James T. Kirk

James T. Kirk

Star Trek character|if=
bgcolor = #ccccff
Title = James T. Kirk

Caption = William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk in the "Star Trek" pilot episode, "Where No Man Has Gone Before"
Species = Human
Gender = Male
Birth =
Death = 2293 (presumed) / 2371 (actual) (see below)
Planet = Earth (Iowa)
Affiliation = Starfleet
Posting = USS "Republic"
USS "Farragut" phaser station operator
USS "Enterprise" commanding officer
Starfleet chief of operations
Starfleet Academy
HMS "Bounty", previously a Klingon Bird of Prey
USS "Enterprise"-A commanding officer
Rank = Captain Admiral
Actor = William Shatner, Chris Pine|

James Tiberius Kirk is a fictional character in the Star Trek universe. He is the lead character in the original "" television series, , and appears in the first nine feature films.

Canadian actor William Shatner portrayed the character in the forty years since its inception. Producer J. J. Abrams announced that Chris Pine had been cast in the role of Kirk in the 2009 "Star Trek" film, [Cite news|url=http://www.trektoday.com/news/151007_01.shtml|title=Chris Pine Drops Out Of 'White Jazz' For Kirk Role|date=2007-10-15|publisher=TrekToday|accessdate=2007-10-16] marking the first time that an actor other than Shatner will portray the character in an official production.

"Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry based the character on C. S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower, [cite web|url=http://www.rambles.net/forester_hotspur62.html/|author=Tom Knapp|publisher=Rambles, "a cultural arts review magazine"|date=2004-07-31|accessdate=2008-04-28|title=C.S. Forester, Hornblower & the Hotspur] [cite web|url=http://www.dvdverdict.com/reviews/hornblowernewadv.php|title=DVD Verdict Review - Horatio Hornblower: The New Adventures] cite book|title=The Making of Star Trek|first=Stephen E.|last=Whitfield |coauthors=Gene Roddenberry|date=1986-08-12|publisher=Del Rey] noting in 1991 that "Captain Kirk is Capt. Hornblower of the sailing ships. [He] was a great hero, and Hemingway said [Hornblower] is the most exciting adventure fiction in the human language." [ [http://www.insidetrek.com/quotes/quoteweeklog.html Quote of the Week ] ]


Kirk was born and raised in Riverside, Iowa, the son of George Samuel Kirk, Sr. and Winona Kirk. His brother and sister-in-law are introduced and killed in "", leaving behind a son and, according to "What Are Little Girls Made Of?", two other children. Diane Carey's novels "Final Frontier" and "Best Destiny" portray parts of George Kirk's career in Starfleet and also, in the latter, James Kirk's adolescence. At Starfleet Academy, Kirk became the first person to beat the "Kobayashi Maru" simulation by rewriting the program to make it possible to survive the "no-win" scenario. He received a field commission as an ensign and posted to the USS "Republic", then was promoted to lieutenant junior grade and returned to Starfleet Academy as a student instructor. Gary Mitchell (Gary Lockwood), then one of Kirk's students, remarks in "Where No Man Has Gone Before" that one could either "think or sink" in Kirk's course. Upon graduation in the top five percent of his class, Kirk was promoted to lieutenant and served aboard the USS "Farragut". Having risen rapidly through the ranks after leaving the Academy, Kirk received his first command while still quite young.

At the age of 31, Kirk received command of the USS "Enterprise"; "Star Trek" and the animated spin-off take place during the ship's five-year mission "to boldly go where no man has gone before". Kirk's notable relationships among his crew in the television series are with first officer Spock (Leonard Nimoy) and chief medical officer Leonard "Bones" McCoy (DeForest Kelley).

Dialog in the first Star Trek feature film, ', states that Kirk was promoted to admiral and became chief of Starfleet operations. In "The Motion Picture", Kirk takes command of the "Enterprise" from Captain Willard Decker (Stephen Collins), who objects, claiming Kirk is not familiar with the extensively refit ship. In ', Kirk takes command of the "Enterprise" from Spock and pursues his enemy from "Space Seed", Khan Noonien Singh (Ricardo Montalbán). In that movie, Spock dies saving the "Enterprise"; in ', Kirk and his officers steal and scuttle the "Enterprise" and sabotage the USS "Excelsior" in the course of trying to resurrect Spock. Kirk in ' is demoted to captain for these actions, but also receives command of the USS "Enterprise"-A. Kirk commands this ship in ' and '.

Kirk is a widower, having been married in "The Paradise Syndrome" to Miramanee (Sabrina Scharf), who dies carrying his child. In the novelization of "The Motion Picture", Kirk's wife, Admiral Lori Ciana, dies in a transporter accident. [cite book|title=Star Trek: The Motion Picture|first=Gene|last=Roddenberry|authorlink=Gene Roddenberry|publisher=Pocket Books|year=1978|isbn=978-0671830885] "Star Trek II" reveals that Kirk fathered a son, David Marcus (Merritt Butrick), with Dr. Carol Marcus (Bibi Besch). Klingons kill David on the Genesis Planet in "Star Trek III". Kirk says in "Star Trek VI" that David's murder affected his ability to trust Klingons; he held them collectively responsible for David's death, but sets aside this prejudice at the movie's conclusion.

Death and "Shatnerverse" resurrection

In "Star Trek Generations", Kirk goes missing and is presumed dead when the USS "Enterprise"-B is damaged. Instead, however, he is transported to the timeless Nexus. Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) finds Kirk and convinces him to leave the Nexus to help stop Tolian Soran's (Malcolm MacDowell) attempt to destroy a star. Kirk enables Picard to sabotage Soran's plans, but plummets with a collapsing bridge span. He dies shortly thereafter. As originally filmed, Soran killed Kirk by shooting him in the back; this scene was changed after negative reactions from test audiences. [cite book|title=Star Trek Movie Memories |first=William|last=Shatner|authorlink=William Shatner|isbn=978-0006384168|date=1994-11-28|publisher=HarperCollins] [cite web|url=http://www.dvdactive.com/reviews/dvd/star-trek-generations-special-edition.html|publisher=DVDActive.com|first=Brett|last=Anderson|date=2004-11-20|accessdate=2008-05-10|title= 'Star Trek: Generations-Special Edition' DVD Review]

In books written by William Shatner, beginning with "", Kirk is returned to life by the Romulans and the Borg, and goes on to have further adventures.


The debut of "" brought with it comparisons of Kirk's and Picard's leadership styles. Kirk is deemed to be very able to find ways "through unanticipated problems to reach [his] goals" and his leadership style is most "appropriate in a tight, geographically identical team with a culture of strong leadership."cite web|first=Paul |last=Kimmerly|coauthors=David R. Webb|url=http://www.stsc.hill.af.mil/crossTalk/2006/10/0610KimmerlyWebb.html|title=Leadership, The Final Frontier: Lessons From the Captains of Star Trek|publisher=CrossTalk: The Journal of Defense Software Engineering|month=10|year=2006]

Riverside petitioned Gene Roddenberry and Paramount Pictures in 1985 for permission to "adopt" Kirk as their town's "Future Son". [cite web |url=http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/2081 |title="Future Birthplace of James T. Kirk" |accessdate=2008-09-09|first=Doug|last=Kirby|coauthors=Ken Smith and Mike Wilkins|publisher=Roadside America] Paramount Pictures wanted $40,000 for a license to reproduce a bust of Kirk, but the city passed on that option, instead using the plaque and the building of a replica of the "Enterprise" (renamed the "USS Riverside") and The Riverside Area Community Club holds an annual "Trek Fest" in anticipation of Kirk's birth. [cite news |first=Beverly |last=Beyette |title="A happy future birthplace hooks up with Capt. Kirk" |url=http://www.chicagotribune.com/travel/chi-gun1l2ebd.21may15,0,6903055.story|publisher=The Chicago Tribune|date=2005-05-15|accessdate=2008-09-09]


ee also

*Benjamin Sisko
*Jean-Luc Picard
*Jonathan Archer
*Kathryn Janeway

External links

* [http://www.startrek.com/startrek/view/series/TOS/character/1112496.html StarTrek.com: James T. Kirk]
* [http://www.trekfest.com Riverside Iowa's annual "Trekfest" for it's "future son", James T. Kirk]

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