Starfleet and was appointed a Vice Admiral in command of Starfleet Academy's training department. He was later demoted back to Captain after stealing the Enterprise and sabotaging the USS Excelsior in 2285. This was to be Kirk's terminal rank, and he retired as a Starfleet Captain in 2294 with 40 years of space service to his name.

With Carol Marcus, he had a son named David, who was killed by Klingons in 2285. He recorded in his log that he could never forgive them for the death of his son, which was used as evidence against him when he was accused of murdering Klingon Chancellor Gorkon in 2293.

In 2295 he was lost (and presumed dead) when the Enterprise B was damaged by the Nexus Of Joy, through which he entered. In this alternate plane of existence, he was persuaded by Captain Picard from the year 2371 to return to planet Veridian III in the "real" universe and stop Soran from sacrificing 283 million lives in order for him to reenter the Nexus. During the final battle with Soran, Kirk was killed and his remains were buried on Veridian III by Picard.

His adventures and tactics are of legendary renown in the Alpha and Beta Quadrants.


Kirk's middle initial was originally "R.". This appeared in the episode Where No Man Has Gone Before, which was Star Trek's second pilot episode and the first episode to feature Kirk. In that episode a tombstone for Kirk appeared, bearing the name "James R. Kirk" and birth and death stardates. This appears to have been promptly forgotten about. Kirk's middle initial became "T." for the rest of the original series and has remained thus ever since.

The full middle name "Tiberius" first appeared in the episode "BEM" from the 1974 animated Star Trek series, and subsequently appeared in the introduction to the Star Trek: The Motion Picture novelization. It is explained that Kirk's grandfather Samuel was fascinated by the Roman emperor Tiberius. The name finally appeared canonically in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, in a scene where Kirk is on trial.

Book continuity

Shortly after Star Trek: Generations, William Shatner and co-writers Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens wrote a series of novels taking place after the events in the movie, bringing Kirk back from the dead, much like mainstream comic books. While the novels are not mentioned in regular continuity, they are often read by fans who felt Kirk had died an "unheroic" death and deserved something more. Critics cite an overdone focus on Kirk as the glorified hero, often leaving Picard and others in downplayed roles.

Plot summary

  • Star Trek: The Return - Shortly after the events in Star Trek: Generations, a Romulan ship transports the body of Captain Kirk from Veridian III . The Romulans, having a vendetta against Kirk, use an "ancient alien technology" to bring him back, turning Kirk into a puppet for the Romulans. Kirk faces off against several characters from before being subdued, and is treated by Spock and Dr. McCoy, who are still alive in the 24th century.

Meanwhile, Beverly Crusher and others from the Enterprise-D are assigned to a special Borg strike team, with a new ship designed for this purpose. Kirk meets with Picard once more, and goes on to destroy the Borg homeworld located in the Delta Quadrant, disabling the Collective (albeit temporarily). He is presumed dead in the final explosion, but is transported away at the last second.

  • Star Trek: Avenger (needs plot summary)
  • Star Trek: Odyssey - Collects The Ashes of Eden, The Return, and Avenger.
  • Star Trek: Spectre - (needs plot summary)
  • Star Trek: Dark Victory - (needs plot summary)
  • Star Trek: Preserver - (needs plot summary)
  • Star Trek: Captain's Peril - (needs plot summary)
  • Star Trek: Captain's Blood - (needs plot summary)

Possible return to television

In the summer of 2004, media reports began circulating that the producers of UPN's troubled Star Trek: Enterprise series were in negotiations with William Shatner to reprise the role of James T. Kirk for a special series of episodes. As of October 2004, there remain conflicting reports as to whether an agreement has been reached, with some newspapers reporting that Shatner has been signed to appear, and others saying that UPN has balked at Shatner's asking price. Enterprise co-producer Brannon Braga has stated that, should Kirk return, it will probably be as an alternate universe version since the "real" Kirk died in Generations. However, Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens, the co-authors of the so-called "Shatnerverse" novels, are now staff writers on Enterprise, so a tie-in with the Shatner novels is a possibility. It is expected that, should Kirk return, it will be for either the February 2005 sweeps ratings period, or the season (and possible series) finale.

See also

External link

Last updated: 10-24-2004 05:10:45