Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2 Will Show Us a Captain Kirk We Haven’t Seen Before

Paul Wesley joins the main cast of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds as Lieutenant James T. Kirk, but he’s a very different version of the Captain we know so well.

Paul Wesley as James Kirk in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2
Photo: Marni Grossman/Paramount+

When you think of James Tiberius Kirk, Captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise, what words come to mind? Heroic? Brash? Romantic? All of those words apply, thanks to decades’ worth of performances by William Shatner and the younger version Chris Pine played in the J.J. Abrams Star Trek films. With Strange New Worlds season 2, we’ll get yet another take on Kirk, this one courtesy of Paul Wesley. We got a hint of Wesley’s Kirk in the season one finale of Strange New Worlds, but that was from an alternate reality where he never became Captain of the Enterprise.

In a recent press junket (via Trek Movie), Wesley gave a few more details about how his younger Kirk will differ from not only the man he played in season one, but also the Shatner and Pine Kirks we all know so well.

“In many ways, I think Kirk is still boy, at least in the version that I sort of have been playing,” Wesley explained. “I’m not sure he understands how to be a captain yet.” From that description, Wesley’s Kirk sounds similar to that of Pine’s, at least as he’s portrayed in 2009’s Star Trek. But in the Kelvin Timeline, Kirk was a wayward youth after his father died on the USS Kelvin.

As it takes place in the Prime Timeline, this Kirk didn’t have the same family background or the weight of expectation, which allows him to more gradually grow into his role. “I would like to slowly begin to portray him as someone with a deep confidence and an unwavering sort of sense of who he is,” said Wesley. “But I don’t think he’s quite there yet. And I think that’s sort of what makes it sort of special to watch.”


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