This is the latest installment in a series of "Character Insight" articles regarding the rich history of characters in the Star Trek universe. An audio version will appear on the This Week in Trek podcast, available for direct download here.
Welcome back to Character Insight! This week, we continue with the Abrams timeline with a profile on James T. Kirk.
The Abrams timeline is introduced immediately in Star Trek 09, as Kirk is born in space during an attack on the ship his father served on. While George Kirk sacrifices himself to deter Nero's ship from destroying the escape pods, James Tiberius Kirk is born and named after his paternal and maternal grandfathers. Quite a different life in Iowa awaits for this Kirk.
Kirk grows up a miscreant and has to be challenged by Captain Pike following a bar fight to make something of himself and join Starfleet. Pike serves as the motivator and protector of Kirk as he takes a bumpy and quick ride through the Academy and his ascension to command.
While the Kirk of this timeline is not as seasoned, he learns enough from Pike to have earned the command chair by the end of Into Darkness. This includes the sacrifice of everything he can offer, including his life, in the effort to save his crew. Of course, just like Spock in the prime timeline, Kirk is resurrected to live another day.
Although the first movie was all about putting Kirk in command and establishing the Kirk-Spock respect and friendship, Into Darkness dives full bore into the good and the bad of Kirk's personality and traits. He will likely continue to be brash and struggle with authority, but that likely turns into an asset when exploring deep space as the Enterprise will be doing in the next movie or movies.
The womanizer and immature theme is definitely taken to an eye-rolling extreme, but these anecdotes help reveal how far Kirk comes in a short time. If the other major characters receive similar levels of development in future movies, we will all be in for a real treat. Kirk's love story with Carol Marcus will also provide more character development for this star of the show.
Our quote of the week comes from Into Darkness:
"Where I come from, if someone saves your life, you don't stab them in the back."
Actor: Chris Pine won the right to take over this iconic role in the Abrams movies. Pine also stars in Unstoppable and as the voice of Jack Frost in Rise of the Guardians, which is a great movie for the family at Christmastime!