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But Not As We Know Him
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When Paul Wesley was announced to have joined the season two cast of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, we remarked that the accompanying promotional image didn't have much of a Kirk vibe.

Following his appearance as Kirk in Strange New Worlds' first season finale, Star Trek fan site Red Shirts Always Die echoed our sentiment.

The writers failed to include any of the noticeable traits that made Kirk who he was.


Captain Kirk shouldn’t be written as a wooden, almost emotionless character.

While we found Star Trek's latest offering Strange New Worlds to be worlds above Discovery we didn't stick with it past the third episode because of conspicuous retcons and it being more fantasy than sci-fi.

So we've not seen this episode but checked to see how Kirk's appearance was received.

What we found was an Entertainment Weekly interview intended to prepare for fans for this Kirk, but not as we know him.

What was really important for you to bring out in him with your debut in the season 1 finale?

In the season 1 finale, it's actually a Kirk that we've never seen because he doesn't really exist. It's an alternate projected timeline of something. If Pike hadn't died and he was still commanding the Enterprise, what would this world look like? Of course, it doesn't exist. It's just in his mind. So he meets Kirk, and Kirk is not captain of the Enterprise. Kirk is captain of the Farragut. Kirk has never met Spock, he's never met Uhura, he hasn't gone through all the things that the original Kirk had gone through. So, in a way, it allowed me to... I'm not gonna say whatever I wanted, but it's a looser interpretation, right? We're not sticking to a regiment. So it was a little liberating because I didn't have as much pressure. I can't talk about season 2 too much, but it's a little bit more in line with a Kirk that we know, but it's pre-Enterprise. The most important thing is, to answer your question, is to maintain that sense of Kirk having this incredible gut instinct that he relies on, that is preternaturally accurate in a way, a morality, courage, charm, humor. We don't get to see as much of that humor in the season 1 finale because there's something very intense happening. Season 2, we get to explore a little bit more of Kirk.

Not really Kirk - a dream or vision of who Kirk might have been in an alternate history.

Obviously you can't rely on viewers reading interviews like this and for a major Star Trek fan site to get the wrong idea about the character suggests that the episode on its own doesn't make this clear.

Regardless, we've seen an alternate Kirk in the J. J. Abrams film reboots.

He wasn't Mr Serious-Pants prior to meeting Spock and Uhura.

There are other differences like his father dying and his not joining Starfleet but he was portrayed as an intense individual from an early age.

Mr Serious-Pants Kirk sounds like another pointless, artless hack retcon like what they did with the Prime Directive.

The full first season of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is available to stream now on Paramount+.

[ Main Image: Strange New Worlds - Paul Wesley as James Kirk. Credit: ]


Carrington, Rachel (July 8, 2022). Paul Wesley’s Captain Kirk doesn’t measure up in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Worlds. Redshirts Always Die.

Romano, Nick (July 7, 2022). Paul Wesley's Captain Kirk on Star Trek is not like William Shatner: 'This is a whole new look'. Entertainment Weekly.