|“||You're right! What I am about to do, it doesn't make sense, it's not logical, it is a gut feeling! I have no idea what I'm supposed to do. I only know what I can do. The Enterprise and her crew needs someone on that chair who knows what he's doing. That's not me. It's you, Spock.||„|
|~ Kirk to Spock|
James T. Kirk is the main protagonist of the 2009 film Star Trek and its two sequels Star Trek Into Darkness and Star Trek Beyond, all of which take place in an alternate reality created by the time-travelling villain Nero. His first officer is Spock, one of 10,000 survivors of the destroyed planet Vulcan.
He is played by Chris Pine, who portrayed Steve Trevor in Wonder Woman, Robert Bruce in Outlaw King, and voiced Jack Frost in Rise of the Guardians, and Ultimate Spider-Man in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
|“||Attention, crew of the Enterprise, this is James Kirk. Mr. Spock has resigned commission and advanced me to acting Captain. I know you are all expecting to regroup with the fleet, but I'm ordering a pursuit course of the enemy ship to Earth. I want all departments at battle stations and ready in ten minutes. Either we're going down...or they are. Kirk out.||„|
|~ Kirk's message, becoming captain of the USS Enterprise.|
James grew up in Iowa, where he was raised by an abusive stepfather. Throughout his youth and going into his early adult years, he was a troublemaker, despite being exceptionally bright. In 2255, he met Nyota Uhura at a bar, flirted with her, and tried to pick her up, only to come into confrontation with a trio of Starfleet cadets, leading to a brawl in which he was badly beaten. Captain Christopher Pike arrived and broke up the fight. Moments later, Kirk and Pike had a conversation in which Pike encouraged Kirk to make something of himself and join Starfleet instead of being the only genius level repeat offender in the Midwest. After spending several hours mulling over Pike's request, Kirk decided to join Starfleet. On the way to Starfleet Academy, Kirk met and befriended Leonard McCoy. (Pike would later describe the fight preceding their first meeting as an epic beat down, complete with napkins hanging out of Kirk's nose).
In 2258, Kirk, now a cadet, beat the otherwise-unbeatable Kobayashi Maru test by re-programming the simulation to enable himself to win, resulting in him being put on trial for cheating. He verbally clashed with Commander Spock, who programmed the simulation, over the value of the test. Starfleet soon received word that Vulcan was under attack and the Academy cadets were ordered to report for duty. However, Kirk was put on academic probation, but McCoy was able to sneak him aboard the USS Enterprise.
While in sickbay, Kirk learned that a lightning storm appeared in space, similar to what occurred twenty-five years ago on the day he was born. Despite suffering side effects from a vaccine McCoy gave him earlier, he made his way to the ship's bridge and warned Captain Pike that they were flying into a trap by the Romulans.
Kirk tried telling Captain Pike and Spock about Nero's attack and his trap, and with the help of McCoy and Uhura, he was able to convince Pike about the trap. Pike raised the Enterprise's shields as they entered the Vulcan system, only to find a massive debris field of destroyed Federation starships having been attacked by Nero. As Pike was en route to a shuttlecraft to negotiate with Nero, he appointed Kirk as acting first officer under Spock and volunteered Kirk to disable the Narada's drill platform.
Along with Chief Engineer Olson and Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu, Kirk skydived onto the platform. Olson was vaporized by the drill, leaving only Kirk and Sulu to disable it. Facing off against two of Nero's crew, Kirk and Sulu eventually killed both of their adversaries before destroying the platform, but not in time to prevent Nero from successfully completing his plan to destroy the planet Vulcan.
Before returning to the Enterprise, Sulu fell off the drill platform and began plummeting toward the surface of Vulcan. Kirk jumped off the platform to save him. After intercepting Sulu, Kirk had the helmsman pull his parachute, but it was knocked off, leaving them both in freefall. However, Ensign Pavel Chekov managed to compensate for Vulcan's gravitational pull and beamed both of them on board. Kirk attempted to dissuade Commander Spock from a rendezvous with the rest of Starfleet at the Laurentian system. He urged him to go after the Narada as the ship left for Earth, rather than waste time trying to gather additional forces in the opposite direction, but Spock was relentless to hear him due to death of his mother and blinded by the fact that Nero swore to destroy Federation after did the same on Vulcans. When Kirk became more and more heated in his objections, Spock finally ordered Kirk's removal from the bridge, knocked him out and threw him off the ship in an escape pod.
Kirk landed on Delta Vega, some fourteen kilometers away from a Starfleet outpost. Despite an inhospitable environment, he left his escape pod and soon was chased by an indigenous animal which was dispatched by an even larger predatory creature. When Kirk fled into a nearby cave, the creature was scared away by an elderly Vulcan man, who revealed himself to be Spock from a future timeline. Though Kirk initially dismissed this as "bullshit", he changed his mind when the old man demonstrated his knowledge of Nero. The elderly Spock revealed to Kirk through a mind meld Nero's intentions, also telling him that in his timeline, Kirk was the captain of the USS Enterprise. Understanding that their only hope was to have the Enterprise pursue the Narada instead of returning to the fleet, they realized that they had to get the other Spock to step down from command.
Fortunately, while the Enterprise had long since left the system, Spock was aware that one of the officers at the nearby outpost was Montgomery Scott, who, in his universe, had devised a way to beam onto a ship at warp speeds. After Spock gave Scott his own equations a century ahead of schedule, Kirk was advised by Spock, before Kirk and Scott were beamed onto the Enterprise, that he needed to elicit an emotional reaction from the young Spock so that everyone could see that he was emotionally compromised and unfit for command; according to the elderly Spock, the only way to defeat Nero was for Jim to take command of the ship himself.
Following the advice of Ambassador Spock, Kirk goaded Spock with assertions that Spock cared nothing for what had happened to Vulcan or the death of his mother, whom he accused Spock of never having loved. The last remark did the job and Spock violently attacked Kirk, nearly to the point of killing him, before Sarek stepped in and stopped him. Following Spock immediately relinquishing command. Kirk, as acting first officer, took command and ordered pursuit course of the Narada to Earth.
Kirk later beamed onto the Narada with Spock, who deferred to Kirk as captain. After an intense firefight in which they killed several Romulans, they made it to the elder Spock's ship. Upon being identified as its pilot, Spock quickly realized exactly who Kirk's unknown benefactor had been. Leaving Spock to secure the ship, Kirk went to retrieve Captain Pike.
In searching for the captain, he encountered Nero and his first officer, Ayel. Kirk was quickly overpowered by the pair of Romulans, but when Nero, after boasting that he would kill Kirk just like he had with his father, discovered that Spock had destroyed the drill, he furiously returned to the bridge. Initially, Kirk was no match for Ayel either, but the Romulan was overconfident and was too busy mocking his "weak" victim to notice the theft of his disruptor. Offered the chance to speak, Kirk's "last words" were "I got your gun!" and Kirk shot the Romulan Ayel point-blank in the chest. Kirk then retrieved Pike, who repaid his savior by grabbing the stolen disruptor and gunning down two Romulans walking in on the escape.
Against Spock's advice once again, Kirk decided to give Nero and his remaining crew a chance to beam to the Enterprise and surrender. After Nero strongly declined, Kirk decided to fire all weapons, and the Narada was finally destroyed in a massive black hole created by red matter it was carrying. The Enterprise was nearly destroyed as well, but Kirk had Scott eject the ship's multiple warp cores and detonate them, creating a blast wave strong enough to push the Enterprise out of danger.
Upon his return to Earth, Kirk was commended and officially appointed as captain of the Enterprise by Admiral Barnett for his actions, which demonstrated his ability as an extremely able commanding officer fully capable of leading a Federation starship crew in the most dire of situations.
Dressed in his new captain's uniform, Kirk took command of the Enterprise. Commander Spock arrived and requested the permanent post as Kirk's first officer, which Kirk was honored to accept. He sat down in his chair and, officially as captain of the Enterprise, led his crew and ship to another adventure.