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James T. Kirk is coming back to television, thanks to Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.
The new Paramount+ show has cast Paul Wesley (The Vampire Diaries) to play the role of the iconic Star Trek character. The streamer announced the surprise casting news today and released our first-look at Kirk's new uniform as the future Enterprise Captain is seated in a familiar chair.
In a statement, Strange New Worlds' Executive Producers and Showrunners Henry Alonso Myers and Akiva Goldsman, as well as Executive Producer Alex Kurtzman, had this to say about the casting: “Paul is an accomplished actor, an astonishing presence and a welcome key addition to the show. Like all of us, he is a life-long Star Trek fan and we are excited by his interpretation of this iconic role.”
This is the first time that the character of Kirk has appeared on television in a live-action Trek series since Star Trek was cancelled in 1969.
Now, eagle-eyed Trek fans will be putting the official photo of the new Kirk under Spock's scanner to find out what rank this version of Kirk holds, as the press release carefully (read: purposefully) omits that, to keep fans guessing how the future Enterprise Captain factors into the show's storyline, which centers on Kirk's predecessor, Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount), and his tenure commanding the Federation flagship.
Season 2 of the soon-to-be-released show is shooting now in Toronto, so expect to see Kirk in action when that season airs.
In Season 2, we could see the famous exploits of Lt. Jim Kirk, often referenced on The Original Series. It looks like the bridge he is on in the above photo is not that of Strange New Worlds' Enterprise, but rather another ship (possibly one of Kirk's first postings, on either the Republic or the U.S.S. Farragut)?
We'll find out when Strange New Worlds premieres May 5.