Deciding on my favorite hero above all others was a grueling task. Ha! Just kidding, it really wasn’t. The grueling part was not making this post a dissertation. It was an easy decision, although there is a distinguished list of front runners, not a few of which are played by Harrison Ford. What is up with that? Indiana Jones, Han Solo, Steve Rogers, Jack Ryan, Wolverine, Bucky Barnes (duh) – all of them make me seal clap, but there is no one in the galaxy like
James Tiberius Kirk
This is where you act surprised at my choice, even more surprised that it involves Star Trek and Chris Pine. Go on. Be shocked. I’ll wait…
When I say Kirk is my fave, I’m referring to TOS Kirk (The Original Series for any neophytes) AND AOS (Alternate Original Series) Kirk. I love them both. The biggest difference between the two is reboot!Kirk is more openly conflicted, suffers from abandonment issues, is damaged and insecure. My complaints about the rebooted character have everything to do with the movie’s writing and nothing to do with the character itself. I’ll defend Jim Kirk to the end of the star system and save my fangirl rant for later.
Luckily, the character issues in the new movies are assuaged – for me at least – because he’s played by this guy:
Ok. Shake it off. NOW, on to the major points of…
Why James T. Kirk Is So Awesome
What You Think You Know About Captain Kirk, But Really It’s a Misconception Perpetrated by People Who Never Watched The Show and They’re Wrong
First, James T. Kirk is the awesomest of awesome heroes because:
- He’s a leader who respects his position. He’s open minded, quick witted and compassionate. He does his best to help those who need it and is often the most patient senior officer on the Enterprise. He’s not just a leader; he’s a damn great one. He listens to those around him, heeds their input and learns from them. He’s not afraid to take chances, do the grunt work and give credit where it’s due. He’s considered one of the greatest captains in Starfleet’s history and there’s a reason. He kicks ass at his job!
- He’s extraordinarily brave, sometimes brazen and always bold. Hello, the entire franchise is based on him and his crew boldly going, but if you really think about it, they are BOLDLY going. They take off into uncharted space, very little clue what they might find and all sorts of life forms out there. His thoughts on it? “You know the greatest danger facing us is ourselves, an irrational fear of the unknown. But there’s no such thing as the unknown– only things temporarily hidden, temporarily not understood.”
- He’s smart. Scratch that, he’s a genius. He’s a driven, handsome, brilliant captain of a starship who believes in what he’s doing and believes in those around him. That is so hot and I’m not even sorry.
- He’s no stranger to adversity and the strength of will it takes to survive. Whether we’re talking about living through the genocide on Tarsus IV (TOS) or growing up in an abusive home (AOS), Jim Kirk is a survivor. He’s also a bonafide optimist and in this era of angry, resentful heroes, he’s like sunshine on a cold day. He’s not some molly-coddled male who’s had everything handed to him, nor is he holed up in a dark corner, bemoaning his past and succumbing to his man pain. Jim Kirk worked hard for everything he has and he strives every day to make sure he deserves to be called Captain.
- He loves his crew. They are his friends and family and he wouldn’t be Captain Kirk without them. He knows he’s been saved from catastrophe because of Lt. Uhura. He’s alive because of Dr. McCoy. The Enterprise isn’t a pile of ashes because of Scotty and you really don’t want to get me started on Spock. Really. You don’t. His Starfleet family and the Enterprise mean everything to Kirk and, for them, he’s willing to risk his life. Like, all the damn time.
What people get wrong about Captain Kirk and it drives me crazy:
- Jim Kirk is NOT a womanizer. I don’t care what you think you’ve heard or seen, the man isn’t a skirt chaser. Don’t believe me? Watch the show. Sure, Kirk flirts a lot, but Kirk flirts with EVERYONE. He’s one of those people who can’t help but flirt as a way of communicating. Women, Men, Aliens, Flowers, Whatever. He grins, bats his lashes, gazes with starry eyes, teases, jokes, pouts and wears tight pants. I know a lot of this came from Shatner’s interpretation of the character, but now it’s canon.
Yes, Kirk kissed a lot of females on his five year mission, but a) it was only about 10 women in 5 years, most of which while he was possessed or drugged, a few others he kissed as a maneuver to gain intel or save his ship, and a select 2 or 3 were women he genuinely liked and kissed out of attraction. b) None of the women he willingly kissed were part of his crew. James T don’t play like that. Remember what I said about being a kick ass captain? Responsiblity of rank is part of that.
This is where the reboot went wrong. They took one of Kirk’s greatest attributes and screwed it up royal. In both reboot movies we see Kirk ogling fellow cadets and even a science officer in her undies. No. Just…NO. Jim Kirk would NEVER. There are entire blog posts out there about Kirk’s position as a feminist. If you doubt it, google it…or watch the show. He’s an officer and a gentleman and a feminist and Abrams et al should pay for the err of their ways and beg Starfleet Command for their forgiveness. (I’ll stop here or the fangirl fury will fly free. *deep breath*)
- Kirk is not some blow-hard, hot head who goes in, photons blazing, firing torpedoes first and asking questions later. I don’t even know where this Chuck Norris style stereotype came from. Maybe because he got into some fisticuffs? Because boy got swagger? True, Jim will throw down if some down needs to be thrown, and true, he seems to enjoy a good wrestle (some occasions more than others *cough* not gonna say it *cough*) and getting his shirt torn, but he’s not an inherently violent character. His enthusiasm seems to stem from too much energy; an exuberance like “Yes! There shall be physical activity!” versus actual angry fighting.
“Our missions are peaceful…not for conquest. When we do battle, it is only because we have no choice.”
“[War] is instinctive. But the instinct can be fought. We’re human beings with the blood of a million savage years on our hands. But we can stop it. We can admit that we’re killers…but we’re not going to kill today. That’s all it takes. Knowing that we’re not going to kill today.”
This seems like as good a place as any to stop because we all know I could keep going. I’ll wrap up by saying: Star Trek! There’s a reason it’s a cultural phenomenon. Live Long and Prosper, y’all!