|Captain James T. Kirk in 2259|
|Affiliation:||United Federation of Planets|
|Born:||January 4, 2233 (stardate 2233.04),|
Medical shuttle 37, space
USS Enterprise engine room
|Other Relative(s):||Tiberius Kirk (paternal grandfather)|
James (maternal grandfather)
|Played by:||Chris Pine (2255-2259)|
Jimmy Bennett (2240s)
unknown performer (2233)
|James T. Kirk as a Starfleet cadet in 2258|
James Tiberius Kirk was a 23rd century Human Federation Starfleet officer. As a Starfleet cadet, he was instrumental in the defeat and death of Nero, a Romulan bent on the obliteration of the entire United Federation of Planets. As a result, he was commissioned directly to the rank of captain and appointed as commanding officer of the service's flagship, the USS Enterprise. (Star Trek)
About a year later in 2259, Kirk faced Khan, an enhanced Human from the late 20th century with superior strength and intellect. However, the crew of the Enterprise managed to stop him, following the sacrifice of Kirk. Spock managed to capture Khan with the help of Uhura and Dr. McCoy managed to revive Kirk. Afterwards, the Enterprise set out on the first five-year mission. (Star Trek Into Darkness)
James Tiberius ("Jim") Kirk was a Human descendant of European settlers on Earth's American continent, who pioneered the western frontiers of the United States of America in the 19th century. (TOS: "Spectre of the Gun") The son of Starfleet officer George Kirk, first officer of the USS Kelvin and his wife Winona Kirk, he was born aboard the Kelvin's medical shuttle no. 37, in the midst of an unprovoked attack on the Kelvin by the Narada, a 24th century Romulan mining vessel commanded by Nero. Winona had been evacuated from the severely-crippled Kelvin along with the rest of the crew and gave birth to James while George Kirk died piloting the Kelvin into the Narada in a kamikaze attack. He was named James Tiberius after Winona's father and George's father, respectively.
Jim was raised in Iowa, in Midwestern North America, on Earth. His mother remarried. As a young boy, Jim had a somewhat rebellious streak in him as he once, for example, stole his stepfather's 1965 Chevy Corvette convertible, drove it recklessly, got into a high speed chase with local police, then nearly died when he barely managed to jump out, as he drove it into a quarry. As he grew up he had little sense of purpose and by 2255, he was an aimless rebel who had found himself on the wrong side of the law on more than one occasion.
While visiting a bar near the Riverside Shipyard, an inebriated Jim met and began flirting with a Starfleet cadet named Nyota Uhura. Although annoyed by Jim's advances, Uhura was surprised that Jim knew what was involved in the study of xenolinguistics. Moments later, Jim engaged in a bar fight with three male cadets who were irritated at his cocky attitude and the attention he was giving Uhura. He was ultimately overwhelmed by the cadets until Captain Christopher Pike broke up the fight. Pike, who wrote his dissertation on the USS Kelvin and was familiar with Jim's story pushed the young man to challenge himself and reach the greater potential he was capable of achieving, calling him "the only genius level repeat offender in the Midwest".
Pike tried to persuade him to join Starfleet, firmly believing that he could do more with himself than get into bar fights and break all the laws in the state of Iowa. Kirk laughed at the idea of joining Starfleet, but Pike reassured him that with his "off-the-chart" aptitude he could make captain and have his own ship in only eight years. He reminded him that his father had saved eight-hundred lives, including Jim's and his mother's, and dared young Kirk to do better.
Soon after their conversation, and to the surprise of Pike, Jim decided to enlist with the intent of completing the Academy training in three years. He rode onto the shipyard, gave his bike to a construction worker, and boarded a shuttle for new recruits heading to Starfleet Academy. It was on his trip to the Academy where he first met and befriended Doctor Leonard McCoy.
Kirk and McCoy became close friends at the Academy, though Kirk frequently exasperated McCoy with his maverick nature. Kirk had an eye for attractive female cadets and he once ended up in the dormitory of an Orion female cadet named Gaila. He was caught and hid under the bed when her roommate, Cadet Uhura, arrived unexpectedly. On discovering him, she angrily threw him out.
It was at the Academy that Kirk also met Commander Spock. Kirk had failed the Kobayashi Maru examination twice but decided to take it a third time, being sure that he would succeed. He eventually managed to cheat the test and won. Spock, who programmed the "no-win scenario," later investigated the matter.
While discussing his cheating ways with his superiors, Kirk argued that the test itself was a cheat, and stated that he didn't believe in the no-win scenario. Kirk asked to face his accuser, and Spock stepped up. This was the first time the two met and clashed over their differences.
Kirk and Spock continued to engage in a heated argument (the accused becoming particularly agitated when Spock suggested that, "of all people", George Kirk's son should recognize the no-win scenario), when the hearing was suddenly interrupted after Starfleet received a distress call from Vulcan.
Many of the cadets were called into action after the news but Kirk – who had been suspended because of his recent academic dishonesty charges – was not allowed to join. McCoy, however, was able to get him aboard the Enterprise by injecting him with a vaccine that temporarily rendered him sick so he could be transferred to the ship on medical grounds.
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.
Along with Chief Engineer Olson and Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu, Kirk skydived onto the platform. 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.
After returning to the Enterprise, 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. 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.
Marooned on Delta VegaEdit
Kirk landed on Delta Vega, some kilometers away from a Starfleet outpost. Despite an inhospitable environment, he left his escape pod and soon was chased into a cave by a predatory creature. Just as he was about to be eaten, the creature was scared off by an elderly Vulcan man, who revealed himself to be Spock from a future timeline, which Kirk dismissed as "bullshit" – but changed his mind when the old man mentioned Nero. Spock revealed to Kirk through a mind meld Nero's intentions, also telling him that in his timeline, Kirk was the captain of the 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 transport onto a ship at warp speeds. Giving Scott his own equations a century ahead of schedule, before beaming the pair onto the Enterprise, Spock advised Jim to elicit an emotional reaction from the young Spock so that everyone could see that he was emotionally compromised and not fit for command, stating that 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. Spock immediately relinquished command. Kirk, as acting first officer, took command and ordered pursuit course of the Narada to Earth.
Spock, deferring to Kirk as captain, successfully beamed onto the Narada with Kirk. 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. The pair easily overpowered him, but when Nero, after boasting that he would kill Kirk just like 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 overconfident Romulan 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 the Romulan was shot point-blank at the chest. After retrieving Pike – who repaid his defenseless savior by grabbing the stolen disruptor and gunning down two Romulans walking in on the escape – and 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.
Captain of the USS EnterpriseEdit
Upon his return to Earth, Kirk was commended and officially appointed as captain of the Enterprise by Admiral Richard 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. Then he leads his crew and ship to another adventure. (Star Trek)
A year later, Kirk violated the Prime Directive on Nibiru, saving Spock's life while exposing the Enterprise to the primitive Nibirans, who began worshiping the ship as a god. Returning to Earth, Pike informed Kirk the Admiralty headed by Alexander Marcus would be sending him back to the Academy, and that perhaps he had been promoted too soon. That night, Kirk drowned his sorrows in a bar, when Pike appeared to inform he had convinced Marcus to let him appoint Kirk his first officer, because he still had faith in the young man.
Pursuing "John Harrison"Edit
The two then attended a summit in the Daystrom Conference Room at Starfleet Headquarters regarding the bombing of the Kelvin Memorial Archive in London. Marcus ordered a manhunt for the perpetrator, a rogue Commander named John Harrison. Kirk analyzed surveillance of Harrison at the debris site, and questioned why Harrison bombed a public library for the information he needed. He then realized Harrison would be aware protocol dictated such an attack would precipitate meetings like these: Harrison showed up in an jumpship and opened fire.
Kirk wrapped a fire hose around a rifle and threw it into the jumpship's engine, causing it to crash. Before it did, Harrison glared at Kirk and beamed himself away. Kirk returned to the conference room to find Spock with Pike, who had died of a chest wound, and mourned. The next morning, Scott informed Kirk that Harrison had used a portable transwarp beaming device to escape to Qo'noS, heart of the Klingon Empire. Kirk informed Marcus, who explained the Archive was actually a Section 31 facility, which Harrison needed to steal the beaming device from. Marcus reinstated Kirk, giving him permission to hunt down and execute Harrison, and allowed him to reinstate Spock as his first officer.
To execute Harrison, Marcus gave the Enterprise 72 advanced long-range torpedoes to bombard Harrison's location from orbit, and assigned weapons expert Carol Wallace to the Enterprise. At a hangar, McCoy expressed his belief that Harrison was out of Kirk's league, while Spock protested executing Harrison without trial was immoral. Aboard the ship, Scott protested about not being allowed to examine the torpedoes, and not having time to examine the faulty new warp core. Kirk accepted Scott and Keenser's resignation, and appointed Chekov to replace them. Dejected, Kirk decided to listen to his crew's advice and announced they would find Harrison and bring him back for a tribunal.
Before reaching Qo'noS, the Enterprise's warp core broke down, so Kirk took an away team with Spock, Uhura, and Hendorff, disguised as K'normian arms dealers, to find Harrison. Acting captain Sulu broadcasted a message to John Harrison. Kirk's ship was attacked by a Klingon patrol, and despite maneuvering it through a narrowing gate, they found themselves surrounded. Kirk allowed Uhura to exit the ship and negotiate with the Klingons, but they refused to listen and tried to kill her. Kirk and Spock came out firing phasers, but Harrison appeared and single-handedly killed all the Klingons. Kirk accepted Harrison's surrender, but spitefully punched him, only to find his continuous blows had no effect on him.
Uncovering a conspiracyEdit
In the ship's brig, Kirk and Spock interrogated Harrison while Bones took a blood sample, which he studied by injecting into a dead tribble. Harrison only responded by giving them a set of coordinates, and advised Kirk to open one of the torpedoes. Spock informed Kirk that Wallace could examine the torpedoes, and also informed the captain that he had learned she was actually Admiral Marcus's daughter, because he felt the information had just become relevant. Kirk also called Scott and asked him to investigate the coordinates.
McCoy and Carol Marcus took a shuttle to a meteor to examine a torpedo, but McCoy accidentally activated the countdown and trapped his hand in the device. Kirk ordered to beam them up, but was warned beaming up McCoy would also beam up an exploding torpedo. Fortunately, Kirk avoided losing his friend when Carol deactivated the device in time. The torpedo finally opened up, and the two officers found it contained a man in cryogenic stasis.
Kirk interrogated Harrison again, who explained he had placed people in torpedoes to smuggle them before he was caught. He revealed he was actually the infamous Khan Noonien Singh, recruited by Admiral Marcus under a new identity to design weaponry and ships for war against the Klingons, and that the frozen people were his fellow Augments whom the admiral had held hostage. Marcus suddenly showed up in the Dreadnought-class ship the USS Vengeance, demanding Kirk hand over Harrison. Kirk revealed he knew the truth, and defied the admiral by warping the Enterprise to Earth, where Khan would stand trial and expose the conspiracy. However, the Vengeance was capable of catching up with the Enterprise in subspace and fired on the ship, halting it as it arrived outside Earth.
Carol tried to bargain with her father, who simply beamed her over to his ship, and then Kirk tried to hand himself over to protect his crew, but Marcus explained he had no intention of letting anyone in on the plot survive. Before the Vengeance could finish off the Enterprise, its weaponry suddenly deactivated. Scott called Kirk, explaining he had stowed away aboard the Vengeance at the coordinates given by Khan, buying them some time. Kirk, realizing Khan designed the ship, allied himself with him, and the two donned thruster suits to fly over and commandeer the vessel. Khan's formidable strength was an asset in dispatching any guards they encountered, but Kirk was suspicious of Khan and ordered Scott to shoot to stun him later.
When they reached the bridge, Scott stunned Khan while Kirk confronted Marcus over his betrayal of Starfleet's ideals. However, stunning Khan did not affect him, and the Augment tackled Scott and Kirk before proceeding to kill Marcus and take the command chair. Khan ordered Spock to hand over the torpedoes, which he complied with, and in return he beamed Kirk, Scotty and Carol into the Enterprise brig. Khan then turned on Spock, bombarding the Enterprise once more. Spock, who had the cryo pods removed from the torpedoes, ordered them to be detonated, crippling the Vengeance: the shockwave caused both ships to be pulled by Earth's gravity. Kirk and Scott ran to the warp core, trying to avoid falling to their deaths due to the failing artificial gravity.
Death and ResurrectionEdit
Once they reached the warp core, Scott warned entering it would flood the chamber with radiation, but as there was no time to put on a containment suit, Kirk knocked out Scott and secured him with a seatbelt before entering the warp core. Kirk knocked the central component back in place, restoring power to the engines and preventing the Enterprise from crashing. Meanwhile, Khan crashed the Vengeance into San Francisco. Scott woke up and called Spock to come down, and saw Jim dying from radiation poisoning. Jim bid goodbye to his friend, then died. Jim heard the voices of his father, mother and Pike as he lay in the border between the world of the living and the dead.
He was taken to Medbay after decontamination, where McCoy and others silently mourned the loss of their Captain. McCoy noticed the tribble he had injected with Khan's blood had come back to life, and realizing how to save Kirk's life, ordered his body be placed in a cryotube to preserve his brain. Spock and Uhura beamed down and apprehended Khan, using him to perform a blood transfusion before putting him on ice once more. Kirk awoke two weeks later in a hospital in San Francisco, with McCoy and Spock present.
The five-year missionEdit
Nearly a year after the events, Kirk presided over the rechristening ceremony of the Enterprise and memorial to those who lost their lives in terrorist acts committed by Khan, before setting off on Starfleet's first five-year mission. (Star Trek Into Darkness)
Kirk initially had a largely antagonistic relationship with Spock, mainly due to their vastly different philosophies and approaches to command. The frictions began first at Starfleet Academy when Kirk cheated on the Kobayashi Maru test Spock had designed, and then later continued when the disparate pair worked side by side on the USS Enterprise and Kirk was put in charge as second in command by Captain Pike. Tensions between the two culminated in Spock throwing Kirk off the ship altogether. However, their attitudes towards each other softened after an encounter with an older version of Spock from an alternate future, who revealed that in fact the two had shared a great friendship in his timeline. After Kirk goaded Spock into revealing his emotional instability, Spock nearly killed Kirk in a rage before doing exactly as Kirk wanted and stepping down, putting Kirk in charge of the ship. After regaining emotional equilibrium, Spock deferred to Kirk's command and the two worked as a team to stop Nero and rescue Pike with Spock trusting Kirk to watch his back and even calling him "Jim" at one point. After learning how important their friendship was from Spock Prime, Spock offered to be Kirk's first officer which he happily accepted. (Star Trek)
A year later, Kirk fell out with Spock because Spock filed the mission report that caused Kirk's demotion, although Kirk's actions leading to this disciplinary were done to save Spock's life: Spock was more concerned with fulfilling Starfleet regulations than with sentimental notions though he was relieved that Kirk was just demoted and not more severely punished. When split up, Kirk told Spock he'd miss him leaving Spock speechless and Kirk somewhat annoyed. However, Kirk wanted Spock reinstated as his first officer after Pike's death. Kirk later explained to Spock that the reason he saved Spock's life was because he had come to see Spock as a friend. By this point, Spock had come to return the sentiment and was so upset by Kirk's impending death that he lost his temper and nearly killed Khan in revenge until he learned that Khan's blood would save Kirk. Spock and Kirk also realized that they each had handled the situation in the way the other would: Kirk sacrificed himself for the greater good, whereas Spock used unorthodox tactics to defeat the enemy. (Star Trek Into Darkness)
Kirk and McCoy met on a transport shuttle to Starfleet Academy. The pair found themselves in adjacent seats where a slightly neurotic McCoy instantly opened up to the rebellious and somewhat incredulous Kirk. The two remained good friends throughout their time together at the Academy. When the time came, McCoy always had Kirk's back, such as helping him get aboard the Enterprise after his suspension and berating Spock for throwing Kirk off the ship and marooning him on Delta Vega. Despite this, McCoy berated him for forcing Spock to resign command and responded with "you gotta be kidding me!" when he learned Kirk was first officer and thus the one to take command. (Star Trek)
A year later, McCoy saved Kirk's life, after Kirk was killed while sacrificing himself to save his crew. (Star Trek Into Darkness)
Kirk first met Nyota Uhura at a bar in Iowa in 2255, audaciously flirting with her while intoxicated, angering some other Starfleet cadet patrons of the bar, resulting in a fight. He met her again when the two studied at Starfleet Academy, although she preferred to keep a distance from him – not even ever telling him her first name – as she saw him as brash and uncouth. Trying to learn Uhura's first name became almost a mission for him. The pair ended up serving together aboard the Enterprise, but she continued to maintain her distance from him. It was Kirk and his need for a xenolinguist that got her stationed on the bridge. Over the course of the mission, she gained some respect for him though was not pleased with his tactic of forcing Spock to relinquish command. Uhura was the first to call Kirk Captain, though it was sarcastically done. When Kirk was granted permanent command of the Enterprise, he chose Uhura as one of his senior officers. He also appeared stunned that her first name was Nyota. (Star Trek)
Over time, her discomfort vanished and she began to show unwavering loyalty to her new captain. The two developed a friendship to the point that Uhura confided in him her relationship troubles with Spock. When Pike was killed, Uhura sincerely offered her condolences and concern for the captain. When Kirk died, Uhura cried and helped Spock bring Khan down while preventing him from killing him so they could save Kirk. (Star Trek Into Darkness)
Kirk and Christopher Pike almost had a father–son relationship: Pike was the one who convinced Kirk to enlist in Starfleet and to make something of himself, and even after Pike had to demote Kirk for contravening regulations, Pike wanted Kirk as his own first officer and did his best to encourage Kirk despite this setback. Kirk was later informed that Pike had done a lot to speak in Kirk's favor during the disciplinary hearing. When Khan Noonien Singh attacked the meeting of senior staff of Starfleet in San Francisco, Pike was killed, and Kirk was distraught, weeping at the loss of his mentor and becoming consumed with vengeance. (Star Trek; Star Trek Into Darkness)
Kirk's relationship with Montgomery Scott began after he met the future Enterprise chief engineer on the planet Delta Vega. While marooned on Delta Vega, Kirk unwittingly sought, with the help of the future Spock, the Scotsman's help to return to the USS Enterprise while it was still warping to rendezvous with the fleet in the Laurentian system. He quickly learned that Scott was wiser than he lead on, after first impressions belied the fact that he had begun to postulate the theory of transwarp beaming while still on active duty (misplacing Admiral Archer's beagle Porthos in the process, earning his isolation to Delta Vega).
With the aid of his transwarp beaming theory (and the future Spock) Kirk, along with Scott, managed to beam aboard the Enterprise, which was mid warp flight. Once on board the Enterprise, Scott had been inadvertently beamed straight into the ship's internal water recycling system. Following quick work by Kirk, Scott was freed, and they both tried to make their way out of engineering, only to be captured by security officers, sent by Spock, who was on the bridge.
Once on the bridge of the Enterprise, Scott was witness to Kirk's field promotion to captain, and was then instrumental in the efforts to sneak up on the war criminal Nero's ship, by helping to increase warp speed to factor 4 and to beam both Kirk and the newly-reinstated Spock onto the Narada while in the moon Titan's upper atmosphere. (Star Trek)
A year later, Scott and Kirk had somewhat of a falling out over what to do with the torpedoes that were given to the Enterprise by Admiral Marcus. But following the defeat of Khan and the death of Admiral Marcus, Scott returned to his post as Chief Engineer on the Enterprise. (Star Trek Into Darkness)
Kirk seemed to have been surprised at Hikaru Sulu's special training in close-hand combat, specializing in fencing. Kirk committed a selfless act when he dove off the drill platform to save Hikaru Sulu from death on Vulcan. When Kirk appointed himself as acting captain, Sulu reminded everyone that he was already first officer and therefore was able to take over the Captain's position on the Enterprise. Following the defeat of Nero, Sulu was assigned to the Enterprise as Helmsman under Kirk's command. (Star Trek)
Nero killed Kirk's father George in 2233. Despite this, Kirk was willing to offer assistance to his father's killer when his ship was caught in between a black hole created by the remaining red matter. However, the Romulan refused his assistance and stated that he'd "rather suffer the end of Romulus a thousand times" and "die in agony". Kirk obliged him by completing the destruction of the Narada as it was consumed by the black hole. (Star Trek)
Khan Noonien SinghEdit
Under the identity of John Harrison, Khan killed Christopher Pike and other members of Starfleet in 2259, causing Kirk to seek revenge. Eventually capturing Khan, they soon learned of his true identity and the fact that he had aided Admiral Marcus in the building of Starfleet weapons. Teaming with Khan to stop Marcus, Khan eventually betrayed Kirk to overtake the USS Vengeance. Khan killed Marcus and attacked the Enterprise, leading to Kirk's sacrifice to save the crew. Khan was eventually captured due to efforts by Spock and Uhura and put back into suspended animation. Kirk was soon revived by McCoy with Khan's blood. (Star Trek Into Darkness)
Despite Marcus's demotion of Kirk, in their early meetings the two had what could have been described as grandfather-grandson relationship. However, after Khan confessed his role in the Admiral's plot to wage war with the Klingons, Kirk began to doubt the Admiral and viewed him as a war criminal. Marcus himself did not have an antagonistic relationship with Kirk until the Captain lied and tried to warp Khan and the Enterprise to Earth, though he later outright admitted that he was going to kill him and the Enterprise's crew from the start of the mission he assigned them to. To cover up the conspiracy, Marcus branded Kirk as "having gone rogue" when he attempted to warn Starfleet. Their last meeting occurred when Kirk tried to arrest him for high treason, with the Admiral openly mocking Kirk's naivete. The relationship ended when Khan crushed Marcus' skull in revenge for treating him like a slave. (Star Trek Into Darkness)
Kirk also had a relationship with Christine Chapel, a Human nurse. After it ended, she moved from the Enterprise to nurse on the outer frontier. When Carol Marcus brought her up in a conversation, he did not seem to remember her.
Kirk had an obvious and mutual attraction to Carol Marcus upon their first meeting and personally, and somewhat awkwardly, welcomed her aboard when she was permanently assigned to the Enterprise for the first five-year mission a year later. (Star Trek Into Darkness)
- 2233: Born on Medical shuttle 37 that was attached to the late USS Kelvin
- 2233-2255: Raised in Iowa
- 2255-2258: Cadet/Lieutenant at Starfleet Academy
- Appointed acting first officer of the USS Enterprise
- Elevated to acting captain of the USS Enterprise
- Appointed captain of the USS Enterprise
- Demoted to first officer of the Enterprise
- Reinstated to hunt John Harrison, revealed to be Khan Noonien Singh
- Poisoned saving the Enterprise and crew, but revived with Khan's blood
- Sets off on five-year mission
"Citizen, what is your name?"
"My name is James Tiberius Kirk!"
- - Iowa cop and a young James Kirk (Star Trek)
"If you don't give me a name, I'm gonna have to make one up."
"Uhura? No way! That's the name I was gonna make up for you!"
- - James Kirk and Nyota Uhura (Star Trek)
"I'm impressed. For a moment there, I thought you were just a dumb hick who only had sex with farm animals."
"Well, not only..."
- - Nyota Uhura and James Kirk (Star Trek)
"Do you like being the only genius-level repeat offender in the Midwest?"
"Maybe I love it."
- - Christopher Pike and James Kirk (Star Trek)
"Four years? I'll do it in three."
- - James Kirk to Christopher Pike (Star Trek)
"Two Klingon vessels have entered the neutral zone and are locking weapons on us."
"Yeah, don't worry about it."
- - Leonard McCoy and James Kirk, in the Kobayashi Maru scenario (Star Trek)
"I don't believe in no-win scenarios."
- - James Kirk (Star Trek)
"Who was that pointy-eared bastard anyway?"
"I don't know. But I like him."
- - James Kirk and Leonard McCoy, after meeting Spock for the first time (Star Trek)
"I am Spock."
- - Spock Prime and James Kirk (Star Trek)
"You gotta be kidding!"
"Thanks for the support."
- - James Kirk and Leonard McCoy, after Kirk becoming acting captain (Star Trek)
"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."
- - James Kirk, to the crew of the Enterprise after he becomes acting captain. (Star Trek)
"Your species is even weaker than I expected... You can't even speak... What?"
"I got your gun!"
- - James Kirk and Ayel (Star Trek)
"What're you doin' here?"
"Just following orders."
- - Captains Pike and Kirk, as the latter (recalling an order to "come and get me") rescues the former (Star Trek)
"I would rather suffer the end of Romulus a thousand times. I would rather die in agony, than accept assistance from you."
"You got it. Arm phasers, fire everything we've got."
- - James Kirk's response to Nero, after suggesting Nero to surrender peacefully (Star Trek)
- - James Kirk to Leonard McCoy, as his first words on the bridge of the Enterprise as its assigned captain. (Star Trek)
"If Spock were here, and I were there, what would he do?"
"He'd let you die."
- - James Kirk and Leonard McCoy, prior to rescuing Spock from the volcano on Nibiru. (Star Trek Into Darkness)
"Where I come from, if someone saves your life, you don't stab them in the back."
- - James Kirk to Spock (Star Trek Into Darkness)
"On behalf of Christopher Pike - my friend - I accept your surrender."
- - James Kirk to John Harrison before hitting him (Star Trek Into Darkness)
"Let me explain what's happening here. You are a criminal. I watched you murder innocent men and women. I was authorized to end you...and the only reason why you are still alive, is because I am allowing it. So SHUT... YOUR... MOUTH!"
- - James Kirk to John Harrison, in the Enterprise brig (Star Trek Into Darkness)
"Sir, My crew was just... Was just following my orders. I take... I take full responsibility for my actions. But they were mine and they were mine alone. If I transmit Khan's location to you now, all that I ask is that you spare them. Please, sir. I'll do anything you want. Just let them live."
- - James Kirk to Alexander Marcus to spare The Enterprise crew (Star Trek Into Darkness)
- - James Kirk to the Enterprise bridge crew after failing to convince Marcus not to destroy them. (Star Trek Into Darkness)
"You're right! What I'm 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 in that chair who knows what he's doing. And it's not me. It's you, Spock."
- - James Kirk to Spock on his actions on aligning with Khan and trying to get onboard the Vengeance. (Star Trek Into Darkness)
"I'm scared, Spock. Help me not be."
- - James Kirk to Spock as he is dying. (Star Trek Into Darkness)
"There will always be those who mean to do us harm. To stop them, we risk awakening the same evil within ourselves. Our first instinct is to seek revenge when those we love are taken from us. But that's not who we are... When Christopher Pike first gave me his ship, he had me recite the Captain's Oath. Words I didn't appreciate at the time. But now I see them as a call for us to remember who we once were and who we must be again. And those words..."
- - James Kirk at the rechristening of the USS Enterprise. (Star Trek Into Darkness)
"Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Her five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations; to boldly go where no one has gone before."
- - James Kirk reciting the Captain's Oath (Star Trek Into Darkness)
James T. Kirk was portrayed by Chris Pine. Younger versions were portrayed by Jimmy Bennett and an infant performer. For the scene in which Kirk is running into a cave on Delta Vega, child actor Joshua Greene served as body double for Pine. The producers did this to let the entrance of the cave look bigger.
Originally, Winona would not have remarried, but left her boys to be cared for by her brother (or brother-in-law) Frank (Brad William Henke), who was abusive to them whenever she was off-world. This forced George Samuel Kirk (β) to run away from home, and Jim, who was a good pupil who always obeyed orders, to steal George's antique car that Frank treated as if it was his own.
The novelization of 2009's Star Trek by Alan Dean Foster states that Winona Kirk was given an inhibitor that would help slow the birth of James until the Kelvin's return to Earth. However, the impacts to the ship by the Narada's attack cause her to go into early labor. Screenwriter Roberto Orci joked in a message board post that the radiation from Kirk's premature birth in space caused his eyes to go blue.  The prime Kirk has hazel eyes. The novelization also merges the conflicting abusive-adult characters, making "Frank" the boys' step-father, and revealing that he wanted the car washed because he planned to sell it behind Winona's back, which is what truly drives Jim to steal it.
One influence on which Orci and Kurtzman based Kirk and Spock's relationship was the friendship between Paul McCartney and John Lennon, two very different musicians who bonded early in life, partly because they both suffered through the loss of a parent (in Kirk's case, his father, and in Spock's, his mother). 
Kirk's demotion at the start of Into Darkness was prompted by fan criticism that the character had been promoted too quickly at the end of Star Trek.  Orci and Kurtzman described the second film as being about Kirk earning the captain's chair, and proving that by sacrificing himself. 
When questioned, Orci expressed difficulty in balancing the 1960s origins of the character, 21st century attitudes and those of an imaginary 23rd century in writing the character's sexual attitudes. 
The 2013 virtual collectible card battle game Star Trek: Rivals uses screenshots for card #36, Recruit James T. Kirk, card #56, Cadet James T. Kirk, card #84, Acting First Officer James T. Kirk, and card #101, Captain James T. Kirk.