- See Kirk for other articles with titles that contain, either by relationship or by coincidence, this character's surname.
- This character is a member of the Kirk family.
- This page details James T. Kirk in the primary universe; for the James T. Kirk in the mirror universe see James T. Kirk (mirror); for the James T. Kirk in the Kelvin timeline created by Nero's temporal incursion, see James T. Kirk (Kelvin timeline); for the James T. Kirk in the mirror universe created by Nero's temporal incursion see James T. Kirk (mirror) (Kelvin timeline); for the James T. Kirk in all other alternate universes see James T. Kirk (alternates).
Born in the town of Riverside, Iowa in 2233, Kirk was the youngest son of George Kirk and Winona Kirk, and had an elder brother, George Samuel Kirk, who was born in 2230. Kirk was born a month prematurely due to a minor accident (his mother tripped over a pig). (TOS novels: Enterprise: The First Adventure, Final Frontier, Best Destiny) Kirk was named for his maternal grandfather James and his paternal grandfather Tiberius. (TOS movie: Star Trek)
- Kirk is said to have been born in Council Bluffs, Iowa in TOS comic: "Who's Who in Star Trek, Issue 1".
- In Captain James T. Kirk - Psycho-File from The Enterprise Logs, Volume 1, Kirk's father is identified as Colonel Benjamin Kirk, a hero of a military conflict known as the Klingon Repulsion. 12-year old Jim accepts his father's posthumous Starfleet decoration, the Supreme Medal of Honor, and an acceptance letter from Commander Alden McWilliams confirms his honorary appointment to UFP Space Academy.
In 2238, James learned Morse code while staying at his grandparents' house in Vermont. Kirk and his brother spent a month playing cowboys and Indians with the local McLaughlin boys. (TOS novel: Windows on a Lost World) In August of that year, on Federation Day, Kirk's family visited the Starfleet War Memorial in San Francisco. (ENT novel: Last Full Measure) Later that same year, 5-year-old James decided he wanted to go into space, while he sat in his father's arms watching the stars. (TOS novels: Prime Directive, The Return)
As a child, Kirk believed that his middle initial "T" stood for "Tank," which he told to all his classmates. George promised to tell him what the "T" stood for on his 10th birthday, but never did so. (TOS novel: Final Frontier)
Throughout his early years, his father, George, was rarely at home as he was assigned to Starbase 2 as chief of security. In 2246, the family visited Tarsus IV. In October of that year, a deadly famine gripped the colony and there was only enough food for half the colonists. In order to save one half of the population, Governor Kodos gave the order to kill the other half, including Kirk. Kirk rescued young Kevin Riley, and managed to escape. Running for his life, Kirk was rescued by Ambassador Sarek. Sarek mind melded with Kirk and erased his memory of the encounter, because Sarek had also rescued Kodos and given him his new identity. By the 2260s, Kirk was one of a few living witnesses to Kodos' atrocities. (TOS episode: "The Conscience of the King"; TOS novels: A Flag Full of Stars, Avenger)
After departing Tarsus IV, the Kirk family moved to Grex following the Orion withdrawal from the planet in 2247. However, they were forced to leave aboard the transport Eliza Mae after warfare broke out between the two factions on the planet, the Kozhu and Vragax. James was nearly killed on the planet's surface, but was rescued by his father and a Captain Forester. (TOS - The Janus Gate novel: Past Prologue)
The Tarsus incident and his father's absence left Kirk embittered and dangerously rebellious. In 2249, at the age of 16, Kirk attempted to lead a group of friends on a trek from Iowa to Oregon and on to South America, but only got as far as the dynacarrier Christopher Cockerell before being detained by his father. Fearing that his son could be heading for a life of crime, George took emergency leave and they both boarded the USS Enterprise en route to the newly-discovered archaeological site on Faramond. En route, the Enterprise was diverted to Vega IX, but the Kirks boarded a liaison cutter to complete the journey. Shortly after, the cutter was hijacked by the pirate Rex Moss and the crew of the Shark. In the dire situation the Starfleet crew fashioned an escape pod for young Jimmy Kirk to be sent back towards the Enterprise, but Kirk, having been inspired by the crew's sacrifices, turned the pod toward the Shark. He boarded the ship and encountered the pirates, making way for the crew to do the same. After fighting for control of the ship, the Enterprise came to their rescue. These events restored his respect for his father and Starfleet and he decided to join the Academy. Little did he know however that fate would have other plans, as it would eventually draw the Enterprise back to him when he would be offered command of the legendary Federation starship. (TOS novel: Best Destiny)
Kirk entered Starfleet Academy in 2250, aged 17. He was sponsored for entry by Captain Robert April (TOS novel: Best Destiny) and Admirals R. Mallory and La Forge. Because of the important backing he received, Kirk felt pressured to achieve excellent grades in his first year at the Academy, out of fear that he would let down those who had sponsored him. As a result, he earned the reputation of being a hard-nosed cadet who was slightly reviled by his fellow cadets. (ST reference: Spaceflight Chronology; TOS novel: The Galactic Whirlpool; TOS - My Brother's Keeper novel: Republic)
He was following in the footsteps of not only his father but his great-grandfather Samuel Abraham Kirk, who served as the ship's historian aboard the USS Pioneer, one of the first Federation Starfleet vessels, in the 2160s. (ENT - Rise of the Federation novel: A Choice of Futures)
During his first two years at the Academy, Kirk's bunkmate was Thomas Clayton, but after he dropped out in 2252, Robert Jordan became his new roommate. His early days at the Academy were both enjoyable and harrowing for Kirk, because he had a romance with Ruth Bonne, an assistant professor, and was constantly bullied by upperclassman Sean Finnegan. (TOS novels: The Starless World, The Patrian Transgression; TOS episode: "Shore Leave") Kirk was on the Academy fencing team. (TOS comic: "The Flight of the Buccaneer") As an Academy cadet, Kirk flew a shuttle under the Golden Gate Bridge in a storm. (TOS - Strange New Worlds IV short story: "A Little More Action")
First year (2250-2251)
In early 2251, Kirk impressed his lecturers at the Starfleet Academy Lunar Station when he became the only student to pass the "bug-spot" event on his lunar carriage. (TOS novel: The Galactic Whirlpool)
Kirk gained officer's commission while still studying at the Academy, at the rank of ensign, and was assigned to a training mission aboard the USS Republic. While aboard, he prevented a near-fatal explosion when the baffle plate was left open to the atomic matter piles. Kirk knew that Benjamin Finney was responsible, and reported him to Captain Rollin Bannock. This action did not earn him any friends among his fellow cadets, and he earned a reputation as being a by-the-book snitch. (TOS - My Brother's Keeper novel: Republic; TOS episode & Star Trek 2 novelization: Court Martial)
Kirk spent several months aboard the Republic as a trainee navigator, during the Vulcanian Expedition, in which the Republic was one of several vessels that orbited Vulcan to showcase Starfleet to Vulcan nationals. (TOS novel: Strangers from the Sky)
Kirk also participated in the Axanar Peace Mission with Captain Bannock and the Republic; they persuaded the Axanarri to sign a peace treaty with the Federation and change the shape of the Federation-Klingon border. As a result of his participation, Kirk was awarded the Palm Leaf of Axanar and granted a lieutenancy in recognition of his achievement. (TOS novels: Republic, From the Depths)
Second year (2251-2252)
In his second year at Starfleet Academy, Kirk had earned enough respect from his instructors that he was assigned to teach a Federation History class to first-year cadets. After overhearing Cadet Gary Mitchell, a first-year, describe him as "a stack of books with legs," Kirk reassigned him to his class; despite some initial animosity between the two, they became great friends. Kirk and Mitchell often played racquetball together; the growing friendship helped Kirk overcome the feeling that he wasn't going to fail his sponsors, as well as learn to relax somewhat and not act like a "walking freezer unit," as Mitchell put it. (TOS - My Brother's Keeper novel: Republic)
In late 2251, Kirk and Mitchell were assigned to a training mission aboard the Republic for a two-week patrol of the Klingon Neutral Zone. When the cadets were ordered to their quarters by the captain, so that the senior staff could complete a secret mission, Mitchell persuaded Kirk to try to access the sensor logs to determine what happened. This drew the attention of Captain Bannock, who reprimanded the two cadets. A subsequent survey mission to Alpha Varangis was called off so that the Republic could attend the peace talks on the planet Heir'tzan. An assassination attempt to disrupt the talks was foiled thanks to the efforts of Mitchell, Kirk, and Phelana Yudrin (an Andorian with whom Kirk was having a relationship), who were then all commended by Bannock. (TOS - My Brother's Keeper novel: Republic)
Fourth year (2253-2254)
Around 2254, Kirk moved into the Starfleet Academy Command School. During this post-graduate schooling, he became the only cadet in Starfleet history to pass the Kobayashi Maru scenario. On his third attempt at the test, Kirk and fellow Starfleet cadet Ted Horner reprogrammed the simulation computers to allow him to contact the lead Klingon battle cruiser, the IKS Kh'yem, and reveal his identity. The simulated Klingons had been convinced through the reprogramming that Kirk was a legendary hero, leading Kozor, the Klingon commanding officer, to free Kirk's simulated USS Potemkin and escort him to the damaged freighter. At the conclusion of the eighteen-minute scenario, the SS Kobayashi Maru's captain, Kojiro Vance, invited Kirk to dinner as gratitude for the daring rescue. Kirk's lecturers were angry with this, with Admiral Walgren contemplating a possible court martial and Admirals Jublik and Zheng issuing ninety-nine demerits, just short of the expulsion-limit. Even after all of the criticism, Kirk was awarded a commendation for original thinking. (TOS movie & novelization: The Wrath of Khan; TOS novel: The Kobayashi Maru; TOS comic: "Star-Crossed"; TOS - Unlimited comic: "Action of the Tiger"; TOS short story: "A Test of Character")
Early Starfleet career
Aboard the Farragut (2254-2257)
Shortly after graduation, Kirk, along with his friend Vicki Leigh, was assigned to the USS Farragut, under the command of Captain Garrovick in 2254. For the first six months of his tour, Kirk was assigned to manage ship's stores in the cargo bay. By the end of the year, Kirk had earned the respect and trust of Captain Garrovick, and escorted the captain on his first survey mission to the planet Neural, where he made friends with a local man named Tyree. (TOS novelization & comic adaptation: The Ashes of Eden; TOS episode: "A Private Little War"; TOS comic: "Class Reunion")
By 2255, Kirk was assigned bridge duty at the weapons console. His knee was badly injured when the Farragut was ambushed by six pirate ships from Epsilon Canaris III. Despite the intense pain, he stayed at his post and the Farragut successfully repelled the pirates, and he was awarded the Decoration of Valor. (TOS novel: Crisis on Centaurus)
Two weeks after the battle, the Farragut put in at Starbase 7 so that Kirk could receive treatment for his injuries. He spent seven months undergoing treatment under the care of Dr. Leonard McCoy. Kirk and McCoy became great friends, and several times, the two officers visited McCoy's home on Centaurus and met McCoy's daughter, Joanna. (TOS novel: Crisis on Centaurus)
In early 2257, the crew of the Farragut was performing a survey of planet Tycho IV when they were attacked by the dikironium cloud creature. The attack left 200 crewmen dead, including Captain Garrovick and Faith Morgan. Despite blaming himself for the deaths, Kirk assumed command of the Farragut and ordered that the ship set a course for Starbase 16. (TOS - My Brother's Keeper novel: Constitution)
Twenty-four hours after the Farragut's crew was devastated by the cloud creature, Kirk had turned over command of the ship to Commander Art Chenowyth, Captain Garrovick's first officer. Kirk and one of the ship's passengers, a half-Romulan, half-Vulcan electronics engineer named T'Cel, were attempting to restore the ship's navigational sensors when the Farragut was again attacked, this time by durable, vicious aliens of unknown origin, unlike anything seen by Starfleet in the previous two centuries, who entered the ship's secondary hull via passenger-carrying projectiles and killed many of the remaining crew, including Kirk's friend, Diane Morwood and her entire damage control team. Kirk was critically wounded in the fighting, but managed to detonate the explosive bolts that triggered the separation of the Farragut's primary hull. T'Cel dragged him, rapidly losing blood, to an escape pod, through a running battle with the creatures. The pod jettisoned moments before the Farragut's weapons destroyed the secondary hull. (TOS comic: "Debt of Honor")
A field ionization effect that bloomed in the aftermath of the drive section's destruction inhibited the pod's communications. T'Cel piloted it to the nearby watchtower station construction site along the Romulan Neutral Zone, to which the Farragut had originally been transferring her. There, she tended to Kirk's injuries, and the two slept together. When a Romulan Bird-of-Prey approached the station, T'Cel placed Kirk in a stasis tube and attempted to draw the attention of the Romulans by departing in the pod, the computers of which she had reprogrammed to show herself as the only occupant. When Kirk returned to Earth, the Chief of Starfleet Operations informed him that Commander Chenowyth considered Kirk responsible for saving the ship, nearly at the cost of his own life. T'Cel's pod was found smashed by a collision with an asteroid. (TOS comic: "Debt of Honor")
Kirk was then part of the survey team that considered Modala for Federation membership. He believed that the Modalans need more seasoning before this would happen. After his return to Earth, Kirk took leave and visited Centaurus. He formed a business named Starstuck Inc., and purchased a valley on the planet, which he renamed Garrovick Valley, after his dead captain. He also had a cabin built there, which would serve as a retreat. (TOS - The Modala Imperative comic: "A Little Seasoning", TOS novel: Crisis on Centaurus)
Aboard the Constitution (2257-2258)
Following the damage to the Farragut and his leave on Centaurus, Kirk was assigned as second officer aboard the USS Constitution (NCC-1700), under the command of Captain Augenthaler. His old friend, Gary Mitchell, was also serving aboard the Constitution, as navigator.
On a mission to Sordinia IV in late 2257, Kirk was forced to assume command when the captain and first officer were stranded on the planet following an attack by N'shaii satellites. Still fighting with grief, Kirk managed to overcome this and rallied the Constitution's crew to overcome the N'shaii threat. A few months later, Dr. Leonard McCoy came aboard the Constitution as assistant CMO. (TOS - My Brother's Keeper novels: Constitution, Enterprise)
Road to command (2258-2263)
Lieutenant Kirk left the Constitution in mid-2258 for the USS Tresher, where he again served as second officer, under the command of Captain Wilhelm Schang. A few months later, Kirk transferred to the USS Aeolus to serve as second officer, with the rank of lieutenant commander. (TOS novels: Devil World, Enemy Unseen)
Kirk would take a position as a starship chief engineer during his rise through the ranks. He pointed out this fact to Scotty shortly after Kirk was assigned to replace Captain Christopher Pike, which caused Scotty to make some undistinguished remarks about Kirk's bragging. When Kirk told of those events to Saavik in a briefing he mentioned that he had overheard Scotty's remarks. This prompted the embarrassed Scott to apologize for what he had said twenty years earlier. (TOS - Star Trek Annual (DC first series) comic: "All Those Years Ago...")
Kirk was then assigned to the planet Shad in late 2258 as a line officer in command of 100 men, in response to a Klingon attempt to conquer the planet (likely during the draw-down phases of the Federation-Klingon war of 2256). He also served in an advisory capacity representing the Federation and built a close friendship with Shad's King Stevvin. (TOS novels: The Covenant of the Crown, The Face of the Unknown)
In 2259, Lieutenant Commander Kirk served as first officer aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard. Shortly after, he transferred to the USS Alexander to serve as first officer. Kirk was forced to assume command of the Alexander when his captain was killed battling the Klingons. (TOS novels: Corona, Crossroad)
In 2260, Commander Kirk transferred to the USS Eagle as first officer. Also serving aboard the Eagle was Carol Marcus, and the two resumed their relationship. Two months later, she left the Eagle, stating that Starfleet was too restricting for her; she had recently learned that she was pregnant. (TOS comic: "Star-Crossed")
In 2261, Kirk served as first officer aboard the USS Mizuki while continuing a long-distance relationship with Carol. When a soil re-engineering project she was working on was sabotaged, Carol requested Kirk's assistance as a liaison officer with the Starfleet team managing the crisis. Kirk eventually took command of the USS Aloia, a ship in drydock awaiting a crew, and used its transporters to help install a forcefield to contain the effect. Afterwards, Carol ended their relationship without telling Kirk she was expecting his son. (TOS novel: Inception)
Later in 2261, Kirk was recalled to Earth from the Eagle, along with Gary Mitchell. When Kirk visited Carol, he discovered that he had a young son, David. He wanted to stay with Carol and David, but was soon offered command of the USS Oxford. Kirk accepted the offer and asked Carol to marry him, but she refused and demanded that he stay out of her and David's lives. Upon becoming a captain, Kirk surpassed the earlier record for youth of 30 years, 7 months and 12 days set by Mark Rousseau. (TOS comic: "Loved Not Wisely"; (TOS - Star Trek: The Manga - Shinsei Shinsei comic: "Orphans"), TOS novel: The Better Man)
By 2263, Commander Kirk was in command of the USS Lydia Sutherland, with Lt. Commander Gary Mitchell serving as first officer. In late 2263, the Lydia Sutherland was assigned a contact mission to the planet Ghioghe. The result was a disaster, as several members of Kirk's landing party were killed and his ship was destroyed. It was thanks to the efforts of Mitchell that the two escaped via escape pod. The two officers were badly injured, and had to undergo regen therapy at the Starfleet Teaching Hospital under the care of Dr. McCoy. While at the hospital, Kirk briefly rekindled his romance with Carol, but the romance ended when he was offered command of the USS Enterprise, ironically the very ship he boarded when he was 16 years old. (TOS novel: Enterprise: The First Adventure)
Captain of the Enterprise: The First Five-Year Mission
Promotion to Captain (2264)
After undergoing months of regen therapy, Kirk was finally released from hospital in early 2264. During this time Admiral Harry Morrow had sponsored Kirk for his captaincy. (TOS novel: The Lost Years) On the promotion board, Commodore Robert Wesley voted against Kirk's promotion recommendation citing his lack of command experience, but Kirk was supported by such distinguished starship captains as Matthew Decker. (TOS novel: The Disinherited) In the end, Admiral Kimitake Noguchi appointed Kirk as the new captain of the USS Enterprise following the promotion of her previous commander, Christopher Pike, to Fleet Captain. At the age of thirty-one, Kirk became the youngest starship captain in Federation history up to that time.
Early in 2264, Janice Rand was assigned as Kirk's Personal Yeoman. In the beginning, Rand was very unsure of herself and her abilities, and ended up working constantly on all the paperwork that Kirk gave her. Later that year, Rand left the Enterprise to undergo more training as a Yeoman and was replaced by Barbara Smith. Smith and Kirk never took to each other, with Kirk constantly referring to her as "Jones." When Smith transferred off the Enterprise in 2265, Rand accepted her old position aboard the ship. (TOS novels: Enterprise: The First Adventure, Enterprise)
Before the Enterprise left Spacedock, Kirk ordered that the library computer aboard the Enterprise be upgraded to a storage capacity equaling that of the main computer at Starfleet Headquarters. (TOS novel: The Galactic Whirlpool)
The first mission of the Enterprise wasn't exactly what Kirk had hoped for. While Kirk hoped to be out exploring the depths of the galaxy, Noguchi decided that Kirk and crew needed time to get to know each other, so assigned them to transport the Warp-Speed Classic Vaudeville Company around the Federation Phalanx. Another put-down for Kirk was that his first choice for first officer, Gary Mitchell, was refused in favor of the Enterprise's science officer, Lt. Commander Spock. (TOS novel: Enterprise: The First Adventure)
Kirk also lead the first contact mission with spider civilization on Archernar IV with Commander Elizabeth Cassady and Mitchell. There he rescued Cassady from stampeding crawlers. (TOS comic: "Mission's End")
Despite being initially disappointed the three-month voyage around the Phalanx proved anything but boring, after being hunted by the renegade Klingon vessel Quundar and encountering a generation vessel. Kirk even had a brief romance with Amelinda Lukarian, manager of the vaudeville company, and began to build friendships with Spock and Lt. Commander Montgomery Scott, who had served under Pike and were initially dismissive of Kirk. (TOS novel: Enterprise: The First Adventure)
According to the elder Spock in TOS novelization: Star Trek, "In both our histories the same crew found its way onto the same ship in a time of ultimate crisis." This may imply that there is an untold story set in the prime timeline in which Kirk's crew faced an extremely serious challenge while still a new and untested unit.
Five months into his command, the Enterprise suffered her first casualty under Kirk's command. The Enterprise was ordered to intercept a warp 15-capable vessel near the Mandylion Rift and learn all they could about it. On arrival, they found that the Klingons, in the form of Commander Kaul and the IKS Vengeance, were also interested in the ship. The alien ship's commander issued Kirk and Kaul a challenge in order to gain the secrets of the ship. The new Enterprise Captain was overridden by his command staff in taking on the challenge himself, so he assigned the more qualified chief communications officer Lt. Hounslaw Tanaka to complete the challenge. He failed and died as Kirk's first crew loss as Captain. (TOS novel: Captain's Peril)
In early 2265, the past returned to haunt Kirk and Mitchell, when Admiral Ellen Mangione boarded the Enterprise at Starbase 31. She ordered the starship to a neutral world in the Klingon Neutral Zone in order to check on and upgrade the facilities needed to hold the Klingon renegades, the M'tachtar. The landing party was ambushed by the M'tachtar, who were able to quickly capture the Enterprise and beamed half the crew down to their prison, before heading to Qo'noS to meet with Emperor Grannoch. However, Kirk and his crew, with the help of Commander Kang, a young Lieutenant Kruge and the IKS Doj, managed to retake the starship. (TOS - My Brother's Keeper novel: Enterprise)
A couple of months later, Kirk was dealt a severely personal blow when he was forced to kill Mitchell on Delta Vega, following an encounter with the galactic barrier which gave Mitchell god-like powers. (TOS episode: "Where No Man Has Gone Before") He suffered emotionally for weeks afterwards, reflecting on his friend, before delivering his eulogy on Earth. (TOS novels: My Brother's Keeper, #1-3)
First year (2265-2266)
Following a major refit in mid-2265, the Enterprise began a five-year mission of exploration under Kirk's command. Immediately after being re-launched, the Enterprise was dispatched to Timshel to try and discover the reason behind the planet's self-imposed quarantine. Given his past experience on Timshel, Kirk beamed down alone and found his old friend Kemal Marouk. He discovered that the natives of Timshel were now slaves to the Joy Machine, who granted them a "payday" for a job well done. With the help of the local resistance, Kirk successfully introduced a computer virus into the Joy Machine, and liberated the planet. (TOS novel: The Joy Machine)
Second year (2266-2267)
The second year of the mission contained both triumphs and tragedies for Kirk. While performing a star-mapping mission in unexplored territory, the Enterprise was the first Federation starship to encounter the First Federation, in the form of Commander Balok of the Fesarius. A few weeks later, the Enterprise successfully defended the Romulan Neutral Zone outposts from the first Romulan incursion in 107 years, and identified the Romulans as Vulcanoids. (TOS episodes: "The Corbomite Maneuver", "Balance of Terror")
The tragedies that also gripped Kirk this year included the creation of an evil self created by a transporter accident while transporting up from Alfa 177, the loss of control when infected by the Psi 2000 virus, being subjected to the neural neutralizer on Tantalus V, and the unmasking of Kodos the Executioner. (TOS episodes: "The Enemy Within", "The Naked Time", "Dagger of the Mind", "The Conscience of the King")
- The novel, "The Captain's Daughter" reveals that Janice Rand left the Enterprise because she was pregnant with a child who she, conjecturally, believed was fathered by Kirk's evil half during "The Enemy Within." Annie Rand was born in 2267, but died two years later of 'illness.'
In late 2266, with war with the Klingon Empire only months away, Kirk became a target for assassination, and the Klingons sent Agent Kell, in the guise of Ensign Jon Anderson, to fulfill that job. However, after a protracted engagement with the Orions in System 1324, Kirk saved Anderson's life, and Anderson began to appreciate that humans were honorable. (TOS - Errand of Vengeance novel: The Edge of the Sword) A few weeks later, the Enterprise was assigned to get Starbase 42 operational again, which resulted in a battle with Klingon forces. Kirk and the Enterprise put up a valiant fight, and the Klingons were forced to withdraw, but not without heavy losses on both sides, including Anderson. (TOS - Errand of Vengeance novel: River of Blood)
In early 2267, Kirk faced a court-martial on Starbase 11 for the murder of Ben Finney. It was later revealed that Finney had faked his death and reprogrammed the computer to frame Kirk in revenge for reporting him aboard the Republic. (TOS episode: "Court Martial")
On stardate 3012.4, Kirk then returned to Modala for another survey to see if the planet and it's people were ready to join the Federation. Kirk took Ensign Pavel Chekov to check on Modala's progress. Unfortunately, a faction known as the Krisaia with weapon support from a unknown party, had control of the local government. After a bombing attack by rebels, Kirk and Checkov were then taken prisoner by the police as suspected rebels. (TOS - The Modala Imperative comics: "A Little Seasoning", "Tools of Tyranny", "The Price of Freedom", "For Whom the Bell Tolls")
A few weeks later, Kirk was drawn into hand-to-hand combat with the Gorn by the powerful Metrons. He was about to kill the Gorn captain in revenge for the attack on Cestus III, but stopped which impressed the Metrons and the Gorn. (TOS episode: "Arena")
On stardate 3141.9, the Enterprise encountered the sleeper ship SS Botany Bay, the ship used Khan Noonien Singh and his Augments to escape Earth following the Eugenics Wars. Following their revival, Khan and his followers tried to take the Enterprise, but were stopped by Kirk. Following the incident, Kirk left Khan and his followers on the planet Ceti Alpha V, a primitive world that Khan hoped to tame. Despite words of caution from Mr. Scott, Kirk took Khan, his crew, McGivers, and the Botany Bay to Ceti Alpha V. Before beaming back up, Kirk wished him luck. (TOS episode: "Space Seed"; TOS novel: To Reign in Hell: The Exile of Khan Noonien Singh; TOS comic: "Khan: Ruling in Hell")
In mid-2267, war with the Klingons was declared and the Enterprise was ordered to secure the planet Organia. Kirk and Spock became stranded on the planet when Commander Kor and a Klingon task force invaded. The war was ended when the non-corporeal Organians forced both sides to sign the Organian Peace Treaty. (TOS episode: "Errand of Mercy")
A few weeks later, the Enterprise crew discovered the Guardian of Forever on planet Gateway. Kirk and Spock followed McCoy (suffering from cordrazine-induced madness) into the 1930s. Kirk fell in love with Edith Keeler, but was forced to watch her die to preserve his future. On returning to 2267, Kirk went home to Earth to consider leaving Starfleet. (TOS episode: "The City on the Edge of Forever"; TOS novel: Final Frontier)
A few weeks later, personal tragedy struck Kirk when his brother George Samuel Kirk, Jr. and his wife Aurelan were killed by neural parasites on Deneva. Thankfully, all of Kirk's nephews survived; the Enterprise rescued Peter from Deneva, while Julius and Alexander were on Earth visiting their grandmother. (TOS episode: "Operation -- Annihilate!"; TOS novels: Gemini, The Last Roundup)
Third year (2267-2268)
The third year of the mission was no less eventful for Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise. Historians by the 25th century view this period in Kirk's mid-career with much scrutiny. His first contact with the ancient vaults of Arret led to the published bio, Risk Is Our Business, taken from his speech about Sargonian technology. (TOS episode: "Return to Tomorrow", TNG novel: Imzadi)
Following a successful mission in obtaining mineral rights for topaline on Capella IV, the Enterprise crew and the Capellans had to fight off a Klingon invasion. Thankfully the attack was stopped by General Kellen, who then requested Kirk's help in repelling the first of the invasions from the Furies. While the Klingons tried to destroy the Fury vessel Rath outright, Kirk tried to communicate and negotiate. However, when it was revealed that the Furies were from the Beta Quadrant and that they wanted Earth, the Enterprise was forced to join the Klingons in destroying the Rath. (TOS - Star Trek: Invasion! novel: First Strike)
A few weeks later, Kirk was forced to go against Starfleet orders to attend the inauguration ceremonies on Altair VI, in order to return Commander Spock to Vulcan. Spock was suffering from pon farr and needed to mate with T'Pring. When she rejected him, Spock and Kirk were forced to fight to the death; it was only due to Leonard McCoy's medical intervention that both competitors survived. (TOS episode: "Amok Time")
Soon after, the Enterprise headed for planet Nador to monitor the Nadorians' vote to join the Federation. The Enterprise was attacked by terrorists, and an attempted assassination attempt on Nador's rulers, Abon and Delor, complicated matters. Things got worse, when Kirk's nephew Peter was captured by the terrorists. However, Kirk and the Enterprise crew rescued him and stopped the terrorists. (TOS novel: Gemini)
A few months later, the Enterprise and the Farragut were ordered to the former Federation colony on Signi Beta, now under the control of the Klingons. On arrival at the colony, they found the colonists under attack by Narr vessels. Soon after, the IKS Klothos, under the command of Kor, arrived, and the three vessels joined forces to repel the invasion. Before there was too much bloodshed, Kirk discovered that the Narr had claimed the planet centuries earlier; he managed to negotiate an agreement between the Klingons and the Narr. In the Klingon Empire, this day is celebrated as the Day of Honor. (TOS novel: Treaty's Law)
Fourth year (2268-2269)
Around stardate 4842.6, the Enterprise was pursuing an asteroid that was due to collide with the planet Amerind. Kirk led a small landing party to the surface and discovered a group of American Indians living on the planet. Further investigations led to the discovery of an obelisk on the surface; when Kirk activated the obelisk, his memory was wiped. With the captain missing, Spock took the Enterprise and tried to divert the asteroid. In the intervening 59 days, Kirk was accepted by the Native Americans and became husband to Miramanee and father of her child. When the Enterprise returned, they were able to restore Kirk's memory and, using the advanced Preserver technology inside the obelisk, were able to repel the asteroid. However, Miramanee and their unborn child were killed in an attack by the tribe. (TOS episode: "The Paradise Syndrome")
A few weeks later, Kirk ordered the Enterprise to cross the Romulan Neutral Zone; despite some reservations from the crew, his orders were carried out. Shortly after entering Romulan space, they were surrounded by a small fleet of D7 battle cruisers. Kirk and Spock were taken prisoner by Subcommander Tal and were debriefed by Commander Dion Chavron. Chavron was able to win Spock over to her side, and he declared that Kirk was mentally unstable. When Kirk attacked Spock, he performed the Vulcan "death grip" on him and killed him.
In actuality, Kirk and Spock were performing a mission for Starfleet Intelligence to obtain a cloaking device. When Kirk's "body" was beamed back aboard the Enterprise for an autopsy, Dr. McCoy performed surgery on Kirk and transformed him into a Romulan. As a Romulan, Kirk was able to capture the cloaking device, rescue Spock, and take Chavron prisoner. The Enterprise then managed to escape using the cloak. (TOS episode: "The Enterprise Incident"; TOS - Star Trek: Section 31 novel: Cloak)
A few weeks later, Kirk and a landing party visited Careta IV. While investigating an ancient site, Kirk and the bulk of the landing party were transformed into Kh!lict, a race of arachnids once native to the planet, by a transporter device. While the bulk of the landing party was soon overtaken by their arachnid identities, Kirk fought to retain control and was able to contact Spock and work out a solution to their problem. Eventually, Kirk and most of the party were returned to normal; however, a couple of crewmembers died. (TOS novel: Windows on a Lost World)
In early 2269, Kirk's mind was transferred into the body of Dr. Janice Lester, while Dr. Lester transferred her mind into his, following a visit to Camus II. While Lester assumed control of the Enterprise, Kirk was confined to sickbay and kept sedated after allegedly attempting to attack the captain. Eventually, Lester's increasingly irrational actions led Spock and the senior staff to call a competency hearing against him. The panic of the hearing made Lester and Kirk's personalities begin reverting to their true bodies. Once the staff led a full mutiny, Lester's personality exited Kirk's body for good. (TOS episode: "Turnabout Intruder")
Also in 2269, Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise led the liberation of the native people of Maltos IV. Kirk consulted with the Wise Ones of the natives and convinced them to lead a rebellion against their Klingon overlords. Kirk and his crew then became the featuring stars in the Book of Fulfillment, a religious scroll detailing the liberation of the Maltos IV natives. (TOS - Strange New Worlds 9 short story: "Book of Fulfillment")
Fifth year (2269-2270)
In 2270, Kirk foiled the attempted military coup of the Federation by Vice Admiral Vaughan Rittenhouse. What became known as the "Rittenhouse scandal" and its aftermath created a public loss of faith in Starfleet Command and many holes in the power structure of the Admiralty. Respected Admiral Heihachiro Nogura came out of retirement to help restore the public's trust in Starfleet and, upon the end of Kirk's historic five-year mission, sought to promote Kirk to the Admiralty, believing that Kirk's name would help restore the Admiralty's lost luster. Kirk initially resisted and even threatened to resign, but eventually took a position that Nogura described as a "Diplomatic Troubleshooter" working with Vice Admiral Lori Ciana. Kirk accepted the promotion following the apparent "disappearance" of Archernar IV and the Archernarians. (TOS - Fortunes of War novels: Dreadnought!, Battlestations!; TOS - The Lost Years novel:; TOS comic: "Mission's End")
Desk job (2270-2273)
Admiral Kirk recommended Willard Decker, son of Commodore Matthew Decker, to replace him as captain of the Enterprise while the ship underwent an extensive refit at the San Francisco Fleet Yards. In the time that followed, Kirk was assigned Special Diplomatic Division, headed by Vice Admiral Lori Ciana. She had successfully lobbied for Kirk to join her department so that he could teach her all of the diplomatic tricks and traits he perfected during the five years he commanded the Enterprise. While Kirk didn't want to be tied to the Admiralty, Ciana was able to persuade him by promising to do everything possible for Kirk to command the Enterprise again when the refit was completed. In 2270, Kirk requested that Kevin Riley be promoted to lieutenant commander and serve as his aide at Starfleet Headquarters. Despite some concern from Admiral Heihachiro Nogura, he relented and Riley accepted. Kirk also pushed for a program that lifted the unofficial restrictions against female starship captains. (TOS novel: The Lost Years; TOS comic: "Mission's End")
- Numerous FASA RPG supplements claim Kirk was promoted to commodore prior to assignment to Starfleet's Operating Forces Board and a subsequent promotion to admiral.
The V'Ger Incident
In 2273, Earth was threatened by the approaching entity V'Ger, an energy cloud assimilating information from (and destroying) objects in its path. The only starship positioned to intercept it was the Enterprise, her refit nearly complete but still awaiting trial runs. After convincing Admiral Nogura that he was the best man to meet the threat, Kirk rushed the Enterprise into service, assuming the rank of captain for the duration of the mission. Willard Decker, now demoted to first officer, regarded Kirk's command as an insult and a mistake, and pointed to his recent desk service and unfamiliarity with the ship's new systems.
The entity proved to be the 20th century NASA space probe Voyager VI, having amassed great power and self-awareness in its travels. Kirk granted Decker's wish to merge with the V'Ger entity through the simulacrum of his lover Ilia, thereby uniting V'Ger's mechanical nature with its human origins. The union resulted in the birth of a radically new, and benign, life-form. (TOS movie, novelization & comic adaptation: The Motion Picture)
Second five-year mission (2273-2278)
In 2273, Kirk took the opportunity to tell the story of his Kobayashi Maru test to several of his senior staff while they were stranded aboard a drifting shuttlecraft following an accident. (TOS novel: The Kobayashi Maru) When a child was killed by a plasma grenade during a fight between Klingons and an Enterprise landing party on Cragon V, Weyland, the omnipotent ruler of the planet, punished Kirk by sending Sulu, Scotty and Chekov back in time. He also rendered the engines of the Enterprise and the Klingon vessel inoperative, causing their orbits to decay. Kirk convinced Kral, the Klingon commander, to make an alliance with him to convince Weyland to restore control to their ships. Pleasantly surprised by the honorable actions of Kirk's officers in the past and by Kirk and Kral's willingness to work together, Weyland eventually returned the three men to the Enterprise and restored control to the two ships. Kirk and Kral both reported to their respective commands that Cragon V should be avoided in the future. (TOS novel: Home Is the Hunter)
In 2275, the Enterprise, under Kirk's command, tested the inversion drive, a propulsion system developed by Hamalki and Vulcan scientists that could send a starship to any point in the universe in literally no time at all. Using the inversion drive, the Enterprise became the first Starfleet vessel to travel beyond the Lesser Magellanic Cloud. Unfortunately, the drive proved to cause damage to the fabric of space-time, and the Enterprise returned to the Milky Way after the damage was repaired through the self-sacrifice of the Hamalki physicist K't'lk. During these events, Kirk conducted an extravehicular activity in intergalactic space, and he and his crew underwent bizarre experiences that revealed their inner natures to themselves and to each other more fully than ever before. (TOS novel: The Wounded Sky)
Shortly afterwards, Kirk was directed by Starfleet Command to lead a task force consisting of Enterprise, the USS Intrepid, the USS Constellation and the USS Inaieu to the border of the Romulan Neutral Zone. While on patrol, the Enterprise was contacted by ChR Bloodwing, a Romulan vessel with which Kirk and his crew had skirmished in the past. Bloodwing's commander, Ael t'Rllaillieu, beamed aboard the Enterprise and revealed that the Romulans were carrying out a horrific research project at Levaeri V: The brain tissue of living Vulcans was being harvested to enable Romulans to gain enhanced versions of Vulcan telepathic abilities. Ael proposed towing Enterprise back into Romulan space to make it appear that she had defeated and captured Kirk's vessel, thus allowing them to travel to Levaeri V and destroy the project. Kirk objected, but had no choice but to go along when the Intrepid disappeared, its all-Vulcan crew captured by the Romulans in furtherance of the research project. Kirk and Ael, along with their respective crews, ultimately succeeded in rescuing the crew of the Intrepid and terminating the Levaeri V project, despite an attempt by Ael's son Tafv to seize the Enterprise in revenge for his cousin Charvanek, the Romulan commander Kirk and Spock had previously deceived. (TOS novel: My Enemy, My Ally)
Twelve years after his visit to Sigma Iotia II, Kirk was visited in his San Francisco apartment by a private detective from that planet, who had been hired to bring him his "cut". (TOS - Strange New Worlds IV short story: "A Little More Action") Kirk retired from Starfleet in 2282. (Last Unicorn RPG module: All Our Yesterdays: The Time Travel Sourcebook)
Return to the Desk Job (2284-2285)
Wrath of Khan
By 2285, Kirk was still serving as an instructor at Starfleet Academy, reviewing the performance of cadets taking the Kobayashi Maru scenario and participating in the occasional training cruise aboard the USS Enterprise, which was now captained by Spock.
It was on one of these training voyages that Kirk had his second encounter with Khan Noonien Singh, who had escaped from Ceti Alpha V (which had been turned into a barren waste following the destruction of its sister world Ceti Alpha VI) and commandeered the USS Reliant in his quest for revenge upon Kirk. Khan had hoped to use the stolen Genesis device, created by Carol and David Marcus, and use it in his plans of galactic conquest. Kirk managed to stop Khan, but at a great price: Spock sacrificed his life to save the Enterprise when Khan detonated the device. (TOS movie, novelization & comic adaptation: The Wrath of Khan)
Following the incident with Khan, Kirk successfully lobbied Starfleet Grand Admiral Stephen Turner for command of the USS Enterprise. Given the controversial nature of the Genesis incident, it is likely that Turner preferred that Kirk and crew be far away from Earth when the questions that the Genesis incident brought up were asked.
Shortly after regaining command of the Enterprise, Kirk, Lieutenant Saavik, and Ensign Nancy Bryce successfully destroyed an experimental Klingon space station located in wormhole space with the assistance of the pacifist Klingon defector Konom. Shortly afterwards, Kirk and Klingon commander Kor confronted the Organians and Excalbians on Organia where it was discovered that the recent aggression on both sides of the conflict was the result of Excalbian manipulation of both sides. The incident ended with the Organians and Excalbians in conflict, and the apparent end of the enforced peace imposed by the Organians. (TOS - To Boldly Go comics: "The Wormhole Connection", "... The Only Good Klingon...", "Errand of War!", "Deadly Allies!")
After the war ended, Kirk and the Enterprise was sent Beta Epsilon VI to look for survivors of the USS Valor. Once there, Kirk, Dr. McCoy, Lts. Saavik, Sherwood and Ensign Bearclaw beamed down to the surface. There they found only 1 survivor Capt. Phillip Hodges there, who was being worshiped as a god-like figure. When Hodges was kidnapped, Kirk, the landing party and Hodge's wife Lylla then went to look for them. After rescuing Hodges, Kirk, the landing party, Capt. Hodge and his wife then left with the Enterprise. Afterwards, Kirk and the Enterprise was ordered to take Ambassador Robert Fox to peace conference between the Klingon Empire and the Federation. Unfortunately, an agent of the Orion Victory League who was the ambassador's own Daughter came aboard and tried to kill the ambassador. Luckily, Kirk and his crew were able to save the ambassador and his daughter along with negotiations.TOS - To Boldly Go comics: "Mortal Gods", "Who Is... Enigma?")
Several weeks later, the Enterprise came into conflict with a contingent of Romulan scientists attempting to re-create the events that gave Gary Mitchell his god-like powers. The Romulans were successful, but Kirk managed to lure the Romulan vessel and all of their empowered Romulans into the galactic barrier, where their navigation and propulsion proved useless, and they wandered aimlessly within the barrier, never to emerge. (DC Comics issues 7-8)
Search For Spock
The USS Enterprise returned to Earth to repair its battle damage when Kirk learned from Starfleet Admiral Harry Morrow that the Enterprise was to be decommissioned. Kirk had hoped to take the ship back to the Genesis Planet, but Morrow forbade him to go.
When it was determined that Spock had left his katra (the essence of his memories and life) within the mind of Dr. McCoy, and that McCoy's sanity was dependent upon the retrieval of Spock's body, Kirk and his crew stole the Enterprise from spacedock and went to Genesis in spite of their orders. When the Enterprise arrived at Genesis, they discovered that a Klingon Bird-of-Prey had destroyed the attendant science vessel, the USS Grissom, and that the Klingons, led by a commander named Kruge, were holding Kirk's son David Marcus, Saavik, and Spock (who had been miraculously regenerated by the unique nature of the Genesis Planet) hostage.
Kirk managed to keep Genesis out of the hands of the Klingons, but at the price of the Enterprise herself, and the life of his son. Kirk returned Spock and McCoy to Vulcan in Kruge's Bird-of-Prey, where the fal-tor-pan ritual was performed to restore both Spock and McCoy. (TOS movie, novelization & comic adaptation: The Search for Spock)
Return to the mirror universe
Soon after, Kirk and crew left the recuperating Spock on Vulcan with his family and left in the captured Bird-of-Prey to travel to Regula One, to inform Carol Marcus of David's death, and then to return to Earth to answer for their actions. They were met by the USS Excelsior under the command of Captain Lawrence Styles, who was under orders to return Kirk to Earth. The Excelsior soon came under attack from the ISS Enterprise and James T. Kirk from one of the variant Mirror Universes.
The mirror Kirk took command of the Excelsior while the primary Kirk and his crew managed to take control of the mirror Enterprise. When the mirror Kirk realized what primary Kirk had done, he attacked the Enterprise, but after a fierce retaliation, the mirror Kirk remote-accessed the Enterprise's computer and activated its auto destruct sequence. With this Enterprise's auto-destruct sequence being irreversible, Kirk manages to escape by separating the saucer section at the moment of destruction. After that near-escape, Kirk managed to disable the Excelsior by disintegrating key components with his ship's Tantalus field. After securing Excelsior from its invaders, Kirk again defied orders and took the Excelsior into the Mirror Universe in order to hopefully forestall their plans of invasion.
Kirk masqueraded as the mirror Kirk and pretended to have brought the Excelsior as a prize of war and an example of their foes' highest technology. He was soon joined by both the mirror Spock and the Spock of his own universe (whose mental instability was corrected after a mind-meld with his mirror counterpart and that same mind-meld freed the mirror Spock of what he described as an irrational hatred of his counterpart and all he stood for). Kirk asserted that he would use the Excelsior to spearhead the coming invasion, while in fact he was working with the mirror Earth's underground movement working to topple the Terran Empire, a rebellion led by the mirror Kirk's son, David Marcus.
Kirk managed to use energy neutralizing technology to render the fleets of that universe's Terran, Klingon and Romulan Empires, and delivered the Terran ships to the mirror David of the Terran Resistance. With the fleets' deactivation, Kirk and the Excelsior returned to their home dimension. (DC Comics #9-15 The Mirror Universe Saga)
When Kirk and the Excelsior returned from the Mirror Universe, Kirk and his crew found that they still had to face charges from Starfleet Command for their actions. Kirk leaked word of their foiling the Mirror Universe invasion to Andorian reporter Lyndra Dean of the Proxima News Service. The following swell of public support for Kirk made it politically unwise for Starfleet to pursue charges against Kirk at that time. Instead, Admiral Turner gave Kirk temporary command of the Excelsior in order to work out the many bugs that popped up in the design. In order to keep a watch on Spock's condition, he was given command of the science vessel, the USS Surak. (DC Comics first series #16)
Kirk captained the Excelsior for nearly a year. In that time, his missions included a return confrontation with the entity known as Redjac, first contact with the Ajar and the Grond, and mediating conflicts on the mining colony known as "Magellan's World." (DC Comics first series 22-23, 24-25, 31-32)
When the Excelsior discovered the Surak on a collision course with a sun and all of the crew except Spock dead of a mysterious ailment, Kirk followed the trail of the infection all the way into the Romulan Empire. Hoping to save lives, even Romulan lives, Kirk ordered the Excelsior into Romulan space. Once there, Kirk worked with a Romulan commander to find a cure for the mysterious Doomsday Bug. Despite Kirk's success, Starfleet was still enraged over Kirk's violating the Neutral Zone, and decided that it was finally time to make Kirk accountable to the litany of charges against him. However, Spock's exposure to the mysterious disease reversed the stabilizing influence on Spock's mind that came from the mind-meld with the mirror Spock. Kirk and his command crew abandoned the Excelsior in the Bird-of-Prey, and returned Spock to Vulcan for treatment. (DC Comics first series 34-36)
In early 2286, three months into their Vulcan exile, Kirk and his crew decided to return to Earth and face the charges against them. They were joined by Spock, who was determined to testify on Kirk's behalf. While Kirk and crew were on their way to Earth via the Bird-of-Prey, Earth was approached by an alien probe that neutralized all technology and threatened to ionize Earth's atmosphere in its attempts to communicate with a long-extinct Earth species, the humpback whale.
After receiving a planetary distress call from Federation President Hiram Roth, Kirk took the Bird-of-Prey through a slingshot maneuver to travel back through time and retrieve a pair of humpback whales from the 20th century. Kirk was successful, again saving Earth and making it politically unwise for Starfleet to prosecute Kirk. Kirk was, however, "punished" by being demoted to the rank of captain, and was given command of the newly minted USS Enterprise-A. (TOS movie, novelization & comic adaptation: The Voyage Home)
The shakedown cruise of the Enterprise-A was nearly cut tragically short when a religious zealot sabotaged the vessel's warp engines, intending to kill Kirk for "crimes against man and God." Fortunately, Kirk's crew was as adept as they ever were, and they managed to undo the sabotage before it was irreversible. (TOS comic: "Choices!")
Several weeks later, Kirk and the Enterprise-A returned to Gamma Trianguli VI twenty years after Kirk destroyed the planet-controlling computer, Vaal. Without Vaal's influence, Gamma Trianguli VI's indigenous had regressed into near-savagery. Kirk was forced to admit his earlier error, and Spock managed to re-activate Vaal while still granting the local population more freedom of thought and action than was previously available under Vaal. (TOS comics: "Paradise Lost!", "Past Perfect", "Devil Down Below")
Soon after, Kirk was sent in to investigate when Klingon outposts and ships were attacked by what appeared to be the Federation starship USS Zephyr under the command of Captain Phil Burroughs. Kirk stopped the renegade vessel, but a corpse that had been dead for two weeks was identified as that of Captain Burroughs, adding another layer to the mystery of who was behind the attacks.
In early 2287, an attempt was made on Kirk's life by a person that Kirk identified as Ensign William Bearclaw, a discipline case that Kirk had recently put up for transfer. Kirk had begun to reconsider his accusation as new evidence was uncovered when the real assassin, the shape-shifting Garth of Izar, revealed himself. Garth had impersonated Bearclaw and also taken the identity of Captain Burroughs; he was embittered at his lack of upward movement in Starfleet following his rehabilitation, and blamed Kirk for his status. (DC Comics first series 48-55; Who Killed Captain Kirk? compilation)
The Planet of Galactic Peace
The Enterprise-A returned to Earth following her shakedown cruise so that Montgomery Scott could track down the numerous bugs that popped up. Kirk was taking shore leave in Yosemite National Park when the call about an emergency on Nimbus III (aka "The Planet of Galactic Peace") came in. The ruling council, consisting of a human, a Klingon, and a Romulan, had been kidnapped by a Vulcan named Sybok.
The Enterprise-A raced to Nimbus III, only to have the ship taken over by Sybok, who employed a mysterious mental power on the Enterprise-A's crew. Sybok took the Enterprise-A through the barrier at the center of the galaxy, hoping to release The One, whom Sybok believed to be a god-like being. The One killed Sybok, and was about to do the same to Kirk when Kirk was rescued by Spock and General Korrd of the Klingon Defense Force. (TOS movie, novelization & comic adaptation: The Final Frontier)
While on their way to Casmus III, the Enterprise-A encountered a Nasgulian refugee from a pursuing vessel acting on orders from the Salla, the leader of the Nasgul. Kirk was forced to destroy the vessel when it would not stand down. When the Salla later contacted the Enterprise-A about the Nasgul refugee that they rescued, Kirk was shocked when the refugee died simply because the Salla told him to do so. The Salla then pronounced a sentence of death upon Kirk, who inconsiderately refused to die. With this, Kirk offended the leader of a race that was widely considered to be fanatics.
A short time later, Klingon Ambassador Kamarag announced to the Federation and the galaxy at large that the Klingon Empire would pay a bounty of ten million credits for the head of James T. Kirk. When the Salla arrived and also demanded the head of Kirk, a bidding war began between the two parties with sums eventually exceeding 22 million credits for Kirk. This caused many problems for Kirk, including a planetary leader who attempted to barter the lives of his own people for Kirk's surrender, and an encounter with the notorious bounty hunter called Sweeney.
The Trial of James T. Kirk
A compromise was struck with Kamarag and the Salla, and Starfleet agreed to try Kirk for multiple infractions of Starfleet regulations. Kirk was defended at his trial by Samuel T. Cogley and Areel Shaw. Amongst those who testified were Leonard James Akaar, Bela Oxmyx and R.J. Blaise. The trial ended with all charges dropped after Kirk realized that the Salla was attempting to kill everyone at the proceedings with a bomb hidden in the sash of the Klingon Chancellor*, saving the life of the Chancellor and the rest of the attending dignitaries.
- *The Chancellor was referred to as the "Emperor" in this story, which is inconsistent with what TNG established in the episode "Rightful Heir".
Shortly before the bounty hunter business, when Kirk came up with what he thought was an elegant, if extremely unorthodox, solution to a diplomatic situation on Chronian III (beaming a planetary leader, who beat a Federation ambassador near to death and was impeding the peace process, to a remote sector of the planet and allowing his people to believe him dead), Starfleet felt compelled to reign Kirk in a bit by assigning a diplomatic officer named R.J. Blaise to the ship.
Kirk's maverick style and Blaise's by-the-book mentality put the two of them at odds on several occasions, a situation made worse for both of them by their obvious attraction to the other. Blaise remained with Kirk and the Enterprise-A throughout Kirk's trial, but left a few weeks later during Kirk's encounter with the legendary Worthy, feeling that her feelings for Kirk were undermining her ability to do her job. (DC Comics second series 1-15; Death Before Dishonor; The Trial of James T. Kirk (collection))
Once a hero
While on a mission investigating the loss of Federation freighter Arcade in 2287, Kirk led a landing party on Dinar IV, where his team discovered the lost starship. When the team was confronted by the raiders who had grounded the vessel, Security Officer Thomas Lee was killed by a disruptor blast during the firefight. In delivering Lee's eulogy, Kirk expressed frustration at the number of men lost under his command over the years, and his extreme regret at not knowing anything about a young man who had saved his life. (TOS comic: "Once a Hero!")
Kirk continued in command of the Enterprise-A until the year 2293, when he announced his retirement. The last mission of Kirk's command, an overture of peace with Chancellor Gorkon of the Klingon Empire, went disastrously wrong when a cloaked Bird-of-Prey, commanded by the renegade General Chang, attacked Gorkon's ship, killing the Chancellor and leaving the blame on Kirk. Kirk and Dr. Leonard McCoy were tried by the Klingons for the Chancellor's assassination and sentenced to life imprisonment at the penal colony of Rura Penthe. Kirk and McCoy were rescued from Rura Penthe by Spock, who defied orders to mount the rescue. Soon afterwards, at the Khitomer conference, Kirk saved the life of Klingon Chancellor Azetbur and uncovered a conspiracy between Chang, Starfleet Admiral Lance Cartwright, and Romulan Ambassador Nanclus to maintain the current state of hostility by assassinating the leaders suing for peace. Kirk was exonerated in the eyes of the Klingons, and a new era began between the two powers. (TOS movie, novelization & comic adaptation: The Undiscovered Country)
- See also: Kirk in death
In 2293, Kirk was lost (and officially listed as dead) when the newest USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-B) was damaged by an energy beam known as the Nexus, which he entered. In this alternate plane of existence, he was persuaded by Captain Jean-Luc Picard from the year 2371 to return to Veridian III in the "real" universe and stop Tolian Soran from sacrificing 230 million lives in order for him to re-enter the Nexus. During the final battle, Kirk was able to retrieve and activate a cloaking control device from a damaged construction span, enabling Picard to sabotage Soran's plans. However, the span collapsed, causing Kirk to fall to his death. Picard buried Kirk using a pile of rocks, leaving Kirk's Starfleet insignia on one of the rocks as the only indication as to who was buried there. (TNG movie, novelization & comic adaptation: Generations)
- (In the original version of Generations, Soran killed Kirk by shooting him in the back. This ending was changed after negative reactions from test audiences. The revised death was still not well-received by fans, but nevertheless became canon.)
In 2370, Montgomery Scott suffered from guilt over having lost Kirk and being out of place in the universe; now retired from Starfleet and utilizing the shuttlecraft Goddard, he obtained a B'rel-class Klingon bird-of-prey, christening it the Bounty II and used the gravity of the Arhennius star to slingshot back in time to 2293. At the same moment when the hull of the Enterprise-B breached, Scott beamed the Captain out, preventing his entrance to the Nexus. As Kirk was not taken through time to assist Captain Picard, the timeline shifted to a universe where the Borg now controlled some of the Alpha Quadrant, including the Sol system. Kirk immediately chastised Scott for his decision, but expected that the two of them could return the flow of time to its proper course.
Kirk and Scott were picked up by the Sarek of the altered timeline, now leader of the interstellar Alliance. Originally, Kirk suspected that Sarek was part of a plot to deceive him, but after being presented with sensor recordings of the Goddard appearing out of nowhere, came to the realization that they were in an alternate universe. After Kirk saved Sarek's life from an assassination attempt, they came to trust each other, and Kirk suggested they could consult the Guardian of Forever to determine where the timelines diverged and how to correct it. After Picard and the Enterprise-D rendezvoused with Sarek's ship, and the Borg started to seek out Picard to kill him, Kirk suspected it was his death that would save the timeline; however, Guinan insisted he could not die, but must be returned to the Nexus. The Enterprise was able to avoid destruction long enough to return Kirk to the Nexus, and the timeline returned to normal. (Star Trek novel: Engines of Destiny)
Once again, the story of James T. Kirk did not end with his death. One month after the events on Veridian III in 2371, Starfleet Intelligence extracted Ambassador Spock from Romulus to serve as part of an honor guard transporting Kirk's body back to Earth. However, the USS Farragut was ambushed in orbit and Kirk's remains were beamed aboard the Romulan warbird Avatar of Tomed by Commander Salatrel, the granddaughter of Keras, the first Romulan commander that Kirk had fought.
Seeking to restore her family's honor through vengeance, Salatrel and her dissident group allied themselves with the Borg and, using a combination of Borg nanotechnology and a Guardian of Forever-like "ark", they captured Kirk's brainwaves (or katra) at the moment of his death, and revived him in the present. Salatrel and her former consort, now Vox of Borg, brainwashed Kirk into hunting down Jean-Luc Picard, the only human the Collective viewed as a threat.
Searching for Picard, Kirk assaulted Worf on Qo'noS, and Data and Geordi La Forge on Trilex, but subconsciously resisted the directives to kill them. He was eventually captured on Deep Space 9. Admiral Leonard McCoy and Dr. Julian Bashir were able to remove the Borg implant controlling Kirk's mind, but the nanites in his system were still killing him as they rewrote his DNA.
Kirk was cured of the brainwashing through a group Vulcan mind meld with Spock and Picard, and they learned that each of them held a piece to the mystery surrounding the Borg. Aboard the USS Monitor (temporarily rechristened the Enterprise), using a transwarp engine recovered from New Titan, Kirk and the others traveled to the Borg homeworld in the Delta Quadrant, the same planet that V'Ger had encountered centuries earlier.
During a battle between the Enterprise and a Borg-Romulan fleet, Kirk and Picard beamed down to the Central Node on the planet's surface, in an effort to destroy the Collective. They discovered a way to destroy the Central Node, but there would be no delay in the self-destruct and the one who threw the switch would die. Kirk punched Picard and had him beamed aboard the Enterprise. He activated the self-destruction, and the Central Node was obliterated, severing the links between the branches of the Collective. Once again, Captain James T. Kirk was mourned as a hero, though Spock did not believe him to have died. (TOS novel: The Return)
Unknown to the Delta Quadrant mission team, Kirk was scooped up by a "transwarp transporter beam", and found himself on a world near the galactic core where the Borg deposited their "refuse." The planet was populated by ex-Borg members of the Hugh Clan, who purged Kirk of the Borg nanoprobes that were killing him. Kirk would live among them for the next two years before finding an intact Borg scout ship and heading for the Alpha Quadrant. (TOS novel: Avenger)
Kirk laterd save the planet Chal from disaster; after doing so, he remained on Chal, where he settled down with a woman named Teilani, whom he lived with. Several years later, Kirk returned to Earth at Teilani's request to decide what it was he wanted from life. On Earth, events conspired against Kirk once again, and he was captured by operatives from the mirror universe under the orders of the mirror Spock. Once Kirk came into play, so did Emperor Tiberius, Kirk's own counterpart who kidnapped Kirk in order for him to reveal the location of the First Federation base. By the end of Kirk's adventure, he was reinstated as a captain in Starfleet, wed Teilani and became a father when Teilani gave birth to a son named Joseph and later a widower when Teilani sacrificed herself for the good of the people around her. Kirk's adventures would continue with his son Joseph in tow until 2381, when Joseph too was lost saving the universe from the Totality (a race of aliens from the dark matter realm). (TOS novels: Avenger, Spectre, Dark Victory, Preserver, Captain's Peril, Captain's Blood, Captain's Glory)
When Nero and Ambassador Spock were sent back to the 23rd century, causing what was called the Kelvin timeline after Nero's assault of the USS Kelvin, a photo of Kirk and Spock's crewmates aboard the USS Enterprise-A was among the personal effects bequeathed to the alternate Spock after Ambassador Spock passed away in the year 2263. (TOS movie: Beyond)
After Kirk's retirement from Starfleet, his name was recorded in historical archives with the following titles and credentials: "James T. Kirk, Capt., USSC, FC, ret.". (TAS - Star Trek Logs novelizations: One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight)
Upon receipt of his first command, Kirk was fitted with a standard senceiver implant that allowed him to decode emergency messages inside his own mind. The implant was almost never used, and the second such message Kirk ever received was a warning alert about the approach of the V'Ger entity, after he'd been promoted to rear admiral. Kirk was allowed to memorize the ciphers for the ultimate code transmissions, which he was forbidden to transcribe into any computer. When the Enterprise received an ultimate override in 2269, Kirk wrote out the coded message on paper and deciphered the message using a writing implement. (TOS novelization: The Motion Picture; TOS novel: The Entropy Effect)
In another alternate timeline in which John Frederick Paxton destroyed Starfleet Command and ended the talks for the Coalition of Planets in 2155, Kirk joined the United Earth Starfleet as a teenager and graduated from Starfleet Academy in 2254. The next year, he married an Academy lab technician named Carol Marcus, having been set up with her by his best friend Gary Mitchell. They had a son named David Samuel Kirk, who was born in 2261. In 2259, he was assigned as the first officer of the UESS Enterprise under the command of Captain Christopher Pike.
However, tragedy struck in 2264 when Carol and David were killed when their transport vessel, the Galileo, was travelling to an interstellar symposium on molecular biology proposed by the Vulcan government. Upon the sight of a human vessel crossing the border of the Interstellar Coalition, the ship was destroyed by the Coalition vessel ICV Vanik when its Vulcan captain T'Prynn claimed that the human transport was not responding to hails. This led to Kirk developing a deep resentment towards Vulcans as well as other alien races to the point where he believed that Mitchell having a bottle of Saurian brandy was a threat to Earth's interests.
Due to his bigoted views, Kirk was deeply angered by the Enterprise's mission to transport Lady T'Pol and Ambassadors Nancy Hedford and Garrett Tarses to Babel, where they were to petition the Interstellar Coalition for United Earth's admission into the organisation. He did not attempt to hide his feelings when the three diplomats beamed aboard the Enterprise, leading to Captain Pike chastising him for letting his personal feelings interfere with his duties.
After easily defeating the ship's new chief medical officer Leonard McCoy in a game of chess in the Enterprise mess hall, McCoy casually suggested that T'Pol, the Vulcan former first officer and last surviving crewmember of the Enterprise (NX-01), would be able to provide Kirk with a challenge. In response to this comment, Kirk made his xenophobic attitudes towards the Vulcan abundantly clear, as did Lieutenant John Stiles. McCoy told them that he and his ancestors going back more than 20 generations were from Georgia, where Martin Luther King, Jr. had begun his career as a civil rights campaigner more than 300 years earlier. He argued that expressing bigotry for others based on their species was no different from harbouring such feelings for other humans based on their skin colour. As he left the mess hall in disgust, McCoy could see that he had made Kirk furious but believed that he may have at least given him food for thought. This assessment was ultimately proven correct.
Following the Enterprise's arrival on Babel, Kirk angrily rejected the Deltan ambassador Arlia's attempt to seduce him, almost creating an interplanetary incident in the process. Shortly afterwards, Councillor Sarek of Vulcan confided in Kirk that he likewise objected to Earth's petition to join the Interstellar Coalition as he believed that its membership would strengthen the organisation to such an extent that it would make it as impossible for Vulcan to secede. To that end, he requested that Kirk secretly transport T'Pol to Babel that night so that they could discuss the matter in private. Kirk acceded to Sarek's request. However, when T'Pol was reported missing the next morning, Pike relieved Kirk of duty and confined him to his quarters after he learned what he had done. He was soon revealed that the individual who requested T'Pol's presence on Babel was not Sarek but a Romulan commander named Keras, who bore an extremely close resemblance to the ambassador to the point where he speculated that they may have shared an ancestor from before the Sundering approximately 2,000 years earlier.
However, following the destruction of the ICV Kurak by a Romulan bird-of-prey and Pike's confinement to sickbay, Kirk assumed command of the Enterprise. Following Pike's recovery, he was assigned to lead the mission to rescue T'Pol from the damaged bird-of-prey, subsequently apologising to the Vulcan for his role in her capture by the Romulans. Kirk told T'Pol of the deaths of his wife and son while T'Pol told him of the murder of her husband Charles Tucker III on December 31, 2199 by xenophobic humans. In response, Kirk told her that in future he would see her in every Vulcan that he met, indicating that his bigoted views were beginning to dissipate. (TOS - Myriad Universes novel: A Less Perfect Union)
In another alternate timeline in which the Vulcans had remained a violent and emotional species, Commander Kirk served as the commanding officer of the IUES Enterprise I, a Charter-class starship of the Interstellar Guard in service during the late 23rd century. (ST - Myriad Universes novel: The Tears of Eridanus)
Starfleet service record
- Personal log, James T. Kirk
- Related page: Kirk's women
|USS Eagle (NCC-956) personnel|
|Botwin • Khenarc Claness • Gerardi • Sherev Idisha • Turath Ivos • James T. Kirk • Igrilan Kor • Carol Marcus • Pierre Ratelle|
|USS Constitution personnel|
|USS Constitution (22nd century)||La Forge|
|USS Constitution (prototype)||Augenthaler • Banks • Barton • Borrik • Carvajal • Chafin • Ferris • J. Gaynor • Herzog • A. Hirota • A. Jankowski • W.M. Jefferies • J.T. Kirk • Lidell • R. Likins • Livingstone • D. Lynch • Masefield • L.H. McCoy • Medina • G. Mitchell • Park • Polcovich • Rawitzer • Reboulet • Tomberlin • C. Velasquez • P. Waterston • R. Wesley • Wooten • Zuleta • unnamed personnel|
|USS Constitution (Galaxy-class)||J. van Osterlich • Solack • T. Soga • B. Spencer|
|USS Excalibur personnel|
|USS Excalibur (2240s)||R. Bannock|
|USS Excalibur (NCC-1664)||T. Haleakala-LoBrutto • A. Harris • J.T. Kirk • H. Ogden • Thonen • M. Walsh|
|USS Excalibur II||Preye|
|USS Excalibur (NCC-26517)||Argyle • R. Beth • Boyajian • Burgoyne 172 • M. Calhoun • M. Christiano • Howard • M. Gold • Hecht • M. Houle • Janos • Z. Kebron • M. Korsmo • Kothari • K. Kurdziel • G. La Forge • R. Lefler • Lowe • Martins • Maxwell • M. McHenry • Meyer • C. Mitchell • Morgen • W. Morrison • K. Mueller • Ramirez • W.T. Riker • B.G. Robinson • Scannel • Selar • Shastakovich • E.P. Shelby • Soleta • Somak • R. Takahashi • Torelli • T'Shanik • D. Voyskunsky • P. Watson • M. Wilkarah • Yates|
|USS Excalibur (NCC-26517-A)||Burgoyne 172 • M. Calhoun • Candido • Dreyfuss • Janos • Z. Kebron • R. Lefler • M. McHenry • Selar • E.P. Shelby • Soleta • T. Tobias • Xy|
|USS Saladin personnel|
|Earlenbaugh • Keleway • James T. Kirk|
|Starfleet Operations personnel|
|Chief of Starfleet Operations||Matthias W. Jefferies • Mattea Hahn • Chris Richards • James T. Kirk • Los Tirasol Mentir • James Leyton • Philip Herthum • Yoshi Fukazima|
|Other personnel||Greg Agalsoff • Carstairs • Gregory Quinn • Kevin Riley • Santin • N.J. Weiland|
|IKS B'rel/IKS Qel'poH personnel|
|Klingon Empire, Klingon Defense Force
as IKS B'rel or IKS Qel'poH
|Kruge • Maltz • Torg • unnamed Klingons (gunners, sergeant, etc.)|
commandeered as HMS Bounty
|Pavel Chekov • James T. Kirk • Konom • Leonard McCoy • Saavik • Montgomery Scott • Spock • Hikaru Sulu • Nyota Uhura|
|Terran Empire, Starfleet
temporarily commandeered as HMS Bounty
|Pavel Chekov • Spock • Hikaru Sulu|
|USS Enterprise-A personnel|
|Arex • Allocca • Arons • Banks • Barnes • Bearclaw • Benson • Bloemker • Borkowski • Boyajian • Bryce • Bob • Bull • H. Burke • L. Burke • Cassano • Castille • Chapel • Chekov • Clev • Codobach • Coletti • Connors • Darwa • Davis • Dax • de Broek • del Gaizo • Delaney • Delaney • DeLeon • Dietrich • J. Finney • Fisher • Flaherty • Fouton • Fucci • Galaym • Hazzard • Hernandez • Hicks • Hunter • Isenberg • Jackson • Kaminsky • Kirk • Kitty • Konom • Laria • Lawlor • Lee • Kathy Li • Ludlo • McCoy • McIntyre • McMurphy • Meyer • M'Ress • M'yra • Naraht • Newman • Palamas • Paul • Popov • Rasche • Romaine • Ryder • Saavik • Samno • Scott • Sherwood • Spock • Staci • Sterno • Sulu • T'Rin • Tooch • Tuchinsky • Uhura • Valeris • Wetherell • Yost • unnamed USS Enterprise-A personnel|
|See Also : Personnel roster|
|UESS Enterprise personnel (alternate timeline)|
|Phillip Boyce • Pavel Chekov • Lee Kelso • James T. Kirk • March • Guillermo Masada • Leonard McCoy • Ann Mulhall • Christopher Pike • Montgomery Scott • John Stiles • Nyota Uhura • Vinci|
|Commanding Officers of the Ships Enterprise
|Commanding Officers of the Ships Enterprise
|Commanding Officers of the Ships Enterprise
|Chief of Starfleet Operations
unspecified, eventually Robert Bennet
|Commanding Officers of the Ships Enterprise
|Commanding Officers of the starship Excelsior
|Commanding Officers of the starship HMS Bounty
|Commanding Officers of the Ships Enterprise